ARP Explorer I

ARP Explorer I Image

The Explorer is a programmable preset analog synthesizer. It was very similar to ARP's Pro-Soloist and Pro-DGX preset synths, but offered more flexibility when it came to modifying or creating entirely new sounds. The preset sounds of the Explorer are your basic flute, trumpet, clarinet, strings, pulsar, lunar lander, etc. But unlike other preset synths of the time, in "Manual" mode you could synthesize all kinds of new sounds ranging from wind effects to electronic synth sounds.

The simple design and controls offer three main sections. The waveform section lets you mix and match its various waveforms at different pitch ranges to create unique sounds and timbres. There's a VCF/VCA section with basic ADSR and filter controls for shaping and contouring sounds. The filter is a decent low-pass 4-pole filter. And an effects section offers controls for repeat, vibrato, pitch bend, portamento, etc. All in all the Explorer is a unique and somewhat rare piece of equipment which signalled, at least for ARP, the transition of compact vintage synths from preset to programmable sounds. It has been used by Philip Glass and Herbie Hancock.

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The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a ARP Explorer I? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

11 Visitor comments
Hex Hector
March 1, 2014 @ 11:51 am
Rare as hens teeth!!!!! If you are lucky enough to own an ARP Explorer then hang on to it because the chances of you ever finding another one are very small.
I love the sound of the explorer I because it has a different sound than the odyssey, soloist, axxe etc. The osc's sound more gritty and full on to my ears plus I love the repeat function.
Classic synth with a big ARP sound.
If you ever do find one for sale buy it in a heart beat.
janne järvinen
December 19, 2013 @ 2:25 pm
@ ghostdanca

no sir; please do excuse me but I don't wish to apart from the String Synth partly due it's
rarity & collective value -not to mention it's sound capablities and partly because I have had the synth for about a year now & I'm still lovin' it.
ghostdanca
November 17, 2013 @ 5:19 am
This message is to janne järvinen.
Do you want to sell your solina string synthesizer?
janne järvinen
November 1, 2013 @ 4:13 am
I have one built in my solina string synthesizer (series95 s/n0136814)
in nearly mint condition;the sliders should be cleaned thought
MPPelli
March 12, 2012 @ 8:19 pm
I cleaned my very, very sticky sliders without opening them up just by spraying in some contact cleaner with lubricant (i.e. not the basic contact cleaner, don't put that in!). That stuff works magic on all sorts of potentiometers.

Also, I wish someone would fix the description text on this page; the Explorer 1 doesn't actually have any presets, they're just cardboard overlays that fit on the front panel and you set the controls according to the piece of cardboard. So, nothing like the Pro Soloist, more comparable to writing the settings of a Minimoog patch down on paper.
 
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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO (w/ sawtooth, square, narrow pulse and modulated-width pulse waveforms and Pink Noise generator)
  • LFO - 1 LFO with adjustable speed, depth and delay controls
  • Filter - 4-pole (24dB/oct) low pass filter with cutoff and resonance controls
  • VCA - 1 ADSR envelope
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - None
  • Memory - None
  • Effects - repeat, delayed vibrato, bender, portamento, and pitchbend
  • Date Produced - 1974 -1978

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