Elka Synthex

Elka Synthex Image

The Synthex is a very lush sounding classic analog 8 voice synthesizer. Later versions implemented basic MIDI functions. It has 30 knobs, 6 sliders, 80 switches and a joystick. Powerful sounds with 2 oscillators per note, separate envelope generators, chorus and even a sequencer! The use of stable DCO's (digitally controlled analog oscillators) and oscillator cross modulation of Pulse Width and a multimode filter made it unique in its time.

There is a cool joystick that replaces traditional pitch/mod wheels and allows for greater variable real-time control over the two LFOs, oscillator and filter modulation. The 6 sliders beside the joystick assign what (LFO, osc and filter) goes to the joystick. Voices can also be layered or split across the keyboard. Other great features include the onboard digital Ring-Modulator, Chorus effect and Dual or Layer modes available. And also a four-track sequencer rounds out this synths host of features. Two of it's tracks can output MIDI data.

Elka Synthex Image

This is just an extremely good analog and unique synth excellent for pads, drones and glistening lead sounds. They're a bit of a pain to service and find parts for. However many famous artists such as Tangerine Dream and Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) have used one, and Jean Michel Jarre swears by it. One last Synthex was made just for Stevie Wonder after their production run eventually ended.

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19 Visitor comments
February 28, 2011 @ 10:59 am
True, the Synthex is clearly underrated, even though it sounds as "fat" as a Jupiter-8 or a Prophet 5. Here's a little video of the Synthex in action at our project studio last weekend:
December 9, 2010 @ 8:31 am
"my father gave it to me as a gift when i was 14 years old.. Sadly it broke, i trade it in with some other stuff but i want it back."

makes my (and many others) decision easier to not leave any vintagesynths for their children.
January 29, 2010 @ 4:06 pm
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran has one in his collection.
Joey Swails
August 12, 2009 @ 8:22 pm
I used to sell these beasts back when they were new (they came out around 1984, IIRC). The sound was a lot like the Roland Jupiter-8, but with some more fancy bells and whistles, like the ring mod and chorus.

The problem was that they hit the market too late. Like the Gleeman Pentaphonic and the Prophet VS, by then the market was flooded with cheap Japanese synths and nobody would pay US$3000+ for a polysynth anymore. Then came the DX-7 and the market for expensive analogs was dead.
August 6, 2009 @ 2:44 am
Well, yes. This is one of the truly great synths. I had one for more than ten years. Then I sold the whole bunch, because my life took other paths. It's more than 9 years ago, but I still regret sometimes the sale.
Those days (1988?) Elka had the name of middle-of-the-road electronic organs, so nobody expected a quality like this and the machine didn't sell. Original price these days was about Hfl 9000. I bought it for Hfl 2000! By the time I arrived at home my back was almost broken. But the sound, wow!
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Rated 4.09 (389 Votes)

  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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 - 8 Voices
  • Oscillators - 16
  • Sequencer - 4-Track
  • Filter - Curtis Chips: 24dB LowPass, 12dB HiPass, 12dB & 6dB BandPass
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Memory - 40 preset/40 user
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1981 - 1984
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Perfect Circuit Audio.

    Thanks Edwin Balzan and Mattias Rickardsson for the info.

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