Gleeman Pentaphonic

Gleeman Pentaphonic Image

The Pentaphonic is a five-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer released in 1982. It was designed by brothers Al and Bob Gleeman and featured three DCOs for a stable and juicy analog sound. The Pentaphonic was in the running against such classics as the Sequential Prophet-5, Moog Minimoog and Polymoog, and the Oberheim 4-Voice. But the Gleeman Pentaphonic (and the Pentaphonic Clear) are extremely rare! Only about 30 Pentaphonics and 20 Pentaphonic Clears were ever made.

In addition to three oscillators per voice, the Pentaphonic has a four-pole lowpass resonant filter with an ADSR envelope, a VCA with ADSR, an LFO, and built-in chorusing (slow or fast). There is also a handy 300-note capacity sequencer on-board for simple real-time recordings that you can play along with. There's also a cool X/Y joystick for controlling pitch and mod effects. Some models also had a Presetter added which gave it 100 patch memories and eight digital waveforms.

Clear Gleeman Pentaphonic Image

The Clear model is unique because of its transparent plexiglass case. It was also designed to be strapped on like a guitar for live use. The standard models had a boring black case and a built-in speaker. Their demise has been blamed on the rise of the digital revolution as led by the Yamaha DX7. They went out of production in 1983, but the Audities Foundation had bought, restored and built some since. Audities-built Clear versions have green circuit boards. They have been used by Moog Cookbook, Imperial Drag, and Alabama. Originally selling for $2800 to $3400, they now go from anywhere from $700 to $5000 depending on the condition.

Read a very detailed history of the Gleeman Pentaphonic story here, written by Joey Swails.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Gleeman Pentaphonic? 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.

10 Visitor comments
August 3, 2014 @ 3:27 am
Re: the text article by Joey Swails above:
it incorrectly states T.Oberheim invented serial scanning keyboard, however Oberheim, Sequential and others licensed this technology from E mu, (Dave Rossum)
Jason J. Young
July 11, 2014 @ 10:39 pm
Wasn't this used by Michael Sembello's band on "American Bandstand" when they performed "Maniac"?
Mike K.
May 27, 2013 @ 8:26 pm
Used to own one of these, and it was a preset model. Great synth, but the tuning stability was not the best. Ended up selling it, tough times, needed the cash, you know the drill. I do miss it, but I can live without it.
Tom Doncourt
April 4, 2012 @ 4:40 pm
I have a black one that needs a power supply and some servicing. I plan to put it up on ebay if I don't get any offers--contact I really liked it and used it alot in the early eighties but then mothballed it. I am choosing between having it serviced and letting it go but there are some other things I need for my setup so -goodbye
January 11, 2012 @ 12:43 am
I know this doesn't have much to do with the synthesizer, but that Clear version looks simply gorgeous. I'd put a ring on that thing and marry it if I had the chance.
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User Rating

Rated 3.06 (101 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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 - 5 voices
  • Oscillators - 3 VCO's
  • LFO - One with sine wave modulation; routes to VCO, VCF or VCA
  • Filter - 4 dB/oct with cutoff freq, resonance and EG amount. Has dedicated ADSR EG to filter.
  • VCA - ADSR envelope
  • Keyboard - 37 keys (3-octaves)
  • Sequencer - 300-note realtime "sketch-pad" sequencer
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1982

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