Formanta Polivoks

Polivoks Image

The Polivoks is the most popular vintage Russian synth made in the early 80's and it was among the first synthesizers produced in the USSR. It's purely analog with two voices of polyphony, two oscillators each with triangle, square, saw, two types of pulse waveforms and one noise generator, the levels of which are controlled via the internal mixer. Although the oscillators can become unstable and difficult to tune, the Polivoks is well suited for making screeching sounds and thunderous bass. You can also connect an external audio input for processing through the Polivoks' switchable dual-mode band pass/low pass filter and LFO sections. The LFO, or "Modulator" offers triangle, square, random and noise waveshapes and can be applied to the oscillator level and pitch or the filter cutoff. There are also two ADSR envelopes for contouring the oscillators and filters.

Polivoks had been produced since 1982 by the Formanta electronic factory (one of the biggest at the time); it was sold exclusively in the USSR. Polivoks has its own unique electronic components including a reliable keyboard (49 notes F to E) made with magnetically controlled contacts and DIN sockets for its three outputs and one input. Its synthesis modules consist of independent circuit boards, which is convenient for maintenance and repair. In addition, Polivoks is housed in an original rugged aluminum body of uncommon design with handy controls.

One more thing though, if you come across one of these it helps if you can read Russian. Check out this Panel Layout Translation to English.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Formanta Polivoks? 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.

14 Visitor comments
April 4, 2013 @ 3:29 am
I had this, and forever regret selling it. The filter is insane! Very aggressive synth.
October 4, 2012 @ 7:58 am
Hey, i just got one by using this russian web site,: %BB%D0%B8%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BA%D1%81

i think i got very lucky , because the guy who sent it over was very honest and sent everything as he promised.
Im living in UK and i got it as a present, right now im trying to bring it from russia to uk.
Do you know if it allowed to be transferred as a hand luggage?
because im little worry to put it as a luggage .
do you have any ideas for the best way to transfer it,
thank you
September 22, 2012 @ 2:33 am
if you remove the plastic cover with the logo on the front panel there's six more coin operated knobs for the finer tuning of both oscillators. In the official manual there's a chart according to which you should tune your Polivoks depending on the temperature you operate it in.
Polivoks has a sophisticated temperature stabilization scheme - it heats up to 50C and is supposed to stay that way at all times independent of the temperature outside. But Soviet mass production wasn't perfect and the temp stabilization scheme checks were more than often left out due to the time they consumed...
chris gaskell
June 11, 2012 @ 5:56 am
Theres a Russian synth dealer trading as VINTAGE KINGS AUDIO on Ebay who just ripped us off for 1700 AUD, please avoid like the plague my fellow synth passionistas! He got us to deposit money into a UK bank account with a fake name, (he must have opened it with fake I.D) to avoid paypal fees... then nothing was ever sent... The worst and most psychotic and disturbing thing about it was that he groomed us by selling us 2 small things then offered us a big thing and stole our money
Sander Alkemade
March 29, 2012 @ 3:33 pm
I fell in love with the VST version, which stood out amongst hundreds of other I tried.
This synth is very flexible and can produce a wide range of interesting sounds.
Maybe my next holiday has to be in Russia if I ever want to find one ;-)
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User Rating

Rated 3.8 (230 Votes)

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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 - Two voices
  • Oscillators - 2 osc, 1 Noise Gen. Waveforms: triangle, saw, square, pulse 1 and pulse 2.
  • LFO - LFO speed and modulation (triangle, saw, square, random waveforms)
  • Filter - VCF: ADSR knobs, ADSR mode, cutoff, resonance, BPF/LPF mode, filter LFO level, envelope level.
  • VCA - ADSR knobs, ADSR mode, mod level, keyb memory.
  • Effects - Glissando
  • Keyboard - 49 note duophonic
  • Memory - None
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1982

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