Teisco S100P

Teisco S100P Image

The Teisco S100P is a monophonic preset synthesizer from 1979. There were a number of such keyboards around at the time and earlier, including Roland's SH-2000 and the ARP Pro Soloist. They gave quick access to generic sounds, and were often designed to sit atop another keyboard, such as an organ.

A quick glance at the 32 sounds on offer might turn away those raised on modern Virtual Analogs with 1000 memories: tuba, flute, Hawaiian guitar, whistle…and yet, this is a surprisingly well-featured and useful little synth that still deserves a place in amongst its bigger, cleverer, more expensive brethren.

Teisco equipment can also be found under the label Kawai – the latter company bought the former and took some time to change the brand name. The Kawai model has a wood-effect front lower panel surround where the Teisco is all metal, but otherwise the two are identical. They originally came with a music stand that slots into two holes on the top; they are 37-key, C-C; they have 32 preset sounds that are selected using switches beneath the keyboard, and a left-hand control panel that sports basic performance features.

The sounds themselves are a mixed bag. Realism is not the 100P's strong point – bassoonists can sleep easy, and the monophonic piano seems slightly pointless – but many of them are a pleasure to play, and several are pretty usable. The bass sounds possess a solid low end, the shakuhachi is smooth and effective, and the four "synthe" sounds have a pleasing rawness. The limited tweaking afforded by the panel controls includes a clumsy pitch-bend slider, filter "brilliance", and modulation rate, as well as octave up/down, portamento (and glissando) time, tune, volume and three keyboard triggering modes.

Perhaps the most unexpected and interesting aspects of this modest little synth are its built-in reverb and assignable aftertouch. Reverb is of the spring type, with an effect level knob on the panel; aftertouch also has a sensitivity control knob to suit your playing, and can be routed simultaneously to several destinations, including pitch bend up/down, filter, vibrato amount and "growl". The degree of flexibility this adds to the otherwise simple sounds makes this synth much more expressive than many more patchable monos of the time. There is also an "effects" section allowing the switching of porta/glissando, hold/sustain, note repeat and – another nice feature – a flanger.

There is minimal interfacing here: high and low outputs, headphone jack, and an expression pedal input for volume control – but the advantage of this is that the 100P begs to be played. Forget your CV/Gate, your MIDI and USB – forget how many demisemiquavers you can quantize at 300BPM – flex your finger joints and have some fun!

NOTE: The underside of the S100P bears a sticker labelled "Manufactured under license from ARP Instruments Inc, USP 3,965,789". This refers to the "Electronic Musical Instrument Effects Control" – the aftertouch.

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12 Visitor comments
Paolo Albanese
February 19, 2014 @ 6:35 am
I have one in restoration, estetically very good. I think it will be ready in April, 2014. I f someone is intrested in buyng email me at albanpao@tin.it
Tastronauten
January 21, 2013 @ 1:38 pm
This beast is excactly the same as the Kawai 100 P synth. We have one in our studio and some sounds demos on our site www.tastronauten.de/kawai-100-p.html. This synth really rocks.
garry crawford
March 12, 2012 @ 7:31 am
I have one for sale on ebay now in mint condition with original case, manual and music stand - even in original cardboard box!!:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/110839260954?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trks id=p3984.m1555.l2649
tom
February 4, 2012 @ 2:08 pm
I have one, it still works, I'm based in the UK. Email me at thenichols55@gmail.com
Andy G
December 4, 2011 @ 4:54 am
Rob's right. There was more Arp in it. I was with Kawai at the time and did some revoicing work on this one. A few of those sounds are mine!

It was a very good synth to play and some of the sounds, like the violin, will - if played properly - still stand up today.
 
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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
  • Multitimbral - 1-part
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO
  • Waveforms - Pulse w/PWM, saw, noise, with fixed settings
  • LFO - 1 LFO routed to effects
  • Filter - 24dB/oct lowpass; preset highpass
  • Envelope - 2 x preset ADS for VCF and VCA
  • Effects - spring reverb, flanger
  • Arpeggiator - note repeat only
  • Keyboard - 37-key C-C w/aftertouch
  • Memory - 32 presets
  • Control - Exp pedal for volume
  • Date Produced - 1979-1982

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