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Apr 17, 2015 4:00 PM ET

Archived: Elka Synthex synthesisers by Generalmusic – The legendary Elka Synthex is coming back! Handmade in Finland with original vintage parts

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 17, 2015

Elka Synthex synthesisers by Generalmusic

The legendary Elka Synthex is coming back! Handmade in Finland with original vintage parts.
ELKA Synthex

The legendary Elka Synthex synthesiser is making a comeback in 2015. Originally produced from 1981 to 1985, only a small number of this iconic synthesiser were ever made. Now it’s making a comeback – and you can make it happen. 

By contributing to the campaign, you can be one of the first people to get your own Elka Synthex reissue – at a significantly lower price than what they’ll retail for.

The Elka Synthex has an incredible sound that’s landed it a spot in the synthesiser hall of fame – one of only forty instruments in the world. It’s sound can be heard on some of the 20th century’s best-loved albums. And now you can make it yours.

The Elka Synthex is a polyphonic synthesiser that is capable of eight-note polyphony. In order to achieve this, the Elka Synthex comes with eight monophonic synthesiser circuits – all vintage parts. 

The Elka Synthex is completely programmable, enabling you to save sounds you’ve created for future use. A wide array of pre-sets are also supplied with the instrument, making this one of the most versatile vintage synths out there. 

The reissued Elka Synthex synthesisers will be hand-built in Salo, Finland, using a combination of vintage and new components. This way we can ensure that the reissue has that signature Elka sound and user interface that Elka fans love, while making use of technological advances that improve its efficiency.

The Elka Synthex had an original design that stood out from anything that had come before it.  This will be true of the reissue as well: the reissued Elka Synthex comes with the original user interface design, including the iconic joystick controller, ensuring that all controls are within easy reach.

The Elka Synthex is one of the most sought-after synthesisers out there. With careful sound design and innovative build, it’s a true musical instrument that’s stood the test of time. And today, it sounds as fresh as it did in 1981.

  • Jean-Michel Jarre still owns three working Synthexes which he uses to this day both in the studio and live on tour. They have been used on every new album since Rendezvous in 1985 – the album on which the iconic use of Synthex with the laser harp first was heard.
  • Keith Emerson’s famous GX-1 Fanfare For The Common Man sound was recreated on the Synthex, and he bought one to use live for that piece and other songs on the 1985 World tour with ELP.
  • Synthex was on Stevie Wonder’s Characters album and on the Skeletons hit single. Wonder ordered the final machine left in stock at Elka, and picked it up on his 1986 European tour. He used it to replace his ailing GX-1 and live on his 1987 world tour.
  • The Synthex appears on the soundtrack of the movie Die Hard in the track playing in the limousine scene by Stevie Wonder.
  • When Asia keyboard player Geoff Downes (ex-Buggles, ex-Yes) bought a Synthex and used it extensively on the 3rd Asia album in 1983, singer/bass player John Wetton (ex-King Crimson, Ex-Roxy Music) liked the sound of it so much he bought one as well and used it for many years on his solo albums.
  • When Geoff Downes produced the Steve Howe/Steve Hackett supergroup GTR’s album, there was no keyboard player on the album but all the strings, brass and synth parts were triggered on the Synthex via MIDI guitar by ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. Ex-Yes/Asia guitarist Steve Howe also triggered several lead sounds on the Synthex via MIDI guitar.

Support the Elka comeback crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo and get your hands on some cool merchandise as well as the first reissued Elka Synthex synthesisers – hot off the presses and with a lower-than-retail price tag.

Love the Elka? Give us a shoutout with the hashtag #BringElkaBack on Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s make it happen!

Pre-order the Elka Synthex for a special early bird price –  up to 30% lower than the estimated retail price. This is only available during the Indiegogo campaign and all the money will go into the production, so hop to it! 

Perk #1: Elka Synthex Pre-order for Early Birds ($ 3181)

This perk includes the ELKA Synthex with the special early bird price. Act fast!

Perk #2: The Elka Synthex Pre-order ($ 3315)

This perk includes the ELKA Synthex.

Perk #3: The ELKA Synthex Distributor 3-Pack Pre-order  ($ 

This perk includes 3 ELKA Synthexes with a special distributor discount.

Goal #1 – If 250 Elka Synthexes are sold: Elka Synthex keyboard stand for all pre-orderers

Once we reach the first goal, every ELKA Synthex pre-order will be upgraded to include the legendary keyboard stand. 

Goal #2 – If 375 Elka Synthexes are sold: Elka Synthex flight case for all pre-orderers

Once we reach the second goal, every Elka Synthex pre-order will be upgraded to include a flight case in which you can carry and store your brand-new-vintage synth.

We love the Elka Synthex – and think that you will, too. By supporting us you will help us start the reissue of these vintage gems. And the Elka is just the first of our planned products.

We’re an independent small business. We plan on building products with integrity and with soul. And we think you’ll fall in love with the Elka Synthex.

The money will be used to kick-start the production in Salo, Finland. So your money will be going directly into the making of the Elka Synthex, plain and simple.

We are Soundion Oy Ltd., the Finnish instrument manufacturer which acquired Generalmusic, which includes the Elka and GEM brands. 

Soundion Oy Ltd was founded by Jukka Kulmala in Salo, Finland. The Elka Synthex will be our first product – and one of many to come. We’ll specialise in synthesisers, electronic keyboard instruments and sound equipment.

Jukka Kulmala

Jukka Kulmala is the CEO of Soundion Oy and a long-time musical instrument professional and electronic music buff. Kulmala has a background in banking and music company management, with extensive knowledge of business finance.

During his extensive career, he has worked at Ensio Music – a record company and music publisher – as the Managing Director, as well as at Fazer Musiikki in Turku as a Managing Director. Kulmala also has extensive experience in finance, where he worked as a Corporate Banking Manager for Nordea between 1983 and 2010. 

Seppo Nikkilä

Seppo Ilmari Nikkilä, M.Sc.EE, born 1949, graduated from Helsinki University of Technology mastering in Digital Electronics and Computer Science in 1975. In the early 1970s he was pioneering the use of microprocessors in industrial control. In 1980 he lead a group that employed the emerging local area networking technology with microprocessors to design and implement an integrated process and production automation system – still in use worldwide. 

In 1975  Nikkilä co-founded Genelec Oy, a Finnish audio technology company specialising in active monitor loudspeakers. Since 1988 he has worked as the CEO for ANT – Advanced Network Technologies Oy, and since 2003 especially with the wireless distribution and collection of real-time, streaming multichannel high definition audio. Nikkilä is AES member number 83990 and the author of nearly one hundred scientific or technical papers and reports.

Paul Wiffen

Paul Wiffen, Product Specialist and Sound Designer, M.A. (Hons) OXON, has had an extensive career in sound design, music production, composition and electronic music. Wiffen is the original sound designer of the Elka Synthex – and his sounds will be heard on the reissued Synthex as well.

Wiffen has worked extensively with the likes of Jean-Michel Jarre, Stevie Wonder, Geoff Downes, Keith Emerson and Paul McCartney. His sounds were used by Emu, Ensoniq, Sequential, Akai, Roland and Yamaha – but he always had the Synthex in the boot of his car as samplers by themselves could often not deliver the power and depth of sounds on which his reputation was based. 

Wiffen went on to found Digital Village, the number one retailer in the UK of digital audio on computers that was recently sold to the German retail giant Music Store, and has worked with Apple as a music and audio evangelist. Wiffen’s more recent work has been in film: he won the 24hr film challenge in Cannes in 2006 and his docudramas have won three international awards on Mexico, Ireland and Long Island in the US.

Download the full tech specs here.
campaign FAQ.


1. Why are you bringing Elka back? Why not create something new?

The Elka Synthex has long been loved and missed by both musicians and enthusiasts alike. Originally produced between 1981 and 1984, its iconic eightnote polyphony sound defined a generation of music across genres, from the pure electronica of Jean–Michel Jarre, through the stadium rock of Asia and Duran Duran, to the urban funk of Stevie Wonder. In reissuing this coveted instrument, Soundion wants to provide Elka Synthex aficionados around the world with a new opportunity to own one of these timeless classics at a fair price. 

This is the world’s first crowd­funding campaign to reissue a vintage instrument no longer in production, 

2. How will the new Elka Synthex be manufactured?

We are establishing a world-class production environment in Salo, Finland that will provide all reissued Elka Synthexes with the highest possible build quality. Soundion Oy acquired all the intellectual property and assets of Generalmusic – including Elka. Along with the sale of the estate came warehouses full of original vintage components that will be used to build the reissued Synthexes. These will be combined with new components and assembled manually to give a current Elka Synthex the sound of the original.

3. Will the technical specs of the reissued ELKA Synthex differ from the original?

Unused vintage stock of the original CEM3320 filter chips are available to us. However, before making the final decision to use vintage ones or produce new ones, we’ll just need to verify the the vintage chip can last another 30 years. The same goes for other components as well. We’re working on this now and will provide updates on specific components as soon as we can and share the progress of this journey.
4. How can I follow the remake of the ELKA Synthex?

We have a ton of stuff planned so you can follow the development of your ELKA Synthex as it’s happening. Stay up to date on this page, and we definitely recommend following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news and bits from the Soundion HQ.

5. Are shipping costs included in the Perk price in Indiegogo?

 Shipping costs are not included in the pre-order / perk price, and will be charged separately before we ship your Elka Synthex to you. We will inform you with delivery options closer to the delivery date. We’ll do our very best to make sure you get the Elka Synthex delivered flexibly and at a good price.

6. Does the Perk price include VAT or other taxes?

The perk price does not include taxes and duties payable in your country of residence, and they will need to be paid by the contributor separately. Once we get closer to the delivery date, we’ll ask you to confirm your shipping address.

If you live in the EU, we will give you instructions on how to do the VAT payments.

Outside the EU, unfortunately we can’t help and you will have to handle the customs and taxes.

7. If I am not happy with my new ELKA Synthex, can I return it and get refunded?

Yes, you may return the ELKA Synthex delivered to you within 14 days of receiving it. Please note that return shipping, including any customs or other charges – as applicable – will be borne by the sender.

8. When are you going to ship the ELKA Synthex?

We aim to ship the first ELKA Synthex synthesisers in December 2015. Please note that the delivery date is subject to change. We will keep you updated on the schedule in our update emails.

9. In what countries will the ELKA Synthex be available? 

Worldwide, pretty much! If you’ve got concerns about shipping to your country of residence, get in touch with us.

10. After the Indiegogo campaign, where will the ELKA Synthex be available? 

We are currently working on the distributor network. At the moment we do not have any plans to share, but once everything is set we’ll let you know. 

Didn’t find answer to your question? Send us an email at lets (a) bringelkaback.com. We’re happy to help!

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Contact Information:

Jukka Kulmala
Seppo Nikkilä
Paul Wiffen

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