Mr Paia, father of synth kits, is dead

John Simonton, who created the Paia electronic kit company in 1967, has died after a battle with cancer. If you were a teenager in the mid 1970s and couldn't afford a Moog, a self-build Paia kit was a way to get your own synth (plus a working knowledge of soldering) for cheap. His well-designed kits earned him lots of friends and inspired many people to get into the synth business themselves. In the last few years, Paia underwent a resurgence, as the Internet pulled in new customers from all over the world, including several MT readers.
This thread at the MOTM (Module of the Month) forum has messages from some legends of the modular synth world, including John Blacet and Jurgen Haible, and there's also this blog for memories of John. I didn't know him, but I suspect his favourite legacy might be this page on the Paia site - the hall of fame, showing some of the amazing things that people built with his kits. (Thanks to everyone who sent this in) (The picture is from Synthfool - hope you don't mind, Kevin)UPDATE: The 'memories of John' blog is really getting going now, and there's a nice story over at Matrix Synth.

that really sucks.. he was always super cool in email correspondance and will be very much missed...

I ended up in the Paia Headquarters once, which is about 10 miles north of where I lived, and was sad to see that it was mostly a shipping facility an not a building with weird gadgets and gizmos hanging off the walls.
Yeah man. I emailed paia one day to tell them to resurecct the gnome. I got a lovely response back from mr paia himself saying to the effect: youre not the only one. That was classic.
Hmmm...Mr Moog, cancer...Mr PAIA, cancer...they always come in three´s, so who´s next?
And maybe synthesizers are cancerogenous (or how the hell it´s suppsed to be spelled?) in some way? Too much magnetic fields in their life, maybe?
A damn shame. I'm currently restoring my 4700 (built in 1980); I was hoping to email John with an account of what I'd done to his creation (which was mostly a case of adding connectors and replacing jacks, but I've also created a couple of unique modules in the same funky 4700 idiom). Now I won't get the chance.
I went to his old shop a few times with problems getting my equally-tempered D/A converter to put out the proper voltages, and he took it on himself to install a custom-built daughter board on it. It didn't fix the problem, but I did get a souvenir sample of his handiwork out of it. He will be missed. Anyone know of a good home for all my 4700/8700 equipment, including a few kits that are still in the original, unopened plastic bags? I’d rather not sell it to some chop shop on ebay.
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