AR-1 British Monosynth returns

If your reaction to the Little Phatty was to head straight to an online forum and say "why couldn't they just make a cheap, old-school machine with no presets and no MIDI", then the Aurora AR-1 is your boy - an utterly old-school 3osc hand-made synth, built by Adrian from Synth Restore in Bedford. I reported on it a while back, but things went quiet - Adrian had trouble with some time-wasters. Now the AR1 is back on his site, and he's taking orders at £549 + shipping, made to order with a £200 deposit and 4 week turnaround. Back when I first wrote about it, the only competition came from vintage synths on eBay. Now Adrian's up against the Little Phatty (£899 in the UK) and the DSI MEK (£849) - both have far more features, but this has a certain charm. (via Matrix)

Quick impressions compared to the phatty:

This has too many knobs.
The buttons don't have 'realskin' sexy appeal.
It's not blueish.
It doesn't cost enough.

But, on its good side:

One can use it to communicate with the dead.
It runs on a million volts.
And it is 666 note polyphonic.
The Queen of England has seven of them.

You can always trust me for the facts.
When is Chris going to get round to HCGPF on the Royal Synthesiser Rooms?
Unusual choice of filter (12db/oct with highpass mode) in this thing. Good to see someone doing something different from the usual 24db moog clone though.

Other nice thing is that the LFO goes up to audio frequencies. Essential for truly nasty noises.

Not so nice things:
No pitch bend wheel.
Only one adsr.
The lack of Ouija/Gate outputs limit the usefulness of communicating with the dead.
Yeah, talking to the dead is nice, but get back to me when it brings the dead back to life. Now that's a very useable tool!
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