World's First Electronic Synthesizer Up for Auction
Published Sep 25, 2014Synth nerds — they're everywhere. Whether they're cornering you at a party to show off their Arturia iPhone app, correcting your pronunciation of "Moog" or over-explaining just how circuit bending works, there's no denying their enthusiasm for synthesized sounds. Now, they'll have a new item to salivate over, as the world's first-ever synthesizer is now up for auction.
As FACT reports, the Helmholtz Sound Synthesizer is now up for auction at Bonham's.
The artifact will put your all-hardware techno album to shame with its immensely analogue, antiquated design. The item dates back to 1905 and was built by Max Kohl based on a design from physicist Hermann Von Helmholtz. It generates sounds via electromagnets and tuning forks.
"Specimens of these are extremely rare, with only one similar but smaller apparatus located in a U.S. institution that we know of," the auction house writes. "We have not seen another as large or finely made as this one."
It adds, "Helmholtz invented his resonator to identify the various frequencies of the pure sine wave components of complex sounds containing multiple tones, showing that the different combinations made could reproduce vowel sounds."
The Hemholtz Sound Synthesizer is set to go up for auction on October 22 in New York, and comes with a guide price maxing out around $30,000 U.S. Get ready to comfort the sincerely depressed synth nerd in your life on October 23, when they inevitable lose the auction to Jonny Greenwood.