1939 Novachord - 163 Tube Monster!! - diyAudio
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Old 1st May 2010, 10:23 AM   #1
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Smile 1939 Novachord - 163 Tube Monster!!

Some of you might be interested in the major restoration project I've been working on for several months now. I have returned Novachord 346 back to working order having imported this extremely rare 1/4 ton all electronic instrument built in 1939 from the US containing 163 tubes!!!

The Novachord was the world's first commercial polyphonic synthesizer. Amazingly, it has full 72 note polyphony, a VCA and envelope generator for every key with an envelope control on the front panel, a three stage resonant band pass filter and a 6 channel electromechanical vibrato system.

The Novachord cost $1800 in 1939 ie. as much as a house!!

The instrument found it's way into countless Hollywood SciFi and horror films in late 30's up to the late 60's.

Only 1069 were built due to WWII and some stability issues. The instrument was simply decades ahead of it's time and one of only two instruments Hammond ever made that specifically -wasn't- designed to emulate the sound of an organ.

Having ploughed hundreds of hours returning her to working order we went on to produce the world's only pro sample archive which has resulted in 346 being immortalised to great effect in the music score of the multi-million dollar XBox 360 game, Alan Wake, due to be released soon.

Novachord 346 is now one of less than 40 known working examples world wide and the only example in the UK - hence my excitement!!

Here is a duet we recorded with a Theremin recently with the Novachord:

YouTube - Novachord and Theremin duet

Here is a video of me demonstrating the beast:

YouTube - Novachord video

You can see/hear much more at our website: www.novachord.co.uk
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File Type: jpg DW_Nova_First_Powerup.jpg (109.0 KB, 524 views)
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Old 1st May 2010, 02:04 PM   #2
bigwill is offline bigwill  United Kingdom
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Amazing!
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Old 1st May 2010, 02:28 PM   #3
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Absolutely stunning machine.

I have grown up believing the Moog was the first synth.

Sandy
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Old 1st May 2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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Incredible sound!
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Old 1st May 2010, 03:45 PM   #5
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Incredibly cool! And what a great job!

Post a schematic
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Old 1st May 2010, 03:59 PM   #6
piero7 is offline piero7  Italy
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WoW!!!
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Old 1st May 2010, 04:09 PM   #7
tadiam1 is offline tadiam1  Argentina
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Fabulous electronic and handmade
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Old 1st May 2010, 06:06 PM   #8
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Bravo and well done! Thank you for restoring this amazing piece of musical history and for sharing it with us.
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Old 1st May 2010, 06:24 PM   #9
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Wow!!! Wow doesn't do it justice. !'ve had 1st hand experience with the insides of lesser Hammonds... restoring one of these would be a monster job. Good on you!!

dave
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Old 1st May 2010, 06:41 PM   #10
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Wow - I am in awe - an amazing job!!

Jim
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