I saw a Farfisa combo organ at a guitar store two months ago and was blasted by its low price. I plugged it into an amp and was in great awe, up until I heard the first note. It was like meeting your childhood hero when both of you are older, and your childhood hero is now old, grey-haired, wispy in voice and soft in hand and handshake. I did not buy the organ. If I want a Farfisa sound, I can just synthesize it; it's just a chorus-y sawtooth. I can get a Yamaha Reface YC. I can download a VST.

The thrust of the above is: for specific hardware electronic and electric instruments, can there be a future? Vintage instruments won't last forever. No individual physical instrument will last forever. Mozart's pianoforte, though preserved, probably isn't playable anymore. But new pianos, and even pianofortes, are still being produced. But Farfisa has been bought out by Bontempi, and nobody knows who Bontempi is anymore. How many Yamaha GX-1's are still in existence; is it even ten? Did anyone in Yamaha even keep the production spec? Could they even make another, if some fresa slipped Yamaha a million dollar bribe to recreate the thing?

Are all Farfisas, Magnus chord organs, Echo-Recs, and the like destined to only be reproduced digitally, not manufactured?

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    'Fraid so. As you state, something like a Farfisa, or even a venerable DX7, was very limited in what range of sounds they could produce, and with technology now being able to emulate all those sounds plus thousands more, probably for the same or less money than it would take to re-create a Farfisa, why would anyone bother?
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 14:58
  • I've still got a Rhodes Chroma, reportedly now worth 12 grand… if any one can manage to fix it for long enough to get the programmes reloaded :\ BTW, the GX1 was never meant to sell. Yamaha do that with experimental high-end proof of concept pieces. They give them away to famous people to build hype for an upcoming consumer version.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 14:59
  • I gave my [production] DX7 away eventually. The first DX7 I ever had didn't have midi [mid 83] ;-) I'm still waiting for a VSTi Chroma… any takers??
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 15:01
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    Korg announced a limited run reissue of the ARP 2600 synthesizer in January. Every single unit was pre-sold within 72 hours, and a rep from a major online retailer said they have a waiting list over 100 orders long, which is just the list for that one retailer. Recently Moog did quite well with their model D reissue. Sequential is selling the prophet 6 and the OB-6 fairly well, which are 100% analog updates of the prophet 5 and original Oberheim synths. Many classic instruments still sell in the physical analog world. Commented Apr 25, 2020 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


In order for an instrument to be manufactured on a commercial basis, there needs to be a market for it. The reason those electronic instruments are no longer produced is that technology has advanced and created a more profitable method of creating the sound of the music we love to hear. Some of the old instruments are still in pretty good repair and can still make that music, but as age takes its toll and parts become less available, the new technology will likely replace the old technology. I have a friend who has a Hammond B3, but when he plays a gig, he gets his B3 sound on his digital keyboard. That Hammond is just to much to haul around and set up. It seems that most folks view the situation the same way and there is little or no demand for the old technology anymore.

  • Especially true about hauling. I used to work with a Hammond C3 organist back in the '70s, and lugging that, a tone cab and a Leslie cab up and down stairs meant gym membership never ever came to mind.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 15:24
  • @Tim- It helps us appreciate the new technology, especially when we age. Commented Apr 24, 2020 at 15:30

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