Monday, September 5, 2011

Farfisa Super-Syntaccordion, Contemporary Keyboard 1980


Farfisa Super-Syntaccordion 1/2-page advertisement on page 20 in Contemporary Keyboard Magazine April 1980. 

Well, it's the Labour Day long weekend in Canada, as well as in a few other countries around the world so I thought I would just post a little something before getting back to my two main activities this weekend.

1. My relatively new hobby of chainsawing at the family farm in south central Saskatchewan. Fun stuff.
2. Playing around with the stems from Tara Busch's The Rocket Wife remix contest. I'm still not sure I'll actually submit anything, but I never turn down the chance to listen to other people's stems. I learn a lot.

You may recall that in my last blog post on the EDC DM-1000 Super Drum Machine, I spent a little bit of time explaining my beef with companies that slap the word "super" on their products. I've found that there is just too high a failure rate based on my expectations. But, it made me wonder about other "super" products that I may be able to find in Contemporary Keyboard.

The result - this 1/2 page advertisement for the Super-Syntaccordion. Not only has Farfisa managed to attach the word "super" to this product's name, but it looks like they have also tried to tack on the word "synth" as well. Nice work.

Now, knowing nothing about accordions or accordion culture, it could be that "synta" means something else entirely - and the accordionists amongst you are all shaking your heads right now.  But the fact the ad highlights that this accordion includes a synthesizer with mono and "poli" presets is a big clue to me. That, and the fact that Farfisa had the balls to advertise this accordion in a magazine that by 1980 had become more and more recognized for their synthesizer advertisements.

A quick Google search brought up a few interesting and entertaining links, many that include musicians quite proud of their Super-Syntaccordions:

Peter L. Mckee, who is available for weddings, dinners, retirement and informal parties.
"I use two of the finest instruments in the world, the first being an acoustic Excelsior Accordion, and the second being a world class Farfisa Super Syntaccordion which is accredited as being the ultimate electronic instrument of it's class ever produced."
Facebook page for Hoppy and the Gophers, who play everything from Zydeco, to polkas, to country, to rock and roll. In fact, "if you want to hear what Led Zepelin sounds like on an accordion, come out and see us!"
"Today Hoppy plays a modified Farfisa Super-Syntaccordion. The old electronics have been replaced with a midi system which is smaller than a shoebox and requires electronics in the accordion about the size of a sheet of paper."
And, of course, Youtube videos of musicians playing their Super-Syntaccordions



That second guy was even called "bass-ass" in an official farfisa.org post. And, the beat is coming from a Roland CR-8000. That is f*ckin' bass-ass!

I never did find out just how "synthy" the Super-Syntaccordion is. To my untrained ear, I couldn't hear anything different from other accordions. But, based on the comments and performances I've found on the Web, I'm going to give this "Super" product two thumbs up. Probably more fun than the Superball and Super-soaker.

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