Friday, February 12, 2021

ARP / Mu-tron price lists, 1980

ARP / Mu-tron price lists from January 1, 1980.

Given that I'm a HUGE fan of price lists, you'd think that I would have pushed this out the door a lot sooner, but I just never got around to it.  Even more surprising, I'm not gonna focus on the prices at all*.

* I reserve the right to change my mind

Instead, when I looked back at these scans I became more curious to the relationship between Musitronics and ARP, and quickly found that the history isn't remotely close to being as bright and rosy as I had wanted it to be. 

TO summarize... according to Wikipedia, Mu-tron, short for Musitronics, was a musical effects company founded by Mike Beigel and Aaron Newman in 1972. Beigel was an engineer who had been working on a synth project at Guild Guitar Company when the president of the company was killed in an accident. The new president wasn't as interesting in synths (what the heck?!?!) so Beigel and another former engineer new Newman from GGC, pulled the envelope filter outta that synth and called it the Mu-Tron III. 

By 1979 Musitronics had 35 employees and was churning out a number of effects units out of a retrofitted chicken coop. Eventually, they decided to sell to ARP Instruments on a royalty basis, but unfortunately ARP folded in 1980, before they could collect any money. 

Okay, I summarized a lot. 

But even if my severely summarized ditty isn't bumming you out enough already, Musitronics tried to keep going as Gizmo Incorporated, but it ended when Aaron Newman suffered a heart attack.


I hate everything about this story. But the connect between these two companies is important history, the details of which we don't hear much about. So, here are two scans to help keep those companies connected just a little bit longer.

Okay - let's end this on a happy note - LOOK AT THOSE ARP SYNTHS.

There - much better. 


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Steve Hofer said...

Thank you for posting. Very interesting.

Steve Hofer said...

Re MuTronics - talking about bad luck. For entrepreneurs selling your company - DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE AND GET CASH MONEY!

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