1. Why are stock levels low or empty?
We manufacture modules in low volumes, approximately 100 per year. They are hand built and tested in the UK and take time to build. So we only have a few modules a week to add to the stock and the customer demand is very high, so please be patient! You can request an email alert of products coming into stock on the product page.
2. You have announced a new module but its not in stock?
AMSynths take around six months to develop a new modules (sometimes longer) as we put a lot of effort into getting the sound right with a number of prototypes and we carefully chose hardware and spend hours designing panels to ensure they look and work fantastic. Module development plans are regularly updated on the Products Page and Muffwiggler, it basically takes a lot of time!
3. Why are AMSynths "High Quality"?
We use modern high tolerance components, and do not believe in mynths of using old parts and carbon resistors, or of over specifying modules with esoteric Hi-Fi op amps. We use components that sound great to our ears and we redesign and change things until they are perfect. That means using THAT matched transistor arrays, WIMA and Panasonic audio grade capacitors and polypropylene capacitors in filters. The panels are hard wearing and are machined out of 2mm aluminium, colour printed and baked in at 190 centigrade. PCB's are professional manufactured in a large fabrication factory in China, and cleaned ultrasonically after assembly. An AMSynths module will last a lifetime, and we will always service them...
4. Are your modules protected from electrical damage?
Yes all modules (except the AM8109) are protected from reverse voltages and short circuits on the PCB, using Polyfuses and rectifier diodes. Power supply cabling is keyed but we know its possible to make mistakes plugging modules in - as we have done it too!
5. Do you offer kits?
We don't offer full kits or populated PCB's, but we do sell PCB's and selected components kits.
6. Why are the PCB's usually blue?
In homage to E-mu Systems, Dave Rossum, Riley Smith, Ed Rudnick and Scott Wedge who inspired me to start this business. E-mu Modular PCB's are blue. Rolls Royce is the E-mu Systems of the car business, as Dave used to say.
7. What inspires AMSynths?
We take inspiration from the analog pioneers of the 1970's; E-mu Systems for their quality, ARP for their pioneering approach and Roland for mass production, and all 3 for aesthetics. AMSynths have focused on slider based modules which is inspired by Roland and ARP, we think it makes synthesizers more visually controllable. We have the potentiometers specially manufactured in China to our designs.
8. Why the name AMSynths?
In 2002 I originally set up manufacturing PCB's under the name Analog Metropolis, as I intended creating a city of analog modules. Metropolis also gave the name a 1930's feel. AMSynths is simply a shortened version of Analog Metropolis Synthesizers, and there will indeed be many modules launched over the next few years!
9. Why are you hard to get hold of?
I have a very busy day job in the IT and Financial Services Industry, so I only have limited time each week to answer emails and develop and build modules. Please be patient it can take a few days, and orders are often shipped immediately, but sometimes 3 - 5 days after they are placed. If you are Sussex based and want to join AMSynths just email me...we could do with some help!