The world’s first electronic synthesizer is set to go under the hammer in New York on Oct. 22.
The Hemholtz Sound Synthesiser was manufactured by Max Kohl in 1905, but the design he followed dates back to the 19th Century courtesy of German physicist Hermann Von Helmholtz. Made of wood and brass, the device creates tones by using electromagnets and tuning forks. It isn’t exactly feature-packed, but the device isn’t just rare, it is unique, with only one other similar-yet-smaller example known to exist.
As a result, it is expected to sell for around $20,000 to $30,000 according to auction house Bonham’s, putting it out of reach for most producers. One or two big names are known for their love of unique and quirky synths, so maybe this will appear on an Aphex Twin or deadmau5 track in the future. It’ll have to be recorded live though, as it pre-dates MIDI by 78 years.