You are here

Vintage curio - the Sonica

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby BJG145 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:28 pm

Here's a strange-looking thing on eBay...the Sonica.

Image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5siT3Qs7vVc

Back in 1977, a guy called Frank Eventoff invented the force-sensing resistor or FSR. These are used in loads of instruments these days AFAIK; all the KAT percussion stuff for example.

The first commercial device he made with it was the "Magical Musical Thing", marketed by Mattel...

Image

...and he later refined the concept to create the Sonica around 1979. Around 650 were made in total, in batches of 24. Donna Summer bought one batch to create a Hawaiian Sonica orchestra show.

Frank went on to develop various other instruments, and is still churning out FSR-based devices today, via his company Sensitronics.
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4001
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby Folderol » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:50 pm

Interesting, very interesting. Now where can I find both extra money and extra time?
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9699
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:00 am
Location: The Mudway Towns, UK
Yes. I am that Linux nut.
Onwards and... err... sideways!

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 04, 2020 3:55 pm

Realistically it's worth about fifty quid.....
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11084
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby BJG145 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:29 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Realistically it's worth about fifty quid

...can't tempt you to a Magical Musical Thing for £135 then...?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9bHvbA6IfU
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4001
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:40 pm

Nothing phallic about it at all. No sir.
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10528
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby Martin Walker » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:01 pm

It looks gorgeous (Sonica, not the Magical Music Thing ;) ), but I think it's pushing it to ask £1800 on eBay :headbang:

Let's see if it sells at that price :silent:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14951
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:03 pm

BJG145 wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Realistically it's worth about fifty quid

...can't tempt you to a Magical Musical Thing for £135 then...?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9bHvbA6IfU

Don't need one, I've got one of these

Image
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11084
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby BJG145 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:27 pm

...ah, then what you need is an Electra-melodica, or a Variophon.

(I'll make a vintage gadget collector of you yet. ;) )
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4001
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Vintage curio - the Sonica

Postby Sam Spoons » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:21 pm

BJG145 wrote:...ah, then what you need is an Electra-melodica, or a Variophon.

(I'll make a vintage gadget collector of you yet. ;) )

That's entirely possible, but not at Sonica prices ;)
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11084
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users