DJ & Studio Equipment: Gakken Analog Synthesizer SX 150 & Gakken Mook Theremin

Check out our review of a couple of rather nice Japanaese imports; the Gakken Analog Synthesizer SX 150 and Gakken Mook Theremin.

Most people are fascinated with anything imported from Japan, and these self-assembly kits from Gakken certainly won’t disappoint in that department. Both kits are fairly easy to assemble and require no soldering or electronics expertise.

Each kit should take roughly 20-30 minutes to complete and is an ideal way to pass some time while cooped up indoors with the family over the festive season.

The SX-150 Analog Synthesizer has one oscillator which is switchable between a saw and square wave. It also features an LFO whose rate can be adjusted, a pitch envelope knob, a low-pass filter with a cutoff knob and resonance switch, attack and decay knobs, a speaker, an output socket for connecting to an amplifier, an external source socket for connecting to the Gakken Mook Theremin (or another device) and a pen stylus for playing the synth.

Meanwhile the Gakken Mook Theremin has a tuning knob, a volume knob, an aerial to change the pitch of the instrument while playing, an on/off switch and a speaker.

Besides the instruments themselves both kits also include full colour magazines in Japanese and assembly instructions translated into English.

The SX-150 magazine features 124 pages of  photographs, an article on the evolution of synthesis, a history of synthesizers, interviews with influential figures such as Robert Moog, Towa Tei and YMO (Yellow Magic Orchestra), assembly instructions, the basics of synthesis, and a history of Roland, Korg & Yamaha including interviews with the CEOs of all three companies.

The Theremin magazine includes a history of the Theremin, three in-depth interviews with Russian Theremin veterans, assembly instructions, an article on how to play and tune the Theremin and many other Theremin related articles.

Release your inner geek!

Review: Ben Daly

Learn more about the Gakken Analog Synthesizer SX 150 and Gakken Mook Theremin at Juno Records.