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Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Crumar Spirit: modern take on 40-year-old classic to launch by year end

Italian synth manufacture Crumar has announced it will be relaunching a modern version of the classic Spirit synth, forty years after it was first released in the early 1980s.

In fairness, the idea is not new and the company is not the original, however there have been movements on the process since 2010 with the launch of the Crumar Bassman and Crumar Baby Grand, and in 2021 it launched “Performer” software which was a virtual replica of an iconic string machine from the late ’70s.

The Spirit synth has an illustrious heritage. It was designed by Bob Moog, the inventor of the Moog Synthesizer, Tom Rhea, electronic music historian and synthesis expert and Jim Scott, former Moog Music engineer. It seems perhaps only a hundred or so were produced and there’s rather an air of mystery about exactly how they were assembled in the ’80s.

You can read the whole history of how the project came about on the Crumar Spirit website. The juicy bit is when it comes to specifications. The company says:

“[we] absolutely wanted to make an instrument with the least number of compromises possible. This is why the industrialization takes on a very important role in the creation of the “new” Spirit.

In this case, we don’t like the word “clone” or “reissue”: simply Crumar, after 40 years, is putting the Crumar Spirit back into production… but this will be a limited series.

We stood firm on the aesthetics and circuitry being absolutely identical to the original, but this raised some problems since more than one part or component of the instrument was obsolete and needed a philological replacement. Starting from electronics, transistors, integrated circuits, and obsolete potentiometers. Regarding transistors and integrated circuits, we have carried out in-depth research to find the real substitutes, as far as potentiometers and sliders are concerned, we have simply remade them like the originals, in other cases we have even improved parts.

The selection switches, another obsolete and unobtainable product, have been replaced by a modern and more reliable model.
We completely redesigned and remade the moulds for knobs, sliders, modulation wheel and pitch bender, the latter improved with the more “modern” return spring.

A further challenge was the keyboard: the instrument has now been equipped with a modern keyboard, also Made in Italy based on the “bubble contact” system, a definite improvement from the older keyboards based on spring contact technology.”

As this is a limited edition instrument, with just 100 to be made, customers are limited to a single purchase, with the retail price set at €3990 and a reservation cost of €2000.