Panasonic R-1088 AM Portable Radio / Mini Organ [Vintage]

We love digging up cool/bizarre little instruments and the Panasonic R-1088 is just such a find.

Sorry, Panasonic? Since when did they make musical instruments? Well, they may not be in the same league as Yamaha, Roland or Korg, but that doesn’t mean they can’t produce a product you only now realised you really wanted.

An AM radio and mini organ combined. Complete with the ability to mix the sound between the two.

You have to admit, for 1974 (almost four decades ago) this is a pretty cool little object. Though it’s notoriously difficult to get the exact specifications for this, it’s fairly obvious this is a very simple device.

There’s the AM radio, tuneable using the dial on the right hand side. There’s the slider on the left that balances the mix between organ sound and the radio. Then there’s a single “organ” sound emanating from the device whenever a key is pressed.

There’s a single speaker output. Probably no other outputs and presumably it simply runs off batteries. This video demos what it sounds like:

We’re not sure if this little beauty ever officially made it outside its home country of Japan. What do you reckon? I wonder if there’s any circuit-bending opportunities here?