BOOK REVIEW: Synth Gems 1 – Exploring Vintage Synthesizers

by | Feb 25, 2022 | Best Music Keyboards & Synth Pads

The optimistically titled Synth Gems 1 (indicating a volume 2 is on the horizon) is a gem indeed, especially for any synth-obsessed nerd who can tell you the minute differences between a sawtooth and sharktooth wave form (is there a difference, really?). The book is more visual feast than historical tome, which suits me just fine. That said, there is enough fascinating information on each instrument provided that will give even the most ardent synth historians some new factoids to chew on.

Like a bowl of chicken soup, it’s just plain soothing for the soul to gaze upon impeccably photographed vintage synthesizers from years past. While it does cover most of the major players, as a reviewer I’d lose my cred if I didn’t mention the notable omissions: namely the JUNOs and ARP Odysseys of the world. One can only assume they’re saving some of the good stuff for the previously-mentioned second volume.

[SEE ALSO: BOOK REVIEW — Patch & Tweak with Moog]

Which is all well and good – if there’s more of THIS on the way, sign me up now. Where’s that Futurama “take my money” meme when you need it?

The photography really does take center stage here – if you’re like me and you’re tired of using fuzzy JPEGs on the internet to satisfy your curiosity about how vintage analog synths looked and operated from every conceivable angle, this is exactly the book you’ve been looking for, and maybe didn’t even know it!

Kuods to the BJOOKS, yet AGAIN, for producing such an engaging, enlightening, and downright beautiful-to-look-at coffee table book. One that’s bumped a few other classic hardbacks off my own personal table.


Highly recommended.