Retro Ads: Multivox MX-880 Analog Synth

April 28, 2016

Multivox was New York company that sold Japanese-designed instruments to the American market in the ‘70s and ’80s. There were about 15 Multivox-branded synthesizers, the most monstrous being the rare MX-3000 polyphonic analog synth. They also made quite a few effects pedals and some sequencers, drum machines and amps.

Like some companies we could mention today, Multivox caught some flack for having instrument designs that were maybe a little too reminiscent of other companies’ products.

One example comes from today’s Retro Ad. The Multivox MX-880 duophonic analog synth shares an uncomfortable amount of features and design elements to the Roland SH-2000 from 1973. Both 37-key synths have 30 presets accessible from colored tabs and a control section on the left for modifying the presets. They also have an early form of aftertouch with a control section for altering the aftertouch effects. Multivox even uses the uncommon aftertouch effect names “Growl” and “Wow” that Roland used.

However, the Multivox MX-880’s big distinction comes from its two oscillators, as opposed to the SH-2000’s single oscillator. The MX-880 has a section for changing the second oscillator’s frequency, as well as a switch for choosing one-note, unison or variable note output.

Most Multivox keyboards are rare, but they do pop up on Ebay here and there. There was a Multivox MX-2000, which is basically identical to the MX-880, that sold on April 20 for $380 on Ebay.

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