“Up for auction is the extremely rare Sonica, built by Frank Eventoff. Only 650 of these were ever produced, making it a highly collectible electronic device. Very few are now known to exist, even fewer in working condition.
In 1979, the first Sonicas were produced, a collaboration with Larry Heller. There were 650 built, but very few are seen nowadays. Serge Tcherepnin of Serge synthesizers (producer of high-end modular synths!) did the oscillator design, and the oscillator inside the Sonica is indeed a Serge oscillator. The neck is incredibly comfortable, and easily fits into the hand, facilitating the sliding action used for playing the Sonica. Creator Frank Eventoff’s neighbor in Silverlake was a modelmaker and carved the bodies – they produced them in runs of 24 at a time. The body is made from finely hand-carved mahogany. Donna Summer bought one of the runs of 24 and created a Sonica Orchestra.
The sound of the Sonica can best be described as somewhere between a sitar and violin. When run through a simple delay, an amazing array of soundscapes are derived. The front panel features a Key/Pitch Knob, and an On/Off Volume Knob. It also features three buttons. “Slider,” which is a tremolo type effect, “Tone,” which is actually a tonal boost, and “Half-Step,” which raises the note an octave. It features a built-in speaker, with an 1/8 inch output to connect to an amplifier or recording device. It runs on one 9-volt battery which is installed by accessing a plate on the backside of the device. The Sonica really shines when sent through a tube amplifier, producing a crystalline sound unlike anything I’ve heard before.
This unit for auction is in very good shape cosmetically and works as it should. Because of the age of the electronics, it’s being sold as-is with all sales final. Will ship this item worldwide. Free shipping is only for the US. International to pay actual postage cost.
Very conservatively, there are probably a couple hundred of these in working condition today, most of which have been abused in one way or another. This one is in great cosmetic shape and was purchased NOS from an original investor. Since being purchased, it has been played briefly.
This device includes the original carrying case, original owners manual, warranty registration card (unused), and a business card from Frank Eventoff at Sound Instruments. ” Auction ended. Click here to browse on eBay.