The Hammond Novachord, often considered to be the world's first polyphonic synthesizer, debuted at the 1939 World's Fair and represents a major milestone in electronic keyboard musical instrument history. It uses many circuit and control elements found in modern synthesizers, particularly subtractive synthesis in order to generate tones. Its divide-down oscillator architecture, based on vacuum-tube monostable circuits, permit all 72 notes to be played polyphonically by deriving several octaves of notes from twelve top-octave oscillators. A similar design was adopted in polysynthesizers released more than 30 years later by Robert Moog and A.R.P.
The Novachord is very well suited to producing rich,"otherworldly" timbres that range from dense sustained string-like and vocal-like timbres to the sharp attack transients of a harpsichord or piano. With over 150 vacuum tubes inside, this synthesizer has a thick, harmonically rich sound that you can't get elsewhere.
An incredibly rare find, only around 1,000 Novachords are said to have ever been made, and it is estimated that there are fewer than 200 Novachords still in existence. Commercial sample libraries of this instrument alone cost a few hundred dollars; that's how rare, complex, and musically useful this instrument is!
This Hammond Novachord is in good cosmetic shape for its age and is untested.