The Synth that Was Not
2 VCOs – triangle, saw, square. + sync
VCF – 4 pole lowpass, 2 pole lowpass, high pass, & bandpass)
4 MODULATION ROUTINGS
AUX ENVELOPE (ASSIGNABLE)
RIBBON CONTROL (ASSIGNABLE)
PATCH MEMORY 120 RAM/120 ROM
MIDI IN/OUT/THRU (LFO, S/H, and ARP all can be synced to midi clock)
1U rack space with desktop controller. Sturdy and well built (metal chassis). Hip glossy red and black design. Great knob layout. Smallish but sturdy pots. Has quite a lot of features making it excellent as a live performance synth. With each patch you can set up and save ribbon, antenna, & arpeggiator settings. Sound: Oh, heavy duty basses! The sub bass is way over the top. The pulse width waves are the best I’ve ever heard. It’s got a very in your face sound. I liken it to a cross between a Moog Voyager and an Oberheim Matrix 1000. It CAN have a slight canned sound at times. Yes, pun intended. It’s modulation routings allow for very complex sounds. This thing is unbeatable for generating bizarre sound effects on the fly. It also has a nice data entry dial which makes for editing patch names and modulating routings quick and easy. I especially enjoy the momentary glide button. You can play a riff and toggle the glide to accent here and there. Very clever! The antenna and ribbon controller? No, it’s not just for pitch, you can assign it to control any number of things! Control itself is not limited at all. For example the pitch bend can go from 1 semitone to 4 octaves!
There are only 4 of these in existence. From what I can piece together, Peavey showcased these at the 1998 NAMM show. The original box mine came in had “NAMM” scrawled on it. (It was also to include a PC editor) Apparently there was some sort of production problem: a certain section had to be hand soldered and Peavey decided that it was too labor intensive for them. Unfortunately they pulled the plug. This is by far the most interesting and capable of new analog synthesizers. And it was made by Peavey????
I suspect that, Peavey with their reputation for “heavy metal” amplification would have a hard time selling synths under their brand name. It really is too bad. From my experiences with the PC1600, the 5150 amp, and the Paradox, I am convinced that Peavey really does put out quality and innovative stuff. I think they get a unfair bad rap.
There is one major drawback to the Paradox. It is everything you could want in a performance piece of gear, except that its rack + controller makes for awkward handling. If peavey melded these together into a 3 or 4 octave keyboard synth, they’d have an instant hit on their hands. Oh, I hope someone from Peavey is listening and takes note.
MP3 sample sounds (raw – no external processing)
peaved (a short corny song – multi-tracked Paradox)