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Steve Porcaro's Polyfusion System Is Being Restored
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Author Steve Porcaro's Polyfusion System Is Being Restored
aquatarkus
We finally worked out the logistics to get Steve Porcaro's (& David Paich's) Polyfusion systems back for restoration. Ron Folkman, the original designer and current CEO of Polyfusion, will be overseeing and guiding the restoration of Damius, Ramses/Ophelia, Rootus and a ton of modules with no cabinets. I believe Steve has around 32 or so Polyfusion oscillators between all of the systems and modules.

2 of Steve's keyboards have been sent to Ron at the factory, and the third one will be picked up with the systems. These need some TLC as well.

I will be picking up the systems at one of the tour stops in August and will be hauling them back with me to start the repairs on the systems. It was very cool to see the anvil cases yesterday on video chat with Steve with all of the Toto markings on them.

Porcaro's systems have the original, very heavy, steel cabinets before Ron designed the aluminum cabinets. The cabinets are starting to rust so his synths will be the first to get the new cabinets from Polyfusion as the original company reissues the Series 2000 from all of the original drawings and schematics.

If there is interest I will post pictures along the way as we restore them back to new. I've already had questions about what modules are in the synths and will be able to post more accurately when I get the synths.

Edit:

All photos - Steve Porcaro.
Dave Peck
Very cool!

A couple of questions: "picking up the systems at one of the tour stops..."

Porcaro has been TOURING with his Polyfusion modulars?? Wow. Ballsy.


and: "...as the original company reissues the Series 2000 from all of the original drawings and schematics."

Whoa! Where is there info on this? Or ANY info on the company in it's current state today, for that matter? A Google search for 'Polyfusion' only yields some unrelated companies and some synth archive/museum sites, but no web site for the actual company or info about reissuing their modulars.
aquatarkus
He is not touring with them (although he said he would love to have something up on stage with him again). We worked it out with the tour manager to throw the Modulars on the tour truck and then when they get to Atlanta, I'm going to offload and take back.

"Whoa! Where is there info on this? Or ANY info on the company in it's current state today, for that matter? A Google search for 'Polyfusion' only yields some unrelated companies and some synth archive/museum sites, but no web site for the actual company or info about reissuing their modulars."

I can start posting here if people would like. We've mainly been posting to Damir's old Polyfusion Facebook group. We just made that group public so it should be easy to find.

A website address has been secured for the Synthesizer side of Polyfusion's business and it will be up soon (It has to be, as Ron was just interviewed for a book and it's going to be in there!)

I'm adding some of the CAD drawings so you can see the progress:






aquatarkus
Everything is from the original drawings and schematics.

Everything, not just the stuff you see on the net!

It's not being reissued with say, single sided or double sided PCBs with no mask...everything will be 4 layers with mask. So "technically" not identical.

Same layout, just using today's available technology. We found a place to with AB pots, high quality resistors like what was used in the original...they will be engineered to the highest quality like the originals.

Ron obviously has all of the placement files, foils, schematics, hand drawn drafting drawings for the cabinets and panels so it will be as exact as possible.
Dave Peck
aquatarkus wrote:


I can start posting here if people would like. We've mainly been posting to Damir's old Polyfusion Facebook group. We just made that group public so it should be easy to find.

A website address has been secured for the Synthesizer side of Polyfusion's business and it will be up soon


I just checked FB and can't find anything for Polyfusion or Ron Folkman. If you have a link that would be great.

...And is this the 'Polyfusion' business that currently operates as a contract manufacturer in Lancaster NY? This one?
http://www.polyfusion.us/index.php

That would certainly make it convenient for them to start building the modular again.....
aquatarkus
Dave Peck

Quote:
...And is this the 'Polyfusion' business that currently operates as a contract manufacturer in Lancaster NY? This one?
http://www.polyfusion.us/index.php


Yes. That is the same Polyfusion company that made the modulars and the Bode/Moog vocoders. They still repair and talk with modular owners. Still have patch cords for sale. Still have spare keybeds.

They do CEM, so yes, very convenient.

I will get that link. But if you just search for Polyfusion Modular Systems - Series 2000 it should get you there. As I said, we took it over from Damir who made a few clones.
pulse_divider
I'm so excited that new modules are finally going to happen! Are there still plans for kits or PCB/Panel combos to be available for DIY?
I have empty slots for 2 mixer-sized half helght panels and 3 double wide modules in my OG system that I'd love to fill. I keep thinking about building DIY stuff into the blanks but would really love to add some of the modules I don't have, like the dual VC EG and quadrature oscillator.
aquatarkus
pulse_divider

Ron is a huge stickler for quality. After much back and forth we all decided no DIY for a few reasons. But all modules will be available - including some of the rare ones like Band Pass Filter.

Quad Oscillator will be available for you as well as the Dual VC EG.





Here is an updated sequencer we designed with Ron. Adds some great features which we will detail later. It will be one space wider than the original sequencer.

We also designed a REV E oscillator with him. It adds a lot of the things Steve Porcaro wanted in his and then adds some other features as well.

pulse_divider
Dcramer
woah sweet
SmartBits
Dave Peck wrote:
I just checked FB and can't find anything for Polyfusion or Ron Folkman. If you have a link that would be great.

I think it's this group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/566271006798729/about/

An older message in that group mentions this page, but it's not available (anymore):
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPolyfusion/
JohnLRice
Sweet! hyper thumbs up
aquatarkus
SmartBits

Yes, that's the group
aquatarkus
SmartBits

Quote:
An older message in that group mentions this page, but it's not available (anymore):
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPolyfusion/



Yes, we had an "Official" Polyfusion Facebook page, but Polyfusion Synthesizers, LLC reported it to Facebook for infringement (Along with an official Instagram page). Facebook & Instagram deleted the pages so we moved over to Damir's old page since it already had a few hundred people following it.

For those that don't know, there is a battle going on for the Polyfusion Trademark. Ron let the classic and newer logos lapse accidentally quite a few years ago. Scott Radke applied for it about two years ago and it was awarded to him and Logan Erickson of Low-Gain Electronics. Ron is currently battling them in a trademark trial at the TTAB / USPTO (Cancelation #92068484). This can all be seen online at the USPTO.

Anyone remember the Bob Moog v Don Martin fiasco???? With great sadness it is happening again with Polyfusion.
jkjelec
This is just so cool and historic to us modular synth lovers! hyper
SynthBaron
aquatarkus wrote:

For those that don't know, there is a battle going on for the Polyfusion Trademark. Ron let the classic and newer logos lapse accidentally quite a few years ago.


Seems like an easier win than Moog, since Polyfusion never seems to have gone out of business.

Too bad the scheduled court dates go into 2020. The good thing is that this new LLC's lawyers have likely already advised them that it's dumb to spend tends of thousands of dollars taking it to trial trying to fight it. Especially without a product bringing lots of revenue to even possibly contest it.

If anyone's interested in seeing the case files:

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qt=adv&procstatus=All&pno=92068484& propno=&qs=&propnameop=&propname=&pop=&pn=&pop2=&pn2=&cop=&cn=

Especially this one, where this new LLC really comes off as a bunch of twats:

http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?pno=92068484&pty=CAN&eno=7
JohnLRice
SynthBaron wrote:
aquatarkus wrote:

For those that don't know, there is a battle going on for the Polyfusion Trademark. Ron let the classic and newer logos lapse accidentally quite a few years ago.


Seems like an easier win than Moog, since Polyfusion never seems to have gone out of business.

Too bad the scheduled court dates go into 2020. The good thing is that this new LLC's lawyers have likely already advised them that it's dumb to spend tends of thousands of dollars taking it to trial trying to fight it. Especially without a product bringing lots of revenue to even possibly contest it.

(if anyone's interested in seeing the case files: http://ttabvue.uspto.gov/ttabvue/v?qt=adv&procstatus=All&pno=92068484& propno=&qs=&propnameop=&propname=&pop=&pn=&pop2=&pn2=&cop=&cn=)
It's a sad situation. sad banana

I'm finding it hard to have sympathy for the original Polyfusion company since they haven't seemed to care enough about their modular legacy to even make the slightest mention of modular synths on their site (that I could find). seriously, i just don't get it
SynthBaron
JohnLRice wrote:

I'm finding it hard to have sympathy for the original Polyfusion company since they haven't seemed to care enough about their modular legacy to even make the slightest mention of modular synths on their site (that I could find). seriously, i just don't get it


I agree, it's seems like a similar situation to Curtis Electromusic only caring enough to start reissuing its products when another company started cloning their chips. But using the Polyfusion name when Polyfusion is still legally in business seems like a dumb move that's only going to cause you money and grief.
aquatarkus
JohnLRice

I understand where you are coming from with that. I had actually asked Ron to update his website not too long ago. And as I mentioned he has secured a domain name for the synthesizer part of their business to keep it separate from the manufacturing side of the business.

From what I understand he has never stopped servicing his modules and other music products such as the sound a round, frequency followers, etc. and receives questions and inquiries quite frequently from customers. Heck, he told me an overseas customer sent him something and he fixed it "under warranty" one time. He cares a lot about his modulars and audio equipment still, even if his website doesn't mention the modular. He has referred to them as his children to me on multiple occasions.

So although the website doesn't show it he has been active, and he cares deeply about his synthesizers.
JohnLRice
aquatarkus wrote:
JohnLRice

I understand where you are coming from with that. I had actually asked Ron to update his website not too long ago. And as I mentioned he has secured a domain name for the synthesizer part of their business to keep it separate from the manufacturing side of the business.

From what I understand he has never stopped servicing his modules and other music products such as the sound a round, frequency followers, etc. and receives questions and inquiries quite frequently from customers. Heck, he told me an overseas customer sent him something and he fixed it "under warranty" one time. He cares a lot about his modulars and audio equipment still, even if his website doesn't mention the modular. He has referred to them as his children to me on multiple occasions.

So although the website doesn't show it he has been active, and he cares deeply about his synthesizers.
Thanks for the info, and I suppose to their defense, of sorts, web presence seems to be a very low priority for the company in general, at least I'm assuming so from the very dated look of their website? I'm not being judgmental about it, I'm far worse about my own website! oops
aquatarkus
JohnLRice


hihi - I get it.

For anyone that wants to ask Ron about this stuff, his intentions, etc. - he will be (as of now) at Knobcon this year in September - all weekend. I think anyone talking to him will see his genuine love for modular and that he is not out to make a buck because of the clone brigade.

Also - that new book, "Patch and Tweak" interviewed him for a nice Polyfusion section. I am not sure what they will use because there was a lot, but that should shed light on what he has been up to and why. I don't want to spoil it because I know those guys worked hard on that section of the book with Ron.
Dr Gris
Two companies making Polyfusion modules...???
Monoconfusion... hmmm.....

//M
dubnspace
aquatarkus wrote:
For those that don't know, there is a battle going on for the Polyfusion Trademark. Ron let the classic and newer logos lapse accidentally quite a few years ago. Scott Radke applied for it about two years ago and it was awarded to him and Logan Erickson of Low-Gain Electronics.



wait, where's all the synth justice warriors from the Behringer threads to protest this thievery hmmm.....
SynthBaron
Dr Gris wrote:
Two companies making Polyfusion modules...???
Monoconfusion... hmmm.....

//M


I think there technically might be three, but they are not necessarily a company.
aquatarkus
Quote:
I think there technically might be three, but they are not necessarily a company.


As far as we know, there is only:

1.) Ron's (Original) Polyfusion

2.) Logan Erickson/Scott Radke as Polyfusion Synthesizers, LLC - who seem to be a team, from what we can tell.

I bet Ron would be interested to hear that there was a third! Dead Banana
SynthBaron
Quote:
As I said, we took it over from Damir who made a few clones.


I missed this and didn't realize you already mentioned him.
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