Synth shops

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Synth shops

Stephen Parsick
Hi Florian,

I was about to mention the same shop... never been to their Franzstrasse shop but to their later store in a Bonn suburb... once on the my quest for the toilet, I stumbled into a closet that was choc-full with synthesizers... I still remember the OBXa and the Moog 984 there. They had a Roland 700 there which got me the modular virus, and the GS-1 was a joy to play. And Dirk Matten and Dieter Roggendorf were wetting their pants when I told them I´d rather go for an analog step sequencer instead of Cubit (like Cubase was called back then). Collecting synths! You must be nuts. That was their attitude. And this finally ruined them, IMO. When everybody was going "vintage" they just laughed at it and thought it was a fad.

Stephen.



I really appreciated the first Synthesizer Studio Bonn (Matten &
Wiechers). http://www.elektropolis.de
Small shop in a "not the best place to go" region of Bonn (former german
capital, but a very small bourgois town). The shop looked like crap from
outside, but you stepped inside and stood within the finest synth gear
you could have on this planet.

They later opened a dependance in Munich, which was done much more
"exclusive". You had to get a date with them (like at the dentist), but
then you had all synths for you and a dedicated expert, who really could
explain everything. The expert was a very nice intelligent guy. He knew
really a lot about synth, but he also was an addict to model rail
roading. Also he was a gay (butter melted if he came to close to it),
and the shop was in the gay quarter of munich.
So very astonishing things could happen: A ponce in highheels and the
sales clerk had setup a rails circle on a ppg 2.3, and let a model
lokomotive run on it. A friend of mine (a studio musician, who really
left much money in this shop) passed by and the punce fluttered his/hers
eyelashes to him: "Either you play with us or come later."
Later he told me, that he really was worried, what they mean with "play
with us" and "come...". ;-)

They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
insider jokes.
http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm

http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm

Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!

Florian

Ryan Lunenfeld wrote:

> hey whats' the craziest synth store you've been to?



"Human beings are a disease, the cancer of this planet, you´re a plague. And we are the cure." (Agent Smith)

Visit the official [´ramp] website at www.doombient.com


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Re: Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS

analogAH
i had my childhood synthesists dream come true there.
back in 1982 or so, they let me play around with fairlights, emulators and
a full PPG system. i must have been 15 ar so.
a spent a whole day there. it was great.
anybody knows what has happened to matten
and wiechers? never heard from them again.
did they go bankrupt?
ar are they still coming and palying with railroads? haha!


----- Original Message -----
From: "Wavecomputer360" <[hidden email]>
To: <[hidden email]>
Cc: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:13 PM
Subject: [AH] Synth shops


Hi Florian,

I was about to mention the same shop... never been to their Franzstrasse
shop but to their later store in a Bonn suburb... once on the my quest for
the toilet, I stumbled into a closet that was choc-full with synthesizers...
I still remember the OBXa and the Moog 984 there. They had a Roland 700
there which got me the modular virus, and the GS-1 was a joy to play. And
Dirk Matten and Dieter Roggendorf were wetting their pants when I told them
I?d rather go for an analog step sequencer instead of Cubit (like Cubase was
called back then). Collecting synths! You must be nuts. That was their
attitude. And this finally ruined them, IMO. When everybody was going
"vintage" they just laughed at it and thought it was a fad.

Stephen.



I really appreciated the first Synthesizer Studio Bonn (Matten &
Wiechers). http://www.elektropolis.de
Small shop in a "not the best place to go" region of Bonn (former german
capital, but a very small bourgois town). The shop looked like crap from
outside, but you stepped inside and stood within the finest synth gear
you could have on this planet.

They later opened a dependance in Munich, which was done much more
"exclusive". You had to get a date with them (like at the dentist), but
then you had all synths for you and a dedicated expert, who really could
explain everything. The expert was a very nice intelligent guy. He knew
really a lot about synth, but he also was an addict to model rail
roading. Also he was a gay (butter melted if he came to close to it),
and the shop was in the gay quarter of munich.
So very astonishing things could happen: A ponce in highheels and the
sales clerk had setup a rails circle on a ppg 2.3, and let a model
lokomotive run on it. A friend of mine (a studio musician, who really
left much money in this shop) passed by and the punce fluttered his/hers
eyelashes to him: "Either you play with us or come later."
Later he told me, that he really was worried, what they mean with "play
with us" and "come...". ;-)

They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
insider jokes.
http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm

http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm

Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!

Florian

Ryan Lunenfeld wrote:

> hey whats' the craziest synth store you've been to?



"Human beings are a disease, the cancer of this planet, you?re a plague. And
we are the cure." (Agent Smith)

Visit the official [?ramp] website at www.doombient.com



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Re: Synth shops

Armin Theissen
In reply to this post by Stephen Parsick

Hi,

got my first synth - a Korg Mono/Poly - at the Franzstrasse shop as
well. But what do you
mean with in a 'not the best place to go region of Bonn'? I lived in
Bonn for 10 years
(study, phd), and the area (north of center) was *the* place to go out
(the more snobbish,
especially law- and medical students, went to south of center).

I remember they also sold - and had it in their studio even - a deep fat
fryer from 'Bauknecht'
labeled 'Midi - Friteuse'. We saw a full page advert for this in a
german keyboard magazine
(http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_06.htm)
and we immediately called them for more information, suggesting to
enhance beer barrells with
a midi interface.

Another day we had an appointment to check out some self-produced
digital sequencer card to
plug into the Commodore C-64 computer. We had to wait a few minutes and
were offered a wide
range of fruit- and vegetable juices. I remember I went for a carrot
juice. They were always very
concerned about your health.

The studio was beautifully decorated with paintings by Moritz R. (from
'Der Plan', great german
synth pop band). One hot summer day, they decided to do a painting
competition, the theme was
of course about synths, and the winner got a Moog Rogue.

They also had a Korg PS 3100 for us. About the fact that you cannot
program (mean: save) patches,
they just argued that it is much better to be spontaneous. That doesn't
really fit with what you said about
laughing at people wanting analogue step synths. But I remember them
also saying (in the early/mid 80s)
that when you have a computer getting a hardware sequencer is a waste of
money.

it was a cool place

armin



Wavecomputer360 wrote:

>Hi Florian,
>
>I was about to mention the same shop... never been to their Franzstrasse shop but to their later store in a Bonn suburb... once on the my quest for the toilet, I stumbled into a closet that was choc-full with synthesizers... I still remember the OBXa and the Moog 984 there. They had a Roland 700 there which got me the modular virus, and the GS-1 was a joy to play. And Dirk Matten and Dieter Roggendorf were wetting their pants when I told them I?d rather go for an analog step sequencer instead of Cubit (like Cubase was called back then). Collecting synths! You must be nuts. That was their attitude. And this finally ruined them, IMO. When everybody was going "vintage" they just laughed at it and thought it was a fad.
>
>Stephen.
>
>
>
>I really appreciated the first Synthesizer Studio Bonn (Matten &
>Wiechers). http://www.elektropolis.de
>Small shop in a "not the best place to go" region of Bonn (former german
>capital, but a very small bourgois town). The shop looked like crap from
>outside, but you stepped inside and stood within the finest synth gear
>you could have on this planet.
>
>They later opened a dependance in Munich, which was done much more
>"exclusive". You had to get a date with them (like at the dentist), but
>then you had all synths for you and a dedicated expert, who really could
>explain everything. The expert was a very nice intelligent guy. He knew
>really a lot about synth, but he also was an addict to model rail
>roading. Also he was a gay (butter melted if he came to close to it),
>and the shop was in the gay quarter of munich.
>So very astonishing things could happen: A ponce in highheels and the
>sales clerk had setup a rails circle on a ppg 2.3, and let a model
>lokomotive run on it. A friend of mine (a studio musician, who really
>left much money in this shop) passed by and the punce fluttered his/hers
>eyelashes to him: "Either you play with us or come later."
>Later he told me, that he really was worried, what they mean with "play
>with us" and "come...". ;-)
>
>They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
>insider jokes.
>http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm
>
>http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm
>
>Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!
>
>Florian
>
>Ryan Lunenfeld wrote:
>
>  
>
>>hey whats' the craziest synth store you've been to?
>>    
>>
>
>
>
>"Human beings are a disease, the cancer of this planet, you?re a plague. And we are the cure." (Agent Smith)
>
>Visit the official [?ramp] website at www.doombient.com
>
>
>
>  
>

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Armin Theissen                                      +32 (0)2 373.05.14
Royal Observatory of Belgium  -  Solar Physics Department  -  Brussels

"To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition!"
                                                        -  Woody Allen

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Re: Synth shops

Armin Theissen
In reply to this post by Stephen Parsick


Hi,

this Matten & Wiechers ad should be mentioned. It should not be too hard to
find out what synth music LP cover was copied here...

http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_08.htm

(And on what the ad title is based on)

a.

Wavecomputer360 wrote:

>Hi Florian,
>
>I was about to mention the same shop... never been to their Franzstrasse shop but to their later store in a Bonn suburb... once on the my quest for the toilet, I stumbled into a closet that was choc-full with synthesizers... I still remember the OBXa and the Moog 984 there. They had a Roland 700 there which got me the modular virus, and the GS-1 was a joy to play. And Dirk Matten and Dieter Roggendorf were wetting their pants when I told them I?d rather go for an analog step sequencer instead of Cubit (like Cubase was called back then). Collecting synths! You must be nuts. That was their attitude. And this finally ruined them, IMO. When everybody was going "vintage" they just laughed at it and thought it was a fad.
>
>Stephen.
>
>
>
>I really appreciated the first Synthesizer Studio Bonn (Matten &
>Wiechers). http://www.elektropolis.de
>Small shop in a "not the best place to go" region of Bonn (former german
>capital, but a very small bourgois town). The shop looked like crap from
>outside, but you stepped inside and stood within the finest synth gear
>you could have on this planet.
>
>They later opened a dependance in Munich, which was done much more
>"exclusive". You had to get a date with them (like at the dentist), but
>then you had all synths for you and a dedicated expert, who really could
>explain everything. The expert was a very nice intelligent guy. He knew
>really a lot about synth, but he also was an addict to model rail
>roading. Also he was a gay (butter melted if he came to close to it),
>and the shop was in the gay quarter of munich.
>So very astonishing things could happen: A ponce in highheels and the
>sales clerk had setup a rails circle on a ppg 2.3, and let a model
>lokomotive run on it. A friend of mine (a studio musician, who really
>left much money in this shop) passed by and the punce fluttered his/hers
>eyelashes to him: "Either you play with us or come later."
>Later he told me, that he really was worried, what they mean with "play
>with us" and "come...". ;-)
>
>They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
>insider jokes.
>http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm
>
>http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm
>
>Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!
>
>Florian
>
>Ryan Lunenfeld wrote:
>
>  
>
>>hey whats' the craziest synth store you've been to?
>>    
>>
>
>
>
>"Human beings are a disease, the cancer of this planet, you?re a plague. And we are the cure." (Agent Smith)
>
>Visit the official [?ramp] website at www.doombient.com
>
>
>
>  
>

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Armin Theissen                                      +32 (0)2 373.05.14
Royal Observatory of Belgium  -  Solar Physics Department  -  Brussels

"To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition!"
                                                        -  Woody Allen

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Re: Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS

Stephen Parsick
In reply to this post by analogAH
Hi Oliver,

in fact Synthesizer Studio Bonn went belly-up in the early 1990s. Before
that, Dirk Matten split with Hajo Wiechers (who is now doing some kind of
Siegfried and Roy thing in Cologne). Matten didn?t make himself a lot of
friends with his advertisements? tone becoming more and more aggressive (his
main advertisement outlet, Germany?s KEYBOARDS magazine, no longer even
wanted to publish them), and he himself got in serious quarrels with
distributors and manufacturers alike. This all led to orders that were no
longer paid on the manufacturers? side (or to orders paid but not delivered
on the customers? side). Their Munich outlet was shut first (Wieland Samolak
is now living in Bochum, taking care of his handicapped friend, I think),
and the Bonn outlet moved house a final time before they called it a day. I
met Dirk at an informal synth gathering a couple of years ago, and he still
has the MIDI microwave oven, though...

It was my childhood synthesist?s dream coming true also... I was sixteen
when I went there for the first time, and in subsequent years I always found
them very helpful when calling them up, like giving technical advice etc.
This changed somewhat before they finally folded in 1995 or 1996, their
service technician Archie Lenzgen had dropped out also (he is now running
his own enterprise near Koblenz), and Dirk Matten was the lone swordsman in
the end.

Funny anecdote: A friend of mine once was at the Franzstrasse shop when
suddenly some guy (apparently a tramp) came in, walked up to a Mini Moog and
said "Always wanted to hear one". Matten turned it on, hit a key, and said
"Now you?ve heard one, get the hell outta here!". Florian Schneider used to
go there for shopping, too.

Stephen (who would love to have one of their "Synthesizerstudio Bonn"
stickers that he put on his long-gone ARP Odyssey and on the rear window of
his father?s old car... also long gone... the car, not the father).


"I?m striving for the mysterious. The obvious doesn?t interest me." (Jon
Hassell)

Visit the official [?ramp] website at www.doombient.com


----- Original Message -----
From: OH <[hidden email]>
To: Wavecomputer360 <[hidden email]>; <[hidden email]>
Cc: <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: [AH] Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS


> i had my childhood synthesists dream come true there.
> back in 1982 or so, they let me play around with fairlights, emulators and
> a full PPG system. i must have been 15 ar so.
> a spent a whole day there. it was great.
> anybody knows what has happened to matten
> and wiechers? never heard from them again.
> did they go bankrupt?
> ar are they still coming and palying with railroads? haha!
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Wavecomputer360" <[hidden email]>
> To: <[hidden email]>
> Cc: <[hidden email]>
> Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:13 PM
> Subject: [AH] Synth shops
>
>
> Hi Florian,
>
> I was about to mention the same shop... never been to their Franzstrasse
> shop but to their later store in a Bonn suburb... once on the my quest for
> the toilet, I stumbled into a closet that was choc-full with
synthesizers...
> I still remember the OBXa and the Moog 984 there. They had a Roland 700
> there which got me the modular virus, and the GS-1 was a joy to play. And
> Dirk Matten and Dieter Roggendorf were wetting their pants when I told
them
> I?d rather go for an analog step sequencer instead of Cubit (like Cubase
was

> called back then). Collecting synths! You must be nuts. That was their
> attitude. And this finally ruined them, IMO. When everybody was going
> "vintage" they just laughed at it and thought it was a fad.
>
> Stephen.
>
>
>
> I really appreciated the first Synthesizer Studio Bonn (Matten &
> Wiechers). http://www.elektropolis.de
> Small shop in a "not the best place to go" region of Bonn (former german
> capital, but a very small bourgois town). The shop looked like crap from
> outside, but you stepped inside and stood within the finest synth gear
> you could have on this planet.
>
> They later opened a dependance in Munich, which was done much more
> "exclusive". You had to get a date with them (like at the dentist), but
> then you had all synths for you and a dedicated expert, who really could
> explain everything. The expert was a very nice intelligent guy. He knew
> really a lot about synth, but he also was an addict to model rail
> roading. Also he was a gay (butter melted if he came to close to it),
> and the shop was in the gay quarter of munich.
> So very astonishing things could happen: A ponce in highheels and the
> sales clerk had setup a rails circle on a ppg 2.3, and let a model
> lokomotive run on it. A friend of mine (a studio musician, who really
> left much money in this shop) passed by and the punce fluttered his/hers
> eyelashes to him: "Either you play with us or come later."
> Later he told me, that he really was worried, what they mean with "play
> with us" and "come...". ;-)
>
> They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
> insider jokes.
> http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm
>
> http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm
>
> Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!
>
> Florian
>
> Ryan Lunenfeld wrote:
>
> > hey whats' the craziest synth store you've been to?
>
>
>
> "Human beings are a disease, the cancer of this planet, you?re a plague.
And
> we are the cure." (Agent Smith)
>
> Visit the official [?ramp] website at www.doombient.com
>
>
>

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Re: Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS

Florian Anwander
In reply to this post by analogAH
Hi OH

> anybody knows what has happened to matten
> and wiechers? never heard from them again.
The page is to the honour of this shop: http://www.elektropolis.de

I do not know, what Dirk Matten is doing now. The technician Achim
Lenzgen started a company for synth repair service which is well and alive.

Florian
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Re: Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS

Jeff Laity
In reply to this post by Stephen Parsick
Can anyone provide a translation for the "Achim Lenzgen. Lizenz zum  
Löten" ad? My Apple widget seems to think it's, "Achim spring  
towards. License for soldering."

>>
>> They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
>> insider jokes.
>> http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm
>>
>> http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm
>>
>> Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!
>>
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Re: Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS

Stefan Trippler
"Achim Lenzgen" is the technicians name.
"License for soldering" is the correct translation of "Lizenz zum L?ten".
It was chosen as a reference to the James Bond Film "License to Kill", the
german title of which was "Lizenz zum T?ten".

Regards
Stefan

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Laity" <[hidden email]>
To: "Analogue Heaven" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 7:05 PM
Subject: Re: [AH] Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS


Can anyone provide a translation for the "Achim Lenzgen. Lizenz zum
L?ten" ad? My Apple widget seems to think it's, "Achim spring
towards. License for soldering."

>>
>> They also had famous adverts in the magazines. Full with a lot of
>> insider jokes.
>> http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_85_11.htm
>>
>> http://www.elektropolis.de/ssb_anzeige_90_06.htm
>>
>> Nevertheless a perfect synth shop!
>>


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Re: Synth shops MATTEN WIECHERS

Florian Anwander
In reply to this post by Stephen Parsick
Hi

> Matten didn´t make himself a lot of
> friends with his advertisements´ tone becoming more and more aggressive (his
> main advertisement outlet, Germany´s KEYBOARDS magazine, no longer even
> wanted to publish them), and he himself got in serious quarrels with
> distributors and manufacturers alike.
One of the best stories about both (advertisments and quarrels with
distributors) is the following:

The story behind the ad began at the Frankfurt Music Fair. Jim Marshall
had brought a prototype for a new amp to Frankfurt (he had developped,
soldered and built it personally, had carried it personally through the
customs, and had brought it personally to the booth). This prototype was
nearly hidden in a dark (but public accessible) corner of the booth.
Dirk Matten saw it and wanted it. He talked to Jim Marshall, who did not
want it to give it away of course.

Dirk waited until the next morning, when only one poor trainee was on
the booth. He went to the trainee and asked "how much is this amp?" (at
that time it was allowed to sell gear direct on the show). The trainee
looked in the price list and told him the price. Dirk Matten gave a
check to the trainee, asked for a bill and went finally away with the
amp. Big catastrophe for Jim Marshall and much bigger problem for Musik
XXXX, the very big german distributor (Ibanez, Marshall, Fostex, Korg,...).

Using the data on the check it was not diffcult to find out, who had
bought the amp. Now it was for Mr XXXX very embarrassing to admit, that
one of his biggest retailers had "ripped" the prototype of his most well
known manufacturer. Mr XXXX could not send his deputies, he had to ask
Dirk Matten on his own. Mr XXX never wrote letters, he had two
secetaries. He had to sit down late in the evening at the computer of
his secretary, and write a letter to Dirk Matten.  This was the first
letter he had written since years, so it looked like this:

"Dear Mr Matten Bonn,
  you have our amplifier bought in Farnkfrut; this is a prottypo;
  we have to give back it urgently to Jim Marshall. Pleeas give
  itback to us.
  Sincerelies XXXX"

Typos and mistakes are intended: Mr XXXX was good in managing a
business, but not in writing letters.

The following doublesided advertisment was the answer: Dirk Matten
dressed in rockabilly-style, playing a Fender Telecaster had his foot on
a Marshall amp. The text was like "Dear, We not know wher you buy
n'stuff yours, PLeeas go to Synthesizer Studio Bonn..." .



Florian