Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gakken newsletter #145

Back on Oct. 10th, I mentioned that Gakken had finally announced the details on the first in their new Sound Gadget Series - the SX-150 Mark II. At the time, they were quoting a price of 7350 yen, which is close to $90 USD. Amazon.co.jp is now listing it at 6220 yen, apparently as a post-order price. The cheaper price seems to be for a Nov. 30 release, but there's a second page at full price. It is out now, but the Gakken website page is pretty skimpy on the product details.

Actually, I stopped at the bookstore yesterday and was able to find the Mark II on the shelves. There's no mook, and the packaging is just a little bigger than the synth itself, implying that there's little to no assembly needed. The box is sealed so I couldn't check inside, and I consider 7350 yen to be out of my price range this time. (I'd rather spend the money on something like a discounted Casio keyboard.) If anyone does buy the Mark-II, let me know what you think of it.

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I had gotten bored recently, so I started trolling around the Otona no Kagaku site for anything new I could dig up. I noticed the link to the newsletter, which I had seen before, and this time I decided to sign up. At first, I was disappointed to see that the last newsletter I could find had been some years ago, but #145 arrived in my mailbox on Oct. 28. It's a bit thin on content, but if you don't mind running it through babelfish, you can glean some nuggets of interest, especially if you live in Tokyo.

Newsletter #145 summary:
1: Otona no Kagaku kit #32, the 25 mini-denshi block kit is scheduled for a Nov. 30 release. 3,990 yen. This is a scaled-down version of the big 150 block electronics experimentation kit.

2: As mentioned above, the SX-150 Mark II is stated to be coming out "next week" (Oct. 30). Apparently the theremin and SX-150 Mark I have become popular with professional musicians, which is why Gakken decided to develop the Sound Gadget Series. The first kit is based on the original Mark I, with enhancements. One of the main points is that the Mark II will have a more reasonable plastic back plate (rather than just the part of the cardboard box used for the Mark I). Gakken is also still working on the Udar.

3: There's a 4-day Music Fair coming up at the Mirai Kan on Odaiba island in Tokyo. Gakken will show off their kits there. There's a bunch of other music-related events scheduled over the 4 days.

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