Baby Audio needs your help: who knows more about the Ace Tone SY-100 analog Synthesizer?

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The plugin developers Baby Audio need your help with the Ace Tone SY-100 analog Synthesizer from 1974, especially about its history and features.

Now something vintage and rare. The developers of Baby Audio came across a Synthesizer treasure trove from the past. They bought the Ace Tone SY100, an analog Synthesizer that was previously unknown to me. And I think for many readers, they will be in the same situation.

Baby Audio plans to release a plugin emulation of this vintage synth in the future. Yes please but before the developer wants your help. At the moment, they know very, very little about this vintage instrument and ask on their Facebook post if anyone knows more about it.

Baby Audio Ace Tone

Baby Audio “Ace Tone SY100”

Usually, you look for the name of the synth on the almighty search engine Google and it spits out in seconds a complete feature set. However, it is different here. There is no listing, no sound demos. It’s like being in the synthesizer desert. It reminds me of a vintage string machine but it isn’t. It’s a monophonic analog synth with two VCOs, mixer, filter, two envelopes (ADSR, AR), LFO, and more.

Ace Tone sy100

A look at the Peter Forrest A-Z of Analog Synthesizer book in the revised version gives us more detailed information about the brand and the synth.

“The original company set up in 1955 by Ikutarou Kakekashi, who when on to found Roland and also collaborated with Hammond on several products”. (AZ of …page 8).

So Ace Tone can be considered an early incarnation of the Roland Corporation, which was also founded by Kakehashi. Looking at the details of the SY-100, you find: 

“49-note monophonic Synthesizer, almost identical to Hammond’s SY-100. Ring modulator, high-pass filter, transpose switch – one octave up or two down” released in 1974″ (AZ of… page 9).

Even the best book about analog synthesizers no longer knows about this rare instrument.

Facebook Post

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHAT THIS IS?! We got our hands on a synthesizer that appears to have no online track record – except for a post on the “vintage synth explorer” forum by the same guy who we bought it from. It’s a 1970s(?) mono synth called “sy100”, built by Ace Tone, the company that eventually evolved to become Roland. It appears to have serial number “7”.

It sounds brutally analogue and we’re currently in the process of restoring it. Our hope is we can make it available to the synth community in the form of a software plugin at some point. But for now we’re eager to get any sort of info on its history. So if you’ve seen or heard about it before – or know anything at all – let us know !

I hope this will help Baby Audio a little. I don’t have any more details. Maybe one of my readers knows more details about this rare instrument. It would be amazing and it would be nice to have a sound demo of it.

Source: Baby Audio Facebook

More information: Baby Audio 

Hardware Synthesizer News


  1. The plate on the picture rather says it is consuming 7 VA (7 Watt) but that is not a serial number.

    The workflow is reminiscent of an ARP Odyssey (sliders on top, with source select switches below), and already shows a typical Roland feature, namely an HPF filter.

  2. Acetone was founded by Kakehashi. Later, Hammond became a partner and Acetone produced electronic organs for Hammond. Ultimately, Kakehashi ended up disagreeing with Hammond on the choice/direction of technology. He sold his shares and left Acetone before he formed Roland, while Hammond continued to operate Acetone. Roland/Kakehashi produced Japan’s first production line synthesizer, the SH-1000. That makes this 1974 synth a Hammond era Acetone.

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