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Topaz-1: Soviet-Era Electronic Accordion

October 4, 2015

Heading over to the Museum of Soviet Synthesizers (as one should), we find the Topaz-1, one of the coolest retro accordion synths. I would love to try one of these.

topaz1This thing’s pretty awesome. Anybody know when they were made? I’ve seen photos of them for years, but the online videos with the sounds are amazing. I think the “bellows replaced with electronics and a big speaker” option is bluntly utilitarian. I’m very sad that the Museum doesn’t seem to have schematics to see what’s in the box. The fact that it looks like it’s made of pressed tin (is that right?) make it all the more impressive. The second video that goes through the featured analog synth sounds makes me think this might be more fun to play than any modern electronic accordion I’ve tried.

If you have one of these and want to perform at the Accordion Noir Festival I will try to get you the gig (no promises, but I’ll plead the Topaz-1’s case).





2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2021 2:20 pm

    Latest is that Norwegian classical/experimental accordionist Frode Haltli bought one of these online and has started playing it. Early reports sound very exciting and cool!

    Video here:


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