Lot #628
Frank Zappa's EML Poly-Box Analog Synthesizer Controller

Rare EML Poly-Box synthesizer controller used by Frank Zappa
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Estimate: $500+


Rare EML Poly-Box synthesizer controller used by Frank Zappa

An EML Poly-Box remote analog synthesizer controller from the personal collection of Frank Zappa. The controller weighs approximately 14 lbs and measures 18.5″ x 12.25″ x 5.25″, and features a miniature keyboard, three input jacks for “Out,” “In,” and “Gate,” switches and knobs for “Voicing,” “Pitch Control,” and “Keyboard Memory,” and red light bulbs for 13 different octaves. Back panel bears an on/off toggle switch (marked “940”), an ICA Ltd. label numbered “128,” and a “Poly-Box, Electronic Music Laboratories” stamp. In very good to fine, untested condition, with expected signs of use, and a missing upper section of left wooden frame.

Provenance: Julien's Auctions, Icons & Idols: Rock n' Roll 2016, Featuring Property from the Estate of Frank Zappa, November 2016.

The Poly-Box is essentially a small-remote keyboard controller for vintage analog synths that is able to take control of an analog synthesizer and, even though it’s monophonic, can create polyphony by programmable chord memory presets. Additionally, the Poly-Box was made in very limited quantities, with several sources citing that its total population ranges between 130 and 160 units.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Art and Literature
  • Dates: #610 - Ended June 16, 2021