It’s my sad confession. I once had a crush on a machine.
I was an impressionable teenager and the ARP 2600 was my pinup girl. I loved this thing so much that as a 10th grader I dressed up as one for Halloween. It began as a lost weekend hand-drawing a replica of the panel onto a giant drugstore poster board. I fashioned the famed connector cables with twine. It was beautiful. When I finally paraded into the living room to show my parents, I received quizzical stares, then they began laughing. “No, it’s okay dear. It’s definitely a one-of-kind outfit.” More laughter. We, my faux 2600 and I, certainly did not appreciate the ridicule.
When ARP nostalgia becomes too overwhelming, I troll the auctions on eBay. I’m always amazed by the ever-increasing price people happily pony up for this nerd-a-tronics wonder toy. There’s an ongoing auction with a current bid, #32, of $5001. As a matter of perspective, when it debuted in the early ’70s, the 2600 had a price tag of $3500. While I don’t think 5K quite scales with inflation, it’s certainly holding up respectably well.
Here’s the auction link:
eBay ARP 2600 Auction
(note: the auction closed at $5201.)
Ironically, I’ve yet to play Alan R. Pearlman’s answer to Moog’s Mini, even now so many years later. In the meantime, there’s always the Arturia soft-synth version, or what I like to call My Methadone.