It’s my sad confession. I once had a crush on a machine.

ARP 2600
ARP 2600

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, Iย 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. Pearlmanโ€™s answer to Moogโ€™s Mini, even now so many years later.ย In the meantime, there’s always the Arturia soft-synth version, or what I like to call My Methadone.