above photo from the collection of Stefan Kraft, Gelsenkirchen-Buer, Germany
The Syncharger 2 is a single VCO synth that was primarily marketed as a guitar synth. It had a decent pitch-to-voltage converter and envelope follower, and it also allowed the source to be mixed in with its oscillator. The VCO is a pulsewave oscillator with a slider adjusting the pulse-width and another for pitch. There is a single LFO with a slider for frequency. In both the Oscillator section and the Filter section, there is a slider to adjust the amount of LFO modulation. The filter section has controls for cut-off frequency and emphasis (resonance). The envelope section is switchable between an Atack-Release and Attack-Hold-Release with a slider adjusting the time (for both attack and release).
"The Synchanger 2 was [produced from a design] from around 1974
by Wolfgang Palm - yes the PPG founder himself. The Synchanger was then
produced by Peter Strueven [Peter Strueven was the founder of Stramp (Strueven Amplification)], who is still around today, enabling me to have a chat with [him] about the Synchanger."
"The SC II came in a neat aluminium case and had some very interesting
features onboard... You are able to sweep the Pulsewave with a pedal. [The] LFO has a switch attached to it enabling you to drive it into
audio range. This offers nice FM-like sounds. The filter is a common Low pass with such an uncommon sound. Never heard something like that before. In the Mixer section you are able to mix the
synth level, source level (the guitar signal that runs trough the Osc section)
and finally fuzz level (just the fuzz guitar). All these can be routed to
the 8-band graphic EQ. Stramp produced high quality mixers that time and
were famous for their good sounding equalizers. You are able to use just
the eq and that's worth having a try.
"The synth interface offers two inputs for guitar or any audio source you
want to feed in. There is a sensitivity level to set the threshold and a
prefilter to filter certain frequencies before the signal runs through
the tracking module. A tune store switch offers to switch the tracking off.
"[There are] three outputs: Phones, High, and Low.
"A cool sounding machine all in all. Mostly for interesting FM and effect
sounds. The filter sounds weird as hell and the eq is high quality stuff, too.
[This has to be] one of least known synths made by Wolfgang Palm. I talked to Peter Strueven
about the quantity produced and he said that there are no more than maybe
200 models floating around. An interesting piece of gear." ----Stefan Kraft