Peter Townshend of THE WHO


This photo was taken during the final calibration of Pete Townshend's massive ARP system.



Dear Phil

I just got back from a Who recording session, and my 2500 and 2600 are set up for me to look at.

The last time these units were in this house was back in 2000, and already they were showing signs of old age.

What can I say? I'm speechless really. I was close to tears looking at the work you've done to bring these beautiful old synthesizers back to life and dignity. I never thought I would see this day.

They are simply beautiful, and so beautifully restored. You are like someone who works to restore Old Masters in a way; people in the future will thank you for your work far more than me for my noodling using them.

This is a labour of love for you I know, but for me – who purchased these synths back in 1972 just in time to use them on Quadrophenia and the Tommy movie score. I am so grateful you are there Phil.

I will get the synths up and running as soon as I finish with The Who later this week, and report back to you.

Thank you, a million times. Have a fabulous day tomorrow – I will spend a good bit of my day telling people about what you've done for me.




Here is Pete Townshend's entire system fully restored and ready to be packed up in their custom road cases for the trip back over the pond.

Here is a link to some videos of the machine on youtube:



Pete recently purchased a CMS 2607 rack mount synthesizer.
Hans Zimmer

The MC-54HZ - If you don't know it already, Hans Zimmer is one of the most sought after and prolific soundtrack composers of our time. He recently composed the music for the movie "Dunkirk". This is a photo of his recently expanded system. A smaller version of this CMS system was used on "Black Hawk Down"

        Hans recently purchased a CMS 2607. Here it is just before shipping.          


Mark Isham

Mark Isham is an American musician. A trumpeter and synthesist, he works in a variety of genres, including jazz and electronic. He is also a prolific film composer, having worked on numerous films and television series, including The Hitcher, Point Break, Of Mice and Men, Nell, Blade, Crash and Once Upon a Time. Mark recently purchased a MR-12 modular system shown here right before shipping. CMS has also upgraded his ARP 2600.    
Vince Clarke
  Vince Clarke is a founding member of Depeche Mode, and Erasure. Writer of many Depeche Modes most seminal and beloved tracks, including “New Life,” “Dreaming Of Me,” and “Photographic” from the group’s debut “Speak And Spell” album, as well as the classic single “Just Can’t Get Enough," cited by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the100 Greatest Pop Songs Of All Time. CMS recently restored and upgraded Vince's 2500 system pictured above as well as both of his 2600s.  
    Here is a recent photo (Sept 2015) of the second 2600 we upgraded and restored for Vince Clarke. The custom case is not from CMS, but all the front panel upgrades are, including the new electronic switch upgrade. We are currently installing the Lumina slider kit in Vince's ARP Sequencer.  
Lenny Kravitz
Lenny Kravitz recently had his unit taken to the max here at CMS

Lenny Kravitz took it to the next level on this one. So far CMS has restored and tripped out 2 2600s, restored and installed Luminas in 2 Odysseys and installed the Lumina in an ARP Sequencer for Lenny.


John McEntire of Soma Studios


John recently purchased one of our rack mount 2607 prototypes. A number of years ago we also built him a large 9000 series modular. He has been a member of some notable bands such as Tortoise, My Dad is Dead, Red Krayola, The Sea and Cake and Seam. Some of the projects he has been involved with are Stereolab, The High Llamas, Trans Am, The For Carnation , Eleventh Dream Day, Run On, and Come. John also currently uses 2 heavily modified 2600's from CMS.

"A person who does incredible work with analog is Phil Cirocco, of C.M.S. He has done extensive work on my ARP 2600's, and they are subsequently some of the most useful instruments in the whole studio." - Tape Op - June 2001.


Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails


Trent had his 2600 console restored and upgraded here at CMS for use in his studio. This 2600s signal path has been upgraded to the max. CMS has also restored, tripped out and installed the "Lumina" illuminated high quality slider upgrade in 2 of Trent's ARP Odysseys.





Tracy O. - 2823 Lumina installation:

Absolutely beautiful !!! Great work!!! I'm ready to do the sequencer when you are? Any of these on YOUTUBE yet? I can't stay away from this thing it's great! I have rediscovered how great that little machine is! You are the ARP King ! Thanks...Tracy----

Brent S. - 2600:

Just wanted to say I got it just fine and it does sound wonderful. I couldn't be happier- excellent job.

Brian R. - 2600:

Hello Phil,
just a quick note to say thank you very much for an outstanding job on my 2600 refurbish job.
It works fantastic and the tuning is spot on. I kinda forgot how great this unit sounds. It will be a great addition again to my rig and it will be kept in top notch condition. Sincerely, brian.

Zig M. - 2600:

From Zig's wife Vida: Zig is Crazy! He cannot be contained. Anyway he is so happy so thank you. He thinks you are a genius! I think you already know that you are a smarty pants with this stuff but I think compliments help boost our lives and make us feel worthy of the hard work so once again Thank you very much. Vida

Matt S. - 2600:

I got the 2600 today and took it straight to the studio.
I cannot believe my ears. This 2600 sounds like it is from another planet. It is so punchy and beautiful, I have been playing with it for about an hour now. Unreal!
Thank you so much for doing this - you are a rare-breed.

Matt's posting to Analogue Heaven:

I got my 2600 back from Phil today, and after playing with it for an hour or so, I feel I owe a "thank you note" to AH on his work.
I got the Audio Path upgrade, VCA upgrade, new noise module, filter error correction, 17 inch reverb tank, new PSU and new jack washers on my 2600.
How does it sound? Absolutely amazing. I have owned three 2600's in my life, and I have never heard a 2600 sound this good. Ever. It has a punch to it now, and a life to the sound that is hard to describe - almost like when I listened to it before upgrade, I was listening through a paper bag. I feel like I could destroy worlds with this thing...
On top of an amazing result on the audio side, it looks like Phil went in and cleaned EVERYTHING. The panel looks brand new, and all the sliders have a really nice feel to them. You can tell Phil loves what he does.
I know I probably sound like I am wetting my pants over here - but..... I AM WETTING MY PANTS OVER HERE.
I am absolutely sure I now have the queen bitch 2600 town, and I love her.

Thank you Phil.

Dennis C. - 2600:

I will continue to say nice things about you!!!
Keep up the great work.

Leon L. - 2600:

Phil, ...I'm super stoked with the upgrades and repairs you did on my 2600. It has great punch, super low end, ear-splitting highs. I have to be careful to not blow my studio monitors. Some of the functions had not worked in years so I'm re-learning about the lag processors, etc. Thanks for fixing the joystick, plus taking out the thump and slight hum. The ARP is really quiet now, with no clicks or thumps. Nice and stable too. When I run a solo through reverb and delay it sounds awesome. The machine looks and sounds really great.

Thanks so much, Phil. You're the best!

Matrixsynth - 2823 Lumina installation:

Hi Phil, the Odyssey arrived. It is absolutely spectacular. Thank you so much. I am completely blown away. It feels like a brand new synth, not just in the metaphorical sense, but really, it's like it was still being produced and just came out of the box. I wish I could do that to all my vintage synths.

You really do magic!

Here is a recent follow-up from the Matrixsynth website:

Phil Cirocco of C.M.S. does fantastic work. If you have an ARP that could use some work, you owe it to yourself to consider him having a look over. My ARP Odyssey had some stiff sliders so I sent it in for the Lumina upgrade and decided that if it's going to be away for a bit I might as well go all out. It came back in unimaginable shape. It was beyond what I expected. It literally seemed like I bought it from ARP today and just took it out of the box. It wasn't just a repair, it was a complete rejuvenation of the synth. I highly, highly recommend Phil's work. It's worth noting, Phil did the Hammond Novachord Restoration as well.


Rick R.

The 2600 arrived safely yesterday. I haven’t been able to give it a truly full workout yet, but I at this point I am really happy with the work on it. It sounds and feels really great. Definitely a lot more high frequency head room in filter. And the high end is much clearer, even with the resonance cranked. I was really happy with the condition it was in when I got it, but I’m really hearing and experiencing how it was intended to be for the first time now. Thanks again for all your work on it and for the helpful communication during the process.

Ethan R.

Hi Phil,
Well, Speak of the Devil, the Oddy arrived on my porch this afternoon, and I must say, it is TOTALLY MAGNIFICENT! I mean, DAMN; the thing is a work of art. It sounds incredible, and the keys are as fresh and springy as a brand new unit. In fact they are tighter and tougher than many brand new keyboards available today. The illuminated sliders are a delight, your unique mods are truly visionary and expansive, and the unit is also as clean as a baby's bottom. I truly can't thank you enough; you are both a master technician and a distinguished artist. If I was to hop into a time machine and pop back to 1975, a brand new Oddy off the shelf would drastically pale in comparison; no comparison, really. My sincerest thanks to you, sir.



Restoring ARP's ARP

Yes, the former president of ARP and designer of the 2600, Alan R. Pearlman sent in his 2600 for restoration in 2004 and I thought I would brag about it by posting a picture of it sitting on one of the benches.

Here is me and my wife visiting with Alan on a recent visit to Boston. Alan is still active, designing analog circuits for use in the telecommunications industry. And no, he does not want to sell his 2600.
UArts Moog Modular Restoration

Dr. Robert Moog
In 2004 CMS restored a very old Moog Modular for the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. The completion of the restoration coincided with a lecture given by the late Dr. Robert Moog at the university. Dr. Moog discussed his engineers perspective on music, artificial music vs. live performance, and some great stories about Raymond Scott and Eric Saday. At the luncheon, Bob informed us that this machine (in a different configuration) was originally the fourth synthesizer he had built and it was used by Andrew Rudin, while at the Philadelphia Music Academy, to create some astonishing recordings. Dr. Moog received an Honorary Doctorate in Music in May of 2003 from UArts.    
  Phil Cirocco of CMS explaining to Bob Moog the restoration and upgrades on #4. Particularly about the new power supply I had just installed. Most of the modules in this re-configured machine were hand wired by the master himself.
Here is Tom Porett, director of electronic media at UArts (on the right). He also had his ARP 2600 refurbished and upgraded here at CMS. Here he is, talking to Dr. Moog and Dr. Chittum at the UArts luncheon. Tom runs his 2600 via midi converter fed by the latest Mac hotrod.
Were' going to sorely miss the nutty professor
  "Number four"  
  The Beastie Boys  

R.I.P. MCA - Adam was one of the first customers to get the dual LFO installed below the voltage processors and the comparator installed below the noise generator. The VCO section has sync and octave switches. The EG section has the time range expander switches. The internal signal path in this unit has been upgraded to the max: Audio Path Upgrade, Power Supply Upgrade, 4012CX filter, 4019CX VCA.

e-mail: filter@discretesynthesizers.com
phone: 912-727-2195 ©2004, 2017Phil Cirocco