New Owner, Name For Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments

Buchla U.S.A. has purchased historic synthesizer company Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments.

The company, originally founded by Don Buchla in the mid-1960s (as Buchla and Associates), is under new management and now headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and headed by CEO Eric Fox.

The new company will continue to create “unique, expressive, and iconic” electronic performance instruments and controllers, with a focus on the 50+ year legacy of the late Don Buchla (pictured at the 2010 NAMM Show).

Buchla U.S.A.’s lead design and engineering is being carried out by Joel Davel, who worked with Don for over 20 years. Production of the majority of Buchla modules is being handled by Dave Reilly, who was hand-picked by Don to manufacture Buchla products.

Buchla U.S.A.’s focus on Don Buchla and his legacy will see Davel and Reilly more involved, and their contributions to Don’s legacy celebrated.  Both design and production work are located in the San Francisco bay area, as they were in the 1960s.

By listening to the needs of composers at the San Francisco Tape Music Center, Don Buchla created one of the first modular voltage-controlled synthesizers in the mid-1960s. His innovative and seminal musical instruments have inspired composers and listeners alike for over 50 years.

“I am really excited about telling the story of Don [Buchla], and working closely with Joel and Dave to develop new products in the spirit of Don… and even revisiting/reimagining some of his designs that never actually made it out into the wild!” said Buchla U.S.A. CEO Eric Fox. “I hope to involve as many of the artists and people that inspired Don as possible, moving forward. We owe it to him and the generations of new users to give them a sense of what he was all about.”

Buchla U.S.A. says that it is “committed to the continued production of high-quality historic synthesis/performance technology, a focus on and celebration of Don Buchla’s legacy, and meeting the needs of Buchla customers.”


17 thoughts on “New Owner, Name For Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments

  1. Really great of them to focus on people that contributed to Buchla’s legacy and produce them in the Bay area. A life goal of mine is to be able to afford some of their gear. 🙂

  2. We’ll have to see how this plays out, but it sounds like good news.

    It seemed like the Australian owners may have been in over their heads, and I think Don Buchla himself was trying to take legal action against them towards the end of their life.

    Eric Fox has lots of experience with distribution and has also manufactured some of his own products, so hopefully he’ll do a job of keeping this company going.

    1. Not every instrument is for everyone, from either a design or economic viewpoint. The cost of the Buchla is consistent with the quality you get with respect to design and fidelity. For me it took years of saving to be able to purchase one, and I’ve never regretted it. Why should every synth be “affordable”? The world has Behringer as well as Buchla…

      1. Is it really that unfair to ask that a company put out some products that you don’t have to save up for 20 years to be able to afford?

        1. I you feel you need a Buchla, get the Arturia software emulation. Point is you have options and do not need to save up for 20 years. Yes it’s unfair to ask.

      2. I keep seeing people make comments like this about this news and it just is not true. There is absolutely no reason that Buchla instruments should cost as much as they do. Not to mention, that the whole “quality” thing has been a major issue.

  3. Oh thank the heavens!! The previous owners were just terrible and I thought the whole concept of Buchla instruments was going to die a painful death with them. Thankfully, the community is stronger than a few people. I hope this new owner really brings things back to how they were when Don was around (ahem, annual fire sale please!). But Eric owns Foxtone too, who’s been a Buchla dealer for years. I have purchased one thing from them (not Buchla) and had a wonderful experience. I hope this vibe carries through to the Buchla effort.

    I own a good chunk of Buchla products and there is absolutely nothing like creating on the system first-hand. I hope more folks take the time to save and purchase some modules someday. It’s so worth it.

  4. I have owned Buchla modules and an Easel as well. In my opinion they are overpriced for what you get, just my opinion.

  5. This is great news! Eric is not only a great guy but he’s very knowledgeable and super passionate about music and synths.

    He has a lot of experience not only in retail but in manufacturing and will be a very positive force in growing the Buchla brand.

    Congrats Eric!

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