The first British made Stylophone for 30 years: the new Dubreq Stylophone S2

What is the Stylophone S2 and how did it come about?...

About the S2

Dubreq's 'Stylophone' is one of the most iconic and popular electronic keyboard instruments of all time, having sold over 4 million units between it's invention in 1968 and today.

The new Dubreq Stylophone S2 takes the basic idea of the Stylophone, a stylus played instrument that uses a printed circuit board as the keyboard, and turns it into a fully spec'd analogue synthesizer.

The Stylophone S2 is an entirely British made, analogue synthesizer that will fit in a laptop bag. The S2 features include; All metal construction, a full 37 note 3 octave keyboard with +/- 2 octave shifter featuring a wire-free stylus and finger-touch playing method, an all analogue signal path, a classic British style 12dB/octave state-variable filter, dual all-transistor voltage controlled oscillators, sub-oscillators for super-fat bass, an eight waveform LFO with a 14 octave range, an auxiliary-input socket to use the filter and envelope-generator for other instruments, a 1/4" output jack socket as well as an internal speaker and headphone socket and a CV and Trigger input sockets.

History of the S2

At the end of 2002 Ben Jarvis, the son of Brian Jarvis, inventor of the original Stylophone pocket synth, set about re-forming Dubreq ltd... the company responsible for this iconic British instrument. On the first day Dubreq began trading again a plan was set in motion to develop and launch a new Stylophone that was head and shoulders above all previous iterations of the instrument... and that new Stylophone would have the designation 'S2'.

Exactly ten years later, and after a hell of a journey, the S2 is launched.

The Dubreq team decided in the last couple of years that trying to create a new Stylophone which competed on a technology level in a way that would impress a mass market was a pointless exercise doomed to fail. In the age of tablets and smart phones where a fully spec'd digital synth can be downloaded to a device most people already own for pennies, trying to sell an expensive digital product that does no more than that app is always going to be a very hard sell.

Dubreq wanted to go back to the soul of the Stylophone and create something iconic, quirky, British and which musicians and electronic music fans would truly appreciate. We first decided that keeping the immediacy and tactile quality of the printed circuit keyboard we had launched upon the world in the 1960's was a key feature. We also decided that the instrument needed to be a true analogue synth with depth and emotion to it, not a soulless digital machine.

The S2 in it's final form has been a true labour of love. With design input from Ben Jarvis and the Dubreq team and massive external assistance on the electronics design from talented British synth designer Ben Fisher. The final product is capable of creating awesome and unique sounds, reminiscent of a number of famous British synths of the past and it has a look that we hope will make it an instant icon.

With several famous artists already on the waiting list, the real story of the Stylophone S2 starts here...