Dave Smith Instruments… designed and built in San Francisco, USA!


Dave_Smith_2012 copySAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA: Premier polyphonic synthesizer manufacturer Dave Smith Instruments is proud to design and build its illustrious instruments in San Francisco, USA in an American success story fit for the 2014 NAMM Show and beyond.

“We take the craftsmanship of our instruments very seriously,” says company founder and renowned designer Dave Smith. “So every one of our products is built in San Francisco, California. Unlike other companies, who may build some products in the USA, but bring in others from China, even our low-cost instruments are built here. Our synthesis technology, developed over the last 40 years, allows us to hit great price points, have the most advanced features, build only with metal and wood — no plastic cases! — and still build everything in the good old USA.”

San Francisco-born, UC Berkeley-educated Smith is an archetypical Californian through and through. Responsible for the pre-eminent Prophet-5, the world’s first programmable polyphonic synthesizer back in 1978, he grew his first commercial company, Sequential Circuits, from garage to sizeable San Jose-based success story, playing a pivotal part as the primary driving force behind MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) in the process.

Smith subsequently returned to hardware instrument design in 2002, founding Dave Smith Instruments while working solo from his home in the Napa Valley wine country. Early successes with the Evolver range of analog/digital synthesizers — indeed, DSI’s first product is still shipping to this day — led to him hiring his first two employees in 2007. Continuing to work from their respective Californian homes, this coincided with the introduction of the award-winning Prophet ’08, an eight-voice synthesizer keyboard with a 100% analog signal path; eight-voice polyphony with four-on-four splits and layers; 16 x 4 gated step sequencer; and a full-size, 61-note, semi-weighted keyboard. It, too, continues to make musical waves worldwide. 

As a growing Californian concern, Dave Smith Instruments has not looked back since, continuing its forward- looking manufacturing mission with a successful succession of innovative instruments, including the Mopho range of compact and affordable analog synthesizers; the Tetra polyphonic desktop analog synthesizer module; the Tempest analog drum machine (designed by Smith in collaboration with fellow Californian innovative electronic musical instrument designer Roger Linn); and, most recently, the Prophet 12 module, a space-saving tabletop and rack-ready reworking of its 2013 NAMM Show-launched Prophet 12 keyboard, the twelve-voice hybrid digital/ analog synthesizer flagship that Smith duly declared his “best synth yet.”

Today, San Francisco is its beneficiary, for the now-nine-staff-strong Dave Smith Instruments collectively work in the heart of the city’s historic North Beach district, just a short walk from its manufacturer.

Dave Smith Instruments’ evolving family of illustrious instruments designed and built in San Francisco will be being demoed and displayed in Hall B, Booth 5400 at the 2014 NAMM Show, January 23-26 in Anaheim, California.

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