Bontempi - Concertino 32 / 32S (polyphonic mini- keyboard with simple blip rhythm)

This rare mini keyboard was the successor of the bizarre Bontempi Concertino 25S.

It is 4 note polyphonic with 8 preset sounds and a metronome with 4 blip rhythms. The sound engine corresponds to the Bontempi ET 202. The keyboard range can be switched by 1 octave and the polyphony can be switched between 2 and 4 notes. All functions are selected through keyboard keys.

Very bizarre is that although the box shows a Bontempi Concertino 32S with record/ playback sequencer, a sticker was glued over it that claims that this model "BC32" would not be equipped with sequencer. But the keyboard itself contains the sequencer despite it indeed has the name "Concertino 32" and no sequencer functions listed on its control panel stickers and manual. I don't know if Bontempi attempted to cheat customers by selling 2 identical keyboards for different prices, or if originally 2 different models existed or if the sequencer feature of the CPU was considered faulty and therefore denied to avoid customer complaints. (At least mine seems to function perfectly. Later small Bontempi keyboards had even many other flaws those were not attempted to be hidden in any way.)

main features:



The design of the box and control panel writing of the Bontempi Concertino 32S looks plainer and less fancy 1970th- like than the Bontempi Concertino 25SAD180Also the strange note "safe and hygienic" is gone, thus it was likely released later. In the battery compartment is the PCB type visible "C32/D-S"; I don't know if also a variant without sequencer was made. The instrument doesn't play very loud; unusual is that there is a "solo" mode that doubles the volume and halves polyphony by routing each note through 2 internal polyphony channels. The likely oddest accessory for this instrument was the power supply AD180 (mentioned in the manual), which had a bunch of output cables to supply up to 8 Concertino keyboards. Perhaps Bontempi though that people would form an orchestra out of them, but I guess it was rather invented for music school classrooms.

The preset sounds correspond to those on Bontempi ET 202 although there are small differences and unlike the latter it powers on with "organ" instead of "piano". The "brass" has here no sustain, faster attack and sounds dryer and less natural. "flute" is here 1 octave lower. "electric guitar" resembles "synth harpsy" on ET 202, but sounds duller with slower vibrato. The "carillon" here plays 1 octave higher, sounds brighter and has more sustain. The "organ" corresponds on ET 202 to "jazz organ".

The metronome plays a high blip followed by 3, 2, 1 or 5 low blips depending on the selected rhythm. The tempo is changed by holding "slow" or "fast" key together with "select"; you have to press them fairly long to make changes take effect. The manual claims it has only 16 steps, but the resolution seems to be finer.

The (hidden) sequencer is controlled through the leftmost 3 sharp (black) keys. Press the 1st for "record", which makes the power LED flash. After playing a polyphonic melody press the 3rd for "stop". To play it back press the 2nd for "play". Unusual is that there is always a pause of 4 beats (LED flashes) before the playback starts and you can even play to it. But you can neither switch the preset sound nor use the metronome during record or playback.

This instrument was possibly a direct predecessor of the great Bontempi ET 202.

 removal of these screws voids warranty...    
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