This very rare Bontempi keyboard seems to be the small brother of the Elite MC2200; it is technically and soundwise very similar but has less features. The main voice is 2 note polyphonic squarewave and it features single finger chord accompaniment (even with simple chord sequencer) and 4 drumpads with low- res sample percussion. In unmodified state this tablehooter roars ear- tormenting loud out of its tinny speaker because the 5 step volume slider can only switch between silence, too loud and even louder. This instrument was also released as MC-2100 (by Medeli?) and Thompsonic TS-21 (seen on eBay).
(Note: This keyboard may sound nice, but don't buy one of these so far your only intention is to get a keyboard with faithfully imitated natural instrument sounds. Remember, this is a squarewave instrument and though many of its sounds sound not even remotely like what is written on its buttons, though bought with wrong expectation it may disappoint you.)
The "violin", "clarinet", "cowbell" and "oboe" sound contain squarewave vibrato. The "mandolin" is ringing. The "clarinet" is harsher than "oboe" (possibly the manufacturer confused both). The "cowbell" is rather a high pitched vibraphone with quite long decay envelope (but shorter than the Elite MC2200 one). Unlike the MC2200, with this instrument all main voice sounds work properly and don't refuse polyphonic play - even the fast play polyphony flaw is gone here because this keyboard does not mute the earliest note but ignores later notes when more than 2 keys are pressed.
The monophonic rhythms make no use of the cymbal sound and thus consist (like with the MC2200) of only 3 low- res percussion samples with audible start and end click, which gives them a fat and bassy, trashy timbre and is well suited to synchronize brain waves for meditative musics. The cymbal can be only played by its drumpad. The single finger accompaniment seems to play only 2 note polyphonic plain squarewave organ tones those alternatingly play duet and bass notes (i.e. no real 3 note polyphonic chords). It knows only 3 standard chords and with accompaniment only monophonic main voice play is possible, but at least it recognizes chord changes reasonable fast. The accompaniments have a cute and cheesy orchestrion or fairground organ appeal. Every button press makes a blip noise; strange is that the button press blip seems to use an own squarewave tone channel that works independently from the very limited (3 notes?) polyphony of the rest.
The chord sequencer is a bit awkward to use and was hard to figure out without a manual. To program it, select the desired rhythm and press "program", which begins the synchro start mode of the single finger accompaniment ("power" LED flashes => rhythm starts after any accompaniment section key press). Now repeat in a loop until all chords are entered:
Likely a midsize variant of this instrument was released as Thompsonic
TS-37 (37 midsize keys, 2 speakers, seen on eBay). Regarding
the CPU type label, also a variant of this instrument called "MC-21" may
exist, which appears to be the genuine name of this hardware class. A very
similar but more versatile 49 midsize keys instrument (with many rhythms
and demo melodies) was released as Elite
MC2200; unfortunately it suffers of annoying polyphony bugs. A
similar looking instrument like the Bontempi ES3000 was released
as Medeli MC-23 (seen on Medeli
website), but this one had a record & playback sequencer and drumpads
were switchable to animal voices (possibly a My
Music Center variant).
|removal of these screws voids warranty...|