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Dübreq Stylophone: The Retro Pocket Synth Is Back

Updated on January 23, 2012

The Dübreq Stylophone: Impractical Retro From the 70's

The Dübreq Stylophone is back and it’s better than ever before. Groundbreaking new features include the ability to jam along with your favourite MP3 tracks, extra sounds, vibrato control and, heavens above, volume control.

No musical ability is necessary or assumed and the information booklet even comes with two, yes two, easy to learn tunes guaranteed to impress your buddies. This really is one way cool gadget!

Stylophone A True Musical Instrument Designed For Real Musicians... Honest!

If you think real musicians would look down upon the humble Stylophone, you might want to think again. Celebrities such as Bowie, Pulp, Kraftwerk and Marilyn Manson have all used the Stylophone to add originality to their recordings.

Can You Fix My Toy Piano?

This simple request from a little girl to her uncle Brian led to the invention of the Stylophone. Uncle Brian Jarvis didn’t just repair the toy piano, rather, his modifications resulted in a completely new and radical concept, the pocket electronic organ.

In 1967 Brian Jarvis, along with workmates Ted and Burt Coleman, founded the Dubreq Company to manufacture and market the Stylophone. Marketed as a musical instrument that anyone could play without training, the Stylophone used a pen or stylus on metal keyboard to complete a circuit and trigger a note that sounded like a cross between a crazed wasp and dentist’s drill. The Stylophone was a runaway success throughout Europe in the '70s, although it never managed to achieve anywhere near the same notoriety in America.

No Frosty Reception For The Stylophone

The Dubreq team recruited Rolf Harris, a popular kid's TV presenter in the UK at the time, to promote the Stylophone. The promotion was a huge success; in fact the promotion was so successful that the public thought that Rolf had invented the Stylophone.

Although the Stylophone was intended to be premiered on TV by David Frost this was changed at the last moment in favour of Rolf. A shame really, this could have equalled his now famous Nixon interview and given Hollywood executives the scope for a money spinning follow-up to the Frost/Nixon movie.

The Return of Stylophone

And now the pocket synth is back, cleverly re-engineered and upgraded to look and sound just like it did almost 40 years ago. (True marketing genius) Originally you would have had to part with 8 pounds 18 shillings and sixpence which is equivalent to £95.00 or approximately 138 US dollars in today’s money. Today you can purchase the Stylophone online for as little as £10.00 or around $15.00. So what are you waiting for... Get one today!


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I also never heard of this instrument but it was fun to listen to what it does on the YouTube video. Thanks!

    • Peter Hoggan profile image

      Peter Hoggan 9 years ago from Scotland

      Kosmo, I guess the Stylophone was a European fad that just never made it to America, a bit like Robbie Williams.

    • Peter Hoggan profile image

      Peter Hoggan 9 years ago from Scotland

      Spike, I only ever learned to play Happy Birthday and The Funeral March, slightly odd when I think about it.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 9 years ago from California

      Never heard of the Stylophone. Thanks for the intro. Not sure I wanna buy one though - guitar and conventional keyboards are much more impressive.

    • SpikeTheLobster profile image

      SpikeTheLobster 9 years ago from South Coast, UK

      LOL! That brings back memories of my youth... I must say I'm pretty impressed with the guy in the video, though: far better than the "cat being tortured" noises I made with mine!