1973 Mellotron M400 Keyboard

This is a vintage 1973 Mellotron M400 keyboard. Favored by many musical giants from the 1960s to the present, the Mellotron is the signature sound of countless hit songs. The M400 model, the iconic white Mellotron, is still quite rare. Though they were manufactured from 1970-78, there were only about 1800 made, and significantly less are still working, or even in existence. This example, #537, is a great example, as : A) it works, B) it works perfectly with no issues, and C) it is in nice intact (#s matching) condition with the original muff cover, original volume pedal and original Bulgin power cable.

Mechanically, everything in this unit is in good working order: the 3-way selector switch, Volume, Tone and Pitch control all work without any scratching, popping, noise, or intermittence, the motor runs smoothly, and the original tape rack works perfectly. The tape heads are in excellent shape, and were recently cleaned and conditioned.

As mentioned, also included are: the original muff cover, the original Bulgin power cable, and volume pedal, all of which are in perfect working condition, and look fantastic to boot.

Cosmetically, this ‘tron has lots of genuine vibe. While it’s not in perfect shape, it is in excellent condition with the usual weather-checking, faded paint and finish scuffs. There are (2) non-original holes professionally added to one side of the keyboard, which mount to an internal block which help secure the motor in place. This was added many years ago, and was a practical and pragmatic remedy for typical Mellotron motor tension issues.

As mentioned, all of the components display matching serial numbers. The ‘Tron comes with the original standard tape frame, including: Flute, Male/Female Choir, and Tangerine Dream Strings.

When they were being manufactured, Mellotron M400s keyboards carried a retail price in the area of $5,200… …in 1973, which is approximately $25,000 in 2010. Yikes. With seemingly timeless musical applications, this unique sounding keyboard with beautiful eccentricities and idiosyncratic behaviors, has yet to be accurately reproduced with even most advanced sampling technologies.

This particular ‘Tron was purchased from a long-time Mellotron collector and enthusiast. It was explained to us that it had belonged to Patrick Moraz of both Yes and The Moody Blues fame for a short time, and that it was used in a live context.