Is it a 'fun' instrument, or a versatile band accessory?
Stylophone Model 350S
The model 350S was the 'big brother' of the standard Stylophones, and although working on the same basic principal, provided a much wider range of effects and sounds. What's more, it had two styli!.
The reason is that a number of different voice and instrument affects could be used at the same time, as opposed to the single voice of the standard model. One of the most interesting aspects of the effects was the 'Photo Control' on the effects panel. This really is great fun to play with, and can give fantastic effect while playing.
Considerably larger than the standards, the 350S was a progression from a simple fun novelty to a seemingly fully fledged musical instrument. It was still basically a single note unit, despite the second stylus.
The left hand stylus was used as a 'reiteration' implement, and various effects could be made using both styli in tandem.
The main rotary volume control, located just below the 'photo control' sensor.
The sensor is just visible below the plastic window. Adequate lighting was needed to gain the full effect from this simple, but very effective device.
'Rocker' switches along the top of the 350S could be placed in three different positions to get the required voice or effect .
As well as being the perfect 'home' instrument for the all the family to enjoy, it was also marketed as a band instrument in its' own right, as some of the colour illustrations from the instruction manual suggest. How many bands that actually did incorporate the 350S can only be guessed at, but there is no doubt it could have had a place as an additional piece in certain circumstances, and given very favourable results.
Although both styli are exactly the same as seen on the smaller standards, the leads are longer to accommodate the wider keyboard of the 350S.
The familiar Stylophone logo,
Three accessory sockets on the left side the 350S case.
It's very important to note however, that what is regarded to be the totally unique sound of the pocket version will not be found on the 350s. Its' sound is quite different - although similar in keyboard layout etc - it drifts from what the 'Stylophone-Sound' and 'Rolf Harris era' is all about.
Reliability of the 350S
The other area however, is of much greater concern...
The fact is that this component can fail at any time on these 30 year-old instruments, and it is most unlikely you will be able to get the 350S repaired at your local electronic service shop. Even if it were possible, it would be a very expensive affair. These components are as rare as the proverbial rocking horse droppings, and to our knowledge, the only people who now have these IC's are the Sales Corner at stylophones.com.
Unfortunately, due to very limited numbers, they are not available for general sale. They are instead used as a standard service replacement in their own reconditioned 350S units prior to sale, as a long-term guarantee to their own customers.