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Casey Desmond with her OM27 OmnichordThe OM27 was released in 1981 and became an international overnight success as a truly portable electronic musical instrument. Released in three colours, brown, ivory and red (allegedly), the Omnichord has 27 chords grouped into three rows: major, minor and seventh. The ergonomics are much improved over the Tronichord/Portachord with the 27 tactile chord buttons located centrally.

The Sonic Strings are located just to the right and turned by 90 degrees. This made for a far more comfortable playing experience. The "Instant Off" touch pad is located at the top right hand side of the strumplate which silenced the Omnichord.

Omnichord coloursOMNIFACT: A senior staff member at Suzuki confirmed the mythological Red OM27 Omnichords were in fact real! But dont get too excited...only a handful were made for advertising and promotional purposes (1980 Tokyo Music Fair). We asked him to check in the broom cupboard and under the stairs at Suzuki HQ in case one is hiding away.

The built in speaker is located on the right of the Strumplate whilst the new control panel is on the left of the chord buttons. Like the Tronichord, only one sound is provided for the Stumplate (Harp) however, a new adjustable sustain means the instrument can be played percussively or like a stringed instrument.

The 6 new styles (rhythms) with automatic bass and chords completely opened up the Omnichord and gave Suzuki the much required extra features the Tronichord lacked and a complete marketing program was put into place that has lasted to the present day.

The OM-27 was big news and to celebrate in the United Kingdom, Sir Ian Botham became the face of the initial launch. (See Omnimedia)

  Losing its pluck

OM-27 StrumplatesAlthough the metal touch sensitive plate could be played by hand, the early version OM-27 (left) was also supplied with a special conductive Rubber Plectrum. It became apparent those with dry hands struggled to create a sound and a new touch responsive membrane strumplate design was adopted which could be played more easily. As a result the Plectrum was no longer required. One could retro fit the OM27 with the newly designed plate (right) and these models can easily be recognized by the lack of the 1" plastic moulding directly under the 'instant off' touch plate. This new design has been retained through every model since, including the QC1.


Suzuki OM27

SonicStrings Strumplate Harp Sound. 4 Octaves
Chord Buttons 27 (Major, Minor, 7th)
Rhythms Rock, Waltz, Slow Rock, Latin, Fox Trot, Swing
Controls Master Volume, Harp Volume, Harp Sustain, Chord Volume Rhythm Tempo, Rhythm Volume, Tuning
Switch Buttons Power switch (with Pilot Lamp), 6 Rhythm switches, Syncro Start/ Rhythm Start switch, Auto Bass/Manual Chord switch, Memory switch
Auxiliary Jacks AC Adapter jack, Output jack
Speaker Built in 9,2cm speaker
Body Colour Brown, Ivory, Red
Power 12V D.C. 1.5V battery x 8pcs (SIZE C, R-14) or use Suzuki Adapter (DC12V, 400mA)
Output 2W
Net Weight 1.4Kg
Dimensions 520x280x50


  • OCA Mains Adapter.
  • OCC1 Silver Padded vinyl gig bag with strap and Omnichord Logo. A zipped compartment on the outside for storage of small items (such as the Plectrum)
  • OCC2 A very fine locking hard carry case finished in brown leatherette and gold Omnichord Logo with a plush lined interior and a storage compartment for accessories such as plectrum, adapter and batteries.
  • OCS-7 Amplified Speaker
  • OCM-3 Microphone

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OM27 in case OM27 Gig Bag OM27 Patent  

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