Fairlight CVI or Orion system?

I just discovered the Fairlight CVI and all the feedback and paint functions it can do. It s really amazing.
i discovered at the same time that the orion series is in a way a kind of “clone” of it (it looks the same).
For those who know, is a full Orion synth (tbc2, ES and MP) capable of doing what a CVI does with that powerfull live feel ?

1 Like

There’s one major difference…

You might actually be able to find lzx Orion modules on sale

The cvi is very very rare


The LZX Orion modules are more capable than the Fairlight and easier to use. Additionally, LZX is an active company that supports the product, whereas if you have a problem with your Fairlight you’ll have to find someone willing to work on it.


Anyone experienced with or have both the CVI and its modern alternatives? Lack of support and availability aside, what are the differences, advantages of having a CVI nowdays vs the Orion etc? The interface? The look? the quirkiness? what else? Would love your input.

I think there is a fairight facebook group you might have more luck there

I have used both.
Painting within the Fairlight is more developed than the Orion modules, but the interface is certainly not convenient or responsive by today’s standards. The machine is also quite cumbersome, although the Entertainer model is more manageable/portable (if you can find one).
The preset effects/patches in the CVI are probably the best part, both because they are instantly recognizable from the great art that was created with them in the past and because they’re unique and difficult to reproduce with other gear. That said, there are not many that can’t be approximated with the Memory Palace.
Another disadvantage of the Fairlight is that you are trapped in its aesthetic. When you see something made with a CVI, you can tell. Which is great, if you want it to look like a Fairlight. Memory Palace is far more flexible for achieving diverse results.


Thank you so much! I recently got a CVI + and am trying to weigh the advantages of keeping it vs getting other, less expensive stuff that would cover most of the same bases. I also have modern synths in the system. I like the clunky response of the CVI. 55 Chevy vs Tesla.


Certainly having both CVI and Memory Palace is the way to go. Living in the future, as we are, we have the power to combine the new and the old for best results.


I’ve just stummbled across this listing on eBay, 2 months too late. I wasn’t aware of the “Entertainer” edition, the one for sale is a 1988 one, in white no less. It sold for $3500 Australian dollars apparently. @VisibleSignals , @Rik_bS , do ye guys have any idea if this ad was floating around in the video synth circle in Australia or if you know who sold or snapped it up?


I bought it for AUD$3000 (the asking price) based on an advert on Facebook, and paid in full (plus AUD$200 postage). A day later the seller messaged me to say he had seller’s regret, wanted to keep it, and refunded my money. A month later he contacted me again and asked me if I wanted to buy it for AUD$3500. I asked around, found out others had had unsatisfactory dealings with him on video gear and so I declined his offer.

Interesting to see he eventually went to eBay. There are a couple of strikes against him there too.


Ughh, it may be a small world but there’s always a awkward seller :persevere:
Cheers for the heads up @aladan, hopefully you’ll have better luck if another one ever turns up :+1:t3:
There’s a bigger one currently for sale in Germany but at 4500€. I’d almost be tempted to put in a quarter if 3 other people would do the same & we all lived in Berlin but surely a cultural institute or museum of visual arts should be buying up this kind of gear.
Does anyone know of such an institute?


CVI with expander… not a bad price on it but then again idk what they’re worth!!

Is it the same guy as before? Different unit?

There used to be a few places for this type thing in the USA but they’ve gone boots up. First ETC was around for a long while (60s?) almost till 2006?7? And then Signal Culture - which was near to ETC but has relocated to CO…I don’t believe Sherry and Ralph gave anything to SC. iIRC they sold most of it off to private collectors. I briefly traded emails with Sherry but I got the vibe that donating stuff to someone involved with the aspiration of public conservation (me) was not their angle. They seemed like it was cash out time and, fair enough…idk that Ralph was in the best health at the time & I didn’t have thousands of funds to raise to buy anything - I even tried to convince BMP where I worked at the time to buy it all and put it in their LoHo studio.

I used to have the list somewhere I feel like if I read it now I’d probably cry a little, all that stuff we probably won’t see again till the next round of collectors dies.

1 Like

Different country so definitely not the same seller. Completely different unit as well.

1 Like

BPMC was trying to sell his in June, maybe it’s gone now though

Late to the conversation but I found a CVI Entertainer last year and I’m still trying to suss out wether or not it’s working correctly. Does anyone here have experience with this particular model?

I owned one, but sold it several years ago. Could you start a new topic about debugging yours? I might be able to help.

Thanks I will do that!


1 Like

Hi! I have a CVI Compact that I turned on a year ago and was fully working (some minor details).

Here are pictures of my CVI :slight_smile:

Will make another post for it…

Hello. I don’t mind someone joining the forum to offer a rare piece of video gear, but could you please make a new topic with your for-sale offer. Please also list an asking price, if you don’t mind.

1 Like