Crumar, an Italian keyboard manufacturer provided less expensive synths that were constructed fairly well really in the 70's, but apparently some problems earned them a name of being 'cheap' from the rap I see. Their full polyphonic string/brass ensemble type machines experienced some success and found use with some big groups of the day. (I haven't covered some of these early units for lack of information. The 'STringman', 'Brassman', 'compac synth', 'jazzman' for instance. They made a lot of products and some were very short production runs like the DS-1 and Composer having runs probably under 200 units!) The 'Multiman' combined Electric Piano and String ensemble...sort of their niche' contribution in the development of things in 1977 I believe. Dates are so hard to find exactly on some things like this. Here is a product photo page that contains some I've never seen and seems to include all I have seen. The Crumar Museum has more but needs to be translated from google from Italian. Some of the dates stray from what I'd seen elsewhere a little bit but they sound like the most authoritative page on Crumar.
Anyway they called it quits in '87 after producing some fairly innovative analog polyphonics, just before entering the sampling market. Synthmuseum.com has a more detailed history. See also the Sound on Sound article in the spirit page.
Stringman Multiman/Orchestrator CPB-1 CPB-2 Performer DS-1/2 T series Spirit Stratus Trilogy Composer Bit One Bit 99 Bit 01