The mature Synclavier was a modular, component-based system that included facilities for FM-based synthesis, digital sampling, hard-disk recording, and sophisticated computer-based sound editing. By the late 1980s, complete Synclavier systems were selling for upwards of $100,000, to famous musicians such as Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder (who played his on an episode of The Cosby Show), and to major studios the world over. The Synclavier was also employed by experimental musicians, such as Laurie Anderson, who used it extensively in her music.
Unfortunately for New England Digital, the Synclavier became a victim of market saturation, high prices, and the rapidly increasing capabilities of personal computers, MIDI-enabled synthesizers and low-cost digital samplerss. In the span of two years, the company saw enormous sales evaporate, and in 1992 they closed their doors forever. Parts of the company were purchased by Fostex, which used the technical knowledge to build several hard-disk recording systems in the 1990s. Simultaneously, a group of ex-employees and product owners collaborated to form The Synclavier Company, primarily as maintenance organization for existing customers, but with an eye to adapting Synclavier software to personal computer equipment. Both ventures are now defunct.