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What's the best sounding VCA out there in 5U
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> 5U Format Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next [all]
Author What's the best sounding VCA out there in 5U
sunsinger
I have to invest in several VCA modules in the near future. I've been looking at the some from Modcan, MOTM & STG. I already have two of the Q108s from DotCom.

The DotCom seem have a bit of a slow response to me. So what is the best built and best sounding VCA out there? sad neutral smile grin
zerosum
I haven't noticed any noise with the dotcom Q108 VCA, but maybe because I make too much noise already before hitting the VCA hihi seriously, i just don't get it

I have no experience with the STG Signal Amplifiers, but that is what I would recommend to you for your system because you need a LOT MORE VCA's in your setup and the STG offerings would get you the most VCA's for less money.
http://stgsoundlabs.com/products/signal_amplifiers_mu.htm

You can get 6 STG VCA's(2 signal amp modules) for what 4 of the modcan's(the quad VCA module) would cost.

I know its silly for me to recommend something I haven't heard, but I am sure others will chime in..
consumed
both the motm and modcan VCAS are top notch. you will be happy with either.
emdot_ambient
What about the Oakley triple VCA? http://www.oakleysound.co.uk/vca.htm

Any opinions on that?
essex sound lab
I can't speak to the Modcan or the MOTM VCAs, but I found the sound of STG's signal amplifier to be so wonderful that I emailed him raving about it once I finally powered it up.

Thanks for reminding me to buy more! hihi
sunsinger
essex sound lab wrote:
I can't speak to the Modcan or the MOTM VCAs, but I found the sound of STG's signal amplifier to be so wonderful that I emailed him raving about it once I finally powered it up.

Thanks for reminding me to buy more! hihi


That sounds like a good recommendation, I like STG's other stuff, have almost everything except a couple of filters and a VCA. Do you have any other VCA's in your setup to compare them to? Without needing to say what the cons are of the others, if there are any.

Zerosum also makes good points about STG VCA's.
doctorvague
emdot_ambient wrote:
What about the Oakley triple VCA? http://www.oakleysound.co.uk/vca.htm

Any opinions on that?


Yeah, same question here.
krelnarb
Great thread!

I don't have any VCAs in my 5U rig and was looking at the OMS Triple VCA. I also plan on getting the CGS27 but that VCA probably doesn't apply to this topic.

Carry on.
essex sound lab
sunsinger wrote:

That sounds like a good recommendation, I like STG's other stuff, have almost everything except a couple of filters and a VCA. Do you have any other VCA's in your setup to compare them to? Without needing to say what the cons are of the others, if there are any.


Sure, my other VCAs are Dotcoms...which I never really thought sounded bad. But when I patched in STG's there was a noticeable increase in sound quality. The word that came to mind at the time was "fluid"...not unlike a British integrated amp (I have an ARCAM at home...it made me think of it, which I consider to be high praise in affordable electronics).
doctorvague
essex sound lab wrote:

Sure, my other VCAs are Dotcoms...which I never really thought sounded bad. But when I patched in STG's there was a noticeable increase in sound quality. The word that came to mind at the time was "fluid"...not unlike a British integrated amp (I have an ARCAM at home...it made me think of it, which I consider to be high praise in affordable electronics).


Well, shit. Now I gots to has me one o' them STG things. See there. I tell ya what. This muffwiggler place - it just makes ya wanna buy stuff. It truly does.
sunsinger
razz 8_)
essex sound lab wrote:
sunsinger wrote:

That sounds like a good recommendation, I like STG's other stuff, have almost everything except a couple of filters and a VCA. Do you have any other VCA's in your setup to compare them to? Without needing to say what the cons are of the others, if there are any.


Sure, my other VCAs are Dotcoms...which I never really thought sounded bad. But when I patched in STG's there was a noticeable increase in sound quality. The word that came to mind at the time was "fluid"...not unlike a British integrated amp (I have an ARCAM at home...it made me think of it, which I consider to be high praise in affordable electronics).


Very nice Essex! I like those kinds of adjectives. 8_)
nerdware
I have an Oakley ADSR&VCA module which I use for the main output. I don't have anything to compare it with yet, except the direct output, but it sounds great to me. No problem at all with the quality.

Nobody has mentioned the response issue yet, so I'll do it now. I'd like a VCA that gives me choice between linear and non-linear responses, like the Q108 or STG modules.

The Oakley Triple VCA also looks useful. The build guide says the gain pot can go up to +15V...Would that give a X3 gain? Even X2 would impress me - I'm used to VCAs that only go up to unity. It would be wonderful to have an amp that really does amplify!
Peake
Probably the Modcan, although they all appear to have a slight gloss/Class A timbre. LOTS of dynamic range.

If the Wiard Mixolator is released in Euro, grab them and put the PCBs behind 5U faceplates = game over.
bwhittington
essex sound lab wrote:

Sure, my other VCAs are Dotcoms...which I never really thought sounded bad. But when I patched in STG's there was a noticeable increase in sound quality. The word that came to mind at the time was "fluid"...not unlike a British integrated amp (I have an ARCAM at home...it made me think of it, which I consider to be high praise in affordable electronics).


woah I think Eric might see a spike in orders for these all of a sudden!

Cheers,
Brian
sunsinger
bwhittington wrote:
essex sound lab wrote:

Sure, my other VCAs are Dotcoms...which I never really thought sounded bad. But when I patched in STG's there was a noticeable increase in sound quality. The word that came to mind at the time was "fluid"...not unlike a British integrated amp (I have an ARCAM at home...it made me think of it, which I consider to be high praise in affordable electronics).


woah I think Eric might see a spike in orders for these all of a sudden!

Cheers,
Brian


Yeah Brian, I think so... I just ordered one of mine from STG. In a week I'll get the other. I think it's settled for me. Guinness ftw!
sunsinger
Peake wrote:
Probably the Modcan, although they all appear to have a slight gloss/Class A timbre. LOTS of dynamic range.


Yeah, more of those informative adjectives again. Class A timbre... I like that... Good info.
love

Right now cost is a factor for me, but I also want quality! I think that package is definitely STG for me. thumbs up
NV
emdot_ambient wrote:
What about the Oakley triple VCA? http://www.oakleysound.co.uk/vca.htm

Any opinions on that?


I built an Oakley Triple VCA about ten months ago and have found them to be very solid amplifiers. It does exactly what a basic VCA should and has three of them in a 2U space. The quality of the amplifiers are as good as you would ever need them to be - Tony used a somewhat unique design and also provides the ability to trim the VCAs to work well with extremely fast envelopes by minimizing the "clicking" that many VCAs are subject to. They are also capable of amplifying to about 2x gain via CV use, to address nerdware's question.

If you build it yourself the Triple VCA is quite affordable given the quality, although they are still a solid price even if you buy them pre-built from krisp1.
Luka
does Class A timbre mean tube-esq timbre?
in respect to Class A amplifier apposed to Class AB
dude
the thing about the modcan quad is the ac/dc switch per channel as well as the normaling of all outs (when not otherwise used) to channel4 for mixer use. it is best bang for buck in terms of those functions but one may not want those functions. i found the oakley 3vca to be limited in function compared to modcan 4vca. haven't used the stg amps. i know i like my ac/dc switches though. really makes a difference.
fadeddata
I suspect most modular synth VCA's are Class A in their design. An amplifier class refers to how the waveform is used to increase the amplification. Class A uses 100% of the waveform. Class B use 50% (180 degrees phase) of the waveform and adds them together. Class AB is a mix of A & B. Class D is used in "digital" amplifiers that chop the wave up. It's not really a qualitative term, a Class A amplifier could sound "worse" than a Class D amplifier.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_amplifier
SynthBaron
VCA's aren't amplifiers, they are attenuators.
fadeddata
Good point...looking at a simple VCA like Thomas Henry's VCA-1 shows this as there is no feedback path for amplification. Are there other uses of the Class A/AB/D nomenclature regarding a VCA(ttenuator)?
NV
SynthBaron wrote:
VCA's aren't amplifiers, they are attenuators.


Many are only attenuators, but some VCA designs do provide amplification as well.
suitandtieguy
Mr Essex is very kind with his praise of the Signal Amplifiers.

something i'm curious about is which cells are you using?

i find myself using the linear cell more than the log cells, but that's because the Ray Wilson EGs i have in my own system just seem to react better to linear VCAs.
sunsinger
dude wrote:
the thing about the modcan quad is the ac/dc switch per channel as well as the normaling of all outs (when not otherwise used) to channel4 for mixer use. it is best bang for buck in terms of those functions but one may not want those functions. i found the oakley 3vca to be limited in function compared to modcan 4vca. haven't used the stg amps. i know i like my ac/dc switches though. really makes a difference.


Yeah, I've been eyeing the Modcan 4 VCA for quite a while now. I like Bruce Duncan's work very much. I do want to add one of those. They really look very functional with lot's of options.
I like that they have gain and control level for each VCA.

I am not quite finished building this instrument yet, so 4 more VCA's will fit nicely. At another time... 8_)
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