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My Oakley modular build and ringing endorsement
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Oakley Sound Systems  
Author My Oakley modular build and ringing endorsement
tvh
Hey fellow Oakley users - Wanted to share with the forum my modular build so far: 100% Oakley modules, in 2x12U cabs, been DIYing on and off over the course of the last year. Was a lot of work but as everyone knows...very rewarding.

Mostly I want to share how fulfilling building these has been, especially that feeling when you just finish the wiring of a module which for me is the last step (not counting calibration). Feels good. I can't say enough positive things about how approachable the entire Oakley product line is. Three main benefits that sold it to me:

1 ) The documentation is incredibly thorough. Really can't stress that enough. I'm not knocking other creators out there, but haven't found any other documentation that comes close. Almost every question I had was answered either in the builder or user guides for each module. Calibration was actually quite simple for each one since it was spelled out so clearly.

2) Huge variety. I was looking for a total solution to begin with, and the range of different modules is great.

3) Excellent support. I must have spent weeks combing through old threads and I was increasingly impressed by the level of support Tony provides especially to beginners.

I also didn't want to go Eurorack, although I know that is the really popular option now...I played with various setups and had a hard time with the knobs as they are just too small. I like the healthy sized knobs in MOTM and solid thunks of the 1/4" jacks. Makes it feel more like a mad scientist, switchboard kind of thing, and just more interactive than tiny 1/8" cables.

Modules shown:
BOTTOM CAB (these all use Oakley Buss)
-3xVCO
-MidiDac
-VCO controller
-VRG (not finished but shown)
-VC ADSR

TOP CAB:
-Dual LFO
-2x Multimix
-Quad VCA
-Sample/slew
-Classic VCA
-Noise
-ADSR (1U)
-OverdriveII
-SVR
-TSL

I have a stack of PCBs for another cab and a half, mostly Oakley but also feeling confident enough to branch out now...DIY such as the MOTM CS80 filter, super sawtor, a Low pass gate, and even a Neural Agonizer. Maybe even make my own PCBs for some yusynth modules. Would like to do a sequencer one day but that's a tough one to justify given the inexpensive cost of something like a beatstep pro. Will also build some multiples at some point, and of course open to any type of module once I understand synthesis a bit more.

Cabinets are curly maple and sapele I built myself, finish is just Tried&True original blend. I do woodworking on the side so this was relatively easy. I picked 12U for size and portability. I had built a 2x24U plywood case but that was just way too huge. Figure 4 of these cabinets can be stacked if necessary and then secured via brackets in the back. Almost went with butterfly latches but didn't want to spoil the sides. Can always add them later if needed. The rails are just audio rack rails, 12U length, mounted horizontally. I didn't want to go with wood rails because of splintering with repeated use and also like the look of socket caps SlayerBadger! I found I could get tighter tolerance with the machined rails rather than wood.

Power is a Power One HBB15-1.5-AG with the OVP circuit added. There is a dizzy in each cabinet and the power connection is using speakon connectors with 12gauge wires. All main power connections are 12gauge, the module power cables are 18gauge (the pcb wiring is 22gauge). The bottom cabinet has the PSU. The 1.5 is probably overkill and I plan on repeating this setup for every 2 cabs, so each PSU is only powering 24U. Discovered a great product called WAGO wire nuts, which were better than busboards in my situation.

Panels are natural aluminum front panel express, I like the look of natural anodized aluminum, square corners, white text. I did the infills myself. Red are outputs, white are inputs. I wanted to do blue and white as I hate Ohio State but blue was too hard to read, unfortunately.

Once the VRG is finished I'll probably take a little break from this and really learn each module inside and out. Then move on to more complex modules like Discontinuity. Next project is the TM3030!

Pictures:
daryll
Excellent looking system (bet it sounds awesome as well) , what are the pipes for in pic 4................
JohnLRice
Great job tvh! w00t thumbs up
tvh
Thanks! The pipes are a lamp I made awhile back and coincidentally happened to fit great on top:
drip.feed
Truly, truly inspirational. we're not worthy A full Oakley system is a long term DIY goal of mine. Some sweet day... Dead Banana
drip.feed
How about a few videos of it in action..? SlayerBadger!
drip.feed
Did you use paint sticks for the in-fill?

What about the circles around the jacks? Are those coloured washers?
tvh
drip.feed wrote:
Truly, truly inspirational.

thank you Guinness ftw! Hope to have some videos at some point..kind of still learning.

drip.feed wrote:
Did you use paint sticks for the in-fill?



Yes but only for the white. I found it on amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002BY8HKS Was kind of tricky for me and would sometimes regret cheaping out on the infill cost. Hard not to leave a small white stain even with acetone right after. Kept at it tho. They make a red stick but it was too bright, almost pinkish, so I used a red enamel paint made for glass and applied with a toothpick. Would make a puddle over each word and just use a razor blade to shave it flush.

drip.feed wrote:
What about the circles around the jacks? Are those coloured washers?


Yes - spray-primed then spray-painted. Liked the idea of colored jacks but wanted to keep it simple.
drip.feed
Marvellous. we're not worthy
Synthbuilder
Thank you for all the great comments. And that is a beautiful system. I really must get my 'natural' finished modules in a decent wooden case.

Tony
Leverkusen
Wow, this is beautiful. A great natural case build and I especially like how the color coding of the jack (good idea) fits with the panel finish- red, white and silver looks great together!

applause we're not worthy applause we're not worthy
tvh
Anytime Tony. Thank you. It's a great system, like I said.

Glad you like it Leverkusen! Rockin' Banana!
Flareless
Sorry I'm late to the party but I'd also like to chime in on how great Oakley products are! Tony's boards were my first 5U builds after getting my first Dotcom system and I've added 11 of his modules to my system (21.5% of my rig).

I've also built quite a few Oakley modules for others.

The PCBs are very high quality and extremely clearly laid out. Each module's documentation is also very well done and his Construction and Parts guides are must-reads for any DIYer.

Best yet is the completed modules are fantastic and offer huge features for your system. Whether they are sound generating / altering modules like the VCO or Deep Equinoxe or utility modules like the Multimix every one of them finds a welcome place in my modular.

And I'm not done adding Oakley modules yet! There are so many to chose from.

As a DIY guy I really appreciate the excellent support available Oakley products here on the MW Oakley forum. Having Tony on patrol here quickly answering questions is a real bonus!

So thanks Tony for bringing so much to the modular community! I can't recommend your products more highly. thumbs up
Synthbuilder
Flareless wrote:
So thanks Tony for bringing so much to the modular community! I can't recommend your products more highly. thumbs up


Thank you for your very kind comments. I am always happy to hear that people enjoy making and using my designs.

Tony
Paradigm X
Another +1 from me, still super impressed with every oakley module ive got, latest ive got is a krisp1 croglin, which is fantastic, so different sounding to any other analogue filters ive ever used, almost like the blofeld in places, cold-ish, almost vocal, other non-descriptive words.

and i built another psu which worked first time zero fuss (well apart from drilling all the holes).

everything either sounds amazing or is super clever and useful, eg the mixer can also be used as attenuverters, vca also mixers etc.

and yeah the docs, pcb layout and parts acquisition are all superb. im going to sell a ton of non-oakley backlog and just focus on that.

next up is the vco, need to do all the little mta cables then test it. fingers crossed...

cheers
Eric the Red
Damn. What a beautiful build.
tvh
Thanks for the kind words. It's been a journey - I have a few more modules built now and need to start on a third case! Guinness ftw!
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