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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Opinions on DOTCOM Studio cabinets.
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Author Opinions on DOTCOM Studio cabinets.
Synth Con Meo
I am looking for some opinions on what people think/experiences with the .COM studio cabinets. I am contemplating just purchasing a Studio-44 and a couple of Studio-22's. That's the setup/style of cabinets I am looking for.

I do have a couple of 22's that I threw together so I at least has something to mount all the modules I have. My plan is/was to build a nice 44 and couple of 22 cabinets out of Walnut but that plan started over 2 years ago. And since I do not have my shop built yet it will probably be another 6-8 months until I even think I'll get a chance to even start them.

I think that the .COM cabinets look real nice, and I know that some deep modules can't be mounted in the bottom row of the 44 but for me I don't think that will be an issue. Currently I just have .COM modules but will eventually add other makers modules. Those can go up higher in the cabinets so I am not really worried about how deep those modules are.

I guess the biggest reason why I ask is that I do feel the cabinets are a bit pricey. I'm not saying they are not necessarily over priced but they are a bit steep. With that said, I know just to buy the materials to build my own isn't going to be cheap. And again it will probably be closer to another year if then that I can get to build them. I'm just getting a little antsy to get things setup a little nicer plus have more room so I can get a few more modules. I have a real nice used Q960 that's been sitting in a box for over a year that I haven't used since I don't have any room left with my cheap cabinets.

Sorry for the long rant. But for those who have them or have had them are they a decent cabinet? And have you really had issues without being able to mount deep modules in the bottom of the 44?

Thanks

Synth Con Meo
Dilibob
I love mine, solid wood and well made
ranix
I have the Studio-88 and it's very nice. These cases are quite heavy. Dotcom packed them well with a sacrificial plywood frame and plenty of packing material.
hsosdrum
Last year I upgraded my system from two Dotcom Portable-22 cabinets to a single Dotcom Studio-44 and have since added a Studio-22 cabinet, and I love them. Extremely well made and beautiful looking with a lacquered walnut finish.

As stated above they are indeed heavy (read: not portable) and need to be placed on a very solid desk or other surface — no rickety tables!

TOTALLY worth the money in both beauty and sheer awesomeness.
Ockeghem
Quite happy with them. I have two 44 and two 22 space cabinets. 132 spaces.
They are somewhat expensive, but well built and carefully packed. I got three of them used, which helped hold down overall costs. I have some of their portable cases too, and a box 11.
I think that as long as you keep to Dotcom and a few other MU manufacturers, they will be deep enough.
I decided that I needed to keep all MOTM and DIY modules in their own separate cabinets, not made by Dotcom, since this greatly simplifies life, and things line up correctly. It is in theory possible to combine things but in practice it is too trial-and-error. And they frequently don't fit into the 44.
Analog Craftsman and Synthcube are coming out with new MOTM case options, if you need them; or perhaps by then you can throw something together in the shop. IKEA Rast
hamildad
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful. - William Morris.

Kinda sums it up... if you have an piece of electronic equipment that brings joy even when unpowered, it will pay for itself far earlier than something that only brings you joy when being 'useful'.
Synth Con Meo
Thank you everyone for the feedback. Sound's like it's the way for me to go. So I'll probably go ahead and splurge on them, plus there are a couple modules I'll order at the same time.

thumbs up
kcd06
While the cases are well made and look nice, for me, Its a lot of money to have someone build me a glorified wood box, and more money to mail it...money better put to modules or other equipment that is not easily put together.
daveholiday
Holy shit on a shingle!! I just glanced at this thread and had never looked at the price of a dotcom cabinet! Wowzers! The price seems high to me....but I have woodworking skills and tools so I sorta get the price. Walnut is expensive, and the time it would take to make a 44 case would be substantial. A good wood finish doesn't come quickly!

So I get the price, but I am still a little shocked.
EPTC
I got one of the moog unit ones (eight space) a few years back and totally love it. The price is high but the appearance is uncanny identical to a 1960s model 15 cabinet. It just looks nicer the more it ages.

https://synthesizers.com/moogstylecabinets.html

Nice deep profile in the back for modules with excessive depth, too.
Synth Con Meo
kcd06 wrote:
While the cases are well made and look nice, for me, Its a lot of money to have someone build me a glorified wood box, and more money to mail it...money better put to modules or other equipment that is not easily put together.


Oh I completely know what you mean, that's part of the reason why I thought about building my own. But I am just not set up to do that for quite some time. Yes I could buy more modules with that $ and I know a nice cabinet won't give me any more talent and in all reality I could just put them in an apple crate. But I really want to have a nice looking setup just for my own satisfaction.



daveholiday wrote:
Holy shit on a shingle!! I just glanced at this thread and had never looked at the price of a dotcom cabinet! Wowzers! The price seems high to me....but I have woodworking skills and tools so I sorta get the price. Walnut is expensive, and the time it would take to make a 44 case would be substantial. A good wood finish doesn't come quickly!

So I get the price, but I am still a little shocked.



Yeah that was what I was getting at on my original post. Material alone will be a big chunk of the price, but I think they are getting a premium for labor and any markup. I too have quite a bit of wood working tools but after waiting 6 years to finally get the $ to build my shop it's still going to be a bit until that happens. Then on top of that I have other projects that I need to finally work on when I get my shop setup. So I think I still might just bite the bullet and order the cabinets.
Eric the Red
You could also work with a local woodworker to get something built of similar quality for the price.
Synth Con Meo
Eric the Red wrote:
You could also work with a local woodworker to get something built of similar quality for the price.


Yeah that's crossed my mind too, and without sounding like I am making too many excuses, I do have a lot of other things on my plate. So I don't have the time to draw up exactly how I want it plus look for a reliable woodworker. Still not out of the question, I just have to ponder it a bit.
Mark11Audio
Synth Con Meo wrote:
Eric the Red wrote:
You could also work with a local woodworker to get something built of similar quality for the price.


Yeah that's crossed my mind too, and without sounding like I am making too many excuses, I do have a lot of other things on my plate. So I don't have the time to draw up exactly how I want it plus look for a reliable woodworker. Still not out of the question, I just have to ponder it a bit.


Many moons ago, these cabinets were priced quite a bit less, and I had my first batch then... I "did" drive and pick up a whole bunch of them once to save on shipping, but that was just because I was passing through the area... just good luck timing.

I received my QCS-44 yesterday and just like others have mentioned, packed like a coffin... tons of bags filled with the popcorn peanuts, and the cabinet itself was wrapped in paper, then 3-4 layers of bubble wrap, and the box itself had a top and bottom wood panel to keep it all in tact... I mean, I get why they charge you the extra $50.00 for packing.

The painful part is the $250.00 UPS charge... and I think that's why I picked up my last batch of [3] QCS-22 Cabinets, to save on that charge... I mean $250.00 buys me another module !!!

But yeah, the walnut quality is really gorgeous, and it's why I went back to that direction. It has that "Classic Look" and feel to it. I too am a little bummed about the lower row not being able to accommodate deeper modules, but I just had to get more creative with modular grid... and find modules that will work in the lower part... so here's my latest design idea's...

It will be based around the Synth-Werk 901A/BBB and 921A/BBB Osc's. / 904A Filters, 911 and 902... Synthesizers.com upper cabinet / Moon Modular 590 Series custom switching system for Gates and C/V // and STG Soundlabs stuff...

I took advantage of Roger's sale a few weeks ago, and bought an entire upper row of 960's and 962's in the QCS-22... and here's the current picture... I just have [1] more QCS-22 to buy, and then I am hoping to STOP !!! LOL, I did say "Hope."

Cheers, Mark



and the design from Modulargrid.net

hamildad
Lovely set up but what sort of Monster puts the sidecar to the left of the main unit????

hmmm.....
XXXEsq
I have a 44 with three 22s on top (110 spaces total).
The build quality and finish are excellent. Yes they are a bit pricey, and shipping is a PITA, but Roger stands behind them.
Also, remember that building your own is more than just cost of materials. Your time has value. (Research "opportunity cost")
I suppose paying a good local woodworker would be an option, especially if you wanted something custom sized. But I suspect those would be pricey as well.
hamildad
I got some quotes from a local woodworker to make a case more because I wanted to ‘think global, act local’ and give my money to a local business.

Overall it wasn’t cheaper than a well known wooden case maker known on muffs, who had both experience in 5U and good recommendations.

But as the local person had no experience of 5U rails,mounting and PSU access. It would have been down to me to prepare a perfect brief. Any problems would have been due to his inexperience with this or my errors.

It was a big risk to take with no cost saving, the cost saving is only if you can source the wood cheaply/ use MDF/ do it yourself.

DIY is only cheaper if have the tools, the skills, the space and the time. If you don’t have one of these, then probably better to go with the experts.

And as I said upthread, a beautiful case will give you joy just by looking at it. You’ll forget about that module you had to wait 3 extra months to buy and years down the line, you’ll still enjoy the case.

Compare that to a rushed job you did yourself or a 90% perfect job you paid a cabinet maker to make and see what you see as an investment.

(I also offset the cost of a nice wooden case by buying used modules from the good people of this forum, so I got the nice case and the modules I wanted!)

nanners
fac
Three and a half years ago, I became tired of the ugly 22U rack that was housing half of my MU system and decided to hire a local guy to make a 44-space cabinet similar to Roger's. I love Roger's work but import taxes on wood furniture are quite high and prohibitive.

I gave the guy some basic specs from the dotcom website and gave him a blank panel so he could "test" the measures. I don't quite remember how long it took him or how much it cost, but it was very cheap (I think in the vicinity of $200) and the cabinet was very well built and up to spec, meaning that modules fit just perfectly. Only thing is I asked for the cabinet to be 22 spaces wide, and the guy made it 24 spaces wide (48 spaces in total), which was actually perfect. Dude even made a removable back panel for a power module.

I had to mount the PS myself, but that was pretty easy. He used wood rails for mounting the modules, so constantly mounting and dismounting is probably not a good idea, but I rarely reorganize my modules and have never sold one.

Here are some pictures. I couldn't be happier with the result.





Esample9
Far be it from me to take issue with anyone elses’s experience, but here’s mine. I have a friend with a woodworking shop. He built a couple of very nice maple tables for me. He tells me that furniture-quality walnut has become very expensive. So I purchased two dot com cabinets, a 44 and a 22. As others have said, they are well constructed and shipped in unbelievably sturdy cartons. Worth every penny to me. They have the classic look and the fit and finish is Impeccable. And, did I mention their customer service?
hsosdrum
fac wrote:
Three and a half years ago, I became tired of the ugly 22U rack that was housing half of my MU system and decided to hire a local guy to make a 44-space cabinet similar to Roger's. I love Roger's work but import taxes on wood furniture are quite high and prohibitive.

I gave the guy some basic specs from the dotcom website and gave him a blank panel so he could "test" the measures. I don't quite remember how long it took him or how much it cost, but it was very cheap (I think in the vicinity of $200) and the cabinet was very well built and up to spec, meaning that modules fit just perfectly. Only thing is I asked for the cabinet to be 22 spaces wide, and the guy made it 24 spaces wide (48 spaces in total), which was actually perfect. Dude even made a removable back panel for a power module.

FYI, Moog's walnut studio cabinets were originally 24U wide, but somewhere in the early 1970s (maybe even the late 60s) they shortened them to 22U because of the unavailability of furniture-quality walnut that was long enough to produce 24U panels.

Wendy Carlos wrote about adding a cabinet to her existing (24U-wide) system after Moog had converted to 22U-width and being fortunate that they still had access to enough stock of large walnut panels to make her a 24U-wide cabinet that matched her older 24U-wide system.
Faustgeist
Last year I switched from a series of DotCom portable 22 cases to a full on Studio 110 set up.

Good folks like hsosdrum gave me pointers and I am very happy I made the change. Here are my pros and cons

1. Aesthetics. The wood looks good and the format allowed me to 'uniform' the system. Shorter cable runs, sightly less space.

2. Interface. My Portable cases stacked somewhat precariously and were all flat-faced. I wanted angled planes to work with. For these old eyes visibility is key.

3. Power unification. Instead of three power supplies - I could back the system under one transformer, eliminating potential ground loops, et all..

Are there Cons to my decision? Maybe...

A) My 5U cannot be moved around near as easily. And traveling with it would be nope.

B) The angled face of the Studio 44 can cause fit challenges with 3rd party modules. I have only encountered this 2-3 times and only during case layout tests (before attaching power and bolting in the modules.) The solution was simple to re-configure ever so slightly and all was good.

C) Cost. I am not a woodworker, and greatly admire the awesome cases made for euro and 5u. For an off the shelf option I went for it, but it wasn't cheap.

~R
Synth Con Meo
Yeah thanks for the new responses. Well I did finally order (1) 44-Studio and (2) 22-Studio cabinets plus a QPS3. Took all my modules out of my pseudo 22 MU cabinets and filled up the 44-studio. I also ordered a few more modules with the cabinets so with those and a used Q960 I pretty much filled up the other (2) 22-studios.

So that put me into more GAS mode and I ended up filling up the rest of the last 22-studio Cabinets. Then I saw a pretty much brand new 44-Stuido and 22-Studio cabinet for less in the for sale section. Darn it I could have saved some money. Oh well, but then it got me thinking that I could get the 44-Studio and do the inverted thing. Thought about it for awhile then decided maybe I'll just get the 22-Studio from the seller instead because it might start getting to tall. The seller ended up changing his plans and not sell them which I understood so it saved me from spending the $ at that time. But as time went on I started looking at more modules and the GAS was pushing me again. So I bit the bullet and ordered another 22-Studio and put a few more modules in. Now I have something that looks like Keith Emersons modular (sans the preset cabinet at the bottom) with the bottom 44-studio and (3) 22-studios on top. I am going to fill up the rest of the top one with a STG Time Suite setup.

But yeah the cabinets are really nice, and as far as the price kind of like mentioned that materials alone make up a good share of the cost. And again I wouldn’t be able to even start building my own for another year. But also as mentioned by another member the one thing I would do would be either a removable rear panel or at least somewhat hinged so I can open it up. As it is I am getting quite a bit of feedback from my Q115 Spring reverb which is in the bottom 44-Studio. So I need to get in there and experiment with the leads and placement of the tank. But it makes it hard when you have to remove a bunch of modules to get to it.
Conjure
I've really been wanting a Studio-44 case, but it's $300 to ship it. Zoinks.
hsosdrum
Conjure wrote:
I've really been wanting a Studio-44 case, but it's $300 to ship it. Zoinks.

Are you talking about 3-day shipping or similar? I bought a Studio 44 cabinet from DotCom in late 2017 and don't remember it costing anywhere near that to have it shipped from Texas to Los Angeles at DocCom's "cheapest way" option, even with their additional $50 packaging fee. I'm at work now but I'll look up my invoice when I get home tonight.
JohnLRice
Conjure wrote:
I've really been wanting a Studio-44 case, but it's $300 to ship it. Zoinks.
Another option might be the new Analog Craftsman cases, if you would be happy with all metal (solid black or white) instead of wood? hmmm..... I don't know what his prices on them are but he is just up the coast in the Boston area sort of so shipping should be inexpensive (?) or you might even be able to drive up there and pick it up yourself in a day if it's cheaper? (I'm guessing it would be a 4 to 6 hour drive each way?) See the below thread:
https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=196187



Note: I don't have one of these cases and have never seen one in person so I can't comment on them one way or another but Tony's company has been around a long time and he is good peeps to deal with! thumbs up
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