BEFACO HEXA VCA - opinions

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kires
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BEFACO HEXA VCA - opinions

Post by kires » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:25 am

When looking for hex vca there's a lot info about Intellijel's hex vcas but couldn't find much about BEFACO HEXA VCA.
I was wondering if anyone has any experience with that module?
What's the build quality, audio quality?

Any thoughts appreciated.

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:31 am

That module is not yet available. I have only one Befaco module, the older Quad VCA and it works great. I also found the support provided by Befaco to be excellent, since I needed some help building it.

Their Dual Attenuverter is in the store but I'm waiting for the Hex VCA and the new VCO to be released. Then it will be time for a big order!

Randy

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Post by euromorcego » Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:55 am

actually, it is available but maybe only during their workshops. I built one in the beginning of the year. It was one of the first modules I ever built, so the alignment of the (many) jacks is not perfect.

It is a simple to build. A lot of components of course but nothing complicated. Also no wiring. Sound quality is good (but I am easy to satisfy in this respect, i have no high-end VCA to compare). I like the offset/level regulator, it also goes into the negative (unlike for most VCAs).

Only quibble: all befaco modules are designed for banana and 3.5mm jacks. You can chose. However, banana does not allow for normalization, so the design is without any normalization. The mix channel does always have all channels. Since it is a lot of channels, a bit more flexibility here would be great.

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pauk
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Post by pauk » Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:03 am

I think it will be available soon at knobshop.es

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:03 pm

No workshops in North America yet. "Available" to me means in their store or in local retailers.

Randy

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kires
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Post by kires » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:29 pm

it looks like it's already available here: http://www.musicom.es/befaco-hexa-vca.html

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kires
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Post by kires » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:29 pm


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kires
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Post by kires » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:30 pm

I just bought one... :nana:

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Post by talfred » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:11 am

kires wrote:I just bought one... :nana:
Have you tried it yet? I guess it was a kit, was it hard to build?

I need some more vcas in my system, and this seems like a great alternative

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b-art
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Post by b-art » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:37 am

I am also very interested in this module. Seems like a very good vca/mixer combination. I would love to hear opinions about sound quality and colorization (if there is any). :hyper:

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b-art
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Post by b-art » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:47 pm

Mine (second hand) is on the way from the u.k. :D I will post my opinions when it has arrived.

I hope it will sound all distorted when pushed in the max but clean when under control, without bleed and noticeable noise...

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Post by DSC » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:00 am

...
Last edited by DSC on Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:02 am

I have one, built and in my rack. What would you like me to test? "Colourization" is a bit of a difficult test because what sounds coloured to you might not to me.

I haven't had a chance to use it too much yet. Lots of parts but fairly easy to build. Befaco makes their holes for the jacks a bit large so I've ordered a bunch of white plastic washers. I built the new attenuverter and Even VCO as well.

Randy

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knob_alchemist
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Post by knob_alchemist » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:11 pm

Interested to build one…other opinions about assembly and quality ?

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b-art
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Post by b-art » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:54 am

Hi, i have it for some time now and did some wiggling with it.
I am not really experienced with mixer vca's but this is what i have noticed about it:

1) Using the out signal of a channel doesn't break it from the mix out signal - i actually see this as a benefit since you can easily send a audio signal to another module (for example a effect without "mix out" attenuation) without "losing" the dry signal in the mix.

I mention it because i see a lot of other manufacturers advertise their mixer WILL break a signal input from the mix when a jack is inserted so maybe worth mentioning since this may not be what you want/need. For example if you want to mix 4 audio signals but use the last VCA to attenuate a VC this CV signal will be audible in your mix out.

On the other hand, if you want to mix CV signals you can still use them separately / non-mixed next to the mixed version.

2) The pots are very sensitive and the signals behave quite "competitive" (especially in exponential mode) within the mix. So for hands on mixing and changing volumes within a recording you might have problems with accurate adjusting of the volumes by manually turning the pots. Unless you are being very delicate.

3) 17 hp is a weird size, that being said it is quite a decent size for 6 vca's / mixer. You might have 1 hp left in most of your rack setups.

4) build quality feels great, knobs, jacks, the panel etc. It's all good :)

5) If you are in need of a flexible way to implement vca's (offering 2 cv in's) with a optional sum out this module is great just keep in mind the above.

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insula
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Post by insula » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:59 am

I live in madrid, at i went to many befaco workshops. I not have the 6 VCA... i have the previous one 4 ch vca.

i also build a lot of befaco modules, 2 x OSC, bf 22 filter, 2 x mixer, crush delay, joystick.

i'm really happy with all modules, and the most importatnt part, if you have any issue with the module soldering, or any issue building it... ask them, all of them are really nice people.

;)

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:04 am

I've built the new VCA, old VCA, attenuverter and Even VCO. From a sound and operational standpoint, I like all of them. The VCO is nice, PWM sounds great (better than my Z3000), so does hard sync, a very nice VCO.

Build-wise, they are not difficult to build but Befaco does have some issues with ensuring the right parts make it to the customer. Cosmetically, the panel holes are often too big or skewed slightly and the finish on the panels can be rough.

First thing you should do when you get a kit is take inventory and make sure everything is there. If not, contact Befaco immediately and they will send out whatever it is you need.

I'm more concerned with how things actually perform than with how they look so I'm not bothered too much by slight cosmetic issues. It's not that serious, once they are in the rack, they look fine. I would rather have slightly rough Befaco panels than perfect Make Noise panels.

Randy

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insula
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Post by insula » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:30 am

Randy wrote:Build-wise, they are not difficult to build but Befaco does have some issues with ensuring the right parts make it to the customer. Cosmetically, the panel holes are often too big or skewed slightly and the finish on the panels can be rough.
thats bcs the front pael is also preapared for bananas conectors.... in my case i use minijacks

;)

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:43 am

Oh right, I hadn't considered that. I bought a bunch of small white nylon washers and just put those under the nuts.

Randy

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insula
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Post by insula » Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:45 am

most of the people at befaco madrid's workshop use bananas. jack stackables cables are expensier compare to a banana cables.

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kires
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Post by kires » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:37 am

I bought it pre-build on ebay, but by look it doesn't seem to be overly complex to build. Two PCBs, pots & jack are PCB mounted so no wiring needed. Print on the panel is not the highest quality, but panel itself is sturdy, knobs & jack are good quality.

That said I found it bit 'murky' sounding (I was making comparison with A-132-4), pots were very 'unbalanced' only on second half of rotation range there was any sound audible no matter if in lin or log mode.

No way to tell if it's just a build I got or all Hexa's are like that, I assume former is the case.

It's very useful & definitely can be a good addition to some systems however sound-wise I am expecting more from VCA.

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Randy
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Post by Randy » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:44 am

Might be yours. I don't hear any difference in quality between the signal going through the VCA to my Unify or directly to the Unify.

Randy

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Post by Schanke » Mon May 23, 2016 1:23 am

Hi guys im planing to build a hexvca, but can't find information about the capacitors wich I should use. Also about the pots I don't have any information wich they should be. Do you maybe know anything?

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insula
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Post by insula » Mon May 23, 2016 3:22 am

Schanke wrote:Hi guys im planing to build a hexvca, but can't find information about the capacitors wich I should use. Also about the pots I don't have any information wich they should be. Do you maybe know anything?
i think u can find all the info need it at befaco website. u will find there build intruccion, schematics, eagles files, etc....


;)

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xenosapien
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Post by xenosapien » Mon May 23, 2016 6:08 am

Yet another module I wish there were alternative faceplates for... for some reason I just don´t like mixing black PCB faceplates with aluminium ones...

(doesn´t mean I won´t still do it - I even have Bastl modules in my rack - but it still annoys me sometimes... being a visual person sucks ^^ )

the 17 HP don´t put me off too much though..actually I need to fill a 1 HP gap created by my mutant BD ;)

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