Behringer System 55

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KSS
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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Wed May 13, 2020 6:40 pm

ishi wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 9:46 am
Absolutely analog. Will post photos of PCB later.
:tu:
I recalibrated my Mos-Lab EG's with help of the Moog System 55 service manual. Too bad on one of them the trimmer doesn't get the base output level to 0V anymore, which results in distorted envelopes. Hope I can get it right somehow.
Seb would be responsive to that, I'm sure. That's important feedback for him. If he's too busy working with Behringer right now, :hmm: we could probably work it out. But Seb should get first shot, IMO.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by ishi » Wed May 13, 2020 10:53 pm

Here are some photos of vca, mixer & filters.

http://sonectron.nl/?page_id=23

I will add more later. Let me know if you want something specific. I will also try to get some better lighting, to optimise readability of SMD markings.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Wed May 13, 2020 11:55 pm

Fan-freakin-tastic! Thank you for doing this.

Looking forward to more, when and as they come.
Let me know if you want something specific.
923 panel is missing. ;)

Side view if at least one assembled module?
Rear of PCB for at least one if they're all typicaly the same.

Last two just to get a sense of B's way of doing these

And because your photos skills =+!, maybe a top-front view of one or more with panel in place to show the general tolerance of holes to jacks, and such.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by Ebotronix » Thu May 14, 2020 1:19 am

KSS wrote:
Wed May 13, 2020 6:32 pm
Portamento-glide is a function of the 95x keyboards.

Outside of moog-based answers are many different slew modules which would take the place of the keyboard function. Everything from simple slews to more complicated versions like DUSG and MATHS.
the 95x keyboard also does the quantization?

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Thu May 14, 2020 2:19 am

Ebotronix wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 1:19 am
the 95x keyboard also does the quantization?
It's a CV/gate keyboard. Notes as CV. Is that what you mean by quantization?
"It's" being three different models. Early, single voice, and the dual voice which used ARPs patent and is why there was no lawsuit when ARP used the ladder filter in the 2500 and 2600.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by Ebotronix » Thu May 14, 2020 2:43 am

@ KSS
ok,I understand.
If B. doesn't build a 95X ,there is no quantization and no portamento in their System 55.

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ishi
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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by ishi » Thu May 14, 2020 2:08 pm

I added photos from most angles for the 911 VCA. Also the existing photos can now be viewed in full resolution.

I will add the 923 panel when the replacement arrives from Thomann.

http://sonectron.nl/?page_id=23

On a side note: just received notice that the first "Behringer System 100m"-modules will be arriving tomorrow (130 & 173).

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Thu May 14, 2020 6:03 pm

ishi wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 2:08 pm
I added photos from most angles for the 911 VCA EG.
edit: ^^
Either of the last two words is a typo. 911=EG, 902=VCA
Also the existing photos can now be viewed in full resolution.
:tu:
I will add the 923 panel when the replacement arrives from Thomann.
What was wrong with the original?
-----------------------

Does the 902 VCA panel really only attach using the single pot nut, with position located by the jack holes?
If yes, do you notice any bending-flex when patching? Looks like they're super sturdy!

This is the reason I wanted side view. To see if there were rear mounted blind studs to match the PCB holes. PCB holes a 'waste' of money if they're not used. But wonderful for someone wanting to re-panel into another format. Like MU, maybe? ;)
----------------------
On a side note: just received notice that the first "Behringer System 100m"-modules will be arriving tomorrow (130 & 173).
Hoping these are decent clones.

Wouldn't mind photos of these also. Unlike Doepfer, Behringer doesn't seem to find this necessary.

Again, a HUGE thank you for the work and attention to detail you're giving us. :yay:

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Thu May 14, 2020 6:25 pm

911 pics confirm at least mechanically, Behringer deserves full credit. These are solid modules. Only question points would be the "Sancon" cap quality and the quality of the trims.

Pretty sure they're using automated Test and calibration.

Could maybe complain about the lack of nuts on the pots, but that's not really a fair concern.

Bottom line, this is an impressive offering. Regardless of price. And of course they got that right too. Hard to be a justified hater based on the product seen here. Other reasons can still be valid, while the current product is well made.

Now it comes down to how they sound. Outside of the B-FFB, I expect they'll be pretty good if not excellent.

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ishi
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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by ishi » Thu May 14, 2020 6:31 pm

KSS wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 6:03 pm
Either of the last two words is a typo. 911=EG, 902=VCA
Yep, typo. EG.
What was wrong with the original?
See my earlier post: viewtopic.php?p=3256307#p3256307
Does the 902 VCA panel really only attach .. Looks like they're super sturdy!
PCB attached by 5 blind studs. Not by pots or jacks as you normally see in DIY. Very sturdy, no flex at all.
someone wanting to re-panel into another format. Like MU, maybe? ;)
That's my original plan. But I must say the smaller format has it's charm.. Have to think it over. Still having a huge SDIY backlog.. ;)
Hoping these are decent clones.
Very curious myself. I've got the Roland/Malekko ones to compare them with.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Thu May 14, 2020 7:23 pm

Looking at the full size picturess, have a few comments. Still pretty damn impressive overall.

The lack of some type of coating on the exposed traces is a concern. HASL, ENiG, Tin, or conformal; 'something' to prevent long-term copper oxidation.
At the price, it's an obvious place to save a few cents. But it matters more since it affects the next two points.

The TH parts -pots and trims- are not soldered well. The pots are going to be subjected to lateral and axial stresses in use and the lack of nut on the bushing means the only support is the solder, and the fit between the panel and pot bushing. I don't really fault the lack of pot nut by itself. it's a proper choice for visual and cost reasons. But it makes the soldering quality more important. And Behringer have not done that well here.

Worse, under the Elcaps is -assumed- bare copper too. With the capacitor vent sitting just above this bare copper, it is a definite lifetime and quality concern. Can't actually see the soldering under these electrolytics, so have to asume it's in line with the visible pads of trims and pots.

The biggest unknown left in the Behringer line is how the jacks will hold up. The soldering issues above surely apply for them too. I want to believe Uli knows this is really important and the metal parts of the jacks are up to the task expected of them. So far have not seen reports of jack problems. Hope this remains true.

Blind PEM-style standoffs is a great thing to see! Well done, Behringer.

I'm also a fan of the round module mounting holes. The overly long obrounds seen in many modern euro modules is an ugly and unnecessary weakness. An over-reaction to first the slop of cases with nutstrips, and also a mostly failed attempt to deal with the 3U early days big problem of integrating AS with Doepfer, due to different mounting hole spacing.

The pots having threaded bushings is friendly to re-panels of these modules for other formats. Hope behringer does not change to unthreaded bushings, even though that could save them a few cents with zero downgrade in their own module performance. As long as they don't go to unbushed, which would be a downgrade in use.

For the SDIY person, these 'problems' or 'nitpicks' will be easily corrected. Better if Behringer did that themselves. Though I don't expect they'll be using Nichicon Elcaps anytime soon. I'm not familiar with 'Sancon', and those may not be so bad anyways. I'd keep an eye on them.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by DMR » Thu May 14, 2020 10:52 pm

I'm curious why mounting the panels via standoffs is preferable from a stability / quality perspective to mounting via jack and/or pot nuts as is common in Eurorack? My first thought was that it was just done to save on the time / cost of attaching the nuts. I have heard of jacks going bad on the Behrinrger Model D, particularly the switching contact failing to connect for normalled connections, but I'm not sure if the same jacks are used here.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Fri May 15, 2020 12:25 am

Mounting the PCB to standoffs fixes the relationship between the two with metal that doesn't melt, crack or shift through cold-flow due to vibration.

Not using pot-jack nuts is definitely used here for cost-time savings. But the advantage of having the standoffs cannot be dismissed. They set up a dual beam structure, which will be very stiff.

Mounting the pcb or pcb stack using pot and jack nuts as is done in eurorack is not necessarily bad, but the best examples will also have standoffs between the panel and PCB. Like the euro Klee sequencer. This is true for all electronics, not just synths and audio. But it's a 'rukle' that's broken all the time. Often it works well enough, and long enough.

Ultimately what you want to avoid is any stress on solder joints.

In a typical euro module with pot and jack nuts, only inertial forces will be present to create joint stress. It's pretty good, except when a module's being pushed around before and during installation, or if bumped in a Happy Ending style mounting where there's no rear protection. Or more importantly, if a case is being gigged and does lots of traveling with resultant vibration.

Whether this 'nutted' construction ends up being better or worse than the B55 style is going to depend on tolerances and looking at the forces in each individual case. I wouldn't say one is better than the other. Except the issue already raised -in the last message- about the solder joints of the pots and jacks on the B55 if the holes are loose and the space between the PCB and panel do not 'clamp' the jacks solidly along their axial direction between the panel and PCB.

Once you lose the pot nuts and change to the tall trimmer plastic shaft unbushed 9mm pots of modern euro rack -or any unbushed pots with regular knobs, the B55 is definitely in the lead. Except that its jacks may still have issues as described just above.

If the Behringer jacks prove to be non long-lasting, and if Behringer doesn't somehow supply them for replacement in a general way with easy availability, then the Behringer products including these B55's are going to lose value and utility unnecessarily. That would be unfortunate, but is exactly the kind of thing that the so-called B-haterz get right. Because Behringer would have to care about it, and we have evidence they don't.

Having a great warranty program does little if getting prompt and appropriate action on that warranty is hard to achieve.

The actual case you've shared -that it is the normals which are reported going bad- is exactly what I'd expect if Behringer cut the wrong corners in its jack design and materials choice. They should have learned since we've already had two 3.5mm jack examples with two different companies, widely separated in years.
The first being the normals of the cliff jacks Doepfer originally used, which were finally updated and are no longer a problem. But Doepfer still has to deal with the repercussions of those all these years later. It's not a problem anymore, but those who went through it are just enough in number and old text never dies on the internet. Some people still bring it up WRT Doepfer, and that's a problem. The second company with bad normals in jacks used for Euro wasn't a module builder, but a jack mfr. They used a poor material in their PJ301's and the jacks started failing in use. Fortunately they updated the design and material quickly enough that it's mostly forgotten now.

Hopefully Behringer is already in the midst of doing the same -updating the dimensions and material of its jack contacts if your report is anything other than a rare edge case. I do believe Behringer are using the same jack across their recent lineup of synths and modules. Based on photos.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by ishi » Fri May 15, 2020 6:39 am

KSS wrote:
Thu May 14, 2020 6:03 pm
Wouldn't mind photos of these also. Unlike Doepfer, Behringer doesn't seem to find this necessary.
Here are some photos of the first two "Behringer System 100" modules: 130 en 173.

http://sonectron.nl/?page_id=93

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Sat May 16, 2020 1:03 am

Thank you again for the new photos. There is some real genius in some of the choices Behringer have made. The offset of two pads in their jacks being a good example. Compared to other 3.5mm jacks -like switchcraft tini-jax and quingpu's PJ301's with non-offset pads, it's a total win. Dual sided loading on SMD is another.

On the other hand, these again show poor soldering of TH parts. But again made much worse by the lack of protection to the exposed bare copper. This is not something a buyer-user can easily correct themselves. And that's truly sad.

Uli Behringer, Please do us -and yourself- a favor and fix this. Your modules are so, so, so close to being really, really good. But this is something you could easily and inexpensively do to really up the quality of your output. If you truly desire synthdom legacy -and care about yur customers, not just your bottom line profits, fix this glaring mistake as soon as possible.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by galanter2 » Sat May 16, 2020 2:37 am

Here's my question. For many it's the most important question, but perhaps the hardest one to answer in a satisfying way to the reader.

Does this thing *sound and play like* a Moog System 55?

(Right now a mini-System 55 would look very cute in my studio. But that's not enough for me. But if it sounded like, and played like, a real Moog modular it might well go from being cute to being irresistible.)

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Sat May 16, 2020 5:04 am

galanter2 wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 2:37 am
Does this thing *sound and play like* a Moog System 55?
Can't answer the first part, but "play like" is easy. No.

The location of the consituent elements of a moog system 55 are as much part of its playability as the circuits. There's a reason CP panels were used, and the same reason is why you find their equivalent in -fomer moog employee Ron Folkman's- Polyfusion modular.

Although it's modular, the moog stock systems were rather fixed in place. That was a good thing when they were expensive and one could go from system to system across the country or world and only deal with small variations.

This starts to get 'muddy' quickly when you look for where to put the CP3's and routing switches, among other less obvious -amd maybe less important?- situational relationships.

I've been trying to sort out how to get the physicality of a 55 using these modules and I'm still working on it. Moreso since seeing the -mostly- attention to detail Behringer has done. The need to DIY patch quite bit behind the panels is a given and I can do that easy enough -since behringer has no normalled patching, and the real moogs have lots! Absent this, one is going to have quite a patchcord jungle before even beginning to patch beyond the basic starting point with a real moog.

As for the sounds like part, I'm extremely glad and hopeful that ishi is paving the way and has directconmparison with mos-lab moogclones.

Add to that his obvious talent for photos and scope shot and I'm thinking we'll finally get a realistic picture of whats good and what may be less so on the sound front.

I'm still waiting to hear if Behringer has dealt with the potential issue -pun intended- of having unprotected 911 S-trigger inputs on a synth being sold to people expecting Vtrig, and so no understanding of needed concern for damaging cross-patching. Strig is IMO a good choice. STrig without input protection -or jack-connector variation- is a very bad choice.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by SkyWriter » Sat May 16, 2020 8:43 am

I would enjoy the routing switches more if the normal'd connection were included. As it is, if you put them on the edges you can wrap your normal cable routes out of the way. But, I would rather wire them up in back and ignore the inputs in front, or exclude the modules altogether. The trunk lines would be useful too to keep cables out of the way. The 993 would also be nice.

I intend to build a big box of these, enough to do ramped delayed vibrato (with a 911A+911+902), duophonics and all the cool things you don't get on an traditional subtractive synthesis analog architectures. I know there are modules that can do it all in one - four times over even! Space saving is not a goal in this project. Then finally add physical modeling modules on it. As long as the modular sound is good - I think can make it sing. Too bad about the glitchy 923, but even that is useful. Quirks can be beautiful too.

I'm a sucker for the old modular aesthetics of east coast synthesis, with a nod toward west coast non-traditionalist sound design.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by Ceres » Sat May 16, 2020 10:48 am

Are these modules built for the lower 1.5v audio levels like the original? Just curious if the VCAs, mixers, VCF are a good fit for modern eurorack levels.
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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Sat May 16, 2020 8:11 pm

Ceres wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 10:48 am
Are these modules built for the lower 1.5v audio levels like the original? Just curious if the VCAs, mixers, VCF are a good fit for modern eurorack levels.
I don't know the answer what Behringer did, but I did address the question in an earlier post in the thread.

Summarized: Either way, it will work with Eurorack. Although the moog osc levels were low, in actual use the levels throughout were not so far from what euro expects and uses. Multiple osc's with mixed low level waveforms add up.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Sat May 16, 2020 8:14 pm

SkyWriter wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:43 am
I'm a sucker for the old modular aesthetics of east coast synthesis, with a nod toward west coast non-traditionalist sound design.
Bob himself was far more 'West coast' than generally assumed. Big fan of inputs-controllers besides keyboards too.

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by SkyWriter » Sun May 17, 2020 2:07 pm

KSS wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 8:14 pm
Bob himself was far more 'West coast' than generally assumed. Big fan of inputs-controllers besides keyboards too.
I bet all those guys would be euro-junkies today! The scene is crazy productive now. To me, synthesis is appropriate for any musical style. It literally means creation, recreation, innovation, elements rife with experimentation. It's all good.

I'm at home twisting filter knob or a applying subtle after touch to a violin sample. :-)

So, what's a good stain for pine for my case? :-)

Is it too gauche to post modulargrid plans?

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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by sneak-thief » Sun May 17, 2020 3:33 pm

@KSS - where are these exposed traces you speak of?

Everything save the pads is masked here http://sonectron.nl/?page_id=23
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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Sun May 17, 2020 11:15 pm

@sneak-thief
The component side of the pcb. Every pad for a TH part that doesn't have full solder coverage -which is most of them- is subject to oxidation, and is less capable of standing up to mechanical stresses. The latter becoming more important since the pots and jacks are not directly fastened to the panel.

Here's one pot from the CP3A showing 4 of these unprotected and inadequately soldered pads.
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Re: Behringer System 55

Post by KSS » Sun May 17, 2020 11:22 pm

The good news is that those could be touched up. The similar situation under each jack is a tougher problem to solve. Better if Behringer would do a proper soldering job in the first place.

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