Synthi options

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search64
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Synthi options

Post by search64 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:48 am

After building an Easel and a TTSH I’m up for another saga and obsessed with building a Synthi. Especially these days...

My biggest obstacle with builds like this are the case and the panel.

What are my options here? The Cloney project seems dead, and the group buy for a panel I found here has long been closed. I found a Sussex VCS where I can get the panel files for, which fits into an Explorer case which is awesome, but I think it might need some work to finalize (double checking whether all parts fit, doesn’t seem fit for a Ghielmetti 20x20 matrix). And it would be good to do this in a groupbuy to lower startup costs. Anybody interested in trying to make this work?

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Troubleshooter
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Re: Synthi options

Post by Troubleshooter » Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:46 am

Hi,

Very interested, I could do some hobby-cnc-quality-level panel prototyping work.
Also CAD design and woodwork are my thing.

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cnicht
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Re: Synthi options

Post by cnicht » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:48 am

How about an alternative design to the the expensive matrix?

I would imagine Behringer are considering this.

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search64
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Re: Synthi options

Post by search64 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 9:13 am

I have looked into the matrix before and the problem is that with 256 pieces of anything nothing is cheap. If you instead do a digital matrix things get a little more doable but that’s not quite what I’m looking for. The interface of the Erica synth isn’t really as userfriendly for instance, although it’s a decent effort.

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LED-man
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Re: Synthi options

Post by LED-man » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:21 am

Only a ghiellmetti matrix is a very good matrix.
You have to respect the tolerance, 0,1mm is too much and you can’t easy push/pull the pins inside.
It possible to make a digital matrix, but the good electronic switches are expensive and the prototyping costs more than a ghiellmetti, it’s only an option for the mass market (100 or more)
Compared to an second hand VCS3/SynthiA is the price for a ghiellmetti Matrix ok and you have a long term product.
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cnicht
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Re: Synthi options

Post by cnicht » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:00 am

I don’t think Behringer will have a Ghielmetti matrix in their VCSX, EMS never used one from them and the engineering tolerances aren’t that tight.

The issue will be economy of scale.

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Re: Synthi options

Post by sduck » Thu Mar 19, 2020 12:21 pm

Have you looked here - http://www.phutney.com ? Derek was really helpful with getting one of these working with me. It looks like he might have PCBs available.
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search64
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Re: Synthi options

Post by search64 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:27 pm

Yeah I see he has a Spartanite copy in the works which sounds interesting, if he has a panel to go with that. Will contact him, thanks.

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Re: Synthi options

Post by PK808370 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:05 pm

Hi Search,

I actually have a set of the Phutney boards and 6 of the transistors from him that I am not planning to complete. I would let them go at 50% of cost if you’re interested. ... my backlog is already bigger than my synth :help:
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search64
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Re: Synthi options

Post by search64 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:35 am

PK808370 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:05 pm
Hi Search,

I actually have a set of the Phutney boards and 6 of the transistors from him that I am not planning to complete. I would let them go at 50% of cost if you’re interested. ... my backlog is already bigger than my synth :help:
DM’d you.

In other news: the Cloney project is indeed dead. The matrix that was developed might be sold separately in the near future, but the guy lost a lot of money on this project it seems, so it’s all a bit unsure as of now. Derek of Phutney said he’d be interested in taking in the Cloney but no idea what will happen at that front. Will keep you guys posted whenever I hear things.

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ersatzplanet
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Re: Synthi options

Post by ersatzplanet » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:11 pm

The problem of making alternate matrix designs in not really cost, but size. You can get high density 3.5mm TS jacks with plastic bodies (allowing you to use TS and not TSR) jacks in the quantities you need (256 for a 16x16) for under $100 but they do take up a large space. If you made a VCS3 style design it would work better of course. The advantage of using a standard connector is not only robustness, but if planned correctly, using TSR jacks, each crosspoint could act as a send/receive point for external gear.

To a lot of people, a cheaper matrix is the holy grail. Sooner to later somebody will come up with a solution. For me, as an ex EMS owner (two AKS and a VCS3 back in the day), this seems like my only option. Still pricy (less so without the sequencer which is like $1200) but still cheaper than used ones:
Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 10.08.45 AM.png
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Re: Synthi options

Post by beyourdog » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:28 pm

ersatzplanet wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:11 pm
The problem of making alternate matrix designs in not really cost, but size. You can get high density 3.5mm TS jacks with plastic bodies (allowing you to use TS and not TSR) jacks in the quantities you need (256 for a 16x16) for under $100 but they do take up a large space. If you made a VCS3 style design it would work better of course. The advantage of using a standard connector is not only robustness, but if planned correctly, using TSR jacks, each crosspoint could act as a send/receive point for external gear.

To a lot of people, a cheaper matrix is the holy grail. Sooner to later somebody will come up with a solution. For me, as an ex EMS owner (two AKS and a VCS3 back in the day), this seems like my only option. Still pricy (less so without the sequencer which is like $1200) but still cheaper than used ones:

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 10.08.45 AM.png
I had a Synthi amd tried this configuration too, you won’t be near the sound and ergonomics of a synthi frankly...but that’s a good thought :-)
Forget the sequencer and get 1-2 spare VCA too...so you can do stereo panning like on the synthi with the reverse trapezoid CV output...

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Re: Synthi options

Post by bsilverberg » Thu Mar 26, 2020 1:57 pm

I prototyped a switch matrix a few years ago as a drop in replacement. Worked well!
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cnicht
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Re: Synthi options

Post by cnicht » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:13 pm

256 latching push buttons? :eek:

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Re: Synthi options

Post by cnicht » Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:19 pm


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Re: Synthi options

Post by bsilverberg » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:18 pm

cnicht wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 3:13 pm
256 latching push buttons? :eek:
Yep! And coming in at a fraction of the cost for a matrix and pins. Whole solution was under $100

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cnicht
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Re: Synthi options

Post by cnicht » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:32 pm

Do you have a reference for them please?

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sanders
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Re: Synthi options

Post by sanders » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:03 pm

I wanted an authentic Synthi experience, but also felt it was too ridiculous spending $700 (or more) on a 16x16 or 20x20 ghielmetti (even though a 20x20 would make an awesome super-Synthi).

For a one-off diy build, to me it seemed the best reasonably-priced compromise was an ‘off the shelf’ 15x15 (which ended up being more like 200-300 at the time—less than half the price of others). So this just required a solution for incorporating all 16 Sources and Destinations.

What I did was make the Scope and ‘Reverb Mix’ outputs switchable from a panel toggle, and for sources, ‘Output 2’ and ‘Input ch2’ are switchable by toggle. So, I get to keep all 16 sources and destinations, and it’s only very occasional that I’d like to use both reverb mix and scope at the same time, and this only happens because I frequently use Scope as a CV/trigger output.

Since I bought and used the 15x15 matrix, I’ve come across a number of usable ghielmetti matrix on eBay, including 20x20, 16x16, 32x31, etc. with the larger ones, it’s possible to cut them down to size, and in the case of the 32x31, it’s actually 4 16x16 matrix behind one large facade. So, if you’re serious about building a synthi, waiting for an auction might be the best bet.
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search64
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Re: Synthi options

Post by search64 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:49 am

Yeah there’s a 31x31 on ebay right now, but I’m holding out for a 20x20. Your solution is very smart though. Did you make the panel yourself?

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