Photos of the EMS (Cornwall) Synthi A 2011

Discussing some incredible modules that don't quite fit into the other forum categories.

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gkaya
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Post by gkaya » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:27 pm

i had a synthi A same as the 2011 pic posted and Robin Wood told me it was one he made back in 1997 i think . finally he is making them again.

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DomMorley
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Post by DomMorley » Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:08 am

gkaya wrote:i had a synthi A same as the 2011 pic posted and Robin Wood told me it was one he made back in 1997 i think . finally he is making them again.
I emailed him this week and he said he wasn't making the A.
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DomMorley
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Post by DomMorley » Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:52 am

Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that he isn't taking orders for the A anymore....
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beyourdog
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Post by beyourdog » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:31 pm

drewskee wrote:
beyourdog wrote: :
When you look at the guts of one of these machines you come to appreciate how truly complex the wiring is especially with the pin matrix. Thus its a bit hard to imagine a PCB constucted version ala an Arp Odyssey which has no patch points with sliders mounted to the circuit board...same with the MS20.

When you look at the new Macbeth with the touch keyboard and what they will cost the Synthi/VCS3 does not seem so overpriced. The Serge is closest to the level of wiring detail required...Buchla 200e and Euro falling more in the curcuit through panel approach. So it seems time/effort = $$$
I fully agree with you, still for the wiring, I was more thinking about the ARP2600 and TTSH. The 2600 being semi-modular, it has a lot of wirring inside (well packed but still), ...zhtee made a great job by putting the wirring on the PCB, then some kind of compromise could be possible i imagine. We could as well imagine the pin matrix being a button matrix and get rid of the pins...or even a touch surface...we're in 2014 after all...

Still, I fully agree to the fact, despite being VERY expensive, i would prefer getting a handmade VCS3 rather than....

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amnesia
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Post by amnesia » Mon Mar 24, 2014 1:38 am

I spoke to Robin a few days ago. A VCS3 is set you back about $6-7k and the wait list is massive.
Last edited by amnesia on Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:09 am, edited 2 times in total.

construct09
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Post by construct09 » Tue Mar 25, 2014 3:49 am

DomMorley wrote:Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that he isn't taking orders for the A anymore....
I think the spartanite cases that are left are all accounted for.

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Post by velocity » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:09 pm

construct09 wrote:
DomMorley wrote:Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that he isn't taking orders for the A anymore....
I think the spartanite cases that are left are all accounted for.
I heard he only had 40 of them, very limited supply. Is he still taking orders of VCS3's then?

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Post by DomMorley » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:27 pm

velocity wrote: Is he still taking orders of VCS3's then?
Yes. I sent my cheque off today in fact. The waiting list is "massive" though, and it'll be at least 2 years before I get to the top of that list apparently. Gives me time to save up though!
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Post by velocity » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:06 am

That'll soon pass, I think I waited 8 years for my 'A', Robin always kept in touch with annual updates! Worth the wait.

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Post by Synthoholic » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:22 am

I don't know how his list works, but I moved from #133 to #116 since September of 2013. He told me it would be a two-year wait when I joined.

He did give me a rundown on the price of mods though My apologies if this has been posted before:

EMS Cornwall wrote:Here is some information which should answer most of your immediate questions about mods:
Prestopatch socket 215.00
Oscillator stabilisation (per osc) standard on new Synthis 18.00
Oscillator Sync - variable via potentiometer(per osc) 30.00
Voltage Controlled Shape (per osc) 25.00
Hi/Lo frequency range - switchable (per osc) 25.00
Portamento/glide 45.00
Attack time extension - increased to 5 seconds 15.00
X10 Envelope Attack/Decay time multiplier 25.00
Voltage Controlled Filter Response ('Q') 40.00
10-turn pots on input channels - for easier tuning (each) 20.00
Centre-zero trapezoid - gives inverted bipolar output 30.00
Patchable Voltage Inverter 35.00
Extra Input Channel 30.00
Switchable 18/24 db per octave filter 20.00
Filter 'unslew' switchable on filter's CV input 20.00
Main signal output mute switches (per channel) 20.00
External gate input – buffered 25.00

Prices are in pounds (GBP).

The most popular modifications are Oscillator stabilisation, Oscillator sync, VC Shape, Hi/Lo switchable oscillator range, patchable inverter and switchable filter un-slew.

If you want Hi/lo frequency range fitted to the oscillators bear in mind that Osc 3 will also need stabilization and a dual-transistor upgrade. Only Osc 1 and Osc 2 are stabilised as standard on new Synthis.

VC shape is good for thickening sounds - principally through Pulse Width Modulating Osc 2's square wave (also Osc 3 if Hi/Lo has been added there). Triangle/ramp shape mod is also available simultaneously. Note that VC shape for Osc 1 will just produce a crunchy distorted sine-wave and Osc1 ramp wave is not shape-controllable. The VC shape input is created by fitting a 3.5mm jack socket to the control panel to the right of the matrix (one per oscillator) with connection made direct to the matrix by a pin-to-3.5mm jackcord.

The switchable Filter 18/24 db per octave mode and switchable Filter Unslew are both recommended and good value. Unslew allows much faster modulation of the filter from a CV and hence an extension to the range of sounds available. You may have noticed how there is a slight portamento when you use the filter as an oscillator. The CV breakthrough in the 'unslewed' position also gives a nice click for percussive sounds when using a fast CV.

The maximum attack time on a standard Synthi is only about 1.5 seconds. The attack extension mod increases this to about 4 seconds. A further dramatic increase to the attack and decay times is also available with the x10 time multiplier mod. In combination with the attack extension mod this provides a maximum attack time of about 30 seconds with decays of up to 5 minutes.

The patchable inverter is a very handy tool as it simply turns a voltage upside down. For example if you have an ascending sequence of notes and feed this into the inverter you will hear a descending scale instead. Input and output are via a single pin-to-3.5mm cord providing the function at one pin location. This function also facilitates VC panning, inverted filter sweeps and many others.

Portamento needs an additional panel potentiometer and switch normally mounted down by the joystick.

VC Filter Response allows the Filter Response (resonance) to be voltage- controlled. Connection to it is made via a pin-to-3.5mm cord.

10-turn pots make for easier adjustment of the tuning spread when using the Synthi with a MIDI/CV converter or external CV input.
If you are intending to use a MIDI/CV interface it is also important to have the buffered external gate input for triggering the Synthi envelope.

Extra input channels share the joystick rows on the matrix, so they cannot be used simultaneously with the joystick. When switched on the Joystick range pot becomes the new input channel gain control. Bear in mind you can also use special pin-ended cables to inject external signals direct into the matrix if you run out of input and output channels.

The function of the prestopatch socket these days is usually to connect a Digitana break-out box. http://www.synthi.co.uk/aksmatrix.html

This should help towards sorting out which modifications are likely to be most useful to you.

I hope this finds you well and look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Best wishes – Robin Wood

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Soundoferror
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Post by Soundoferror » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:11 pm

If anyone is considering mods don't miss the option to employ sync to ALL 3 oscillators. That is essential IMO. Push pull knobs as switches are also now available to keep things neater.

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Post by papz » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:33 pm

Yeah push-pull pots to avoid drilling holes in the panel is the best way to implement Synthi mods :tu:
It's my own idea and I'm happy and proud Robin (and some other techs...) finally decided to offer it. :yay:
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by velocity » Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:08 am

Damn... push/pull wasn't an option when I specced mine! Great idea, I might have a word with Robin and see what we can do.... Im sure I can use the existing sync switches for something else. :hihi:

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Post by papz » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:05 am

Yes, I don't know if Robin will offer the push-pull option himself (he uses to do it with extra switches for so many years :hihi: ), but if you ask him it should be ok, he's really a friendly and helpful man.

He contacted me last year to have some extra info about the push-pull pots implementation and to know where to purchase these because a customer asked him to mod his pristine A this way.

Btw, if you're located in continental Europe, I'll be happy to service your Synthi :mrgreen:
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and I'm not aware of an inexpensive Synthi secret market, please don't ask me if I know one for sale.
I don't offer support of any kind to people attempting to build clones of EMS equipment.

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Post by modularfreak » Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:28 pm

I am on the waiting list for more than 4 years now and according to Robin will have to wait nearly another 2 years (end of 2015). So expect waiting at least 5 years IF he is catching up with the waiting list faster...otherwise...maybe get a Hornet - seriously! Saying this as a Synthi A(KS) owner for 20 years.
DomMorley wrote:
velocity wrote: Is he still taking orders of VCS3's then?
Yes. I sent my cheque off today in fact. The waiting list is "massive" though, and it'll be at least 2 years before I get to the top of that list apparently. Gives me time to save up though!

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Post by beyourdog » Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:25 pm

The list will schrink significantly with the Hornet, it is a good thing for the people waiting for a Synthi. still it won't take out business from EMS, they'll never be able to cover the demand anyway...

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Post by NYMo » Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:35 pm

The difference for me is what's written on the tin...the EMS will hold its value and will always be a synth that is historically revered.
The Hornet..... ??

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Post by beyourdog » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:01 pm

NYMo wrote:The difference for me is what's written on the tin...the EMS will hold its value and will always be a synth that is historically revered.
The Hornet..... ??

Cheers
I see what you mean, but despise historical reverence, with the Hornet available as a new synth, people will be less willing to spend 12-15 grand on a used original one and will go for the clone, especially when it starts to be readily available...and when people realise it sounds the same...

Basically, vintage EMS stuff prices will drop naturally, in a year or 18 months, when/IF the Hornet gets sold and keep on pumping, vintage EMS synths will sell for under 10 grand...maybe not for an AKS...but well...
Still, that’s true people would still pay quite a bit to get one of the new VCS3, because they are wonderfuly made...but for an old Synthi, why pay 12-15 grand for a used one when you get a new one for 7....

And when used Hornets will sell for 5 grand? People won’t buy used Synthis for 12 grand anymore...

I think things will get a bit more reasonable..., taking for example the Mini MS20, they were selling for 2 grand, vintage ones now sell for what $1000, $1200? since Korg announcement on the Arp Odyssey, how many people are now trying to sell their vintage one??? Knowing they'll get more money now on their Vintage one than in a year when the new ones arrives...

We can argue MS20s and EMS synth are different, well, not really, just old fashioned pieces of electronics for which hype/rarity did bring prices high until a substitute arrived on the market...

Let's see the first people's videos of the Hornet...mechanically there will be soon a bunch of:
- Original EMS Synthi A for sell...hate to sell it, but this is the real deal from EMS, original made from cheap components found on the flea market in London, unique chance to get a piece of history :hihi: ...

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Post by phutureboy » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:13 am

beyourdog wrote:I see what you mean, but despise historical reverence, with the Hornet available as a new synth, people will be less willing to spend 12-15 grand on a used original one and will go for the clone, especially when it starts to be readily available...and when people realise it sounds the same...

Basically, vintage EMS stuff prices will drop naturally, in a year or 18 months, when/IF the Hornet gets sold and keep on pumping, vintage EMS synths will sell for under 10 grand...maybe not for an AKS...but well...
Still, that’s true people would still pay quite a bit to get one of the new VCS3, because they are wonderfuly made...but for an old Synthi, why pay 12-15 grand for a used one when you get a new one for 7....

And when used Hornets will sell for 5 grand? People won’t buy used Synthis for 12 grand anymore...

I think things will get a bit more reasonable..., taking for example the Mini MS20, they were selling for 2 grand, vintage ones now sell for what $1000, $1200? since Korg announcement on the Arp Odyssey, how many people are now trying to sell their vintage one??? Knowing they'll get more money now on their Vintage one than in a year when the new ones arrives...

We can argue MS20s and EMS synth are different, well, not really, just old fashioned pieces of electronics for which hype/rarity did bring prices high until a substitute arrived on the market...

Let's see the first people's videos of the Hornet...mechanically there will be soon a bunch of:
- Original EMS Synthi A for sell...hate to sell it, but this is the real deal from EMS, original made from cheap components found on the flea market in London, unique chance to get a piece of history :hihi: ...
I'm am always impressed by people who know what the future will be. You should go work at WallStreet you would be a millionaire :hihi:
FS: EMS Analyse Filterbank B1-II | EMS AKS | RSF Expander I & II | PEARL Syncussion SY-1 | KORG MS-20 | KORG SQ-10

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Post by beyourdog » Wed Apr 02, 2014 11:35 am

phutureboy wrote:
beyourdog wrote: :hihi: ...
I'm am always impressed by people who know what the future will be. You should go work at WallStreet you would be a millionaire :hihi:
,,,I buy a put option on a vintage synthi for 8 grand within the next 12 months... :party:

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Post by sascha.victoria » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:15 pm

beyourdog wrote:
phutureboy wrote:
beyourdog wrote: :hihi: ...
I'm am always impressed by people who know what the future will be. You should go work at WallStreet you would be a millionaire :hihi:
,,,I buy a put option on a vintage synthi for 8 grand within the next 12 months... :party:
Synthi prices fluctuate pretty drastically. I'm sure there will be more then one for $8k in the next year. There will also be more then one for $16k.
wtb: silence

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Post by amnesia » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:31 pm

If I could get a great condition Synthi today for $8k I would buy it now.

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Post by beyourdog » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:05 pm

amnesia wrote:If I could get a great condition Synthi today for $8k I would buy it now.
Tommorow you'll get a brand new Hornet for $7K...clones seems not to be a problem in the Buchla world...

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Post by analogue_mike » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:41 pm

amnesia wrote:If I could get a great condition Synthi today for $8k I would buy it now.
And if someone nutter offered cash dollar $16,000 I would sell mine in a beat heart.

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Post by skkatter » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:04 am

beyourdog wrote:
amnesia wrote:If I could get a great condition Synthi today for $8k I would buy it now.
Tommorow you'll get a brand new Hornet for $7K...clones seems not to be a problem in the Buchla world...
Beyourdog sounds like he has a horse in this race somehow. Looking forward to checking out sound samples of a Hornet when one actually gets made, which I doubt will be tomorrow.

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