Entry 5U System

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Everett Caro
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Entry 5U System

Post by Everett Caro » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:59 am

I've been looking for an entry 5U system as I have some extra cash. Any suggestions? (Let's set the bar at $2k)
I like noise :razz:

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Ricochet » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:36 am

MOON MODULAR ;)

... but I think you are first investing in your own country
DotCom
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by KipKubin » Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:11 pm

I'd suggest building your own set of modules unless a system is out there that really ticks all the boxes for you.

Consider the following

1st - Where will you use it>. Stage or studio? - This will help with case selection.

2nd - How will you use it? Musical applications (Band) or sonic experiments and sound design? Not that you can't do both but as you start out it will guide in module purchases.

Out of 37 modules I have two I purchased new. The rest from Noisebug, Ebay, Reverb or this site. Your money will go farther this way.

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Everett Caro
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Everett Caro » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:36 pm

KipKubin wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:11 pm
I'd suggest building your own set of modules unless a system is out there that really ticks all the boxes for you.
I've actually been interested in learning about building, are there any good resources for fixing/building modules? I read a lot of manuals if that helps, and what are some good brands to look for? (feel like a noob only knowing Moog 5U systems). A kit or a DIY set would be really helpful for learning if that exists.
I like noise :razz:

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:53 pm

Everett Caro wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:59 am
I've been looking for an entry 5U system as I have some extra cash. Any suggestions? (Let's set the bar at $2k)
the only way you get anything for $2,000 is if you only buy used .com and build the case yourself. some MOTM modules are $400 each. you would have 4 modules and a power supply. there are a lot of high quality moog clones in eurorack. I owned MOTM before eurorack. moon modular is great. mos-lab is also good. I sold it off because of the size and the cost to build a complete system. mos-lab is a little harder to mix in with other 5U manufacturers because of the power supply differences but they sound amazing.

this Aion system is much cheaper.
http://www.aion-modular.com/about2.html

also this
https://ajhsynth.com/

my only complaint about the 5U .com is that the newer modules are super dense finger cram mixed with the older style more vintage correct knob layout. the .com systems I played with had a very confused user interface. also, the official power distribution is a pretty cheap solution in my opinion. for $2000 you get what you pay for. not much.
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by KipKubin » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:53 pm

Everett Caro wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:36 pm
KipKubin wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:11 pm
I'd suggest building your own set of modules unless a system is out there that really ticks all the boxes for you.
I've actually been interested in learning about building, are there any good resources for fixing/building modules? I read a lot of manuals if that helps, and what are some good brands to look for? (feel like a noob only knowing Moog 5U systems). A kit or a DIY set would be really helpful for learning if that exists.
I’m not a builder but www.synthcube.com is a good place to start.

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by dialekt » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:09 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:53 pm
mos-lab is a little harder to mix in with other 5U manufacturers because of the power supply differences but they sound amazing.
Way easier than finding a $1800 easel :ponytail:

http://www.mos-lab.com/wafx_res/Images/ ... bc6203.jpg

Image

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by spinach_pizza » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:28 pm

I personally think dotcom is a great place to start (plus they are located in your home state, so perhaps you'll save a little on shipping). They have a lot of modules/cases to mix and match. I don't personally have any issues with being confused by their layouts. They have plenty of densely-laid out and not-densely-laid-out modules.

Otherwise, with your budget, I agree that used might be your best option.

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:45 pm

dialekt wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:09 pm
EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:53 pm
mos-lab is a little harder to mix in with other 5U manufacturers because of the power supply differences but they sound amazing.
Way easier than finding a $1800 easel :ponytail:

http://www.mos-lab.com/wafx_res/Images/ ... bc6203.jpg

Image
I know about this solution but you are wasting %50 of the power as heat. 500mA moslab per rail is 1A per rail from your .com harness. If it was my personal system I would not even put them in the same case. your grounds are also super long since you put that on a .com harness. if you don't care about the noise floor or the heat or the extra power requirements then go ahead. mos-lab is expensive after you import them. .com power supplies are cheap and expensive at the same time.
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Spanningtree » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:33 pm

Welcome! I have been pondering a smaller 5U setup as well with the same price range. At this point I think I am going to with new .com versus waiting for what I want to show up on the used market. So, I ended up with the following design that comes out to around $2077.00.

1 x Q174 MIDI/CV
2 x Q106A VCOs
1 x Q167 LFO++
1 x Q150 LP VCF
2 x Q179 Envelope++
1 x Q158 VCA2++
QCB11 Box11 case
QPS4 power supply
QCB11 walnut sides

ModularGrid

While I do like some of the default systems on the .com site, many of them (okay, maybe all of them) avoid the functionally deeper modules like the ++ series in an effort to save $$. I would rather pay the extra dough now to get some additional, or doubled up functionality now versus selling a module to make space later. The case is expandable and the selection of modules give a good basic system that would be easy to expand on.

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Huba-Swift » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:15 pm

If you're thinking of going the DIY route, I'd recommend taking a look at Yusynths site http://yusynth.net/Modular/index_en.html . They are all modules made for the dotcom/MU format and are well documented. If synth DIY is something you're absolutely new to it will be a steep slope etching pcbs and sourcing parts, but it's exactly what my broke ass did when I was first getting into the format and had no money to spare, though I later found a small 16 space dotcom system for $1500 that I picked up. As others have stating buying used helps. Used bread and butter utility modules often go for very little. Building your own case and installing your own power supply will also save a lot of cost but in the case of the PSU make sure you don't hurt yourself!

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Spanningtree » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:19 pm

A 5U legend that used to frequent this site dropped me a DM indicating that these modules (VCO/VCF) are very underrated and worth a look: https://www.electro-smith.com/modular

Have fun!

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Prunesquallor » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:43 am

I can't believe no-one's mentioned Oakley in the same breath as DIY.

http://www.oakleysound.com/projects.htm
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Xero » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:23 pm

dotcom is the cheap entry stuff for sure, my system started with picking up a used dotcom 22 space portable cabinet that had a handful of modules in it....in fact - i still have said cabinet (with power supply and power module) that i might be willing to sell, as i've since upgraded to a larger custom one i built myself.

I later ended up picking up a ton of moon stuff, but I have a little bit of everything, SSL, STG, oakley, etc

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Ricochet » Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:15 pm

Xero wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:23 pm
dotcom is the cheap entry stuff for sure,

I agree with XERO, this is the only way a first step into the MU world could look like.

look for offers at all levels (muffs, FB, ....)

Do not buy hastily, do not fixate on alleged bargains


I have acquired a few dozen modules in the same way over the years


Prunesquallor wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:43 am
I can't believe no-one's mentioned Oakley in the same breath as DIY.
... and of course I am building on OAKLEY modules
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by josaka » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:57 pm

dont think 'entry level' or any of that..
just buy modules to create the sound you want.. none of it is really 'cheap' ...if you need to replace stuff you are just treading water.. I bought a .com system.. only use a few of those now.. got a whole 3 osc .com system in a box..
im a big believer in not upgrading.. :)

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by daveholiday » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:54 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:45 pm

I know about this solution but you are wasting %50 of the power as heat. 500mA moslab per rail is 1A per rail from your .com harness. If it was my personal system I would not even put them in the same case. your grounds are also super long since you put that on a .com harness. if you don't care about the noise floor or the heat or the extra power requirements then go ahead. mos-lab is expensive after you import them. .com power supplies are cheap and expensive at the same time.
This is quite an interesting bit of math....1A of each rail required to provide 500mA at a lower voltage? My calculator is broken...or they are using regulators that are so inefficient that they shouldn't even exist. I get there is a loss...but a 50% loss....I am skeptical.....but am curious.

On the same lines of power...Please show us your method of power to your 5U rig. I have been using International Power for 7 years and have found them to be quiet, reliable, and well suited to the modular environment. Never had a problem, with them so....again I am curious why they are so bad?
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:09 pm

daveholiday wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:54 pm
EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:45 pm

I know about this solution but you are wasting %50 of the power as heat. 500mA moslab per rail is 1A per rail from your .com harness. If it was my personal system I would not even put them in the same case. your grounds are also super long since you put that on a .com harness. if you don't care about the noise floor or the heat or the extra power requirements then go ahead. mos-lab is expensive after you import them. .com power supplies are cheap and expensive at the same time.
This is quite an interesting bit of math....1A of each rail required to provide 500mA at a lower voltage? My calculator is broken...or they are using regulators that are so inefficient that they shouldn't even exist. I get there is a loss...but a 50% loss....I am skeptical.....
I am getting it from graham hintons posts about linear regulators being %50 efficient. I didn't believe it either but I looked into and it is possible. it depends on many factors so it gets complicated. I did some tests in a controlled environment and I concluded that if you do have the proper conditions to prove that the efficiency is better you can prove it in the lab with specific parts but that was a lot of work just to prove a point. the truth is somewhere between %50 and %75 but you only get to %75 efficiency under perfect conditions and I proved that. if we don't know all the variables then we can assume the worst. I did also prove that you will never get better than %75 efficiency if you are feeding it with 15V DC with LM317 LM337. with 7812 you can expect it to be closer to the %50 number although I haven't tested the 7812 myself that is more of an urban legend.
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:12 pm

also, I sold my 5U stuff a while ago. I was using a power one linear supply. not a lot of modules. my eurorack is running 12v from 15v dc just like the picture. I designed my own power system from scratch so I do have some experience testing these things.
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by daveholiday » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:23 pm

I have built several power supplies to get rid of "wall warts" using the LM317. And just random testing showed they didn't need the 3 volt requirement for regulation. From what I tested at a 1A load at 12v regulated, the LM317 would still do it at 13.5v no problem. But there is always a difference in newer chips and manufacturing! But in my defense I was not measuring amp draw ahead of regulation at the 1A draw load....so It might be fun to go back and check that out!
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by daveholiday » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:32 pm

EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:12 pm
also, I sold my 5U stuff a while ago. I was using a power one linear supply. not a lot of modules. my eurorack is running 12v from 15v dc just like the picture. I designed my own power system from scratch so I do have some experience testing these things.
Oddly enough, I think Power One and International are the same thing now under Bell labs?
It is all shits and giggles,

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:46 pm

daveholiday wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:32 pm
EATyourGUITAR wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 9:12 pm
also, I sold my 5U stuff a while ago. I was using a power one linear supply. not a lot of modules. my eurorack is running 12v from 15v dc just like the picture. I designed my own power system from scratch so I do have some experience testing these things.
Oddly enough, I think Power One and International are the same thing now under Bell labs?
yes and condor. all the same thing different countries and different years, different distributors. bell labs is a different company. I think you are thinking of bel fuse.

https://www.belfuse.com/product-detail/ ... roductType
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by eljay » Wed Feb 24, 2021 8:29 am

If you are prepared to go the DIY route, and I saw that you are interested, I think you could build a very respectable Oakley 5U system for $2000. The format would be MOTM and there is a well established and complete set of modules available from the Oakley website. At a later stage if you've got the bug you could also build YuSYnth and or MFOS modules to compliment and just make sure you adhere to the Oakley power regime within a single cabinet/rack. The build documentation and support via the Oakley Forum are outstanding. One benefit of DIY, and modular in general, is that you buy and build in increments and don't necessarily need to spend your entire budget in one go. Based on my own historical costs over the last four years you could probably build the following Oakley modules for your budget :

Oscillators : 2 x S-VCO B, 1 x Dual LFO
ADSR : 1 x ADSR VCA
Filters : 1 x SVF, 1 x Discrete Ladder Filter
Midi : 1 x midiDAC
Power : PSU2 + Dizzy
Modulation : 1 x VRG or 1 x Sample Slew
VCA : 1 x Dual VCA-X

This isn't a definitive list but is my suggestion of what you might want to start with.

The above includes a DIY power supply from Oakley, this is a quality linear supply and in my experience generates no noticeable noise. It has the potential to supply roughly 20U of modules so allows for future expansion. You could put this collection of modules in a 19" rack sleeve, 10U wide by 5U high with the power supply mounted on a rear panel. Take a look at the Oakley site and the documentation provided there to stimulate your interest further.

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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by hamildad » Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:15 am

Oakly can also be bought and made as dotcom power system, so if you want to start Oakley for the standard modules and go buy some esoteric modules in dotcom format, thats also possible.
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Re: Entry 5U System

Post by Dave Peck » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:22 pm

hamildad wrote:
Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:15 am
Oakly can also be bought and made as dotcom power system, so if you want to start Oakley for the standard modules and go buy some esoteric modules in dotcom format, thats also possible.
For someone living in the States, it would be the opposite - It would be cheaper to put together a mostly-Dotcom starter system, and then go buy some esoteric modules (phasers, specialty filters, distortion, etc.) from Oakley/Krisp1 and other sources.

Dotcom modules are really inexpensive in the states compared to just about anything else. And they are also a good choice for where to get your cabinets & power supply stuff.

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