Thoughts on Box11 sides

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Attorks
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Thoughts on Box11 sides

Post by Attorks » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:18 am

I have some reservations on the Box11 sides as offered by Synthesizers.com. I have 4 Box11 cases now and made the sides myself. You can see some pictures and details in this thread. Initially to save on costs but I also was not convinced about the format of the sides offered. If Roger would offer the sides in the format I made in tolex covered wood or oak, I would buy them instantly. I am now wondering if I should buy the DotCom ones anyway. So I would like to ask you:
- What are your experiences with the Box11 sides offered by Synthesizers.com?
- Are they steady or wobbly separate or when connecting 2 or more together?
- Are the straight sides good in use or not because they are not rectangular?
- How easy is it to connect and disconnect the stacking plates from the sides if you have to transport or move the Modular?
- Do you use them on stage?

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Tronman
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Post by Tronman » Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:34 am

I have a Box22 set up like the bottom section of the picture below and it is stable as a rock. My system doesn't move from its current location. I do like your sides and am considering something similar so I can split my Box22 into 2 Box11's and put them on top of my portable 22's.

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Re: Thoughts on Box11 sides

Post by VinceL » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:06 am

Attorks wrote:... So I would like to ask you:
- What are your experiences with the Box11 sides offered by Synthesizers.com?
- Are they steady or wobbly separate or when connecting 2 or more together?
- Are the straight sides good in use or not because they are not rectangular?
- How easy is it to connect and disconnect the stacking plates from the sides if you have to transport or move the Modular?
- Do you use them on stage?
I'm going to stick my neck out and speak for fellow Wiggler Savage. Here's a pic of his twin pillars of Box11's using the Dotcom end-panels:

Image

He has told me that they extremely stable. Maybe he will see this post and address your other questions.
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Post by kindredlost » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:43 am

Disclaimer: I don't have any of the Box11.

I would think a fast means of disconnecting the sides would be to use a handle-mounted set of screws.

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These are available in the US from McMaster.com but I'm sure they are available elsewhere as well.

The Box11 is a great looking setup. I have the portable dotcom cabs and they are not very deep. I think the Box11 suffers from the same depth restriction but maybe not quite as bad?

I like your deep cabinet sides Martin. Does this allow for any deeper of a module fit or is it still a problem?
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burnsjed
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Post by burnsjed » Tue Nov 04, 2014 12:58 pm

The sides wont make any difference on the depth limitations of the box 11, as it has a molded back even without the sides.
I did send Roger an e-mail way back requesting for a re-think, but given his modules fit, he probably thinks it will also encourage users to buy his modules and not just his box 11's.

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DJFonzi
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Post by DJFonzi » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:08 pm

The depth is the only thing that rules out Box11s for me. Too close for comfort.
So, it won't affect how many synthesizers.com modules I buy, but it does mean I won't be buying Box11s. Which is a drag, because I really like the concept.

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Attorks
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Post by Attorks » Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:50 pm

The 3" depth for modules is a drawback but also a strength. A drawback because you have to take the depth of modules you are lurking for into consideration (and the depth is sometimes not specified); a strength because the cases are very compact, light-weight and portable. I have 'other' modules from CorSynth, SSL, STG and Hordijk which all fit without problems. I ordered 2 MOS-LAB modules (904-A and KOBOL VCO) and asked Sebastien to fit the PCB behind the panel so they will fit in the cases.

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Re: Thoughts on Box11 sides

Post by Savage » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:39 pm

VinceL wrote:
Attorks wrote:... So I would like to ask you:
- What are your experiences with the Box11 sides offered by Synthesizers.com?
- Are they steady or wobbly separate or when connecting 2 or more together?
- Are the straight sides good in use or not because they are not rectangular?
- How easy is it to connect and disconnect the stacking plates from the sides if you have to transport or move the Modular?
- Do you use them on stage?
I'm going to stick my neck out and speak for fellow Wiggler Savage. Here's a pic of his twin pillars of Box11's using the Dotcom end-panels:

Image

He has told me that they extremely stable. Maybe he will see this post and address your other questions.
Vince is correct. That's my rig. And it is as steady as the Rock of Gibraltar, which is one of the reasons I nicknamed my rig the 'Pillars of Hercules'.

It's important to understand that the configuration I use is not one of Roger's "Configuration Ideas". I went out on a limb believing in the sturdiness and stability of Roger's engineering. Even Roger was a little nervous at first when I proposed my idea, though he felt better about it after he thought about it. I have had one of the two Pillars in this configuration for about a year now without a single problem.

To specifically answer your questions:

What are your experiences with the Box11 sides offered by Synthesizers.com? Nothing but good. The sides are well-made, solid walnut, consistent in color and grain, the plate screws go into metal inserts tightly fitted into the wood, and everything goes together well.

Are they steady or wobbly separate or when connecting 2 or more together? Not wobbly at all. Completely steady. I have six in each Pillar with two overhanging at an angle. I've tried to make it wobble when I first assembled five of them with the overhang, and it absolutely would not wobble or give. The tolerances between the cabinets are very tight.

Are the straight sides good in use or not because they are not rectangular? They're probably better because they're not rectangular. The angles may actually contribute to their stability. They certainly contribute to the versatility in configuring a system, and I suspect this is the reason why the sides aren't rectangular. With rectangular sides, either a straight configuration or right angles would be possible. With the angles in the sides, one can create curved configurations like mine. By combining the "Straight Sides" with the "Angled Sides", one can create a self-supporting system such as mine.

How easy is it to connect and disconnect the stacking plates from the sides if you have to transport or move the Modular? I've had to disassemble my first Pillar to add another table to my music room for the second Pillar. The stacking plates are very easy to assemble and disassemble. The stacking plates use thumb screws, and if you have strong thumbs, you don't need any tools. Myself, my thumbs aren't that strong, especially with the added torque of the sloped cabs on top. Fortunately, the thumbscrews have inserts to use an Allen wrench to turn them, and it's completely effortless with an Allen wrench. I think you can use a 3/16" or 5mm Allen wrench to turn the thumbscrews, which makes it much easier. I'm not really sure on those sizes because it's been a couple months since I disassembled and reassembled the first Pillar (and assembled the second one). But they come apart and go back together easily. Also, because the power supply is separate and because the Box11 cabs are only 11 spaces wide, they're lighter and easier to handle than most other cabinets. To save time, I was taking some of them apart in twos, and that went equally well.

Do you use them on stage? I've never used them on stage. But I'd have no problem doing so. Really, since switching to Box11's from Dotcom Portable cabinets, I feel like it would actually be easier to transport and set up my rig now, mainly because each cab is so much lighter, and because they come apart and go together so easily. I doubt I'll ever have the opportunity to put it to the test, but I think I could get my entire rig in the back of my 1996 Ford Escort, and probably have room for a keyboard or two.

I first went with five Box11's replacing two of four Portable cabinets -- four Straight Sides cabs and one Angled Sides -- with a Straight Sides flat on the bottom connected to the Angled Sides flipped at a shallow angle, and on top, (edit) one Straight Sides vertical and two sloped Straight Sides on the very top. As such, using pieces from Roger's "Configuration Ideas" image, and my estimate of where the center of gravity would be:

Image

This was the configuration that worried Roger at first. But it was completely stable as we had both ascertained before I even put it together.

When I added a sixth Box11, I added a Straight Sides cab to the bottom with two horizontal cabs. I turned the Angled Sides to the steep angle and kept the same number of Straight Sides cabs on top. Like this:

Image

By turning the Angled Sides cab when I added another horizontal cab, the depth only increased by four inches and the height by only six inches, as approximately shown by the arrows.

The only caveat I would offer relating to the angles on the sides is that you must give a little thought to how you want everything to go together, such that cabs either fit together straight or forming a curve. With the first five Box11 cabs, I admit I had to take a set of sides off and flip them because I didn't think it through properly. But it was my fault. I knew how I wanted them to go together. I haven't had a problem like that since.

I used the six-Box11 configuration for some time with two Portable 'wing' cabinets. The main reason I went to Box11's was because it enabled me to come up with a more ergonomic setup where I could reach everything without standing. (Nerve damage in my spinal column makes playing while standing pretty much impossible now.) When it was financially feasible, I decided that the best thing for me was to add another Pillar replacing the remaining Portable cabinets, giving me room for expansion in a smaller width. So I bought six more Box11's because I had no worries and it would be great. The vertical reach would still be the same, and the width of the entire system was reduced by about 25 inches. My very pleasing experience with the first Pillar caused me to have no trepidation whatsoever about adding a second one.

I've now had the two Pillars of six Box11's each since Spring, and I'm overjoyed. Everything is so much easier to reach than it was with a two-by-two Portable configuration, and I can now play fully seated for hours without getting back pain that used to 'interrupt my muse'. Even plugging and unplugging patch cords from tight jacks doesn't cause the least bit of movement. It may as well be made of concrete. The whole time I've had the first Pillar, nothing has shifted, bent, or otherwise moved. It remains as sturdy as the first day I assembled it.

I attribute the system's sturdiness to Roger's engineering, the metal inserts in solid walnut, the design and solidity of the stacking plates and thumbscrews, the tolerances that everything is constructed with, and, I actually attribute at least part of the sturdiness to the fact that the system doesn't use rectangular sides. Instead of a straight connection where the right angle in the Pillar is, there is solid wood there because of the way the Angled Sides section fits in the whole thing. If it were just the bottom of a vertical cab butted up against the side of a horizontal cab, I don't think it would be as sturdy at least laterally (side to side). It's like the angles 'lock' it all tightly together. Maybe it's just an illusion, but regardless, both of the 'Pillars of Hercules' are enormously sturdy, stable, and versatile.

Oh, and as an aside, I've added modules to help fill in the empty spaces at the top and a nice keyboard option. I'll be posting photos soon.
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Attorks
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Post by Attorks » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:51 pm

Thanks Savage, for the comprehensive reply. You convinced me on the design.

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Post by Savage » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:59 pm

I checked the Allen wrench I used, and it's a 4mm.
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Attorks
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Post by Attorks » Wed Nov 05, 2014 3:02 pm

One more question: did anybody had a need to use the L-Brackets?

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whitewulfe
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Post by whitewulfe » Sun Nov 09, 2014 6:48 pm

Out of sheer curiosity, just how deep is your setup Savage?

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