RESOLVED: Great DotCom acquisition exerience!!

Moog, Synthesizers.com, MOTM, Modcan, Moon and others..... Go big!

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martimous
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RESOLVED: Great DotCom acquisition exerience!!

Post by martimous » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:16 pm

So, I bought a DotCom QKB15 controller on eBay - had a question about it and asked DotCom while realizing that I didn't buy it from them and they owe me nothing) and they helped out and sent some docs. Great!! Got stuff working!!

Started looking at their systems and I think I'm interested in buying a DotCom System 88 from them. Asked them what documentation, schematics, etc. (if any) are shipped with it. No response. Is this the famous "customer service" they're known for? That's one reason I asked the question about docs; the ONLY way to talk to them about a $15k investment is via email, which apparently can be easily ignored. So I have two questions for you guys.
1) Is this the typical experience one gets from DotCom post-sale?
2) What docs (if any) actually ship with the product you're buying?
OK, three questions here:
3) Am I missing something here? Is it rude to ask what the sale includes?

Thanks in advance for comments pro and con!!
Last edited by martimous on Tue May 28, 2019 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Funch

Post by Funch » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:32 pm

Seems like the website has that information covered. Tells you exactly what you are getting including a system spreadsheet that you can download now.

Enjoy your new system.

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josaka
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Post by josaka » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:45 pm

yep.. all on the website.. no schematics.. all pretty straight forward..

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SynthBaron
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Post by SynthBaron » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:46 pm

There have never been schematics, even after people asking for the last 18 years for them. In some cases there are stuffed PCB graphics in the PDF manuals on the individual module pages.

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Post by ranix » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:02 pm

the instruction manual for each module (which is available on the synthesizers.com website) is printed as a physical copy and shipped along with your synthesizer

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Faustgeist
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Post by Faustgeist » Tue Apr 23, 2019 2:39 pm

I have found their customer service quite good. It may take a day or three to get a response, but they do write back. Furthermore, their person in charge of repair has sent me a few free items ($6 switches / pots) when I discovered a new module needed a fix.

Every module / system I have bought from them came with full documentation printed and neat in a heavy envelope. These are the same PDFs found on their site.

It's true, they may not hold-hands much in terms of use and advise - that's what we are for! :banana:

No schematics that I know of.
~R
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DJFonzi
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Post by DJFonzi » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:03 pm

It's also been Easter weekend, which I'm guessing is a thing for the Arricks, so.. Give it time, and maybe ping them again.

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Post by daveholiday » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:50 pm

I can say the support is quite good. I diagnosed a problem with two of my oscillators that were only a few months old. I contacted support via email and got a response a few hours later. The next day I sent the oscillators back to dotcom. They were literally there less than 24 hours as they sent me the tracking info the day after they arrived in Texas. They are a good company...
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martimous
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Post by martimous » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:24 pm

Thanks for the replies guys!

I guess I'm just a teensy bit nervous about that much cash involved when I've never really had any personal experience with them.
It seems they have an army of loyal fans, so they must be treating people right. Their website and downloadable materials are awesome. I guess I should just get off the dime and order a system from them.

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Post by Just me » Tue Apr 23, 2019 5:36 pm

My largest single order was about $4,000. I got a confirmation and an estimated delivery date email.
on the estimated day, 4 large boxes showed up at the house. Everything perfectly packed.
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Post by diophantine » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:11 pm

All of my experiences have been great, and I've never had an issue with any of the many modules that I own.

They do not provide schematics, but it is very rare for any modular manufacturer to do so. (The only currently active manufacturers that supply such documentation are probably Blacet & PAiA. And a few Eurorack folks, like Mutable Instruments, provide that stuff open-source.)

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Post by Voltage_Controller » Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:29 pm

Nothing to worry about. The best shippers in the business (bubble wrap for days and eco-friendly peanuts to fill the spaces). Will answer any question you have. I doubt very highly you are being ignored. They treat single module orders the same as 88-space orders. Class act organization.
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Post by mutierend » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:13 pm

Synthesizers.com makes a great product. The Facebook group is really active, so you can ask Dotcom-specific questions there and Roger will often reply. For example, there was recently a great thread about how to clock the Q960.

I have a bunch of Dotcom modules in my 66-space system and they work great. The Q114 (Mixer++) is used in just about every patch.

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Post by Synthoholic » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:36 pm

Martimous,

To be honest, most of the times I interacted with Roger and Margo they exhibited the salesmanship that everyone raves about. But then I had a couple of experiences where Roger was rude to me on the facebook page, cold to me in emails, and couldn't or wouldn't resolve an issue with a specific cable that I bought. It happens, nobody is perfect.

Then I got to a point where I had some different manufacturers in my system on a different power supply and they were much quieter audio modules that sounded better to me and so I purged my system of my dotcom voice (I still keep the sequencers, and stuff related to the sequencers) and never looked back.

After thinking about this, I decided that I'd rather support some of the other manufacturers because Roger definitely has an advantage in the market, and some of his design decisions (like the omission of the CP row) are influential enough to almost kill that style of module.

So if I had the money to invest in a large system like the 88, I would definitely find someone that has one first and see what that feels like before I just plunged. He makes very decent equipment but if you experienced a company like STG, Mos-lab, or Synth-Werk then you might have some buyer's remorse.

My opinion might be met with a lot of resistance as there are tons and tons of ecstatic dotcom users and that should tell you something also.

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mutierend
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Post by mutierend » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:42 pm

Synthoholic wrote:
So if I had the money to invest in a large system like the 88, I would definitely find someone that has one first and see what that feels like before I just plunged. He makes very decent equipment but if you experienced a company like STG, Mos-lab, or Synth-Werk then you might have some buyer's remorse.
This is a good point. I like having oscillators, filters, etc from other makers. I love my Corsynth C104 and the Club of the Knobs 1621WF, for example. And other manufacturers make modules that Roger doesn't.

The System 88 is great for getting everything in one go, and it will be a cohesive system, but considering the other manufacturers is a good suggestion.

JohnLRice

Post by JohnLRice » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:03 pm

Customer service from Synthesizers.com is the best in the business in my opinion but they are only human so . . . :spin: They also have a YouTube channel with good demos of most of their modules:
https://www.youtube.com/user/synthesizersdotcom/videos

Something to consider, there is a company called ToneTweakers in New York that buys, refurbishes if needed, and sells used synths. I think they have a good reputation for delivering what they say they will and they have been around many years. The only odd thing to me about them is their price negotiating style . . . one time many years ago I was interested in a particularly rare item and they wouldn't give me a price, so I made a low offer (of course :hihi: ) and they said no that's too low but never would give me a high price. :hmm: :despair: Anyways, I mention them because they have Synthesizers.com Studio 66 in stock and since that is very common item and a bit hard to move as a used system, they might be eager to negotiate a good price on it?
https://tonetweakers.com/products/synth ... -studio-66

If you were to get the above system you could then get the additional cabinet full of sequencers directly form Synthesizers.com to complete the Studio 88 you want?

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Post by Esample9 » Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:41 pm

My experience with dot com has been that they (James in particular) are very responsive and cooperative in every respect. I have had some problems (that we’re not attributable to their products) which James was quick to offer help with. I also ordered a module that I decided that I didn’t need which they took back and gave me a full refund for. I ordered a 44 system from them initially. It came with documentation for each module and was packed beyond sufficiently and was delivered sooner than promised. I couldn’t have expected any better customer service.

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Post by Dilibob » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:25 am

On larger systems it's nice to use that app they have on their site. Also the website ordering has recently changed. I btw like ordering complete systems too, because I am fanatical on ground noise. I pull out my oscilloscope to run through the module tests that they provide, and debugging power stuff with a new rack and 5 vendors is death. If there is any problem they will provide replacement. Overall their gear is extremely inexpensive yet solid, so though it may look like it costs a lot their margins can't be that high. Also at that margin level I don't complain on minor things. I have never had a customer service problem with them, and have order a lot of gear.

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Post by Mark11Audio » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:38 am

JohnLRice wrote:Customer service from Synthesizers.com is the best in the business in my opinion but they are only human so . . . :spin: They also have a YouTube channel with good demos of most of their modules:
https://www.youtube.com/user/synthesizersdotcom/videos

Something to consider, there is a company called ToneTweakers in New York that buys, refurbishes if needed, and sells used synths. I think they have a good reputation for delivering what they say they will and they have been around many years. The only odd thing to me about them is their price negotiating style . . . one time many years ago I was interested in a particularly rare item and they wouldn't give me a price, so I made a low offer (of course :hihi: ) and they said no that's too low but never would give me a high price. :hmm: :despair: Anyways, I mention them because they have Synthesizers.com Studio 66 in stock and since that is very common item and a bit hard to move as a used system, they might be eager to negotiate a good price on it?
https://tonetweakers.com/products/synth ... -studio-66

If you were to get the above system you could then get the additional cabinet full of sequencers directly form Synthesizers.com to complete the Studio 88 you want?
I have to mirror what John has said... the staff at Synthesizers.com has been nothing short of spectacular... and this is coming from a guy who has in the past probably spent about $20k with them... and even now today, while my new build only includes small bits and pieces from them, James in particular has been absolutely STELLAR !!! :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu: :tu:

No schematics included, but every one of my orders always included a "data-sheet" or how to basic sheet which as others have mentioned, fully downloadable from their site as well... and really, Ive never needed anything more. And really, if there is a problem, they are so good about, "just send it back, we'll repair or replace" attitude... no need for a schematic... :tu:

They are responsive and always answer my emails and questions. Top notch people all around... and Ive been around since the early days, I was lucky enough to visit the factory, and see the proto-types of the Q960 right from Roger... :eek: :hihi: :goo:



... I have nothing but great things to say about them. :yay: :yay: :yay:

in fact 1 of my 4 new cabinets is 75% all .com... snagged the sequencer deal last summer... too good of a deal not to grab modules I have had in the past and loved... :razz: :razz: :razz:

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Post by martimous » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:37 am

JohnLRice wrote:Something to consider, there is a company called ToneTweakers in New York that buys, refurbishes if needed, and sells used synths.
Yes, I've talked to the Tone Tweaker guys (someone named "Mini"?) about their system 66. I had talked to them a long time ago about an ARP2600 and decided I was going to go the "build it myself" route and built a TTSH and sequencer. I'm tempted by their system 66 price, but at the same time, if Roger runs a class operation, I feel like I'd like to support him and get it from him. I am just a little put off by the seeming radio silence from them.
The only reason I would be interested in schematics is to protect my investment in the unlikely case DotCom gets gobbled up or closes up shop for whatever reason. Just a worrier by nature, I guess.

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Post by hamildad » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:58 am

Always had good service from synth.com but I think i had to nudge them for an updated invoice which was no biggie.

As said above, all docs can be found on the website and if you have specific questions, send a follow up email.

Also if you are serious about buying a larger system, start a new email thread/quote mentioning this specifically. it seems like you had a good conversation with them to fix the second hand item, but as this is a different discussion, make that clear..

Maybe you have done but thats what I would do, small businesses need to prioritise money coming in the door, so make it clear thats what you are offering.
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Post by Faustgeist » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:11 am

I'll expand some thoughts now that I've replaced my blood with coffee. :twisted:

As you've read, DotCom is a respected company, their prices are quite attractive and most of their modules are Moog clones (which is good), but without a 2019 design flair. Roger has, however, begun introducing new modules. These are the "+" modules found on his site - with more compact design and more features per 'u' of space. Of note, these new module have yet to populate their pre-packaged studio systems.

Before you drop $$$ I have some friendly advise. And that is - have fun with DotCom's purchase cart system (https://shop.synthesizers.com/) and Modular Grid. https://www.modulargrid.net

Design your own system 88 with just DotCom gear on ModGrid and see how different their package/selection and price are to what you select. Get used to their offerings and dig deep into your synth goals & the modules you need. If you are new to 5u, this exercise can help in seeing the work flow this format promotes and what DotCom elements you want to focus on. You may discover you don't need the Connector or Pedal Interface - but sure could use a Gate Math and LFO++.

Personally, instead of buying a straight System 88, I rolled my own. I am happy with that approach even if I did make some wrong guesses and learned in the process! - just my nature I recon. :guinness:

If you came from eurorack, which I did, then there is a great draw to the smaller makers of 5u (SSL, AC, FSFX, STG, ++). These companies are dynamic, experimental (totally awesome people) and can evolve a moog-clone into a very different animal.

I also see you are an electrical engineer and have built a human comparator. Kinda badass, that! I feel confident you know of https://synthcube.com/cart/ and the DIY world. I build a lot of euro and 5u, but know the real commodity in this life is time. Never enough of it, alas. So I've taken to supporting many of the great 5U DIY builders, these folks deliver a wide variety of modules which can benefit a straight DotCom system.

Super impressed with Rich at http://lowerwestsidestudio.com, whose work is rock solid. He has made for me almost 20 modules.

Krisp1 offers some unique Oakley gear. http://www.krisp1.com/store/

Phil at MegaOhm Audio also does superb work and I am sure there are others I have yet to discover. . .(Anyone?)

Just a few morning thoughts, have fun and welcome to the scene. :sb:
~Robin
Trying to build up my 5U/COTK/MOTM and MODCAN B, send me a message if you are selling gear and thanks!

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Post by hsosdrum » Wed Apr 24, 2019 9:00 pm

Even though I'm a drummer, I lusted after owning a Moog-format synth ever since I first played on one in 1971. Almost 2 years ago I finally rolled the dice and bought a 44U system from Dotcom. However, instead of simply getting their pre-packaged 44U system, (quoting Robin) I rolled my own, opting for one that I could set up for 2 completely independent simultaneous voices, so all I would have to do to change between them was use the Q111 pan/fade to fade from one voice to the other.

The day my synth arrived and I unpacked it and set it up was one of the best days of my entire (66-year) adult life. Everything about my Dotcom exceeded my lofty expectations. The build quality and fit-and-finish were superb. The controls and switches all had a solid, professional feel. Every single thing on my synthesizer worked exactly as it was supposed to. Quite impressive for such a complex piece of gear. And most importantly, it sounded amazing— absolutely AMAZING. It instantly made a deep connection with my musical soul. It is pure magic.

Having never ever owned any kind of synthesizer before, like Robin I also made some wrong guesses as to which modules I needed. Some worked out (although I don't care for how the Q179 performs as an EG, the two I bought make a dandy 8-note sequencer that I've used in several patches), and some did not (anybody need a barely touched Q130 clipper/rectifier or a practically new Q161 oscillator mixer?) As Robin said, that's all part of the learning process.

In the nearly 2 years since I got my original 44U Dotcom I've expanded it to 66U and 4 simultaneous voices, adding modules from SSL, Grove Audio, STG, Corsynth and Moon (in addition to more Dotcom modules). I've become a better and more complete musician (and in particular, composer) since getting my synthesizer, but most importantly, I've had more goddamn fun than a fat, bald, cantankerous old man should ever be allowed to have.

You will NOT regret purchasing a large Dotcom synthesizer; you will only regret that you didn't do it sooner.

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Post by ranix » Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:39 am

hsosdrum wrote:You will NOT regret purchasing a large Dotcom synthesizer; you will only regret that you didn't do it sooner.
you WILL regret not leaving any empty space for expansion in it, though. Don't do that!

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Post by josaka » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:49 am

yep.. there are tons and tons of amazing 'must have' non .com modules.. which depending on your journey's curve you will most likely 'want' at some point..

I started with 20+ .com modules and built a 110 space cabinet.. I have very few of the .com modules left.. but bought 2 of the new ones and plan to buy a couple more.. still have 2xQ150 (repaneled 1u) 3X 8 channel mixers(to be repanelled to 1u (not in initial buy) a Q114 Q157 a couple of Q109 (not for main the setups (too slow and not a fan of the shapes) more for envelope grunt work..
got some Q106 for reference.. dont really make it into patches these days.

the .com stuff is brilliant.. but over time as you refine the sound you want.. more often than not the others fill that need.. the recent ++ range is competative with the current manufacturers now tho.. :)

If I was roger I would directly go after some more interesting osc and filters.. arp 2500/2600 emu EML 101 (in 1u)or some others less copied.. he would clean up with a 'range'..
you will only regret that you didn't do it sooner.
tell me !!

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