Roland system 100m lust

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peachfuzzmcgee
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Roland system 100m lust

Post by peachfuzzmcgee » Tue Sep 13, 2016 8:14 am

So I've been all of a sudden craving to buy a roland system 100m. I can't afford it at the moment responsibly but with saving and waiting, I may be able to get one some day. Does anyone have experience with it and feel like they love it as much as their other formats?

Anyone pretty much is in love with it? tell me everything about it!

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Post by moogboy » Tue Sep 13, 2016 10:39 am

I don't own one personally, but one of my closest friends does and I've spent some time with it and talked to him about it many times. I think it's amazing sonically-I've heard that the 808 drum sounds were prototyped on a 100m and it shows when trying to achieve percussive sounds with one. For melodic work, it's truly incredible as well. Warm, fat, all of the words we collectively use to describe pretty sounding instruments are exemplified in the 100m.

There's a lot to be said for the physical contextualization of the functions and modules. Every cabinet has a ton of multiples and there's enough normalization to get it into the realm of an ARP 2600 as far as ease of use combined with patching flexibility goes. Additionally, nearly everything you could dream of having CV control over has multiple inputs with attenuators. Having two or three separate CV inputs with attenuation for filter cutoff frequency opens up an unbelievable range of options for making analog kicks, among so much more, and makes transposing sequences on an oscillator a cinch.

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Post by Stevie Ray » Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:17 pm

The 100m was a brilliant system back in the day, but I'd be wary of buying one now.

Getting a complete one (or any modules) in good, working condition for a reasonable price is going to be a challenge.

The original 100ms are over 30 years old. The ones that still work have mostly been 'repaired' to various degrees. Not necessarily by people who knew what they were doing.

Personally I wouldn't risk it unless you are prepared to put in the time, and have the necessary expertise with a soldering iron.

I would love Roland to re-issue the 100m system - like Korg and Moog have been reissuing legacy products - but I won't hold my breath.

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Post by johny_gtr » Wed Sep 14, 2016 5:50 am

My friend has 6 blocks of System100M. It sounds very solid and organic. It's can be integrated with SH101. It has a different sound than my Moog clone system. More 'acid' and punchy sound for my ears.

I can't imagine that any of big companies like Roland can re-issue 100M modules with the same quality of sound, materials and aesthetic. Their nowadays 500 series modules are in different league in comparison with 100M.
Also we can found System 100M for reasonable price at Japanese 'craigslists'.

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Post by MindMachine » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:40 pm

^ See I think the 100M is much more 'electronic' sounding than 'organic' at least compared to older analog synths. Most are older than the 100M.

Where the 100M - completely blew me away - was most impressive was when I played a cabinet combined with a System 100 Model 101 and 102. I was at Big City and both had just come in. When cross patched they sounded twice as good as each system individually. Made me shiver and feel a little sick it was so good.

I've since purchased a 102 (10 years ago), but the 100M prices are purely collectors prices these days (meaning too much for my money clip). I added an EMW clone of the 100M VCF that I use with the 102 and that is as close as I can get to those shivers from sound.

They really do sound that good together.
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Post by peachfuzzmcgee » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:31 am

Yeah some of my lust has died down as it seems like prices are just up there for it, and I know it's vintage and all that but I just want the sound. Since a lot of the circuits are relatively simple, I may just bread board some ideas based on the schematics. I did like it a lot when I played it a couple months ago and I did feel like it sounded more electronic than anything. Not a bad thing, I like the sound a lot.

My total modular is still quite a bit cheaper than the 100m's online at perfect circuit.

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Post by cram1960 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:19 pm

I wish i could afford the 100m, too. I have an SH-2 but the 100m has always haunted me.

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I have a 100M, pics

Post by lfnoise » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:16 pm

I have a 100M that I bought in 1981 and gigged with in the 80s in Austin, TX. (sorry for the size. I'm a noob here. How to resize an external img link?)

Image

TBH, I was a little disappointed with it at the time because I got it after having used UT Austin's large E-mu modular, which was huge and better quality all around.

This is me at the time:

Image


I still have the 100M but it has a number of problems. Only one side of the sequencer works, the ring modulator and S&H don't work. I'm not likely to sell it because it has some sentimental value and is also a cool museum piece.

The best thing about the System 100m design is the mixers for audio and control on every module and the large number of multis on the rack.

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Post by Nils » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:21 pm

Not much of the old Roland stuff feels like "good value for money" these days, the 100m included.

I tried to build a 100m system last year but gave up, I had the basics except VCOs. I gave up and sold it after a long period of hunting.
The build quality was slightly below the other late 70s Roland stuff imo.
While I love the design and layout, it felt a bit on the simple side.
The envelopes are fabulous, perfect for percussive stuff.

If the sound is what you're after, maybe an SH-2 will get you a fair bit on the way? The filters sound very similar, and the SH-2 VCOs are fabulous.
I have plans for some mods on mine. A poor man's 100m...

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peachfuzzmcgee
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Post by peachfuzzmcgee » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:45 am

Nils wrote:Not much of the old Roland stuff feels like "good value for money" these days, the 100m included.

I tried to build a 100m system last year but gave up, I had the basics except VCOs. I gave up and sold it after a long period of hunting.
The build quality was slightly below the other late 70s Roland stuff imo.
While I love the design and layout, it felt a bit on the simple side.
The envelopes are fabulous, perfect for percussive stuff.

If the sound is what you're after, maybe an SH-2 will get you a fair bit on the way? The filters sound very similar, and the SH-2 VCOs are fabulous.
I have plans for some mods on mine. A poor man's 100m...
Its interesting to think about the fact that the biggest thing people have is quality. I find that the rest of the roland stuff of that time was awesome. I mean I had an sh-101 and a juno 6 that were really awesome and still worked fine even though being beat up a bit.

Either way, my plan is pretty much to either build clone modules or buy an 09 or a 2 someday although now it's backed up because Im building other stuff in the mean time. The System 100m lust is there but only if somehow I find it for a stupid low price. :omg:

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Post by Nils » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:05 pm

In general I agree about the quality of the other Roland stuff of the time.
My main issue with the 100m was the sliders - brittle plastic housing, cheap feel, easily bent. The SH-2/09 have better feel to the sliders.

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Post by Bath House » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:02 am

I have a nice-sized three-cabinet 100m. It's my favorite thing on earth besides my wife and cat. My license plate is SYS100M.

I think it's the perfect modular, to be honest. To be fair, I'm a total nut for Roland "of that era," so having a fully flexible modular version of the SH-09/2 sound is pretty much my dream. It doesn't sound as rich, brown, and good as the System 100 model 101/102 (I have those two as well and love using them with my 100m) - but it still sounds better than the SH-101/MC-202 that came after it. It sits right in that sweet spot of sounding great but being incredibly flexible. It's the single most thoughtfully designed modular ever made, reminiscent of the Arp 2600 but even better. Besides the copious multiples, every single module has more inputs and outputs than you really need, with attenuators/mixers built in for audio and CV. There are nice little signal lights all over the place to help you know what's going on - is your signal actually reaching your filter or VCA before you freak out about why you can't hear it? Etc.

I recently made a whole record that used the 100m heavily - link is in my signature.
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Post by Nils » Sat Oct 08, 2016 1:09 am

@Bath House - love your record!

I too am a total nut for 70s Roland stuff. Not sure what it is but I can't enough of it.

I felt a little bad about letting the 100m go, as I never had the chance to play with a full system.
Do you ever feel it's limited as a modular synth? It does not have much in the way of esoteric functions or modules, a bit stripped with regards to options.

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Post by minime123 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:37 am

we have had 100m gear in our studio since the 90s. i love it.
we just fully overhauled six cabinets of system-100m. it was a lot of work. we had to replace all capacitors because they started bulging, which is a sign that they're going bad. and after recapping, you need to recalibrate everything as well, clean lots of pots, jacks and switches, etc. we have seen caps in this condition in all the roland system-100, system-100m, system-700, vintage korg ms series and korg ps-3100, ps-3200 and ps-3300 synths we've refurbished in recent years, so if you're going to buy any of these, make sure they've been recapped by someone who really knows what they're doing or be prepared to invest in a good recapping and full servicing if you want them to work great and promote their long term reliability. this is time consuming and costly work. we have seen capacitors leak and damage circuit boards and have seen cases where other techs did half assed jobs, merely replacing a couple caps and not even bothering to clean and remove leaky cap corrosion and repair damaged traces. since few people acknowledge the high cost / value of a full restoration and the need to factor this into the prices of the items we sell, we are now occasionally offering full restoration services.
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Post by Bath House » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:52 am

Good point. I spent around $700 last year to have my 100m overhauled and recapped. Mine has only had one owner since the early eighties and was in great condition. Next up, I'm going to have the same guy do my model 101 and 102. Roland stuff of that era is insanely well-made and pretty easy for a good tech to work on.
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Post by minime123 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 11:15 am

Good point. I spent around $700 last year to have my 100m overhauled and recapped. Mine has only had one owner since the early eighties and was in great condition. Next up, I'm going to have the same guy do my model 101 and 102. Roland stuff of that era is insanely well-made and pretty easy for a good tech to work on.
well yeah, they were quite well made except for the capacitors they used. we dont see cap bulging and leakage anywhere near as much in vintage synths other than the japanese ones i mentioned.
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Post by seeasound » Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:22 am

Had the fortune of having a sys100m loaned to me the last maybe 7 months or so. Its my first modular and has really shaken things up. I absolutely love it.

Bathhouse and moogboys posts are on point about this synth. The normalling is brilliantly implemented and having 2 mod inputs for osc filter and amp really takes things in another dimension.

It such a well thought out system. The config i have here is 2 2x110, 150, 140, 172. I love every single module. I am using it together with a PP SEM and its amazing listening to the strange music that can emerge out of this combo alone without using keyboards or sequencers. I wish it had a multiband or high pass and thats mostly what I use them SEM for. There are many creative ways for generating and messing with clock timing and cv onboard. The gate delay is my fav thing ever and Its a feature ill need to have on any future modular systems.

Using its limitations well you can have some cool interactions occurring within the music being generated. The sound itself is old fat dusty and just lovely. The phaser and flanger though limited open up the sonic pallet even more and can be used to get some nice acoustic tones. They also process cv.

It looks amazing and has a wonderful patina. Through good fortune the piece I have here works without flaw. Though my mate reckons it needs a good service(he just bought it) It seems quite solid and I dont feel I have to baby it at all.

Lastly this thread raises my 2600 lust.

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what my 100M sounds like...

Post by lfnoise » Tue Oct 11, 2016 10:49 pm

a quick patch. 100M -> Strymon Timeline

[video][/video]

hmm.. video link doesn't work for me. try url..

https://youtu.be/gZDKxK15tnM

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Re: what my 100M sounds like...

Post by MindMachine » Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:29 pm

lfnoise wrote:a quick patch. 100M -> Strymon Timeline

[video][/video]

hmm.. video link doesn't work for me. try url..


https://youtu.be/gZDKxK15tnM
You need to lose the 's' in https. Sounds RAD by the way. :sb: And thanks Bath House for the awesome tones - nice ones.

https://youtu.be/gZDKxK15tnM
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Post by Grokostimpy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:01 pm

+1, I love that synth too

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Post by Bath House » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:51 pm



[video][/video]

I started filming this series right before everything in my life got completely crazy and hasn't slowed down yet. I'm trying to decide if it's worth salvaging. It was going to be a nice overview of the 100m and what makes it unique, cool, and interesting.
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Post by tiz9000 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:59 pm

I love the 100M, too. I have a 5-block system. I agree with those who say it's well laid-out and thoughtful. The cases' multiples are great, and to me it sounds very musical. It won't do super crazy Serge style sounds since most of the modules are pretty straightforward, but that's totally fine with me.

Something not widely known is if you want to interface it with a Euro system you'll need to step up the trigger from 5V in Euro to 14V on 100M and vice-versa.

I'd love to have mine fully restored, recapped, and recalibrated some day. Do any of you have someone you'd recommend?

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Post by ExtrasensoryPerception » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:26 am

I sure miss mine...i had to sell it a long time ago.

Such a beautiful instrument!

EP

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Post by Beermaster » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:54 pm

Have had a 20 module system for a while now and have to say that I've never had an issue with anything going wrong with mine.

Making a comparison is, as always with modular gear, difficult as it all depends what options you have in your set up but I do have a few observations;

Looks gorgeous and very well laid out

Wonderful integration of keyboard CV and Gates - the DIN connection inputs gates and CV directly to the modules you need it to go to without the need for extra spaghetti. Multiple cabinets can be interconnected so the same cv and gates can be fed across a larger system - we like ! (Polyfusion is the only other modular system that offers that integration)

The overall functions offers by the modules are great but not hugely diverse so some modules are quite vanilla in terms of functions: EGs don't offer end gates nor looping of CV variation of any stages etc

Sound: 100m. VCOs are vanilla - functional sounds but not as raw and full as say the sys 100 101 or an SH5. No where near the fulll and brutal fatness of it'a big brother Sys 700 VCOs - they're more akin to a Roland SH101 sound

Filters have that classic Roland Flavour - love that tone

Lots of nice features with some of the rarer modules such as the phaser and ringmod modiules

There are some ultra rare modules in the 100m series - The Poetamento module, Parametric EQ and Gates modules are extremely hard to find


Beer

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Post by MindMachine » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:09 pm

Hey Beer - hope those pesky penguins have finally given you some peace!
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