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synthi A mk1 vs Mk2
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next [all]
Author synthi A mk1 vs Mk2
sleestack808
What are the differences? Internally! Not the prestopatch. I presume the Mk1 is earlier. Does it match the VCs3 internally more so than the mk2?

thanks This is fun!
casterbro
Just contact this guy:

http://www.portabellabz.be/synthimods/index.html

He's à synthe guru we're not worthy
batchas
From here:
There was a change in the filter type and response after 1974. Filter/Response Pre 1974 (Mk1) and Post 1974 (Mk2). This also applied to the VCS3 too. I'm sure someone will know better what differences there are.

From here:
This:
The Mark 2 also has external triggering via audio through input 2, plus an improved psu. I far prefer the MK1's myself.
There's been I think several revisions past the MK2, the one I liked the most was a very rare 4 osc Synthi Robin had/has, which was both gorgeous and crazy.

And this:
Mk1 has more waveform outputs on the oscillators. Mk2 & the synthi has the presto-patch slot and there were some matrix outputs sacrificed for this.

I like the Mk1 for just that extra bit of functionality. The presto patch is interesting if you get something like mono-poly's expander to make some of the connections accessible.[/quote]

The matrix is 16 x 16 on both the Mk I & the Mk II and the same between the VCS & the Synthi A within each revision.

MK I has separate waveform outputs for Osc 1 & 2 but does not have outputs for channel 1 & 2. The Mk II has single (mixed) waveform out for Osc 1 & 2 but patchable outputs for channel 1 & 2. The presto-patch output is in addition to the matrix and does not restrict it.

And finally from here:
The Mk 1 and Mk 2 Synthi differ in their power supply, as mentioned, but also in the Mk 1 pin matrix, which enables simultaneous patching of both waveforms available per oscillator, unlike the Mk 2 matrix. Another bonus attributed to the Mk 2 units that I wanted to incorporate into my Mk 1 was the envelope triggering of external audio through the input channels, something Robin was, again, able to flawlessly achieve, along with a host of other updates and modifications that I will list below with pics. He was also able to perform an essential KS mod (at least to my recording style): an external sync input for the sequencer.
ersatzplanet
The guy to ask is Graham Hinton. He is the go-to guy about Synthi mods etc. and would know.
sleestack808
good stuff, thank you
skkatter
Lucid from the EMS forum (think he's here too) once posted this:

The early Mk1 VCS3 and Synthi A, identifiable by separate waveform outputs, uses PA234 audio amplifier chips and these are responsible for the
characteristically 'big' sound that those machines have. The majority of
the Mk2 VCS3 and Synthi A/AKS models use a different configuration for the
audio stage, comprising a 741 op-amp and a pair of Germanium transistors and this design is still produced to this day. They tend towards a more brittle
sound with less body, and the differences are visible on oscilloscope.
Basically the PA234 produces a sound with more low-order distortion rather
like a tube amplifer.

However there were a very small number of cream Mk2 A and AKS machines
(probably less than 20) that had the combined waveform outputs yet still
used the PA234 devices, providing, IMHO, the best of both worlds. Whether
that one has the early or later audio stage is impossible to tell from the
description and photos.

Knowing the serial number might give an idea of when the machine was made, but the only reliable way to tell is by opening the back of the case. If
the A card has three chips with metal 'tails' these are PA234s.

Otherwise the Mk2 Morning Mist and Aluminium finish machines are identical
internally.
papz
edited
casterbro
Papz is the synthi guru we're not worthy
sleestack808
I am looking for Synthi, but it seems like a wonderful way to get screwed out of a ton of money.
Anything could be inside those things by now. Any dealers recommended?
Also, Is it a bad time to sell to an American? I'm getting cold replies from European dealers.
acronym
sleestack808 wrote:
I am looking for Synthi, but it seems like a wonderful way to get screwed out of a ton of money.
Anything could be inside those things by now. Any dealers recommended?
Also, Is it a bad time to sell to an American? I'm getting cold replies from European dealers.


Unless you're nostalgic or a fetishist get this:
http://www.thesynthi.de/

Soundwise there is no real difference .. well subtle differences, that you also have when you put two mk1s next to eachother
sleestack808
that will go down in value. Ive owned enough gear in my life to know. The best thing to buy is the aks cause you'll never see the keyboard again
tobb
The best buy to preserve your investment is a Synthi 'A' (a real A,so one with the A printed on it) and MKI version. not the AKS

Just make sure to never buy any of those new made by Robin with a second hand price near high as a vintage model,it would be exactly be the same effect as using your bills for toilet paper.

They are in fact idem like a new clone would be.
sleestack808
people love that blue keyboard. Maybe 3d printing will bring them back. You really need more money to make sure it is a synthi after ou buy it. Its a very expensive endevour these days.

I love the way they look but it is those "living VCO's" i love. Opend up. Pulsating, beating. ..Synth manufacturers became obsessed with stablity
tobb
contact papz here then
papz
Thanks for the recommendations cool

I'm always happy to service a Synthi or other EMS device, keeping it as close as possible to it's original condition or "improving" it, in accordance with the owner's preference.
Very sick or even completely dead, I can make any Synthi work and sound as if it left the factory yesterday.

But I'm a tech and a musician, definitely not a dealer. I must admit that I'm getting tired of the numerous messages I get asking me to help find a Synthi, my "tell me if you find one" list could be longer than Robin's waiting list.
I'm not aware of any inexpensive Synthi secret market.
Synthex
Hi all, mine is an aks s/n 45148, with white lines on the matrix board, so seems an mk2? But has no prestopatch :


I know too that mk1 has the keyboard with the 6 round chips like these :


Different from the mk2 that only have 3 rectangulars chips :


Would someone help me?
Synthex
Hi guys..any suggest?
papz
Your Synthi looks like a typical MK2, not all have a prestopatch and some MK1 do.
A factory MKI PSU is not able to power a KS and would fry in case one is connected, these can be used with MK2 and MK3 units only.

There are different KS versions but are not related to the Synthi versions.

A distinction limited to MK1/MK2 like often is wrong or incomplete : it ignores the MK3 series, from the late 70s untill today. The mains MK3 features are a different PSU layout, a 741 + germanium transistors reverb driver (similar to the output amps) on board A, a MC1496 ringmod and a 5-pole filter on board B, the pin park holes are drilled directly in the panel. I think Robin's new Cornwall Synthis have a MK3 board A and a MK2 board B.

The MK1/MK2/MK3 is a generic, basic distinction anyway. Take it as rigid categories is misleading not to say irrelevant .
These designations might ease some discussions and descriptions but actually many units are unclassifiable this way, sub- or inbetween-versions, with mixed and different features, we talk EMS, remember, nothing is clearly defined and each unit is unique. lol
Synthex
Thanks a lot for the informations!!! we're not worthy
sleestack808
Papz, So when I hear early VCS3 board synthi A that is probably a sales technique?
papz
Some mention this as a sales technique indeed despite it's common and definitely not outstanding.
The boards in a Synthi A MK1 are very often - not to say always - labeled "VCS3", like a VCS3 built at this time, the same boards were and are still used for both Synthi A and VCS3 and later revisions don't have this labeling.
ix
sleestack808 wrote:
that will go down in value. Ive owned enough gear in my life to know. The best thing to buy is the aks cause you'll never see the keyboard again


i agree $$ value.....not creative value....

The best thing to buy is Grow lights
sleestack808
papz wrote:
Some mention this as a sales technique indeed despite it's common and definitely not outstanding.
The boards in a Synthi A MK1 are very often - not to say always - labeled "VCS3", like a VCS3 built at this time, the same boards were and are still used for both Synthi A and VCS3 and later revisions don't have this labeling.


So is it labeling only?
Im not clear on your reply
sleestack808
I guess the question is if I want a vcs3 sound in a synthi, Do I need that early synthi A or is this not so straight forward?
papz
Yes it's labeling only.
The question is rather what do you think is "a VCS3 sound" ?
The VCS3 and Synthi A circuitry and boards are the exact same ones, only the casing is different. The various revisions depend on the time of building, not on the casing.
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