Unpowered modules & builders

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!

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Unpowered modules & builders

Post by chamomileshark » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:06 am

I've had 3 empty spaces in my Frac modular for years. I'd almost completed it and then other things happened and I never got it finished. I don't do DIY.

I decided a year or so ago to just try and get it completed - I decided they needed to be unpowered because I can't face trying to completely re-organise all the power connections.

So I was thinking Blacet Mult/attenuators. I have two of the old type and I would get 3 except the pound is in the toilet and I get hit for something like 20-25% duty.

Don't know if there are any builders in the UK or Europe that could help (I emailed Krisp1 but I'm not sure he's still doing this kind of thing).

Or a builder in the US might be a possibility as 3 mult/attenuators probably isn't the most exciting prospect.

I'm not in a rush - there's been a hope there for several years and I don't have the cash right now but it's something I probably want to get done over the summer.
Key Gear: Wiard 300 Series, EMS VCS3, Frac Modular (Blacet, Wiard, Bananalogue & Synthesis Technology).

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Post by werock » Sun Apr 02, 2017 4:10 pm

Looking at the Blacet module it is $40 assembled, about £32. If I was to build a DIY one the biggest cost would be the panel - which would be around £19-£20 from Schaeffer at least. Add in the cost of the jacks (and pot if you want an attenuator) then I can't see it would be much cheaper, even allowing for shipping/duties.

So unless you're happy to accept some cheap/crappy front panel you might as well get the Blacet one. Surprisingly, the Paia multiple is a lot more than the Blacet one.

Of course, there is the chance you might find a 2nd hand one.

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PAiA custom panels

Post by davebr » Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:24 am

I just built 5 custom PAiA panels for a customer who is rebuilding a 4700 synth. They are slightly different than Frac but I got my panels built at FrontPanelExpress. Schaeffer Ag does the same process in Germany. It isn't cheap but you can print on aluminum so you use their free software to design the panel and holes, and some graphic program to design the graphics. My panels with shipping were about $30 USD each. The double wide VCF was about $46 USD.

This would be a great time to start DIY. Anyone with soldering skills could help you build those modules. You only need an inexpensive entry level soldering iron. You just need to find someone in your area to help you get started.

Images of my panels are on my PAiA 4700 Modular Synthesizer Rebuild page. Good luck.


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Post by diophantine » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:54 pm

If you aren't willing/interested/ready to do DIY, just getting those modules from Blacet (or used) is probably your best bet.

33 Kobiconn jacks, plus washers, plus 3 pots are going to cost over $50 (before shipping). Using alternate jacks you are still looking at $23.

Unless these panels are contiguous (and you're willing to do a 4.5" panel, or 3" and 1.5" panels), you're looking at something over $100 in parts alone.

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Post by mamonu » Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:55 am

one thing that could fill this space is a passive vactrol module

I know that the FSS(Future Sound Systems) guy is doing them for Euro and he could be persuaded to do something in Frac as he has at least one or two of his modules in that format.

I for one would like something like that

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Post by Kyhotay » Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:59 pm

Maybe you might find a CGS "real ring" modulator around? They are rarer than hens teeth but - who knows? - you just might get lucky.
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