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DIY dotcom/MU panel finishes/makers
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author DIY dotcom/MU panel finishes/makers
At the recent Boston Modular meetup, there was a beautiful DIY dotcom/MU system on display. It had modules from just about every maker of DIY dotcom/MU modules (including, we are proud to say, synthCube!!)

One thing was apparent- that different makers are using slightly different specs for finishing/making panels. We hope to use this thread to identify and discuss the different specs/makers so people have access to this when they consider dotcom/MU kits or modules. The general dimensions are the same (including the 90 degree bends) but the finish color, material and graphics materials are different.

At synthCube, we use MPC for most of our dotcom/MU panels as well as Ben (re:synthesis) in the UK. For comparison, our MPC panels are slightly 'less black' (more gray) than some of the other panels we have seen. Our re:synthesis panels seem to be a darker black. The SSL panels we saw are (we think) are also made by MPC but are darker black/less gray. Jason (FSFX) did some panels that were powdercoated at one time but may (or may not) have changed their method. Noise Engineering appear to use aluminium anodized with etched white paint graphics. How about others- are you willing to share what you do with the DIY group here?

(Note: we are NOT suggesting that one type is better than another, nor advocating for a single maker or a more consistent style and finish)

however, as we invest in quite a few more dotcom/MU modules in the upcoming year. we are interested in selecting a standard method/maker and getting closer to black than gray

and of course if this group ends up deciding to move in the direction of a single technical spec for panels, count us in

thanks all
It seems there are too many variables at play to get everyone doing the same thing. The etched panels coming out of UK are the most accurate to the standard that Moog set 50 years ago. didn’t have those shops in the UK as a resource when they started, so they came up with a solution they could sustain. There are a lot of people who think silkscreened panels look fine and see no reason to do anything else. I prefer the etched look. It’s just a matter of preference. There is also massive differences even within the etching about what black is “correct”. As you mentioned, MPC has different shades. The chalky flat gray of the SynthCube and Suite and Tie Guy panels is a bit too flat for my tastes, but some may think it’s fine.

The Moon/Moog/Resynthesis level of black is the most consistent. But even then there are differences in the way the panels are bent. I think there are too many variables involved to get things perfectly consistent. Some people care a great deal about uniformity, some don’t care at all.
fair points!
we are in the midst of changing our MPC spec to satin finish rather than matte-- that will make our synthCube MU panels a bit 'blacker' and more consistent with others, (gratitude to Doug Slocum of SSL for the comparison of MPC specs to sort it out). But we are also talking with other MU panel makers-- again, not to drive to an EXACT same look and feel, but maybe to reduce a bit of the variability
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