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BEMI Easel - what is the consensus?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Buchla, EMS & Serge  
Author BEMI Easel - what is the consensus?
I know there is this thread:

but could someone please summarise what musicians feel about the BEMI easel?

I personally have heard horror stories of poor quality of construction, the new easel being a rip-off of the original, it sounding nothing like the original, etc

please tell me if i am wrong!
could someone please summarise what musicians feel about the BEMI easel?

Not me. I only have a second hand anecdote from one long time Easel user I knew. He mentioned some difference in the sound (not necessarily bad, just different) but found the new one weighed less, making it preferable for gigs, especially if trudging through an airport was necessary.

Another question to ask is how much difference there is between individual units? I don't know what to think about the threads on the forum. It's an expensive piece of gear with a lot of aura around it. Bringing it back into production has been difficult for both the maker and the clients.
I have heard quite a bit of Mr. Cohen and can say that the current easel is definitely in the same spirit. I think it sounds great.

I cannot put into words how happy it makes to to play. The "workflow" is a dream come true. The sounds are huge.

I am having one issue with it, see Link.

My main issue is getting any help with said problem. Buchla is rather hard to get in touch with. I have tried several avenues of communication. Feels a little like being stranded.

EDIT 26.09.19: Bellow someone told me to get in touch with Eric Fox. I followed this advice and have to revise the statement I made above.

Eric has been extremely polite, helpful and informative.
Email Eric at Foxtone.
I have only owned a BEMI Easel and participated in a shoot out between the clone and the BEMI early on. I don’t know how either compare to the original. I can speak from my own personal experience with the BEMI. I looove it! I think it sounds fantastic. Mine seems to have particularly slow gates compared to the one clone I witnessed in comparison. I really like the slower gates when used with minimum EG settings in Filter mode. Makes for great bongo sounds. It’s very deep and analog sounding. The person who owned the clone was annoyed with the slow vactrols in the gates and was happy they didn’t purchase the BEMI model. As far as build quality, I have one of the original serials and it has been back to Buchla a few times, but they have always made it right and fixed any issues I’ve discovered. I had the Mod Osc reverb bleed modded at the factory. Early on they put nuts on all of the switches. They coated the Keybed. Sent several power supply revisions and even replaced the entire sequencer card. Super happy with it. I use the midi input for sync and would never consider selling. Stays in tune! Highly recommended!

Try the support page on their website. They will respond.
is this a good purchase to consider:

what does the BEMI 208 + 208r mean? i thought the 208r was a clone of the 208? maybe this is a typo?

also, is this sale a good idea considering the seller has only two good reviews so far?
Looks like a typo. Should be 218r as the 208 looks like its a BEMI, the keyboard is a clone. BEMI or BUSA 218 has 4 octave buttons and a few other goodies added.
I highly recommend an easel if you are able to get one. It is my favorite instrument to sonically explore.

odditymedium wrote:
is this a good purchase to consider:

what does the BEMI 208 + 208r mean? i thought the 208r was a clone of the 208? maybe this is a typo?

also, is this sale a good idea considering the seller has only two good reviews so far?
Absolutely love my BEMI easel. Have had a few issues, which were sorted immediately and at no added expense to me. The sound is unbelievable. Never selling it
I have a BEMI easel. I think its one of the early ones. I really like it! It sounds great and I have had a grounding issue with the 218 but its been a while since that has occurred other than that I haven’t had problems... I mean, I broke part of it once but that was my fault! BEMI fixed it for me
The Easel is da shit!

it´s the only non subtractive synth I´ve found a blast to play and play and play and play. one just can get enough. The choice of modules may seem a bit small and simple, especially compared to some euro setups one can buy for the same amount of cash. but getting to know all the parts in and out and the lightning fast patching makes for one hell of an experience. the sound is there bigtime! but I also believe its a classic for its unique workflow in simplicity.

It pairs well soundwise with so many other things aswell.
I've finally come to the determination that I will have an Easel in some form for the rest of my life. Maybe my favorite synth. I've owned 2 BEMI easels and I just built a 208r V2.1 with mostly period correct components.
BTW, I'm just going to talk about the 208r V2, not the V1 (since I've never played one) but the V2 is a direct clone of the original 208, for better or worse.

I LOVED both of my BEMI easels, and they both sounded a bit different. I feel like it is still a slightly more modern/clean sounding take on the easel, although by no means sterile, just slightly more bright and clear than the 208r V2s.

I do prefer my 208r V2 though because I usually gravitate towards older, vintage sounding units and it has a slightly darker and deeper sound. Also more bleed and noise. BUT I love that stuff.

Now that BUSA is in charge I think you would be totally happy with an Easel from them and won't have to worry about the poor construction of BEMI. Having a 208r V2 built is getting harder and harder to get made every year as the components are becoming more and more obsolete, but the geniuses on this forum are finding suitable replacements so, its really up to what you would prefer.. a fantastic, modern take on the Buchla Easel, still fully analog and 100% still has the spirit and the sound of Buchla, with MIDI and an arpeggiator... or an direct clone that's closer to the vintage sound of the original easels.. for better or worse.

Hope this helps
visible cow
Just wanted to pipe in real quick and say I have a brand new Buchla USA easel here and I'm very impressed.
I've had a 2016 BEMI Easel for only a few days now, but so far I am really impressed with how flexible an instrument it is. I appreciate being able to quickly go from generative/experimental to melodic and tonal with a minimum of patch cables. The ergonomics of eurorack was starting to be a turn off for me.
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