5u advantages?

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eboats
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5u advantages?

Post by eboats » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:52 am

I have some Eurorack and Frac, and have been interested in trying out 5u, but am curious if others see advantages in it? Aside from it being bigger, are there differences in sound quality or module options compared to other formats that make it desirable? I'm used to buying used rather than new and don't see as many options out there to do that in 5u. Would a dotcom starter system be a good place to start?

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Post by DomMorley » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:27 am

Personally, I find it easier to get big, classic synth sounds with what's available in 5U.

YMMV.

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Post by TimeRaveler » Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:52 pm

Can't speak for Frac, but the build quality is miles above that found in most euro modules I've used. And classic synth sounds do indeed come naturally - I can't explain why but things just sound beefier/phatter/vintage-ier.

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Post by Notron fn » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:03 pm

As a Cosmo knob fetishist [Cosmo-nut?] 5u meets my tactile needs.
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Post by eboats » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:21 pm

Thanks for the info. Any starter recommendations for someone on a budget, whether used or new?

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Post by josaka » Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:28 pm

having less module modulation options the 5u sound is more pure ..add in the nature of using multiple osc over 1 complex osc the sound is 'bigger' .. its a not a massive difference but end results more pleasing.. euro sound quality is closer to the hardware synths ..the sweeps on the modular reveal a lot more 'colours' in a sound (bigger incremental sweep range ? )..

also.. no often mentioned is volume matching.. people say 'match the volumes.. ' .. even when you do 5u has greater headroom ergo give more space in the sound.. this is part of why big stuios have top desks for the 'air" or 'headroom' ..it gives you a deeper more 3d sound

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Post by fac » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:06 pm

You will fill a wall much quicker.

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Post by defutura » Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:31 pm

Color me skeptic, but are you guys saying that you think the MU STG Sea Devils Filter will sound better, more vintage, and fatter than the Euro STG Sea Devils Filter? :hmm:
fac wrote:You will fill a wall much quicker.
Not necessarily measured in square feet per dollar spent...

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Post by Gringo Starr » Fri Oct 18, 2019 4:34 pm

All the 5U modules I had were all built really well. And the space for your fingers is really nice. I had two issues though. I grew to hate patching with 1/4 inch cables and mults and 5U almost always put me in a mono-synth mentality. That’s not 5U’s fault but that’s how it played out for me. I sold almost all my 5U however I would open the door to 5U again for a Hordijk System.
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Post by MrNezumi » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:35 pm

If you are chugging along with Frac and Eurorack then I’d say you don’t need 5u. With the right module choices in Eurorack you will reach the same goals as you would with 5u.

But perhaps you NEED 5u. It has a mystique, a certain je ne sais quoi. The siren’s call can be quite powerful. This mistress has charms which may lead you down paths you wouldn’t take otherwise.

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Post by Flareless » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:47 pm

I started in Frac with a PAiA 9700. That quickly changed to a love for 5U as it was the format that first drew me into synthesizers all those years ago.

I quickly re-panelled my 9700 into MU format and yes... it actually sounds better! :twisted:

Ok... not really but it's way more fun to wiggle the large knobs and personally I prefer patching with 1/4" cables.

As for starting on a budget... there are lots of great vendors out there so I'd look for one offering a sale when you're ready to buy :mrgreen:
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Post by EPTC » Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:31 pm

fac wrote:You will fill a wall much quicker.
Laughs, and empty a wallet. Oh, but the cabinetry!

(love 5U of course)
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Post by johny_gtr » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:57 am

defutura wrote:Color me skeptic, but are you guys saying that you think the MU STG Sea Devils Filter will sound better, more vintage, and fatter than the Euro STG Sea Devils Filter? :hmm:
fac wrote:You will fill a wall much quicker.
Not necessarily measured in square feet per dollar spent...
If it’s the same circuit, it will sound the same. TH or SMT - doesn’t matter. It can be if NOS component will be used like on original version of synth.
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Re: 5u advantages?

Post by johny_gtr » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:06 am

eboats wrote:I have some Eurorack and Frac, and have been interested in trying out 5u, but am curious if others see advantages in it? Aside from it being bigger, are there differences in sound quality or module options compared to other formats that make it desirable? I'm used to buying used rather than new and don't see as many options out there to do that in 5u. Would a dotcom starter system be a good place to start?
If the sound quality is a main point I can strongly recommend you to start with Mos-Lab / Synth-Werk Moog clones for VCO, VCF, VCA , then add some other great lfos/envelopes from Corsynth and filter from all manufacturers.
Then some great things like Oakley phasers and ring mod. You will definitely hear the difference in tone
modular percussion and scapes - http://ovod.bandcamp.com
mu modular space electronica https://7k-ok.bandcamp.com

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Post by Just me » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:09 am

My take as an old man:
The larger format is easier to see in the dark.
There is much more room between controls and cables.
The bigger knobs allow for more precise control of a function.
The 15 volt allows for more headroom
The larger dead air space in the cabinet helps OSC stability.
You look better in a labcoat standing in front of a wall of modules than hunched over and staring at a little cube of fiddly bits.
The lack of the newest latest greatest weird module of the week helps prevent too much GAS.
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Post by fac » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:25 am

Just me wrote:My take as an old man:
The larger format is easier to see in the dark.
There is much more room between controls and cables.
The bigger knobs allow for more precise control of a function.
The 15 volt allows for more headroom
The larger dead air space in the cabinet helps OSC stability.
You look better in a labcoat standing in front of a wall of modules than hunched over and staring at a little cube of fiddly bits.
The lack of the newest latest greatest weird module of the week helps prevent too much GAS.
Exactly. I don't know about the OSC stability thing, as both my MU and eurorack VCOs seem stable enough (over periods of months); my eurorack in housed a relatively deep cabinet, though (9 inches deep, IIRC), so there's lots of empty space in it.

Of course, there are disadvantages as well. I'd rather take my fairly portable 9U eurorack to a gig than the equivalent in MU, which would probably require no less than a 44-space system. And most importantly, it simply sounds so different; I tend to patch the same kind of sounds in all the synths I have, but I can still recognize each system in my recordings. I don't have any fancy digital modules, either; it's just a classic VCO/VCF/VCA/ENV type of synth, but with Malekko/Wiard modules instead of dotcom's. In that sense, it's worth having more than one format.

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Post by hamildad » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:25 am

Also the slow stability of this section of muffs is preferable to the scrappy doo enthusiasm of 25 new posts per day and a ridic turnover of used modules from our amigos in Eurorack.

Larger knobs means a greater turning circle, which makes it easier to find gold in them thar hills.

I also grew tired of additional features added due to DSP storage headroom reducing the immediacy and increasing the complexity of many modules. As Freud says "Sometimes a LFO just needs to oscillate slowly"

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Post by Notron fn » Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:44 am

Big jack energy
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Post by kcd06 » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:04 pm

1/4" sockets are much more durable than the 1/8" eurorack version, and there are an order of magnitude fewer obnoxious LEDs on modules.
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Post by josaka » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:24 pm

I like LEDs on modules.. :)

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Post by ranix » Sat Oct 19, 2019 12:57 pm

user interface and the 960 sequencer

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Post by Sir Ruff » Sat Oct 19, 2019 2:19 pm

As someone who has literally dabbled in every format (except for Euro), I have really found my calling in MU. The three biggest advantages to me are

a) size--very comfortable to tweak and plug. This makes a HUGE difference in long term workflow. I can't even imagine trying to fiddle around with some of those 1HP Euro modules :cry:

2) sound quality is generally great. Sure most modules are probably 1:1 with Euro, but there seems to be a MUCH broader level of QC in the Euro world. (from what I've seen).

3) the homogenous module aesthetic. Not really related to UI, but I personally prefer to have all my modules looking and feeling the same. Looking at a completely mixed maker Euro setup is a huge turnoff to me and a distraction more than anything. Most MU/5U makers stick to the tried and true classic black or dark gray Moog style and that suits me just fine since it means it's one less thing I have to worry about when choosing modules.
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Post by johny_gtr » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:54 am

Sir Ruff wrote: 2) sound quality is generally great. Sure most modules are probably 1:1 with Euro, but there seems to be a MUCH broader level of QC in the Euro world. (from what I've seen).
+1 for the second point, I have euro modules from about 20 companies. Some of them are top-notch quality like Orthogonal Devices, some are good like Mutable Instruments are some are strange where even the nuts are not fully tightened (and it's for premium price)
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Post by DomMorley » Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:42 pm

eboats wrote:Thanks for the info. Any starter recommendations for someone on a budget, whether used or new?
Personally I'd say MosLab is a great starting point. Get a simple voice from them (him). You'll have to wait a few months, but it will definitely be worth it.

Corsynth is another company I've used which you can build a voice in, and I have loved every module of theirs that I've owned.
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Post by ndkent » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:00 pm

To me it's enjoying the larger scale and having something in look and functioning like Moog modular system that you may have thought about a long time.

I only have a couple rack rows of 5U, almost all modules I never found in Euro. A friend has a huge system. I found up close and personal it was thrilling but you have great distances between modules, cables that can smack things, stuff that's hard to reach, lots more space being taken up especially when you consider you want your modules within reach.

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