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VCS 3 / Synthi AKS inspired synth DIY
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Mark Space-Ratio



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

There's a VCS3 currently on Ebay, ridiculously priced at £6000 with a vague history. It is in an absolute pitiful state.

There is no way that RW will resurrect the EMS synths as we would like it.
If someone has enough cash to buy the above Ebay item they should make an offer on the company and get the this thing off the ground again.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mark Space-Ratio wrote:

There is no way that RW will resurrect the EMS synths as we would like it.


How would you like EMS to be?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ex-Here and Now!?! Shocked Shocked Laughing

'Here and Now' were the precursors of hippy crusty-doom. Blood awful! Laughing Laughing

you'd have to scrape the hash-oil off the insides if you needed to restore that thing! Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
Mark Space-Ratio wrote:

There is no way that RW will resurrect the EMS synths as we would like it.


How would you like EMS to be?


how about "functional"? how about "clearing backlog"?

sheesh. it shouldn't be that hard.

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v-un-v
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

EdisonRex wrote:


sheesh. it shouldn't be that hard.


Dude, you're forgetting we're talking Truro here! Laughing

I've actually been toying with the idea on getting Robin to start a factory from here, in Birmingham (we gotta keep EMS British- EMS are an institution!!). Although most industry in the Midlands has sadly, now gone, however much still survives. I've already found where most of the CNC'ing could be done for the cabinet and the front panels. We're also smack next door to a major airport (well Birmingham International! Wink ), and the NEC and Coventry are just around the corner. There's loads of factory space round here too. Not to mention an awesome music history (Black Sabbath & Napalm Death anyone?) I've got a BSc (hons) in Product Design Engineering- I could be Robin's foreman! Idea Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh yeah- I almost forgot, I would ask Derek to get involved too.

Whatever you say about Derek, he's got the passion, and that's a very good thing, IMHO.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just to give you international dudes an idea of what I mean by "stuck down in Truro"..........


I'm on the route to Truro.png
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You will all be quite right in pointing out that my circle isn't actually in Truro. It' not. EMS is stuck in a field in the middle of bloody nowhere- with some cows (or too).

Moo! Laughing

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

it appears the Hi-Fli is being re-released under license

http://www.synthi.co.uk/hifli.html

so it would be nice for something similar to happen with the VCS3/AKS

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abstraktor



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

modulator_esp wrote:
it appears the Hi-Fli is being re-released under license

http://www.synthi.co.uk/hifli.html

so it would be nice for something similar to happen with the VCS3/AKS


Does this mean the return of prog space rock guitar solos? Shocked
Seems like someone is ahead of Tom in the manufacturing idea....
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Mark Space-Ratio



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:


How would you like EMS to be?


Deliverable not some holy grail. With a cost that reflects the facilities. If Derek can do the boards x3 for £100 then the cost shouldn't be beyond the skyrocket. Vostok is reasonably priced and more facilities within the box. Derek's offer was a real proposition for the likes of the DIY'r.

Digitana? Expect to extend your mortgage if they put it out. Does anyone know the arrangement between Digitana and RW?

As for that Ebay article it is in such a state that it should be given a formal burial. What is the bloke on?

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ericcoleridge



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

LektroiD wrote:

It's a shame we'll never see these boards.


So, he's not gonna offer the boards now? Crying or Very sad I was getting excited about buying a kit from him...

I couldn't find an e-mail address on the website though, anyone have it?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 6:05 pm    Post subject: EMS Visit.
Subject description: Time is relative
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Just for the record, when I drove from my home in Biggleswade, to Ladock to see Robin Wood, it took me five hours to drive down, we had a very pleasant chat, for a couple of hours, then a brief tour of his workshop, then spent an hour looking for his cat Leo, as it was poorly, and needed to be taken to the Vet, that's why there's not a lot of productivity on the Synth front maybe.

I noticed someone had asked for my email address, you can send me a private message via this web site, but failing that, and perhaps more secure is my aol email address

<email>

{from Tom, v-un-v}Sorry everyone, but I can't allow to have this address printed in plain on the forum. If you want Derek's email address, then PM Derek. Also I can't stop Derek from selling VCS3 kits, but I also have to protect the integrity of the forum. thanks

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suitandtieguy



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PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
If you've got the money, then go get a Jag- or for that matter, a VCS3.


this analogy is silly, because the VCS3 was, in automotive comparison, a Mini Moke compared to a Mark 2 saloon.

keep in mind the VCS3 was a _budget_ synthesiser. it was conceived with absolutely no regard to performance whatsoever, built with the cheapest of cheap, and designed entirely to fund the expensive computer-music tastes of its builders. Pete Zinovieff even seems to look down on us for even liking it at all.

despite these traits, this dismal synthesiser has managed to win its own place in not only the collective subconscious of the UK but also of the entire world. the complete lack of regard given to this thing accidentally resulted in a classic instrument which many musicians couldn't even be imagined going without.

its birthright has been passed to someone who can't even, given a decades-long waiting list, arse himself to build more of them, and when someone _finally_ says "it's just 3 PCBs and a bunch of fiddly wiring, i think i can do that" and puts some PCBs up for sale he gets LYNCHED by the community across several message boards and lists.
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frequencycentral



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Still, you could always build one from scratch, here's mine:

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adambee7



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PostPosted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

oh man! That's beautiful. Razz Razz
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TekniK



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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

very nice made!
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

frequencycentral wrote:
Still, you could always build one from scratch,


You could. I think what Robin Wood has been harping on about, is if you were to go into production. Derek has gone into 'production' by providing printed circuit boards for sale, and that is where I imagine, the 'problem' lies. I think if Derek had simply provided his version of a modified foil layout, so you had to make your own boards, it wouldn't have been that much of a problem, but providing a board, means that you are already halfway there.

Do you know that Tim Souster's VCS3 (a very early model), was made with veroboard?

PS- I like your Pin Matrix. How did you do that?

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frequencycentral



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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
PS- I like your Pin Matrix. How did you do that?


It's a very 'ghetto' matrix made from perfboard and SIL sockets. The pins are just resistors soldered to SIL sockets. Very cheap. But it's lasted 15 years so far........
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

frequencycentral wrote:


It's a very 'ghetto' matrix made from perfboard and SIL sockets


It's genius! Very Happy

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

suitandtieguy wrote:
v-un-v wrote:
If you've got the money, then go get a Jag- or for that matter, a VCS3.


this analogy is silly, because the VCS3 was, in automotive comparison, a Mini Moke compared to a Mark 2 saloon.

keep in mind the VCS3 was a _budget_ synthesiser. it was conceived with absolutely no regard to performance whatsoever, built with the cheapest of cheap, and designed entirely to fund the expensive computer-music tastes of its builders. Pete Zinovieff even seems to look down on us for even liking it at all.

despite these traits, this dismal synthesiser has managed to win its own place in not only the collective subconscious of the UK but also of the entire world. the complete lack of regard given to this thing accidentally resulted in a classic instrument which many musicians couldn't even be imagined going without.


Dismal...yes, I note that these days you can't even give away a Synthi 100. And God forbid anyone actually liking the sounds coming out of one of these pieces, especially a lot...please see the second part of my current autosignature.

Laughing Rolling Eyes

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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Peake wrote:
And God forbid anyone actually liking the sounds coming out of one of these pieces,


Mr Peake, and Mr Suit Dude,

I think, the problem is, that you yanks never had to hide behind the sofa during an episode of Dr Who, or were woken in the morning to the charms of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop doing its thing with the local news bulletins. Nor were you a part of Europe, where a Moog was a relatively expensive device that only the very rich could afford (Keith Emerson springs to mind). The VCS3 was made famous by Pink Floyd and Brian Eno (despite them also owning Minimoogs). Hawkwind and Gong also played a large part in the Anglo-French psyche, both whom, used VCS3's or AKS'. Don't even mention Jean Michel Jarre, who had six of the things when he played live in China!

Can I remind you that the Minimoog, was then a 'budget synth' too? One is on eBay right now for £7000 'buy it now'. The new Voyager- much loved by many American, is vastly overrated, especially when the same amount of lolly, can also buy you a Clavia G2!!

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gwaidan



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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
The new Voyager- much loved by many American, is vastly overrated, especially when the same amount of lolly, can also buy you a Clavia G2!!


Ha ha ha! Or the aforesaid lolly could buy half a dozen MicroKorgs! Razz

Seriously, I think the rest of suitandtieguy's post is beyond contention-at this point RW is not much better than that guy who owned the Moog trademark in the UK and for 10 years did nothing but stop Brits from buying Moog-branded gear...if Derek is willing to help people own VCS3s then the sensible thing would have been for Robin to try and harness that enthusiasm.
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread



gwaidan wrote:

Seriously, I think the rest of suitandtieguy's post is beyond contention-at this point RW is not much better than that guy who owned the Moog trademark in the UK and for 10 years did nothing but stop Brits from buying Moog-branded gear...if Derek is willing to help people own VCS3s then the sensible thing would have been for Robin to try and harness that enthusiasm.


Like I said, there is nothing I, or electro-music.com can do, to stop Derek from selling his PCB's. Am I making myself clear? Wink

We, and I am speaking for electro-music.com, will not support a section on this forum, dedicated to building a custom DIY VCS3.

Cat Fish?

Very Happy

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nerdware



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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

v-un-v wrote:
Don't even mention Jean Michel Jarre, who had six of the things when he played live in China!


I agree with most of what you said, but my recollection was 3 VCS3 and 3 AKS, mounted in 2 rows of each. You can guess which synth was in the bottom row. Wink

Maybe I'm just being pedantic, as your comments about the VCS3 could also apply to the AKS.

BTW, I don't want an EMS synth. I just want the filter...Oh look, clones! Razz

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