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Octave Plateau Voyetra 8 - Good investment, scary investment? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 29th January 2007
  #1
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Octave Plateau Voyetra 8 - Good investment, scary investment?

A friend has a Voyetra 8 for sale. It's $1500 and comes with the keyboard.

Anyone know if this synth is worth pursuing?

I love polysynths and this one is definitely cool, but I'm also wary of something so rare. For the same price I could get something more reliable.

Horror or love stories?
Old 30th January 2007
  #2
I wouldn't say horror story, but I looked into the Voyetra about ten years ago and concluded it might be a maintenance nightmare, not to mention needing a science degree to program it.
A nice instrument however.
I owned a Prophet VS for a while too.
It sounded amazing, but once I realised it contained so many obsolete chips (unreplaceable) I decided to sell it.
I'm not sure if the Voyetra is in the same bag, but a lot of the synths from this period contain hard to find, unique components.
Having said that, I see the VS is still used by a lot of players, although it's a lot of money to spend on something that might be a white elephant.
Old 30th January 2007
  #3
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On paper, it looks like you're about to make an incredible deal, however understand this:

The Rev4 are the most stables. The revisions that are not stable are the rev1, rev2, a few rev3's and whichever early revision that was built around those cream color motherboards.
If you want to buy one, make sure it has a green or even better blue motherboard.

The Voyetra is a very sophisticated machine When you have a problem on your Voyetra, the source may not be always on the circuit board of the Vco or Vcf if that's one of your problem. It may be triggered by something different. I think a tech require special training to fix those unit. If you bring yours to a tech than have never seen or worked on any before he may just mess it all up. You really have to familiarise yourself with the machine so you understand it and knows how to threat her well as a user so you extend its lifetime.

All parts to service a Voyetra are available to my knowledge, even the DAC (Digital to Analog) boards if they need to be replaced ... All VCF/VCA/VCO chips sells on the market. Like a lot of analog gear, the oscillators stabilise when they reach room temperature. The Autotune function is also very handy as it tunes the beast for you.

The Vpk5 is useless. If you want to control the Voyetra 8 midi, then you can't use the Vpk5 controller: It's either one or the other. If you want to exptend poplyphony, you can also chain 2 Voyetra's together and have a 16 Polysynth Voyetra like i do.

If you don't want to spend too long learning how to navigate thru it, do like me and use this application:
http://www.squest.com/Windows/Instru...ra8/index.html
Old 30th January 2007
  #4
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It's a Rev3. Thanks for the librarian link.

Interesting comment on the keyboard.

I wish someone would make a cool analog polysynth these days. Maybe I should just stack monos

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer View Post
The Rev4 are the most stables. The revisions that are not are the rev1/2, a few rev3's and whatever Voyetra that was built around those cream color motherboards. If you want to buy one, make sure it has a green or even better blue motherboard.
All parts to service a Voyetra are available from my knowledge, even the DAC boards ... All VCF/VCA/VCO chips sells on the market. Like a lot of analog gear, the oscillators stabilise when they reach room temperature. The Autotune function is also very handy as it tunes the beast for you.
The Vpk5 is useless. If you want to control the Voyetra 8 midi, then you can't use the Vpk5 controller: It's either one or the other. If you want to exptend poplyphony, you can also chain 2 Voyetra's together and have a 16 Polysynth Voyetra like i do.
If you don't want to spend too long learning how to navigate thru it, do like me and use this application:
http://www.squest.com/Windows/Instru...ra8/index.html
Old 30th January 2007
  #5
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Also, understand something :
Midi quest XL only work with Rev4's, since this is the last revision released for the Voyetra . It offered extended midi capabilities.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #6
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Rev 4 would be worth owning. No maintenance probs as long as you're willing to send it to a guy in NYC who services them. Has a very heavy industrial sound, something like a Memorymoog, but with more options. The main shortcoming is that like some other polyphonic analogs it has some midi latency when using it with a sequencer.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #7
Always wanted one of those after reading New Order used them back in the day.
Old 2nd February 2007
  #8
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Soundchaser

Back before midi came out there was a keyboard called the Soundchaser that hooked into an Apple 2 computer through a ribbon cable. I think I still have mine although it's been years since I used it or hooked it up.You might be able to get them on ebay cheap now.It was a cool sounding synth that you could draw your own wave forms on the screen and stack the waves for pretty big sounds.The more waves you stacked the less notes you could play of coarse.I think it was 8 bit but it still sounded very cool.It sounded like no other synth and still does.I spent three years just creating sounds on it.It had a seq software that you could record tracks with it in the apple as well.This was before sampeling was even out on synths.Brings back memories.

Stace
Old 3rd February 2007
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer View Post
Back before midi came out there was a keyboard called the Soundchaser that hooked into an Apple 2 computer through a ribbon cable. I think I still have mine although it's been years since I used it or hooked it up.You might be able to get them on ebay cheap now.It was a cool sounding synth that you could draw your own wave forms on the screen and stack the waves for pretty big sounds.The more waves you stacked the less notes you could play of coarse.I think it was 8 bit but it still sounded very cool.It sounded like no other synth and still does.I spent three years just creating sounds on it.It had a seq software that you could record tracks with it in the apple as well.This was before sampeling was even out on synths.Brings back memories.

Stace
It sounds like your talking about the Waveterm used with the PPG...Same principle if i recall...
Old 2nd February 2012
  #10
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Would anybody know by any chance how one upgrades the ROM/OS on a Voyetra 8?
(from a REV3 -> REV4?)
Old 2nd February 2012
  #11
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If he doesn't chime in on this thread you might try PMing 'dougt' as I think he knows about this stuff. Or call Peter Lanzilotta at (212) 685-7900, he's the one that did all the work on my rev 4.
Old 2nd February 2012
  #12
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Rev3 to 4 is more than just ROMs there's hardware changes too which Peter has been out of for a very long time I'm afraid..
Old 2nd February 2012
  #13
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Thanks! I'll try to reach Peter....
Old 10th February 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougt View Post
Rev3 to 4 is more than just ROMs there's hardware changes too which Peter has been out of for a very long time I'm afraid..
+1 The Rev 4 circuit board is different than the rev 3. The stock of Rev 4 circuit aboard has been out of stock for almost 10years. No upgrades are anymore possible!
Old 18th April 2013
  #15
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Ran across a nice Voyetra 8 demo video while surfing on my iPad last night. Guess it's been up for over a year but I hadn't seen it before.



Freaking love the sound of mine, just wish it was as hands-on to program as my Prophet 5.
Old 18th April 2013
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSooner View Post
Ran across a nice Voyetra 8 demo video while surfing on my iPad last night. Guess it's been up for over a year but I hadn't seen it before.



Freaking love the sound of mine, just wish it was as hands-on to program as my Prophet 5.
ok that is good...Id not heard a convincing demo before of this...
Old 18th April 2013
  #17
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Hehe that's one of my old V-8s in that demo. Best sounding polysynth ever made. No wonder they've gone from $1500 to $5000 in the last few years. I have a demo I've been meaning to put up too (although the sound quality isn't that great).
Old 18th April 2013
  #18
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BTW the info earlier in the thread about the VPK being an either-or situation with midi is incorrect as far as I can tell. I use both regularly. Maybe there is some scenario where it could be the case but I haven't encountered it and I control my V8 from an MPC60 and edit the patches via sysex with an iPad, use a master midi keyboard and can still twiddle on the VPK to my hearts content. The aftertouch response is adjustable on the VPK and just feels better overall.
Old 18th April 2013
  #19
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Great demo, you should do a second one. I'm too lazy to video any of my synths but always enjoy watching and listening to good synth demos. It does say "Pt. 1" after all...
Old 18th April 2013
  #20
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Hey thanks, yeah I keep meaning to get to pt2...

Funny what you said above - I was thinking the same thing after getting my P5 recently.

I've been having good results with the icontrolmidi iPad app. Wasn't cheap but it works and I think they put all their R&D time into it and hoped on a big return, but they closed up shop in January. I'm gonna try and map most of the main functions to a CME bitstream if possible - the iPad app disables some functions etc, depending on what settings you select - it could be tricky to program that on the CME.

Anyhow, dope sounding synth and has been reliable for me. A voice just went out and all it needed was an SSM2044 replaced (thanks for the tip Doug)
Old 18th April 2013
  #21
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I love this instrument immensely.
Old 2nd August 2013
  #22
Gear Head
 

i'm looking into buying a voyetra now.
was hoping anybody here could give me some information on what to look for in the hopes of getting a good working instrument.
the motherboard is GREEN.
how much does it matter between green and blue?

how much do you think they are worth now? no keyboard.

thanks for any info you can pass on!
Old 3rd August 2013
  #23
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I don't know the difference between the blue and green cards. Mine are green. The key is to make sure it's a rev. 4 (that's the only version that will work with software editors, and is supposed to be more stable).

I have an eBay alert on them, they tend to go for $3750-5000. I basically never see them for sale with the keyboard, and it's just a MIDI keyboard so there's no reason why you can't use any other MIDI keyboard to control it. (I don't have nor do I want the original keyboard.)

If it has problems and you need to send it in to Peter you'll need to add shipping costs (both ways) if you're not near New York and repair costs to that, although once it's been gone over I suspect it'll be good for many more years. The one I bought had a number of problems and cost about $750 to repair but has been perfect since.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #24
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yeah rev4 is what matters, though a lot of rev4 had the blue boards I think? but it doesn't really matter as long as it's a rev4, but i recall hearing the blueboards were better quality or something like that anyway...so maybe less repairs? but the mainboard being rev4 is the big thing, you can only do so much if it's older. I missed a chance to get a really nice rev4 one time, but I just didn't have the cash at the time, in hindsight, meh, shoulda just got it! Maybe some day. $4000ish is probably a good price. I dunno if i'd pay 5k for one though. I don't care about the keyboard though.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #25
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If you want a keyboard Carmine Bonanno has some factory seconds from back in the day that hes selling for 400 plus shipping. He also has NOS Catsticks for 500 each plus shipping. Thats why youve seen a few for sale lately but of course for way more than 500 LOL. I'd have mine already except he only takes money order and of course mine got lost even though i sent it registered for f's sake.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #26
Gear Guru
I almost bought one of these 10 years ago and passed for an OB-8.

What makes them so hard to program? I took peoples word for it then.. but I'm still curious.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel View Post
I almost bought one of these 10 years ago and passed for an OB-8.

What makes them so hard to program? I took peoples word for it then.. but I'm still curious.
Well, there are plenty of knobs so that's not the problem. The problem is the entire interface is 3 sets of two digit displays. And because it's an incredibly deep synthesis engine, you need to have basically a map in front of you to keep track of which menu you're in. With the MIDI programmers it's not an issue, but if you're doing everything from the front panel the 6 numbers (3 pairs of 2 numbers) aren't enough information, you have to sort of make notes as you go like breadcrumbs to keep track of which part of the interface you're in. It's byzantine.

On the flipside, it's the most gorgeous polyphonic synthesizer I've ever heard IMO. If that sound was inside a Prophet 5 with that kind of immediate interface the P5 prices would be through the roof. It's relatively unknown because there weren't that many made, and because it's legitimately a pain in the ass to program.

But, from all the analog poly synths I've ever heard, the Voyetra 8 is the best IMO.
Old 3rd August 2013
  #28
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Shhhhhhhhhh
Old 4th August 2013
  #29
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how do you tell if it's a Rev. 4?

it's very interesting that they're not on too many peoples radar, but those that have tried them keep saying they're the best.

he's asking under 3K, and says it's working and probably just needs a little clean up. so i'm very tempted to go for it.

i just saw one on ebay that didn't receive a starting bid of 5K, so it's a bit hard to say how what their true resale value is. they definitely don't have the same ease to sell as say a JP8.
Old 4th August 2013
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman_west View Post
how do you tell if it's a Rev. 4?

it's very interesting that they're not on too many peoples radar, but those that have tried them keep saying they're the best.

he's asking under 3K, and says it's working and probably just needs a little clean up. so i'm very tempted to go for it.

i just saw one on ebay that didn't receive a starting bid of 5K, so it's a bit hard to say how what their true resale value is. they definitely don't have the same ease to sell as say a JP8.
Going completely off memory here. I think the rev 4's are the first with an incredibly loud fan on the back. (I looked into replacing it with a larger quieter one but didn't find one of the appropriate depth.)

Anyway, rev 3 or 4 if you decide not to buy it for under $3k PM me, I'll buy it if the seller isn't a flake.
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