The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Synths for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Why isn't there an EMS VCS3 or EMS Synthi AKS reissue/clone?
Old 24th October 2018
  #1
Deleted b598644
Guest
Why isn't there an EMS VCS3 or EMS Synthi AKS reissue/clone?

So nowadays there are various MiniMoog or Moog modular based clones and reissues, Roland SH/Juno/Jupiter/JX3P Boutiques, 808, 909 and 303 clones/Boutiques, Mellotron M4000, Waldorf Streichfett string ensemble, Korg ARP Odyssey clone/reissue, Korg MS20 (mini) reissue, Prophet reissue, Oberheim reissue etc. etc.

But why isn't there still a proper (affordable) hardware EMS VCS3 or EMS Synthi AKS clone/reissue?

Last edited by Deleted b598644; 24th October 2018 at 02:25 AM..
Old 24th October 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

There was one made that was suppose to be a replica. It was black and yellow if I remember right. Kind of ugly actually. The Hornet maybe? As far as it being affordable I don’t think it was. Not even sure if they’re made anymore. Haven’t seen anyone talking about it for a long time.
Old 24th October 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

The problem is if you want an accurate clone it’s not gonna be much cheaper. There are some very rare parts, and the pin matrix costs hundreds of pounds just for itself. Not to mention the hand point to point wiring of the matrix.

To be affordable someone would have to change all the boards and implement some kind of panel like on the matrixbrute
Old 24th October 2018
  #5
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pelican View Post
The problem is if you want an accurate clone it’s not gonna be much cheaper. There are some very rare parts, and the pin matrix costs hundreds of pounds just for itself. Not to mention the hand point to point wiring of the matrix.

To be affordable someone would have to change all the boards and implement some kind of panel like on the matrixbrute
there are no rare parts, the matrix is still produced in switzerland, multiple spindlespots are the industry standard .. and the rest is ordinary electronics
Old 24th October 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pppch View Post
there are no rare parts, the matrix is still produced in switzerland, multiple spindlespots are the industry standard .. and the rest is ordinary electronics
The original case synthi a, speakers, and joystick r out of commission, substitutes sure...
Old 24th October 2018
  #7
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pelican View Post
The original case synthi a, speakers, and joystick r out of commission, substitutes sure...
sounded crucial parts ..
that with the housing should be a joke, right?
Old 24th October 2018
  #8
Lives for gear
 
the fxs's Avatar
 

why buy a clone? they're still beeing made.
Old 24th October 2018
  #9
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
why buy a clone? they're still beeing made.
as far as I know, no new ones are made anymore, but old ones restored. 10k
new is only the plastic case of the German .. a clone 6k
Old 24th October 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Yeah, the original Sealectro pin matrix hasn't been made for decades, although Ghielmetti might still make their version (that's what the PIN Hornet clone uses). Very labour intensive soldering (as Pelican says). The original components have modern equivalents so not too tricky to replicate. The plastic Spartanite briefcases for the A and AKS are rare as a rare thing.
The company who shall not be named have mentioned a clone, and I wouldn't bet on it not appearing at some time in the future, given they have prototyped other vintage synths. There are plenty of circuit diagrams around, as well as DIY PCB cloner projects, but it really is the soldering hook up work that most of the time goes into.
Old 24th October 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pppch View Post
as far as I know, no new ones are made anymore, but old ones restored. 10k
new is only the plastic case of the German .. a clone 6k
EMS Cornwall (Robin Wood) are still making a few VCS3's every month as well as repairing and servicing originals. The waiting list has been closed for years though.
Old 24th October 2018
  #12
Lives for gear
 
the fxs's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pppch View Post
as far as I know, no new ones are made anymore, but old ones restored. 10k
new is only the plastic case of the German .. a clone 6k
a good friend is waiting for his brand new VCS-3 to be delivered this week.
so, yeah, they are still beeing made.
Old 24th October 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by the fxs View Post
a good friend is waiting for his brand new VCS-3 to be delivered this week.
so, yeah, they are still beeing made.
I'm not so sure about the new one ..
but so well restored so nothing is visible ..
I have the info of someone who is closely related to ems rehberg.
for the customer that's not important, the synth is produced on the spot .. in guaranteed handmade,
no fake as with other manufacturers .. So exactly one manufacturer
Old 24th October 2018
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pppch View Post
I'm not so sure about the new one ..
but so well restored so nothing is visible ..
I have the info of someone who is closely related to ems rehberg.
Given that Robin Wood worked for EMS and has inherited all of the legacy documentation and (probably) old stock from EMS Datanomics, I think that his modern versions would be as close as anyone could get to a 70's original. I know about EMS Rehberg but wasn't sure whether they were still making them, given that EMS Cornwall are active. It's one these grey areas in 'rights and copyrights' to the name I guess.
I do know that Chris Carter has one of the new Cornwall versions. That's pretty much a testament to them.
Old 24th October 2018
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

There is this: iVCS3 on the App Store
I've never tried it, but it's had good reviews and generally positive comparisons to the real deal.
Old 24th October 2018
  #16
Deleted b598644
Guest
So we have for example :

Korg Odyssey $800
Behringer model d $300
Korg ms20 mini $500
Roland SH01A $350
Prophet 6 $2800
Oberheim OB6 $2900

Granted, the last 2 are polyphonic and not especially cheap but still, that monophonic Hornet VCS3 "clone" must cost 5000 euro? I don't get it, is it because of that patch panel that it must be so expensive?

Old 24th October 2018
  #17
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
So we have for example :

Korg Odyssey $800
Behringer model d $300
Korg ms20 mini $500
Roland SH01A $350
Prophet 6 $2800
Oberheim OB6 $2900

Granted, the last 2 are polyphonic and not especially cheap but still, that monophonic Hornet VCS3 "clone" must cost 5000 euro? I don't get it, is it because of that patch panel that it must be so expensive?

this is a one man show .. and he just wants to earn something ..
of course, the prices are completely out of place .. both ems and pin.
is time that a real manufacturer times the matter takes
Old 24th October 2018
  #18
Deleted b598644
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by pppch View Post
this is a one man show .. and he just wants to earn something ..
of course, the prices are completely out of place .. both ems and pin.
is time that a real manufacturer times the matter takes
Ah OK, so, why didn't any bigger manufacturer pick this up?
The demand for vintage synth reissues has been very big for decades.
They are only making basic analog synth reissues instead of the really interesting experimental synths like the ARP2600/VCS3/Synthi AKS.
Old 24th October 2018
  #19
Lives for gear
 
pppch's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BassX View Post
Ah OK, so, why didn't any bigger manufacturer pick this up?
The demand for vintage synth reissues has been very big for decades.
They are only making basic analog synth reissues instead of the really interesting experimental synths like the ARP2600/VCS3/Synthi AKS.
you have to ask behringer :D

maybe for christmas or something ... who knows hohoho
Old 24th October 2018
  #20
Old 24th October 2018
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Warning ! A relatively sane approach to the problem:
eurorack mod matrix - Google Search
+Modules of your choice.
=Possibly something better sounding than the VCS, but not as cool looking and about 5 to 10 times cheaper.
Old 24th October 2018
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Bubbleraptor's Avatar
 

Nothing sounds and interacts with itself like a Synthi or VCS3 (or a very close clone I guess). The circuitry and unbuffered pin matrix behave in unpredictable ways which no Euro modular system can. I had all the ASys modules (which were licensed from EMS) as part of a big system- I even had a joystick controller, and although they sounded and worked pretty much like they were supposed to, they can't compare to the real deal, no matter how many mults you used to try and emulate the audio and CV paths. The VCS3/Synthi is very much more than the sum of it's parts and that's it's attraction. It's an instrument that can sometimes be frustrating, but the more you play it, the more it can surprise you. I've created patches that sound like a troop of gibbons screeching in a forest - whether that's useful or not, depends.
Any factory produced clone has to reproduce that sense of barely controlled chaos, and it will be very difficult to do because modern mass synth manufacturing is concerned with precision and predictable behaviour.
Old 25th October 2018
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Gringo Starr's Avatar
 

I’ve been on the list for a VCS3 for 4+ years already. I started at #130 ’ish and last time Robin emailed me I was in the 70’s. If he keeps making them at this speed it’ll be five years before mine is ready... if it ever actually happens that is. I was told he’s a bit elderly and who knows how much longer these will keep being made because of that. Don’t know this for sure. It’s just what I was told.

So yes they’re being made but the chances of getting one brand new isn’t looking good if you’re not on the list at this point. I doubt I’ll ever see mine but who knows?
Old 25th October 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

The app is really good. Bubbleraptor is right, you aren't going to get close to the same experience of real VCS by putting together some Euro.

Save yourself the trouble and get the app and a 50 dollar ipad.
Old 25th October 2018
  #25
Lives for gear
 
jazzcabbage's Avatar
 

The app is really good. One of my favorite soft synths. But I’d rather have the hardware!
Old 25th October 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Streetly Electronics in England (the Mellotron folks) have a mint condition Synthi for sale. I don't know the price though.
Old 25th October 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronman View Post
Streetly Electronics in England (the Mellotron folks) have a mint condition Synthi for sale. I don't know the price though.
My guess would be a minimum 15K.
Old 25th October 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
 
massimo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo Starr View Post
I’ve been on the list for a VCS3 for 4+ years already. I started at #130 ’ish and last time Robin emailed me I was in the 70’s. If he keeps making them at this speed it’ll be five years before mine is ready... if it ever actually happens that is. I was told he’s a bit elderly and who knows how much longer these will keep being made because of that. Don’t know this for sure. It’s just what I was told.

So yes they’re being made but the chances of getting one brand new isn’t looking good if you’re not on the list at this point. I doubt I’ll ever see mine but who knows?
This is more or less my situation as well. But now I am also concerned that if Brexit becomes effective, I will have to add import tax to the EU on top of the already high price tag...
Old 27th October 2018
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbleraptor View Post
. The circuitry and unbuffered pin matrix behave in unpredictable ways which no Euro modular system can.
There are unbuffered Euro matrices. The SSSR Matrixarchate is one that comes to mind. Passive averaging of signals and crosstalk does give the Synthi some special qualities, but you can get get a system behaving in a very similar fashion in euro. Not clone, but such that you're making sounds that are very much in the range tonally and behavior like. Easily a synthi cousin, which is really not such a bad thing. Where the euro approach breaks down is in the user interface, which is going to be both more flexible and more obnoxious.

I'd love a synthi but I am not at all unsatisfied with my euro synthiesque.
Getting oscillators with the right kind of exponential conversion to allow for linear detune, a spring reverb, a diode filter, a trapazoid generator and some harmonically pleasing amps brings you pretty close.

If there was a proper passive matrix system available I'd maybe DIY. I am not sold on the Ghielmetti.
Old 31st October 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Forbidden Planet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbleraptor View Post
There is this: iVCS3 on the App Store
I've never tried it, but it's had good reviews and generally positive comparisons to the real deal.
Hmm I never owned a synth app before, but I found myself downloading this, looks fun!
Edit: not half as fun as I thought. Nothing beats hardware I guess

Last edited by Forbidden Planet; 31st October 2018 at 06:45 PM..
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump