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Why not just Doepfer?
Old 21st May 2018
  #61
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subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrosive.Abuser View Post
I know I'm a bit late to this thread but I just wanted to say that I've been buying Doepfer products since 1994, starting with their MS404, and finally getting into their modular format around 1999 and I can't praise the stuff enough, - although I did change the knobs for Roland System 100-m knobs via technology transplant around 2008-9, with a few Boss knobs thrown in to break things up a little.

Now I've been buying electronic instruments and hardware since 1986, but over the last 5 to 10yrs I've noticed a worry trend within the eurorack market.

Example: The average Eurorack sequencer now costs more than the secondhand Akai MPC2000xl SE-edition I bought last year to compliment my ageing MPC60ii, it is immaculate and was a steal at £350, and coupled with one of my old Kenton midi-cv converters....
I don't agree on the exploitive angle. Many of these brands represent a very small group of people. Very few of them can take advantage of economies of scale. Even "popular" modules sell in the hundreds maybe low thousands last I heard. Look at 500 series modules or hand made guitars. Those are other niche markets and their prices reflect that. Also comparing a new anything to something bought used, especially as old as an MPC2000xl is not even a remotely fair comparison. MPC2ks were over $1k new in 2000 and one of the reasons they are cheap is because of the outdated storage. How much are you going to spend to mod the thing so you don't have to use floppies?

But - I do agree that for some people/uses there are things that don't really make sense to stuff in the case. I always looked at sequencing like this. I have no desire to reach through a tangle of patch cables to get to my sequence (caveat that S&H + quantizer stuff can be fun but I'm talking traditional sequencing here). I loved the BSP for this but when it came time to upgrade I looked at what a bunch of euro modules would cost compared to the cost, ergonomics, features, etc. of an outboard unit and it was clear which direction I was going to take. So I dropped my cash on a new MPC Live and Yarns module, well over a grand but to match all of the features in that combo in modules would be two or three times that.

I think there are plenty of other folks out there that also use other hardware with modular. Most of the studios I see are not 100% purely modular.
Old 21st May 2018
  #62
Gear Nut
 
Corrosive.Abuser's Avatar
 

@ subdo
Hi, yeah, I agree, all valid points.

~ and don't get me wrong, if I was still working and earning the money I'd probably buy a few more eurorack systems myself, though I think I'd just try to stick with the practical designs as much as possible, and one brand = one system, - having mild autism I just wouldn't be able to have the clash of so many different brands within one system, - but thats my problem, luckily for me the AMsynths filters look right at home in my systems and compliment the doepfer filters beautifully. I also understand your point about the smaller-developers and totally agree, of course the bespoke stuff will be a little more pricey, I just feel that some of the prices asked for some modules seem a little on the high side, in relation to the initial vagueness, actual physical options and sometimes longterm usefulness. Also I do feel that new-heads coming into eurorack for the first time can easily overlook doepfer, exactly because of their competitive prices, and I feel that's a shame, - I do loath the knobs though, but I guess I'd rather they cut corners there instead of somewhere else, and pimping it up with better ones doesn't cost much.

Hey, Just realised, perhaps I'm the "purist", with my analog-only systems, floppy/zip discs, hardware sequencers/samplers and practical approach, - guess I'm just a sucker for the science of practical-synthesis.

Be well,
E
______
edit: should state, I did upgrade many of the opamps in the doepfer modules, not necessary, but I noticed the difference.

Last edited by Corrosive.Abuser; 21st May 2018 at 08:43 PM..
Old 21st May 2018
  #63
Lives for gear
 

I’ve thought about doing an all Doepfer system before. I can just never remember what modules I was interested in because of the naming convention they use.
Old 21st May 2018
  #64
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Coorec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by subdo View Post
I don't agree on the exploitive angle. Many of these brands represent a very small group of people. Very few of them can take advantage of economies of scale.
I see your point, but its very notable that with success some manufacturers indeed increase prices for every new generation of their modules. Eventhough they are very equal to their predecessors when it comes to electronics, number of parts and time necessary to produce them.

Anyhow, its their decision to set the price and consumers decision to buy them for it. So its all good.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #65
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subdo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coorec View Post
I see your point, but its very notable that with success some manufacturers indeed increase prices for every new generation of their modules. Eventhough they are very equal to their predecessors when it comes to electronics, number of parts and time necessary to produce them.

Anyhow, its their decision to set the price and consumers decision to buy them for it. So its all good.
It's hard to really know what a fair price is when you're dealing with these small shops but e.g. Mutable's Plaits came in cheaper than Braids and I remember Oliver saying it was mostly due to being able to do bigger batches. I haven't been into euro long enough to know how Deopfer prices have changed over time. They don't seem to have changed much since they started being more widely available in the states.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #66
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Coorec's Avatar
Yep, Doepfer is still pretty much the same prices. And MI is pretty special too, since they are overly in everything, open source etc.
Old 23rd May 2018
  #67
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stylesforfree's Avatar
 

I used to ask the same question. Then I bought a load of make noise modules to start off my rig and never looked back. I have a doepfer thru zero VCO, clock divider and dual VCA and i think for these type of modules and the utility stuff, they are second to none in terms of value for money.
Old 25th May 2018
  #68
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Derp's Avatar
If I were doing a system made up strictly of one manufacturer, I'd have trouble deciding between Doepfer and EMW. Both of them make high-quality modules that cover all of the basics, and then have some more adventurous stuff on top of that. Doepfer in particular, I'm impressed with their filters the Wasp and the SSM filters are amazing.
Old 26th May 2018
  #69
Gear Nut
 
Corrosive.Abuser's Avatar
 

@ ArtFluids

Hi, the Xpander VCF is on the clean side, I'm not saying it doesn't have it's own character, but I don't use it as often as I do other VCFs.
If you like the Boards of Canada sound it's a filter worth having, it's clean but not sterile, I do like it though and keep it in my system.

I tend to use the A-108 as my initial default VCF, the resonance can get nasty, but in a good way, it's creamy sounding, but wild at the same time, a very useful VCF in my opinion, reminds me a little of the Roland 100m lowpass filter, also good for overdriven filter sounds.

Last edited by Corrosive.Abuser; 26th May 2018 at 10:20 PM..
Old 26th May 2018
  #70
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gruvsyco's Avatar
Having been into modular now for a few years. I'd be more inclined to buy Doepfer now than I was in the beginning. I think my perception of Doepfer from the outset was they were cheap beginner modules. You don't ever hear of anyone complaining about the quality of the modules though. Their newer "vintage black" modules kinda got rid of their clinical aesthetic (Pittsburgh (whom I would compare to Doepfer on many levels) has done well to fix that on their modules too). They may not sound as great as some of the more "cloney" modules but they cover a huge amount of territory and sound pretty decent IMO.
Old 3rd June 2018
  #71
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lineofcontrol's Avatar
 

Doepfer does the job... But much of it doesn't excite me. Although I have a few of their black Vintage edition pieces with the nicer knobs and they are very beautiful.

I like blinky lights a lot.... And Doepfer doesn't have enough of those!

Here is the Doepfer that I own :
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/501775
Old 3rd June 2018
  #72
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gruvsyco's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lineofcontrol View Post
Doepfer does the job... But much of it doesn't excite me. Although I have a few of their black Vintage edition pieces with the nicer knobs and they are very beautiful.

I like blinky lights a lot.... And Doepfer doesn't have enough of those!

Here is the Doepfer that I own :
https://www.modulargrid.net/e/racks/view/501775
I cannot even begin to estimate how many times I've had their full sequencer rig in modular grid rack, the 154, 155, 156 and the 160-5. I think it usually gets bumped from any purchase because of the size but I'm sure I'll eventually do it.
Old 15th June 2018
  #73
Gear Maniac
in typical german style, i feel Doepfer emphasizes "systemhood," utility, and functionality over hype and pretty design. i think they've got a module for most use cases... i happen to really like their filters a lot—wasp especially. even when compared to more fancy boutique modules, the doepfer's just kill and have a great tone and character.
Old 16th June 2018
  #74
13k in modules and I own one Doepfer, with 3 more by them in the plan. Quad Sequential Switch, Switched Mult, toolbox thingy and ratchet thingy. Those particular modules fall within my particular parameters and literally none of their other stuff interests me. Perhaps if the plan were to change I’d want more but I don’t think so. Has nothing to do with them though, my plan is very specific.
If I lost everything in a fire a started over perhaps I would get more of their stuff. It is cheap by comparison to a lot of others...
Old 16th June 2018
  #75
The beauty of modular is everyone can go in a million different directions. Personal choice.
My first Eurorack system in the mid 90’s was all Doepfer. My current system has no Doepfer.
I don’t really like midi, hence no midi to cv, and I find modular samplers are quite fun, and don’t own a drum sampler/sequencer.
Each to their own.
The only wrong is telling someone they shouldn’t use something, or telling soneone they shouldn’t purchase certain brands.
Old 17th June 2018
  #76
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Doepfer has the benefit of giving you simple, comparatively inexpensive modules to build with, so that you can accumulate your own selection of "vanilla" functions to build the character and style of your Eurorack modular from scratch. This honors the unique character of modular synthesis.

The Eurorack world has evolved in its ingenuity so that more and more of the combinatorial possibilities are integrated for you in one, more expensive module.

This isn't a bad thing, or a caveat emptor thing, but an inevitable progression.

Still, if you really want to start exploring Eurorack from the roots, it's a good choice to start and stay with Doepfer for awhile, until you have a more specialized sense of things you want or need.
Old 7th June 2019
  #77
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Guest
I have 420HP total and a lifetime of modular left, I'm considering filling the rest of my top row with Doepfer modules (probably around 70HP)... Cheap, to the point, I'm sure built to last a lifetime, didn't they invent the Eurorack standard?... The naming convention is a bit of a bitch but they have so many modules out there I'm sure it'd be hard to come up with the next Hertz Donut constantly.
Old 10th June 2019
  #78
Gear Head
Doepfer has great units, but I have two problems with Doepfer:

1. the modules are fairly large. Of course you get a lot of bigger fancy modules from all the other companies too, but for a beginner smaller things mean less space and less overwhelming experience too in my opinion.

2. they dont look particularly good. They look in fact super bland. Now, many people will say that "only the sound is what matters" but this is not true, especially not with modular. Creativity is a strange bird and pretty things seem to help to get that surge in creativity for a lot. Or at least some kind of extremity, maybe an industrial looking machine-esque rack, or something clean and modern etc.

Doepfer just looks like...nothing. So they could definitely improve in these areas.
Old 10th June 2019
  #79
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by breakline View Post
Doepfer has great units, but I have two problems with Doepfer:

1. the modules are fairly large. Of course you get a lot of bigger fancy modules from all the other companies too, but for a beginner smaller things mean less space and less overwhelming experience too in my opinion.

2. they dont look particularly good. They look in fact super bland. Now, many people will say that "only the sound is what matters" but this is not true, especially not with modular. Creativity is a strange bird and pretty things seem to help to get that surge in creativity for a lot. Or at least some kind of extremity, maybe an industrial looking machine-esque rack, or something clean and modern etc.

Doepfer just looks like...nothing. So they could definitely improve in these areas.
In terms of looks, I'd say they've already improved. Otherwise, I agree with your other points.

Old 10th June 2019
  #80
Gear Maniac
It's obviously subjective, but I love the look of doepfer: industrial no-nonsense anti-design.. grey panels with grey knobs. Pure boss. (maisonvague 's wood-panelled system on page 1 is a great example)







Other companies have taken up the more poppy contemporary looks, like mutable or make noise, and while I like the very individual aesthetics they all come up with, I most appreciate the aesthetics of the older established companies ... black moog modulars, grey-panel Buchla 100s, more colorful Buchla 200s with their blue italics font and banana jacks, serge, AS, Macbeth (a take on the classic EMS aesthetic)...

Old 10th June 2019
  #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millionmiles View Post
It's obviously subjective, but I love the look of doepfer: industrial no-nonsense anti-design.. grey panels with grey knobs. Pure boss. (maisonvague 's wood-panelled system on page 1 is a great example)
Oh, I'm totally with you! I love the classic Doepfer look. That system has since evolved into this:



While I will concede that black "vintage edition" Doepfer looks sexier, I still prefer the utilitarian look of the real vintage Doepfer.

At some point, I will likely expand my gray panel system to a monster wooden case plus monster base. Actually, I almost have enough homeless modules (or modules housed in mini-cases) to do that now.

Just not enough funds. Even "low-cost" cases are expensive!
Old 10th June 2019
  #82
Gear Maniac
wow! what a setup!


as an aside, wondering how you'd compare the raw osc tones of the River compared to Doepfer, and compared to your Micromac (if you still have that?). I have a Source (which I understand the River is based on, and which the Micromac filter is based on), but long story short, I'm thinking of replacing my Source with a Micromac if I can find one, and then building a polyphonic doepfer to complement the MM. if this derails the thread too much, feel free to PM too...
Old 10th June 2019
  #83
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maisonvague's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by millionmiles View Post
wow! what a setup!


as an aside, wondering how you'd compare the raw osc tones of the River compared to Doepfer, and compared to your Micromac (if you still have that?). I have a Source (which I understand the River is based on, and which the Micromac filter is based on), but long story short, I'm thinking of replacing my Source with a Micromac if I can find one, and then building a polyphonic doepfer to complement the MM. if this derails the thread too much, feel free to PM too...
Since we're discussing Doepfer, I don't think we'd be derailing the thread.

So, without further ado...

I'd say the biggest difference between The River VCOs and the various Doepfers I have (eg A-110, A-112-1) would be that their output level is much lower. I'm needing to adjust my usual gain-staging within the system to compensate. In some cases, The River individual voice output levels aren't strong enough to trigger certain events like desirable distortion/saturation when hitting mixers and filters.

At the same time, the levels aren't so low as to necessitate using something like a A-119 External Input module, but I'm considering it. I will definitely do the chip upgrade, though, first, as the amplification circuit on that module is pretty low budget.

About replacing The Source with a Micromac plus poly-Doepfer, I think that's a great idea. And yes, I do still have my Micromac. It works really well with Doepfer modules! I even discussed this once with Dieter Doepfer himself and he agreed. They make a great combo.

For example, hitting the Micromac with standard Doepfer A-140 ADSRs sounds really nice. The power and range of those envelopes is much greater than the Micromac's own envelopes. Another winning combo is Micromac plus A-188 BBD chorus/flanger/delay. You can get unworldly sounds from this--especially if you get a Micromac-D with the two extra analog LFOs and use the one with an external output to modulate the A-188's parameters, and the other to create mayhem within the Micromac. But even a eurorack Micromac will work well with this module.

Also, taking the three Micromac VCOs out into an A-127 Triple Resonant Filter sounds fantastic!! Together with the A-127 BOM and a polyphonic MIDI interface, you can create a three voice Micromac with 12dB filters (LP, HP, BP, Notch) which again sounds fantastic.
Old 10th June 2019
  #84
Gear Maniac
thanks kindly for the detailed explanation @ maisonvague ! you've got a few of the systems i've been looking at for a while now. really great to hear how the MM plays with doepfer (and other) modules. I'm hoping to find a desktop version of the MM in the next year.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #85
Gear Nut
 
bobsitamon's Avatar
 

Doepfer is all well and good, but for me the whole point of eurorack is to take advantage of the huge variety of manufacturers and different approaches, and mix and match to create something unique. You can create a whole modular system from one company, but IMO you miss out on what other brands have to offer. I couldn't care less about what it looks like, whether all gray or whatever, the sound and functionality is all that matters.
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