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-   -   Why isn't there an EMS VCS3 or EMS Synthi AKS reissue/clone? (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/electronic-music-instruments-and-electronic-music-production/1235495-why-isnt-there-ems-vcs3-ems-synthi-aks-reissue-clone.html)

Deleted b598644 24th October 2018 01:59 AM

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?

Gringo Starr 24th October 2018 03:03 AM

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.

Gringo Starr 24th October 2018 03:04 AM

Ok here it is.

The Hornet Portable Modular Synthesizer (EMS Synthi VCS 3 Clone) – Synthtopia

pelican 24th October 2018 03:09 AM

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

pppch 24th October 2018 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pelican (Post 13588547)
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

pelican 24th October 2018 08:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pppch (Post 13588670)
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...

pppch 24th October 2018 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pelican (Post 13588826)
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?

the fxs 24th October 2018 09:35 AM

why buy a clone? they're still beeing made.

pppch 24th October 2018 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the fxs (Post 13588886)
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

Bubbleraptor 24th October 2018 09:44 AM

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.

Bubbleraptor 24th October 2018 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pppch (Post 13588895)
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.

the fxs 24th October 2018 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pppch (Post 13588895)
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.

pppch 24th October 2018 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the fxs (Post 13588920)
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;)

Bubbleraptor 24th October 2018 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pppch (Post 13588928)
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.

Bubbleraptor 24th October 2018 10:49 AM

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. :)

Deleted b598644 24th October 2018 12:11 PM

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?

mezed

pppch 24th October 2018 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BassX (Post 13589075)
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?

mezed

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 :)

Deleted b598644 24th October 2018 12:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pppch (Post 13589080)
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.

pppch 24th October 2018 12:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BassX (Post 13589088)
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

spock 24th October 2018 03:22 PM

1 Attachment(s)
EMS in Cornwall (prices are 20 years old)
Electronic Music Studios

There are many Synthi clones: (I've not heard any of these, just played an AKS back in the 90's)

Digitana Electronics – Custom Interface Modules for EMS Synthi AKS, VCS3 Synthesizers and Much More…

Pin Electronics

Derek Revell's Home Page

EMS Synthi A Clone - DIY Synth other - We love DIY Synthesizer

http://www.stgsoundlabs.com/products..._filter_mu.htm

An old GS thread: EMS VCS3 alternatives?

Mutantt 24th October 2018 04:37 PM

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.

Bubbleraptor 24th October 2018 06:11 PM

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. :lol:
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.

Gringo Starr 25th October 2018 01:08 AM

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?

Moonwhistle 25th October 2018 01:23 AM

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.

jazzcabbage 25th October 2018 01:59 AM

The app is really good. One of my favorite soft synths. But I’d rather have the hardware! diddlydoo

Tronman 25th October 2018 01:25 PM

Streetly Electronics in England (the Mellotron folks) have a mint condition Synthi for sale. I don't know the price though.

Mutantt 25th October 2018 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tronman (Post 13591123)
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.

massimo 25th October 2018 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gringo Starr (Post 13590481)
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...

bluegreengold 27th October 2018 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bubbleraptor (Post 13589693)
. 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.

Forbidden Planet 31st October 2018 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bubbleraptor (Post 13588982)
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