Page 1 of 2

Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:40 pm
by Mr Shave
Has anyone used one of their modulars? I've been on the fence about it for a while, but I've never seen one before, nor do I know anyone who owns one.

Im curious about the build quality of their stuff and customer service. I've heard stories of modular makers taking forever from purchase to delivery, so Im curious if the dotcom stuff falls into that category? Or would I have confidence that I'll get a module in a relatively short period of time after purchasing... How are they with staying in tune? Obviously I am aware that going into modular territory will result in issues like that...

How do they sound?

Thanks

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:10 am
by Goom
I own a few of their modules which I bought used. They are built very well, the controls feel nice, and the performance is great. I haven't noticed any tuning issues, other than a slight error when using the range switch in the highest octave setting. All that's required is a slight tweak to the fine tune knob to get it back in tune. There is an inexpensive upgrade to fix this issue. IIRC, it just plugs in (no soldering).

I bought a couple of extra modules new, and they shipped quickly. If you bought a fully stocked cabinet, it might take them awhile to assemble it. You can always email them to ask, and I'm sure you'd get a straight-forward answer.

I've read a LOT of positive feedback over the years from various owners about Synthesizers.com and how nice they treat their customers. Great customer service is something that is sorely lacking in many companies these days. It's nice to see that they're not one of them! To keep this on-topic, I made a small purchase with Moog a couple of years back and also could not be happier. There was a mixup in my order, and not only did they correct it with no hassle, I even got some freebies thrown in with my order.

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 3:11 pm
by EricK
I bought some blank panels, a rack frame and their q119 with the Power supply to support 8 modules. It works very well, was packed like an absolute master and I love it.

The best way to describe the construction of my module is "store bought DIY". Like mentioned above, some of the componants you can just pop in and out, like you can push the LED through the hole in the panel. The only other module that I have ever owned that I could compare the quality was an exact NOS Moog clone 921a Oscillator Driver. The Moog clone was built like a tank but this I don't think could detract from the quality of the Dotcom stuff. The pots feel good, the jacks feel sturdy and it works great.

Buy with confidence!

FWIW, I sold my 921a to buy that sequencer, and I will buy more dotcom modules in the future.


Those guys are very knowledegable there.
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/sy ... scomgroup/

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:11 pm
by Just Me
Dot.com is the best in customer service and value. There are fancier items out there, but they come at a cost in time and money. I have bought used DotCom modules and Roger has still repaired them free when I damaged them. Cant beat that with a stick. Just watch out as modulars are a deep rabbit hole! I started with a Cp-251 nand Vx-351. Then a simple 11 module modular for processing. Less than 2 years later I'm at 88 spaces filled.

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:37 pm
by thealien666
Just Me wrote:.... Less than 2 years later I'm at 88 spaces filled.



Geeez! :shock: This could almost be called a sickness... Meaning that this modular must be sick ! :mrgreen:

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:19 pm
by Mr Shave
Yeah, im trying to be careful and not become addicted to the drug.. haha. All I really want with my current set up is a couple more envelope generators.. I think it would have been cool to have a 3rd EG on the voyager for modulation instead of the touch surface... Im glad to hear that the dotcom stuff is good. I think i'll have the make the plunge soon. Going to do their intro plan. I can afford that after just getting a voyager a couple months ago haha! :)

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:05 pm
by Just Me
It went from this:

Image

To this. (And it is still growing!)

Image

And then there are all the Foogers to add to the modularity. (is that a word?)

Image

Yep, I'm showing off! LOL!

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:35 pm
by thealien666
To Just Me: for the money and time you invested in all this equipment, you're entitled to showing off ! :D
And thanks for making me salivating all over my computer keyboard... :roll:

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:02 pm
by Mr Shave
Oh my! Thats quite a bit of stuff! I take pride in all that I own also! For me it all started with the little phatty. I was on the fence for so long about buying it, but once i did, my eyes were opened... No so much for the sound (it took me a lot longer to learn how to program it), but for me it was the "I have physical knobs that I dont have to assign to a parameter!? AWESOME!" I bought the phatty with the CV out mod (because everyone said to), so after i started futzing with the CV outs to the inputs I was like "I MUST GET MOAR CV NOWWW!" so i dove into some foogers... then a voyager... now thinking dotcom.. it might not end... I actually bought the voyager over the prophet because i have so much CV already i would have felt sad if it didnt integrate...

I think i'll have to finish my Midi to CV interface before i start buying modules though...

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:07 pm
by EricK
Mr Shave wrote: All I really want with my current set up is a couple more envelope generators..


Famous last words.

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:11 pm
by analoghaze
I use dot com equipment.
The build quality is good. Quite good actually. Not bullet proof like MacBeth, but who shoots at their synth gear?
Shipping is fast. Responds to email is fast.
I had a module that I plugged in wrong. I put the power supply to the wrong pin and fried the main chip in my Q119 sequencer.
I emailed Roger and explained what I did to fry his product. He offered to fix it for me at the cost of shipping, or since I am confident in replacing an IC that is in a socket, I opted to do it myself. He shipped me the IC chip next day air.
I was up in running so fast that I still cannot believe it.
Needless to say I am more careful when I have to unplug my modules.
It is nice knowing that Roger stands behind his products 100% all the time no matter what.
When you get a quote for purchase, he will tell you lead time.
No worries with dot com.

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:09 am
by Mr Shave
Excellent. Sounds like a good guy to work with. I had emailed him a while back with a couple technical questions, and I do remember him being very quick to respond.

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:32 am
by Voltor07
I have a shopping list all made up for Home Depot, so I can build a custom 32 space cabinet following the instructions on the synthesizers.com DIY page. I am also making my own cables for really cheap using cable and 1/4" plugs from Parts Express. Then, I will buy a power supply, cable harness, and Q137. One item per pay period until I build a 3 oscillator monster! :twisted:

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:43 am
by Christopher Winkels
Looks like I'm late to the party on this one.

I went from having around 28U of Dotcom (in one of their 44U slant cabinets) only 18 months ago to having three cabinets and 88U of MU-format modules. Granted they aren't all Dotcom, but a good two-thirds of them are. The pros of Dotcom are obvious:

- Tremendously good value modules
- Top-notch customer service
- Excellent reliability
- A real focus on providing detailed datasheets and other important resources online
- They meet their forecast shipping dates (something that cannot be said for a lot of modular vendors)

Actually I've outgrown those 88 spaces. But that brings me to one of their drawbacks: the cabinets are very well constructed but not particularly good value (unlike the modules). So I went into business building and selling low cost cabinets for those who don't need something pretty, but who do want to save their money to spend on additional modules. (PM me if you want more details... I don't want to come across as a spammer).

If there's one other downside to Dotcom it's that they don't put a lot of emphasis on functional density. Something like their Ring Modulator unit is an exercise in frustration, because the front panel has only three jacks. No knobs, no switches, no buttons. About 2/3 of that panel is wasted space. Other modules like Reverb and Noise Source are almost as bad. I know this is in keeping with the MU ethos of not cramming tremendous amounts into tiny packages (a la Euro and Buchla), but it's possible they swung too far the other way. They also never released a dedicated LFO, which is bizarre in the extreme. Fortunately the aftermarket takes care of this quite well.

Don't let that dissuade you though. They are a fantastic company to deal with and there is a burgeoning resale and aftermarket so you can often pick up excellent condition used modules for 30-50% off list.

Re: Anyone use Synthesizers.com Stuff?

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:04 pm
by AlakaLazlo
I have a fully packed 66 space DotCom along w/ my IIP. I expect another few cabinets will be in my future... Roger's customer service is second to none. I've had 0 problems with the DotCom. I agree that their functional density could be a bit better, but its not really a problem. Knobs and switches all feel good. Many modules have internal jumpers so you can set additional functions, or if you're a DIY guy, you can add extra switches or knobs for more functionallity. Only warning is what you'vre read above.... modular is the crack of the synthesist... consider yourself warned (and I mean that in a good way...) :)