Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

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breitt
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Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by breitt » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:31 am

Would there be any reason to get a Spectralis MK II instead of Spectralis MK I? I know the buttons are different and the interface layout has some minor changes, but I've heard that sonically they are identical. I actually kind of like the old school buttons on the MK I better. Are there any other qualitative differences between the two models that I should be aware of?
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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by Zamise » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:10 am

Havn't had my hands on a Speki II but yeah my understanding has been that it is basically the same under the hood. My understanding and it has been a while since I've been over to their site, was they ran out of certain parts or they stopped making some so they just redesigned the outside a bit for what they could get now and only a few unnoticeable things to the user on the inside, software wise they use the same OS, or a slightly modified OS to accommodate the minor changes. Anything they added to Specki II you could update the specki I to include if it didn't have it already. I think Jorg (the designer of the Spectralis) wants to keep all Specki owners as happy as he can in this regard and he tried to make sure to accommodate everyone that had any worries that their old ones would become outdated just because they changed the way it looks a bit. Not sure I remember if it was all in software or included a minor hardware upgrade or not, but which ever I don't remember thinking it'd be worth the trouble to swap out a I for II even if you had the cash to have both units. I could be remembering wrong, but it should all be somewhere on radikaltechnologies site or there in their forums for you to research if you want to be sure about them. I do like the look of the first better too, its weakest build quality points were its knobs which feel like c**p and I see they've changed them on the new one. Don't know if they are any stronger or feel better, but the buttons on the new one look cheaper, but I don't know how they feel either, so I'm a big help. The buttons on the first one don't feel quite as nice as they look tho. either, so hard for me to say what really is an improvement or not on the new one. If it matters any I do remember something about Jorge having a hand in building every one of the older ones up to a certain date, but I don't know who or what he has putting them together for him now. Other than that, they figured out a second SM Card slot was pretty much unnecessary, you don't even really need one if you are hooking it to computer via usb. Great machine, but consider carefully before you decide to lay the cash down to get one. They take some commitment to grab and understand just some of the basics, not even mention what it takes for the more complicated stuff on it.
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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by breitt » Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:56 am

Thanks for the good info, z! I'm well aware of the complexity and depth of this monster-I've owned it before. I gave up on it because it would overpower all my other synths (except my Voyager), and I was spending all my time menu-diving. But, I've decided to sell mostly everything else I own and go to a 1-synth scenario, so I'm prepared to dig into it this time.

The only thing I can't figure out regards the memory situation: Is this "2 GB internal ROM" upgrade that supposedly makes the SmartCards obsolete, something that I would download, or is it a physical board modification that would force me to send the Speckie 1 out to Radikal Technologies' NJ office to upgrade for me?
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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by Zamise » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:15 am

Not sure but I think that would be the resident flash memory (for non-volitile storage) and not the RAM memory which both are physical limitations. Probably an easy install and maybe a firmware update so it'll recognize that amount, but if you have it hooked up via usb to a computer then you'll have virtually unlimited storage anyway for it. You just need to pass the data/files between drives in lesser chunks would be the only difference I'm thinking. The maximum size of individual files/chunks for loading in to RAM would remain the same if you get what I am saying? If you don't have a computer to do that, I assume you do though since you are posting here, but anyhow if you don't then you'd probably have to send it in to NJ to get that done. I'm making a lot of assumptions tho so while I'm at it I'm doubtful 2gig would be needed for the RAM, but I don't know if perhaps they did add more on that too or not on the Speki II. Either way I don't think it would change my mind on which ever I decided to go with, and it seems you know what you are getting yourself in to, personally I'd be worried if that was my only piece of kit. I really like the Spectralis and Jorg and Radikal for being conscious and supporting his clients/users so I don't want turn anyone off from their innovative gear, but... to be honest it isn't the last piece of gear I would keep on hand to do everything with, I'm also a total Yamaha RS7000 advocate/freak and I don't want to side track ya. However, the RS7000 and a Specki together is a mighty impressive setup. RS does most of the grunt work, Specki is icing on the cake. Not saying get an RS too, but you might want to keep or have some other easier to use machine for sequencing and coming up with songs and grooves a little quicker and in the meantime have and learn the Spectralis more as a companion unit with it. I think from what I've seen on youtube and experience, the happier Spectralis users seem to be doing it that way. I don't want to discourage you though, if you've thought it out and had one already, you prob know what the deal is and not with it.
Last edited by Zamise on Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by breitt » Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:54 am

Thanks again, Zamise, for the advice. That RS 7000 is something I've looked at before, but is just not my kind of thing. The Speckie probably won't be my only piece of gear, but it will be my centerpiece. When I owned it before, the Spectralis was my most prolific tool qualitatively, quantitatively and creatively. I've owned so many pieces in the past that were great in and of themselves, but they felt restrictive ultimately because of my quirky workflow habits.

Probably, my setup where I owned 3 FR Mobiuses, a Voyager RME, a Nord Lead 2X, an FR Revolution and a TR-909 (among other things) was my greatest collection of separate machine goodness that I miss the most. I just can't afford to rebuy everything that I once owned and (perhaps foolishly) sold off, but the kind of music I like most now (ambient, minimalist and Tangerine Dream-like soundscapes) can be most fully realized using the Spectralis. I discovered a piece by the artist, LFO-One that I really like:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od4GpCv9 ... re=related
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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by Zamise » Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:15 am

Ah, that makes sense, I can see the Spectralis alone being good at that stuff. I myself also see it more as a like modularistic type step/programmable arpeggiator sequencer and sophisticated synthesizer wrapped in a nice little shiny box rather than a friendly version of a workstation in groovebox form. I had a problem with it initially because of that expectation for instant gratification, but yeah I totally see it more for that style of composing now. I'll approve your decision ;)
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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by n3wt15 » Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:35 pm

you need to send any speck ones out to RT to get the upgrade, its a new chip that the need to put in. i remember looking into it before, but I think its kind of expensive if I remember , and I dont put many samples on it so Im fine with the stock amount of memory.

I also agree, that the mk1 versions look better.
Mine was the heart of my studio for quite some time, but ive been pretty busy and havent powered it up in a while...need to fix that.

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Re: Spectralis 1 vs. Spectralis 2

Post by breitt » Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:22 am

Great stuff, nw3t!
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