When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gear)

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by ian » Sun Jun 07, 2015 6:34 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:
bochelli wrote:.
Remember.. a mathematically near perfect sawtooth is just that - mathematical ie. the same as any other by definition - ie. absolutely just the thing you don't want in a living breathing musical instrument. Its why I sometimes feel my blood boiling when I read some nerds going on about how they've upgraded all the op amps and capacitors in their modulars like somehow those immensely dull waveforms emanating from their oscillators are somehow going to become any better that way - nothing is straight in nature - why do we expect our sawtooth waveforms to be? :mrgreen:
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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Hybrid88 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:11 pm

HideawayStudio wrote:
Hybrid88 wrote:
bochelli wrote:...EMS gear looks simple to re make not worth the money they go for only a matter of time before China copies flood the market .
I hate to say it but maybe that would be for the better, it worked for boutique guitar pedals (more or less) ;)
It would never happen... well ok it might and it might even look like the real thing but very quickly indeed people would discover it just didn't sound the same.

The one thing I keep experiencing first hand these days working with so many vintage synths (analog, digital, hybrid and tube) is that half of the sound so many cherish is due to the vintage components within them - not meaning that they are ancient and knackered but there is no question a discrete amp section full of 1960s germanium transistors or a first generation 741 op amp in an oscillator has a sound all of its own as does a discrete 8 bit convertor. You replace these with squeaky clean modern components with brutal slew rates, rail to rail swings, ultra low noise perfect linearity and before you know it a large chunk of character, soul and musicality has just been thrown in the dumpster. Remember... these things are not HiFis - there really is no benefit from rendering the perfect waveform in a classic subtractive synth...etc
Couldn't agree more, well except electrolytics they don't really last. But yes, going on a bit of a tangent here but I've just spent hours parting out some old circuit boards and a tube CB radio. The build complexity of that thing was just insane, I can't imagine how long it must have taken to make, and in my home country no less - can't even conceive that happening nowadays. The other boards (from a TV I believe) were full of Elna electros, Mullard tropical fish/candy stripe caps, Phillips mustard caps, Allen Bradley resistors, these are all absolutely top class. No wonder these days things don't last, can you imagine buying a TV with that class of componentry in it these days? It's all crappy no-name ripoff caps in the power supply that only last a couple of years. Save a few bucks, yeah great.. :|

I still don't believe a tiny SMD cap can match the tone of those old caps.

Needless to say I now have a couple of sore fingers, but a whole pile of lovely vintage parts for my DIY projects :)

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by HideawayStudio » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:25 pm

Hybrid88 wrote: Couldn't agree more, well except electrolytics they don't really last. But yes, going on a bit of a tangent here but I've just spent hours parting out some old circuit boards and a tube CB radio. The build complexity of that thing was just insane, I can't imagine how long it must have taken to make, and in my home country no less - can't even conceive that happening nowadays. The other boards (from a TV I believe) were full of Elna electros, Mullard tropical fish/candy stripe caps, Phillips mustard caps, Allen Bradley resistors, these are all absolutely top class. No wonder these days things don't last, can you imagine buying a TV with that class of componentry in it these days? It's all crappy no-name ripoff caps in the power supply that only last a couple of years. Save a few bucks, yeah great.. :|

I still don't believe a tiny SMD cap can match the tone of those old caps.

Needless to say I now have a couple of sore fingers, but a whole pile of lovely vintage parts for my DIY projects :)
As an electronic design engineer for 20 years I've been trying to bite my tongue over this subject recently but I'm afraid there is going to be a very hard lesson learnt by many who have purchased SMT reissues of some of the synths currently on the market. The build quality is fine but the quality of the components, their robustness and overall serviceability isn't even vaguely in the same league as the originals.. not even close!

In the original Minimoog the metal bushes and shafts on the pots are so robust you could literally hang your body weight off the end of one of them and even if they got really full of oxide you could clean them. Similarly on the MS-20 the pots were mounted to the front panel and not simply dangling behind it with just a mere filet of embrittled lead free solder holding them in place as we have now.

The 20 cent $LPS pots and encoders so much gear is full of these days are made of metal so thin you can literally pop the entire shaft and its bush out of their plastic base with your thumb... and its the plastic base that is holding them onto the pcb!! :mrgreen:

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Hybrid88 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:36 pm

Yep 110% agreed on that, ahh well I guess as long as people don't expect to be able to fix them when they go wrong it's ok. But somehow I doubt a lot of people buying new synths even remotely realise this.

Oh God, don't remind me... I'm absolutely for safety and everything but if anyone here has ever had the utter displeasure of working with Lead-Free solder you know what I mean. :pissed:

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by meatballfulton » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:56 pm

Of course with a mini touch keyboard... :lol:
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by bochelli » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:12 pm

I hear Korg give a 2 year warranty with the Odyssey does this offer its lifespan ? , for now I still own the 3 versions of the Arp model and bar the normal are still going and with larger keys, the build quality is something to take into account I agree ive just picked up a 2nd model Moog Prodigy for just under £400 and that guy sounds good. Perhaps these new synths serve 2 issues,
Unable to source the Original one at a affordable price
To bypass one in need of much work .
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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by yorgatron » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:45 am

I'll just keep buying old ones. everything I have is pre-MIDI (except my Casio)
and I plan on keeping it that way.

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:07 am

Ugh, come on, you guys.

Do you remember, ooh, nearly a decade ago, where we were talking about how analog remakes would never happen because they'd be too expensive?

Well, they've found cheap ways to make analog remakes. And these cheap ways mean two things... 1. Companies can manufacture them, sell them, and make a profit... and 2. We get to enjoy these exceedingly expensive synthesizers, very close, if not identical, to the original for low prices.

Yes, there are concessions we have to accept... but come on... if not for the concessions, these things wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't be able to have them.

I'm about to create my Korg ARP Odyssey videos, and I have to admit that I don't give a s**t about the fact that I can't throw this thing across the room, or that its keys are slightly smaller than average... being able to essentially experience an Odyssey for a low price is worth it.

And come on. We all wish keys were full-sized... but I was raised since the age of 9 in the context of a classical pianist, and I have no problem whatsoever with the keys. As much as I like full-sized, this size and proportion isn't a deal. I'd have more understanding of people complaining about the feel of these keys... but everyone, including people who can't even play, are all "OH, I HATE THE KEYS." It's ridiculous. If you don't like the keys, get an effing job and buy the original.
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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Hybrid88 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:42 am

Yeah that's not really the issue, I think we all agree that it's great to have classics remade again and available to people that can't afford the originals BUT, we're still saying that if you do have the choice, (and you value certain things) get the original version.

It's like any purchase, you want something brand spanking new, better value, warranty and short term reliability, shiny paint job whatever, that's great but you're always going to compromise on something somewhere. Only someone that takes a good look inside a variety of synths old and new is really going to know what I mean.

The full size MS-20 kit is going for about the same as the original now, I know which one I'd rather have. ;)

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Alex E » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:59 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Ugh, come on, you guys.

Do you remember, ooh, nearly a decade ago, where we were talking about how analog remakes would never happen because they'd be too expensive?

Well, they've found cheap ways to make analog remakes. And these cheap ways mean two things... 1. Companies can manufacture them, sell them, and make a profit... and 2. We get to enjoy these exceedingly expensive synthesizers, very close, if not identical, to the original for low prices.

Yes, there are concessions we have to accept... but come on... if not for the concessions, these things wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't be able to have them.

I'm about to create my Korg ARP Odyssey videos, and I have to admit that I don't give a s**t about the fact that I can't throw this thing across the room, or that its keys are slightly smaller than average... being able to essentially experience an Odyssey for a low price is worth it.

And come on. We all wish keys were full-sized... but I was raised since the age of 9 in the context of a classical pianist, and I have no problem whatsoever with the keys. As much as I like full-sized, this size and proportion isn't a deal. I'd have more understanding of people complaining about the feel of these keys... but everyone, including people who can't even play, are all "OH, I HATE THE KEYS." It's ridiculous. If you don't like the keys, get an effing job and buy the original.
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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:53 am

Hybrid88 wrote:Yeah that's not really the issue, I think we all agree that it's great to have classics remade again and available to people that can't afford the originals BUT, we're still saying that if you do have the choice, (and you value certain things) get the original version. [...]
Yes and no. I had been longing for an Oberheim SEM or Two/Four Voice respectively for nearly 20 years. I had to witness prices going through the roof so I was utterly relieved when the new SEM finally appeared which allowed me to get two at the price of one single *vintage* SEM. The slight timbral difference can be compensated by EQing it properly, and honestly, I'm not *that* anal about details that would get lost in a mix anyway.

Or rather, I can't afford being *that* anal about such things.

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Hybrid88 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:38 pm

^ Yeah but that's still a matter of affordability, the originals are still better. At this point I should say that I think the basic sound (and that's usually the priority) can come pretty close, and close enough indeed for most folks.

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Stab Frenzy » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:27 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:Ugh, come on, you guys.

Do you remember, ooh, nearly a decade ago, where we were talking about how analog remakes would never happen because they'd be too expensive?

Well, they've found cheap ways to make analog remakes. And these cheap ways mean two things... 1. Companies can manufacture them, sell them, and make a profit... and 2. We get to enjoy these exceedingly expensive synthesizers, very close, if not identical, to the original for low prices.

Yes, there are concessions we have to accept... but come on... if not for the concessions, these things wouldn't exist, and we wouldn't be able to have them.
Exactly what I was going to say.

For everyone crying about how a lot of cheap new synths don't have nutted pots or are SMT so they're hard to service or whatever else you want to complain about, nobody is forcing you to buy something you don't want. Want something made the old way? Ken MacBeth will sort you out, for a price. Want modular but don't like the aesthetics and small jacks of Eurorack? Try Modcan on for size.

Just because synths were overbuilt in the past doesn't mean they always should be. And don't make the mistake of thinking that every synth built before 1985 was built like a tank, how many fully working Wasps (or Oddys even) do you see these days.

Complaining that nothing is built properly these days is nothing but snobbery, and the worst kind of snobbery at that because there are plenty of options out there for people who want to buy something made with 70s tech and solid build quality if you're willing to pay for it.

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by Hybrid88 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:51 am

I am definitely not saying "nothing is built properly nowadays" I don't know why you made that up and made an insult of snobbery to boot. I'm saying we can't expect surface mount technology to perform as we are used to through hole, so even though they are termed "re-issues" and everyone without electronics knowledge thinks they will be exactly the same, they won't. Because they *are* different.

That is the cost of these synths being cheap, which is great, more classic synths at a good price is no bad thing - in fact wasn't that the point of this thread?!? ;)

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Re: When intrinsic value is surpassed by emotion... (EMS Gea

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:16 pm

I've been a practicing EE for 35 years and the arguments about through hole vs. SMT or handwired vs. PC are stupid, founded on misinformation and lies. Handwiring and through hole components make repair and DIY easier but they have no inherent superiority to SMT PC board construction and in fact are inferior in a number of ways.

Of far more concern is board mounted pots and jacks for mechanical (not sonic) reasons.

It is true that some components are no longer available and that can change the sound. It is also true that some still available components have been improved over the years (opamps for example) so that despite the same part number they are not really the same part and that can change the sound.

If you actually have the ears to distinguish between a modern reissue and a vintage unit in a double blind test, more power to you.

If you have the money to own a vintage unit, even more power to you.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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