EMS Synthi waiting list

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theparegorickid
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EMS Synthi waiting list

Post by theparegorickid » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:28 am

Curious if anyone on Robin's waiting list has actually gotten their synthi. I had pretty much given up and two months ago Robin emailed me to tell me he would be shipping at the end of July-early August. Now for the first time he is not responding to emails. Anybody have an update?

xart

Post by xart » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:38 am

I have been on his list since the mid/late 90's. (When I sent in my 'check' to hold my place in line) :lol:

I will be getting my unit way b4 you, so get back in line! :fu:
Last edited by xart on Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by science » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:56 am

I sent my "cheque" (Robin sure as hell didn't ask for a check) a while back as well. I agree with xart - I doubt it will ever happen.

xart - you're screwed if you sent a check. Learn to follow instructions.
Last edited by science on Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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bwhittington
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Post by bwhittington » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:43 am

science wrote:I sent my "cheque" (Robin sure as hell didn't ask for a check) a while back as well. I agree with xart - I doubt it will ever happen.
Okay, roll call . . . who here is on Robin's list? :hihi:

I sent my check/cheque in last year after Robin discussed a very specific timetable for production to ramp up after completing a run of Soundbeams. Sounded great. Then I read a few posts about him saying the same thing pretty much every year. That sounded not so great.

New Synthi's have actually been delivered, though, correct? I've seen some for sale on eBay that were said to be manufactured in the 1990's, at least. I found the message above with a delivery estimate for new units to be promising, but the voices of experience consistently say it is pie in the sky.

Cheers,
Brian

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Post by science » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:53 am

I haven't been on the list for too long... I took a long time thinking about whether or not I should even waste my time/money since I knew it was unlikely he'd ever deliver, based on what he's been telling people for years. I guess we'll all have to wait and see :roll:

As for some being delivered, I think you're right that he did a small run some time in the early 90s. I've seen them pop up every now and then as well.

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sascha.victoria
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Post by sascha.victoria » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:21 pm

Removed by me. At first I had a big post on what is happening but then I decided I didn't want to spill the beans because I don't know if that's what Robin would want or not. If you want the low down on the Synthi situation just call Robin. I'm sure he'll be happy to fill you in.

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theparegorickid
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ems synthi

Post by theparegorickid » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:51 pm

I sent my check in 1999. I have never heard anything but good things about Robin and to honest I figure if I get one great, if not I am not out anything. I think they were selling for around 2300.00 in 1999 and the last quote i got was 3500.00 euros. $5,200.00 is a nice chunk of change.

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Post by science » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:04 pm

$5,200 is a decent amount of money, but haven't they been selling for more than that on the second hand market for quite a while now?

I'll take a new one for $5,200 please... and to all the people who will certainly claim that the new ones sound completely different, etc, etc... :fu:

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Post by suitandtieguy » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:07 pm

sascha.victoria wrote:Removed by me. At first I had a big post on what is happening but then I decided I didn't want to spill the beans because I don't know if that's what Robin would want or not. If you want the low down on the Synthi situation just call Robin. I'm sure he'll be happy to fill you in.
this is a tease.

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theparegorickid
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ems synthi

Post by theparegorickid » Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:32 pm

i think i saw a mint VCS3 go for over $8,000 in the last six months. No doubt if the day comes I will be 5,200.00 poorer.

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Post by momo » Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:36 pm

science wrote: and to all the people who will certainly claim that the new ones sound completely different, etc, etc... :fu:
I'll consider myself fcuked [sic.] then :p It will sound different, to my knowledge germanium transistors are obsolete now and besides, as I read in Analog Days, they harvested a lot of ther components from old ham/ radio, ex military gear being sold off for peanuts.

The point? Had anyone here heard of vintage Allen Bradley carbon composite resistors? High end tube amp folk do funny things like bake them in their kitchen ovens to stabilise their resistance. As that hints, their tolerance is so poor. And as has probably been exclaimed ad. nauseum by now, many vintage synths sound so unique (to anything now and often each other within respective models) because of this. Modern day 0.001% tolerances I think lead to a sterile sound, a million miles away from the soul of a synthi. Steven Thomas (www.synthi.co.uk) cloned a synthi. It sounds great but to me not so much like a synthi. ymmv of course. I should add in closing that to my knowledge, EMS did not specifically use AB resistors, though I imagine manufacturing in those days had similar tolerances across the board. Cheers.

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Post by confusional » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:07 pm

Redacted.
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Post by richard » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:28 am

I've been on the waiting list for a few years too. Never heard anything much useful from Robin.

Apparently the original machines were made from all kinds of shit and there are many "versions" and I'm sure its not well documented. With componants of 20% tolerence there isn't much chance of 2 sounding very alike so the new ones are bound to sound different, and more alike than the old. I don't know if the Germanium aspect is so important on the synthi, some say yes, som say not really

How people can buy them unheard on ebay for such large sums is beyond me. I guess they are collecting, I'd sure as fuck want to get my hands on it first before parting with that kind of dough.

R

Babaluma

Post by Babaluma » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:36 am

i think germanium transistors are still being manufactured, unless the one's wade uses for all the chandler gear are NOS.

the germanium diodes in my rings mods and chandler germ comps sound ace!

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Post by sascha.victoria » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:17 am

Germanium transistors are still being made. They're used in everything from fuzz boxes to solar cells. The new ones might not sound exactly like the old ones but as Richard pointed out none of the old ones sound alike so whatever.

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Post by drewskee » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:50 am

As a EMS Synthi owner for over what, 30 years and having dealt with Robin many times over that time frame I will provide what I "know" per my most recent correspondence a month or so ago.

I believe that Robin's intention and desire has been for quite some time to manufacture some Synthi's/VCS3's. I have been on the list for years as well but having sent a cheque(!) that was never cashed I don't feel slighted.

Appears that like most very small (tiny?) business guys he needs to pay the rent first and the Soundbeam has been the source of his sustenance. Thus the Synthi has continued to take a back seat.

He reiterated his intention to make them but was unable to say when. Frustrating I know but not sure there is anything "we" can do. He does respond to emails but sometimes it takes a while. He is a very good guy and has always gone way above and beyond for me with help, info and repairs.

FWIW...

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Post by momo » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:21 pm

sascha.victoria wrote:Germanium transistors are still being made. They're used in everything from fuzz boxes to solar cells. The new ones might not sound exactly like the old ones but as Richard pointed out none of the old ones sound alike so whatever.
That's good to know, thanks. I have found one TB-303 to sound subtly different to another TB-303. The sound was still unmistakably TB-303 derived and IMO still distinguishable from a x0xb0x which, again IMO, sounds akin to a TB-303 but not a duplication of the 303 sound. I suspect it would be a similar matter concerning vintage and remade synthis.

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Post by chamomileshark » Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:43 pm

I'm number 32 on the list for a VCS3, I joined the list in Oct 2005.

vcs365
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Post by vcs365 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:30 am

suitandtieguy wrote:
this is a tease.
no, THIS is a tease :hihi: new VCS3 -

Image
Image
Image
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got to give the kids breakfast, full explanation right after.

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Post by Umcorps » Sat Sep 05, 2009 2:07 am

:jawdrop:

:omg: :omg: :omg:

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Post by vcs365 » Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:56 am

So, this is one of Robin's semi-mythic new EMS Cornwall VCS3s. It was made in 04/05 for an English producer with a long standing relationship with EMS - whether or not this meant he skipped the queue or his turn just came up I don't know. It's serial number 004, and is apparently only the fourth VCS3 made by EMS since the late 80s.

It came with numerous mods fitted from new - variable depth sync on osc 2, switchable 18 or 24 dB filter with unslew switch, a variable rate glissando circuit (patched from the mini-jack socket by the matrix), voltage controlled wave shape of osc 2 (patched from jack socket by matrix again) and patchable inverter circuit (by the matrix again). Ten turn pot on Input 1 and the extra rear panel gate socket has been fitted. Also the longer decay time mod for the trapezoid too.

Most importantly it sounds no different to other VCS/Synthis I've played. I had a small 'analogue gathering' with a few friends recently; a visiting Moog Voyager ended up being almost entirely neglected in favour of the VCS3. A mate of mine who's pretty much devoted his life to synths (owned a CS80 from new, Super Jupiter, Matrix 12 amongst others) was almost mesmerised by it. It is a truly fantastic instrument.

If/when Robin makes more you're not going to be disappointed :)

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Post by momo » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:16 am

That's great! Thanks for sharing the story. Are you in the UK too? How did you come to cross paths with it? Cheers

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Post by vcs365 » Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:55 pm

About 18 months ago I decided to sell a bunch of gear and finally get the synth I'd always wanted :hail: the VCS3

I googled for a few hours, found every VCS offered for sale in the previous year, and where I couldn't find confirmation of a sale I emailed the seller. The most promising lead was a guy who'd sold some big analogues on a couple of forums and mentioned having a VCS3 that he'd be selling soon. It turned out that he still had it, as he was slowly clearing a large synth collection for a colleague. (The same collection also yielded a System 700 and a CS80 this year - nice stuff).

He didn't make any great play of the fact it was a new VCS - presumably because having a friend who'd bought one it didn't strike him as a big deal - and so priced it by knocking £1K off what it had cost new. So if you're on the waiting list it looks like a new VCS cost £3,800 in 04/05.

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Post by science » Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:27 pm

Are you sure it's not 3,800 euro vs. pounds?

I don't remember for sure, but I thought the price Robin had quoted me when I sent my deposit in was around 3,xxx euro, not pounds.

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Post by bwhittington » Sun Sep 06, 2009 4:25 pm

Actually, a new VCS3 sold for £1800 in the mid 90's. We know this because the site has not been updated in over a decade.

I don't remember the quote I was given last year, but the value at the time was around $5200. Given the abysmal state of the dollar, I'm sure it is higher now. A price of €3800 is around $5400, so that sounds about right.

Whatever the case, I'm sure the quote wasn't given in euros in 1995, as the currency did not come into use until 1999. :hihi:

Cheers,
Brian

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