Thursday, July 21, 2011

The exclusionist, ego-driven allure of Vintaj(tm).

Some say that the Buchla and other rare systems are an attraction for the snooty.

In building a number of modules for a Buchla DIY system, and knowing that I can build as many for myself as I wish, say five dual oscillators, etc., I find that a certain mystery has indeed vanished but the excitement of actually being able to put in use, that much significantly cool gear is quite heady.

I don't care if I have to build it all myself. I don't care if it is only worth the time and effort involved, and if no one at all would trade a vintage module for a modern build DIY equivalent. It is simply gear that is too much fun for its own good. I don't care if I have to use balsa wood front panels and an empty air conditioner frame as housing. The intrinsic sweet of this gear is obvious, and it's an interesting journey to have to stare so deeply into the stuff behind the panel, even without fully understanding it. I know that the current Buchla gear far exceeds the vintage, but I have to build what I'm able. And no, I don't care if you have a bigger Buchla DIY system than I do. I'd just be interested in jamming together (chuckle).

Thursday, July 7, 2011

LF13331 and 4016 switching in the Buchla 292

The 292c uses semi-rare LF13331 switches (as do several vintage video games, which is where you can sometimes find this part) and Mark Verbos has done a version using the easily-available 4016 quad switch.

I haven't checked the 13331 specs but the 4016 is listed at .4% distortion. I wonder if any golden ears would detect such a difference (between that and a hardware switch)...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Errors in the CBS Buchla Schematics?

A thread at says that there is a mistake in the 194 fixed filter bank, and there is a mistake in the 106 mixer schematic (wrong capacitor value, confirmed in earlier Buchla 106 schematic). I'm wondering if there are purposeful mistakes in some or each as a means of dissuading other manufacturers from cloning them up, as Moog are said to have done with the 921b schemos in the Service Manual (after all, ARP earlier stole The Filter.). The Moog transistor matching jig schematic has a glaring error therein:

Bill and Will's Synth Moog Transistor Matching Tester Construction

Just something to be aware of if you're looking into building anything listed in this format, over at Magnus' page:

Magnus' Buchla Page