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Subject: RE: [motm] Blacet Chop-Up Question

From: "Tkacs, Ken" <ken.tkacs@...>
Date: 2000-04-06

I must echo Mr. Hendry's sentiments regarding the front panels. Simply
mounting a Blacet module in the center of a 2ux5u panel just seems like
making a bad thing worse. First of all, it's really ugly, worse than just
having a separate rack of 'Frac Rack' gear on the side. If that isn't
enough, you still have the weeny little jacks, tiny knobs, and cramped
spacing, very important factors in a modular that we decided not to put up
with when we went MOTM, no?

You can look at the modular and see a big machine like a telephone
switchboard, or you can see it as a beautiful musical instrument. I see it
as the latter; I assume so many of us are discussing fine hardwood cabinets
because we want our modulars to be more than just some sheet metal with
holes in it and wires sticking out the sides. We want them to look beautiful
and feel beautiful. It's a musical instrument! You have to have a
relationship with it. We put a lot of work into this stuff; let's put a
little more in and be really proud of it! (I bought a table saw this past
Saturday pretty much justified by my wanting to make cabinets for my modular
as good as I can possibly make them.)

The MOTM form factor, in my opinion, is unquestionably the best on the
market in terms of appearance and functionality. So for my money, anything
else I have must conform to ∗it∗. Sure, it's a lot of work converting these
other odd modules to the MOTM style. You can build an MOTM kit in one
sitting, usually, and be done with it, while converting other PCBs/kits can
take many hours and a lot of extra money replacing parts to get them to
match MOTM. But nothing beats having a consistent appearance and
functionality across the entire modular.

For instance, I plan on converting my old Hot Springs reverb units to MOTM
format in the near future. If MOTM made a spring reverb unit, I wouldn't
bother, because it's probably going to take me as much time to create panels
for those units as it would to build ten MOTM-300 VCOs. But if there's
something that I really want to be a part of my modular, and I can't get it
through MOTM, then it has to at least match. That goes for old stuff I have
in my rack, DIY projects, or interesting/unusual circuits from other
manufacturers. That's all there is to it.

You know, when I decided to build a big modular, there was a reason I didn't
go with Doepfer, Serge, or the 'Frac Rack' camp of Paia & Blacet as my
basis. It goes beyond the electronics---the ergonomics and the appearance
are critical factors as well. So when deciding to add a few odd modules from
one of those other manufacturers, or tinkering together a circuit of my own,
it seems clear that making quality front panels for them as well as one can
is the way to go. If I had no tools or never took shop in school, then maybe
I would be satisfied with sticking my DIY stuff in a shoebox. But if I'm
coordinated enough to solder these kits together and have them work every
time, I'm skilled enough to drill holes in aluminum and wave a spray paint
can at them to do it up right.