Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Buchla, Serge, Studio.h, Northern Light Modular, Keen Assoc., 1979, Vedic Scapes, etc. Banana systems
Be sure to look into MANUFACTURER SUB-FORA as well..
Post Reply
ModHiisi
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 am
Location: HELsinki
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ModHiisi »

I've the impression that the BEMI is the somewhat inferior one. And it doesn't have anything to do with respecting Don's legacy either...

edit: If we're talking about OG, I'd rather get a clone.
Sonic pollution for psychic hygiene
User avatar
01235813
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 624
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:48 am
Location: EU

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by 01235813 »

ModHiisi wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 1:01 am I've the impression that the BEMI is the somewhat inferior one. And it doesn't have anything to do with respecting Don's legacy either...

edit: If we're talking about OG, I'd rather get a clone.
What makes you think it is inferior? I have to mention, I bought mine 2019. It was right after BUSA took over, they made one lot of easels (red vinyl and the 208 is not labelled bemi but B&A) Back then Buchla said they made many adjustments, ironed out all the kinks including a revamp of the 218. I've never had grounding issue with the 218..

One thing I would say the command really has going for it is its robustness. They really did a good job on the reverb.. its really well built although the muddiness makes it virtually unusable for me.
axm311
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 5:08 pm
Location: DC

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by axm311 »

Has anyone successfully swapped the reverb out and how tricky of a job is it? I opened the case to mess with one of the jumpers but it feels a bit precarious putting back into the boat (I see a cable snapped off in another post so was wondering if the juice was worth the squeeze).

I saw a post earlier in the thread about Accutronics 8AB2A1B
being a workable model spec wise.
Starfighter
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2022 7:51 pm

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by Starfighter »

Buchla sent me a new tank because mine got a little beat up and unhooked during shipping. It's incredibly simple and easily accessible. If you can add the USB MIDI host chip, you can change the reverb tank.

ParliamentLite
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:54 pm
Location: Fargo

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ParliamentLite »

antonriehl wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 5:22 pm
ParliamentLite wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 12:11 pm So I finally got my 208c plugged into my mixer with a proper midi controller and I noticed something slightly odd - If I have all the pitch sliders set to zero and I send midi channel 1 information, the mod oscillator is tuned an octave higher than my complex osc. Is this normal, or should they default to the same octave?
There are a lot of details that could account for this. Are you sending any data on channel 3? Are both oscillators set to track the keyboard? Are you sending any v/oct to the rear?
The pitch of each oscillator is a sum of multiple control voltages, so you want to verify that all options are at 0. (The "easiest" way to do that is usually power cycle the unit)
Yeah you nailed it - a power cycle got me back to zero! Thanks for the help, wondering how I can make use of these additive midi notes :tu:
ModHiisi
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 am
Location: HELsinki
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ModHiisi »

01235813 wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 3:48 am
ModHiisi wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 1:01 am I've the impression that the BEMI is the somewhat inferior one. And it doesn't have anything to do with respecting Don's legacy either...

edit: If we're talking about OG, I'd rather get a clone.
What makes you think it is inferior? I have to mention, I bought mine 2019. It was right after BUSA took over, they made one lot of easels (red vinyl and the 208 is not labelled bemi but B&A) Back then Buchla said they made many adjustments, ironed out all the kinks including a revamp of the 218. I've never had grounding issue with the 218..

One thing I would say the command really has going for it is its robustness. They really did a good job on the reverb.. its really well built although the muddiness makes it virtually unusable for me.
The BUSA Easel seems to be another case. Thought you meant BEMI.

Yeah, the reverb on 208C could be less muddy, and more useful... Thinking of replacing the tank with a shorter one, like the one that the Doepfer sr module utilizes. Dunno, could rectify that situation a bit..?

edit: Fucking autocorrect...
Sonic pollution for psychic hygiene
User avatar
chriscarter
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 337
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:22 am
Location: East Anglia, UK
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by chriscarter »

I agree re the 208C internal spring reverb, I don't particularly like its sound and at the moment I prefer to play it into a Space Echo... and my Eventide pedals. But whatever happened to that 'stereo digital fx' option Buchla first mentioned over two years ago. I haven't heard anything more about it since the 208C was launched.

"The 208 was always a mono synth, but if you plug in a stereo digital fx (coming as an optional add-on in the future), you’ll get stereo outputs on the MIX OUT and headphones."
Scrog1er
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:43 pm

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by Scrog1er »

Vaguely remember reading someone had moaned about it to Buchla and were subsequently given directions on tweaking the input to the spring to make it less of a swamp ?

I barely scrape past 10-15%.
Sidiblue
Common Wiggler
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 1:47 pm
Location: France

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by Sidiblue »

Scrog1er wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 6:52 am Vaguely remember reading someone had moaned about it to Buchla and were subsequently given directions on tweaking the input to the spring to make it less of a swamp ?

I barely scrape past 10-15%.
I'm interested in that. If anyone knows the procedure I would be grateful.
ModHiisi
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 am
Location: HELsinki
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ModHiisi »

chriscarter wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 6:24 am I agree re the 208C internal spring reverb, I don't particularly like its sound and at the moment I prefer to play it into a Space Echo... and my Eventide pedals. But whatever happened to that 'stereo digital fx' option Buchla first mentioned over two years ago. I haven't heard anything more about it since the 208C was launched.

"The 208 was always a mono synth, but if you plug in a stereo digital fx (coming as an optional add-on in the future), you’ll get stereo outputs on the MIX OUT and headphones."
I've played it mostly through a tape echo (Dynachord Echocord..) and/or then added Valhalla Supermassive on top. Eventide stereo pedals are great, as they're actually 'true stereo' (when, for example compared with the otherwise great sounding Strymons, that aren't..)!

Would love to hear you're take on the Easel! 8-)

Anyway, yeah. What happened to the add on fx..??
Sonic pollution for psychic hygiene
ModHiisi
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 am
Location: HELsinki
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ModHiisi »

Sidiblue wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 7:21 am
Scrog1er wrote: Thu Sep 15, 2022 6:52 am Vaguely remember reading someone had moaned about it to Buchla and were subsequently given directions on tweaking the input to the spring to make it less of a swamp ?

I barely scrape past 10-15%.
I'm interested in that. If anyone knows the procedure I would be grateful.
I contacted Buchla about this awhile ago. Nick answered me and said he hadn't heard about it. Then when I referred to a MW thread it was mentioned in, he said that it (appears to him, that it) was a repair rather than mod. I wonder if that was some sort of misunderstanding? What kind of actually, I don't know...
Sonic pollution for psychic hygiene
User avatar
antonriehl
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:02 pm
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by antonriehl »

I think Nick is still relatively new, so may not have heard all the details.

The confusion about the reverb may have come from this official Buchla video, where Joel Davel discusses replacing the reverb with a digital one. Around 5:10 he talks about replacing the spring with a digital reverb.


There are definitely some other “official” references, but this was the first one I remembered.
User avatar
mano 1
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu May 19, 2022 4:16 pm
Location: San Francisco
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by mano 1 »

I just wanted to say that after getting my Easel Command in May, and acquiring about 20U of modules, I cannot believe how much is packed in the 208c alone… it is a miracle, especially for the price. It opened my mind so much as a musician.

That’s it :) … just reporting back
Peake: Get off my lawn ya damn kids why back in my day we had to climb a mountain in a snowstorm and fight wolf packs just to catch a glimpse of a vactrol

beedeesmith: I just offered Symbolic Sound the burnt offerings of my Visa card as dark tribute for a Pacamara as I’m too squeamish to do a blood sacrifice

Eric Fox Buchla CEO: Please send all complaints to: support@korg.com

elmerfudd: Perversion I say. The ghost of Don should brick your I2C bus. e should have Selcos like the creator untended
User avatar
aquifer
Common Wiggler
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:08 pm
Location: In the Treehouse

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by aquifer »

As I posted in the other topic about the 208c reverb tank, I swapped out the stock tank for a different one - this was after the tech advice from Buchla support on how to make the reverb less muddy - which I think most people find it is. There's no trimpot to adjust either the input or output to and from the tank so one suggestion from Joel was to change the value of a resistor on the reverb return, which would change the gain. This was R628 and is located on the edge of the board near the RCA jack: 8.2K to 10K. I wasn't sure whether that would have made a significant change to the frequency response so went with the tank change instead. Also, although I'm not useless with a soldering iron, I was hesitant to approach the SMD board on a new Easel.
I still find the Easel reverb a tad OTT, but have a few others to hand if needed. One of the great things about the EMS design from the same era is the voltage control of the reverb wet/dry mix. I wish the Easel had that.
ModHiisi
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 am
Location: HELsinki
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ModHiisi »

aquifer wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 10:29 am As I posted in the other topic about the 208c reverb tank, I swapped out the stock tank for a different one - this was after the tech advice from Buchla support on how to make the reverb less muddy - which I think most people find it is. There's no trimpot to adjust either the input or output to and from the tank so one suggestion from Joel was to change the value of a resistor on the reverb return, which would change the gain. This was R628 and is located on the edge of the board near the RCA jack: 8.2K to 10K. I wasn't sure whether that would have made a significant change to the frequency response so went with the tank change instead. Also, although I'm not useless with a soldering iron, I was hesitant to approach the SMD board on a new Easel.
I still find the Easel reverb a tad OTT, but have a few others to hand if needed. One of the great things about the EMS design from the same era is the voltage control of the reverb wet/dry mix. I wish the Easel had that.
Uh huh. Thanks for posting that, it's becoming clearer now... Was the resistor swap easy in the end? I don't have much experience with SMD soldering (though gotta learn that asap..!). What kind of tank you ended up using?
Sonic pollution for psychic hygiene
User avatar
aquifer
Common Wiggler
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:08 pm
Location: In the Treehouse

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by aquifer »

No, I didn't touch the PCB, just changed the tank. It was an Accutronics 8BBC21A which replaced the 8BC2C1A. The impedances are the same and both are 3 spring models. Other folk have used the Accutronics 1BC2E - that's a 2 spring model, so might be less muddy because of that. Maybe others can chip in here on that one.
User avatar
papz
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4172
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 6:52 pm
Location: in a suitcase
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by papz »

The output impedance is not the same in 8BB2C1A and 8BC2C1A.

Image
Finest EMS gear service and Music Easel/208 goodies

I'm not a synths dealer and don't know of any cheap Synthi secret market.
I don't offer support for attempts to build clones of EMS equipment.
Please don't ask, thanks.
ModHiisi
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 692
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 am
Location: HELsinki
Contact:

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by ModHiisi »

aquifer wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 11:56 am No, I didn't touch the PCB, just changed the tank. It was an Accutronics 8BBC21A which replaced the 8BC2C1A. The impedances are the same and both are 3 spring models. Other folk have used the Accutronics 1BC2E - that's a 2 spring model, so might be less muddy because of that. Maybe others can chip in here on that one.
Ah, got it. The two spring tank makes sense, that could make a considerable difference. Interested in hearing about results too, if someone has done that. And yeah, finding a spring tank with matching impedance is trickier than what might seem. That table is very useful.

Also forgot to add to my earlier post: Buchla 212 also has a cv controllable spring reverb!
Sonic pollution for psychic hygiene
User avatar
boscio
Common Wiggler
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun May 15, 2022 1:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by boscio »

Another clip from Knobcon, this time with Marc Doty going through it
"...Imminent release... Price range around $4k... likely..."
User avatar
aquifer
Common Wiggler
Posts: 177
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:08 pm
Location: In the Treehouse

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by aquifer »

papz wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 12:09 pm The output impedance is not the same in 8BB2C1A and 8BC2C1A.

Image
Yes, my mistake - I just realised what the change in the third digit of the model signifies. Still, I just followed Joel's advice and it worked for me.
Having said that I might very well try a 2 spring equivalent.
User avatar
TheSynth
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 10:57 pm
Location: Paradise

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by TheSynth »

boscio wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:01 pm Another clip from Knobcon, this time with Marc Doty going through it
"...Imminent release... Price range around $4k... likely..."
Nice :yay: Thanks for sharing!

If the new Easel is set to sell around $4k, would it be fair to say that an upgrade from the Easel Command would be in the low $2k?
Sidiblue
Common Wiggler
Posts: 131
Joined: Sat May 30, 2020 1:47 pm
Location: France

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by Sidiblue »

boscio wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:01 pm Another clip from Knobcon, this time with Marc Doty going through it
"...Imminent release... Price range around $4k... likely..."
I hope we can buy the case + 218 without the ugly module? ^^
User avatar
boscio
Common Wiggler
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun May 15, 2022 1:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by boscio »

TheSynth wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 2:58 pm
boscio wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:01 pm Another clip from Knobcon, this time with Marc Doty going through it
"...Imminent release... Price range around $4k... likely..."
Nice :yay: Thanks for sharing!

If the new Easel is set to sell around $4k, would it be fair to say that an upgrade from the Easel Command would be in the low $2k?
That’s probably a fair assumption… I vaguely remember them saying they were aiming for the new 218e to be around/under $1k, and I’d assume the case may be around $1k as well with the i/o module…? We’ll see… And also if they prioritize full music easel purchases first, or if it’s open to individual items/bundles at the same time…
axm311
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri May 07, 2010 5:08 pm
Location: DC

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by axm311 »

Sidiblue wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 3:12 pm
boscio wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:01 pm Another clip from Knobcon, this time with Marc Doty going through it
"...Imminent release... Price range around $4k... likely..."
I hope we can buy the case + 218 without the ugly module? ^^
I’m hoping it is just a prototype as the panel colors don’t seem to match.

$2000-2500 for an upgrade from the command is a bit steep for me. I also imagine they will be prioritizing full easels over piecemeal upgrades but would love to be wrong. The commands do seem to be decently stocked now
User avatar
boscio
Common Wiggler
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun May 15, 2022 1:08 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Buchla Easel Command Module 208C

Post by boscio »

axm311 wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 6:47 pm
Sidiblue wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 3:12 pm
boscio wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:01 pm Another clip from Knobcon, this time with Marc Doty going through it
"...Imminent release... Price range around $4k... likely..."
I hope we can buy the case + 218 without the ugly module? ^^
I’m hoping it is just a prototype as the panel colors don’t seem to match.

$2000-2500 for an upgrade from the command is a bit steep for me. I also imagine they will be prioritizing full easels over piecemeal upgrades but would love to be wrong. The commands do seem to be decently stocked now
The 208c module retails at around $2600, so if they're goal is to sell the music easel as a whole for $4000, I would assume (hope) an upgrade from the 208c/easel command would be more in the $1500-2000 range... Would be even better if you could trade in the easel command's boat for a discount, haha.
Post Reply

Return to “4U Format Modules + EMS”