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Huge Frac Rack Collection

Blacet, Metalbox, Synthasonic, PAiA and the rest.... a frac frenzy!
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minime123
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Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by minime123 »

hey guys,

a while ago, we bought around 100 new old stock frac rack modules from a friend. (SEE LIST BELOW)

although we’re professional vintage synth dealers, our top priority is always to keep things we want for use in our studio. so we’re trying to figure out what to keep and what to sell or swap. we’d like to identify the modules in the list below that do something special that havent got a eurorack format equivalent, and we'd love some input.

I heard the higher voltage of the frac rack allows for more headroom and therefore a better sound. has anyone compared frac to eurorack versions of the same module and heard any significant difference?

would anyone be interested in swapping frac rack versions of these modules for their eurorack equivalents, if we decided to swap them?

I'm also trying to figure out what powered rack options may be on the market now. or, if there are none available, if our tech was to build us some custom racks and we decided to assemble some more for resale, would anyone be interested in purchasing them?

the list is below. thanks!

Miscellaneous
Mankato Filter
Cynthia Zeroscillator
Cynthia Sawtooth Animator
Synthasonic 8-stage Phaser
Wogglebug #3
Livewire Frequensteiner
Encore Frequency Shifter
Oozitronics Triple Bandpass
STG Wave Folder
STG Gate Delay
Bugbrand Weevil
Parts to build a Neural Agonizer (2 reverb tanks and circuit board)

Metalbox
Gate Sequencer (x2)
CV Sequencer (x2)
Matrix Mixer
Slope Detector
Dual Chime
Dual Drum
Burst Generator (x2)
Divider & Logic (x2)
Super Psycho LFO
Gated Comparator (x2)
Analogue Logic
Resonant Equalizer
8008 Bass
Cynare Drum Synthesizer
Digital Noise*
Sequential Switch
VC Divider
Bi-N-Tic Filter*
Tube VCA

MOTM
1190 Dual VCA
1485 GX VCF
1490 Moog Ladder VCF
1800 Looping ADSR

Blacet
Miniwave
VCA (x2)
Time Machine (x3 used)
Klangwork
Sequential Switch
Dark Star Chaos
Bar Graph
Final Filter (x2)
Binary Zone
Improbability Drive
Stonz Phase Shifter
VCO
I/O
Hex Zone Sequencer
LFO
Multiple/Attenuator (x2)
Envelope Generator
Mixer/Processor
Window Comparator
Mixer

Blacet Synthesis Technology
E340 Cloud Generator
E560 Deflector Shield
E355 Morphing Dual LFO
E580 Resampling Mini-Delay
E350 Morphing Terrarium

Wiard
Joystick
Joystick Axis Separator
Noise Ring
Borg Filter
Boogie Filter

Bananalogue
3P (x2)
LPFA
VCS
WVX

Oakley
Equinox Phaser
Dual ADSR-VCA
VCO
Sample/Slew
COTA VCF (Roland filter)
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Cybananna
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by Cybananna »

The wogglebug #3 is different from euro equivalents. Closest to the original make noise wiard one.
The improbability drive is one of the few frac modules I kept because at the time there was no other euro noise source like it. Don’t know about now.

Dark star chaos doesn’t have a euro equivalent either I don’t think. It’s cool and fun but I found myself not really using it much.

I love the Frac frequensteiner. I kept those (2 of them) also. I can’t hear a significant difference between that and the euro but people have claimed the frac sounds better. The frequensteiner is one of my top 2 filters so more the merrier with me.
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soup
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by soup »

minime123 wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 7:54 pmI'm also trying to figure out what powered rack options may be on the market now. or, if there are none available, if our tech was to build us some custom racks and we decided to assemble some more for resale, would anyone be interested in purchasing them?
For the modules you have there's nothing available at the moment. BugBrand has some nice frames but they''re too shallow for almost all of your modules. If you made something similar to the Blacet Rak-3 I would likely buy some.

I can't keep up with euro but the BugBrand Weevil and the Blacet Binary Zone may be somewhat unique to frac land?
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by BananaPlug »

our top priority is always to keep things we want for use in our studio
When Blacet was in production and euro was not yet pervasive I got a number of those modules and found PowerOne PSUs from eBay to be good and inexpensive though they are bulky, heavy and warm. I wasn't going for a rack mount studio space aesthetic and built DIY frames in various sizes. There's good DIY options for power days. I'm sure you can solve those issues too.

:hail: Bugbrand's effectively reinvented frac (somebody had to) by abandoning the old practice of mounting PCBs perpendicular to the panel. Great stuff. There was hope that Synthcube would keep the Blacet stuff going but I'm guessing there isn't enough of a market to justify building new power supplies, new frames, etc. Have you talked to them? How many frames would need to be sold to justify making a batch?
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by plord »

There is not a good Euro counterpart for the Binary Zone, although there are many different ways to get similar results. The Dark Star Chaos is unique. The Time Machine is a very nice delay, not sure what is out there in Euro with a real BBD chip and that much CV control. The Window Comparator may also be difficult to clone in Euro without combining several modules.

Everything else either exists in Euro or can be covered by similar existing Euro modules.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by chachi »

the GX filter is a weird one, there was a 5u version but I don’t remember it in euro.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by emmaker »

chachi wrote: Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:17 am the GX filter is a weird one, there was a 5u version but I don’t remember it in euro.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by synthdog »

If I had this lot, I would be interested in keeping a system built around the Blacet branded modules, as a bit of a time capsule tribute to a great designer's work from a now past era, and also for the Time Machines, Dark Star, and Binary Zone. The other Blacet modules from that lot also aren't terribly valuable I think, unless even humble Blacet has gotten the reverb.com since I've last checked, so probably you could recoup your investment most quickly selling off the Wiard, Synthtech, etc.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by texturerama »

soup wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 8:36 pm
minime123 wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 7:54 pmI'm also trying to figure out what powered rack options may be on the market now. or, if there are none available, if our tech was to build us some custom racks and we decided to assemble some more for resale, would anyone be interested in purchasing them?
For the modules you have there's nothing available at the moment. BugBrand has some nice frames but they''re too shallow for almost all of your modules. If you made something similar to the Blacet Rak-3 I would likely buy some.

I can't keep up with euro but the BugBrand Weevil and the Blacet Binary Zone may be somewhat unique to frac land?
Seconded, if there was a racking solution to mount these deeper modules, I'd be interested in the frequency shifter, for sure.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by KSS »

PAIA still sells their Frac rack enclosures. They are not as sturdy or well made as Blacet but they will do fine in a rack system and can accomodate deep modules.
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soup
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by soup »

Unfortunately the PAIA frac racks are not powered and they don't sell a +/-15V power supply either. Maybe one of their other products could be adapted to work but it's not immediately obvious or beginner friendly.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by KSS »

@soup
True but OP -minime123- is hardly a beginner!
Treat utility modules as stars instead of backup singers.
Treat power supplies like Rockstars instead of roadies!
Chase magic sound, not magic parts.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by bigtex »

I'm glad to still keep some of my Frac around for what I feel is some of the more unique Blacet stuff. I have not yet found a Eurorack module that quite replicates what the Binary Zone does, that one is a keeper for sure! It's possible to hack it together with a clock divider, a bank of attenuverters, and some slew, but the design and layout of the Binary Zone is just so much fun to play with.

I also like the AR in the Final Filter and how it shapes the sound. I know there are other filters with EGs but this one just feels right to me.

Improbability Drive is fun as well, and while I guess there are many similar noise sources these days in Euro, I'm not sure if anything quite replicates it. Providing both level and width on the window comparator to generate digital noise might be a unique feature, and definitely worth having.

I never did manage to get my hands on a Blacet Time Machine, since I had gotten into Blacet right after they started getting difficult to find, but it was always on my wishlist. I might guess that the Xaoc Sarajewo would be the place to look these days for a good BBD.

A lot of the Metalbox modules were very interesting to me back then as well, though I never got any. I believe many are CGS designs so may be available elsewhere such as via 5U or Elby Euro versions, and various other DIY modules floating around.
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by justin3am »

Wow, a ton of great stuff in that list. Pretty amazing!
I'd love to get/build a WoggleBug in Frac one day. I may have assembled that Frequensteiner.

I bought a rack from PAIA recently and it's been suiting my needs just fine. I got a distro board from SynthCube and just used an old Power-One +/-15 v supply that I had on hand.
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minime123
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by minime123 »

hey guys, thanks so much for the helpful info. ive been swamped this week or i wouldve replied sooner. right now its looking like we wont have any time to deal with figuring out what would be involved in building new powered enclosures until at least after jan 1, so we may start up this chat again once weve got time. thanks again!
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by fluxmonkey »

justin3am wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:10 pm Wow, a ton of great stuff in that list. Pretty amazing!
I'd love to get/build a WoggleBug in Frac one day. I may have assembled that Frequensteiner.

I bought a rack from PAIA recently and it's been suiting my needs just fine. I got a distro board from SynthCube and just used an old Power-One +/-15 v supply that I had on hand.
Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 8.56.20 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 8.56.20 AM.png (60.88 KiB) Viewed 154 times
FRAC_wogglebug.FPD
(1.92 KiB) Downloaded 4 times
Attachments
Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 8.56.20 AM.png
Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 8.56.20 AM.png (60.88 KiB) Viewed 154 times
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by justin3am »

fluxmonkey wrote: Mon Oct 03, 2022 7:57 am
justin3am wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:10 pm Wow, a ton of great stuff in that list. Pretty amazing!
I'd love to get/build a WoggleBug in Frac one day. I may have assembled that Frequensteiner.

I bought a rack from PAIA recently and it's been suiting my needs just fine. I got a distro board from SynthCube and just used an old Power-One +/-15 v supply that I had on hand.
Screen Shot 2022-10-03 at 8.56.20 AM.png

FRAC_wogglebug.FPD
Oh wow, thanks!
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Re: Huge Frac Rack Collection

Post by soup »

On that note here is a laser cut panel I did for the 5u wogglebug pcb with the pcb parallel so it fit in bugbrand frames...
DSCF9809.jpg
DSCF9819.jpg
3fu_woggle1.eps.zip
(209.19 KiB) Downloaded 1 time
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