I'm just getting into modular and have a chance to build my own system. If any of you have any tips on what I should get, or not get, I'd love to hear.
My goal with a modular synth set-up is to create performable, semi-generative drones and bleeps with a West Coast sound (I particularly like Suzanne Ciani), along with some sample playing and mangling.
I currently have a Make Noise 0-Coast and a Beatstep Pro. I’m not sure if I am duplicating or omitting some functions. And I've got to cut about $1000 of of this...

My current thinking is here:

ModularGrid Rack

I am looking at these modules for the following reasons.

Oscillator: Rubicon II (looking for a complex oscillator that can do through-0. Also considering Hertz Donut or the Furthrrrrr Generator. I'd really like the Furthrrrr, which is why I included it on the bottom row.)

Oscillator: Plaits for wavetable, particular vowel and drum sounds.

Filter: Three Sisters, seemed like you can get some unusual effects. But maybe I don’t need a filter or just something simple?

Low-Pass Gate: Optomix for west coast style sounds.

Stages: For LFOs, envelopes, etc.

Marbles: for random triggers and gates and sequencing. (or would a Sapel be better in pairing with Stages and Maths?)

Noise: Bastl Instruments Noise Squared. Seems to have some interesting features in addition to noise.

Maths: For… generating functions?

Morphagene: for mangling samples.

Multiples: Doepfer seems like a straightforward solution for signal splitting.

VCA: The 4MS VCA Matrix, seems to provide functionality and performability.

Ring Modulator: Looking for traditional west coast sounds, and the Befaco A*B+C does a few things.

Reverb: 2hp Verb seems like an economical solution (or Intellijel Spring Reverb?).

Delay: I like a good delay. The 2hp Delay seems fine to start with.

Mixer: Again, the 2hp seems satisfying enough.

Output: Eric Synths Pico Out. Just to get the signal out of the unit.

Just a note on how to cut $1000 out of the rack: there's a little math trick that helps with this quite a bit. Simply divide the price of a given module by its width in hp. That resulting number is the 'price per hp', and the lower you can make that per each function you want, the cheaper the build gets...pretty quick, in fact.

For instance, let's take TZFM VCOs. Scrolling through the VCOs, we come across:

Cynthia Zeroscillator: $1195 @ 36 hp.
Eowave Orage: $185 @ 10 hp.
Schippmann CS-8 Omega-Phi: $1159 @ 24 hp.
Doepfer A-110-6: $250 @ 12 hp.
Dannysound EN129: $239 @ 12 hp.
Intellijel Rubicon II: $399 @ 20 hp.
Hexinverter Mindphaser: $599 @ 30 hp.
Harvestman Hertz Donut Mkii: $475 @ 17 hp.

OK...from this, the choice seems like the Eowave, right? Lowest price...but...

Zeroscillator: 33.19
Orage: 18.50
CS-8: 48.29
A-110-6: 20.83
EN129: 19.91
Rubicon II: 19.95
Mindphaser: 19.96
Hertz Donut: 27.94

Those are dollar costs per hp covered by each module. Now, the Eowave still comes out ahead...but using this method to compare, it doesn't do so by much. Fact is, it's the bottom number in a cluster of price-per-hps centered around $19.50. So then the question becomes: how many functions/uses can you get for each different module? And the Eowave is pretty minimally featured, designed more to be used in a group of other VCOs than as a sole standalone. The EN129 is a bit better, but it's a kit and if you're not kit-savvy, it's not an option because having it built will add to the cost overall. That pares your sensible choices down to the Rubicon II, the Mindphaser, and the A-110-6, and you'll notice only a penny's difference in the price-per-hp of the first two. So...which one suits you better?

That's how I settle a lot of module vs. price conflicts. And sometimes, you get surprised. Let's take another example from your build: the reverb, which you're wondering about. Here's five:

2hp Verb: $109 @ 2 hp = $54.50.
Intellijel Springray II: $239 @ 10 hp = $23.90
MakeNoise Erbe-verb: $489 @ 20 hp = $24.45
Purrtronics Purrvrrb: $130 @ 8 hp = $16.25
Doepfer A-199: $180 @ 8 hp = $22.50

Ohhhh SNAP! In this case, the choice certainly ISN'T the 2hp module! Mind you, their stuff is awesome if you have a gap that you'd rather fill with a function instead of a blank...that's a huge strong point for their stuff...but if you have space for something bigger, then no and HELL no. And with the glaringly-obvious price-per-hp advantage, you should be looking at the Purrvrrb instead.

Anyway, that's just another tool to work with...but I've found that it's a damn useful one for whittling down choices or, in cases such as the reverbs above, finding the best cost-effective solution. Give it a try!

Thank you, that is a very helpful way to look at it.
Especially with the effects.

It was a wonderful day when I figured out to factor cost-per-hp as a choice criteria, to be sure. And when you start seeing how a $489 module actually becomes cheaper than a $109 one through this, it really opens up your eyes as to how to choose modules that both deliver on function and price when factored as part of a whole build.

Price per HP doesn't seem to correlate to the value of the module for me. My first criteria is the performance. I'll often view multiple Youtube videos of the module in action to get a feel for the module: quality of sound, modulation, etc. The second would be features. If I have multiple ways to use a module that adds value to it.

I was shopping for a small quantizer due to limited HP space. I have 3 to spare. The toss-up was between a 2HP quantizer and the Erica Quants. The 2HP has more LEDs to indicate status. However, after diving in a little further, the Erica can generate a trigger each time it outputs a new pitch if there's nothing plugged into the clock input. The 2HP doesn't have that feature. With that, I can trigger an envelope based on the internal logic of the Erica... or some other event. That seals the deal for me. I get more value out of the Erica even if the price is a little more.

You'll spend thousands on modules. Each new module integrates with the others, so being frugal on one module might hamstring the value you get out the rest of the system.

I'm not knocking the price per HP system. But I'm thinking of the system as a whole rather than just a collection of individual modules. Cheers.

For sure. The way I took what Lugia said was in the way you actually chose the Erica over the 2HP: more value because of more functionality in the same space. It helped me choose to go with a Rubicon II, Dixie II+, and wave folder option rather than the Furthrrrr. I like the furthrrrr a lot, but with just a few more dollars and hp, the Intellijel cobo has more functionality.

I went with a Rubicon II as well. What ultimately sold me on the Rubicon is that it can function as an LFO as well. I was thinking about all of the crazy waveshapes I could generate then push them into a quantizer or controlling a filter cut-off. I went with a Tip Top Z3000 mkII rather than the Dixie II. In retrospect I might have been happier with the Dixie since it has a switch for controlling the range rather than sweeping through the entire frequency spectrum for dropping/raising the oscillator an octave.

I didn't see the Dixie in your set-up, though.

If you're looking to nick $1000 out of the set-up, how integral are the MakeNoise modules for your initial set-up? You're going to get a wide range of sounds out of the Rubicon.

I haven't been able to get the RUbicon II yet. Still searching.
Here is what I actually have (or will by Friday...):
I know I have way too big of a case and I still need a delay of some sort and a clock (though I do have a Beatstep Pro.)
I think I over bought, but I had an opportunity to get this stuff now, so I did...

Now, how to organize it all...

Perfect Circuit has the Rubicon II in stock. Let's feed the addiction. :)

Oh no...you're the devil!

Perfect Circuit has the Rubicon II in stock. Let's feed the addiction. :)
-- Ronin1973

Price per HP, for me, is more of a way to avoid price 'traps'. For example, if there's two modules that have similar functionality, but one actually works out cheaper in price per HP when space isn't a primary concern, then that's a decider. But when space becomes a key criteria, then price per HP can slide a bit. For example, I know that two Doepfer A-171-2s come in at a higher price per HP each than does a MakeNoise Maths, which is essentially the same setup with a couple of extra bells and whistles. But if 16hp gets the priority over 20hp, then the Doepfers get the nod. Conversely, if I can fit 20hp, then the lower cost rules. It's not a hard/fast rule that gets followed when I do a build, but more of an indicator of potential directions and, often enough, a way to whittle down possible choices among similar modules.