Hello Ronin1973, Lugia and all,
Thank you very much for your responses, yesterday I wrote a huge reply (larger than this one!) to you guys but due to a time-out on this website, I lost the entire reply and have to start all over again...
Because of the above reason and to avoid yet another loss of efforts, I will split my reply in three parts, first this common part and then I will reply to your specific questions in a different reply.
To your both questions about hi-fi and what I expect from a modular system there is no easy and/or short answer, though I was hoping you would ask and put me into this direction since I have to explain to you a bit more about my background, so perhaps you understand my questions better.
As a kid, I played organ for years, can’t remember exactly how long, I think about 6 years or so till the moment my dad pushed me a bit too much on that matter that I give up on playing organ. A few years before that I start discovering “synthesizer” music as I called it that in the beginning, starting with J.M. Jarre and Kitaro, later followed by many other well-known artists using synthesizers and well known for that.
Though I stopped with playing music, I started to develop a serious interest in electronic music, however only from a listening point of view, after stop playing the organ I guess I had just enough of making/playing music that it didn’t came up to me to start doing something with synthesizers.
I owned all the way some seriously terrible non-quality loudspeakers but had nothing else and listened at music either with that or with headphones (much better than my lousy loudspeakers), till I bought in 2015 my B&W 683 S2 loudspeakers and about two years later a NAD C 368 amplifier. Audio heaven opened up to me with that installation and I still enjoy that almost every day. Last year I upgraded my installation with bi-amping cabling, I didn’t expect such an improvement with a rather simple effort, it’s fantastic, and if you haven’t tried it then I strongly recommend to use bi-amping (if your amplifier and loudspeakers can support that), it’s seriously worth it, but I guess that’s not a discussion for this forum :-)
So yes Ronin1973, I am a hi-fi fan since about 4 years now and I can enjoy good music on a good quality (avoiding “hi-fi” here ;-) ) audio installation. I don’t think this forum should be misused to start a huge discussion on what’s hi-fi or what isn’t, just a short description on how I understand it (which doesn’t mean that that’s correct but that’s just how I personally see it) is: a good quality audio installation, it’s that simple for me whereby everyone can decide for themselves how to define “good quality”; it usually is related to one’s available budget and one’s taste too. The entire marketing meaning of hi-fi I also don’t like, who does? ;-)
That as an introduction to my background, so you roughly have an idea “where I come from”. Several years back my son played piano and I looked at the notes he was playing and I couldn’t read even a single note of that! I was pretty much in a heavy shock because when I was young I could read fluently without any problem music notes from paper but not any longer any more, I know where the common/middle C tone is but that’s about it. I forgot all about making & playing music since I stopped playing the organ, now far more than 30 years ago... till recently...
A good friend of mine visited me for a weekend back in February this year. He had very limited luggage with him however the small but nice device in his so little luggage that he took out from his bag was a Teenage Engineering OP-1, what a fantastic device! I played less than about one hour with it I think but wow, that was the spark and the catalyst that catapulted me (back) into the world of synthesizers and making/creating music, the push I needed to get awake and started with this fantastic synthesizer hobby! After more than 30 years, I finally got awake again :-)
That was this year back in February, by early March I bought a Roland FA-06 workstation, I know, nothing compared to a modular system, I hope you don’t kill me for the fact I bought a workstation ;-) I just wanted to get started and using a device that was able of a few tasks.
Before March had a chance to finish off and handing the “time” over to April I realised, I needed something, I wanted less working in the menus and more working with direct knobs, handling direct parameters, etcetera. So, before it was end of March I bought myself a Behringer Neutron. A kind of dream came through, no menus (yes!), for everything I needed was a button to turn at and I could patch the sound the way I wanted it to flow, fantastic!
That was by end of March, before it was April, I felt after using the Neutron so intensively that I wanted “more”! Since end of March/early April it became crystal clear to me that I wanted a modular synthesizer system.
Ever since I am checking the Internet on different brands, on the several modules each brand has, the possibilities of such modules, etcetera. I was, no sorry, I still am overly enthusiastic and can’t stop checking anything about synthesizers, the different brands, their modules etcetera. So I created a spreadsheet list with, for me at least, the most common, known and interesting brands and their modules and I am close to about a little one thousand modules I got listed and partly checked in that spreadsheet till I discovered this website!
So fantastic! Almost all the modules from I guess almost all the modular brands are represented here, in an easy overview with good search functions, wow! The rack planner, that’s just beautiful and fantastic! I love it, and I therefore have a deep respect for the person(s) who created this and keep (!) maintained this, that’s really good and thank you very much for that!
I wonder if I am the most enthusiastic member here in this forum? :-) Since that friend came to show me the OP-1, I am not lying here with the exception of 2 perhaps maximum 4 nights that I didn’t work with it, I have worked non-stop, every late evening after work and after diner when the family goes to sleep, till deep in the nights, it never was before 3 am before I went to bed and 4 am or 5 am are no exceptions and still have to work the next day at 09:30 :-( So since end of February, non-stop, literally every night I am checking out on synthesizers, the basics behind it, the different brands, the reviews, the demos listening at it, almost everything, testing for a while, on an almost weekly basis at a local shop here, the several modular synthesizers brands and many (not all though, pity :-) ) modules. It’s just fantastic. The very first time I was in that shop that I started to test on those modular thingy’s, they almost had to carry me out of that shop, I just couldn’t stop testing and trying to understand the modular system!
Does this somehow convince you that I am seriously deep into this? :-) I am now for more than one month planning and checking many modules, trying to understand them, reading the technical specifications, watching demos & reviews about it and I just can’t stop doing that, still every night I am checking and I have literally drag myself to bed to at least catch some sleep to carry me through the day times and I can’t wait till it get night and dive into the synthesizer world again :-)
In my next replies I will come to your more specific points, I have to hurry now to avoid yet another time-out and losing everything that I just wrote down now.
Oh yes just to make clear, at the moment I don’t own a modular system yet, I am currently in the planning and checking phase and just can’t wait to get one but I have to be patience first before I can go ahead with that... I just can’t wait for that (I am repeating myself out of sheer enthusiasm) and I am oh so jealous about those here who got already one ;-) Well done!
Rest me to thank you Ronin1973 and you Lugia and it goes without saying, actually all of the forum members, for your kind help, information, feedback and sharing your experiences with me and here throughout the forum discussions.
I particularly like the thread “New to modular? Maybe this can be a beacon?”, fantastic, very helpful and thus a very big thank you for that.