Re: [AH] Best Modular Company?

From matt wilson
Sent Mon, Mar 27th 2000, 19:30

Legion wrote:

> > > turn one down I'd argue  Serge is hardly a starter system for anyone. They are
> > > expensive, hard as fuck to order or get used, and outrageously expensive to repair
> > > or change if you need to send them back.
> >
> > what do you mean that sege gear is "hard as fuck to order"?
> I mean there's no such thing as a module. You have to buy an entire panel in order to get
> one item or you have to fill up a pannel with blank spaces and get a 19" wall. There is no
> changing the design of the panel once it's made either. I'm always moving my modules
> around (That's why it's a MODULAR IMO) putting various pieces in different places to
> experiment with how I like to work. Serge is hardwired and finished, no room for second
> thoughts or changing your mind once you've worked with it for a while once it's made and
> delivered.

this is true. you better know what you want, and where you want it, before you make
that leap. i have never considered this a "drawback" or fault; its simply part of the
design.  i have 52 modules in my system (some are doubles, some are completely
custom built by serge for me) and never once have i wished i could physically
move one from one place to another (thats what patch cables are for!).  thats just
me, tho...i could easily see how others could find this to be a serious drawback,
i suppose, but not a "fault".

> There also is an extensive wait (of course he's only one guy) for any order.

well, there are other folks building them. rex runs the "front office" and takes
care of QC, PR (well, thats kind of a joke), and customer service, etc.

> used prices
> (when they come up) are close to new which is outrageous in my book (especially when you
> consider some were kits or made with very different manufacturing than the new ones).

i wonder why????!!!!! keep in mind that serge has been in manufacture since
the mid 70's. i'd think that's something to look at when buying any product.

> Rex
> is helpful surely but these are a high luxury item, not a beginner's synth and thus I do
> not recommend them for someone just starting out.

so doepfer, AS, etc, are "beginner's synths"??!! i don't really think any modular,
moog, serge, or otherwise, are necessarily "beginner's synths".  i think you're
equating the novice with the pauper here....

> > you mention that serge is expensive to repair or "change". what do you mean? you don't
> > really "change" serge panels once they're manufactured.....
> I have spoken to tow good friends who needed some minor adjustments and part swaps for
> their systems. the price quoted for these repairs was so high both of them decided to sell
> their systems and buy a different modular rather than continue to support their panels. If
> you do buy one module on a blank panel you might want ot get something else added down the
> road. This isn't so easy and it's extremely expensive as well.

thats bad.  what needed to be done? and i'm surprised rex built anything with blank
panel space.

> I've thought about the Wilson analog delay for over five years. I got a Fenix with the
> idea to then get some esoteric Serge modules and avoid buying $$$ 3X1 mixers and the like.
> I personally haven't found the justification to get a panel (or module and blank panel)
> when there are so many other items new and useful out there. That's my opinion of course,
> I understand some people think differently and that's fine. Some day I might take the
> plunge but either way I'm really glad I didn't start with a Serge and I continue to use my
> Blacet, Doepfer, Wiard and old arp crap with gusto.

didn't you sell your Fenix too?

spending thousands on any synth is not a casual process and requires some very
intense introspection and lifestyle assessment before making that big decision.
(unless of course you are fabulously wealthy).  serge has a reputation as the
ferrari of the modular scene.  with that kind of status and price, you get high
repair costs, and the attendant high resale value.  some people would never buy
a high end item. (like a lot of musicians, i spend my money on gear; but i drive
a beat up '79 cadillac coupe de ville) others will scrimp and save to get it
(and sell off redundant gear to do so; check my sale of my 2 2600's a while back)
with the hope and understanding
that the new gear will be a timeless classic, well manufactured, and completely
versatile.  so either do what you gotta do to buy the ferrari, or
pick up a bunch of used volkwagens along the way as you can afford it.
(fwiw, i'd say the same about serge as i would about moog modular gear, with
the same analogies).   i own some of john blacets gear and its excellent and he
is a great guy; i use the dark star with my serge all the time. i do not, however,
like 1/8" jacks or cables (minor point, but relates to doepfer, et al).

when all's said and done, clearly you buy a doepfer module, one at a time,
if thats all you can afford, novice or modular expert.....


i don't think i've ever had the kind of excitement about my equitment as i
have regarding my modular serge. the planning, talking to rex, laying out
the bread, planning patches for gear-to-be-built, the wait, the pickup, the
integration into the studio, the patching, THE SOUNDS....

did i mention that when people come into the studio, its the first thing
they see? : )

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