A TTSHshshstart of sorts
I must admit I wasn’t planning on taking up any build projects anytime soon.. But even so, today I found myself looking at a full set of parts for crazy large synthesizer build: The Two-Thousand-Six-Hundred aka TTSH aka a Arp 2600 clone.
I guess Lumeet did much of the ‘footwork’ of pitching me the TTSH, by teasing me with a multitude of video & sound clips recorded off his build. Yes I have the Odyssey but esp. with all the game sound design work going on atm, I’ve been getting a growing feel that it really falls a bit short on features.. Whereas a full-blown modular feels like overkill.
Add to all the prep by Lumeet, the person who eventually sold me the project was Patrick aka LED-Man. Not that he was selling one, but offered to arrange a group buy deal for all the parts at the Muffwiggler forums. Now this felt just the shortcut I need; I only need to order the PCB & frontplate from official TTSH website, Patrick’s part kit, and then I can skip straight to designing and making the case. Beyond that there’s only soldering & calibration.
Ok ok, a TTSH it is!
Initial design ideas
The way I see my build turning out at the moment is, it will be a Tolex-covered road case somewhat similar to version Arp 2600P. The Tolex should be of some other color than black (white? orange?), but I’ll know for sure once I’ve had the chance to visit Uraltone and check out the colors & textures live. I also have a MIDI-to-CV adapter (MIDImplant) that I’ll likely include inside the build. Having MIDI just makes way more sense for keyboard use etc.
There is also a group buy being planned for a Arp 1601 style step sequencer at Muffwiggler. If/when this happens, one idea I have in store would be to build the 1601 into the cover part of the TTSH case. A handy travel combo of sorts. Thiis would also make the design more complex, so it’s definitely just an idea for now :)
Btw did I mention it’s a big build? Check out the parts kit:
The soft start
While eyeballing through the parts kit, I figured I could at least do as little as take some measurements. I need to have at least the PSU, spring reverb tank, PCB & front panel dimensions to start even with rough sketches. Esp. the placement of spring reverb tank inside the case is somewhat critical; if it’s too close to the PSU it could pick up some unwanted AC buzz / hum! Caliper-a-go-go..
One thing I didn’t check yet is which side all the components attach to. For example the VCOs are separate boards that are soldered to main board, so they will be way taller than the other parts, adding to the full panel stack height (last pic above).
Of course I would also like to have the case as small as possible, without leaving idle space inside. But come to think about optimizing the design for size, maybe I need to carry out some tests with the PSU & spring reverb.. Like what might count as a ‘safe’ distance between the two. Something like “spring reverb in the bottom, PSU in opposite top corner” should be safe I think..
But yeah, enough of “soft landing” to this build. There’s some other prep work to do too, like studying through both official & Patrick’s build documentation & modifications, taking an inventory of usable wood bits for the project etc. The way things are atm for me, sketching is definitely postponed well into next year.
Wonder how long it might take to complete this build.. :)