MATRIXSYNTH: RSF KOBOL EXPANDER I+II Clones

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

RSF KOBOL EXPANDER I+II Clones


via this auction

Note MOS-LAB also made KOBOL Clones.

This one was spotted and sent in via M Me.

"You canmodulate a lot using control voltages:
The VCO’s waveform, LFO rate, resonance, attack time, decay time, sustainlevel, release time (Exp. II)!


The RSF Kobol was the French synth company's firstcompact keyboard synthesizer, certainly inspired by the Minimoog. It is a muchmore compact instrument than the Modular Model 11 series of synthesizers theyhad been making thus far. It is a monophonic analog synthesizer withtraditional controls, knobs, switches and two oscillators for a good solidanalog synth sound. Initally released as a keyboard in 1978, a 3-unitrack-mount system was later released in 1979.

Although it is mostly a traditional analog synthwith stable oscillators and lots of knobs that allow you to control the ADSenvelope, the filter section and the nice LFO, it did offer some uniquefeatures for its time. Most notably, theoscillator waveforms can be continuously swept across for a very cool morph fromsquare to saw to pulse, etc. This, as well as note on/off and otherparameters can be controlled via CV/gate. External sounds can be processedthrough the Kobol filter and envelope sections too.

The rack version came in four different components.The Kobol Rack (Expander I) was essentially only the VCO/VCF/VCA/LFO sectionsof the Kobol in a rack module. The Expander 2 was an add-on to the Kobol thatadded some new processing modules such as ring modulation, sample-hold, andenvelope followers as well as extra VCA and LFO modules.

The Kobol looked and sounded great, andwas quickly snapped up by the big names in synthesizers of the time. But beinga small French company, RSF were never able to truly mass produce these.
About 800 Kobol Racks were made, 200 Expander 2's. This makes them quite rare!

They have been used by Vince Clarke,Vangelis, Jean-Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode, Peter Gabriel and Hans Zimmer.

The RSF Expander II rack mount modular synth was manufactured as a companionoption module for the Kobol Expander I synthesizer. The19" 3 U space unit features a Ring Modulator, Envelope, a VCA, an LFO,Mixer with 3 inputs and 1 output. Additionally it has a Sample & Holdmodule with internal or external clock, a Noise Generator, Voltage processorthat is delectable Linear or Logarithmic, Voltage Inverter, Gate Delay, anEnvelope Follower, Lag Generator, and finally 2 multiples.

The Expander II module makes for a complete modular synthesizer when couplewith the RSF Expander I. The unit is a very rare find in the vintagesynthesizer market.


Both items are clones, copied 1:1 from the original modules, they are in almost new condition.
There is no other housing than the tolex case for the two Expanders, they are only sold together.

Kobol Expander I

Polyphony – Monophonic
Oscillators - 2 VCO's;triangle, square, saw, pulse; variable sweep
LFO - 1 LFO, triangle, squarewaveforms, rate knob
Filter - 1VCF 24db low pass
VCA - 2 ADS envelopes
Voltage Processor
Noise
Control - CV/Gate 1 volt /octave
Date Produced – 1979
Quantity produced – 800

Kobol Expander II
- VoltageProcessor LAG
- LFO
- Gate Delay
- Ring Modulator
- Mixer
- ADSR envelope
- Sample and Hold
- Noise (white only)
- Envelope Follower
- VCA
Quantity produced – less than 200"


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