MATRIXSYNTH: EMS Putney VCS3 MKI

Monday, February 03, 2020

EMS Putney VCS3 MKI


via this auction

"It was built in the late 60's/early 70's. It is an early version with the silver knob caps, MKI boards, best sounding VCO's, etc. The front panel is extremely clean and the lettering isn't worn off as you find on a lot of these. All silver caps are accounted for (which seems to be quite rare). It is working perfectly and ready to go to a new home...

The VCS3 had been refurbished with several upgrades and mods to bring it into the 2020 era:

1) Faulty/scratchy pots that were erratic and flakey were replaced with much better/smoother ALPS replacements that have a really nice feeling and are extremely accurate. These are much superior to the ones offered by Hinton Electronics which have a scratchy feel when you turn them.
2) Sync switches and knobs were added to front panel to allow syncing between 2>3, 1>3, 1>2, which really opens up the flexibility of the synth
3) A switch was added to allow the filter response to be changed from 24db to 12db for different tones
4) 1/8" jacks were added to front panel to allow for external voltage control and interfacing with modern modular synths. Specifically: for voltage control of filter and all three VCO's. These additional inputs make this VCS3 a great addition to any eurorack or traditional modular setup as you can easily send voltages into the VCS3 from other gear for processing.
5) The case was refinished in a matte finish. The looks is very sharp!
6) Some components were upgraded on the voicecards. I don't have a list of everything that was done over the years, so please see the photos. New trimmers were added for rock solid adjustments.
7) Power connection was changed from the original mini Bulgin connector (very difficult to source the power cord for this) to a standard IEC connector (standard AC power cord)
8) Vernier dial pots were upgraded with precision pots based on Hinton recommendations
9) Internal power supply switch was changed to domestic US voltage, so it runs at the standard 120v. Can easily be switched back to 220v Euro.
10) A switch was added to allow VCO3 to be run as an LFO, or for standard voicing use.

Known issues: 1) There are a couple hairline cracks in the case that have been repaired and sealed during the refinishing process. They are solid and nothing to worry about. 2) This synth does not have the tuning stabilization mod on Board C. Honestly I wondered about getting this done before I purchased it, but once I used it, I saw no need to get the mod done. 3) There is a very small hairline crack in the bottom right of the plastic meter (barely visible). 4) Front panel is extremely clean, but there are a couple light marks in the cream finish in spots.

Comes with: A) VCS3 B) Power cord) C) fourteen patch pins: yellow (5), white (3), red (3), black (3). D) spare reverb tank E) copies of VCS3 manual."

3 comments:

  1. Behringer should buy it for obvious reasons.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice synth. Questioning the all silver knobs are original. Didn't the Mk1 VCS3's have colored tops?

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, MKII had the colored tops.

    ReplyDelete

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