BOOMSTAR MKII - $1399
Boomstar is a return to the raw power and purity of non-programmable discrete analog, where STUDIO ELECTRONICS started in 1985 with the Midimoog. The snap and punch of hardware envelopes drive the Boomstar's brilliant discrete voltage controlled circuits with unparalleled sonic integrity and versatility; refaced, and revoiced for 2018, the Boomstar MKII is likely the ultimate desktop analog synthesizer for those who remember, and desire still, analog synth sounds that changed the music, and sound seekers who have yet to discover that electric magic and delight in their time—via MIDI or CV of course.
The Boomstar's alchemy of combinable waveform oscillations—with sub, OSC1-OSC2 sync—filter and oscillator xmod, ring mod, 5 revered filter types, extensive modulation routing made easy via its 18+ toggle switches, and a flexible software LFO, make sound and music design a daring delight. Hardware envelopes with invert, loop, drone and master mode deliver that flexible, funky snap and shift.
The quick-turn shaft pots along the bottom for the hardware ring mod, noise, feedback: now diode-based for more complex and interesting harmonic distortion, and VCO Levels make vital sonic changes intimate, immediate, and indispensable; the adjacent overdrive switch adds beefy boost, warmth, and edge. 29+ pots insure a fluid, intuitive groove over wide-ranging sweeps, and subtle tone variations: whip them suddenly and rhythmically into shape, or feather in the changes.
Expect cleaner levels in and out of the 6 MKII filter models for 2018 (MKIIs will still brown out but their headroom is more generous): 3003—rubbery, squelchy, twangy, lo-fi, beloved Roland® TB-303 (not pictured), 4072—powerfully resonant, thumpy and mid-rangy ARP® 2600; 5089—classic, buttery & boomy Moog® 24dB ladder; 8106—ripping Jupiter-Juno Roland® magic; SEM—the original Lord Tom Oberheim® 2-pole 12dB/octave, boxy, reedy & boomy gem; SE80—the legendary, creamy, dreamy, multi-mode Yamaha® CS-80. So why not go off-synth via the external input processing patch point: connect rhythm and color to non-native oscillations and pulses, moving in, around, and through them?
SidesExoticia® Bocote, Marblewood, Pau Ferro, and East Indian Rosewood end bells, are hand selected, handcrafted one-offs, and will vary greatly in grain and attractive imperfections, but they are always character rich, and easily transcend exact appearance expectation. Expect a richly figured hardwood. Bocote and Marblewood are "CITIES" compliant; Indian Rosewood is USA only.
Can't decide which model deserves your attention? It does help that Boomstar is a discrete, through-hole, hand-matched transistor, semi-modular desktop monophonic synthesizer, built in the U. S. A. to last, no matter which glowing circuit, handcrafted filter model you choose—the 1st time.
Update (4-25-18): SidesExotica® end bells now mounted with blind screws, for a devastating... prettiness. CAUTION!
Micro-lumber may appear even prettier when immediately in front of you.
BOOMSTAR 2018 HIGHLIGHTS
. Refaced for clarity of function, signal flow and an overall visual/tactile assist.
. Revoiced for purity of tone—more headroom into amplifier; browning-out is delayed.
. Diode-based feedback circuit for greater dynamic range and harmonic distortion content.
. Exotic and rugged hand-picked and handcrafted lumber/microlumber sides: Bocote, Marblewood, Pau Ferro, and Rosewood.*
. Lined, fluted knobs and lined quick-turn pot shafts top and bottom for more precise programming and patch recall.
. Metal-shafted pots installed throughout, apart from the envelopes, where the custom taper plastic-shafted pots are strengthened with an added bushing.
* East Indian Rosewood microlumber ships to USA customers only.
REFACE, RE-SIDE AND REPLACE
Pre-MKII Boomstars can be upgraded to MKII visuals and knob/pot improvements.
$499 with end bells: chassis with SidesExotica® Bocote, Marblewood, USA-only Indian Rosewood, and Pau Ferro.
$249 remove and replace MKI pots and knobs: "Tonestar" fluted knobs and metal-shafted pots installed throughout, apart from the envelopes, where the custom taper plastic-shafted pots are strengthened with an added bushing: proper ENV pot tapers are not available in metal; top and bottom quick-turn pot shafts are now lined.
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