FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) - Blacet

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. "Are used Blacet Modules a good buy?" We don't produce hundreds of any one module, so the used department is pretty slim. Don't expect many bargains. Factory assembled modules have a QA sticker on the back of the front panel. Expect to pay a premium price for these. Kit assembled modules require a good look at the craftsmanship of the builder. Do the solder joints look good? Is the wiring neat? Buyer beware here!

If you buy a used module ask if it comes with the original Manual. Basic manuals are available as pdfs on our Manuals page but will not contain assembly information or schematics.

2. "Are all your modules going to be available for a number of years?"  This is our plan, however some modules may be out of stock for a few months at a time depending on new projects. In general, our designs are excellent and will serve the needs of the modular synthesist indefinitely. At some point, the limiting factor may be the availability of specific electronic components.

3. "Can I use Blacet Modules with those from "xyz" modular?" Generally, all modular equipment can be mixed and matched. There may be the odd difference in CV ranges/polarities or Gate levels. It is not possible to damage the modules by plugging in the wrong signal, as long as you keep the levels in the +/-15V range.

The biggest difference in modular systems is the size of the panels, the jack size and the power supply voltages. Module height is a typical way to characterize systems. For instance, MOTM uses 8.75" (5 RU) high modules, Blacet, Paia, Doepfer, etc use 5" (3 RU).
An "RU" or rack unit is 1.75". The smaller units tend to use 1/8" jacks, the larger; 1/4".

There are some small physical differences between the Euro Rack(Doepfer, etc.) and the Frac Rack (Blacet, Paia, Wiard, Metalbox, etc.) that make it impractical to use the mounting systems interchangeably.

All modules these days are designed to be placed in a sub mounting system that is 19" rack compatible. That means that you can place a mixture of module systems in a box such as those made by SKB.

The Euro modules tend to use +/-12V power; the American, +/-15V. Our +/-15V and power connector system is fully compatible with Synthesis Technology (MOTM). The new Paia modules can be run off our +/-15V supply by using a Paia to Blacet cable and removing or jumpering the Paia module power input resistors. See the Paia site for more info. Other makers such as Wiard and Metalbox also use our connector.

4. "I'm having trouble with the module mounting screws; help!"  We use self tapping screws to mount the modules in the rack.  This means that the screw threads are actually cut the first time that you insert the screw. Naturally, this takes more force than usual.

One trick is to “pre-tap” the screw holes prior to actually mounting the modules. Make sure that the screw is going straight in and that you have the proper size screwdriver with a good grip. Position the rack on it's back side so that you are pushing *down* on the screws as you proceed. Do all four holes, removing the screw as you proceed. Then actually mount the module.