Eurorack Case

Are the Doepfer low cost cases in any way inferior in terms of performance?

The Intellijel 4U cases have a better power supply (can support a bigger load, more connections). If you’re going with the Doepfer case, it would be worth trying to figure out what you plan to put into it alongside the Phonogene and Wogglebug, and calculating the load (ModularGrid is your friend!!). I think having the 1U tile row in the Intellijel case would be a helpful addition to a small setup.

My two cents: whatever you do, stay away from Pittsburgh Modular. I have a Cell 48 and two Cell 90’s that I’ve had to gut because their power supplies were terrible. Extreme amounts of noise on digital modules (Nebulae, Clouds, Rings), and my sputnik oscillator couldn’t produce a sine wave in that case (everything was a saw).

I’ll offer some advice here and suggest that a very small case (sub-84 to 104hp) should mainly be considered as an option for experienced users who have a very clear idea what they want for a specialized tool or set of tools.

The cost of a standard sized case is not too much more, and the resale value and speed of resale is likely to be more favorable. This matters because if you decide you like the modular experience you will be looking to upgrade that case in a month or two.

With that said, it’s pretty amazing what can be done with a small case these days.

1 Like

Thanks for the input…food for thought. :+1:

there’s a couple of threads you might want to read about cases and make sure you read through this one:

woah! that’s crazy/terrible. thanks for the cautionary tale.

Yeah the current rating of the PSU is not the only thing that matters, stability, noise etc. are all very important and need to be carefully checked, wherever possible.

No.
Power supply is the same as the non low cost ones. They just leave the bare wood frame rather than wrapping it and putting metal hardware on them.

Their newer cases have hefty power supplies. You will find plenty of people using them without any problems (and their old cases too). Using the Structure 208, the only digital module I’ve had issues with was an Audio Damage module, but I’ve read that others had problems even in Doepfer cases.

You can find bad things about almost any case/module combo…there are a lot of factors, including how the rails power up/etc. Noise issues can also come from grounding problems related to your USB powered devices like a qunexus/grid/etc and how they interact with your case, rails, and power.

Yes, there are probably more ill-behaved modules and combinations of modules than power supplies.

I’m a Monorocket loyalist. Sad it seems their production has slowed (stopped?), but they rule. So much that I waited awhile to track down a used one when I got a slightly bigger case :slight_smile:

I’ll offer some advice here and suggest that a very small case (sub-84 to 104hp) should mainly be considered as an option for experienced users who have a very clear idea what they want for a specialized tool or set of tools.

this.
i’ve restricted myself to a single row 61hp case and decision-making is very hard.

2 Likes

Do you see the fact that you need to make decisions as a problem?
Or formulated differently, do you feel limited in your ability to create what you want and do you think that would not be the case with more room?

not a problem, no, i thought hard about the size and went for a compromise, ever so slightly on the restrictive side, since i wouldn’t want it to become a money-sink.

however i am sensitive to some lost freedom, and also it is a time-sink - at least for me, endlessly reconfiguring on modulargrid. that said, endless fun so not regretting the slightest bit. but… “need more hp” : ]

1 Like

This bring up a question I’ve been wondering about: other than the simple convenience of having only one case to move around, is there a significant advantage to having all your gear in one large-ish case versus a few smaller cases? I’m personally interested in have a few small-ish cases as I get started, start with one and turn it into an interesting effects/processing-heavy kit, another might be sound generators and VCAs/LPGs, another might be some other category, or a particular mix of stuff that seems to go well together, but nothing prevents me from seeing all of these cases as a collective instrument, either.

And for those of us who don’t have large table surfaces for the modular stuff, where more-but-narrower racks might fit better, and where portability becomes more a useful consideration, is there something lost by beginning a modular setup with this idea in mind?

I don’t own a single modular thing yet, but it’s definitely on the radar, and that’s how I was thinking of getting started, so it’s not just a theoretical question for me!

I have heard some people express that interconnecting cases can introduce ground loop and other sources of noise (potentially). That being said, people do it all the time.

IKEA rast and some rails. Then spend a decent Chunk on a psu.

I’ve got two Doepfer Low cost cases - the LC9 and the LCB, and I’ve never had a problem with them. They are both running the PSU2 (the earlier power supply) as well. I chuck modules into them without a care in the world.

I’ve also got a uZeus and a Mantis; they work fine as well. If you’ve already got a 19’ rack (I’ve one built into my desk) then that’s a decent option.

Agree with the other poster: you will find it hard to avoid buying other modules (I did, clearly) so you might be better off going 84hp first.

I think it is worth considering your own inclinations/preferences, and how they weigh in to how you want to play your synth. Ergonomics can make a big difference for some people, where some seem to not care. I personally wouldn’t want to use a modular synth that was oriented as a set of vertical 19" racks, but that is a pretty common arrangement (especially for large setups). I had an IKEA Rast for some 19" rack gear, but I personally wouldn’t want to use it for a modular.

I don’t own one, but I think the Intellijel 7U and 4U cases (and -isms, for that matter) are very appealing because I feel they encourage the idea of creating “instruments”, sets of modules that are cohesive at least in the sense that they are in a case that is a reasonable size and can be used on a lap or small table, either by themselves or combined with other things. My current DIY case isn’t even that large in hp terms, but it is physically quite thick and clunky feeling, which changes how I interact with it physically. For me, 3U/4U x 42hp would be too small unless as second case, but more than ~9U x 104hp would feel cumbersome.

2 Likes