Is This ARP 2600 Clone, The TTSH, The Coolest Synth DIY Project Ever?

ttsh-box-assembled-small

The Two Thousand Six Hundred, or TTSH for short, is a new DIY synth project, inspired by the classic ARP 2600 semi-modular analog synthesizer.

The TTSH is now available as a kit for 4000 SEK (about US $600), containing PCBs and the powder-coated and screen-printed front panel. This is an advanced DIY project – nothing is pre-built and no electronic components are included. Builders will have to source their own parts, which is detailed at the project site. A case is also available.

Here’s a demo of a TTSH prototype in action:

Here are audio demos:

Specifications:

  • 3 VCOs (Model 4027-1):
  • VCO 1: saw / sqr
  • VCO 2: saw / tri / pulse / sine
  • VCO 3: saw / pulse
  • Noise Gen: Continually variable from LF to pink to white.
  • LFO – Patchable with tons of modulation sources and shapes, Sample and Hold.
  • Filter – Model 4012 VCF (1970-76). 24db lowpass, self-oscillating.
  • VCA – Linear or Exponential control. Envelope Follower.
  • Envelope Generators –
  • Env 1: ADSR
  • Env 2: AR
  • Ring Modulator
  • Spring Reverb (optional choice of reverb tank)
  • CV/Gate/Trigger inputs (MIDI optional)
  • 2 Speakers which may be switched off to save power.
  • 3.5mm jacks so you can easily interface with a Eurorack system.

Is this the coolest commercial synth DIY project ever? Check out the specs and the demos and let us know what you think!

via reader Jester Glass

59 thoughts on “Is This ARP 2600 Clone, The TTSH, The Coolest Synth DIY Project Ever?

  1. yes, its super awesome

    but id like to see someone price out that BOM just for the sake of an estimate

    i wonder if its time for the rise of the DIY clones?.. xoxbox, yocto and now this..

    ok next someone needs to make a clone kit for the Synton Syrinx!

    http://youtu.be/YRvCzdwZO1Q

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    1. The BOM is already priced on Mouser.com at 256 euro. You then need a couple of other small parts. In total the parts, including the metal case, are coming in around 1100-1200 euro.

      Plus the build costs, its still very good value.

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    2. My second favorite synth of all time, it looks brilliant, I want one. Can’t afford it, but still want one.
      I wonder if they will ever make my all time number one, the VCS3?

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  2. If it’s even one quarter the synth that the Arp 2600 was, yes it just might be the coolest DIY project ever. I don’t have the skills to solder anything, but I’m glad something like this exists. I’m sure someone will start offering them already built and I will be first in line.

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      1. Is it better than the TTSH? Have you heard it? Where can you buy it? Is it cheaper, more expensive? Evidence please.

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            1. Please stop posting links from Facebook. When you do that people that aren’t your friend can’t see it. There’s gotta be a link available somewhere for what you are talking about. Help us out.

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    1. It’s 100% of the original Arp 2600. The (re)designer even left in some of their bad design choices (limitations of osc1, for example).

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  3. i think they would sell a lot more if they’d have an already built, soldered, working version of this synth, for the 90% of synthheads that never touched a soldering iron but love tweaking those voltage controlled parameters. note to all the DIY projects manufacturers

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    1. They’d also have to greatly increase the price to have a full manufacturing setup. Pussies who are scared of a soldering iron can go overpay for an orginal on ebay.

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    2. Yes. You have to know what you are doing to build this. To make bleepy bloopy 10,000 leagues under the sea squid sex sounds, you don’t.

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  4. The cost of this is more like 1300+ usd if you want the case (recommended) and all the parts, there are other people out there making cases but I don’t think they will be any cheaper. Also, the slide potentiometers for this project are back ordered for a few months at least, and there is a waiting list for the rare parts kit unless you want to source your own from ebay and the like. If you wanted to buy a completed unit I would guess that builders would probably charge somewhere in the neighborhood of 3500 usd considering the size of the build. See this link, http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2013/10/28/low-gain-electronic-announces-two-thousand-six-hundred-arp-2600-clones/

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  5. Well – no components included, so basicaly you get nothing. Sorry, but some of the electronic components are extremelly hard to get. And if you can do a bit of math, you will realize that it’s cheaper to buy used 2600 and refurbish it..

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    1. You have no clue what you’re talking about. #62 is on its way to me. Total parts is under $400 (not counting case).

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      1. Total parts is not under $400. Thats just panel and PCB’s. You also have to fork out for the BOM which is 256 euro, then there the power supply and rare parts from thonk. Its about 1200 euro in total including metal case.

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        1. Reading comprehension is your friend. $400 doesn’t cover pcbs/panels, they are $626 as of yesterday. The $400 for parts clearly refers to components…

          I’m making my own case.

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          1. Well writing comprehension is your friend. Your post should have therefore read ” Total parts is under $400 (not counting case, PSB or panel).”

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    2. The components are, or will be available, to anyone who wants to read through either the Muffwiggler mega post or the instructions you get from Zthee himself after purchasing.

      As others have said I believe the sliders are back ordered until early March. Not a huge huge deal.

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    1. This is a DIY kit. It is bare PCBs, a front panel, and an optional case. You have to stuff the pcbs yourself and do the wiring. Hence the “Do It Yourself” moniker…

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  6. On top of that, you will need all resistors, caps, ics, transistors (paired!), pots, ?witches etc. You need to buy them on your own. The kit is only Pcb. And if there is no components set on sale, you will need to get the parts list or the schematic and order them by yourself. Ohh and remember that this is quite old design and some of the components are no longer available so suitable replacements must be found. Well, but you know all of that, don’t you?:-) Becauce the kit’s manufacturer does.

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    1. Is everyone blind? Click on the ‘build’ section. Theres a link to buy all the components, bar one or two, and its coming in a 256 euro. This thing is damn cheap.

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      1. Are you blind? It says:
        “you can order MOST of the parts….” The Mouse-list is not complete.
        Not only the power supply is missing, but “Rare parts can be bought from thonk.co.uk or eBay.”
        At thonk you can read: “joining the wishlist is a guarantee of nothing other than being sent an email to….”
        So it will be hard to get all parts completed!

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        1. In your post you said “And if there is no components set on sale, you will need to get the parts list or the schematic and order them by yourself”, therefore you didn’t look at his page properly where there are the links to mouser component sets and thonk for rare parts list, therefore – are you blind? See, makes perfect sense.

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    1. Given the age of the orginals of course they’ll sound different! It would be cool to have a side by side line recording of both for comparison though.

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  7. There’s no way that it is cheaper to “buy a used 2600 and refurbish it”. You can get a TTSH built for you for something like 3K total. I haven’t seen a used 2600 going for 3K since … the nineties.

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    1. I just got a quote to build it and the total cost to me, including all the parts and the metal case, is 1700 euro.

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    2. It’s not useful to put them in the same light price-wise. This is NOT a clone of a 2600. In fact, it doesn’t sound like one. So it’s futile to debate how much this is fully built compared to the classic original that cannot be reproduced. Where’s the confusion?

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  8. It certainly looks cool and potentially sounds even cooler…. but with no evidence to go on I’d say the Shruthi-1 from Mutable Instruments is the coolest DIY synth, in terms of ‘bang for bucks’. I’m quite prepared to change my opinion, should the TTSH come within range of my soldering iron. (hint, cough, xmas, lottery win, etc.)

    The Meeblip is also a cool synth and a relatively easy build. Also…the Lush One!

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    1. Well, but bigger bang for bigger buck is still a thing. I just don’t think of those smaller kits as being in the same league. They are cool, no doubt.

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    1. I’m wondering what the price is going to be on those. One of the amps on mouser has been discontinued so that’s another part that has to be sourced. Plus as mentioned before, the potentiometers are back-orderd for 8 months.

      It’s going to be a bit of a cat and mouse game getting all the parts together. You’ll probably have to hoard them as they’re available since I fear by the time the last components make it out the first batches will be back ordered again.

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  9. ….saw the first proto in person at Knobcon 2013 – sounded great

    I’ll gladly pay the price to have the PCB’s and front panel sit on my to do pile for a couple of years : )

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    1. Zymos – agreed. The post makes it very clear what they are selling, but it’s clear that people were jumping to the conclusion that $600 would get them a complete synth.

      I removed pricing from the headline. Thanks for your feedback!

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  10. Optimum scenarios: 1. Rear hanging kit to display on wall in man cave along with sports helmets, signed auction guitars and movie posters. 2. DIY “aged” kit to add bent sliders, oxidation and “agitated” Tolex add-ons. 3. Optional discount voucher to acquire a “seasoned technician” to complete the build once destroyed and thus rendered “non-working” by weekend DIY warrior.

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  11. It’ll be interesting to hear how close to the original this sounds. If its very different, despite its visual similarities, I’d be far less tempted to own it.

    On the other hand if an ‘official’ 2600, or even an Odyssey, were made today, maybe this is what they’d sound like?

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  12. The only way to know is to record the ttsh to reel to reel. Also, it’s really weird that there aren’t more demos of this puppy around. I really think they need give us more sound examples.

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  13. I wonder how much money this swedish company is making with this delusion, until everyone who ordered the “kit” realises, that there is nothing included than a blank PCB.
    Then you will order the BOM list at mouser, until realising that still important parts are missing.
    Then you will go to the thonk-shop for the “rare parts kit” until realising, you can just put your name on a wish list and hope, they might eventually get these rare parts….

    This reminds me of these TV ads “it’s not 59.99 , not 39.99 , no, you get this for just 19.99” – but reverse; “it’s not 600$, it’s not 900$ (with mouser), it’s not 1000 (with PSU), it’s not xxx (with thonk) but it’s rather never to finish…..

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    1. I think many of the rare parts in the Thonk kit will be available to anyone wanting to hunt on eBay or the likes. Also, nowhere have they presented the illusion you are getting the entire kit from them. Their store lays out the details pretty clearly. It’s mostly the posts like this one with slight misinformation that could make people go a little squirrelly. Just my two cents.

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  14. It pretty straight forward, he is not trying to trick anyone all it takes is to read which is how the DIY world works. There’s no delusion about it really just a very excellent opportunity unless you feel like spending 6-9k on an original.

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  15. Just keep in mind that this is not really a “clone”… Well, at least it doesn’t use the same components. Check the original design schematics and the parts list available for this kit. There is a lot of replacements…

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  16. Zthee made it clear from the beginning that he was going to use some modern equivalents for some of the components. This should make a lot of people happy, because when something fails, who wants to have to look around for some “unobtainium”? What’s cool about the 2600 (and the TTSH) is that it uses discrete components rather than proprietary chips, so you don’t have to sacrifice a “broken” synth to keep another one alive. So the TTSH will have a few replacement components; I wouldn’t get hung up on that.

    I’ve got a 2600, but I’m very excited to build the TTSH. It’s smaller, more portable and I wouldn’t be afraid to gig with it. DiYers can appreciate what zthee has done in making this project available. I’m not hung up on it not being an “exact” clone. I suppose I could do some A/B comparisons when the TTSH is done, but it doesn’t really seem to matter. They both have the sliders and jacks and funky front panel and neither will tune up at the press of a button, right?

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