New Expansion Board Triples Waldorf Microwave XT Polyphony

WaveXTs

Encore Electronics has introduced the Waldorf Microwave XT DSP Expansion Board.

The Expansion Board has the same functionality as the original out-of-production board. It adds 2 DSPs and memory to the original Waldorf instruments. This increases the polyphony from 10 to 30. 

Installation is simple. No soldering necessary. It comes with mounting hardware.

Note: This only works with original Microwave XT instruments with version 3 board. Version 1 and 2 Microwave XT boards do not have expansion ports. The version of XT mainboard is shown after you finish booting the XT/XTk by pressing the Global (Utility) button (six clicks in) until you get to the system sub-menu. If the lower left of the display reads “Board #3” you can upgrade your XT. If it says “Board 1” or “Board 2” then the XT is not expandable. Please perform this basic check to avoid any disappointment. Also your XT/XTk must be updated to OS 2.29 (or newer) before connecting the expansion.

The Waldorf Microwave XT DSP Expansion Board is available now for US $399.99. See the Encore site for details.

10 thoughts on “New Expansion Board Triples Waldorf Microwave XT Polyphony

  1. Having owned and sold an XT, and now having a Blofeld, I’m wondering whether anybody would like to post on the sonic difference between the two? My memories of the XT is that the sound was ballsier, cruder, and more aggressive than the Blofeld, which I put down to probably lower quality D/A converters. Any comments? This board now makes me regret having sold the rack unit!! (but it was HUGE).

    1. cant post anything, but id agree with you 100%… the XT was definitely less “hi-fidelity” but it just sounded way better overall

    2. great news for XT owners…hurts a little, because I paid $800 for the expansion board, but great for the community. before you buy one, make sure you have a 3rd gen motherboard. You can tell by the serial number.

      I have both a blofeld and an XT. they’re different. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other, as I would go to each for a different reason… personal taste, I guess.

      1. Awesome!

        I was lucky to get an expanded XTk for a very good price. It’s my absolute favourite synth. I like it so much that I’m even considering taking it on stage. But I would break down and cry if it was stolen or damaged. This makes it feasible to buy a Microwave 2 with Board rev. 3 instead and expand it. Gotta make a move, before their prices go up even further!

        As to the sonic character of the XT, it’s a Waldorf allright, but rather different than the Blofeld. Much more power and dirt. Have listen to my recent sound demos on SoundCloud:

        http://soundcloud.com/spotlightkid/

    3. totally different sound engines and totally different design. the blofeld is closer in heritage and design to the Q family than it is to the Microwaves. there is no possible way you can get some of the sounds on the XT out of a Blofeld.

      having an XT *and* a blofeld in your sonic arsenal would create very little overlap in sound.

  2. Bummer….Board 2 🙁

    The XT excels over the Blofeld regarding knob availability and realtime manipulation. However, I have used a blofeld and the visual feedback of the sound wave, especially when adjusting LFO parameters, is a very warm welcome. Tweaking the wavetables and overall playability feels way more fun (IMO) on an XT rather than on a Blofeld. The menu bouncing on the Blofeld is frustrating when in the middle of a hot performance.

    To me, they both sound fantastic…they each hold their own.

  3. to my knowledge very few of the XTs do *not* have Board 3. I had a mid-production “burnt orange” unit with tapered knobs and it had a rev 3 board.

    i really wish Waldorf would re-release this synth. Nave is nice, but its a totally different sound. this thing had GRIT

  4. This board is a cool find! Can’t wait to have a 30-voice XT

    I had both Blofeld and XT. To my ears the XT sounds more dynamic, present and ‘alive’ and a bit more ballsy as mentioned. I sold the Blofeld and kept the XT. There are times I wish I had kept the Blofeld, mostly because I don’t want to take the XT out of the studio.

  5. Important: I was ordering an paying via PayPal this Expansion Kit at “Encore” Webshop. But no order confirmation, no answers to my emails. After opening a PayPal dispute and some strange conversation with the guy behind “Encore” I had to wait for 7 days to get back my money without reason “why not shipping” neither “why not answering” and neither “why not paying back the money to me”. Please do not order there !!!!

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