The Holland Synthesizer Model SM2000 is a $40,000 3U monophonic modular synthesizer that they say is an ‘aerospace quality musical instrument’.
The system uses a backplane that carries control voltages, triggers and audio signals to and from the various modules, however all patching can be overridden from the front panel. All jacks are Switchcraft 1/4″ for ruggedness. The SM2000 is designed to be a standalone system, but being modular in nature allows for a high degree of customi
Why is the Model SM2000 $40,000? They note:
There are many factors that contribute to this. Up until recently, all of our projects were “One of a Kind”, which means all of the development costs are rolled into the first unit. Secondly, all of our products are hand made, and built to rigorous aerospace quality guidelines, which is reflected in our product reliability. When you are not using mass production, costs go up dramatically. And lastly, we use very expensive components. We select each component to be the absolute best performing component, based on sound quality and reliability, without regard to price.
This is one of the reasons we have audibly superior products. Let me use our SM2000 synthesizer modules as a concrete example.
All of our modules have front panels that are machined, powder coated, engraved and filled with colored ink. Other manufacturers might pay $3.00 for a front panel where one of ours costs us $300.00. After 10 years of wear, ours still look the same. We also use brass collet knobs, Bourns pots, and Switchcraft jacks. Our competitors might pay 49 cents for a pot and knob, where our cost is $11.00. Multiply that by a hundred, and you see what happens.
The Model SM2000 system contains the following modules:
- SM2014 Triple Voltage Controlled Oscillator/ Mixer Module. Each oscillator has six waveform outputs that can be mixed together. A fourth mixer combines the outputs of the three oscillators and an external signal source. Adjustable PWM and linear modulation. Coarse and fine tuning on each oscillator and a master tune for all 3 tracking together.
- SM2051 Noise generator featuring white, pink, red and infrared sources.
- SM2032 Multimode Voltage Controlled Filter. Has 8 outputs. Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass and Band Reject (Notch). Each configuration has a 12dB and 24dB per octave mode. Four overlapping ranges with adjustable damping and manual frequency control.
- SM2048A Dual Envelope Generator. Two independant envelope generators tied to the same trigger. Time at each stage adjustable from 1 millisecond to 18 seconds. Level attenuators for each output. 5 overlapping time ranges, and manual trigger. LEDs track stages through envelope. Generates true linear envelopes.
- SM2022 Dual Log Voltage Controlled Amplifiers. Produces log output with linear input. Unheard of 118 dB dynamic range. Input and output level controls and CV attenuators. Manual offset controls for ease of setup and maximizing dynamic range.
- SM2041 MIDI to CV and Trigger Interface.
- SM2046 Control Voltage Processor. Takes in a control voltage and produces a copy and an inverted copy. Allows user to control offset, gain and slew rate. Also has two outputs for adjustable, attenuated versions of the outputs.
- SM2063 Multiples, Voltage sources and Attenuators. Has 3 four point multiples, 4 adjustable DC voltage sources and 2 adjustable attenuators.
- SM2012 Low Frequency Oscillator. Oscillator has two selectable ranges, high for modulation, and low for filters and amplitude modulation. Output waveforms are sine, triangle, square, pulse, positive ramp and negative ramp. Also has controls for tuning and fine tuning, pulse width, PWM attenuator, and two output level controls.
- SM2035 Fixed Filter Bank. This module has 12 resonant filters spaced musically at about half octaves. Each filter has 10dB of boost and cut. The highest and lowest filters are shelving type.
- SM2061 Buss Access, Power Monitor and Headphone Amplifier. Includes 4 volume controls for the audio output busses, and output jacks. Also includes jacks for the 4 trigger outputs and 4 control voltage outputs. Headpone output with level control. Power keyswitch and LED power indicators for each voltage.
Note: The Holland SM2000 Modular Synthesizer is a 3U modular synth, but differs from most Eurorack, synths in a variety of ways, including power connectors, depth and jack sizes. See the Holland Synth site for details.