Coolaudio Intros BA662 VCA Chip Clone

Behringer sister company Coolaudio Semiconductors, which manufacturers a variety of custom components for audio products, has introduced a clone of the Roland BA662, used in VCA designs of TB-303, Jupiter-4, Jupiter-8 and other synthesizers.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

“It is the THE chip responsible for the unique sound of so many classic synths.

Not only has Coolaudio cloned the BA662 “A” version, which is the highest specified version, they also managed to greatly improve noise performance and included even two chips in one packaging.”

Details are still to come at the Coolaudio site.

20 thoughts on “Coolaudio Intros BA662 VCA Chip Clone

  1. shame its not an identical “drop in” replacement chip, sounds like its going to be twice as many pins and a different shame….opportunity missed if you ask me.

    Clearly one step closer to making a Behringer Jupiter 8 tho it looks like!!!

  2. i don’t know a ton about electronics, but it certainly makes one wonder how they already “cloned” the 303. did they just throw any old vca chip in there? i’ve heard side by sides of the 303 vs the td3 and there are definitely some stark differences.

    1. The TD3 voice is apparently based on the x0xheart design without attribution. From a Reddit post on the topic: “the whole voice section of the device is an exact copy of the x0xheart and pacemaker using the cheapest possible parts. This is an opensource share alike design, the only thing asked in return for using this design was to have proper attribution. None of that is present on the Behringer device.”

      Please don’t support people who steal the work of others.

      1. So… you found a rumor on Reddit that fits your narrative. In the same post the guy says he has absolutely no proof that Behringer copied the Jasper clone of the WASP, but he’s pretty sure of it. Because ‘apparently’. ‘Apparently’ is not enough for an accusation. So either you stop spreading nonsense or you come up with something better than Reddit rumors.

      2. Plenty of open source types are learning the hard way that slapping a Creative Commons licence on some schematics doesn’t automatically create a new form of legally protected intellectual property. Look at how Mutable Instruments had their business destroyed by cloning. It must be said from time to time: schematics posted online are automatically in the public domain.

    2. The TD3 is apparently based on the x0xheart open source design, built with the cheapest possible components. If that is the case, they did not provide attribution as required by the open source license.

      1. as far as I understand you can’t really put a licence on a circuit design. You could patent it, but as I understand a clone of an already highly-cloned synth whose patent has expired would be near impossible to patent.

        That said, it might be nice to acknowledge (in the manual or whatever) those designs that were helpful in setting up the TD3 circuitry. But then again that might be a bit of a minefield since there are quite a lot of clones out there.

  3. Yes there are differences between their Td-3 and a regular 303, but perhaps a future version of their Td-3, maybe their devilfish variation will use this chip.

  4. “It is the THE chip responsible for the unique sound of so many classic synths.” In a VCA chip? The VCA ideal is toward total transparency…perhaps the core components of the oscillator and filter might be more responsible for the “unique” sound of any given classic synth. Cool Audio usually has more accurate blurbs; this time its a bit of a stretch.

    1. Dude, you need to study more synth!
      A) VCAs have an impact on sound
      B) the BA662 is the filter in many synths: SH-2, SH-09, for example.

      1. I didn’t say the VCA has no affect on the sound. I said the IDEAL for a VCA is transparency…it is generally there to control the volume contour…or it (BA662) can be used as a component as part of the filter circuit (or anywhere else you want to use an OTA). Kind of like you can build a VCA or VCF or VCA using TL072 opamps (or the LM13000 as it is another OTA)…but no one (in their right mind) is going to call that a “signature sound”

        To quote Roland from the 100M Service Manual: “Color has great importance in circuits of some models”. However there is nothing mystical about the sound of the BA662, it is just a reasonable good OTA chip which is often carefully matched and selected.

        Maybe you should “study more synth”.

        1. Hey Harlan,
          I reread this and I’m sorry for coming off as a dick, I’m sure you’re a bright fellow/gal in real life and I’m sorry about the black/white nature of writing text.

      2. I didn’t say the VCA has no affect on the sound. I said the IDEAL for a VCA is transparency…it is generally there to control the volume contour…or it (BA662) can be used as a component as part of the filter circuit (or anywhere else you want to use an OTA). Kind of like you can build a VCA or VCF or VCA using TL072 opamps (or perhaps the LM13000 as it is another OTA)…but no one (in their right mind) is going to call that a “signature sound”

        To quote Roland from the 100M Service Manual: “Color has great importance in circuits of some models”. However there is nothing mystical about the sound of the BA662, it is just a reasonable good OTA chip which is often carefully matched and selected.

        Maybe you should “study more synth”.

        Few components are “game changers” in the production of sound, it is usually the combination of components/architecture of the circuit that create a signature sound. And remember, a company like Roland puts a premium on low price parts…they didn’t select any components based on “superior quality” but rather for price.

  5. “improved noise performance”
    – not necessarily a good thing :-/

    Lower noise often means a more cleaner (clinical) sound.
    Older (more noise) often is the special character (warmth) of older / vintage synths.

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