Buchla 200 Classic Reissue Series Brings Back Classic Module Designs After 40 Years

Buchla USA today announced the return of the classic Buchla & Associates 200 Series, The Electric Music Box, originally produced from 1970-1978.

This announcement is distinct from the earlier announcement of the Tiptop Audio + Buchla 200 Series Eurorack Modules. The Euro versions are smaller and mass produced, so they’re relatively inexpensive.

The Buchla 200 Classic Reissue is a set of reissues of the original module designs, similar to the approach taken by Moog with their modular reissues or Sequential with its Prophet 5 reissue. So these modules are full-size, and match the look and functionality of the originals. But, unlike other companies that have done this type of OCD reissue, Buchla is offering affordable alternatives, By doing this, they’re addressing the needs of existing owners and purists, and the broader audience of people that may have never used a Buchla module. 

The original Buchla 200 series introduced many hallmarks of Buchla instruments, still in use in Buchla’s modern 200e series, including the color-coded patching system and the ability to interface with digital computers. The Buchla 200 Classic Reissue modules will be compatible for installation in modern Buchla cases and can also be patched to 200e modules, so the classic designs and modern ones can complement each other.

The Reissue modules are being created with the help of Roman Filippov of Black Corporation and Joshua Holley of Malekko/Dark Place. Buchla says that these modules “represent the most authentic and accurate recreations of the original Buchla 200 series ever made, approaching the classic circuits with modern build techniques, while remaining faithful to Don Buchla’s original vision at the time.”

This initial wave of 200 Classic Reissue modules includes: Dual Oscillator Model 258, Quad Function Generator Model 281, Quad Lopass Gate Model 292 (rev c), Source of Uncertainty 266, Dual Voltage Processor 257, Triple Envelope Follower Model 230, and Mixer/Preamplifier Model 207. More modules in the series are expected to be announced soon.

Pricing and Availability

The Buchla 200 Classic Reissue modules are available to order now, priced starting at $799. Shipping is expected to start in the second half of March, 2022. The company says that quantities are limited.

31 thoughts on “Buchla 200 Classic Reissue Series Brings Back Classic Module Designs After 40 Years

  1. 281 Quad Function Generator $999….
    281t (tip top audio) Quad Function Generator $210
    Curious to know what the differences are to be so extreme in pricing.

    1. 281e vs 281.
      one has a highly elaborate digital system, and is manufactured at a tiny fraction of the scale.

      1. Must be some pretty elaborate components. From the business/tech side, Id love to know how they’d justify this one beyond the brand. If Moog paired with elektron and made a $500 Sub 37, people may have some questions about whats on the inside of the Sub 37, solid gold solder and underpants gnomes manually running the sequencer. Gnomes are expensive, you know.

  2. Snark: It’s because a typical 4U Buchla module is >$1500 dollars, while typically Euro/3U prices are more like $300, so they didn’t want to appear to be making cheap knock-offs in the 4U space. 😉

    But more likely the TipTop guys managed to optimize for modern production, lower cost methods, and the 4U is maybe more labor-intensive, because ‘original’ ?

  3. And look at the excellent changes in the tiptop units… I have two and they are great… so wtf with the remote switches that have no function????

  4. Quantum teleported from the 70s I guess. One module or that nice synth, two modules or that really nice synth, three modules or that new Waldorf Iridium with polyphonic aftertouch? Difficult difficult.

  5. These will be made in the tens vs hundreds or thousands for the Eurorack versions, and they have to make it worth their while.

    Why would it be any more complicated than that?

    1. Hand building with through hole components and in low numbers doesn’t necessarily make modules sound better

      If anything it sounds the same but takes way longer to build and costs more money

      Eurorack has proven this

      Factory built modules with surface mounted components are the norm because it’s cost efficient – not to mention SMT consumes less power, generates less heat and makes less noise

      1. “Hand building with through hole components and in low numbers doesn’t necessarily make modules sound better”

        What the heck are you talking about? Did anybody say that these are made with unicorn tears?

        These are full size, which is more expensive to make & ship. And these are a niche product, which means that they can’t be mass-produced cheaply.

        Again – why would anyone think that it’s more complicated than that?

        Buchla is offering users choice: high, end faithful reproductions that are going to be more expensive; and Euro versions that are more affordable.

        They should be celebrated for offering users both options. If the replicas are irrelevant to you, you don’t need to complain about it. Nobody cares.

  6. After you have decided if it is elitist luxury or cheapskate knockoff …
    … decide if it sounds good and feels good?

  7. if you’re a collector / purist and have the means this is great news, if you’re simply curious or have always wanted this specific functionality the Eurorack versions are good news. i think everybody wins here. and what i think is often forgotten when thinking only about what components cost is the time expertise and skill it takes to remake these, that’s also a part of the cost. now back to my VCV rack. 😉

  8. Nice thing for collectors….

    But I guess most musicians can also be satisfied with the Tiptop Audio clones…

    1. “Nice thing for collectors….”

      Elitist comments like that are BS, Andreas.

      Musicians like Suzanne Ciani, Morton Subotnick, Caterina Barbieri, Caterina Barbieri, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Alessandro Cortini have all made albums using Buchla systems that have been very influential.

      Buchla is providing options for Buchla users to expand their vintage systems and Euro versions for those of us that will be happy with inexpensive alternatives.

      1. many artists used a drumstick on their albums, lets use a drumstick, it will make my music so much better 😉
        this is known as “bought competence” 😉

      2. @ Daniel Parks -> are you saying that musicians like Suzanne Ciani, Morton Subotnick, Caterina Barbieri, Caterina Barbieri, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith & Alessandro Cortini wont be able to make albums using Tiptop Audio clones too?

        1. My impression is that Buchla is an experience, you immerse yourself in the ecosystem with all the idiosyncrancies, format and limitations. Sometimes doing that can aid the creative process.

          With the tiptop clones you’re tempted to bring in all your other eurorack stuff, and the size and layout are slightly different. So it’s a different experience.

          I don’t think anyone is saying that everyone should buy original Buchla, just I can see why a handful of people do it.

        2. Andreas – you’re making idiotic statements, instead of responding to what I said.

          It’s clear that you’re either just trolling or inexperienced with instruments.

          “Synth collectors” tend to be inexperienced users and hobbyists that collect cheap synths. Forums are clogged with posts from these people, who have amassed a random collection of Behringer synths or Euro modules, and they mainly ask what they should buy next.

          It doesn’t really matter what they buy next, because they’re just building a collection, vs building a synth rig that allows you to do a specific task.

          When you see synth videos by this type of user, it’s usually pretty obvious that they’re not building synth rigs tailored to making their music. They’re collecting synths because synths are interesting devices and owning synths gives you another way to appreciate and understand the music of your favorite electronic musicians.

          People that build synth rigs with a purpose – like to play live or to record – typically have a small number of expensive instruments. Professional musicians like Suzanne Ciani or Alessandro Cortini tend to have a small number of very nice instruments, because that’s all they need.

          The professional musicians that have huge rigs – like Junkie XL or Hans Zimmer – tend to be doing commercial soundtrack work, where you want to have immediate access to a lot of instruments so that you can use a different sound palette on each film.

          1. @ Daniel Parks, thank you for trying, but you are missing the point.

            It is fine, if you believe that the sound is associated with a Brand name or the list of artists, which has used it. It reminds me of Hans Christian Andersens’ “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

            I 100 % disagree with your above message, but please proof and enlighten us wrong that tiptop’s module don’t sound nearby the sound of Buchla, thank you.

            1. Andreas – sorry, but you seem to be having a problem with basic reading comprehension.

              The cheap Tiptop/Buchla versions are great – they make the Buchla designs more accessible, if with some compromises for mass production.

              You suggested, though, that these reissue Buchla modules are some sort of scam made for rich collectors. There’s no evidence that this is a thing that any company does.

              Log onto Youtube or any online synth forum, though, and there’s ample evidence that there are tons of hobbyist synth collectors, with huge, random collections of cheap synths. The most common question they have, quite literally, is “What should I buy next?”. This is the audience that Behringer caters to.

              The mass market for musical instruments has always been in making cheap, dumbed-down gear.

              The democraticization of access to synths is a great thing, but it has also created a generation of hobbyist collectors that can’t understand why anyone would want something more than cheap, dumbed-down gear.

              People like you have such limited experience that you don’t understand the compromises being made to reduce everything down to inexpensive Euro modules. As a result, you think that the buyers of full-size, original designs are clueless victims of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome, people with more money than brains.

              When you make statements like that, you may as well tattoo “I”m a noob” on your forehead. Because you are presuming to know better than everyone else what instrument is right for them, and you are making elitist comments as a result.

              1. Dear Daniel Parks
                Once again, I disagree, but thank you for trying.

                1. Your point above became unserious from the start to the end with the “hatting” including “You are..”..”you think”. You don’t know me, so stop pretending you can put a hat/tag on people. That is a communication strategy, which belong in some kind of child institution, thank you.
                2. If you could rewind time back to the 70s and place a Tiptop product on the table with the same price difference, do you then still think the known Buchla artists would have driven the same path?
                3. I’m not saying that Buchla, Moog or Oberheim is a scam, but sometimes it is healthy to sit down and ask yourself “How much am I paying for the “Brand name” over the core components?”

                1. Andreas – your arguments are based on time travel and other nonsense.

                  “If you could rewind time back to the 70s and place a Tiptop product on the table with the same price difference, do you then still think the known Buchla artists would have driven the same path?”

                  If Tiptop Audio could go back in time, they’d probably want to kill Hitler or something cool. Wouldn’t you? But time travel is pretend. So your argument makes no sense.

                  “I’m not saying that Buchla, Moog or Oberheim is a scam, but sometimes it is healthy to sit down and ask yourself “How much am I paying for the “Brand name” over the core components?””

                  You’re paying for the Buchla brand name, whether you buy Buchla Euro or Buchla 4U. One is just a mass-market product and the other isn’t. So again, your argument makes no sense.

                  Your comments have become tiresome. If you must respond, try to say something clever this time.

                  1. Daniel, you seem to have a lot of trouble understanding what Andreas is saying. Perhaps you should go back and re-read all of this. I don’t understand why you attacked him for making a comment that was nothing more than realistic, not elitist. If anyone has come off as elitist in this thread, it is definitely you!

    2. Before complaining about the price, consider that Buchla at this point is almost a classical instrument. Like with the Theremin, there are composers and musicians out there that dedicate their whole artistic life to playing Buchla and nothing else. These artists are willing to invest the same kind of money into their instrument that a pianist would spend on his Steinway. If you’re not part of that demographic, that’s okay. There are plenty of other options out there.

  9. It’s neat that these are going to be available but I’d suggest Googling ‘Josh Holley Crush Bar’ and consider whether you want to support his business by buying these modules from there.

  10. Do you realize how many manufacturers use them (Darkplace)? Not sure why this is an issue with just these Buchla reissues.

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