The idea behind Monobloc is that you get a bunch of modules built into a single front plate making it simpler, easier and cheaper. There are two versions ready to go complete with front panel, power and PCB’s. All you need to add is the components – those are extra.
Monobloc 01 and 02
These are not semi-modular synthesizer voices. To look at them you might make the mistake of assuming they are complete synths like the Moog Mother-32 or Pittsburg SV-1. In fact, they are individual Eurorack modules that are built into a single front panel.
There are two versions, 01 and 02. Monobloc 01 consists of an oscillator, filter, amplifier, two envelopes and an LFO, all the building blocks you need for a little starter Eurorack system. Monobloc 02 doubles up on the oscillator, has a different filter and loses the LFO. That appears to me to be better suited to being combined with a couple of existing modules. Both are 42hp wide and would squeeze nicely into a lunchbox type case.
The Monobloc 01 panel, PCBs and power cable comes in at £145. The 02 at £125. Neither comes with any components so you’ll have to source all the knobs, pots, resistors, capacitors, sockets and so forth yourself.
Initially, to me, it seemed really expensive for a kit, especially without the components. For instance, comparing it to the recent Dreadbox Hades DIY kit at €140. But with the Hades you are getting a pre-wired synth voice with only a few patching possibilities, whereas with the Monobloc you have 5 or 6 completely independent modules with complete access to every CV controllable parameter. So it’s a very different thing and easy to get that confused. And if you look at it this way then it’s actually a stunning deal.
I think Frequency Central need to make that a bit clearer and also offer a bundle with the components to save us all a lot of time and component anxiety. Although who doesn’t love spending the day with a Radio Spares catalogue?
- Frequency Central webpage.