Following in the foot steps of Analog Solutions Fusebox, British boutique synth creator Analogue Solutions announced the availability of its Fusebox X. Featuring the same 3 VCO + multi-mode filter as the original, the X factor not only comes from the bright orange front panel. No, now Fusebox X is 3 not polyphonic.
The striking orange enclosure is made from steel and aluminium, eschewing plastics as befits such a premium brand, and associated price tag. But who buys synths just to look pretty? Well, apart from all those miming bands on TV who pretend to play their Nord keyboard. 😄
No, real enthusiasts are all about the sound, right? The teaser video sounds promising, with the usual bleeps and squelches coming out of your loudspeakers. For the purists among us, and true to the company's name, Fusebox X isn't a digital version of Fusebox. Aside from the MIDI-to-CV circuit, all circuits that create sound are 100% analogue. Specifically, this means the Fusebox X uses real transistors and op-amps, avoiding CPUs (Central Processing Units), DCOs (Digitally-Controlled Oscillators), and digital EGs (Envelope Generators). With a circuitry stemming from designs dating back to the 70s, Fusebox X claims to bring that sought after vintage sound. A sound that The Human League made famous, who are users of Analog Solutions products.
So what are the main differences to the original Fusebox?
Now tri-phonic (three-note polyphonic) instead of monophonic
More mini-jack input and output sockets
Internal performance tweaks
Designed by Analog Solutions founder Tom Carpenter, this orange orchestra of oscillators has a technical specification that gets analog aficionados drooling:
12dB MULTIMODE VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter): LP (Low Pass), HP (High Pass), BP (Band Pass), NOTCH filters, and associated patch points
VCA (Voltage-Controlled Amplifier): allowing for EG 2 and THRU (bypass) switching
Modulation: FADE IN (delay)-featured LFO; CONTOURING section with two envelope generators
Interval Generator: pitch transposer to set six different pitches to each of the switches
Patternator and Sequencing sections
Tuner: 440 Hz
The company certainly has some pedigree to inject into Fusebox X. Its epic Colossus super synth not only featured 12 VCOs (Voltage-Controlled Oscillators). It also has a price tag of a premium car. While Fusebox X is not cheap, and competition is now vast for a 3 voice analog synth, the small improvements, in particular 3 note polyphony and extra modulation options, should keep any knob twiddler happy for hours.
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