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Modal Electronics Argon8 Wavetable Synthesizer for under $1000
Old 7th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1411
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resogun ➡️
@ PeeGee aRE YOU SURE you weren't just stacking voices? If not it suggests the voice boards come in 4's? 2x4 instead of 1x8.
Yes. Totally sure. And Modal were pretty sure after seeing my video as well.
I was not accidentally stacking voices.
It broke after 14 months of light intermittent/sporadic use in a home studio.
I am familiar with the synth, it wasn't user error.
It dropped from 8 voices to 4 at all times.
It was unplayable in 8 voice mode due to 50% of key depressions resulting in no sound.
In this mode I wasn't just limited to 4 voices, I had a synth that was attempting to grab any of the 4 broken voices during performance and producing silence, so unplayable.
I made videos for Modal showing that if you played a chromatic scale, in 8 voice mode, you got:

1. Note plays
2. Silence
3. Note plays
4. Silence
5. Note plays
6. Silence
7. Note plays
8. Silence

You could play the scale normally in 4,2 and 1 voice (unison) modes.

Do you think in stack mode it is ever supposed to actually play silence when you hit one solitary key?
I don't know if any mode that is designed to have broken voices that don't play a sound at all, even when you're only playing one note!
Not that it was in stack mode, it was in 8 voice poly mode when it was broken.

This is what's supposed to happen.
Poly mode gives 8 independent voices and you can play 8 at once. If you play any individual note it rings out every time.
2 voice stack mode gives 4 voice polyphony with the phatness of doubled up voices.

Mine did this after it suddenly developed a fault
Poly mode gave 4 independent voices, not 8, and you could play a max of only 4 at once, although to get these 4 voices ringing out you had to hold down 7 or 8 keys (not 4).
This was checked with multiple 8 voice polyphonic factory patches whilst double checking the voice mode on the synth itself and the Modal app.
If you played any run of individual notes, half of them were silent in a fixed on, off, on, off pattern cycle.
2 voice stack mode gives 4 voice polyphony, but with no extra stacked phatness, so basically, not stacked at all; I effectively had a 4 voice Argon.
Probably a dry joint or a blown ARM chip.

There appear to be 3 ARM chips in the Argon maybe they are

Chip 1. Voices 1..4
Chip 2. Voices 5..8
Chip 3. Filters, envelopes, effects, etc
?

That's what the behaviour of mine would suggest was happening/was the architecture and it seemed on mine that voice chip 2 had failed.

Maybe the basics of Argon and Cobalt is internally the same architecture as Skulpt x2, but then with extra features added?
Old 8th October 2021
  #1412
Deleted e77a51e
Guest
Hmm interesting. So it must have two 4 voice cards in them and they pull the voices alternately, hence why silence every other note.

Not much to worry about if they are fixing it everything is liable to failure.
Old 8th October 2021
  #1413
Lives for gear
Just got it back.
It does seem from a very brief system test using headphones that it is fixed now.
Many thanks to Modal for fixing it and getting it back to me so quickly.
I would advise them to tell people when things are coming back, I got nothing to warn me of its imminent arrival then it turned up unexpectedly.
Luckily I was in when the guy left it on the doorstep of my house on the main road, tomorrow I would have been out, all day.
Almost certainly it would have been stolen while I was out if it had turned up tomorrow unexpectedly, instead of today...

Very quick turnaround, synth is in excellent condition so wasn't cosmetically damaged during transit or the fix, was carefully packaged.

I'm working now, but did quick check and it's not mis-firing any more and does have 8 voices again.

Says on return slip
Quote:
Action taken: Replaced voice card
Rather than being repaired at Modal Bristol it was repaired by E&M Electronic Services Ltd of Milton Keynes.
Old 8th October 2021
  #1414
Deleted e77a51e
Guest
So that was the problem, good that it's fixed now. I wouldn't mind a much higher voice count Argon.

Argon64 for 8 stacked voices @ 8 voice polyphony

I wonder if you can polychain more than two?
Old 8th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1415
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Resogun ➡️
So that was the problem, good that it's fixed now. I wouldn't mind a much higher voice count Argon.

Argon64 for 8 stacked voices @ 8 voice polyphony

I wonder if you can polychain more than two?
I think it's fixed at 2 for 16 voice, be aware that on all Modal synths, so Skulpt and Cobalt too, that MPE doesn't work in polychain mode, too much traffic/data for the bus apparently.

Maybe you could look at either modwave 32 voice or hydrasynth which will have a 16 voice version soon and I expect that could be polychained?
Or contact Modal ask them what is in the pipeline.

The Argon always seemed a direct competitor for Hydra, now that has a 16 voice deluxe version I wonder if Modal will respond?
Old 8th October 2021
  #1416
Deleted e77a51e
Guest
Don't have MPE but that sucks. 8 stacked voices and the polyphony to match would have been crazy. I'd kill for a multitimbral 64 voice Argon.
Old 8th October 2021
  #1417
Lives for gear


No mention of polychaining more than 2 Argon or Cobalt units.
Skulpt seems to allow 4 units, but that also results in 16 voices as it starts with half the polyphony...
Old 8th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1418
Here for the gear
I've been lurking here for a while and I read the entire thread in the meantime. I was looking to re-enter the music production world earlier this year and got myself an Argon8x after a long period of comparison and fretting about. I considered an all-software approach with a controller keyboard as well as (virtual) analog synths, like the Cobalt, the Minilogue XD or the IK Uno Pro. But I'm pretty familiar with the analog basics, coming form the Commodore 64 days, so I wanted something deeper. With the larger, serious keyboard of the Argon8x, the choice was made.

When I first got the Argon, I just put my laptop on top of it. So I'm actually a big fan of the asymmetrical layout. In the meantime, I added a 27" screen, DMAX Super Cubes and a Motu M4. I use a mix of Logic built-in instruments, plug-ins, and the Argon. While the presets are nice for inspiration, I prefer working from scratch. The Argon really lends itself to that. I find the control panel very well thought out and inviting. I don't mind the dials: they rotate easily but I don't find them flimsy at all. The buttons could be better though. My ARP button frequently double-clicks, which is quite annoying while recording live.

I love the industrial style soundscapes that I can produce with it and having watched Gino's video on noise just now, I got a few extra techniques to try out. That's the fun with the Argon. Every time I go back to it after spending some time learning something else (I had a ball with Sculpture recently), I find a new aspect of the Argon that I can learn. It just never gets boring.

It's true the low end doesn't extend very deep with many of the patches. It can, of course, but it's not generally a rip-the-house-apart-bass machine like a Moog. The IK Uno Pro demos I heard were also much deeper and grungier, which almost sold me on the synth. I may get the desktop version one day if I can hide the screaming red in a way that my wife doesn't notice there's a new synth around

All in all, a great sounding, deeply versatile synth that is capable of both exquisitely beautiful sounds as well as grinding demolishing noise.
Old 8th October 2021
  #1419
Lives for gear
 
Chaining 4 Skulpts gives a really rich sound ... a huge amount of poly-synth for the money ... add in a little ART mixer box.
Poly-Argon a bit more ... quite happy with one (for now!)
Old 8th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1420
eb7
Lives for gear
 
eb7's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeeGee ➡️
No mention of polychaining more than 2 Argon or Cobalt units.
I can't recall which video, but I do remember hearing someone from Modal explicitly state that polychaining is limited to two devices for the Argon and Cobalt lines.

I've only had my Argon for a couple of weeks, but I'm already thinking of picking up a second, and my question concerns what to do with the output. Ideally, I would like to run the output of the second unit into the audio input of the first, so I only need two channels to record. Has anyone tried anything like this?

I haven't had a chance to experiment with that input yet, and the manual doesn't provide any details on what point in the signal chain it comes in. I'm thinking that what I propose above will end up with the signal from the second unit receiving a double dose of whatever effects are engaged. In a serious recording situation, I would probably substitute external effects anyway, so it could still work under those circumstances.
Old 8th October 2021
  #1421
Lives for gear
 
I have this micro-mixer for polychained Skulpts or CraftSynth2's ... does the job simply ... you might be able to mix wet and dry?

https://artproaudio.com/product/spli...itter-mixer-2/
Old 8th October 2021
  #1422
Gear Addict
I have this dbx di4, which is 4 active DIs and a line mixer. You could plug 2 argons into it and have independent level and panning control over all 4 channels. Also nice to have the 4 DIs for recording, but if you only want to record the stereo sum out, you get it on unbalanced RCA's or headphones.


https://dbxpro.com/en/products/di4
Old 11th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1423
Deleted aa007c5
Guest
I'm curious...
Did anyone who owns Argon8, checked how it behaves in stereo (phase)?

Yesterday I saw this video with presets and it's out of phase. Sometimes 100% out of phase to the point that signal disappears in mono completely, leaving just a bit of noise (it's even more ridiculous in the case of bass patches).

I wonder how Argon8 behave in that matter because it's on y radar. I hope that it's an issue with the video and it's not like Argon (probably with spread function activated) is going totally out of phase because it would make this synth totally useless.

https://youtu.be/vuTm3gF_Oc8
Old 11th October 2021
  #1424
Gear Addict
 
Ed A.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
From the manual:

"Spread: This introduces additional oscillators to achieve unison or stacked octaves and intervals. In the first half of the dial, Wave 1 and Wave 2 are split into individual oscillators and spread out over the frequency spectrum to create a fat unison sound. This effect is increased up to the center position. Past half way, the oscillators arrange themselves into intervals. A huge variation of chords can be created with this control in conjunction with Wave1&2 detune.

Note: The average level of the sound will be lower when using the ‘Spread’ control. This is because the combining oscillators are phasing in and out and not constantly re- enforcing each other as they would if the spread is set to zero.
"

So, set "Spread" to something less extreme, or to zero.
Old 11th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1425
Deleted aa007c5
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed A. ➡️
From the manual:

"Spread: This introduces additional oscillators to achieve unison or stacked octaves and intervals. In the first half of the dial, Wave 1 and Wave 2 are split into individual oscillators and spread out over the frequency spectrum to create a fat unison sound. This effect is increased up to the center position. Past half way, the oscillators arrange themselves into intervals. A huge variation of chords can be created with this control in conjunction with Wave1&2 detune.

Note: The average level of the sound will be lower when using the ‘Spread’ control. This is because the combining oscillators are phasing in and out and not constantly re- enforcing each other as they would if the spread is set to zero.
"

So, set "Spread" to something less extreme, or to zero.
Thank you for reply. Unfortunately quote from manual (which I already read ), doesn't answer my question at all.

Also, solution "set spread to 0" is not a solution. I'm not buying synths to not use its features. Kinda opposite

Anyway, it looks like I found answer to my question by checking other demo videos. Only the one that I put link above has audio in anti-phase.
Old 12th October 2021
  #1426
Deleted e77a51e
Guest
Why would you record a stereo synth in mono?
Old 12th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1427
eb7
Lives for gear
 
eb7's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted e77a51e ➡️
Why would you record a stereo synth in mono?
I would do it if the patch was monophonic -- if it wasn't using the voice width feature or any of the stereo effects -- and that might just be a coincidence or a deliberate decision to better fit a track into a mix.
Old 17th October 2021 | Show parent
  #1428
eb7
Lives for gear
 
eb7's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 ➡️
Ideally, I would like to run the output of the second unit into the audio input of the first, so I only need two channels to record...

I'm thinking that what I propose above will end up with the signal from the second unit receiving a double dose of whatever effects are engaged.
I was looking through some of the settings menus today and found that there is an option to have the external audio bypass the effects, so I believe that the routing I suggest above could work for a polychained system.

Is anyone actually running two of these?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #1429
Gear Maniac
 
OK, kinda bummed right now about a response from Modal customer service. To preface, I’m an owner of an Argon8, Argon8M, and Cobalt8M. I’m also a bit of a klutz.

(TLDR; Is there an “authorized” Modal service center in the US?)

Due to a freak mishap, the joystick is slightly bent. No, I didn’t drop the synth, but was moving the synth and snagged the joystick just right so that the shaft bent a bit. Works fine, not even a scratch to the synth or anything. Probably couldn’t do it again if I tried.

Wanting it to be back to “perfect” I figured, I’ll just contact Modal and order up a replacement joystick. It’s obviously attached to the front panel with 4 screws, and that means it’s probably not soldered to the board. I bet it’s plug in play? (Spoiler: Yes, it is.)

Modal responded to my support ticket:

Quote:
Thanks for getting in touch.

We don't sell spares directly i'm afraid.

The best option would be to contact your local Modal Stockist and get them to put you in touch with a service center who can do the work for you.

It's not recommended that you open the unit yourself as there is a risk of electric shock.

Best Wishes

(Name withheld to protect the innocent)
Modal Support
OK, so first: “We don't sell spares directly i'm afraid.” You’re kidding, right? I mean, I like to think of Modal as a “boutique” synth producer, and they seem to market that way, but as it turns out perhaps they’re no different from (almost) everyone else just getting some factory in China to pop out a product then they sell it and that’s that.

“The best option would be to contact your local Modal Stockist and get them to put you in touch with a service center who can do the work for you.” — I infer that “stockist” is Britspeak for “dealer”? Well, my closest “local” stockist happens to be about 500 miles away in Nashville. So that’s not really “local” is it? C’mon, I just need a part that is super easy to plug in. It’s not like I’m searching for voice chips on a Juno or something. I mean, why send me on a goose chase… Just say “ABC Electronics is our US authorized service and parts source” or whatever?

Oh, and thanks especially for the recommendation not to open the unit and risk certain death. As it turns out I was standing in the bathtub when I read this, so it just saved my life. I’ll admit it was this final part that really sent me over the edge. I’m *sick* of this type of liability fear-mongering and the general “don’t fix it just replace it” attitude of most of the modern manufacturing world.

I’ve been repairing my own electronics, synths included, for 40 some years. I know a soldering iron from a steam iron, and I know the difference between a capacitor and a, ummm, flux capacitor. The joystick on an Argon8 is quite possibly the ideal example of a user replaceable part.

Yep, after getting the official “Support” response, I RISKED EVERYTHING and opened up the synth myself. It first required me to surgically remove the 8 recessed hex bolts on the face of the instrument panel. I was sweating profusely but managed to extract every last one of them without even a hint of death or dismemberment. Whew!

I peeked behind the panel to discover what I’d only previously imagined. A beautifully engineered joystick mechanism, attached via wire and plug to the main board. (Truly, the joystick module is quite gorgeous.)

It was only then that I made a horrible error. I saw that the display was attached via a delicate ribbon connector to the main board… This would have to be removed in order to completely lift the panel, of course. ANNNND I broke it. Seriously, I think I breathed on it a bit too hard and it detached on the display end with less effort than it would take to break a potato chip in half.

Anyway, yeah, I totally severed the display connector. THIS should have been the warning by support. I’ve been shocked by electricity plenty of times and survived (with only slight detriment as evidenced by this rant, of course). But they should have continued: “It's not recommended that you open the unit yourself as there is a risk of electric shock and totally ripping the display cable off, ya dummy.”

Well, now with full access to the main board, I can clearly see how the display’s ribbon cable is supposed to properly detach. I will say, the ribbon could be an inch or two longer here, engineers. It’s going to take some clever work to make that connection. Would be nice if it were long enough to simply tilt and lay the panel forward over the keys.

At this point I wonder if the display is even replaceable, at all? It should be. Appears to be glued in, or with an integral adhesive frame to it. I’ll be utterly disgusted if it requires replacing the entire faceplate.

So now I need BOTH a joystick module and a display.

Can anyone who has bothered to read this far point me in the proper direction of some actual repair shop who knows the top secret imperial codes to order a part from Modal Electronics?

Best I can find so far is the UK shop E&M but their website doesn’t even show a phone number or email address. It only provides a mailing address, and I might be old, but I’m not sending a postcard.

While I’ve grown fond of both the Argon and Cobalt synths, it’s this kind of post-purchase let down that has me thinking I’ll just sell the whole lot. For real, I’m giving way more attention to a Sequential Take 5 now, and I’m 100% sure that if it had a plug-in joystick and I needed a new one, all it would take is a quick call or email and I’d have it in hand within days.

I’m responding to Modal “Support” in hopes of a better resolution, but the initial correspondence has me a bit frustrated.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #1430
Gear Addict
 
Ed A.'s Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phishroom ➡️
OK, kinda bummed right now about a response from Modal customer service. To preface, I’m an owner of an Argon8, Argon8M, and Cobalt8M. I’m also a bit of a klutz.

(TLDR; Is there an “authorized” Modal service center in the US?)

Due to a freak mishap, the joystick is slightly bent. No, I didn’t drop the synth, but was moving the synth and snagged the joystick just right so that the shaft bent a bit. Works fine, not even a scratch to the synth or anything. Probably couldn’t do it again if I tried.

Wanting it to be back to “perfect” I figured, I’ll just contact Modal and order up a replacement joystick. It’s obviously attached to the front panel with 4 screws, and that means it’s probably not soldered to the board. I bet it’s plug in play? (Spoiler: Yes, it is.)

Modal responded to my support ticket:



OK, so first: “We don't sell spares directly i'm afraid.” You’re kidding, right? I mean, I like to think of Modal as a “boutique” synth producer, and they seem to market that way, but as it turns out perhaps they’re no different from (almost) everyone else just getting some factory in China to pop out a product then they sell it and that’s that.

“The best option would be to contact your local Modal Stockist and get them to put you in touch with a service center who can do the work for you.” — I infer that “stockist” is Britspeak for “dealer”? Well, my closest “local” stockist happens to be about 500 miles away in Nashville. So that’s not really “local” is it? C’mon, I just need a part that is super easy to plug in. It’s not like I’m searching for voice chips on a Juno or something. I mean, why send me on a goose chase… Just say “ABC Electronics is our US authorized service and parts source” or whatever?

Oh, and thanks especially for the recommendation not to open the unit and risk certain death. As it turns out I was standing in the bathtub when I read this, so it just saved my life. I’ll admit it was this final part that really sent me over the edge. I’m *sick* of this type of liability fear-mongering and the general “don’t fix it just replace it” attitude of most of the modern manufacturing world.

I’ve been repairing my own electronics, synths included, for 40 some years. I know a soldering iron from a steam iron, and I know the difference between a capacitor and a, ummm, flux capacitor. The joystick on an Argon8 is quite possibly the ideal example of a user replaceable part.

Yep, after getting the official “Support” response, I RISKED EVERYTHING and opened up the synth myself. It first required me to surgically remove the 8 recessed hex bolts on the face of the instrument panel. I was sweating profusely but managed to extract every last one of them without even a hint of death or dismemberment. Whew!

I peeked behind the panel to discover what I’d only previously imagined. A beautifully engineered joystick mechanism, attached via wire and plug to the main board. (Truly, the joystick module is quite gorgeous.)

It was only then that I made a horrible error. I saw that the display was attached via a delicate ribbon connector to the main board… This would have to be removed in order to completely lift the panel, of course. ANNNND I broke it. Seriously, I think I breathed on it a bit too hard and it detached on the display end with less effort than it would take to break a potato chip in half.

Anyway, yeah, I totally severed the display connector. THIS should have been the warning by support. I’ve been shocked by electricity plenty of times and survived (with only slight detriment as evidenced by this rant, of course). But they should have continued: “It's not recommended that you open the unit yourself as there is a risk of electric shock and totally ripping the display cable off, ya dummy.”

Well, now with full access to the main board, I can clearly see how the display’s ribbon cable is supposed to properly detach. I will say, the ribbon could be an inch or two longer here, engineers. It’s going to take some clever work to make that connection. Would be nice if it were long enough to simply tilt and lay the panel forward over the keys.

At this point I wonder if the display is even replaceable, at all? It should be. Appears to be glued in, or with an integral adhesive frame to it. I’ll be utterly disgusted if it requires replacing the entire faceplate.

So now I need BOTH a joystick module and a display.

Can anyone who has bothered to read this far point me in the proper direction of some actual repair shop who knows the top secret imperial codes to order a part from Modal Electronics?

Best I can find so far is the UK shop E&M but their website doesn’t even show a phone number or email address. It only provides a mailing address, and I might be old, but I’m not sending a postcard.

While I’ve grown fond of both the Argon and Cobalt synths, it’s this kind of post-purchase let down that has me thinking I’ll just sell the whole lot. For real, I’m giving way more attention to a Sequential Take 5 now, and I’m 100% sure that if it had a plug-in joystick and I needed a new one, all it would take is a quick call or email and I’d have it in hand within days.

I’m responding to Modal “Support” in hopes of a better resolution, but the initial correspondence has me a bit frustrated.
I bought my Argon8X from Sweetwater last year and they have a two year warranty where they cover parts and labor for free, done at their factory-certified service department.

https://www.sweetwater.com/about/warranty/

I don't know if you bought it from Sweetwater, but even if you didn't, maybe you can work something out with them for whatever they might charge.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #1431
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phishroom ➡️
OK, kinda bummed right now about a response from Modal customer service. To preface, I’m an owner of an Argon8, Argon8M, and Cobalt8M. I’m also a bit of a klutz.

(TLDR; Is there an “authorized” Modal service center in the US?)

Due to a freak mishap, the joystick is slightly bent. No, I didn’t drop the synth, but was moving the synth and snagged the joystick just right so that the shaft bent a bit. Works fine, not even a scratch to the synth or anything. Probably couldn’t do it again if I tried.

Wanting it to be back to “perfect” I figured, I’ll just contact Modal and order up a replacement joystick. It’s obviously attached to the front panel with 4 screws, and that means it’s probably not soldered to the board. I bet it’s plug in play? (Spoiler: Yes, it is.)

Modal responded to my support ticket:



OK, so first: “We don't sell spares directly i'm afraid.” You’re kidding, right? I mean, I like to think of Modal as a “boutique” synth producer, and they seem to market that way, but as it turns out perhaps they’re no different from (almost) everyone else just getting some factory in China to pop out a product then they sell it and that’s that.

“The best option would be to contact your local Modal Stockist and get them to put you in touch with a service center who can do the work for you.” — I infer that “stockist” is Britspeak for “dealer”? Well, my closest “local” stockist happens to be about 500 miles away in Nashville. So that’s not really “local” is it? C’mon, I just need a part that is super easy to plug in. It’s not like I’m searching for voice chips on a Juno or something. I mean, why send me on a goose chase… Just say “ABC Electronics is our US authorized service and parts source” or whatever?

Oh, and thanks especially for the recommendation not to open the unit and risk certain death. As it turns out I was standing in the bathtub when I read this, so it just saved my life. I’ll admit it was this final part that really sent me over the edge. I’m *sick* of this type of liability fear-mongering and the general “don’t fix it just replace it” attitude of most of the modern manufacturing world.

I’ve been repairing my own electronics, synths included, for 40 some years. I know a soldering iron from a steam iron, and I know the difference between a capacitor and a, ummm, flux capacitor. The joystick on an Argon8 is quite possibly the ideal example of a user replaceable part.

Yep, after getting the official “Support” response, I RISKED EVERYTHING and opened up the synth myself. It first required me to surgically remove the 8 recessed hex bolts on the face of the instrument panel. I was sweating profusely but managed to extract every last one of them without even a hint of death or dismemberment. Whew!

I peeked behind the panel to discover what I’d only previously imagined. A beautifully engineered joystick mechanism, attached via wire and plug to the main board. (Truly, the joystick module is quite gorgeous.)

It was only then that I made a horrible error. I saw that the display was attached via a delicate ribbon connector to the main board… This would have to be removed in order to completely lift the panel, of course. ANNNND I broke it. Seriously, I think I breathed on it a bit too hard and it detached on the display end with less effort than it would take to break a potato chip in half.

Anyway, yeah, I totally severed the display connector. THIS should have been the warning by support. I’ve been shocked by electricity plenty of times and survived (with only slight detriment as evidenced by this rant, of course). But they should have continued: “It's not recommended that you open the unit yourself as there is a risk of electric shock and totally ripping the display cable off, ya dummy.”

Well, now with full access to the main board, I can clearly see how the display’s ribbon cable is supposed to properly detach. I will say, the ribbon could be an inch or two longer here, engineers. It’s going to take some clever work to make that connection. Would be nice if it were long enough to simply tilt and lay the panel forward over the keys.

At this point I wonder if the display is even replaceable, at all? It should be. Appears to be glued in, or with an integral adhesive frame to it. I’ll be utterly disgusted if it requires replacing the entire faceplate.

So now I need BOTH a joystick module and a display.

Can anyone who has bothered to read this far point me in the proper direction of some actual repair shop who knows the top secret imperial codes to order a part from Modal Electronics?

Best I can find so far is the UK shop E&M but their website doesn’t even show a phone number or email address. It only provides a mailing address, and I might be old, but I’m not sending a postcard.

While I’ve grown fond of both the Argon and Cobalt synths, it’s this kind of post-purchase let down that has me thinking I’ll just sell the whole lot. For real, I’m giving way more attention to a Sequential Take 5 now, and I’m 100% sure that if it had a plug-in joystick and I needed a new one, all it would take is a quick call or email and I’d have it in hand within days.

I’m responding to Modal “Support” in hopes of a better resolution, but the initial correspondence has me a bit frustrated.
Ouch! That truly sucks! By damaging that display cable you've surely put yourself in a weaker negotiating position (I've done that myself a couple of times )

My experience with different companies has varied greatly. For example Adam Audio used to be very unaccommodating and uncooperative, but that seems to have changed since they were acquired by Focusrite. They even sent me a complete set of spare screws from Germany for my 10-year-old, out-of-warranty and discontinued Adam S1X monitors, completely free of charge including postage (why I needed these screws is a long story...). On the other hand, I had some email back and forth with Modal to discuss some issues I encountered with my Modal Argon8X and, while this is subjective and entirely down to personal perception, I felt like my support requests weren't welcome. In my life I have kept many products I was sure I was going to return from companies that later turned out to show keen interest in improving the product and offering effective solutions. In the end for me after-sales support is part of the package, so I ended up returning my Argon8X and felt it was the right decision. Your experience sort of aligns with mine. Again, and I can't stress this enough: it's very subjective.

If I was the manufacturer my response would be "Look, technically we are supposed to tell you its us that should repair the product for you, but if you feel confident doing that yourself and you agree, we can send you the part for X dollars/pounds or give you the part number tell you where to buy it, and you go ahead. Just be aware that as soon as you agree to these terms you automatically forfeit your warranty." Bear in mind though that, regarding them not selling spares directly, it might be more complicated than we think from an administrative perspective, which is probably why Adam just mailed me the screws for free. But even then being transparent about it (i.e. telling you why they can't sell spares directly) is better than just saying "we can't", as if it was some kind of insurmountable feat. I mean, the US put people on the moon in 1969...

Of course, the manufacturer is not obliged to supply the spare part; however, it creates goodwill to do so if the user feels competent enough to service the product themselves. Many users who are familiar with electronic and mechanical repairs or users who work as technicians themselves are put off by the waiting times (3-4 weeks, maybe longer), logistics, risk of loss or damage during transit and cost required to carry out a repair that would take them an hour and a few cents to do themselves at most. There's also the the very real risk that you send them the product in pristine condition and it comes back with scuffs and scratches (happened to me a few times). As a technician, if it's something glaringly simple, I generally prefer to sort it out myself, like a flaky push button that needs replacing, which is a very common failure with tactile push buttons like the ones used in the Argon8.

I wonder if you might be able to purchase a used Argon8M and borrow the relevant bits from it to repair the one you've damaged. Even a faulty unit off eBay would do, as long as the faults don't overlap. At this point trying to get it fix through the official channels is probably going to be more expensive.

Last edited by Scoox; 2 weeks ago at 10:50 AM..
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #1432
Gear Maniac
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed A. ➡️
I bought my Argon8X from Sweetwater last year and they have a two year warranty where they cover parts and labor for free, done at their factory-certified service department.

https://www.sweetwater.com/about/warranty/

I don't know if you bought it from Sweetwater, but even if you didn't, maybe you can work something out with them for whatever they might charge.
I’m a big fan of Sweetwater, been a customer for many years. I was so anxious to checkout the Argon8 when it first launched but ended up finding one sooner elsewhere. But you’re right, the 2 year Sweetwater warranty is a heck of a great thing. I’ve never returned a single thing to Sweetwater, but I’m well aware of their great rep as far as returns, exchanges, and warranty.

I sent a message out to the retailer where I purchased the Argon8, but I realize that both (1) this is not a “warranty” issue since it’s user-caused damage, and (2) they are simply the go-between from me to Modal and hopefully they can assist in getting me the parts for self-servicing.

In the meantime, I also replied back to Modal customer service and was able to get the contact info of a US-based “service partner”, who is Voltage & Co, vcousa.com. I’ve dropped them a line and hope to hear back.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1433
Lives for gear
 
I think you may be confusing a medium-sized company with a small one when you think "boutique".
Modal are not in the niche Modor, Gotharmann, Gamechanger Audio and the like operate ... so they have production and assembly operations and service/repair in various guises ... but probably don't have the option of some wandering from the front office to the back room to grab a part off a shelf.
I have had minimal need to get stuff done by Modal, but in fitting digital boards and repairing a Skulpt usb port they've been quick and very professional.
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #1434
Lives for gear
 
Scoox's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyB ➡️
I think you may be confusing a medium-sized company with a small one when you think "boutique".
Modal are not in the niche Modor, Gotharmann, Gamechanger Audio and the like operate ... so they have production and assembly operations and service/repair in various guises ... but probably don't have the option of some wandering from the front office to the back room to grab a part off a shelf.
I have had minimal need to get stuff done by Modal, but in fitting digital boards and repairing a Skulpt usb port they've been quick and very professional.
That's good too know. I'm curious though, are you UK-based?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1435
Lives for gear
 
Yes I am ... maybe that makes a difference ... similar perhaps to Europeans with (perhaps) Sequential problems?
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #1436
Gear Maniac
 
I guess what it really boils down to for me is that Modal used to be the company that sold a synth you could assemble yourself (CRAFTsynth 1.0) and is now a company that says not to open your Argon8 because you might get shocked.

Not sure if that’s oversimplifying it or if I’ve really gotten to the heart of the matter. I’d also bet that a lot of this is just “corporate policy” that becomes the norm once you’re wrapped up by insurance policies and liability management (don’t hurt yourself, stupid customer) as well as the intricacies of international distribution contracts (you can’t sell a part to the customer because it’s got to go through the contracted middle man).

So on the bright side, I’ve realized I can live without the display as long as I am running the Modal app on iOS. Frankly, there are some great advantages to the app and it’s one of my favorite things about the Argon & Cobalt synths. But I don’t like being 100% tethered to the app now that the display is dark. And of course the joystick continues to work, it just has a slight bend to it. I guess it “adds character”? Maybe I need to get physical with it… What’s your guess on the next thing I break?
Old 2 days ago
  #1437
Lives for gear
 
jags's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
So, has anyone sold their Argon8 to purchase a Korg ModWave? If so, was it a good decision or not?

Just curious.
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