VP-330 revisions

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VP-330 revisions

Postby syntheticsolutions » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:32 am

I have been looking for a VP-330 for some time now and have always wondered,
Are there any differences between the mk1 and mk2 models?

I am aware that one model has rocker switches like the RS-505 and one model has switche like the ones found on a TR-808.

Does anyone know what revision has what switches?
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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby Z » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:36 am

Mk1 has rockers and Mk2 has buttons.

Good luck with your quest. I've been looking for one at a reasonable price (I'd pay up to $2500, but it's not worth that much in my opinion, forget about the $3K+ most are selling for).
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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby syntheticsolutions » Wed Nov 27, 2013 1:50 am

Z wrote:Mk1 has rockers and Mk2 has buttons.

Good luck with your quest. I've been looking for one at a reasonable price (I'd pay up to $2500, but it's not worth that much in my opinion, forget about the $3K+ most are selling for).


Thanks for clearing that up. Are you aware of any technical differences between the models?

I would pay up to £1000 for one but it would have to be in great condition. I think it would sit with the RS-505 very nicely :)
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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby Z » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:04 am

To my knowledge there is no technical difference between the 2 versions. I had a mk1 in the 90s, but wasn't very happy with its vocoder compared to my SVC-350, so I ditched the VP-330. I do miss the choir. The RS-505's strings are better. Had I'd known the prices would skyrocket to CRAZY, I would probably have kept it.

I'm glad I had Garren (garranimal) bring his VP-330 to my last Dallas Synth Meet. I've decided I don't want a VP-330 as much as I thought.

Doubt you'll be able to find a VP-330 for 1k GBP, but who knows, you might get lucky.

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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby garranimal » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:08 am

I've perused at the schematics for both versions. The circuitry is a little different between them, but probably done out of cost optimization, component availability, or possibly quality/reliability improvements. The human voice/string filtering and chorus ensemble behave the same way on both. I haven't ever seen a version 2 in person so I can't comment on sonic differences. I am not aware of any functional differences either.
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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby syntheticsolutions » Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks for the replies!

I also have an SVC-350 so I am not particularly bothered about the vocoder. I am mainly looking for the unique choir sounds and the strings that I have been told are much softer than the string sounds on the RS-505

I also noticed whilst researching, the mk1 has keys similar to that of the 505, Jupiter 4, SH-09 etc.

The mk2 seems to have a keyboard similar to that found on the Juno series, Jupiter 6 & 8 etc.
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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby KevBKeys » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:21 am

According to the A-Z of analogue synths (Peter Forrest) there were two revisions, so that potentially means three different versions. It lists changes to the keyboard, switches, generator, BBD chip, filter, human voice board and the vibrato. So quite a few changes.

Peter suggests the change from SAD to MN BBD chips in later units would likely have the biggest effect on the sound. I guess that's why the earlier models are generally more sought after. There is a chart with all the changes and serial numbers etc so might be best to see the book for full details if it is important to you.

I was always fascinated by this instrument, and it took me several years to find one in good enough condition at a price I was happy with. I was worried that it was a lot of money to spend for a synth that does only three things, but i've found it to be more flexible than I thought, and there a lots of combinations and sounds possible. I mainly use it as a string/choir ethereal pad machine, but the vocoder is easy to use too and I like running drums through it.

I also have an RS-202 and I was hoping the VP-330 might replace it, but I very quickly realised I had to keep both! The strings actually sound quite different. The RS-202 is polyphonic (fully!) has more variations and a magical sound, while the VP-330 is paraphonic (boo!), but with stereo ensemble, can be layered with the human voice and has a faster aggressive sound. I like both machines equally, but at the moment the VP-330 is getting a lot more use.

Good luck with the search.
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Re: VP-330 revisions

Postby syntheticsolutions » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:36 am

KevBKeys wrote:According to the A-Z of analogue synths (Peter Forrest) there were two revisions, so that potentially means three different versions. It lists changes to the keyboard, switches, generator, BBD chip, filter, human voice board and the vibrato. So quite a few changes.

Peter suggests the change from SAD to MN BBD chips in later units would likely have the biggest effect on the sound. I guess that's why the earlier models are generally more sought after. There is a chart with all the changes and serial numbers etc so might be best to see the book for full details if it is important to you.

I was always fascinated by this instrument, and it took me several years to find one in good enough condition at a price I was happy with. I was worried that it was a lot of money to spend for a synth that does only three things, but i've found it to be more flexible than I thought, and there a lots of combinations and sounds possible. I mainly use it as a string/choir ethereal pad machine, but the vocoder is easy to use too and I like running drums through it.

I also have an RS-202 and I was hoping the VP-330 might replace it, but I very quickly realised I had to keep both! The strings actually sound quite different. The RS-202 is polyphonic (fully!) has more variations and a magical sound, while the VP-330 is paraphonic (boo!), but with stereo ensemble, can be layered with the human voice and has a faster aggressive sound. I like both machines equally, but at the moment the VP-330 is getting a lot more use.

Good luck with the search.


Thank you very much for your feedback. I was unaware of the change in chorus circuit chips. I have had a very unpleasant relationship with SAD chips, I chased these little buggers for years to repair my opus 3 and RS-505. I hope I will not have to continue this pursuit if I find a mk1 VP-330!

I have also heard people refer to the vocoder on the mk1 as more vivid or unclear as the mk2.

Great feedback on these wonderful machines, I can't help but think some of this info should be included in the VSE write up for the VP-330
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