Sneak-Thief Blacet Modular
Unpacking the kit and assembling the rack:

Contents - VCO, VCA, EG, Multiple, LFO, Filthy Filtre, PSU, cables, rack. The whole kit cost ~$850 US from (pre-assembled is an extra $250)

I was a little daunted at first, especially after flipping through the extensive instructions. Even though I've worked with electronics all my life, I didn't want to make any (costly) mistakes, especially since I was only using a cheap 30W soldering iron *shudder*. Starting with the rack assembly seemed like the best first step. The rack is a bit flimsy and lightweight, but I don't plan on bringing this out much so it's not really an issue.

First module complete:

Okay, that wasn't so bad. Of course the Multiple module is as simple as they come. As I built the 5 power distribution cables, I realized I was going to need some better wire cutters and a stripper (ummm, wire stripper that is)... I also went out and bought demineralized water to clean the boards after soldering.

LFO Complete - VCA is next.

Every module comes with a brilliant documentation folder that contain a functional overview, a circuit diagrams, parts lists and most importantly, incredibly detailed step-by-step instructions. For the assembly to go smoothly, one has to meticulously identify and sort resistors, caps, and transistors - then hopefully be able to solder them without too much mess :)

Home stretch...

That's the Filthy Filtre sitting on the table, waiting to be wired to the stooge panel. I chose this one over Blacet's Final Filtre because I wanted a filter with dirt and grit (aka balls). This, along with the previous module that I completed (the VCO) were the most challenging ones in terms of sheer number of parts and calibration. For the calibration, I used my DMM as well as a freeware oscilloscope for my pc: the demo version of Oscillometer worked well.


Everything was successfully completed in three days. The only minor problem that I had was when I somehow inserted one of the very last IC's incorrectly and bent a pin. I was tired and not working under a spotlight. My bad!

The big question is: why buy a Blacet? Simple: for the sound and the modulation capabilities (not to mention quality)! As you can see, almost every function can be controlled via CV.

Audio Samples

I definitely can't do this modular justice after only one day of use. Nevertheless here are a few of mp3's that hint at the sonic and modulation capabilities (I only had used 5 patch cables - I need to make more!!!!).

The following MP3's from me have no added fx and were all created using the internal LFO to trigger the gate and to sequence the 3-octave-switch on the VCO.

  • Sneaky's first Blacet noodling Pt.1
  • Sneaky's first Blacet noodling Pt.2
  • Sneaky's first Blacet noodling Pt.3

    And here's my first proper "musical" demo of this beast:

  • Polar Crust
    (no sequencer, overdubs, or other synths - just 20 patch cables and knob tweaking! TC fireworx provides a little delay & feedback)

    Demos from

  • VCO + Final Filtre 1
  • VCO + Final Filtre 2

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