Next to synthesizers I also love retro computers. I have a special love for the Commodore 64. I actually still have one and I sometimes still play games on it. One of the unique things of this computers was its sound chip. It was called SID and there were several version, but it was a real synthesizer chip with oscillators and filters. It was developed by the same company that made the chips for Ensoniq by the way. I collected a couple of these SID chips and always wanted to do something with it. Then I came across the MB-6582 project by Wilba. I fell in love immediately. It is a Midibox synthesizer with 8 SID chips!! The sound power from this thing is enormous.
In the picture on the right you see the main PCB with it's 8 SID chips on a row. It is actually a quite densely populated PCB and it is certainly not a beginners project in my opinion, but it is a great build. I bought the PCB's and special components from the Smash TV webshop. They sell a lot of midibox stuff. But you have to source a lot of stuff yourself. Like the display, the rotary controllers, leds etc. As you can see there are lots of leds :) The front panel and back panels you can download as Front Panel Design files that you can send to Schaeffer AG to get them produced. Behind this front panel is another PCB that holds all the front panel components. In the end it is not very easy to fit it all together actually.
In the picture on the left you can see the second PCB and how it is attached with thick flat wire to the main PCB. I had quite some trouble with this thick flat wire by the way since it is not very flexible and difficult especially to strip in the right length. Also the placement of the leds in the matrix is not easy. They all have be be in the same height otherwise it will look very messy. In the hole you see in this PCB the LCD display is mounted. Also not quite easy since it has to be fastened between the PCB and the front panel. Ah well. I managed it all and it is really a great synthesizer with a unique sound. I still need to find some knobs for it though.
You can read all about the construction of this synthesizer on my blog: http://synthnl.blogspot.com/search/label/mb-6582