Control knobs with metal inserts

When it comes to the choice of control knobs for a synthesizer or modular project, one can pick very different styles, from cheap plastic knobs to stylish and more expensive phenol knobs with classy spun metal inserts. For my own projects I did a little survey of the second kind of knobs. Below is the result of my researches. You can also find infos at Emulator Achive.

EMS style knobs
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Side view
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This is the kind of knobs that were used by E.M.S. for their VCS3 synthesizers. They are made by Cliff Components, the part number is CL1606. They are available in two sizes. The insert can be either Satin silver, Shiny chrome or simple cap available in 9 different colours.
(november 2006 : unfortunately it seems that Cliff Components obsolated this item... sad !)

Control knobs with scale
"En face" view
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Side view
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This type of knob is interesting when one doesn't want to bother designing complicated serigraphy for their panels. One does only need to put a single mark above the knob and that's it !
I purchased 20 of those from Conrad, they are quite pricey and I am sure one can find a place where they are cheaper.
I think I will use them for a Ray Wilson's SoundLab Mini Synth .

Knobs la ARIES - MODCAN - MACBETH
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Side view
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These ridged knobs were used for Aries modulars and nowadays they are mainly used by Ken Macbeth for his various systems (Morocco, M3X and M5). Modcan also uses them for the new and elegant B module series.
I like these knobs very much : they are very nice and the tactile feeling is very good and frank.

They are available in two sizes from Maplin : KB4: Diameter 20mm. Height 17mm. KB3: Diameter 35mm. Height 22mm. 0.69 unit price.
The medium size ( diameter 25mm) can be purchased from Conrad but for a higher cost (2.55).

Knobs la MOTM - OAKLEY
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These fluted knobs are classics in the world of SDIYers. They are maily used by M.O.T.M. and also by Oakley Sound Systems. They are available in various sizes. I bought mines at Maplin : the price ranges from 0.69 to 0.99 depending on the size.


Knobs la MOOG - SYNTHESIZERS.COM - STG SOUNDLABS
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Side view
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Here come the classics of the classics...  The Moog control knobs. They are also used by Roger Arrick at Synthesizers.com . They are so stylish !
The medium size "fluted taper skirt" knob (standard moog) and the pointer knob can be puchased from Synthesizers.com (US$ 4.00 each). Otherwise, the four different types can be purchased from the manufacturer Cosmo Corporation. However, they don't sell them in small quantities and you will have to make a group purchase. That's what I did, with two friends of mine. I ordered some 1000 knobs and the final price (included shipping and custom taxes) was really interesting (between 1 and 1.80 depending on the kind and quantity). Now I can build a lot of Moog like modules ...!