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Getting a more 303 sounding box..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:32 pm

antto wrote:let me get this straight

your TB-303 is modified?



Still no answer from you?

So let me get this straight.. you dont know how a real 303 sounds?

ok..that explains a lot..but still some usefull insights you gained into the xox circuit..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by antto on Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:50 pm

i know how rv0's 303 (which is not modified) sounds like, i have a pile of dry recordings of it
i also know how his other 303 sounds like (which is also not modified, but sounds slightly different of course)
does that count?

and i don't want to add anything else to what you said in your previous posts
sorry to interfere
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:01 pm

nothing to add?
But ok..i think i can take this as a NO.. your xox dont sounds like the 303 recordings you have, but you also dont have any clue why that happens to be, and accept it as a holy enigma that cant be explained by men . :lol:
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:46 am

But jokes appart.. I think this is an interesting thread that is full of hints and it should be seen as such and not as the scientific prove or philosophy department.

therefore more input on the resistor department without before after files..sorry..thats not the way i work.. needs me to much forcing myself just to doe 5 solderig points that it would slow down the process too much..and i learned to trust my ears since i know how much preconditioning effects the listening and try to rather listen deep insed of me than just to the audio alone while testing things.
But i see that this is no prove and that i can be wrong on a bad day too..just..sofar i cant really remember when i tricked myself the last time? It dont happens often when you have developed this kind of instinct conscious listening.

back to topic..

i went one step further and tried some carbon composite resistors instead of carbon film resistors in a few key positions..and that was maybe the point i overdid it..since i liked it more before a little sharper an present than now where it actually is warmer in an almost muffled way..but suits low cuttoff deep bass sounds pretty well.. I done know really if that was an improvement.. But i mention it here becasue it might be a point to check carbon resistor sound without so much hazzle..

I ve change in the filter R109 and R110 and R115.. than i changed R155, R158 and R161 in the mixer section.. And had a quite sigificant impact on the sound..to a degree where i thought for a moment to remove it again…but has some nice aspects too..

Again it could be value differences..but i paralleld R112 and R109 with a 47K resistor and that didnt made the sound sharper again.. didnt touch R115 because thats the main current supply into the filter..



I would guess that the change i experience is rather in the filter section..but you never know..at least in the mixer section slight variance in the resistor value should have no impact..

So when somebody likes to try it this 6 resistors might give an indication whether the resistors change the sound or not without swapping all of them. carbon composite should give more significant results as carbon film.. Original 303 uses carbon film
Last edited by 3phase on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:00 am

And one more hint..but this is just a hunch .. I just modded my xox with a key cv to filter mod.. a thing i found very usefull in the past for shaping 303 lines.. and.. when you dial in just a small amount..where it still keeps that 303 sound without going much up on the higher notes.. it really sounds a little more fluent.. one of the aspects where the xox appears to sound different than the 303.
For me i experience a real 303 as sounding more fluent on the sequences. rounder.. smooshiger.. opalizinger ..its hard to describe really..
And by now i really think that this is the result of the sum of a lot of little details. Dont know if potential key cv to filter bleed thru is one of these details, but its at least not in the esoteric realm.

But maybe it just pleases the ear and covers up for another factor, by sounding nicer in general.--

In any case a good mod.. with a stereo pod that lowers the cv while increasing the impact of the key cv.. makes it a playable pot..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by antto on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:18 am

i've said it one year ago in this post: viewtopic.php?p=178076#p178076

it's hard to read your posts with tons of typos and it's hard to talk with you in general
i don't hear thru your ears, so it doesn't matter how accurate or trained they are

all of the actual "data" that comes out of your experiments goes thru your brain and then ends up in the form of posts of what you think you heard with a ton of typos

so i have not much use from your experiments
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:35 am

antto wrote:so i have not much use from your experiments


But maybe others have by just trying it themself.. Thats actually the only use you can have from other peoples experiments.

And typos are way better than false info .. A thing you sometimes like to promote..abusing your status this way.. Instead of calling everything nonsense others tell..based on things you have read in the internet.. and asking for real prove than..You should be the one that is replacing internet gossip by own experiments for himself..just to complete your status as the big 303 expert..when you have done 1000 experiments already you well can change 6 resistors to enhance your knowledge the only real way.. by trying it your self.. Since there is no other real prove..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by antto on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:50 am

3phase wrote:
antto wrote:so i have not much use from your experiments


But maybe others have by just trying it themself.. Thats actually the only use you can have from other peoples experiments.


so what is your recipe for making the x0x sound more 303-ish?
which components should be changed?
can you put them in a short list as of february 2014
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:00 pm

so what is your recipe for making the x0x sound more 303-ish?
which components should be changed?
can you put them in a short list as of february 2014?

and when you are on it..please get me a pack of cigarettes and 2 beers. :lol:

i would think this thread is the list.. and since you dont answer the question i must assume that nobody has a complete list or recipe sofar..
At least i dont have it..otherwise i would be a xoxbox fan as you..

However..your os really helps to like that ugly thing way more than before..at least feels more like a 303 with it.. and that helps a lot.. more than any sound improvement can do.
thanks for that one.

But.. its still an interesting phenomenon how difficult it is to nail the original 303 sound.. I was surprised about that..and still am..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by antto on Sun Feb 23, 2014 12:28 pm

3phase wrote:so what is your recipe for making the x0x sound more 303-ish?
which components should be changed?
can you put them in a short list as of february 2014?

and when you are on it..please get me a pack of cigarettes and 2 beers. :lol:

great, you shoot me back with the question i asked you..


3phase wrote:i would think this thread is the list.. and since you dont answer the question i must assume that nobody has a complete list or recipe sofar..

i have a list which works for me, i've already written it in the beginning of the thread probably, here it is again, more condensed:

- TM3
- resoboost mod
- DC-adjust mod
- C29
- 5% resistors
- don't go crazy with selecting parts and high-beta transistors and other voodoo, keep it simple
from there, if it still doesn't sound like the 303:
- identify what's different
- adjust it


i have 2 x0xes
the old one is built by x0xsource and a bunch of years old (no idea how old since i bought it used)
it has loads of mods (sockets mostly)

the new one - i built it myself not long ago
they sound slightly different, the pots are also slightly different (in terms of response curve)

which one i like more? - the new one
why? - because it has better looking panel (alu) and the pots response is not as tight as the old one
can i make the old one sound like the new one? - yes
can i make the old one respond like the new one? - no, unless i order the same pots as from the new one (which are obtainable from willzyx)
do i want the old x0x to sound as the new one? - no
do i want the old x0x to respond as the new one? - yes, but i don't feel like changing the pots any time soon.. (unless they start giving problems)
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Sun Feb 23, 2014 11:21 pm

that with the pots interesting.. because the reaktio to the pots is also a factor that is more fun on the 303.. i would lke to upgrade that..

for the sound..5% resistors means carbon foil..or? for me carbn is the factor.. the 5 % just give variations between the 303´s..but the warmer sound..carbon.. standard caps.. transparent green drops.. all factors that smoothen the sound.

beta with the transistors..true…i checked the ones inside a 303..dont looks like roland was looking to much into the beta values.
But Transistors have an impact on the sound and different types sound different.. i personally still need to check the 303 of a friend again that has an exceptionally sweet sound..and i just had a very brief look inside because i had to fix it 10 minutes before a gig.. but.. i ve seen very unfamilar transistors there.. something with a 16 at the start..but i woudnt bet on it..was in a hurry..

beside of that my personal theory is that 1536 are better in the filter, more byte., Or was it 2SC536? 2sc1536 and 2sc536 seems to be different types but booth used by roland.. But i am not sure about that. I found the 945 are more elastic in the envelope and smoother in the amp section.. and actually i once had a 303 original from roland that had a mix. 1536 in the filter and 1815 anywhere else.. what might be an indication that the transistors for the filter was somehow matched by roland and not just randomnly selected..

I am still too lazy..but .. matching pairs like in a moog might be an worthy experiment.

beside that there are differences in the general tone that are hard to explain.. intercircuit crossstalk and stray capacities, interferences and noise because of the original power supply are likely factors…

The power supply stays an enigma and its remarkable that the otherwise cheaply build TT bassbot invest in such an expensive part just for the sake of being original and batterie useable? would you buy a bassbot just for its ability to be run by batteries? Its a pretty expensive decision to stick so much to the original there..but dont have the 50 cents extra for some foil caps in the filter. I think that this is strange..

That is really a point worth trying because i had to often technocratic remarks in the past that claimed that power supplies have no impact on the sound of devices.. but..practical experience tells otherwise.. power supplies do have an impact on the sound
When you ever had a real 303 in your hands you will realize that its way noisier than a xox box..where is the noise coming from?
Noise in the power supply does have an impact of the sound of synths.. It is smoothening the modulations and gives the filter resonance beef to sing. Is the original dc/dc converter power supply noisier than the xox power supply? where does the noise of a 303 come from?
Its not only the carbon resistors.. my carbon resistor xox is still way quieter than my 303. to a high degree..there is almost no noise on my xox but a good amount in the 303

I am pretty certain that the noisy HF bleeding original power supply is part of the equation, but agree that this needs to be verified by trying it before one can call this a fact..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by antto on Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:11 am

i know 303s have more noise
that's not something i would want in my x0x tho, i don't see it as desirable

the filter doesn't need noise to resonate, it is fed with the oscillator, which is what drives it
the only place where the noise would make a significant difference is when the waveform switch is in the middle, then the input to the filter is silence
i don't really put the waveform switch in the middle during a track


945 transistors being "more elastic" in the envelope section
sorry.. i just can't take any of this anymore

and.. powersupply.. not again
this is the one thing i would like to be put to the test, but untill then - i don't want to hear more talking about it unless it's a detailed explaination of how exactly it affects the sound in the 303 and what's missing in the x0xb0x

if it's just more noise - then no, i personally don't want any more noise in my x0x
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:52 am

Is this thread called "what annto wants"? No.. Its called "getting a more 303 sounding box".

Since you dont know how a real 303 sounds you are missing the part that is actually desirable with that sound.. you dont need what you dont know? no problem with that but please do your off topic rants somewhere else. for example in another thread called anntos world ,, would´nt that be a great idea?

Its absolutely common sense in sound engineers, producers and musicians circles to describe sound features with words..and most people that are not so stubborn to insist on objective technical data here understand that just wright and get the picture.. you dont..ok..but thats your problem and not because of the wrong method to communicate sound features.

Its actually plain technical data that say nothing about a sound.. you only can experience a sound and describe it in symbolic ways.. thats just normal and the way to do it.

Beside that a lot of technical data regarding the power supply was mentioned..And it differs with a lot of parameters to the standard regulated one in the xox. So its a certainty that it has some kind of impact on the sound..Thats out of question. But is it the missing link?
When its just another little detail that adds to it but dont gets it there anyway its probably not worth the hassle..The circuit board layout is also a factor that cant be underestimated in such a complex circuit. It´s possible that the power supply is not the main factor.
But its definitely a factor. Just like in a Moog modular system..where replacing the power supply with a modern one reduces the noise..but kills the sound.. Rumors are that Bob Moog intentionally designed it noisy.. but even when it just has happened by accident..its beneficial and really supports feedback to build up in a much broader frequency spectrum.
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by 3phase on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:03 am

antto wrote:i know 303s have more noise


good..and where do you think that noise comes from? its a quite audible sound difference… same components ..same circuit..where is the noise coming from? the original cpu? lesser shielding by the plastic front? lesser shielding and stray capacities and resistance on the circuit board? carbon film resitors? The power supply? Or just a mixture of all of that?

In the end it might be an unsolveable goal to make the xox 100% sounding like a 303..its no 303.its a xox.. However.. getting a more 303 sounding box is possible. Some measures mentiond in this thread.are there more tricks to discover?

someone should try to rebuild the original power supply..its definitely interesting to find out how much that contributes to the 303 sound.. But a very pricy mod..
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Re: Getting a more 303 sounding box..

by rarara on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:10 am

antto wrote:here it is again, more condensed:

- TM3
- resoboost mod
- DC-adjust mod
- C29
- 5% resistors
- don't go crazy with selecting parts and high-beta transistors and other voodoo, keep it simple
from there, if it still doesn't sound like the 303:
- identify what's different
- adjust it


is the DC-adjust always a good idea and going to be of benefit for builds with BA6110s?
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