Behringer VCS 3, new photos of the pre-production model

SYNTH ANATOMY uses affiliation & partner programs (big red buttons) to finance a part of the activity. If you use these, you support the website. Thanks! 

Behringer has today published the first official pictures of the upcoming EMS VCS 3 analog Synthesizer clone with further technical specifications.

Article update: Behringer is working on a lot of vintage synth clones/replicas. The recreation of the legendary EMS VCS 3 is probably one of the projects that most musicians are interested in. In January last year, Behringer showed photos of the first prototype on social media for the first time.

More than a year later there are now new first impression photos of the final pre-production model. From the outside, the device now looks more finished with a slighter darker wood which suits the synth better. Otherwise everything stays the same, including the colored knobs that polarize opinions. I’m curious when it will be available and how it sounds compared to the original.

Behringer VCS 3

Behringer says:

Wow, we’re getting close with this beauty. Here’s our final pre-production model which will now go to our beta testers for final sign-off.
This synth took a particularly long time, as the mechanical construction of the matrix plus the recreation of analog circuitry was very complex and needed several iterations.
Our UK analog expert John Price, spent over two years to meticulously recreate the sound of the original unit, while also adding many additional functions as you can see from the front panel.
While we don’t have a final shipping date yet, we wanted to share this news with you so you know we haven’t forgotten this synth jewel. We hope you love this synth as much as we do.

Article From January 15th, 2021

That was quick now. Behringer has assembled the first prototype of their EMS VCS 3 clone from the parts that were posted yesterday. The VCS 3 clone looks damn good. If it sounds as good as it looks, then it will be a huge success, I’m sure. The design is extremely similar to the original.

According to Behringer, the analog engine has been recreated, including a real spring reverb. But it has also been improved and optimized for the year 2021. The biggest difference to the original is on the back. The clone has full MIDI I/O and USB support. It should come in 2021, says Behringer. It is unclear whether this will really be the case, especially in such special times. We will see.

Behringer VCS 3 first pictures

Behringer Says

Here is is our first VCS3 prototype – alive and in color! While the circuitry is all analog and based on the original, you can see that we’ve added many more functions in cooperation with an expert VCS modder from the UK. Also, the internal design has been completely reengineered to adapt to modern manufacturing processes.
Some of you asked if it has a mechanical spring reverb and also real wood; the answer is a clear “yes”.
The next step is for our engineers to “trouble shoot’ the unit in conjunction with our expert partner and additional beta testers, who are lucky enough to own an original unit. Please remember that this is our first prototype and it will take much more time to complete the unit, however, we feel confident that will ship the VCS3 within this year. We’d love to hear your opinions:-)

Behringer VCS 3

Article From January 14, 2020

Behringer shows his EMS VCS 3 clone, still in many individual parts, but it gives us a first glimpse of where the synthesizer journey is leading.

Almost traditionally, Behringer shows new products aside from the official NAMM show. Neutron, Crave, or also clones of the Moog Modular or Roland System 100. This year everything is different. NAMM is virtual, but that doesn’t change anything for Behringer because they haven’t participated in the past few years.

However, Behringer indirectly participates in the product announcement spectacle. They showed today a first teaser of the prototype of the upcoming Behringer VCS 3, one of the most anticipated clones.

That’s the real fun – assembling a new prototype:-) We’ll soon show you the complete unit. Stay tuned.

Much has been speculated about what a Behringer VCS 3 clone will look like. Eurorack bricket-style format like the other clones (Model D, Pro-1…) or portrait format like the original. The latter has now been confirmed. Behringer adopts the format factor of the original for its clone. The interface elements are almost exactly where they are in the original EMS. The VU meter on the right has been changed a bit. A rectangle became a circular one.

Behringer VCS 3

Already at the end of 2017, we got an overview of Behringer’s plans for the next few years through a leak. A clone of the EMS synthesizer created in 1969 was also part of this. At that time there was also an overview of the features but not sure accurate these are for 2021.

Features of the Behringer VCS 3

  • Legendary analog synthesizer with triple VCO design allows for insanely fat music creation
  • Authentic reproduction of original “VCS3” circuitry designed in 1970
  • Pure analog signal path based on authentic VCO, VCF and VCA designs
  • VCOs featuring multi-turn knobs for precise frequency control
  • Variable oscillator shapes with variable pulse widths for ultimate sounds
  • Classic 24 dB low pass filter with resonance for legendary sound performance
  • 16 x 16 pin patch bay serves as signal routing matrix by inserting pins into holes
  • Ring modulator adds insane spice and edge to your sounds
  • Dedicated and fully analog triangle/square wave LFO
  • Noise generator dramatically expands waveform generation
  • Two-axis joystick serves as performance controller
  • 42 controls give you direct and real-time access to all important parameters
  • External audio inputs for processing external sound sources
  • Comprehensive MIDI implementation with MIDI channel and Voice Priority selection
  • 3-Year Warranty Program*
  • Designed and engineered in Germany

It will be interesting to see the final EMS VCS 3 clone from Behringer. The company has not yet given a price, but this will also be very interesting as the original at the start cost only £330, which was a lot of money back then but nothing today.

More information will follow here: Behringer

Hardware Synthesizer News


      • “every other VCS3 clone on the market”

        All of them being either DIY, or from small cottage industry manufacturers. Which pale into insignificance compared to what a huge manufacturer like behringer can pump out.

        Lets not forget the scale of what we’re talking about here 😉

        • People that get the Behringer clone were never going to spend the £5950 Robin Woods asks for a VCS3 in the first place. If anything people that get the Behringer one and get to love the sound and workflow of this synth will want to get a real one, but again, for £5950 99% of people would get a Moog One 16-voice with case bundle instead… but since we are talking about Behringer users (the most looked down upon of musicians ever) then several months of rent, food and bus rides.

  1. Wow. That is beautiful. It’s hard to tell from the image but the knobs don’t light up, do they? I love the sound of EMS stuff but they are pricey. Even that modern Digitana sx-1 was in the $4,500 range.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.