Finally complete: MB-808 the Bassqueen!

teaser picture MB-808

Yes, thats right: 10 months after starting to build this baby, she´s finally ready and sounds great! The MB-808 is a clone of the famous Roland TR-808 with a Midibox step sequencer; The bassdrum has this loooong boom, the snare comes snappy and sharp, the toms go pretty deep while the congas almost self oscillate, clap and rims sound just as warm as the original and the hihats groove nice! She has swing, accent, 2 additional trigger for the classic SH-101 & 808 combination or the arpeggiator of some other synth; the digital heart of the MB-808 is the Midibox sequencer, with a rock-solid timing and quite a bunch of useful features; check out the MB-808 project here as well as the Midibox home for more information.

I started this project last winter, when someone on the german synthesizerforum offered me one of the few PCBs of the second batch of the MB-808 project. After sourcing and ordering all the parts I started soldering in january, and soon had a basic running machine at the end of february – but it took me quite a while to source and fix some errors in the analog circuits of the toms and hihats, complete the case (I tried out several options, the final case has been laser-cut and powder-coated by one of my relatives in his factory), order the knobs, draw the artwork for the case and get it silkscreened at a printer here around…

So here´s the first sound sample, more stuff will follow soon;
MB808 soundsample by markburow




Thanx to Doug Wellington and Jeff “Moogah”, who started this project and did the great PCB layout and the documentation, and Torsten Klose, the father of the Midibox project. Great work guys!

Author: Mark

Hell Yeah!

11 thoughts on “Finally complete: MB-808 the Bassqueen!”

  1. thanks! ist completely custom made… a lot of work! I have added some wood cheeks, now this baby looks pretty vintage 😉 have fun with your MB-808, the sound is amazing, worth every second building it. and it´s really good documented by doug and moogah!

  2. hi
    i am also to make a MB808 and very interesting by your case
    can you say to me where I can make it !!!
    for me is the best case ever made for this clone

    thanks in advance


  3. hi, this case has been made by a german metal factory after my plans, and it´s an individual item, they don´t sell it ready-made like this. The dimensions match the hammond case that many people from the forum use for the MB-808, and all I can offer is sending you the drilling and silkscreen layouts – if you are interested please write to burow_AT_gmx_DOT_ch

  4. Huge amount of kudo’s here… a real beauty 🙂

    Still searching to find a good complete DIY project that hasn’t reached the total amount of machines….. But from what I have seen so far this is the most wonderfull. Thanks for posting

  5. The world needs more people who make excellent things like this. Where did you find those wonderful colored switches on the bottom row?

  6. Thanks!
    I got those switches from the guy who sold the PCB… but I think you can order them at in the US… has pretty similar ones as well, just slightly different dimensions.

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