General questions about assembling the Ambika / Ambika users in Berlin / flying with an Ambika

hello mutable instruments community!:slight_smile:

the Ambika sounds amazing. I’m keen to find out some more info, in regards to the construction.

how much soldering experience is necessary? my experience is limited to making a patchbay’s-worth of TRS leads, a few years ago. but they all worked out nicely.

approximately how many hours does it take (a novice) to build the Ambika?

once all the parts are sourced, what is the overall approximate cost of the project? I realise this depends on the type of filters selected, and is also dependent on whether or not step sequencers, arps or chord generators are added… but if some Abika users can remember approximately how much it cost them, please throw some figures at me:)

(currently the store is closed, so i can’t see what is tucked away in that page)

and a few questions on the side;

I’m based in Berlin. are there any fellow Ambika builders/tweakers/groovers here, also based in Berlin?

would it be ok to take an Ambika on a plane (as checked luggage)? assuming I undertake this project (i’m pretty keen to!), i would start constructing it in Berlin, and then fly back to Australia sometime around November.

a similar question, i assume it would be easier and cheaper to source all parts while I am in Germany (rather than Australia)? can anyone recommend a business?



> how much soldering experience is necessary?

This is not a tricky/technically difficult soldering job. Soldering is not the difficult part. The difficult part is staying focused and not making a single mistake when placing about 800 parts. One second of inattention when placing a part could lead to a malfunction that would take several hours to troubleshoot.

I would not recommend it at all for a first DIY project.

Build a Shruthi first.

> approximately how many hours does it take (a novice) to build the Ambika?

Beginners take 6-7 hours to build a Shruthi, so I’d say 24-30 hours.

> what is the overall approximate cost of the project?

The cost is almost the same for all filter boards. Sequencers, arpeggiators, chord generators are all software so they don’t cost anything.

The total price is in the 500€ to 800€ range depending on how smart you are with parts sourcing.

> would it be ok to take an Ambika on a plane

Always possible with careful packaging!

> can anyone recommend a business?

Reichelt + Mouser/Digikey for everything else not in stock at Reichelt.

If you are not sure you can build it or are frightened by the square mile of PCBs to do - check the list of trusted builders , there are many round here in germany which gladly will build one for you for minimal additional costs.

I agree that it is not technically difficult, but as stated above building a Shruthi first may be a good idea to get a better idea of what you are in for. An Ambika is like a Shruthi x10. There are just so many damn parts. Troubleshooting could suck. For a lot of us the Ambika was not too expensive because we have aquired all the standard parts building other kits and modules and using the community to find deals on parts.

thanks for the replies:)

… im having a closer look at the Shruthi…

i fly mine in one of those case you can get at camera shops that are stuffed with removable blocks of foam, you pull the foam until you get a nice snug fit on the synth and you’re good to go. give the nuts a standoffs a check pre flight though, if somethings’ come loose inside the case it could mess stuff up. don’t be afraid though! mine has the milage on it to prove it can

and while the ambika is undoubtedly the best documented “advanced” build out there, there are some areas for mistakes to be made by novices that would be really easy to avoid with just a few more builds under your belt. do a few modules, maybe a shruthi and you’ll be on your was. i have a drawer of stuff from when i started that i mangled beyond repair - forutunaly those were cheap builds, an ambika’a a whole different story. the ambika is easy to build, but not so easy to fix if you muck something up, if that makes any sense…