PolySix worth buying?

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Funklord
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PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Fri Jun 21, 2019 3:10 pm

Hi,
I’m new to the forum and somewhat new to the world of vintage synths. I found a PolySix in a music store to a pretty good price. It sounded fantastic, but some keys in the higher range, didn’t quite work, some reacted late, others were simply quiet. The store owner opened the keyboard later and gave me a call, he said that a pcb (I think that’s the right term in English) wasn’t screwed properly. He also said that he fixed it. He seemed to be a very thrustworthy guy, but I’m a little scared of buying something that old, that I know so little about.
Here’s a simple video I made in the store:

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meatballfulton
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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:35 pm

It's worth buying if YOU like it. While not as popular as Roland Junos, the Polysix is still a popular synth on the used market.

Keep in mind that it has no MIDI like your other synths. There have been MIDI conversions kits offered in the past, I do not know if any are still available.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Jun 21, 2019 11:20 pm

The key contacts are prone to failure (contact issues), but its real Achilles Heel is the memory backup battery -- make sure this had been replaced *before* major damage was caused by leaking all over the memory board.

Not sure I'd spend my money on something like a Polysix -- I always hated it for the one sound and its handful of permutations it could produce, SSM filters and on-board Ensemble effects or not. The Roland JX-3P is a much better choice IMO but what do I know?

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:34 am

Thanks guy for your response,
I really love Korg p6, but it's this specific one I'm talking about. Should I need to worry that the flaws I found while playing it, is worse than the store manager says it is? Will it be hard to fix, or expensive since I doubt that I can fix it by myself. Regarding the battery, it's changed, so I guess the old Varta battery leakage is nothing I have to worry about.

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:21 pm

Funklord wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:34 am
Regarding the battery, it's changed, so I guess the old Varta battery leakage is nothing I have to worry about.
That doesn't mean that the old one hadn't already leaked. The leakage slowly eats away the circuit board traces and is the major cause of death for Polysixes.

Even if you are compentent at doing electronic repairs there is no way of knowing if things are worse without opening it up and looking it over. This is true for pretty much any 40 year old piece of electronics.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:17 am

meatballfulton wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:21 pm
Funklord wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:34 am
Regarding the battery, it's changed, so I guess the old Varta battery leakage is nothing I have to worry about.
That doesn't mean that the old one hadn't already leaked. The leakage slowly eats away the circuit board traces and is the major cause of death for Polysixes.

Even if you are compentent at doing electronic repairs there is no way of knowing if things are worse without opening it up and looking it over. This is true for pretty much any 40 year old piece of electronics.
————————————————————————-
Thanks ”meatballfulton” Do you think a battery issue can be the reason why the some of the keys don’t trigger properly?

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:19 am

Funklord wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:34 am
[...] Should I need to worry that the flaws I found while playing it, is worse than the store manager says it is? Will it be hard to fix, or expensive since I doubt that I can fix it by myself. [...]
It's a vintage piece of equipment, and you can never be sure to what extent it had been neglected before you saw it -- vintage synthesisers can be like the proverbial can of worms, once you have fixed one thing, the next thing breaks (and it is really hard to tell in advance what will break next).

If you are not experienced with reading schematics and handling a soldering iron, every minor repair will be a major challenge. Capable technicians know their price so, to answer your question, every fix will be more or less expensive.

The malfunctioning keys are most likely due to the carbon-coating that has worn off tiny little contact pegs which reside inside a rubber dome -- they make contact between the key and the PCB underneath the keybed. There are repair kits to restore your TV remote control unit or the keypad of your mobile phone with but these are one h**l of a hassle to use (using some kind of epoxy glue and carbon powder to dip it into, and you need to be quick because the glue dries even quicker).

I would not buy it unless I was given a clean bill of health which details all repairs done. From my own experience, a Polysix can be a lot more hassle than it's worth.

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:14 pm

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:19 am
Funklord wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:34 am
[...] Should I need to worry that the flaws I found while playing it, is worse than the store manager says it is? Will it be hard to fix, or expensive since I doubt that I can fix it by myself. [...]
It's a vintage piece of equipment, and you can never be sure to what extent it had been neglected before you saw it -- vintage synthesisers can be like the proverbial can of worms, once you have fixed one thing, the next thing breaks (and it is really hard to tell in advance what will break next).



If you are not experienced with reading schematics and handling a soldering iron, every minor repair will be a major challenge. Capable technicians know their price so, to answer your question, every fix will be more or less expensive.

The malfunctioning keys are most likely due to the carbon-coating that has worn off tiny little contact pegs which reside inside a rubber dome -- they make contact between the key and the PCB underneath the keybed. There are repair kits to restore your TV remote control unit or the keypad of your mobile phone with but these are one h**l of a hassle to use (using some kind of epoxy glue and carbon powder to dip it into, and you need to be quick because the glue dries even quicker).

I would not buy it unless I was given a clean bill of health which details all repairs done. From my own experience, a Polysix can be a lot more hassle than it's worth.

Stephen
Thanks Stephen, I really appreciate your reply. I will pass on this one and buy one through Turnlab in Belgium instead. More expensive, but probably worth it.

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:36 pm

Delayed triggers happen with the korg keys of that era (i have a poly61). The fact that some keys were quiet when triggered is more worrying to me, and could be a deeper issue than contacts. Sounds like you made the right choice.

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:37 pm

Jabberwalky wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:36 pm
Delayed triggers happen with the korg keys of that era (i have a poly61). The fact that some keys were quiet when triggered is more worrying to me, and could be a deeper issue than contacts. Sounds like you made the right choice.
Thanks for the input, makes it even easier to pass on this p6.

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Alex E » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:07 pm

Is he seriously asking $1,999 for for a Polysix?? HARD PASS.
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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:12 pm

Alex E wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:07 pm
Is he seriously asking $1,999 for for a Polysix?? HARD PASS.
No, I didn’t mention the price, since our currency sucks at the moment and it might be misguiding. The price on the PolySix is $1400

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Alex E » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:12 pm

Funklord wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:12 pm
Alex E wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:07 pm
Is he seriously asking $1,999 for for a Polysix?? HARD PASS.
No, I didn’t mention the price, since our currency sucks at the moment and it might be misguiding. The price on the PolySix is $1400
Oh, ok that seems more reasonable. That key issue sure is weird though.
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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:50 am

Funklord wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:12 pm
[...] The price on the PolySix is $1400
This is ridiculous.

Anything above 1k is.

Stephen
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

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Re: PolySix worth buying?

Post by Funklord » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:05 am

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:50 am
Funklord wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:12 pm
[...] The price on the PolySix is $1400
This is ridiculous.

Anything above 1k is.

Stephen
Well, all the prices on vintage synths are ridiculous nowadays. You can’t find them for much less, not if you live in Sweden anyway...

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