Page 1 of 2

Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:36 pm
by Philly Stress
I'm thinking about building a midibox like this.
Image

Image

Does anyone know where I can get low pass curtis filters to go in it?

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:41 pm
by Synthacon
www.synthtech.com go to the ORDER tab at the top of the page, you can also try Vintage Planet and there are others depending on what you are after.

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:26 pm
by Constantine
don't forget eBay, i saw some Curtis and SSM chips there recently.

Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:47 pm
by OMNI26
Synthacon wrote:www.synthtech.com go to the ORDER tab at the top of the page, you can also try Vintage Planet and there are others depending on what you are after.
My friend Paul who owns SynthTech told me last week that he is pretty much "out of the Curtis Chip business" now, so I don't think you'll have any luck with him. Just an FYI. It stinks, because I need a few, too, and until recently I would have just had to drive accross town to his place to pick them up. He was pretty much the main source for CEM chips. There may be a huge availability problem in the future for CEM-based synth owners needing replacement Curtis chips!

Posted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:02 pm
by Synthacon
Not just CEM based stuff, ALL parts are becoming hard to source. I was talking to my synth tech this week, he is VERY well respected, and he was saying how he had to repair a Jupiter 8 that beed 2 new EG's and these were almost impossible to find.

Vibtage gear is great, it certainly has something about it, but maitaining it is becoming harder and harder.

Also keep in mind alot of the chips on eBay etc are not New or NOS, they are pulled from synths that have seen alot of use over the years and may themselves not have much life left in them.

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:06 pm
by minime123
i wonder what it would cost to remanufacture some of these. thats something we may not be opposed to investing in... anyone ever think about that?
mini

Re:

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:34 pm
by sizzlemeister
Synthacon wrote:Not just CEM based stuff, ALL parts are becoming hard to source. I was talking to my synth tech this week, he is VERY well respected, and he was saying how he had to repair a Jupiter 8 that beed 2 new EG's and these were almost impossible to find.

Vibtage gear is great, it certainly has something about it, but maitaining it is becoming harder and harder.

Also keep in mind alot of the chips on eBay etc are not New or NOS, they are pulled from synths that have seen alot of use over the years and may themselves not have much life left in them.

And you know what's very funny, or sad, I guess depending your point of view, is that when you point out this particular Achilles' heel of vintage SSM or CEM-based gear - a lot of people don't want to hear it. Just like anything else in life, people would prefer to live in the fantasy lands than accept a dose of reality.

It's starting to occur - CEMs are getting scarce - and so are some older Roland custom ICs, not to mention Burr Brown DACs commonly used in vintage gear. And as the enthusiast market continues to grow, the rapidity at which these parts become unavailable will increase, too.

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 6:37 pm
by sizzlemeister
minime123 wrote:i wonder what it would cost to remanufacture some of these. thats something we may not be opposed to investing in... anyone ever think about that?
mini

If you're the same minime who posts to the AH list then you've no doubt seen this discussed numerous times. Also, I would search the HC KSS archive for this discussion; it's been an annually appearing thread for many years.

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2008 11:14 pm
by Synthacon
This is something I wrote a while back and got a bit of stick for, but I am certainly a realist at times and think that the amount of "Vintage" gear I have owned allows my opinion :lol:

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/feb05/a ... ingoff.htm

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:55 am
by devious
Ugh! Well, the nice thing is there are a few people out there who have hoarded these for years and have a good collection of these CEM and even SSM chips on hand *hides*...just in case! Waiting for them to become worth their weight in gold. Yup! I'm guilty....:-)

Anyways, they're around, but like what was said, the more people interested in the vintage market, the less these chips will be available to anybody. This is one reason I am personally electing to step away from the vintage market as far as my setup goes. I have a 106 that I picked up pretty cheap since one chip was dead. It took less than a week after I got it for two other voices to go kapow on me. It becomes more of a "hope somebody is selling a broken synthesizer for super cheap" than a "I can just go click this button and checkout" in order to scrap together the chips in them to repair a synthesizer that uses the same chips/vcos/filters as that broken synth.

There's a particular seller/buyer on ebay that has bought two of the same keyboards within the last few months. I know why he's doing it and it's not for the keyboard itself...but the parts in them. These keyboards were selling for ~400 bucks a few months ago, but the parts in them are worth well over 800+ dollars on the "repair" market....

As mini says, maybe with enough interest, somebody will come along and remake these chips. Now like the "new" juno 106 voices though, the new chips may very well change the overall tonal character of the synth, but will it be worth it? Yes. To buy a Matrix 12 @ 3-4k dollars and to lose a voice...and not have any spare chips...would just be .. well, in my opinion, dreadful.

Anyways, I live in a small town and when a deal pops up, it's usually me showing up because I live in a pretty acoustical town where keyboards are sin to be used in music. We're talking roots music. Guitars, basses, and drums are king here! Oh, and hiphop MC artists. HEH!

Best of luck to you in your quest, OP!

Aaron

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:11 pm
by minime123
I have a 106 that I picked up pretty cheap since one chip was dead. It took less than a week after I got it for two other voices to go kapow on me
this is why its very important to do a burn in test before selling a 106, though that wont guarantee there wont be problems down the line. someones making replacement chips for the 106 now.
As mini says, maybe with enough interest, somebody will come along and remake these chips. Now like the "new" juno 106 voices though, the new chips may very well change the overall tonal character of the synth,
did you know that even when CEMs were current, they had different production runs and that an unmatched set of chips could perform slightly differently than a matched set? theres variability in most chips (even in a matched set) but we often dont detect the subtle differences.
mini

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:23 pm
by Synthacon
I do not think alot of people realise the short supply of chips, not just the VCO and VCF type, but EG's and god knows what else.

There are one or two that have been cloned, and the hope that technology or some enterprising company or individual will start making chips again at some point. This is probably a little bit like closing your eyes and hoping the problem will go away, it is very possible you will end up with a synth that you can not use. The Mono/Poly has a very hard to find SSM chip in it and yet is a very popular synth with people, I wonder how many people realise how hard it is to find a replacement?

There are people and companies out there making sliders again for instance, however many of these are awful and do not work like the originals, they are just poor quality items made in China and are nothing like the original items.

It is a worrying state of affairs, more and more Vintage gear is getting bought than ever before, with many people not even willing to look at a newer option or long term survial of the synth they are about to spend many thousands on.There are also the people that are killing synths just to sell chips, sliders, keys and knobs etc. I find that a very sad thing indeed.

A word of warning on chips from these sources, many are damaged when removed from the synth and they can also be on the verge of death themselves.

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:01 pm
by minime123
before anyone jumps to conclusions about the statement synthacon made (see below), ive found the products chipforbrains has been selling to be quite good. theres another remanufactured part that someone in another country supplied us with that was total c**p, but at the same time total c**p is better than nothing when you have no other option. we've always been able to source parts when we've needed them.
mini
There are people and companies out there making sliders again for instance, however many of these are awful and do not work like the originals, they are just poor quality items made in China and are nothing like the original items.

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:26 pm
by Synthacon
I certainly do not want to tar people with the same brush. Some of the "new" reproductions are very good, other stuff is quite frankly just nasty. Even as far as some of the people, and I'm not mentioning any names, can have a vast difference in quality of items they are selling.

I know that you can get almost anything still at the mo, it's just get harder and more expensive :) I just want people to realise that things are and will get harder to keep things running.

As the Topic in this thread shows, a lot of people think it is relativley easy to just pick up chips, that is rapidly changing now and it is a shame.

Re: Where can i get Curtis filters from?

Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:17 pm
by rhino
dave smith prophet-08 is advertized as having 'real Curtis filters'. maybe they have bought the rights to make more?