Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

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syncretism
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Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by syncretism » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:52 pm

When my SH-2 required some TLC, I sent it to Wes Taggart, dba Analogics, in Ohio. More than the usual recap was needed - an octave selector pot was in real danger of breaking off, but Wes fixed this permanently without resorting to expensive replacement components. While he alluded to CNC or milling facilities at his disposal, I don't really know what exactly he did - but I can say that it's now the tightest and sturdiest control on the panel. The SH-2 came back looking and sounding great, and for a great price; Wes will likely remain my go-to tech in the US. On to those mods, then.

The SH-2 has a reputation for its bass and percussive sounds, but not so much for leads and pads, despite a rich, sonorous character. There's no RM, FM, oscillator sync, or even a second envelope, so the scope for highly expressive or just plain weird sounds is limited. I included scant descriptions of two simple mods, obtained from a nice fellow in Australia, when the SH-2 shipped to Analogics. The first, which decouples VCO1 from the LFO {analogous to the stock tone bender defeat switch} is useful in some applications, but isn't terribly sexy on its own. The second is oscillator sync. The SH-2 wasn't designed with sync in mind - there's no separate envelope for pitch, or an LFO that can be routed to one VCO and triggered. It's difficult to create a convincing "Let's Go" patch on it without them, but playing the tone bender and LFO without affecting VCO1 adds the oscillator animation necessary for cool sync sounds, and Wes' custom circuit can wail and squeal with the best of them. A realistic emulation of a table saw is only a distortion circuit away.

During final testing and calibration, Wes discovered problems with the sync mod, and spent some weeks engineering a bespoke solution. This speaks volumes about his attention to detail and desire to do things properly. I couldn't be happier with the results, and have ideas for a few more mods that should make the SH-2 even more fun than it already is. I think I understand the mania exhibited by plastic surgery addicts. You can get your fix here: http://analogics.org

Thanks, Wes.
Yours,
Niall.

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Tardis
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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by Tardis » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:01 pm

Wes is a great guy! He does ALL of my synth repairs.
I'm fortunate enough to live 10 minutes away from him too!
He restored my Ratty SH-1000, & repaired both of my System 100 modules.
I have plenty more gear to take to him too.
Glad you like Wes syncretism, he is one of the best synth techs out there bar none...
"When natural inclination develops into a passionate desire, one advances towards his goal in seven-league boots." ~Nikola Tesla~

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by pulse_divider » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:10 pm

Thanks for the review, good to know!
I'm in Ohio and have a steadily mounting pile of synth that need service, I'm glad there is someone semi-local.

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syncretism
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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by syncretism » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:13 pm

Well, I also want you to know that an SH-2 can have sync, if you really want it. I'll see if I can get some audio clips of the mods in action this week.
Yours,
Niall.

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by nadafarms » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:39 pm

way cool!

I would love it if a sh-2 could fm mod the filter with the osc... I'm not a huge fan of sync.
for sale/trade: EML-101

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Z
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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by Z » Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:10 am

syncretism wrote:The SH-2 has a reputation for its bass and percussive sounds, but not so much for leads and pads, despite a rich, sonorous character.
I mainly use my SH-2 for leads. I think it has the slickest PWM. I also use it for basses, syncussion & FX. Sync & FM would be a nice addition, but I've got other synths that cover those areas.

That's cool that Taggart got your synth working and made the mod. Look forward to hearing samples.

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by syncretism » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:48 am

Huzzah! Photographs and MP3s courtesy of the always-terrific Wretch, who's minding my SH-2 and DRM1 while I stay in NYC. Thanks, Michael!

Image
The Wretch wrote: Details on the audio:

All tracks recorded dry, drums via Vermona DRM MKIII, sequenced with a machinedrum. All SH-2 parts sequenced by Future Retro Mobius. Buss compression used only on master output.

MOD_DEMO_1

0:00-0:24 - Basic Patch
0:25-0:48- Osc Sync on, messing with mod wheel

MOD_DEMO_2

0:00-0:12 - Basic Patch
0:25- 00:38 - LFO Toggle On, Osc 1 not being effected by LFO modulation
00:38-end - LFO Toggle still on, plus Sync on, messing with mod wheel and LFO rate for duration of track
Yours,
Niall.

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by Char-El » Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:16 am

Wes is the guy who told me he couldn't repair my EML 101 (see thread in for sale folder) back in the early 90s. I always thought of him as a trustworthy guy (some of the folks in the other thread thought he ripped me off when he bought the EML for parts from me cheap.) I'm in Ohio also.

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by sensorium » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:36 am

I'm in Ohio also and have personally delivered many of my synths to Wes for repair/calibration. He has done:

Arp Odyssey - calibration recap, New Sliders
Prophet 5 - Fixed J-Wire and calibration/recap
SVC-350 - Recap
SH-101 - CV Mods
Elka synthex - complex repair to fix LFO only working on the upper register AND a beautiful/perfect new walnut cabinet

Wes is the man, and he is very trustworthy. He is a good person and he doesn't have "ripping people off" in his blood.

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syncretism
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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by syncretism » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:39 pm

I've been thinking of future mods that could be useful on the SH-2 - filter FM, cross modulation, ring modulation and LFO reset on trigger come to mind. Part of me thinks it'd be cool to have this tricked out monosynth, but, like Z, I do have other synths with those capabilities.
Yours,
Niall.

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Z
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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by Z » Tue Mar 03, 2009 3:46 pm

I would never mod my SH-2, I like it the way it is. Since you've already made the LFO and Sync mods, why not go ahead and add the others. Would be cool to make it tricked out. I say go for it!

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syncretism
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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by syncretism » Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:15 am

Here's a belated shout-out to my Australian benefactor, Ed Leckie.
Yours,
Niall.

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by WhinyLittleRunt » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:53 am

Wes is a great guy and got my OB-8 up to snuff when I first purchased it. Glad I found him because that thing is still kicking strong!
I like vintage synths....

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Re: Wes Taggart and My Modded SH-2

Post by stillearning » Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:24 pm

I've been friends with Wes since the 70's and he is a great guy. I do most of my own synth repair, but on the rare occasions it's something I can't fix, Wes is the guy.
As always, kindly allow for the possibility I have no idea what I'm talking about.

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