Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

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HideawayStudio
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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by HideawayStudio » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:08 am

Automatic Gainsay wrote:I have to say I'm sorry to report that the VCS3 has serious and persistent issues which require repair costs which exceed its value. On top of that, a very frequent issue with the VCS3 leads to the leaking of fatally-toxic gasses, and eventually, in 9 times out of ten, a FATAL EXPLOSION.

It turns out that I'm qualified to dispose of these horrible devices. Please send yours to me before you're hurt. Because I care so much for the safety of my fellow synthesists, I'll cover the cost of shipping.
Yes... almost as deadly as all those frightening toxin filled caps in the Novachord ready to jump out and poison you just looking at them :) ..................... but thinking about DON'T send me all of your Novachords - I think mine is causing the house is starting to list to one side as it is! :shock:

..... I think I can cope with all your VCS3s though - it's just a matter of having a blast proof studio!

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by intercorni » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:47 am

I think all vintage synthesizer are unreliable: The electrolytic capacitors dry out
Memorymoog: prototype, not fully developed
Polymoog: too many contacts on the pcb
PPG Waveterm: Tantalum capacitors fall out
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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by madtheory » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:50 am

Scories wrote:Everybody forgot to mention the Sequential Circuits PRO-SOLO.
You meant the Pro One, right? Yes, a lot of corners cut to make it affordable. Nothing disastrous though.
rhino wrote:Roland 'synth-in-a-blob' voice problem
LOL! Great description.

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by Tsarik » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:06 pm

Voyetra 8. overheating. lots of maintenance required

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by CapnMarvel » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:35 pm

I was going to mention membrane interfaces in general, but the Chroma Polaris appears to take the cake in that regard. Mine still works (it's the keybed that needs fixing) but repairing the membrane controller in my P-600 was mighty expensive.

Oh, and the PolySix I have sitting in my storage closet at home? Battery issues. Bleah.
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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by EmptySet » Tue Apr 20, 2010 1:53 pm

The JX8P and JX10 aftertouch always goes bad and is kind of a pain to repair. Also, the JX10 midi "problem".

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by pricklyrobot » Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:21 pm

CapnMarvel wrote:...repairing the membrane controller in my P-600 was mighty expensive.
Was that before the newly manufactured ones (chipforbrains/Technology Transplant on Ebay) became available? Because I think I only paid $40-something for mine. Still have it in reserve though, as the original membrane has yet to fail (knock on wood).
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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by garranimal » Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:57 pm

Memorymoog is 30 lbs of stuff jammed into a 10 lb capacity box. There are literally stacks of pcbs in there, so working on it is a bit nerve-racking. Key contacts require cleaning on occasion. The bulk and weight make it difficult to transport, a flight case just adds tremendous weight. It has a built-in air circulation fan not unlike a desktop computer, even so, the oscillators drift out of tune easily with changes in temperature and humidity. Frequent Autotune for the first 10-20 minutes is usually required.

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by madtheory » Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:34 pm

CapnMarvel- The polysix issue has to be one of the worst. It's such a shame, it's a great synth. Would it be an idea to make sure that the battery acid has been cleaned off the board completely? Just so it doesn't get any worse. Doesn't oldcrow have good info on repairing these boards from various states?
EmptySet wrote: the JX10 midi "problem".
LOL! As in- it barely exists!!!

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by AnalogKid » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:00 pm

A few years ago I sold my MkII ARP Odyssey because every time I turned it on I was afraid that one day something wasn't going to work. So, I sold it while it was still in working order. You're rolling the dice when you buy any old synth. Unless you have a good tech (or are one yourself), have access to and are willing to pay for potentially hard to find replacement components, and unless you're prepared to possibly spend hundreds of bucks for a repair job, stay away from an old synth (unless you can get it for a very low price).

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by shaft9000 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:38 pm

Scories wrote:ARP 2600
imho, not in my experience.
my 2600 is from 1972 and had never been serviced when I bought it. it had a couple minor issues, but sounded fantastic. gradually though, the PSU and filter died and needed to be replaced.
After 37+ years, I'd say that was a pretty good run of reliability.
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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by clusterchord » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:56 pm

polymoog
memorymoog

most i've come into contact with didn't work properly, went haywire on a whim, or where just plain out DEAD. LAMMs are nice, and an outrageously expensive upgrade, and just a small percentage of units out there have it.


chroma, has the most involved support community and lotta new reverse engineered enhancements. and there are some nice working specimen that had a lot of work put into them. but , it must be said, the statistics are not really painting such a nice pic. again, most i've seen either didn't work or would break if you merely farted next to them. i almost bought one in several attempts. in the end, i decided i just don't have enough time to deal with another liability like that, next to vintages i already own.
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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by Scories » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:09 am

shaft9000 wrote:
Scories wrote:ARP 2600
imho, not in my experience.
my 2600 is from 1972 and had never been serviced when I bought it. it had a couple minor issues, but sounded fantastic. gradually though, the PSU and filter died and needed to be replaced.
After 37+ years, I'd say that was a pretty good run of reliability.
Actually, that was just a silly joke in attempt to decrease the insane prices on those great synths. We should have more theads like this! :D

madtheory wrote:
Scories wrote:Everybody forgot to mention the Sequential Circuits PRO-SOLO.
You meant the Pro One, right? Yes, a lot of corners cut to make it affordable. Nothing disastrous though.
Oh! Did I wrote that??! :oops:

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by Christopher Winkels » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:54 am

madtheory wrote:
Scories wrote:Everybody forgot to mention the Sequential Circuits PRO-SOLO.
You meant the Pro One, right? Yes, a lot of corners cut to make it affordable. Nothing disastrous though.
I didn't own mine for long enough to speak to long term reliability, but you're so right: it did feel cheap. The rear sockets would pull away from the chassis, the front panel actually bowed under its own weight, the wood ends were thinner than a coat of paint, and the quality of the knobs wasn't up to the standards of previous Sequential instruments. Then there are the known issues with the power supply and later versions having their membranes for the keyboard fail.

It wasn't good enough sounding (to me at least) to see past these shortcomings and potential pitfalls, so I wasn't unhappy to see the back of it.

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Re: Top 20 Most Unreliable Vintage Synths

Post by stalla » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:23 am

hfinn wrote:I've personally found my old CS-50 (and 80) was pretty solid in tuning. Contrary to the myth...
same thing with my cs80 (i've heard it depends on the serial number, the later, the better)
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