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Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:52 am
by Alex E
Got my alesis ion. Opened the box. Yellowed keys. Not horribly yellowed, but definitely noticeable, especially next to anything a normal shade of white. It's gross. What should I do? I was going to try Krylon Fusion, but I heard it sucks so I decided against it. I tried cleaning and bleach, but obviously that didn't work since I know enough that plastic yellows because of changes on a molecular level.

The keybed assembly is made by Fatar, which is nice to know. But replacing the keybed would be really expensive. I know where I can get one for like $150, but still goddamn.

What should I do?

Re: Yellowed keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:11 am
by Primal Drive
This is interesting. The Ion I'll be buying from a friend also has yellowed keys. He's not a smoker and has kept the board in his studio since he bought it new. Aside from the discoloration the synth works perfectly.

I wonder if this is common with this particular set of keys Alesis used?

Re: Yellowed keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:20 am
by Alex E
That really is interesting. Mine wasn't used much and the owner wasn't a smoker either. Another weird thing is that this is the Fatar TP/7BA keybed assembly, which is used in the Nord Lead 2x, MS2000, Nord Modular and Quasimidi Sirius, and I don't recall ever seeing yellowed keys on them.

I think mine has an early serial number. I think it was made in Oct. 03 but I'm waiting on Alesis to confirm this. Maybe it was a problem on some of the first ones?

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:38 am
by Ry-Fi
Interesting! I've noticed the yellowing on mine, but since I haven't heard any reports of this from anyone else, I thought maybe I was just imagining it. Looks like that's not the case.

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:56 am
by Alex E
Huh. And here's another Ion on eBay with the same discoloration:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Alesis-Ion-Analog-M ... 92907050QQ

I dunno, this is kinda odd.

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:53 am
by Primal Drive
Alex E wrote:Huh. And here's another Ion on eBay with the same discoloration:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Alesis-Ion-Analog-M ... 92907050QQ

I dunno, this is kinda odd.
Those keys are just a little uglier than the one's on my friend's Ion look, but I'm not all that worried. They still have a nice feel to them and as long as they work I'm still buying the synth.

Still, it bothers me a little that since they discolored so early that maybe they may have lost something in the way of integrity as well.

You mentioned the MS2K, and mine has not experienced the yellowing KBD at all.

Nice little engineering mystery here.

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:27 am
by Logan 5
I have owned my ION from new and it has stayed in a smoke-free environment ever since,but it has also developed a slight yellowing.
Here is a pic (not so great,sorry) which places it side-by-side with an SH 101-you can see a difference.

Image

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:42 am
by EmptySet
I see some yellowing on my Ion as well. (especially compared to other synths)

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:05 pm
by wildpaws
The keys have yellowed on our 1960's era Steinway L (which we've had since new). The piano still functions flawlessly, so we don't see it as a big deal. We are more concerned about how it plays and sounds rather than being overly concerned about the keys yellowing. We do try to keep it in excellent condition, but what's a little patina from real use. Remember also that yellowing does not have to come from smoking around a keyboard, every time you play it you are depositing body oil and secrections from your fingers onto the keys, which then attract dust and dirt (as well as possibly interacting with the plastic used). Just something to think about.
Clyde

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:10 pm
by skweeegor
Are you worried the keys won't match your purse?

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:55 am
by Danchenka
http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/

I found out about this a few months ago, and it looks pretty impressive. I haven't tried it myself, and I don't know of anyone who has tried it on synthesizer keys before. It might be worth a try though. It seems fairly simple and inexpensive. One of these days I might try it on my RM1X buttons.

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:00 am
by Alex E
I saw that today, I'm gonna try it on one key before I do the whole thing. We'll see how it goes. I'll update the thread if I end up treating all of them.

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:27 am
by MIDI_Thru_Kid
I'm thinking that this is happening because the keys are made of ABS or HIPS, both of which are sensitive to UV light, and will yellow. Over time, they'll get REALLY yellow, like old screen-used stormtrooper helmets from Star Wars:

http://www.starwarshelmets.com/March04/ ... rotj3a.jpg

I mean just LOOK at that. :shock:

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:45 am
by Elandroth
So uh... just tell people your Ion was stationed on Tatooine for 3 years.

Re: Yellowed Alesis Ion keys?

Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:20 pm
by masyst
Take it to a dentist and get him to bleach the teeth of your Ion...