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My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:12 pm
by Jimmy
Hi all

I recently acquired a Jupiter 6 from my friends dad. He had this beautiful instrument leaning against a wall in his enormous house which was pretty much entirely cluttered with audio and music gear. After 20 years of living in this house, he decided to sell it and all of the gear inside. I had my eye on the synth for quite some time, and we had many conversations about it and what I was willing to pay for it. He told me it had not moved from its spot against the wall since it came home from a gig 15 years ago and that the only problem with it was that one of the VCOs was out of tune and a lot of the slide/knob caps were missing

One night when I was over there (there was a big party, 200 people with a band playing), I decided to bring the Jupiter out for a jam with the band. To my surprise, after 15 years of sitting upright against a wall it turned on first go and made some noise straight away. It didn't sound terribly out of tune, but a lot of the knobs and sliders did not work and the pitch bend did not move at all. I was halfway through playing its debut song when I decided I needed to bump the volume up a bit so i could shred my sweet licks a bit louder. At this point the volume cut out completely; on closer inspection, I could see that the volume pot was hardly even making contact. By moving it slightly I had put it out of the one position it worked in. It did not make any more noise that night, but the owner did let me take it home with me!

So, I knew that it worked and had some kind of an understanding of what I had to do to get it in working order. I went online and searched around for which rotary pots I needed and managed to find a full set on technologytransplant.com.

A little while later, the parts arrived and I set to fixing it up. This was only the second time I had done any electronics work, so I felt a bit apprehensive, but I needn't have been. I started off by replacing the volume pot only, just to see if my handiwork was returning any success. To my surprise, it worked perfectly straight away. After a couple of minutes of playing however, the volume dropped about 50%. I worked out that this was not volume's fault - I was pretty sure it was something to do with the VCO Mixer knob, which was in a similar condition to what the volume originally was. At this point, considering I seemed to have done not too bad a job on the volume pot, I set about replacing every pot in the unit.

I am happy with the work I did on it - I got a lot quicker and a lot tidier the further I went along. I even managed to fix up the pitch bender. After I was finished, I put it back together and plugged it in. Every knob worked exactly as it should, except for the LFO2 Rate (I will have to check this out, cause it was working beforehand).

So! Next I would like to fix up all my slide pots; it seems like only a couple of them are working properly. This seems like a much bigger job - there are 27 of them, with more points to solder. I hope I am up to the job!

Do any of you know where I can source the right slide pots for this keyboard? Technology Transplant doesn't seem to have any, nor does ChipForBrains. I am also after a new set of slide caps and knobs if anyone knows where to get them.

Regards,
Jimmy

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:26 pm
by garranimal
First of all welcome to the forum! Sounds like you have a passion for the synths. The Jupiter-6 is a favorite around here. But let me get this right. You're restoring a synth that doesn't belong to you, for no agreed-upon terms. This could be risky business - what's to stop the owner from not compensating you for your work, but wanting to sell to someone else for a much higher price in the new/improved condition? Not to mention your liability should something accidentally go wrong. I just don't want to see you get burned for your efforts, and really hope you're able to get the synth for a good price!

Second, before replacing any more sliders/pots you might try using some contact cleaner made for electronics, Deoxit, etc. It could save you the time and costs of buying sliders.

Third, TechnologyTransplant is chipforbrains (the latter name being their ebay seller name). I have had good experiences buying his sliders and replacing them in my own JP-6 (because the previous owner filled the sliders w/ greasy gunk of some kind). However, there was a thread here which if there was any truth to it left a lot of people with a bad taste. Personally I would still buy parts because we really need them and I don't know where else to go, that is, if he has any available.

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:59 pm
by Jimmy
I suppose I am a little confusing- he has given me the synth. (for free!)

Contact cleaner is a good idea, but these pots/slides are a fair bit beyond help. After I replaced all the pots, I checked out what kind of condition they were in - only 4 out of the 14 that I took out are even close to useable condition. It was used on gigs 6 nights a week up until when it was left in one spot for 15 years, and it seems to have been thrown around quite a lot in it's time. I think I do have some contact cleaner around though, so I'll definitely give that a go

I had a pretty good experience buying pots from technology transplant, so I'll just have to keep my eyes open for if or when the other parts I want become available

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:44 pm
by EmptySet
I've had really good luck with vintageplanet.nl, but no idea if he has Jupe sliders or not. I got a complete set of 106 sliders from him before (they were new parts too! not old "new" ones)

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 8:48 pm
by garranimal
Jimmy wrote:I suppose I am a little confusing- he has given me the synth. (for free!)
That is always a story with a happy ending, great find!
The sliders might be available on mouser.com. The trick is being able to specify the correct throw length, resistance, taper (audio, linear), and solder-pin config.

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:24 am
by Hybrid88
Ah c**p didn't realise TT had gone out of the sliders - probably only temporary though they do run out and then re-stock occasionally.

They were selling some stock through a place in Germany, looks like they still have some sliders left. Would be better than relying on TT judging from recent events. I need to grab the survival kit myself sometime, better not wait I think.

http://www.touched-by-sound.com/en/?q=Jupiter+6

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:03 am
by Jimmy
Thanks everyone for your help. It seems that a lot of those places are very expensive though! (Australian $ does not convert well with Eur!)

I might even try getting in touch with my local electronics shop (Jaycar) to see if they have what I need. Does anyone know the details of what the part is? If not I'll take one out and bring it in to them

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:06 pm
by Hybrid88
Yeah quite pricey definitely but I doubt you'll find a suitable alternative from an electronics store. In my experience in finding parts like this for old synths, they're usually very difficult to source and pretty expensive.

Take it from me, going to jaycar would be a waste of your time. Mouser online would be your best bet if you want to go that route. But honestly I'd still recommend the TT ones, I mean you did get the synth for free, would be a shame if you left it verses investing a bit in getting it going again :D

Where abouts in Aus are you? :)

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:43 pm
by thefonz003
Jimmy wrote:I suppose I am a little confusing- he has given me the synth. (for free!)
If only he had given you Zooey Deschanel for free! (Like the profile pic.)

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:35 pm
by slippast
Congrats! I picked up a JP6 several years ago and ended up replacing a few pots from a NOS auction on Ebay (I didn't need a whole set).

Once you get it running rip out the mainboard and send it in to get the Europa upgrade. It'll complete the process of bringing your old Jupiter into the modern era. It's a bit pricy but well worth the cost if you use it a lot. It really is a game changer when used in a current MIDI setup.

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:44 pm
by bhrama
thefonz003 wrote:
Jimmy wrote:I suppose I am a little confusing- he has given me the synth. (for free!)
If only he had given you Zooey Deschanel for free! (Like the profile pic.)
Meh, I'm more of an Emily Blout/Olivia Wilde type...wouldn't throw her out of bed for eating crackers mind you!

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:11 pm
by Jimmy
Hybrid88 wrote:Yeah quite pricey definitely but I doubt you'll find a suitable alternative from an electronics store. In my experience in finding parts like this for old synths, they're usually very difficult to source and pretty expensive.

Take it from me, going to jaycar would be a waste of your time. Mouser online would be your best bet if you want to go that route. But honestly I'd still recommend the TT ones, I mean you did get the synth for free, would be a shame if you left it verses investing a bit in getting it going again :D

Where abouts in Aus are you? :)
Sweet, no jaycar then. I'm definitely not going to leave it, it's just that I'm a poor musician so I need to find the cheapest way to do things! I think waiting for TT to come back into stock is my best bet.
I'm from Adelaide, but living in Melbourne currently
slippast wrote:Congrats! I picked up a JP6 several years ago and ended up replacing a few pots from a NOS auction on Ebay (I didn't need a whole set).

Once you get it running rip out the mainboard and send it in to get the Europa upgrade. It'll complete the process of bringing your old Jupiter into the modern era. It's a bit pricy but well worth the cost if you use it a lot. It really is a game changer when used in a current MIDI setup.
Yeah I'm definitely going to get the Europa upgrade at some point. It would be really handy to be able to sync the arpeggiator with my computer's clock

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:57 pm
by thefonz003
bhrama wrote:
thefonz003 wrote:
Jimmy wrote:I suppose I am a little confusing- he has given me the synth. (for free!)
If only he had given you Zooey Deschanel for free! (Like the profile pic.)
Meh, I'm more of an Emily Blout/Olivia Wilde type...wouldn't throw her out of bed for eating crackers mind you!
I take it you mean Emily Blunt? She's a hottie...Olivia Wilde's hot but she smokes. I assume, since all three of these women are married, that we're not even considering that part of the pic...

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:31 pm
by DLovas
This certainly is quite the entertaining story my friend - bravo

Re: My Jupiter 6 Story

Posted: Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:47 pm
by orlando56
If only he had given you Zooey Deschanel for free! (Like the profile pic.)
+1!