Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

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colmon
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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by colmon » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:20 am

ensoniq wins this thread pretty much

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by vinyl_junkie » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:28 am

Most American products had build quality issues esp compared to the Japanese

Roger Linn went into quite some detail about this ages ago..

Everything I had that was American made has either blown up or had to be fixed..

Emu E2/Emax (PSU issues/blown up psu), Lexicon LXP15 (PSU caps blown up), Urei 1620 (PSU/poor construction), Ensoniq EPS-16+ (PSU issues), Mackie SR-32-4 (Bad connectors, poor build/construction), Sequential P-2000 (Slowly killed by cancer where everything slowly died one by one)
I gave the P-2000 away :)

Now compare this to the Akai MPC-60 (Never crashed or did anything odd on me) or the Korg Mini 700s which still ploughs on in 2011 never missing a beat

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:48 am

silikon wrote: ...While it's not "digital"
See also THIS.
For this argument, I don't care how it "makes it sound" it's just pieces you expect to work well because they're digital (or digitally controlled). The reason why I asked about andromeda is because even though it's analog oscillators - some have complained about a buggy OS. I guess you could find A bug in nearly every OS, but for all intents and purposes, I thought it'd be good to get a thread going of quirky machines, especially because of the wealth of knowledge on this forum (automaticgainsay....). If we put our heads together, things that might have otherwise been overlooked might not be. And I think the reliability of certain digital machines gets overlooked because "it's digital".

and as far as the eps16+ - I actually am speaking from experience (though very little). I had one with the scsi, and it was just overwhelming. Now that's me (beings as i'm 24) growing up in the computer age and looking backwards. As opposed to being forced to work with it and now looking backwards. FWIW - I think the eps16+ is hugely capable specs-wise, and is a total monster for what it is. it overwhelmed me trying to work with floppies and scsi disks (couldn't get my drive to work right.....) and trying to figure the darn thing out to be able to sequence with it effectively. It's like admiring a t-rex. it's a dinosaur, but it's a T-REX! :D

Things like mpc4k os (silikon did you have any success with the alternate os's?) and "dry joints on the eps power supply" is exactly the purpose of this thread methinks. Obviously, the thread is ruled by the people involved, but I really wanted to gather the interesting tidbits of digital synth knowledge. We could all talk until we're blue in the voice about juno chips and polymoog voice cards. For this purpose I'm more interested in the uniquities of products that are supposed to be otherwise stable.

(bonus points for office space fax machine smashing scene. Fax machines are digital, so it counts.)

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by visceralvoids » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:17 am

It's not the most unreliable synth ever, but how about the Korg MS2000 and its arpeggiator bug?
I had an MS2000 and the arp was never in time when syncing to MIDI clock. The only way around it was to map MIDI events to retrigger it when it got out of time. There has been lots of debate if Korg's OS update fixed it , or if the MS2000b fixed it. Korg had to publicly address it, and when they did, they still didn't admit if there was an issue or not with the arp syncing to MIDI clock. Some people claim that neither the update or the MS2000b fixed it saying it was all hardware problems on Korg's part.

MIDI sync and digitally controlled arp problems, in the year 2000? That's kind of lame.

ARP Avatar cost MILLIONS for ARP to develop and ended up bankrupting them over a period of several years. By the time it came out Alan Pearlman didn't have the control of the company to put a stop to it. Who knows what could have been? The ARP Quadra was full of bugs too.

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by meatballfulton » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:08 pm

colmon wrote:ensoniq wins this thread pretty much
I owned an SQ-80 and SQ-R for 15 years and had zero problems with them.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by garranimal » Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:49 pm

samuraipizzacat29 wrote:Any probs with your andromeda os? I've heard (a few) complaints about those.

Also, while we're here and you have a venom: the output went distorted on mine. Sent it back and got it repaired no problem, but seems to fit the bill and thought u might like to know.
I'm the second owner of the first Andi production run models, not one made by Numark so I can't comment on that. But when editing sounds quickly the display sometimes has a hard time catching up when I switch over to editing envelopes or seq/arpeg/clock menus. No big deal. Sometimes, like 1 time out of ten it will lock up during boot - I used to have a supernova II that did that. As did the JX-10. When it happens powering off-then-on again always gets around this.

I've been tempted to open the Venom, it can tell a lot about build quality. But I sorta know what to expect: lots of SMT, plastic, minimal cost parts. But still, for the money I say it's one of the deepest synths around and deserves gentle treatment for return on minimal investment. I've had a JP-8000 output go distorted, and the culprit was a loose ground connection.
vinyl_junkie wrote:Mackie SR-32-4 (Bad connectors, poor build/construction)
I can say the same about my experiences with the 1604VLZ I used to have. Repair costs were covered under warranty thankfully. I think the cable/connector issue was common with most of their mixers made during that time. Otherwise their gear is built like a tank.

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:44 pm

meatballfulton wrote:
colmon wrote:ensoniq wins this thread pretty much
I owned an SQ-80 and SQ-R for 15 years and had zero problems with them.
He probably means a VFX without the keyboard fix on a hot stage.

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Gianni » Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:03 pm

Yamaha EX5. Any complex patch and/or MIDI setup would immediately screw up everything.

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by balma » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:00 pm

vinyl_junkie wrote:Most American products had build quality issues esp compared to the Japanese

Roger Linn went into quite some detail about this ages ago

Okey, being harsh is not my intention, but where did you get this information? Reading magazines, other's reviews or by your own experience?

I have owned some american synths, Ensoniq TS-10, ESQ-1 plus and Fizmo, and E-mu XL7, MP 7 and PK7.

None of them gave me a single problem

I have owned several japanese synths. Roland MC307, 505, D2, MC909, SP 808, Vsynth, XP80,Juno106, etc, Yamaha Motif, SY99, EX5,EX7, etc, and all the Electribe series. Plus many others....

The synths that gave me problems:

MC 505. Slowly all the controls died. Terrible sliders, terrible mini keyboard, knobs changed values themselves, etc etc etc. After 4-5 years of intense use, died.

D2: Slowly the touch surface lost sensitivity, until it didn't work any longer.

Mostly all the groovebox series released by Roland on late nineties, gave me problems.


Now, the most unreliable synth that I have owned is the YAMAHA EX7.

One of the most stupid releases from Yamaha. Cut dow the polyphony of the EX5 from 128 to 64, take out the stereo sampling to only mono, and force you to buy a f**k SCSI interface to be able to save your data on a external or internal hard disk. Force you to buy nonflash memory RAMS for avoiding erasing your sampling work when turning off the synth.

The multitimbral mode is terrible, choose only one VA patch, or one rompler sound with insert effect, and you won't be able to use the 75 percent of the other sounds.

Spend 30 minutes, loading 110 seconds of samples, but just turn it off, and everything will be erased.

Full of bugs, everywhere, on the arpeggiator, on the pattern sequencer, on the multitimbre. Most of the features are pure f**k ornamentation on this synth. It seems that they made an "urgent release" without quality control. Unfinished product released at a high price with a lot of issues and complications.



But, unreliable is mostly a useless word, when somebody talks c**p about a synth, just because he couldn't find a good purpose for him on his setup, or he just never dig it, or he's just f**k lazy, or he just not could get the best of it, or had different expectatives. And then he ends qualifying the synth as an unreliable product.

Most of the synths find a proper use on creative hands.
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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Steve Jones » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:24 pm

My Synclavier II and my Fairlight IIX used to usually take turns breaking down. Sometimes they would break down at the same time, I never came to a conclusion as to which broke down the most, but then I used to refer to the Emulator II as the "Seeyoulater II", so it was a contender as well. In balance I would say that the EII was the least reliable of the three... I miss all of them.
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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:16 pm

balma wrote:.....

The synths that gave me problems:

MC 505. Slowly all the controls died. Terrible sliders, terrible mini keyboard, knobs changed values themselves, etc etc etc. After 4-5 years of intense use, died.

....

Most of the synths find a proper use on creative hands.
The only issues I have had with my MC 505 is the pixels dying and one time, to escape a wild fire, I hurridly packed the MC 505 in a duffel bag and dropped a big binder of master CDs on top of it. The MC 505 knobs got bent. Both issues have been fixed, the pixel display has been replaced with a green one and the knobs have been sorted, both by Korg Canada. Total costs about $250...

My MC 505 is working just great now and has no issues.
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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:22 pm

balma wrote:But, unreliable is mostly a useless word, when somebody talks c**p about a synth, just because he couldn't find a good purpose for him on his setup, or he just never dig it, or he's just f**k lazy, or he just not could get the best of it, or had different expectatives. And then he ends qualifying the synth as an unreliable product.

Most of the synths find a proper use on creative hands.
"I turn it on, and it just never sounds good for me." :)

I really hope my ex5r doesn't start giving me problems. I spent some time with it last night and holy poop that thing is deep. The level of sound that comes out of that unit really is ridiculous. And I was just messing with rom (awm) sounds ....

Hmmmmm I wonder if we put down on paper the problems we've all had with our digitals, and compared it with what we spend upkeep wise on our analogs, how it'd all shake out? IDK how many of you are diy types, but taking into consideration how easy it is to work on analog gear comparatively, it almost seems as if it makes more sense to fix stuff that's broken in that world than to spray and pray about certain digital synths. It's almost like the muscle car vs modern car debate. I'd rather drive a modern car, but I'd rather troubleshoot/fix an older one.

Regardless, the sound is the sound, so i'll continue to keep what I want, when I want. :) It's just an interesting conversation.

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:26 pm

visceralvoids wrote:It's not the most unreliable synth ever, but how about the Korg MS2000 and its arpeggiator bug?
I had an MS2000 and the arp was never in time when syncing to MIDI clock. The only way around it was to map MIDI events to retrigger it when it got out of time. There has been lots of debate if Korg's OS update fixed it , or if the MS2000b fixed it. Korg had to publicly address it, and when they did, they still didn't admit if there was an issue or not with the arp syncing to MIDI clock. Some people claim that neither the update or the MS2000b fixed it saying it was all hardware problems on Korg's part.

.........

My Korg 2000R doesn't have this issue.
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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by GameChanger » Mon Jul 18, 2011 3:23 pm

i have to chime in on the EPS16. Its my main sampler, and Ive owned a ton of them. Out of 5 keyboard ones and 2 racks (that ive owned at one point or another), Ive never had any issues with them. I think they were very reliable actually. Maybe I have just been lucky

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Re: Most Unreliable, Finicky Digital Synth?

Post by th0mas » Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:31 pm

Phollop Willing PA wrote:
visceralvoids wrote:It's not the most unreliable synth ever, but how about the Korg MS2000 and its arpeggiator bug?
I had an MS2000 and the arp was never in time when syncing to MIDI clock. The only way around it was to map MIDI events to retrigger it when it got out of time. There has been lots of debate if Korg's OS update fixed it , or if the MS2000b fixed it. Korg had to publicly address it, and when they did, they still didn't admit if there was an issue or not with the arp syncing to MIDI clock. Some people claim that neither the update or the MS2000b fixed it saying it was all hardware problems on Korg's part.

.........

My Korg 2000R doesn't have this issue.
Microkorg has this issue.

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