The Sound of the Polivoks

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sam
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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by sam » Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:42 pm

I just recently restored mine and it is also capable of producing 'normal' sounds. It is badly made though, The pots are bad quality but it is a very good synth and totally unique.
The self triggering envelopes are a nice thing.

I wouldn't sell mine.
Roland Vp330 mk1.SH101.juno 6.OSCar.ARP odyssey..Tonus 2600..omni.
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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Arddhu » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:56 am

I think I read somewhere that the quality varies depending on what year it was produced. Any idea if there's truth in that?
I can't imagine it would have matched Japanese build standards at any point though.

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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Solderman » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:09 pm

I think the quality of parts and QA at the Formanta factory was sporadic through its entire run, but a few modifications in the design got better over time.

I've replaced a few pots already, and the power supply smoothing caps died the first time I opened it. I still have a few op-amps that need replacing, as the oscillators drift in how they track pitch, which is far more annoying than a global drift with constant pitch-tracking. And yes, the Polivoks can play nice too:
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

sam
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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by sam » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:19 pm

Solderman You just reminded me of the length of time it took me to get the tracking almost ok..

Maybe these imperfection add to it's unique sound.
Roland Vp330 mk1.SH101.juno 6.OSCar.ARP odyssey..Tonus 2600..omni.
ms20/50. OBX.
Prophet 5
Wasp.EMS AKS.

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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Arddhu » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:23 am

Did you find the Polivoks harder to repair due to its Russian origin?
I would imagine as long as you have schematics it should be straight forward but I've heard some paranoid comments about needing a tech who not only repairs vintage synths but also speaks Russian. :?

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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Solderman » Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:42 pm

I only replaced discrete parts, not solid-state, so I guess not. The schematics are available online, but the modification instructions and servicing instructions are mostly not translated. I forget the op-amp, but the majority of them in the 'voks can be replaced with a Western equivalent. Another type is close enough that it should work. I usually consult deeplodok on these matters.
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Bitexion » Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:30 am

I've seen some "nice" demos of it on youtube too. Seems to be a mess to keep all VCOs in tune though, and the filter is nastier than a MS-20 on steroids.

It's very much in the spirit of "Haha, ve shov those capitalist amerikans ve can make synths too"

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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by sam » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:03 pm

Deeplodock....Was a real help when it came to fixing mine, He knows all the good replacement chips and has a real inside knowledge of the polivox..A real gent...And thanks to solderman also.. :D
Roland Vp330 mk1.SH101.juno 6.OSCar.ARP odyssey..Tonus 2600..omni.
ms20/50. OBX.
Prophet 5
Wasp.EMS AKS.

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Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Solderman » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:49 am

Bitexion wrote:It's very much in the spirit of "Haha, ve shov those capitalist amerikans ve can make synths too"
Mine just laughs at me when I turn it on and challenges me to actually be able to make it do what I want it to. :roll: I wouldn't be suprised if it began to spit lava and belch acid.

Even if I could get the pitch-tracking on oscillator 2 fixed, there's no pulsewidth mod, ringmod or oscillator sync, its oscillator crossmod is a joke, there's no pitch or mod wheel, it takes up alot of space for a monophonic, the keys clack loudly, the output is noisy, any time you move the resonance pot the filter shrieks(intermittently for several seconds), most of the knobs only do something for about 40% of their full turn, it pitch-tracks differently in duophonic versus monophonic(AFTER the keyboard module calibration), the envelope attack and decay changes when you adjust sustain or release, changing oscillator waveform randomly changes its tuning, and it makes clicking noises at the amp output for every key press and release regardless of how the envelope is set(this one after trying a number of mods that did nothing but screw up the gate's fall-time).

It's sitting in a box atm, where it can't annoy anyone. I put it next to an Oberheim Xpander just to piss it off. :D
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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Bitexion
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Yamaha DX7s
Analogue Systems modular
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Location: Drammen, Norway

Re: The Sound of the Polivoks

Post by Bitexion » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:31 am

Kind of like the cold war russian space program, then. Barely functional, but it kind of works.

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