Reliability of synthesizers

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Pro5 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:39 pm

musden wrote:Yes, Pro5 it was inpressive post. That is your JD on you picture, I suppose?
yes. My favourite synth :)

User avatar
Synthetech
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Synthetech » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:27 pm

I tend to favor the late 70's to late 80's tech when it comes to gear that if I need to repair down the road, I have a decent chance to do so since the components are not SMD's.
The IC chips are readily accessible, sometimes socketed.

It's the gear made in the 90's that can give me apprehension. That's when the mfr's started using SMD technology. Itty bitty a*s components that are pretty much impossible to repair since they are epoxied to the PCB.
I've seen/heard a lot of problems with gear from this early stage of SMD use have problems with a SMD IC chip get a cold solder joint on a lead or two.. causing a total failure.. sometimes referred to as "loose ROM" issues. The unit will power up and lights will come on, but the OS won't load since a few of the leads on the ROM chip are not making connection to the board.. I have a feeling the Korg MS2000 problems are of this nature.
To fix it requires professional soldering skills. You have a better chance of getting the pre-SMD era gear getting repaired by a local tech than the SMD gear.

It's like night and day between the old PCB technology and SMD boards. Seems to me that the older DIP IC's were very hardy little beasts that could take alot of punishment.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:37 am

Synthetech wrote:I tend to favor the late 70's to late 80's tech when it comes to gear that if I need to repair down the road, I have a decent chance to do so since the components are not SMD's.
The IC chips are readily accessible, sometimes socketed.

It's the gear made in the 90's that can give me apprehension. That's when the mfr's started using SMD technology. Itty bitty a*s components that are pretty much impossible to repair since they are epoxied to the PCB.
I've seen/heard a lot of problems with gear from this early stage of SMD use have problems with a SMD IC chip get a cold solder joint on a lead or two.. causing a total failure.. sometimes referred to as "loose ROM" issues. The unit will power up and lights will come on, but the OS won't load since a few of the leads on the ROM chip are not making connection to the board.. I have a feeling the Korg MS2000 problems are of this nature.
To fix it requires professional soldering skills. You have a better chance of getting the pre-SMD era gear getting repaired by a local tech than the SMD gear.

It's like night and day between the old PCB technology and SMD boards. Seems to me that the older DIP IC's were very hardy little beasts that could take alot of punishment.
Actually you don't need professional soldering skills to fix cold joints on SMT boards, you just need a toaster oven. :thumbright:

User avatar
Pro5
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1000
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:30 pm
Gear: OB-6 | SH-2 | JX-3P | JD-800 | Performer
Location: U.K

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Pro5 » Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:46 pm

Yeah you can 'bake' a lot of failed SMD or LGA/Solder Balled stuff in modern gear inc Notebooks, XBoxes, Computer GPUS etc with a nice 8 mins in the oven at ~280c :) strip all the plastic off first obviously.

Unless it's an M1 then just put it all in and melt the whole thing down into a more useful solid block of c**p :)

User avatar
Synthetech
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Synthetech » Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:09 pm

really?

so this baking method is a sure way to fix those issues?

I've done that with a laptop before.. a GPU loose on a HP.

It worked for a few times, then acted up again later on.

User avatar
Stab Frenzy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9723
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2006 5:41 pm
Gear: Eurorack, RYTM, Ultranova, many FX
Location: monster island*
Contact:

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Stab Frenzy » Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:54 am

Synthetech wrote:really?

so this baking method is a sure way to fix those issues?
There's no such thing as a sure way to do anything, but if you have a cold joint on an SMT board baking it will fix it. That's how they soldered it in the first place.

User avatar
DesolationBlvd
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 260
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:24 am

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by DesolationBlvd » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:01 am

Pro5 wrote:Yeah you can 'bake' a lot of failed SMD or LGA/Solder Balled stuff in modern gear inc Notebooks, XBoxes, Computer GPUS etc with a nice 8 mins in the oven at ~280c :) strip all the plastic off first obviously.

Unless it's an M1 then just put it all in and melt the whole thing down into a more useful solid block of c**p :)
I tried a cruder approach: wrapping my original Xbox 360 in a blanket and running it for a while. I'm lucky it didn't catch fire.

You forgot one step: removing the M1 keybed and putting it in something more worthy.
The vaccine for the Access Virus.

Roland Jupiter-8 / Juno-60 / SH-101 / RS-09 / JP-8080
Moog Voyager RME
Korg MS-20 Kit / Volca Keys / Minilogue
Boss CE-300
Yamaha DX7
Akai S5000
Elektron Analog RYTM

User avatar
calaverasgrande
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1038
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:29 pm
Gear: MG1, MP201, MF101, MF102, Taurus 3, SH09, KPR-77, Streichfett, Dark Energy, X0Xb0x, Dronelab, Synsonics Drums, Machinedrum, Modular.
Band: N.S.V.
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by calaverasgrande » Sat Feb 02, 2013 12:43 am

It's funny, in my experience the better sounding gear out there is sometimes the worst for reliability.
Probably make some enemies to say this, but all the old Moogs I have ever owned, borrowed or stolen where super flaky. And when you open them up to take a peek the insides are pretty cryptic. Nothing is labeled or even numbered!
Newer Moog stuff is very solidly engineered. But their OS's seem to all have issues (probably why they EOLed the MP201, didn't want to spend more money fixing that OS!).
Roland is funny, their older metal cased synths like the SH09 are solid as h**l. But the more popular TR series stuff, and the JX3, JX8 etc are all fricking toys. Beautiful sounding toys, but toys.
I can't believe how much folks are paying for these 808 and 303 boxes that are built with the same parts you'd find in an 80's boombox.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave

User avatar
ItsMeOnly
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 303
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 9:01 pm
Gear: Wavestation, K3m, TG77, MOXF6, D-550, S2000, DeepMind 12;
Broken: DX100, 01R/W, U-220
Location: Warszawa, Poland
Contact:

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by ItsMeOnly » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:07 pm

musden wrote:1) biuld quality and keyboard feeling
2) stability of OS
From my experience the most reliable synths of mine are Yamahas: from all I have/had only the DX100 broke, and that actually was my fault, cause I socketed the battery and shorted the mainboard shorty after.

the KX88 has probably the worst OS of all, you can actually crash it with buffer overflow when sending >64k MIDI messages in one shot.

Another clear winner is Kawai: I have K3m that was made in 85, guess what, didn't even exchange the battery (yes!)

What I'm disappointed of are Rolands, U220 has already developed cold solders twice, D550 has made an annoying habit of whistling (and I do not mean inverter resonance, but constant whistling tone in audio path).

Korgs let me down, too: my 01W has been silent for over a year (caps broke, acid ate a chunk of mainboard - irreparable) and Wavestation starts developing problems of its own (MOSFET trouble).

For OS: the wavestation has a serious flaw that it's underpowered, when using a lot of oscillators per patch, you can actually hear LFOs slowing down - not cool, also: I managed to crash it once.

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3783
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Reliability of synthesizers

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:49 pm

*finishes thread and goes back to desoldering pots on his Virus Indigo....

All 32 of em... (actually only 16 were wobbly, but might as well do em all...)

Post Reply