Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

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Jabberwalky
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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:28 pm

I've only modded synths that were severely crippled, or overly simple (MG-1, Casiotones, Axxe, Kitten). I held off putting a Synhouse midijack on my Minikorg for too long! Now synhouse has been sold out of them for a long time, and probably will never return.

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by yorgatron » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:12 pm

I look at it the same way I look at vintage automobiles (my other too-expensive hobby) being modified.
some popular mods like mag wheels or chrome engine accessories can be easily removed and/or don't make any difference on resale value, especially on popular models like '55-7 Chevys or '60s muscle cars.
this would be equivalent to light-up pitch/mod wheels or hardwood sides replacing plastic.

others, like a disc brake conversion, might be like having CV/S-trigger jacks installed. my Prodigy is an earlier model and doesn't have that installed, but nobody would be bothered by it, especially since they were added later in its production.

of course, wild paint jobs and major cosmetic surgery can happen in both worlds, and you run the risk of ruining it and being laughed at for your stupidity.

in the end though, people will do what they want and the rest of the world be damned. :dontknow:

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by CZ Rider » Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:37 pm

I added a few extra knobs to my Minimoog?
As long as you are not drilling holes in the front panels, and the mods are reversable, it seems OK to do.
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Modding was done back in the day, since these vintage instruments were new then. And everybody wanted a signature sound. Just like modding a MicroKorg today. :D

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by balma » Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:44 am

My Fizmo:
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I didn´t, I swear it! :?

Maybe it could be sacrilege if the color design was something very characteristic from it, and if it was a collectable item.
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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by Jay200MPH » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:47 am

Disrespectful to what exactly? To the synth? It's not a person; you can't be disrespectful to it. To the synth designers? I think these things sitting on shelves collecting dust is more disrespectful to the designers than people using them and making music with them. Look at how many different "revisions" there were to the classics (Minimoogs, Prophets, etc.) as the designers themselves never stopped tweaking them. It's not like Dave Smith cries every time someone MIDI-fies a Pro 1. If there's some mod I can do that increases the usability of an instrument to me, I'm gonna do it.

That being said, my synths aren't rare museum pieces like Moog Modulars which have more value as a historical item than a musical instrument; they are mass produced consumer goods except for a couple of them which were kits that I built myself. And it does annoy the h**l out of me when I inherit mods on something that were really ham-fistedly done, but those are usually reversable or fixable - and while I'm in there, I might as well change this and this... I don't like seeing cases hacked up or "custom" paint jobs with stickers slapped all over for no good reason ("it was broken anyway" is a perfectly good reason!) but ultimately there's always another one that somebody kept standard.

Now excuse me, I need to go fit MIDI inputs to my rare, mint-y and presently useless CMU-800.

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by volumetrik » Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:30 am

Jay200MPH wrote: That being said, my synths aren't rare museum pieces like Moog Modulars which have more value as a historical item than a musical instrument
A museum piece sits in a glass case and never gets touched. If you want to use the item in its original condition, maintain and take care of it, that doesn't mean you are treating it as a museum piece.

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by CZ Rider » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:14 am

Vintage modulars are easy to modify as long as you make the mods on a seperate non-vintage blank panel. No need to drill holes in an old original module when you can just purchase a new blank and make any custom module you need.
Have a custom modded module in the second Moog cabinet in the middle right, with ten small knobs and four jacks. The module is a custom Moog 982 two channel mixer clone. The Dotcom cabinet on the right has a custom counter module on the bottom row, with all those incandescent lights.
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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by Cumulus » Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:49 pm

I would look at it from the angle of whether it decreases the value and/or increases the functionality of the synth.

For example, I probably wouldn't mod a MiniMoog Model B prototype but I wouldn't hesitate to mod a Prodigy if the mod did something I needed/wanted the synth to do.

What does bug me is when someone does shoddy work, like the Line6 FM4 pedal I got with green paint globbed all over it.. Of course, the stash of illicit drugs hidden inside the battery compartment sort of made up for that, I guess...

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by Voodoo Ray » Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:06 pm

I'm of two minds about it. If it is unobtrusive and adds functionality fine (midi, other useful stuff). It isn't such a good idea to do it to a rare and valuable piece unless you're a pro.

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:58 pm

I tend to equivocate on this subject.
I have a lot of music gear that I've had for quite some time. My main bass guitar and amp have been with me for 20 years. In that time I've moved the strap peg twice, re-built the pickups, and modded the output jack to be more durable.
And this is a vintage bass with a low serial that was only made for 5 years.
But it's my vintage bass, and will not be sold to anyone ever. I plan to take it with me, Viking style!
I've also modded my Moog MG1 by removing the phono outputs and the pad on the output. Replacing that with 1/4" jacks.
Now that synth may not join me on the funeral pyre when my time is up, but it aint going out the door anytime soon.
OTOH I hate seeing some awesome piece of gear that some redneck has "modded" in a totally ham-fisted fashion.
Like the vintage mixer that picked up for a song. The previous owner had replaced the channel assigns with knobs in an attempt to make it a monitor mixer. Nevermind that it would oscillate badly if you opened up any of those "sends" all the way. Or that they nuked the phantom power to install ground lifts. The board was so chopped up that I finally just finished the job. Partign out much of it and keeping a few pres to rack later for drums and stem processing.
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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by Shutoku » Fri Aug 02, 2013 12:29 am

I think it is situational.
If a mod makes the instrument more functional and thus gets used more, then there is really nothing wrong with that.
But if I had to choose between two vintage synths, one with mods and one in original condition, I would almost certainly go with the original.

I painted the sides and bottom front on my mono/poly black many many years ago, to match my other gear at the time :roll: Not really a mod, or anything big, and I did a good job of it. Still now I wish I hadn't and given one of the corners is sort of bent (it is particle board with a veneer) I have sort of looked into replacing the sides with real wood. This is actually a bigger mod than painting it, but it would actually be to return it to its original appearance.

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by calaverasgrande » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:00 am

Cumulus wrote:I would look at it from the angle of whether it decreases the value and/or increases the functionality of the synth.

For example, I probably wouldn't mod a MiniMoog Model B prototype but I wouldn't hesitate to mod a Prodigy if the mod did something I needed/wanted the synth to do.

What does bug me is when someone does shoddy work, like the Line6 FM4 pedal I got with green paint globbed all over it.. Of course, the stash of illicit drugs hidden inside the battery compartment sort of made up for that, I guess...

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I'm surprised I haven't ever found anything like that. I've bought a lot of used gear over the years.
(heck I only started buying NEW gear in the last 5 years).
And you know, I don't buy obviously hot equipment, but there have been a few sketchy individuals.
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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by volumetrik » Fri Aug 02, 2013 2:34 pm

Ha

Just remembered someone found a joint in their SH-101..

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Think similar thing happened with someone's mono/poly

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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by calaverasgrande » Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:35 pm

now THAT is what I call "comes with all accessories".
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Re: Modding a synth: disrespectful ??

Post by synthRodriguez » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:22 pm

Makes it sound better.

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