just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Pulling out your hair? Don't know what to do or where to go? Ask in here.
Forum rules
READ: VSE Board-Wide Rules and Guidelines

If your Help request has been solved, please edit your first post in order to select the Image Topic Icon to let others know your topic has been solved.
Post Reply
mustardeer
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:55 pm

just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by mustardeer » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:15 pm

i went in with cash in my pocket ready to buy a moog opus III for $700, and saw a yamaha sk20 next to it for $450. Tested them both, yamaha sounded way "fatter", the moog looked very sexy but sounded surprisingly weak in comparison.

took the sk20 home and it sounds ok, BUT it's a TOY i'd give to a five year old - not an instrument!!

when you hold one key down the other key sounds muted. when you release the first key the other one sounds way louder and you get a "clunk". I've tried everything - not sure if it's the model or this particular synth. Are they all like that?! so frustrating, unless there's a solution - it's useless.

again what i mean is let's say i'm holding down two keys with my right hand, unless i release those keys anything i play with my right will sound muted. If i let go of both keys and play one note at a time the sound is way more pronounced. So if you're just playing some chords and solos you'll hear a "clunk" every few seconds making this toy unusable.

User avatar
nathanscribe
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by nathanscribe » Sun Sep 20, 2009 9:29 pm

I suspect it's at fault, though I've never used one. It doesn't sound like the kind of thing a stringer would do by design. It could be something simple like bad caps; hopefully someone who actually knows the insides of these things will respond. If it's any consolation, my Roland RS-101 was playing up horribly, doing something very similar to what you're describing, and it turned out to be a dirty connector between the keyboard mechanism and the main board.

mustardeer
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:55 pm

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by mustardeer » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:39 am

btw just noticed it's only doing that to the Organ, the strings are fine. Hoping you're right and it just needs cleaning.
Does anyone own an sk20 on this board?

User avatar
WhinyLittleRunt
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 478
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 1:41 am
Location: CT

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by WhinyLittleRunt » Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:27 am

Had one, never had that issue. It's a divide down organ - all notes will sound at once. Something is wrong with the organ circuit - couldn't tell you how to fix it though, just know it isn't normal what you are experiencing.

Aside from that, I hated the thing too if it's any consolation. Not so much a toy, just kinda useless...
I like vintage synths....

User avatar
meatballfulton
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5806
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 9:29 pm
Gear: Logic Pro X

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:45 pm

All stringers are paraphonic, meaning there's only one EG/filter. If you hold down one note the next note you play will not retrigger the EG.

If you play block chords (all notes played at the same time) it should sound OK.

Welcome to early attempts at polyphonic synths.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

User avatar
Solderman
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1799
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 5:43 pm

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by Solderman » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:14 pm

Off-topic: If we really live in a world where an Opus III costs $700, then I am through buying synths.
I sold an Oberheim OBXa for $600 in 1999!

On-topic: I second the probability that it is paraphonic. One envelope for all notes.
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.

mustardeer
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:55 pm

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by mustardeer » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:02 am

yea they are known for being a bit over priced...
but they do have one oberheim ob8 for $2000 i think that's an ok deal.

do you know if Juno-60 is a paraphonic machine?
maybe i should sell the sk20 and get the juno, there's one on craigslist.

User avatar
adamstan
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 511
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:56 pm
Real name: Adam
Gear: Yamaha 2xDX7II|QY-70|PSR-S750|PSR-2000|TYROS|Electone D85|Electone E50
B5 DIY polysynth
KORG Poly61
Vermona DRM
Solton Programmer 24
LEMA EDD-5
Location: Poland
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by adamstan » Tue Sep 22, 2009 5:33 am

SK series are divide-down keyboards, but don't have full polyphony, as they are built around Yamaha VLSI ICs that are programmable 7-channel tone generators (YM7xxxxx series), so each section is 7-voice. They are semi-paraphonic - alike Polymoog. Each voice has it's own volume envelope, but they are all fed into common filter.
Man with a tape recorder | Living in the '80s ;-)

User avatar
pflosi
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:14 pm
Gear: more than 150 characters...
Location: zürich
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by pflosi » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:40 am

Juno 60 is true polyphonic (one signal path for each voice)

User avatar
nathanscribe
VSE Review Contributor
VSE Review Contributor
Posts: 2889
Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:03 pm
Location: The right side of the Pennines
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by nathanscribe » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:00 am

meatballfulton wrote:All stringers are paraphonic, meaning there's only one EG/filter.
Not all.

On the RS-101 (and 202), for example, each key triggers an individual envelope generator. It's very simple and only has attack and release control, but each and every note has separate articulation.

There is indeed a universal filter for each sound though - one for brass, one for strings, on the RS.

User avatar
pflosi
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:14 pm
Gear: more than 150 characters...
Location: zürich
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by pflosi » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:39 am

i think the logan string melody is not paraphonic too...(?)

User avatar
LucB
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 220
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:53 pm
Gear: Yamaha SK-20
Yamaha CS-15D
Crumar Organizer 2
Eko K2 + FM4 + Rotomachine
Band: Mountains Unfold

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by LucB » Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:54 pm

Alright:

1) The SK-20 is paraphonic, but that should have anything to do with the organ volume, it should only cause the kind of effect you are mentionning for a) the EG b) the Percussion.

2) The Logan String Melody and Korg Lambda are not paraphonic in that sense: the Logan has an enveloppe for each side of the split-keyboard and the Korg Lambda has an enveloppe PER key. That's right, one enveloppe per key.

3) The SK-20 is awesome, you just don't have the taste or need for it. The organ sound + tremolo is very smooth and useable, the strings are blunt and bold and you can add the ensemble if you want to get the more classic strings sound.The polysynth is limited i'll admit but you get to choose the footage, either pulse or saw wave and you even have a particular setting with 8' saw + BP filter! The enveloppe isn't fast but you can stretch the attack to an awesome lenght.

4) You can mix all three voices. One of my best examples of the SK-20's potential would be setting the organ with a tremolo, leaving the polysynth and strings without effects, and setting the polysynth to a 16' square wave with a super long attack. Now mix all three voices and just lay chords on it: The organ will bite at first (even more so if you've added 2nd and 3rd percussion with lots of decay) with the strings giving the sustained sound a stronger lift, and you'll hear the polysynth gradually coming in, ringing in the end with the square wave' sweet sweet complement to the strings' saw wave.

5) Although it's quite sizeable for such a limited use, you can also put it to good use for bass.

6) All voices have separate outputs, so you can create a very nice soundscape by routing them to different amps.

7) It has a Leslie connector. I don't know why you should care i just think it's way cool.

User avatar
tom Cadillac
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 376
Joined: Sat Dec 09, 2006 4:49 am
Gear: FS1R, EPS, JP8000, Kaos pad, Ineko, SP606, Mopho, MP7 and so on....
Band: Bipolarbass
Location: Auckland NZ

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by tom Cadillac » Sun Dec 06, 2009 4:19 am

I just gor one of these - mint for $112NZ! But I was looking for one anyway. It sounds amazing, though I also hear what the original poster describes - !st note sounds louder and the others are somehow muted. The one I just got looks like it just went into the shop in 1980 - I doubt its got any faults. But I don't see a problem with the strange triggering - you can actually use it as a primitive touch response devise to emphasize certain notes. To me its one of those glorious glitches which make old instruments wothwhile. I didn't buy it as a shining example of synth tech - more for its qualities as an original keyboard instrument with real character. 1980 was a long time ago for synths and lots of weird compromises were made then.

Anyway to me it seems very well made - has a rather regal quality to it! (?) The key action is overall better than average and it sounds fabulous - the strings really add thicknesx to the sound. To compare it to two other synths of that time - sounds better than a Delta and looks better made and thought out. Also has a Junoesque quality to it - I think I'm comparing the effect of the string section with the Juno chorus here. Both work magic with the sound.

Does anyone know how many of these there are knocking arround? Or are they a rarity?
"On the following day , the sorcery undespairingly continued: I changed my series, chose other sequences, cut other lengths, spliced different progressions, and hoped afresh for a miracle in sound." (Stockhausen)

User avatar
k5k
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 54
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 6:36 am
Gear: SH101, Pulse, Poly800, CZ5000, ESI-32, ADX1, DR110, DR5
Band: K5K
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by k5k » Mon Dec 07, 2009 1:57 am

kinda annoyed I missed that auction, I shoulda got outta bed!
will you bring it down to vitamin s next year?
Len
aklass.com
godrekidz.co.nz
k5k.aklass.org
breakcoreisland.com

Ian S
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 82
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 4:36 pm
Location: York, England
Contact:

Re: just bought yamaha sk20 - hate it! help

Post by Ian S » Tue Dec 08, 2009 3:29 am

The 20 is probably not as rare as the 30 (adds a pressure-sensitive monosynth to the 20's features, as well as a lot of weight (around 22kg/48lb). The real rarity (which I'd love to get my hands on if I didn't live up a flight of stairs ;) ) is the dual-manual SK50D, comes in its own case with legs & a pedalboard & by all accounts almost rivals the CS80 for weight!

Not impressed by the strings at all, & the monosynth doesn't work on mine except for the bass, but I bought it for the organ anyway, played through a Korg G4 rotary sim.
Casio PX-320, Odyssey Mk.1, Multiman-S, Andromeda A6, DW-8000, JD-800, Yamaha DX11, AN1x, & SK30, E&MM/Maplin Spectrum, Akai S3000XL, E-Mu Proformance 1, Esi-32, & Classic Keys, Alesis D4, Rickenbacker 4001.

Post Reply