So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

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rjd2
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So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by rjd2 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:40 pm

CMS is DOA, and google is coming up with no substantial description of any mods or upgrades for a 2600. the CMS site refers to "low slew rate" on some chips, audio path upgrades, and that's about it. has anyone here actually DONE any upgrades to a 2600? i spent the last X months just getting to know the machine, but went to record today, and outputs are noisier than i realized. i'd like to tame that. its definitely an audio path thing, for sure. i put a new PSU in it when i got it.

because of the construction, accessing the parts is alot harder than other synths. i dont wanna just start shotgunning things. does anyone know of any docs out there detailing which sections could stand an upgrade(or what phil cirocco does?). im willing to bet that other 2600 owners would be interested, in the absence of of CMS as ARP servicer.

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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by clusterchord » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:26 pm

well, what you could do right away is to replace all capacitors in this ancient machine, with some high quality new ones like nichicon, vishay or something .. instant noise drop.

he is probably changing opamps for some with faster slew rate and lower noise figures.this is nothing new, but there is a trade off - how crucial this is to "bettering" sound quality, versus how much would changing those for a newer much faster opamps, change and ultimately lose the original, elusive sound character .. is a mystery. both is probably true to an extent. so now the question is: what and how much can be changed.. this is where CMS probably has good experience. but otoh, him claiming it betters the sound, yet retains the original quality, could be just marketing BS. or not.


another thing you can do, what i did in my formant modular, is to replace ancient audio cable lines with nice mogami cable. check groundind of individual modules, and fix it if needed. etc.
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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by shaft9000 » Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:53 pm

this is certainly of interest to me... i have 2 local techs I'm comparing in order to get a new psu, caps, filter IC and some jacks replaced.
any further options are welcome!
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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by rjd2 » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:13 am

yea, i definitely dont want to go shotgunning things. plus, replacing ALL caps IME is not always of the best cost/benefit action on old synths.

shaft: fyi, the PSU is just a standard linear +/-15V unit. i used a Power-One unit, a/b-ed the sound w/ the old one, and could not tell even the slightest difference at all. i think it was only a $75 unit or so.

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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by guitarsandsynths » Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:52 pm

I built the power supply for mine, it worked fine, now the keyboard does not work with it, and one of the "local techs" says the power supply is weak. The thing is, it worked perfectly for a long time. I would love to have this synth gone over, but don't really know what to do. It sounds perfect with other controllers, but I can't use the original keyboard.
Maybe I'll try one of these units rjd2 is talking about.
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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by space6oy » Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:25 am

belongs in the help section.

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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by 101 Force » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:13 am

Saint Eric in the Netherlands offers all of the Arp services CMS offered, and then some. I've got an Arp Avatar with him right now, waiting in line for some enhancements and modifications. I've seen his price list for the 2600/Avatar/Odyssey upgrades and modifications, and while the full works will put you back a little it seems worth it.

CMS isn't DOA, but as far as I know they're focusing primarily on their own completely discrete modular synthesizer products, which from what I've gathered sound fantastic. I wish I had the cash for one of their units.
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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by schmidtc » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:30 pm

I think the CMS path upgrade replaces all the LM301s in the audio path with LF411s or something nicer. You should clip the compensating caps if you DIY.

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Re: So what's the deal with a 2600 audio upgrade?

Post by Steve Jones » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:48 am

Gain structuring in the ARP 2600 is also important to keep noise down - Treat it like a studio signal chain through it's internal stages when you make your patches.
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