Smell coming from synth

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
User avatar
sas
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:46 pm
Location: NY, NY

Smell coming from synth

Post by sas » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:34 pm

Let me preface by saying I'm admittedly a bit neurotic, but I am worried about the smell coming from my Korg Mono/Poly. I'll play it for about a half an hour, typically using the arpeggiator heavily (I've noticed that when I use the arpeggiator for a period of time the board has a tendency to heat up quicker, for whatever reason), and get an acrid and fusty smell that looms in the air. I am concerned that I may be breathing in toxins. I wonder if something is burning off of one of the circuit boards (metal or glue perhaps?) but have not been able to isolate the problem. I've owned other vintage synths and have never had this problem. Has anyone had a similar experience, or have any good insights or suggestions?

Thanks,

sas
Korg Mono/Poly . Korg Z1 . SCI Prophet 600 . Oberheim Matrix 6r . Akai MPC 2000XL . Yamaha A4000 . Roland MC 303 . Odds/Ends


"If you don't want filberts, then don't buy mixed nuts. Buy something else, like a bag of cashews."

User avatar
druzz
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 303
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:31 am
Band: November's Ego
Contact:

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by druzz » Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:10 pm

the mono poly definitly gets HOT when you let it turned on . mine does it , i think its normal . about the smell ... yeah you are probably inhaling toxins. but thats ok ;) you are inhaling toxins when you walk on the sidewalk.
if you had it serviced recently it migth smell like circuit cleaner .

if you have good reasons to think something is burning inside maybe you should bring it to a technician . or at least open it up (while its unplugged ) an look for something burnt or that has leeked (brown goo or other s**t).

old heating electronics often smell funky , so if the smell is not that strong maybe you should not get too worried

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: Smell coming from synth

Post by pflosi » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:09 pm

mmmmmh smell coming from synths… I like ;)

User avatar
101 Force
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:57 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by 101 Force » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:09 pm

Actually, you could have a problem.

As electrolyte capacitors get old they dry and leak. The fumes that are created as a result are toxic, and if there are several electrolyte capacitors drying and leaking or you sleep in a room full of such synthesizers it could be a health hazard. Another thing worth mentioning is the soldering on the PCB and through-out the synth most likely contains lead, and any damage (such as excessive heat or short-circuits) applied to the lead can cause it to create lead fumes, which as I'm sure you know is quite toxic. As a final note power supplies, depending on their configuration and components, can emit smells as they reach the end of their life. Sometimes this can be a crucial warning sign, as depending on their design some synths get really screwed up if the power supply goes while it's being played, where as others can have it blow out and will work fine after it's been replaced.

I don't know enough about the Mono/Poly to say if it has any problem components in it, or if the smell you're describing is truly an indication of a problem. You also don't state whether or not this has always been a symptom of your Mono/Poly, or if it has come to create these smells over time, which seems like important information to me. As a general rule of thumb however if I feel I need to ask for advice on something I don't fully understand, that could involve my health or the health of my gear, I get a professional opinion. In other words: get a check-up from a reputable repair technician.

Edited: Corrected spelling errors.
Last edited by 101 Force on Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Gear for sale here (Updated: 06/27/2011).

User avatar
sas
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 6:46 pm
Location: NY, NY

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by sas » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:37 pm

Thanks for the replies.

@101Force

Thanks for all the helpful info. You raise a good point about my not disclosing the timeframe of the emergence of the smell, and unfortunately I am unsure about the exact time when I first noticed it. I suppose that it had always had a slight fusty smell to it, but thought that this was due to it being an old unit.

I just plugged my Mono/Poly in today to check it after being out of the country for a while, and after not having a chance to play it in about 4 or 5 months--(I usually keep it in storage at my parent's place in dry room when I am not using it). I do remember that the last time I did play it the smell that I described was quite strong leading me to turn it off and unplug it. However, I remember playing the instrument months before that without using the arpeggiator and not smelling that scent at all (I don't know about other Mono/Polys but I find that after using the arpeggiator for a while, my board really heats up), which leads me to believe that the smell is somehow tied to the arpeggiator.

In the end I suppose I will have to get it checked out.
Korg Mono/Poly . Korg Z1 . SCI Prophet 600 . Oberheim Matrix 6r . Akai MPC 2000XL . Yamaha A4000 . Roland MC 303 . Odds/Ends


"If you don't want filberts, then don't buy mixed nuts. Buy something else, like a bag of cashews."

User avatar
balma
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2851
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 3:52 pm
Real name: Mauricio
Gear: DSI Tempest/Prophet 08/Roland V-Synth/Ensoniq Fizmo/E-mu MP7-XL7/Electribe ESX1/Radias/Waldorf MicroQ
Location: Costa Rica

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by balma » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:17 pm

I could help you to inhale some toxins, if you let me 8-)
His sex dungeons are rumored to hold hundreds of people in secret locations around the world.
https://soundcloud.com/balma

User avatar
krzeppa
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 597
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:27 pm
Real name: Kevin J
Band: Where the Embers Fall
Location: Michigan, USA
Contact:

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by krzeppa » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:43 pm

balma wrote:I could help you to inhale some toxins, if you let me 8-)
save some for sequentialsoftshock....that might help "inspire" him in song writing struggles! :lol:

nvbrkr
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 812
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 8:14 pm
Gear: An electric piano and analog synths.
Location: Helsinki, Finland

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by nvbrkr » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:03 pm

Nothing beats the smell of good coffee and a CS-40m on a Sunday morning.

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: Smell coming from synth

Post by nathanscribe » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:34 pm

nvbrkr wrote:Nothing beats the smell of good coffee and a CS-40m on a Sunday morning.
Yours too, eh? My Bit 99's keyboard smells worse though.

User avatar
sequentialsoftshock
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2415
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:57 am
Real name: Zayne
Gear: Pro One, Analog Keys, Prophet 5, MPC60, TR606, RD8, St. Vincent Guitar, Bluesbreaker amp
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by sequentialsoftshock » Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:52 pm

Have you found a schematic where you could maybe look at the arpeggiator path? Maybe one of the capacitors at that point is failing. If the arp is turned off, it probably bypasses that section so you wouldn't smell it. Just a thought. But, most vintage/analog synthesizers will tend to get hot. Even my DrumTraks (which is sample based) gets hot as h**l.
balma wrote:I could help you to inhale some toxins, if you let me 8-)
Or else Balma will go crazy.

User avatar
nadafarms
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 1067
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:33 am
Location: NorCal

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by nadafarms » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:30 am

man I"m trying to clean cat pee smell out of my friend's house that was destroyed by renters with 10 cats, I wouldn't worry too much. if you smelled the cat pee or the toxic chlorine gas created when mixing bleach with cat pee (ammonia) you wouldn't be too worried and besides getting good and high off the fumes will make it sound like the speed of the arpeggiator is being modded by and lfo :headbang:
for sale/trade: EML-101

User avatar
elsongs
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 358
Joined: Mon May 22, 2006 8:12 am
Location: Los Angeles
Contact:

Re: Smell coming from synth

Post by elsongs » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:31 am

That, my friend, is FUNK.

Post Reply