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Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:35 pm
by Infinity Curve
Recently got a mint SH101 from a family member. It's been in storage for 20+ years and is pristine!

Long story short, it was working fine for a few days, then it started acting wonky. It seems like the Curtis CEM3340 chip is dying, and now it also seems like it might be suffering from the power switch issue that messes with the tuning.

Can anybody recommend a tech in the Toronto(or near by) Canada, that could sort this out for me? Even somewhere else in Canada?

Barring that, can anybody recommend somebody elsewhere? Would prefer to avoid having to ship across the border to avoid getting dinged by customs, but will if necessary.

I just want to get this badboy fixed. Only had it a couple days and now I miss it immensely!

Thanks for any help

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:01 pm
by th0mas
I'm in Ottawa and if it's just replacing a few chips I could do it for you.

I am not a professional but I've debugged and revived a number of synths (dead opamp in a 707, dead gate in a dx7's clock circuit, etc) and built a number of synths(x0xb0x, tm3030, midibox SID, MFOS soundlab).

I'd probably charge about my costs + $20/hr which is very cheap. If I can't fix it I'll only charge my cost.

PM me if interested.

Tom

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:35 pm
by Infinity Curve
I may take you up on that. Long and McQuades put me in contact with the guy they pass along all their analog synth repair work to.

He says he can do it but I need to source the parts to avoid complications on his end. Once I have the parts in hand I will get back to him and if he isn't available to do the work in a timely fashion I will holler at you.

Thanks for the offer.

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:02 pm
by sam
Maybe replace the power switch (most 101's suffer from this )....I never see those curtis chips failing.

Just give it a good service...

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:27 am
by synthparts
Just be careful when desoldering parts on the 101. It is very easy to lift pads/traces. I recommend something like a Hakko 808 vacuum pump desoldering station. If you do need a new CEM3340 (yes they do sometimes fail) I have them...

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:47 am
by sam
You should have a good soldering technique to work on any synth, I see so many synths with bad soldering jobs done on them.
Although in 10 years of fixing i have not seen a 3340 go down but as synthparts says they can and do fail.

But always look for bad contacts or dry solder joints before hacking a chip out that may be fine.

Or learn to read schematics and understand electronics so you can test it.

My 2 cents.. :D

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:43 pm
by Infinity Curve
synthparts wrote:Just be careful when desoldering parts on the 101. It is very easy to lift pads/traces. I recommend something like a Hakko 808 vacuum pump desoldering station. If you do need a new CEM3340 (yes they do sometimes fail) I have them...
I'm actually buying one off your ebay auction today 8-)

The tech I spoke to seemed unsure it was the chip as well, but I figure better to cover all bases. I'm grabbing a switch from technology transplant as well.

As for the actual work, it is well beyond my soldering/electronics skill, and especially since this thing is physically pristine, I am going to have a seasoned tech do the work.

Also, as an aside. What would a dying chip sound like? Mine seems to be garbling, with audio kind of fading/ cutting in and out, sometimes it fades out to almost nothing but the noise channel, and when I run the sequencer the pitch jumps around a lot. It is the same through both the main output and headphones output. I checked the envelope and filter sections and it seems to be functioning as it should, as is the rest of the sliders and knobs, as far as I can tell.

When the issue first presented itself, I had been running the sequencer for quite a while, and then all of a sudden it started 'garbling' and sounding all weird and noisy, and it got worse until you couldn't really hear anything but occasional clicks like the noise channel or something. Now it does it as soon as I turn it on, and deteriorates to almost no sound within a few minutes, or sometimes almost immediately.

The reason I was thinking it was the chip is it sounds very similar to what was happening when I had a dying voice chip in an MKS-7, and from what I read online, these chips are also prone to failure.

Thanks for all the tips and help guys. Much appreciated!

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:37 pm
by adhmzaiusz
Out of curiosity, who did long and mcquade pass you onto?

Re: Synth Tech near Toronto to fix SH101?

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:37 am
by Infinity Curve
Dean...don't have a last name. He seems quite knowledgeable, and the guy at Long and Mcquade's said he had been doing all there Analog synth work forever.

Thankfully after some more investigation myself, it seems all is well and it just needs a 'tune up'. The oscillator seems fine and so does the power switch, so its probably just a bad connection or something somewhere that acts up on the very odd occasion, as it has been fine for the last week or so now.