PAIA modular found

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ford442
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PAIA modular found

Post by ford442 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:13 am

hi guys,
my dear friend let me take home an item to inspect. i was amazed - it is two big old cases:

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200835.JPG

inside we find PAIA modular guts and a homemade controller:

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200828.JPG

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200829.JPG

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200830.JPG

also a box of cables, books, etc:

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200833.JPG

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200834.JPG

then we have a PAIA Phlanger:

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200831.JPG

and expression pedal:

http://www.noahcohn.com/paia/P1200832.JPG

would you guys please help me to understand how much money this might be worth? i do not know modulars well enough to test and make sure that all of it works. it was built in the 70's and hasn't been used in some time.

thanks for any input!
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by fh991586 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:42 am

I can't decide if it's trolling or drooling... :o

I don't know much about this type of synth, but the state is so pristine!
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by ford442 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:38 am

ya right? my eyes popped out of my head when it opened up at first.. :)
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by meatballfulton » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:30 pm

The value is up to the buyer. pAiA modulars for better or worse are not highly valued so around $500 is a reasonable price, though I have seen people asking much more for theirs.

That keyboard is a regular pAiA unit, it's only "homemade" in the sense that it was a kit. Odd to find a few 2700 series modules among the 4700 series modules.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by samuraipizzacat29 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:59 pm

+1 to the above. even though the famed magenta modular has been circulating ebay for well over a year now priced slowly downward from $4k because it's a "modular", the average price you could expect one to pay for something like this is roughly $500-1000. They're not very reliable (all hand-built by someone that could be awesome or could be a shlub like me) and the systems themselves aren't nearly as flexible as they appear at first glance. you get more mileage out of something more modern and similarly priced.

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by Bitexion » Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:12 pm

Send it to me and I'll tell you how much worth it is :twisted:

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by madtheory » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:03 pm

It looks great. Why not fire it up and learn how it works? And +2 to the comments on its value. It's home made, so it's not worth $- so why not have fun with it?

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by ford442 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:48 pm

ok.. i will play with it for now.. but, i don't know the first thing about even making a bleep out of this thing.. i will need to read so that i can't hurt it..
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by rschnier » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:01 am

meatballfulton wrote:Odd to find a few 2700 series modules among the 4700 series modules.
Some of that was typical -- PAIA didn't make 4700 versions of an LFO / Noise Source or a VCA, so 2700 versions of those modules were always used. (The 4700 "balanced modulator" -- which this unit has -- could be used as a VCA but was inferior to a standard VCA because it required the control voltage to be exactly zero volts to set the volume to zero; negative CVs would cause signal to leak through.) The 2700 power supply with the adjustable voltage outputs is not usually seen though.

One aspect that would theoretically knock this one down in value a bit is that its keyboard is the standard analog sample/hold type rather than the digitally scanned kbd driving a 4700 D/A converter (no computer was required for that basic setup). The analog S/H was known to be a bit droopy whereas the A/D would hold the pitch indefinitely.

I would estimate $200-$250 for value.
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by ford442 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 3:33 am

thanks for the input.. $250 makes it more like something that i should hold onto and learn with i suppose.. i thought that maybe each 'kit' in here increased the value.. someone else told me possibly $500 - $1000 for the whole thing..
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by madtheory » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:55 am

rschnier wrote: One aspect that would theoretically knock this one down in value a bit is that its keyboard is the standard analog sample/hold type...
Is it possible to dump the keyboard and drive it via MIDI-CV instead?

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:22 pm

madtheory wrote: Is it possible to dump the keyboard and drive it via MIDI-CV instead?
Yes, in theory. The 2700/4700 modules used V/hz scaling and positive gates.
ford442 wrote:i don't know the first thing about even making a bleep out of this thing..
1. power on, wait and watch for any "magic smoke" :?
2. patch output of each VCO direct to an amp of some kind (output may be very high, start with your amp's volume at 0) and twist knobs, you should get steady tones out
3. patch output of VCO to the filter, then filter output to your amp, you should be able to filter the VCO
4. patch pitch output of keyboard to VCO you should be able to control the pitches

Once you have all that working it's time to investigate the EGs and VCA.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by madtheory » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:59 pm

meatballfulton wrote:Yes, in theory. The 2700/4700 modules used V/hz scaling and positive gates.
Sounds like a job for a Kenton Pro Solo.

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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by meatballfulton » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:56 pm

I should add: all audio is on 1/8" jacks.

Red bananas are control outputs, black are control inputs.

The mixing of connectors was a hallmark of early pAiA synths. It's one way to manage ground loops and DC offsets in the audio (banana connections use chassis for ground, audio uses the ring of the 1/8").

Good luck, have fun.
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Re: PAIA modular found

Post by ford442 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:42 am

ok.. that got me going somewhat..
i can get sound out of each OSC output, but nothing that i do on the keyboard effects pitch. only on with tip - off without...
i cannot seem to route audio to VCF or anywhere for that matter.. i must be doing it wrong..
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