Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

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sammy123
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Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:42 pm

Hi Everyone, I have been a reader for years, but this is the first time I have posted.

I am hoping I can get some advice on this old beast. Not much on the internet about this particular problem.

A little back story; I bought this thing without testing it (no power cord) for $300. Good deal, but likely a very foolish decision. The power cord comes today. It looked so clean though that I could not pass it up. The only noticeable issue was that every single button is stuck. It doesn't look like it was rained on or anything that serious, but it may have sat in a damp basement with no cover for a number of years. You can take the button tops off and pull the switch out with pliers, but once pressed back in they stay in.

From what I have seen on youtube the buttons are pushed to turn on and again to turn off. I am not sure if some pop out when pressing the cancel button or other buttons....for example preset 1 popping out when preset 2 is pushed.

Does anyone with experience with the sk series have any advice on how to properly clean these buttons? I know that after I open it up I will have to remove the circuit board under the buttons, but have not gone that far yet. I am just looking for ideas/advice.

Thank you all for taking the time to read this.
Last edited by sammy123 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zoomtheline
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by zoomtheline » Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:34 pm

I have one.

So you have not turned it on yet?

The buttons don'r have much give in them, the only way you'll know if it's working is if the light is on/off and the sound changes.

sammy123
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:27 pm

Thanks for replying. Tonight is the moment of truth. I found a Hosa power cord on Amazon that arrives today. There is no play in the buttons so I guess we'll see what happens. I am excited, but not expecting a a working board. Ill let you know what happens.

Have you ever had to clean your buttons?

zoomtheline
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by zoomtheline » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:31 pm

No, never needed to. Only thing that was wrong with mine was scratchy filter slider on the mono section. You'll soon see see later I guess. It's a beast of a machine, I love mine.

sammy123
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:37 pm

zoomtheline wrote:No, never needed to. Only thing that was wrong with mine was scratchy filter slider on the mono section. You'll soon see see later I guess. It's a beast of a machine, I love mine.
I have heard they are incredibly well built and reliable. And it certainly lokks/feels that way.

Did you fix the slider by spraying some contact cleaner in there? I'm sure there are going to be some scratchy sliders. Its going to be a fun project.

zoomtheline
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by zoomtheline » Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:54 pm

Yeah, sorted it out.

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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by synthparts » Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:54 am

I have one too. Probably my favorite string synth. Capable of some amazing sounds combining the organ, strings, mono-synth, poly-synth, and bass-synth sections. Make sure to try them all out one by one to see if all the sections are working. If you need any parts I should have them...
Vintage Synth Parts - http://www.synthparts.com

sammy123
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:29 pm

Thanks synthparts. That is awesome to know. So I got the cable and was able to power her up this morning. It was a great feeling to see those red lights go on. All keys work, all sliders work. The lowest key on the upper manual needs some extra pressure, but works. I tested each section and they all seem to work and it sounds great. I managed to test all sections by carefully pulling on the cancel buttons and a few others. I am going to test more tonight.

Questions for you all:

How do you recommend going about cleaning the buttons? Any recommended products? Can they be sprayed from the outside with something? Or is it required I pop her open and remove the upper pcb?

How about the scratchy sliders? Can I just spray electrical contact cleaner in the slots when it is powered off?

Thanks again. This is exciting.

zoomtheline
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by zoomtheline » Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:53 pm

Do the buttons work? if so just leave them, they are not supposed to push in, just lightly click.

sammy123
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:56 pm

zoomtheline wrote:Do the buttons work? if so just leave them, they are not supposed to push in, just lightly click.
I can get them to work, but I would not say they are fully working. They need help. For example, pulling the cancel button carefully out with pliers to get the preset button next to it to light up. They don't really click in the manner you describe. They are stuck in the "pushed" position.

sammy123
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Gear: Sk50D, MS2kr, DarkStar, Shruthi (3), Anushri, Meeblip, Ambika, 12U Eurorack, PreenFM, Poly61, DSS-1, DW-8k, Kawai K-3, ESQ-1, Maybe a Polaris soon...

Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:31 pm

As I play with the Sk more the ensemble/tremolo buttons on the lower manual have started to loosen up. Others are getting better as well. So maybe with time they will get better. A few keys on the poly-synth were a little quiet, playing has fixed that. So I think that this thing is a little groggy from its long nap. The lowest C on the lower manual is dead, hopefully that can be cleaned...at least its not in the middle of the keyboard. The lowest C on the top manual needed a lot of pressure, but that is improving as well.

Another thing I remember from playing it over the weekend is the EG on the Polysynth seems to not react in the manner that I am accustomed to with my other synths. It is kinda hard to describe, but the release does really produce the standard release effect. Maybe I need to clean this as well. Not sure yet. Or maybe It is a quirk of this synth I am not familiar with. The decay and sustain don't seem to do much either.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Overall, I am very happy with this purchase and hope I can bring it back to 100%.

Thank you all for the help.

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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by Don T » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:43 pm

sammy123 wrote:As I play with the Sk more the ensemble/tremolo buttons on the lower manual have started to loosen up. Others are getting better as well. So maybe with time they will get better. A few keys on the poly-synth were a little quiet, playing has fixed that. So I think that this thing is a little groggy from its long nap. The lowest C on the lower manual is dead, hopefully that can be cleaned...at least its not in the middle of the keyboard. The lowest C on the top manual needed a lot of pressure, but that is improving as well.

Another thing I remember from playing it over the weekend is the EG on the Polysynth seems to not react in the manner that I am accustomed to with my other synths. It is kinda hard to describe, but the release does really produce the standard release effect. Maybe I need to clean this as well. Not sure yet. Or maybe It is a quirk of this synth I am not familiar with. The decay and sustain don't seem to do much either.

Any thoughts/suggestions?

Overall, I am very happy with this purchase and hope I can bring it back to 100%.

Thank you all for the help.
I have the "lightweight" version, the SK-15. If the polysynth EG works the same as mine, you will find that the EG only affects the filter. Release is handled with the separate release slider in the organ/string section. Weird, but that's how it is. The SK-15 has only one VCA, and it works the organ/string section. I imagine the SK-50D is made similarly in the polysynth section.

I'm sure you've found out by now that the buttons have very little travel. The switches underneath the buttons are standard ALPS momentary contact switches, and not only are they easy to find if you need a new one, they are cheap!

The buttons themselves are styrene, on top of a "cube" of what looks like delrin plastic. The cube is actually two cubes, the frame, and the button which slides up and down just inside that frame. They should loosen up in time with use, but any stubborn ones can be disassembled and checked for dirt and gunk between the frame and the button cube. Due to the nature of the plastic, there should be no need for grease/lube. Also, if the switch itself has lost some of its "springiness", or even stuck down, the button will respond strangely also. I can't remember if there is a separate spring inside each cube, I'm thinking there is. If so, that spring could be getting weak, or it could have a lot of dirt inside the button.

The lucky thing is, you shouldn't have to deal with any foam goo on the inside, Yamaha used this thin kind of un-woven fabric.
Don Taylor

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(Basically, this means I know just enough about a lot of things to get myself in real trouble)

sammy123
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:11 pm

Hi Don. This is incredibly helpful. Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate the info.

sammy123
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by sammy123 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 1:01 am

Don, what you said about the polysynth eg/filter relationship makes total sense now that I am sitting in front of the Yamaha. Its sorta worded funny in the manual. Thanks.

zoomtheline
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Re: Yamaha SK-50D Organ/Synth

Post by zoomtheline » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:42 pm

Yes the Eg only affects the filter but there are buttons for a slow attack and a button and slider for sustain only the very left of the poly section. The poly section is odd and very limited but I like it.

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