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Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 8:13 pm
by vcs3
I just pick a Ensoniq VFX SD with a few problems and need the service manual,
anyone as it?
Thanks.

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Tue May 20, 2014 11:16 pm
by seamonkey
http://www.syntaur.com/vfx_manuals.html
Service manual $6.95 USD. :D

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 2:39 am
by rhino
This is a handy guide to opening the synth, and checking the PS voltages. It is NOT A SCHEMATIC. Ensoniq took them to their corporate grave.
I have tried several times to talk Creative Labs into releasing them. Most times with frankly insulting 'talk-to-the-hand' results.

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 3:26 am
by Ashe37
rhino wrote:This is a handy guide to opening the synth, and checking the PS voltages. It is NOT A SCHEMATIC. Ensoniq took them to their corporate grave.
I have tried several times to talk Creative Labs into releasing them. Most times with frankly insulting 'talk-to-the-hand' results.

I have VFX schematics...

schematics are not a service manual, either.

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Wed May 21, 2014 3:37 am
by rhino
Fair enough. Help the fellow out.

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Sat May 24, 2014 10:03 am
by EmptySet
If you're like me, there's a good chance you're going to want to have Service Bulletin #12. This problem is one where it will fail calibration at boot sometimes or maybe all the time if it's really bad. (mine was intermittent). The story I read about this problem is that it plagued Ensoniq's engineers for a couple years almost. And it also affected more than one machine. I"ve even seen a document that had handwritten notes from the engineers talking to one another about the problem. They tried swapping out practically everything before they finally figured it out.

Basic gist is this… the VFX-SD has an achilles heal in its design. Namely, there are three circuitboards under the keybed that are tied together. Over time, the keybed being pressed causes this area to flex where the circuitboards are. This flexing eventually causes the ribbon cable connecting two of those boards together to fail. This will usually be seen in keyboard calibration failing at boot. But other times, it will boot just fine and even work for awhile; but as you play, the flex causes it to crash or do other weird things. It's a very common problem on VFX-SDs (and a couple other models if memory serves). If you have this problem, the good news is that the fix is pretty simple (albeit somewhat cumbersome). You simply solder new wires in place (or even in addition to) the existing ribbon cable. That's it!

Anyway, this information is hard to find despite being common. Here's a link to where you can view it.


Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Sun May 25, 2014 9:38 pm
by Ashe37
Its not just the VFX-SD, its the normal VFX as well. And it isn't really a ribbon cable, its a small PCB bridging two larger PCBs.

Image

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 9:04 pm
by Syn-Fi
Ensoniq approach to repair was to flip faulty boards for spares. So their is limited knowledge and docs out there. You can work through the schematics however and try to isolate problems trial/error

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual

Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:26 am
by Ashe37
Actually, their eventual approach to (the keyboard) repair was to solder wires as a bridge across the two main PCBs. My 'spare' VFX has the fix done already. (I got a parts machine for nothing)

The problem with using old-style troubleshooting on any of the Ensoniq digital synths is it is going to require a waveform monitor that does above 8 MHz, a logic probe, and a lot of digital synth knowledge. Also, Ensoniq used a lot of VLSI custom chips in their synths, which makes things very difficult.

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual [Schematic]

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:44 pm
by MyTubeAudio
HI Ashe37,

Is there still a possibility of getting the actual Schematic for the Ensonic VFX? I'm knee-deep in troubleshooting my own VFXsd - The power supply seems to be fine, and display has heaters on but no display or even a flicker at power-up.
I have decades of servicing gear under my belt (including years of surface mount/digital work professionally), but without a road map it's really a slog! I'd love to get this up and running again for my band.

Any consideration appreciated, and all documents kept confidential

Re: Ensoniq VFX SD service manual [Schematic]

Posted: Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:56 pm
by Ashe37
MyTubeAudio wrote:HI Ashe37,

Is there still a possibility of getting the actual Schematic for the Ensonic VFX? I'm knee-deep in troubleshooting my own VFXsd - The power supply seems to be fine, and display has heaters on but no display or even a flicker at power-up.
I have decades of servicing gear under my belt (including years of surface mount/digital work professionally), but without a road map it's really a slog! I'd love to get this up and running again for my band.

Any consideration appreciated, and all documents kept confidential
AFAIK the images of it are still on the VFX-SD yahoo group's files.