Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
Post Reply
Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:53 am

I recently stumbled upon a nice person who was selling a Siel Opera 6 vintage synthesizer for quite cheap, but it is not working as it should. Would it be worth to buy the particular synthesizer in the conditoin?
The synthesizer turns on but there is no sound coming out of it.
He specified that it has been checked upon by someone and this is their conclusion:

"I have examined your Seil.
Had to change the fuse holder first, I got it started so it lights up. diodes...
..measured all the voltages they are correct.
But it doesn't work! So there is a fault in the circuits."

A quite frequent problem with the Opera synthesizer is that the battery has leaked, but that is not the case on this unit, the battery has even been moved to another place by the current owner. The unit is in quite good condition on the inside and cosmetically.
He is selling the synthesizer to me for about 200€, would it be worth to take the risk to buy the synthesizer? And would it be very hard/expensive to fix?

Thank you for looking in on this post.
Kind regards, Nipo.

Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Mon Jan 16, 2023 11:23 am

I recently stumbled upon a nice person who was selling a Siel Opera 6 vintage synthesizer for quite cheap, but it is not working as it should. Would it be worth to buy the particular synthesizer in the conditoin?
The synthesizer turns on but there is no sound coming out of it.
He specified that it has been checked upon by someone and this is their conclusion:

"I have examined your Seil.
Had to change the fuse holder first, I got it started so it lights up. diodes...
..measured all the voltages they are correct.
But it doesn't work! So there is a fault in the circuits."

A quite frequent problem with the Opera synthesizer is that the battery has leaked, but that is not the case on this unit, the battery has even been moved to another place by the current owner. The unit is in quite good condition on the inside and cosmetically.
He is selling the synthesizer to me for about 200€, would it be worth to take the risk to buy the synthesizer? And would it be very hard/expensive to fix?

Thank you for looking in on this post.
Kind regards, Nipo.

User avatar
crochambeau
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:25 pm
Gear: Various old polys, some drum machines & samplers, homebrew mayhem, repurposed industrial electronics, and other heaps of dusty old junk.
Band: [view]

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by crochambeau » Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:06 pm

Unless you yourself are looking to troubleshoot and repair this instrument, it would be reckless to purchase a synth in non-operating condition based on meeting a value or worth target.

I mean, I'd probably buy it - but I'm sick in the head. I also don't charge myself $100 an hour for repairs, and have managed so far to avoid making things worse most of the time.

Is this a labor of love? If so, and if you can afford digging into this without risk of going hungry or sleeping in a box, then by all means go for it. Broken synths are excellent educational devices, though it's really up to you if your thirst for knowledge, patience, and perhaps wallet is up to the task.

Good luck on your decision, looks like a cool board.

Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:29 pm

Thank you for your reply! I'll consider it then:)

User avatar
desmond
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 923
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by desmond » Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:47 pm

I would not. Too much time, cost and hassle for something that really isn't worth the trouble when it's fixed.

If it was a Jupiter 8, I mean, yes, but a low end Siel? Skip that, imo. ymmv

Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Wed Jan 18, 2023 2:13 pm

desmond wrote:
Tue Jan 17, 2023 3:47 pm
I would not. Too much time, cost and hassle for something that really isn't worth the trouble when it's fixed.

If it was a Jupiter 8, I mean, yes, but a low end Siel? Skip that, imo. ymmv
Well, I've looked into the Opera synthesizer a quite long time and I've come to the conclusion that it sounds about as, if not more pleasing than any Juno could ever do. In 83' it cost twice as much as a Juno 60. That is why I would think it would maybe be worth it but still something to consider quite much as it's probably quite hard work to fix it.

User avatar
desmond
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 923
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:32 pm
Contact:

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by desmond » Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:29 pm

From reviews at the time:
The factory settings are hardly dazzling examples of how the Opera performs. The Italians have opted for thin, reedy sounds, and gone overboard with the modulating LFO. The benefits of pulse width mod have largely been ignored and if you write this into the patches, the Siel immediately sounds fatter.
The Opera 6 is a basic machine. I was disappointed that I couldn't draw more from it. A few extra tricks such as reversible envelope generators, a sub oscillator, fast ways of shifting the keyboard up or down an octave and a chorus unit are generally standard on cheaper Japanese models. So are arpeggiators and even small polyphonic sequencers, albeit programmable in step time. The Opera featured none of these.

If you're after soft, full string or brass sounds and bright pianos, okay, but the Italian Stallion goes little further than that... no synced up growling sounds, for example, and it won't convert to a mono synth for bass lines. Less than full marks, I think.
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/siel- ... ander/6546

You asked for opinions, so I gave mine, with a "ymmv". Personally, I'd much rather have a Juno 60 - and I don't even like the Juno's that much... I've played with a lot of Siel's from this era (both at the time, and later on) and I never found them particularly inspiring or good-sounding.

But look, if you really want one, then it has value to *you*, and only you can decide whether it's worth the cost and hassle to fix to have one, so asking for other's opinions probably has little value. ;)

Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Thu Jan 19, 2023 5:06 pm

desmond wrote:
Thu Jan 19, 2023 4:29 pm
From reviews at the time:
The factory settings are hardly dazzling examples of how the Opera performs. The Italians have opted for thin, reedy sounds, and gone overboard with the modulating LFO. The benefits of pulse width mod have largely been ignored and if you write this into the patches, the Siel immediately sounds fatter.
The Opera 6 is a basic machine. I was disappointed that I couldn't draw more from it. A few extra tricks such as reversible envelope generators, a sub oscillator, fast ways of shifting the keyboard up or down an octave and a chorus unit are generally standard on cheaper Japanese models. So are arpeggiators and even small polyphonic sequencers, albeit programmable in step time. The Opera featured none of these.

If you're after soft, full string or brass sounds and bright pianos, okay, but the Italian Stallion goes little further than that... no synced up growling sounds, for example, and it won't convert to a mono synth for bass lines. Less than full marks, I think.
http://www.muzines.co.uk/articles/siel- ... ander/6546

You asked for opinions, so I gave mine, with a "ymmv". Personally, I'd much rather have a Juno 60 - and I don't even like the Juno's that much... I've played with a lot of Siel's from this era (both at the time, and later on) and I never found them particularly inspiring or good-sounding.

But look, if you really want one, then it has value to *you*, and only you can decide whether it's worth the cost and hassle to fix to have one, so asking for other's opinions probably has little value. ;)
Thank you for the reply! Yes, well that's right. Well perhaps I'm then after more of the technical sides of this then. :)

User avatar
crochambeau
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 59
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:25 pm
Gear: Various old polys, some drum machines & samplers, homebrew mayhem, repurposed industrial electronics, and other heaps of dusty old junk.
Band: [view]

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by crochambeau » Sat Jan 21, 2023 6:51 am

I've had "no output" situations that trace signal right up to the output stage volume control or busted output jack.

I've also had (have) no output situations where there's no signal at the VCO, or s**t gets lost in a storm of fuzzy logic, etc.

Upside is that the unit under discussion looks to have published schematics.

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:07 pm

Hands off.

Italian stuff of that era -- SIEL in particular -- is prone to fail and close to impossible to fix due to some dreadful technical documentation (i. e. none at all).

The Opera 6 belongs to the bunch of "dreaded battery damage" synthesisers (if I recall correctly), and its general build quality is reminiscent of a late 1970s Alfasud or similar -- just from looking at it, it will get rusty and start falling apart.

Save your pennies, buy one of the contemporary polyphonic synthesisers -- which still have warranty. A capable tech will charge you something like E90/hour... five hours of work plus taxes, transport/collection/shipping, and the bargain will turn into a nightmare.

But hey, whatever floats your boat... maybe this is exactly what you need to make you happy. What do I know.
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

User avatar
ppg_wavecomputer
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1094
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:37 pm
Gear: more keys than hands (and feet)
Band: ['ramp]
Location: teutoburg forest, eastern westphalia, germany
Contact:

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:14 am

Nipo wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:53 am
[...] He is selling the synthesizer to me for about 200€, would it be worth to take the risk to buy the synthesizer?
No, it wouldn't. As @desmond already quoted from the reviews, it is not worth the hassle.
Nipo wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:53 am
[...] And would it be very hard/expensive to fix? [...]
Most probably, yes. But without knowing what's exactly wrong with it -- and why the owner has not had it fixed instead (for a good reason maybe?) --, it is nearly impossible to predict how high the repair bill will be in the end. You might have stumbled across a bottomless pit without even knowing it.

I am always cautious about gear that "just needs minor fixes" or "spares can be had for a tenner over at eBay" -- if it is really that easy, why has that piece of kit not been fixed then?

But have it your way if you think it's worth the hassle. I know I wouldn't even spend less than one hundred Euros on a potential doorstop.
"Like the light from distant stars, Stephen Parsick's music has existed for some time, but is only now reaching us on Earth." Chuck van Zyl

https://doombientmusic.bandcamp.com/

https://ramp1.bandcamp.com/

https://stephenparsick.bandcamp.com/

Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Mon Jan 23, 2023 6:58 am

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2023 12:14 am
Nipo wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:53 am
[...] He is selling the synthesizer to me for about 200€, would it be worth to take the risk to buy the synthesizer?
No, it wouldn't. As @desmond already quoted from the reviews, it is not worth the hassle.
Nipo wrote:
Mon Jan 16, 2023 7:53 am
[...] And would it be very hard/expensive to fix? [...]
Most probably, yes. But without knowing what's exactly wrong with it -- and why the owner has not had it fixed instead (for a good reason maybe?) --, it is nearly impossible to predict how high the repair bill will be in the end. You might have stumbled across a bottomless pit without even knowing it.

I am always cautious about gear that "just needs minor fixes" or "spares can be had for a tenner over at eBay" -- if it is really that easy, why has that piece of kit not been fixed then?

But have it your way if you think it's worth the hassle. I know I wouldn't even spend less than one hundred Euros on a potential doorstop.
Well, that's right. The previous owner told me that it would in his opinion be too expensive to fix, though no evaluation of the exact price has been made. So well, something to think about. Maybe it's then not a good idea, if he wouldn't let it go for really cheap.

Nipo
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 7:47 pm

Re: Found a Siel Opera 6 on sale for 200€, but no sound. - Worth to buy?

Post by Nipo » Mon Jan 23, 2023 7:03 am

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:
Sat Jan 21, 2023 8:07 pm
Hands off.

Italian stuff of that era -- SIEL in particular -- is prone to fail and close to impossible to fix due to some dreadful technical documentation (i. e. none at all).

The Opera 6 belongs to the bunch of "dreaded battery damage" synthesisers (if I recall correctly), and its general build quality is reminiscent of a late 1970s Alfasud or similar -- just from looking at it, it will get rusty and start falling apart.

Save your pennies, buy one of the contemporary polyphonic synthesisers -- which still have warranty. A capable tech will charge you something like E90/hour... five hours of work plus taxes, transport/collection/shipping, and the bargain will turn into a nightmare.

But hey, whatever floats your boat... maybe this is exactly what you need to make you happy. What do I know.
Thank you for the reply.
Yes, the battery leakage is a normal problem on these, though the owner told me that that would not be the case on this unit. It's quite hard to know what's wrong, it could be something very major or something small. In my opinion, this thing is as good as a Juno 60 in terms of sound but well that's my opinion (mmmm SSM).
It's really something to think about, whether or not it would be too expensive/hard to fix.

Post Reply