This Elka Panther 300 combo organ from the late 1960s was fully serviced by Bell Tone’s combo organ expert Darian, and is actually now for sale in our Reverb shop.
The Panther, also known as the Elka Capri, is unusually richly featured for a single-manual organ. It has a bold yet rich sound, a powerful vibrato and a wide variety of tone filters. This particular organ bears the name Capri, but it is exactly the same as the Elka Panther 300 organ, inside and out. Continue reading “Elka Panther 300”
This was a pretty straightforward repair. The Juno 106 is one of those synths which tend to always have the same issues. One of the main ones is that the VCF/VCA voice chips, sometimes called voice cards, are very prone to failure. Continue reading “Roland Juno 106”
The Moog Rogue is very, very similar to the Moog MG-1. It has pretty much the same internal design in the synth section, but the designers made some questionable choices about which parameters to allow control of– so unlike the MG-1, both oscillators on the Rogue have to have the same waveform, and be in the same octave. Continue reading “Moog Rogue”
I love these little Radioshack Moogs! I have a MG-1 of my own that I overhauled and heavily modded a while ago, and I’m always happy to bring another into the shop. They are so simple and there are only a couple parts that are hard to find– the sliders, the switches, and the MM5823 frequency divider ICs. This MG-1 was not in too bad shape, and the foam under the panel had mostly been removed already, but had one of the three divider ICs not working.
There was also a slider with a broken wiper, but I couldn’t find any sliders of that type with the right value (10K) anywhere on the internet, so I bought a 2M one from Syntaur, took both apart and swapped out the resistive strips– as I was doing it, I was telling myself, “I am doing a ridiculous thing,” but it worked.
Work done: replaced all electrolytic capacitors, cleaned switches, cleaned and lubricated sliders, replaced MM5823 IC, replaced one bad slider, added 1/4″ output jack
This one belongs to Jeff Zeigler, a great musician who also runs the studio Uniform Recording. The ARP Omni 2 is a synth where a lot can go wrong, but it has a very, very repetitive internal architecture so it’s often the same problems over and over– bad logic ICs and bad tantalum capacitors (blue circles in photo above). That doesn’t mean it’s easy to fix though!
Hi friends… So after 7 years of working on synths, I’m transitioning to doing this full time and I’ve decided to start blogging about my repairs in the hope that some of my advice might help other people on their synth repair projects! I always take notes on my repairs, so I figured I might as well flesh them out a bit more and share them here.
My focus will be on sharing less-than-obvious practical advice pertaining to the idiosyncrasies of certain synths (desoldering temperatures, part substitutions, where to get specific parts, etc) that I figured out through trial-and-error, so that maybe I can help someone else avoid the “error” part of the process. The internet has been a great resource for me throughout my time spent working on electronics, and I’d like to give back by helping out the next person who does a google search for “help arp omni traces ripping off help help help nooooo whyyyyy.”
Of course– I’m running a business so I’m also trying to connect with clients, so I’d be remiss not to say here now— if you have any analog or vintage synths, combo organs or Rhodes/Wurlitzer pianos in need of a little help, please get in touch!