Korg Trident MKI

I worked on this Korg Trident shortly after it had been serviced by a well respected tech, but it had been shipped home to Philadelphia and was unfortunately damaged in transit… a tragic event considering it was in great condition and was apparently working perfectly. The owner repaired the physical damage to the wood end pieces but took it to us because the manual controls and the piano / clavinet presets for the synthesizer section were inoperable. Continue reading “Korg Trident MKI”

Crumar T1 “Organizer”

Crumar’s T1 is a surprisingly nice 70’s drawbar organ that used the latest octave divider chips that were present in a lot of keyboards of that era. An additional feature that makes it more useful than your average organ is the addition of a very rich, fuzzy bass synth voice that can be added to the lower octaves of the keyboard. The synth voice has a basic resonant filter and a decay envelope that you have some control over. The organ voices sort of drop out in the bass section, so it really helps add a thick low end that would otherwise be lost. It also has a really nice LFO that can be applied as both a tremolo and a vibrato and the speed is controlled with a rotary pot.

Continue reading “Crumar T1 “Organizer””

Moog Taurus (and a Prodigy)

Moog Taurus I bass pedal synthesizer
Moog Taurus I

The Taurus is a funny little (actually quite awkward and heavy) bass synth produced by Moog between ’75 and ’81 that is designed with a one octave, organ style pedal board meant to be played with your feet. It has a limited number of actual features… just one sawtooth waveform for both of its oscillators, the obvious 24db Moog ladder filter, portamento (glide), and a simple attack and decay envelope for the VCA and filter. It’s basically meant to do one thing well, which is make bass sounds, and it does it as well as any other Moog synth I’ve played. Though, I will admit it is a fun and unique experience to sweep the filter with my foot using a giant foot-sized slider.

Moog Prodigy
Moog Prodigy

We had a Prodigy in the workshop at the same time, which is the Moog Taurus’s immediate Moog monosynth contemporary. Comparing their sounds when set to equivalent settings, even before comparing the schematics it was clear that even at its highest cutoff setting, the Taurus’s filter, compared to that of the Prodigy, was still cutting a good deal of high frequencies. It was really designed to be used as a bass synth only. Continue reading “Moog Taurus (and a Prodigy)”

EML ElectroComp 101 – 1 volt per octave conversion mod

This is a really fun synth! EML was a lesser-known American synth company competing with Moog and ARP during the 1970s and made some unique instruments. The EML-101 is a semi-modular duophonic synth similar in structure to the ARP 2600 and very unique and powerful. The bulk of our work on this involved designing and installing a circuit that allows the synth to accept standard 1 volt per octave-scaled CV via its “SEQ” input, as its oscillators have an unusual scale of 1.4 V/octave with a 4.6-volt DC offset. Continue reading “EML ElectroComp 101 – 1 volt per octave conversion mod”

CGS “Synthacon” Filter and Blacet “Dark Star Chaos” Modules

CGS Synthacon Filter and Blacet DSC2000 – no knobs yet

This is the beginning of a massive MOTM modular project that we’re probably going to be working on for a very long time.  We were handed a few big plastic tubs containing dozens of modules ranging from apparently complete to semi-built to just bare boards and we’re just supposed to slowly complete and test them all.   Continue reading “CGS “Synthacon” Filter and Blacet “Dark Star Chaos” Modules”

Jed’s Peds “Shooo Gazer” Pedal

Jed's Peds Shoegazer Fuzz Pedal
Jed’s Peds Shoegazer Fuzz Pedal

Darian just finished a job putting together this pedal (for the same person who I did this pedal for last week). It is actually two fuzz pedals in one, Jed’s Peds “Soda Master” and “Farting Cones,” based on Devi Ever’s “Soda Meiser” and “Torn’s Peaker” respectively.  The client didn’t want us to put any labeling on it, so the picture above is probably pretty meaningless and boring, but there it is… a very loud and very noisy dual-fuzz pedal.

Farfisa Combo Compact – we can fix a bad coil!

Farfisa Combo Compact Organ
Farfisa “Combo Compact” Organ

We were relieved to discover that this Combo Compact had been much better maintained than the Compact Deluxe we worked on last month.  We were working on it for a friend of ours from DC, who had gotten it from a  relative who was a professional musician in the 70s and had taken pretty good care of it.   Continue reading “Farfisa Combo Compact – we can fix a bad coil!”

Farfisa Combo Compact Deluxe

Farfisa Combo Compact Deluxe organ
Farfisa Combo Compact Deluxe organ

Darian just finished up a pretty labor-intensive repair on this 1968 Farfisa Combo Compact Deluxe combo organ for the owner of Collingswood Music in New Jersey. It should be showing up for sale in the shop there soon!  Continue reading “Farfisa Combo Compact Deluxe”