5 Underrated ’80s Polysynths (that you can get for under $1000)

50 underrated 80s polysynths

Here’s another article I wrote for Reverb.com, devised as a sort of year-end-list for 2017, profiling my favorite vintage polysynths I’ve worked on that can still be had for under $1000. This one’s for all of you who feel like you can’t afford to own a cool vintage synth. Some of these can be found for as little as $300!

siel dk-80 synthesizer

ARP Axxe (#2) – repair tips for all ARPs

ARP Axxe
ARP Axxe

It’s been almost a year since I began working on the first ARP Axxe I restored, and I was amazed by how much more smoothly this second one went, though it’s not really surprising as I have worked on over 70 synths including a half dozen other ARPs in the year since then. Continue reading “ARP Axxe (#2) – repair tips for all ARPs”

Desoldering Tutorial: Tools, Techniques and Helpful Tips

the frikkin desoldering gauntlet

I would say that desoldering is much harder than soldering. It took me a couple weeks to get good at soldering and several years to get good at desoldering, partly because I didn’t used to do it as often when I first got into electronics, just building circuits from kit PCBs and schematics. Working on old synths though, I have to desolder all kinds of things constantly from different kinds of boards and have refined my techniques pretty well, so I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned here. Continue reading “Desoldering Tutorial: Tools, Techniques and Helpful Tips”

Roland Juno 106 (#6)

Roland Juno 106

After I finished actually working on this Juno, I finally caved in to my perverse scientific curiosity and decided to see if I could use parts from a few half-failed Juno chips (ones from various Juno 106s I’ve worked on, that weren’t fully restored by the soaking/stripping process) to create some fully-functioning ones. Continue reading “Roland Juno 106 (#6)”

Roland Jupiter 6 – calibration tips

Roland Jupiter 6
Roland Jupiter 6

The Jupiter 6 is one of Roland’s two most beloved 80’s polysynths, the other being the Jupiter 8. While I was looking for service documents for the Jupiter 6 though, I came across some absurdly aggressive forum posts from people who don’t like this synth and are pointlessly mad that a lot of other people like it a lot. Continue reading “Roland Jupiter 6 – calibration tips”

a DCO is not a digital oscillator

VCO vs. DCO vs. Digital Oscillator

I keep hearing and seeing people referring to DCOs as digital oscillators, which is not correct, and a sad insult to DCOs in my opinion as a lover of DCO synths. So I decided to fight misinformation by making a post here explaining the actual difference between VCOs, DCOs and digital oscillators. Continue reading “a DCO is not a digital oscillator”