Hohner Pianet T


Hohner Pianet T
Hohner Pianet T

The Hohner Pianet T is a lesser-known electromechanical piano that was made in the late 1970s.  It is completely passive without even a volume control, with little Wurlitzer-like reeds and the tiniest pickups I have ever seen.  The sound is like a cross between a Rhodes and a Wurlitzer. Continue reading “Hohner Pianet T”

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”

Roland Juno 106 (#5)

Roland Juno 106 - sold
Roland Juno 106 – sold

I just finished restoring the electronics on this beautiful Juno I bought directly from Japan, with all its voice cards failing, to restore and sell.  I was going to announce it as “for sale” here on the blog, but I had already posted it on our Reverb shop yesterday, and by the time I checked my email today it was already sold. Continue reading “Roland Juno 106 (#5)”

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.

Korg Poly 61

Korg Poly 61 synthesizer
Korg Poly 61

This synth sounds FAT. It’s architecture is really simple, but it sounds really good. I can’t think of any 80s polysynth that is better at making fat, Moog-ish leads and basses.  Six voices of a patch like that sounds absolutely huge.  It has the 4 way joystick shared by the whole Korg “Poly” series which effectively gives you an extra (analog-controlled) LFO. The oscillators have a lot of low end and can sound really fuzzy, like Big Muff fuzzy.  It has a simple arpeggiator that allows you to tell it to run your arpeggio up and down the whole keyboard.  If you trigger an arpeggio by playing several notes in different octaves, it will alternate steps above each of them as it arpeggiates, allowing you to make some complex, interesting sequences. Continue reading “Korg Poly 61”

Custom Build – MP Custom FX “Germaniac”

MP Custom FX Gainiac
MP Custom FX Gainiac

I finished up a custom build of this MP Custom FX Germaniac guitar overdrive pedal for a regular client yesterday.  The client wanted four additional always-on blue LEDs to indicate the corners, which meant creating an additional tiny board to house their resistors and wiring.

This pedal is LOUD, crunchy and trebly.  Naturally, I tested it with a synth. I don’t have guitars around here. But yes, I can build guitar effects!

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!”

Roland JX-3P

Roland JX-3P
Roland JX-3P

When I started working on it, this JX-3P looked like a feral synthesizer that had lived in the forest.  It was rusty, the legends had been scraped off in many places, the plywood bottom piece was rotting requiring it to be held together with tape, and it was spattered with literal mud.  It had also been subjected to one of the strangest DIY repair attempts I’ve seen yet.  Someone tried to overcome some bad key contacts by squirting some of that yellow expanding spray foam insulation stuff into the tops of a few of the rubber key contact strips.  Guess what… it didn’t work. Continue reading “Roland JX-3P”

Moog The Rogue (#2)

Moog Rogue synthesizer
Moog “The Rogue”

This one hadn’t been used in years, and I was told that it had just suddenly stopped turning on.  Without even testing it I suspected the wiring between the rectifier/jack board and main board was to blame, as crackly wire soldering often causes problems in both the Rogue and its relative the MG-1.  In my experience, the types of problems described as “it just suddenly stopped turning on” are usually a lot easier to fix than the types of problems described as something like “sometimes it acts really weird.” Continue reading “Moog The Rogue (#2)”