All posts for the month June, 2011



This track features a Korg X-911 Guitar Synthesizer processing an Alembic Distillate bass for the majority of the synth and synth-bass parts.  The regular bass sound is also the Alembic, and there’s a fair amount of RE-301 Space Echo in this as well. Squelch



I recorded this right after acquiring a 1973 Gibson Triumph (Les Paul Recording bass) from the original owner who had it in storage since around ’75!  The original flatwounds were even still on it. =)  They were sooo dead, but had this nice “plonk” sound to them – and so began this track… The melody […]

Oberheim Four Voice (FVS-1) Restoration – Part 4: Hearing Voices


Now onto the fun stuff…  I’ve been seriously digging this thing even as it limps along with two-voice polyphony, but its time to hear a happy quartet of SEMs! SEMs 3 and 4 were not firing from the keyboard, and the continuous assignment mode would only step between SEMs 1 and 2.  Between all of […]

Oberheim Four Voice (FVS-1) Restoration – Part 3: The PSU


  Before venturing too far down the path of sorting through the faults, I wanted to first ensure that the power supply was in good working order – that the power output was clean, and that the rails were putting out the correct voltage. There are a total of six capacitors on the PSU board […]

Oberheim Four Voice (FVS-1) Restoration – Part 2: Modification Removal


Well, where to begin… I thought I’d start by tracing out and removing the modifications.  Overall, the mods looked to be in a questionable state, and I felt it would help in troubleshooting the primary issues if I could rule-out the modifications as a contributing factor. The “Mediamix Triangle Mod” board was held in place […]

Oberheim Four Voice (FVS-1) Restoration – Part 1: Introduction


I’ve been fascinated by this synth most of my life, and I finally got a chance to lay hands on this one in June 2011. In or around 1975, Oberheim released the four voice polyphonic synthesizer (dubbed the FVS-1), which was basically comprised of four Synthesizer Expander Modules (SEMs; keyboardless, monophonic synths that were originally […]

Refinishing a Thunderbird Bass


I’ve been dabbling with guitar/bass repair for years out of necessity and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at refinishing a bass, but I’ve never had the right candidate to practice on… until now. A Czech-made clone of a 1965.5 to 69 Gibson Thunderbird bass (referred to as the “non-reverse” body style) came into […]

Fun with Breadboards!


I snagged an old Heathkit “Electronic Design Experimenter” off Ebay for around US $23, when all was said and done. Didn’t think I’d be excited about a breadboard – but this thing’s neat!  In addition to the breadboard, it contains a bi-polar power supply (each rail independently variable up to 15V), pads to distribute 15 […]

Modular Synth Walnut Cabinet Refinish


I had obtained a 44-space walnut studio cabinet slated for the top-most portion of the modular.  This cab had originally been purchased from, and it appeared to be very well loved with its share of road rash (and some extra holes from those Dotcom mounting brackets). My current cabs are still in great shape, […]

Roland Space Echo Motor Rebuild


Thought I’d share some info and pics about a recent Space Echo motor rebuild, in case it helps anyone else… About a year-and-a-half ago, my RE-301 started acting up. The fastest motor speed seemed really slow and erratic, and at the slowest setting it would warble down to a halt. I noticed a lot of […]

Sequential Circuits Pro-One Pressure Sensitivity Retrofit


My Pro-One had died a ways back (an op-amp in the keyboard’s CV path had bit the dust), and while I was in there repairing it and doing some other maintenance (PSU filter caps, keyboard bushings) I was thinking that it’d be slick to try and add pressure sensitivity to it.  Having just finished refreshing […]

1972 Guild JS-II Bass Alembicized Bridge and Pickups


This post details a couple enhancements made to my ’72 Guild JS-II bass back around 2007. I wanted to try out some Hammon Dark Star pickups (recreations of the Alembic-modified Hagstrom Bi-sonics favored by the likes of Jack Casady and Phil Lesh), and also address some issues with the stock bridge relating to intonation and […]

1969 Gibson EB-0 Pickup Coil-tap and Series-parallel Modification


Here’s a relatively low cost modification that I implemented a few years ago on my ’69 Gibson EB-0, and the results were rather useful.  This bass’ wiring was not original to begin with, and so I figured it’d make a decent candidate for some tinkering. I was curious about experimenting with different permutations of the […]

1974 Minimoog Model D Refinish


I acquired a 1974 Minimoog Model D that plays and sounds absolutely amazing, but this thing was really rough in the looks department.  I had to get into it to repair its volume pot (it had been replaced with an 16mm center-detent pot of the wrong value) and do a couple other minor things, and […]

Pro-One Easter Eggs


I remember reading somewhere about the hidden Easter eggs etched and screened on the PCB of the Sequential Circuits Pro-One synth.  These are only visible when the board is completely removed from the front panel. Here are some photos I snapped while mine was in pieces for servicing…   Chenrizig:   I believe this is […]