Friday, May 6, 2016

The Echigoya Maxikorg DV800 Saga (warning- angry words)


This maxi korg was resold to me by a Japanese ebayer (nice pretty Japanese lady, well at least from FB and she is very very polite and patient Japanese House wife with a Gaijin hubby on Ebay doing all the correspondance), apparently they claimed this synth was bought from Echigoya.

Off goes the pitch after 3 weeks (again)

The pitching went off after 3 weeks (again). This lady offered to let me send back and it was supposed to be under warranty and Echigoya is supposed to fix it for free...(as I was told by our pretty ebayer)...So I dug into my cash and spent another $700 to Fedex the synth to Echigoya.

'Warranty' with Echogoya

But lo and behold, she called me 2 weeks later- Echigoya said warranty does not cover outside Japan. So the lady ebayer and I came to agreement to split the repair costs (about $250). She sent it back to me in SG, paid the bloody Japanese customs the import and export taxes.

Well, I played the Maxikorg for 2 days....the same problem came back. I flipped and emailed the ebayer. This time she referred me to the original owner of the usual a polite email saying they are sorry etc etc and will do their best to comfort my sufferings...

The bad samurai deal

So our dear Japanese friend says "send me back the Echoigoya Maxikorg and pay me another USD 800 and I will get you a new one from 5Gs music...yeah, how does it sound to you?

I must be a sucker to agree...SGD$2400+$700+$1000 = $4100 to trade for Maxikorg (hey it isn't a Roland Jupiter or Sequential Circuits). I can buy a fully serviced and warrantied one from Synth n Stuff or Modeless Factory.

Lessons learnt

a) I already paid freight and repair fee and it still broke down. By right I should have approached ebay to ask for full refund. Problem is, I was so eager to refurbish the Maxi, I airbrushed it black to within the 1st week so I can'r return as damaged goods. NEVER, refurbish or mod your synth until after 30 days when you can ask for refund from Ebay

b) NEVER buy from ebayers even when they claim synth is in full working conditions

c) NEVER, NEVER, buy synths from ECHIGOYA. They buy old synths, I know they are cheaper than 5Gs test them and CLAIM its refurbished. ITs NOT TRUE....there are even dust balls inside when I opened up the Maxikorg. SUE ME Echigoya, prove me otherwise! You did a crap job fixing my synth!

So the story continues struggle to fix the Maxikorg.... Part II coming up.

Monday, June 8, 2015

New maxikorg (Japanese Edition)

New maxikorg from Japan

The internal parts during check and maintenance

The exterior with original plywood and vveneer panels

The birth cert of the maxikorg 9 july Showa 52 (1977)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday, November 28, 2014

Professonally Restored Maxi Korg DV800

This is how my restored Maxikorg Dv800 looks like.

Internal electronics restored and serviced by Kaz of Urban Music, Tokyo.

Wood work by my dear father and myself

Body restoration and airbrush by me.

Total price SGD 4000.

Compare this to the unit in Korg museum And the one used by Kitaro.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Restoration of broken down minikorg700

Minikorg works suddenly on Sunday morning

My local PC tech replaced all the capacitors but to no avail...still droning sounds

So one Friday evening, I decided to clean the tuning pots with rubbing alcohol and cotton buds and tweaking them, making sure not to clean away the sharpie marker markings made by the factory. I made  sure I set the pots back to original positions after the maxikorg lesson.

I switched on the minikorg this morning and cranked the switches and did some LFO with traveler...

Suddenly the headphones went soft and the keyboard started working. Clean and in tune notes...

My non-professional conclusion, the pots are dirty and old pots are preventing the current from VCO to the output..

Here is a clip of the sound test

Replacement of missing sliders with maxikorg sliders

The seller of my maxikorg recommended me to a ebay seller in Holland who restores vintage synth

He sold me several original replacement sliders and also a Maxikorg VCO.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Replacing broken minikorg keys with moog prodigy keys

The keys from Puerto Rico arrived yesterday and I took minikorg from Colin's Echo computers repair shop to fix the broken F key
Like the maxikorg, we need to remove the keybed to fit the new replacement properly in to the slots. Alternatively, I have shave little bits to make it fit without having to remove the keybed..but do this at your own risk, I have ruined brand new keys before when I shaved off too much plastic.

Here are the pictures of the new moog keys and old broken korg keys and steps showong how I replaced the old korg with moog keys.
The moog keys behind the original korg keys with broken J 

The korg F key removed from slot

Replacing the moog keys

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Report on Repair Works done on Maxikorg by Urban Music

Repair Works by Urban Music Japan

To date, Urban Music and Kaz is the 1st full-time synthesizer/ organ technician I have worked with.

I must say I am impressed by the efficiency and no-nonsense approach of Japanese technicians. The fee, inclusive of shipping is very very affordable and reasonable.

They have listed the cost of repair of damaged components in Maxikorg. The CV buffer FETs have worn-out and damaged causing the single tone and they have added a resistor to stabilize the drifting pitch. They have even added an extra knob for me. I should have removed the homemade faders too.

The term "aging' sounds funny and ironical for a middle-aged synthesizer player. Both the musician and machine are both aging approximately at the same rate (both Maxi and I are 40 yrs of age when the blog is written)...Maxi has gone for her functional test, but her owner hasn't gone for his medical test for a long time :p

Now, I am waiting eagerly for Maxi to return to my arms before testing the repaired sounds again.

Urban Music has packed my beloved DV800 nicely before shipping out to SG again.

Now starts the waiting game.

MAXIKORG lands in SG!

4days later, I received maxikorg and these were the transistors that were spoilt.