Monday, February 25, 2013

Yamaha CS01, MA10, MH10 and MM10 " Producer Series: Before. After. Private practice..." ad, Keyboard 1982

Yamaha CS01 Synthesizer, MA10 Headphone Amplifier, MH10 Stereo Headphones and MM10 Stereo Mic/Line Mixer "Producer Series: Before. After. Private practice..."  two-page colour advertisement from page 8 and 9 in the June 1982 issue of Keyboard Magazine.

This advertisement was the start of Yamaha's "Producer Series" two-page ads that would begin appearing in Keyboard Magazine in the summer of 1982 and run intermittently through the fall. Above all else, the reason these ads are so awesome is the great artwork - and you know how much I love synthesizer advertisement artwork. More on that in future Producer Series blog posts.   :)

Today I'm posting this advertisement for one reason: Celebration! Lately I've kinda resembled the dude playing the guitar in the "Before" picture. Like life had just kept kicking me in the 'nads. Or maybe I resembled the dog more...

No matter. With life going the way it is at the moment, I have to take any "win" that I can get. And right now, this one is about a 7 out of 10 on the "celebration" scale.

Have I built up the suspense enough yet? Probably too much.

You see, I recently re-found an old non-functioning Yamaha CS01 synthesizer in my basement. I had originally picked it up so long ago I can't even be sure where I got it. I think it was a freebie that came along for the ride when I locally purchased another synth. I'm sure I had high hopes of taking it in one day to see if it could get repaired, but in the end it quickly ended up out-of-sight and out-of-mind.

Fast forward 20+ years later (no kidding!), I'm searching for a hacksaw blade - don't ask - and this thing literally drops on my head.  At least it wasn't a Jupiter 8 that fell on my head... although that would have been worth the concussion. I brought the CS01 upstairs and there it sat on my living room table for a week or so when I finally decided to take a closer look.

First I decided to wipe off the decades of dirt with a damp cloth. That took a while in itself. But it looked almost like new after I was finished. Only faint letters written on each key in permanent marker remained.

I then plugged the sucker in to see what would happen. The red power/volume light instantly came on, but there was no sound from the keyboard whatsoever or out of any of the controls. Just the way I left it oh so long ago.  I even tried the "Author Fonzarelli" - gently tapped the back of the unit a few times.  From his Wikipedia page:
"Fonzie would at times demonstrate an almost magical ability to manipulate technology with just a nudge, bump or a snap of his fingers for things such as starting a car, turning on lights, changing the song selection on a juke box or getting free sodas from a vending machine."
No such luck.

So I figured it was time to take out my screw driver and see what was happening inside.

One word - rust.

It was like one side of the synth had been dipped in water. Ugh. You can see the damage in the close up picture. Cool thing about this circuit board is everything is labelled well. Envelope generator, VCF, VCA, Osc - everything. Very cool. There is even smaller labels indicating inputs and outputs of different functions.

Now, please remember - I don't know what I'm doing. I'm not a technician. But I figured if I could at least get it to make a sound then I would know it was probably worth taking it in to get fixed.

I unscrewed the keyboard mechanism and everything looked fine.  I took a cloth and wiped all the dirt off everything and screwed the keyboard back on. Then, without closing it back up, I plugged it in ... and... noise! And musical noise even! The keys even seemed to be functioning fine.

I put everything back together and started testing the controls.

VCO - check.

VCF - check.

VCA - check.

LFO - check.

Pitch bend and modulation wheels - check. 

EG - check. Well, kinda.

Turns out everything is working except the Glissando (portamento) in the VCO section, and the attack time and release time in the Envelope Generator. All the keys except for the highest and lowest work as well, although they are a little dirty still.

So, maybe I do have the Fonzie-touch afterall. Excellent. I look forward to dating twins at some point in my future.

All  that good news means one thing - this CS01 is definitely worth saving. I'll take it in to my tech along with my Minimoog (which for some reason just konked out on me) sooner rather than later. 

A pretty good Sunday morning project.

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