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jonnypowell
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24th September 2008
Old 24th September 2008
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Opinions on Soviet era synths?

I've noticed a HEAP of soviet synths on ebay recently..
Lots of vocoders too..


Just wondering who has used any of them before, and what are your opinons?
You can get a 3 oscillator analogue for around 800 USD.. If they sound any good that might be worth checking out!

Cheers,
Jonny
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24th September 2008
Old 24th September 2008
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I've heard they are an absolute nightmare if they break down..all the components are non-standard russian built.

I have experience of not being able to repair russian electronics because of this...every IC..every component... had russian codes on them that made no sense at all..
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24th September 2008
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24th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station View Post
I've heard they are an absolute nightmare if they break down..all the components are non-standard russian built.

I have experience of not being able to repair russian electronics because of this...every IC..every component... had russian codes on them that made no sense at all..
By far the most soviet IC are cloned, equivalents are easy to get in the most cases. Caps are labeled with "normal" numbers of their value - if that does not make sense to you you should better stay away from electronics in general

Most soviet synths are well documented (schematics are available on the web) and the schematics always have been helpful to me during repairs (I dont understand russian language).

Soviet synths normally require mod/ repair/ adjustment/ improvement work after importing them. Soviet capaciators are not the best quality, it might be a good idea to recap the entire machine. But I never had a problem repairing a fully analogue soviet synth. There are also soviet synth with microprocessors (processors were also cloned from the west) and I think it would be problematic if the operating program was lost due to an IC damage.
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24th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnypowell View Post
I've noticed a HEAP of soviet synths on ebay recently..
Lots of vocoders too..


Just wondering who has used any of them before, and what are your opinons?
You can get a 3 oscillator analogue for around 800 USD.. If they sound any good that might be worth checking out!

Cheers,
Jonny
I recently bought an Altair-231. It is a clone of the Minimoog (VCO board rev A!). The sound puts my Voyager to shame. And it was (including taxes and shipping) 10 times cheaper! But the quality of most of the the controls and the keyboard can´t be compared to the Voyager.

Dont pay too much for soviet machines and expect some improvement/ repair work.
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24th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vibralux View Post
These sound very good and unique - I heard poliwoks (Syntezatory.prv.pl - Поливокс / Poliwoks / Polyvox / Polivoks / synth synthesizer syntezator) and it sounded very very meaty Nice, raw analog sound – but if they break I can imagine how lame would it be to repair it... So buy it only if its a really really good bargain.

Peace

M
Polivoks are usually not a big deal to repair. I think their oscillators sound a bit wack but overall it´s still a good sounding synth. The keyboard is really - I mean really low end.
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24th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
By far the most soviet IC are cloned, equivalents are easy to get in the most cases. Caps are labeled with "normal" numbers of their value - if that does not make sense to you you should better stay away from electronics in general

Most soviet synths are well documented (schematics are available on the web) and the schematics always have been helpful to me during repairs (I dont understand russian language).

Soviet synths normally require mod/ repair/ adjustment/ improvement work after importing them. Soviet capaciators are not the best quality, it might be a good idea to recap the entire machine. But I never had a problem repairing a fully analogue soviet synth. There are also soviet synth with microprocessors (processors were also cloned from the west) and I think it would be problematic if the operating program was lost due to an IC damage.
Cool can you show us where to get all these cloned IC's with all the equivalents to Soviet part no's and also where all the schematics are.

My friend who repairs synths cant find them...he asked me to ask you.
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25th September 2008
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There is no need to "get all these cloned IC's". Most soviet ICs are clones. Just get the originals, they work fine

There is not an all-embracing list with every part ever made. There are numerous sources on the internet with lists of ICs and their soviet equivalents. You will have to use a special website which is called "search engine" (since you dont know where to find schematics of soviet synths I guess you never used one before so here is a link: http://www.google.de)

The most complete collection of schematics is found here: http://www.ruskeys.net/eng/synths.php

Which synth does your friend want to repair?
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25th September 2008
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25th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
You will have to use a special website which is called "search engine" (since you dont know where to find schematics of soviet synths I guess you never used one before so here is a link: [/URL])

The most complete collection of schematics is found here: http://www.ruskeys.net/eng/synths.php
Thank you very much for the link, but is there really any need to be so pedantic and condescending?

(since you dont know how to converse in a friendly manner here is a link: How to Be Friendly - wikiHow) It's easy once you try.
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25th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
There is no need to "get all these cloned IC's". Most soviet ICs are clones. Just get the originals, they work fine

There is not an all-embracing list with every part ever made. There are numerous sources on the internet with lists of ICs and their soviet equivalents. You will have to use a special website which is called "search engine" (since you dont know where to find schematics of soviet synths I guess you never used one before so here is a link: http://www.google.de)

The most complete collection of schematics is found here: http://www.ruskeys.net/eng/synths.php

Which synth does your friend want to repair?
While newer technology and better features have won my heart over in today's synth world the ruskeys.net site is way cool, greak link. Plan to look it over in detail when time permits! Fun stuff.
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25th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Station View Post
Thank you very much for the link, but is there really any need to be so pedantic and condescending?

(since you dont know how to converse in a friendly manner here is a link: How to Be Friendly - wikiHow) It's easy once you try.
Sorry it was not my intention to be unfriendly. But type "name_of_synth schematics" into google and every soviet synth with schematics available will show up directly on top.

Which synth model is the one you own that needs repair? I may have serviced/repaired that model before that´s why I keep asking this.
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25th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eigenwert View Post
Sorry it was not my intention to be unfriendly. But type "name_of_synth schematics" into google and every soviet synth with schematics available will show up directly on top.
Well said Eigenwet.
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25th September 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnypowell View Post
I've noticed a HEAP of soviet synths on ebay recently..
Lots of vocoders too..


Just wondering who has used any of them before, and what are your opinons?
You can get a 3 oscillator analogue for around 800 USD.. If they sound any good that might be worth checking out!

Cheers,
Jonny
Jonny, to get back to your question: You can take a listen to three samples of the Aelita on the rusynth site. To my ears it makes a powerful sound. I never touched an Aelita, so I can not really comment on this synth. But I found an article on the internet written by a guy who said that the tuning would be lowered when a key is pressed due to the power supply being too small. And there was also a photo which showed solder spillings all across the boards. That guy said that those workers who build these synths must have been drunk. He said it may be a good idea to stay away from the Aelitas. These are not my personal experiences but you might be interested in this nevertheless before buying.
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25th September 2008
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