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Virtual Analog Hardware Fails Who's Had Them?
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draven5
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#1
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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Virtual Analog Hardware Fails Who's Had Them?

I think this thread can be helpful to those of us looking to either buy a Virtual Analog (the classic ones so to speak from the 80's, 90's and early 2000) or are planning to.


I'm very curious about this. I see people mention sometimes (out of anger usually defending plugins) that eventually our virtual analog hardware synths will fail. Meaning it will stop working because "the board goes bad" ect.

I've owned two Alesis Ion's that had this problem. The board has a problem where the outputs will start to fail. I've never had this for any other synth though.

With the exception of the ION do any of you have this issue with anything else like a AN1x, Nord Lead, JP8000?

Also any of you have encoders or pots that have gone bad on you. Or anything? Please share.
#2
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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The only problem that I had with my VAs is that the effect section of my JP8000 doesn't work properly anymore (sometimes the delay time, mix and feedback knobs work, sometimes they don't).
I use my JP all the time and played it live a lot, I'm actually surprised that this plastic box still works at all after all the abuse :-)
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#3
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by draven5 View Post
I think this thread can be helpful to those of us looking to either buy a Virtual Analog (the classic ones so to speak from the 80's, 90's and early 2000) or are planning to.


I'm very curious about this. I see people mention sometimes (out of anger usually defending plugins) that eventually our virtual analog hardware synths will fail. Meaning it will stop working because "the board goes bad" ect.

I've owned two Alesis Ion's that had this problem. The board has a problem where the outputs will start to fail. I've never had this for any other synth though.

With the exception of the ION do any of you have this issue with anything else like a AN1x, Nord Lead, JP8000?

Also any of you have encoders or pots that have gone bad on you. Or anything? Please share.
If it helps you any the output problem on the Ion is one I had and asked about here. It turns out that there are two transistors that need to be replaced and once you do that all is well. They are readily available. The only problem is the Ion is sort of annoying to take apart and put together. Be aware of a lot of glued down ribbon cable connectors and the ribbon cable from the display to the main board is not secured with a decent connector.

The aux out ports use the same set of transistors.

Don't know if a Waldorf XTk counts in your book but my 10 voice has an intermittent "store" button. I have to still open it up and get to that.
#4
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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I've owned a couple Novation synths where the encoders begin to change parameters on their own, or change parameters for adjacent encoders. This has happened on a Novation KS4 (brand new, exchanged 3x) and Novation XioSynth 25.

I've owned a lot of VA synths, some multiple times.

JP-8000: owned 2, one had a loose connection on one of the outputs, otherwise no issues
Waldorf Blofeld: Some software issues and bugs (lockups, etc)
Korg R3/Radias: R3 knobs get a bit wiggly after a while
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#5
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
  #5
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I had a Micron that only lasted one year.
#6
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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It's not VAs per se, but instruments that just aren't built with long term reliability in mind.

Notice that the most common complaints are about connectors, knobs...mechanical issues that can affect any synth or other audio gear.
draven5
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#7
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpsiegel View Post
If it helps you any the output problem on the Ion is one I had and asked about here. It turns out that there are two transistors that need to be replaced and once you do that all is well. They are readily available. The only problem is the Ion is sort of annoying to take apart and put together. Be aware of a lot of glued down ribbon cable connectors and the ribbon cable from the display to the main board is not secured with a decent connector.

The aux out ports use the same set of transistors.

Don't know if a Waldorf XTk counts in your book but my 10 voice has an intermittent "store" button. I have to still open it up and get to that.
Good to know. I'm thinking about buying back another ION. Now I feel better about it. Just love the thing.
#8
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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The Clavia nord lead synths are in my experience really well built. I've had mine since 2005 or so, bought second hand. I think it was originally bought new in 2001-2002.
Anyway, I put it up on a X-legged stand that didn't have the locking mechanism locked properly - so the stand folded and the NL3 crashed down into a concrete floor from about 1,5 m height. Not a dent and everything worked perfectly after that! Has seen some gigging after that, not a lot but at least taken it out a couple of times per year.
#9
23rd October 2012
Old 23rd October 2012
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I think Novation pots on are famously bad (on their KS and Nova lines, at least). The cutoff pot of my Nova, probably the most frequently used, jumps values. Never had any problem with my Microkorg and my An1x though.
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