Login / Register
 
Prophet 08: Encoders vs PE... worth it?
New Reply
Subscribe
M. Sunshine
Thread Starter
#1
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #1
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 163

Thread Starter
M. Sunshine is offline
Prophet 08: Encoders vs PE... worth it?

Hello Sluts!

I have a Prophet 08 that I bought right when they came out in 2007. I know these early models have developed some issues. Some of the encoders have progressively gotten worse and worse with jumpy and sticky values. This wasn't too big of an issue as I could always adjust the Para2 knob to change the value.

Now that the encoders are getting worse, I finally contacted DSI and they offered some suggestions (that I will try when I get home and will hopefully fix the issues).

IF the issues persist, my other option is to ship the whole thing to DSI for a $300 upgrade to the PE edition. With shipping and insurance, I'm guessing this could easily be a $450+ job.

So my questions for other non-PE P'08 owners:
1. Have you had encoder issues?
2. What did you do to fix them? Did it work?
3. Have you (or will you) upgrade to PE?
4. If you have upgraded, how much of a difference did it make? Was it worth it to you?

You see, I didn't really mind the encoders when they were working, and if DSI's suggested fixes work then I would prefer to spend the $$$ somewhere else... like a Kenton Midi to CV converter for the good ole' SH-101 that never has any issues because it loves me.
#2
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #2
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 491

BaconTastesGood is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Sunshine View Post
IF the issues persist, my other option is to ship the whole thing to DSI for a $300 upgrade to the PE edition.
According to their Web site they'll also sell you the kit for $250 (?) and have pretty good instructions on making the change yourself. Some very light soldering is required for early revs of their main board (illustrated on their site).

My P08 PE doesn't arrive until next week, however everything I've ever read is that the PE upgrade is near mandatory, especially if you want to sell it later.
M. Sunshine
Thread Starter
#3
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #3
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 163

Thread Starter
M. Sunshine is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
My P08 PE doesn't arrive until next week, however everything I've ever read is that the PE upgrade is near mandatory, especially if you want to sell it later.
But if everyone does the PE upgrade then my non-PE P08 will become rare and extra valuable!

kidding... was just thinking about that WASP thread...

Also, good point about doing it myself with the $250 board offered. I have zero soldering skills though and I don't know if the P08 would be a good place to start learning.
#4
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Space
Posts: 1,389

3001 is offline
I'm trying to figure out the same thing with a mono evolver...should i go for PE, or just get the encoders replaced?
#5
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: The Sun's Synth
Posts: 2,819

rids is offline
Yes you can go the route of paying money for the pots or you could buy some deoxit for $10 and treat the encoders like I did. Well, I did that for my Polyevolver and it worked really well. I suggest putting 3 treatments of it on. Basically applying it once on all knobs, letting it sit a short time, apply again, let it sit, etc.

That is the other much cheaper option and it works well. Dave will even send you out some I believe.
__________________
"It ain't the instrument, Baby!" - Ray Charles
#6
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #6
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 343

saw wave analog is offline
The deoxit is a bandaid, they *are* going to fail again, and it will be worse than the last time. Ask me how I know.

Get the pots. It is an incredibly easy job to do yourself.If any soldering is required, it will likely be really, really, really easy. Practice on any old piece of broken electronics you have. It takes 5 seconds to melt an existing solder joint, stick a wire into it, then let it dry.
#7
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 663

Rooftree is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by saw wave analog View Post
The deoxit is a bandaid, they *are* going to fail again, and it will be worse than the last time. Ask me how I know.

Get the pots. It is an incredibly easy job to do yourself.If any soldering is required, it will likely be really, really, really easy. Practice on any old piece of broken electronics you have. It takes 5 seconds to melt an existing solder joint, stick a wire into it, then let it dry.
Agree completely. I thoroughly treated my P08 encoders with Deoxit 2 or 3 times before realizing that it was a lost cause. I bought the PE kit and did the job myself. Although my soldering skills are horrible, I have a steady hand and good eyes, so I was able to solder the tiny jumper into place.

It's a different synth with the pots. I no longer feel like I'm entering data when cranking a knob. I can twist a pot and get instant and reliable changes in sound.
__________________
Odyssey / CS-30 / Prophet 08 / Juno-60 / Korg 01W / TR-606 / Ensoniq DP4+ /// Sonar

Cables, Power Supplies, Cases and Accessories for Korg Volcas www.kvgear.com
#8
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #8
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 491

BaconTastesGood is offline
Has any encoder based synth shipped and not suffered for it? It seems like every synth that goes with rotaries inevitably has threads about jumpy encoders about it. Was it just one particular model of encoder that totally sucked?
M. Sunshine
Thread Starter
#9
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #9
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 163

Thread Starter
M. Sunshine is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooftree View Post
Agree completely. I thoroughly treated my P08 encoders with Deoxit 2 or 3 times before realizing that it was a lost cause. I bought the PE kit and did the job myself. Although my soldering skills are horrible, I have a steady hand and good eyes, so I was able to solder the tiny jumper into place.

It's a different synth with the pots. I no longer feel like I'm entering data when cranking a knob. I can twist a pot and get instant and reliable changes in sound.
Thanks Rooftree, you've just about convinced me to try and installing the PE board myself. I DO feel like I'm entering data when cranking a knob! I demand instant and reliable satisfaction!

I've never used a fine tip soldering iron before. I do alot of stained glass art so I do solder, just never on electronics... I'm slightly hessitant but you gave me a bit of confidence to try it.
M. Sunshine
Thread Starter
#10
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #10
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 163

Thread Starter
M. Sunshine is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by saw wave analog View Post
The deoxit is a bandaid, they *are* going to fail again, and it will be worse than the last time. Ask me how I know.

Get the pots. It is an incredibly easy job to do yourself.If any soldering is required, it will likely be really, really, really easy. Practice on any old piece of broken electronics you have. It takes 5 seconds to melt an existing solder joint, stick a wire into it, then let it dry.

Thanks for the idea to test my soldering skills on broken electronics... this will help me to feel more confident when approaching the P08. Did you have an older model that needed that one surface component removed?
M. Sunshine
Thread Starter
#11
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #11
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 163

Thread Starter
M. Sunshine is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
As any encoder based synth shipped and not suffered for it? It seems like every synth that goes with rotaries inevitably has threads about jumpy encoders about it. Was it just one particular model of encoder that totally sucked?
The only reason I'd be hesitant to do the PE upgrade is I've read Dave Smith likes the encoders better and it was his intention for the P08 to have the encoders. As his name is on the synth, it would be nice to keep it as Dave intended... but not if the encoders keep sucking...
#12
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #12
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 491

BaconTastesGood is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Sunshine View Post
The only reason I'd be hesitant to do the PE upgrade is I've read Dave Smith likes the encoders better and it was his intention for the P08 to have the encoders. As his name is on the synth, it would be nice to keep it as Dave intended... but not if the encoders keep sucking...
I think the idea of encoders makes tons of sense. If it was exactly like a pot but motorized then there would be no downside. Sub-360 degree throw, no dealing with 'jump-to-value' vs. 'jump-after-value' issues, total recall of parameter values when changing patches, etc.

So I'm sure Dave loves the idea of rotaries -- as do I -- but the implementation has totally sucked so far. And given that all DSI synths since 2007 have been pot based instead of rotaries probably means he got over whatever love he had for the rotaries =)
#13
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 663

Rooftree is offline
The soldering for the PE kit consists of soldering a short bit of wire (if I recall it was around .25" or 6mm long) across two metal pads on the circuit board. There are other pads very close nearby, so you need to be careful to keep the solder in the right spot and not allow it to bridge to the wrong pads. It took me 2 or 3 tries. It's really no big deal if you're good with delicate hand work.
#14
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #14
Gear nut
 
DayglowScarecrow's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 116

DayglowScarecrow is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Sunshine View Post
1. Have you had encoder issues?
yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Sunshine View Post
2. What did you do to fix them? Did it work?
DSI was very helpful. they even sent me some deoxit to fix the encoders. it didn't really fix the problem though. i agree that it felt like a band-aid solution to the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Sunshine View Post
3. Have you (or will you) upgrade to PE?
i doubt it. DSI will be hard pressed to ever see another dollar of mine again. right now my P'08 desktop sits in it's original box in a closet. i like the synth well enough but i don't want to spend more money on it. i'm not convinced that the build quality of a pot upgrade would be any better than the original unit.
#15
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #15
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 491

BaconTastesGood is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by DayglowScarecrow View Post
i'm not convinced that the build quality of a pot upgrade would be any better than the original unit.
I think you're giving DSi too much responsibility on this. I've seen people complain about encoder problems with almost all Waldorf gear and even Machinedrums. It's a problem with encoders, period. DSi is slightly higher profile because their ear is more popular (especially in the states) and their gear had a lot more encoders than most, so the failure rate was more apparent.

If anything, I'd be more encouraged to give DSi future business because unlike other companies affected by encoder issues, they spent the time and money to come out with potentiometer replacements and, as you discovered, will help out customers running into encoder issues.
#16
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #16
Gear nut
 
DayglowScarecrow's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 116

DayglowScarecrow is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
I think you're giving DSi too much responsibility on this. I've seen people complain about encoder problems with almost all Waldorf gear and even Machinedrums. It's a problem with encoders, period. DSi is slightly higher profile because their ear is more popular (especially in the states) and their gear had a lot more encoders than most, so the failure rate was more apparent.

If anything, I'd be more encouraged to give DSi future business because unlike other companies affected by encoder issues, they spent the time and money to come out with potentiometer replacements and, as you discovered, will help out customers running into encoder issues.
i am not new to synthesizers or to encoders. i feel burned by my experience purchasing a P'08. the encoders began to fail within a few months after purchase. they should not have done that and i have the right to complain about the poor build quality of the unit.

in terms of future business dealings with DSI, i believe the addage is 'once bitten, twice shy'.
#17
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
shponglefan's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Great White North
Posts: 2,514

shponglefan is offline
Never used the encoder version, but I've had the PE version for a few years with nary an issue so far.
#18
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 663

Rooftree is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaconTastesGood View Post
I'd be more encouraged to give DSi future business . . .
I'm with you. DSI has incredible customer service. They've responded quickly to the inquires I've made to them. Their repair costs are ridiculously low. They've continued to update the OS for several years. One of their employees is active on this and other forums. And they're easy to deal with.

I'll admit that from a business standpoint I'm a huge DSI fanboi.
#19
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Space
Posts: 1,389

3001 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooftree View Post
I'm with you. DSI has incredible customer service. They've responded quickly to the inquires I've made to them. Their repair costs are ridiculously low. They've continued to update the OS for several years. One of their employees is active on this and other forums. And they're easy to deal with.

I'll admit that from a business standpoint I'm a huge DSI fanboi.
I agree, their customer service is top notch. I'm getting my DSI fixed this week or next. Two options.

$50 to replace all the encoders with ALPS encoders. or $200 for the PE edition, $25 for the m to install, if I send the boards.. $225 vs $50....

$5 for each encoder is NOT MUCH. Very cheap fix imho. I hate how skippy my MEK is, but this is what happens to synths...
#20
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #20
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 491

BaconTastesGood is offline
Will the alps encoders fail again or will they actually be a permanent fix?
#21
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 563

jessem is offline
I keep holding on out on the upgrade for my PEK.

$399 for the board, 119$(!!!) for the knobs = $518 just to do the swap. Kind of expensive.
#22
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Space
Posts: 1,389

3001 is offline
I believe they're more permanent.
#23
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #23
Lives for gear
 
natrixgli's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011

natrixgli is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by saw wave analog View Post
If any soldering is required, it will likely be really, really, really easy.
I've watched the video and it's easy IF you know what you're doing. But you have to de-solder surface mount components which is tricky and requires a steady hand to avoid burning adjacent components. Then you have to add a jumper wire which can also be a tad tricky.

I would consider letting someone with experience (and a steady hand, fine tipped soldering iron, etc) help you if you're not sure of your skills.
__________________
Low Voltage Rangers - Automata out now!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
My Electronic Stuff: http://soundcloud.com/suboscillator
My Rock Band: http://lowvoltagerangers.com
#24
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Location: Space
Posts: 1,389

3001 is offline
you can also have them do it and just send the boards out...
M. Sunshine
Thread Starter
#25
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #25
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 163

Thread Starter
M. Sunshine is offline
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and info.

I'm going to be ordering the PE kit and will attempt to install it myself. No worries though, I'm going to practice on some junk electronics to gain some fine-tipped soldering skills.

Also, I thought I'd add that DSI has one of the best customer service departments of any electronic instrument company I've had to contact (which have been quite a few). Not to brown nose, but it's true.
#26
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #26
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 343

saw wave analog is offline
My experience with DSI was as follows... I bought my MEK used, the encoders were somewhat weird when I got it and degraded to the point of 75% of them beeing absolutely unusable within a few months. I contacted DSI, they sent deoxit, I used it on two occasions, which isn't exactly a quick job (as an fyi for those that haven't had to deal with this, upgrading to the newer, non shit encoders is actually a lot faster than using deoxit) eventually I ran out of deoxit and realized that the original encoders are just a lost cause. I contacted DSI support, who were very quick to reply, they asked me a bit of info about the synth, I said I had had it about a year at that point but don't know when the original purchase date was, and they said something along the lines of "well it sounds close enough to warranty, so would you rather have the encoders as a free warranty replacement, or a discount on the pot kit" which I thought was very cool of them. I was poor at the time so I went with the new encoders since they were free. The synth was down for around a month be cause they have you take out the control boards and mail them somewhere, and you are then mailed an entirely new set of boards. Then it's just plug and play. Converting to pots is slightly more involved but basically the same.


As far as how they feel; I have used all three versions, so here is my opinion... The original encoders are an utter failure, you *will* be repairing them in the future, and even when they work right they still totally suck. The new style encoders are a vast improvement, but they are still somewhat touchy, and are still clicky non linear feeling encoders that respond weird to fast tweaking. The pots are the best choice easily, have the best response overall since they register movement 1:1, but they still feel a bit disconnected somehow... Like the soul of a machine designed for encoders still lies beneath.


I am torn on opinion when it comes to DSI... Their designs are great, and every interaction I have had with them has been fantastic... But the build quality is the poorest of any modern manufacturer, and my experience with the OS of the tempest left me feeling quite burned as well. Subjectively, all of their gear has kind of a cooler, more clinical sameness to the sound that I'm not crazy about either. My hope is that going forward they design a brand new synth engine with a more lively analog section, and spen a bit more time on qc before releasing their stuff. Because right now... Well... I like them, but I don't trust them.
#27
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #27
Gear addict
 
BaconTastesGood's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 491

BaconTastesGood is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by saw wave analog View Post
I am torn on opinion when it comes to DSI... Their designs are great, and every interaction I have had with them has been fantastic... But the build quality is the poorest of any modern manufacturer, and my experience with the OS of the tempest left me feeling quite burned as well. Subjectively, all of their gear has kind of a cooler, more clinical sameness to the sound that I'm not crazy about either. My hope is that going forward they design a brand new synth engine with a more lively analog section, and spen a bit more time on qc before releasing their stuff. Because right now... Well... I like them, but I don't trust them.
Well said and mirrors my views as well. As an early Tempest owner (which I've since sold) I was more than a bit frustrated with the jankiness of the OS. But my Mopho Keys I thought was very well made.

DSi instruments do have a samey sound, which is probably a combination of the DCO circuitry + Curtis filters, but I like their sound (enough that I just purchased a P08 PE as my analog poly).
#28
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,813

newguy1 is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rooftree View Post
Agree completely. I thoroughly treated my P08 encoders with Deoxit 2 or 3 times before realizing that it was a lost cause. I bought the PE kit and did the job myself. Although my soldering skills are horrible, I have a steady hand and good eyes, so I was able to solder the tiny jumper into place.

It's a different synth with the pots. I no longer feel like I'm entering data when cranking a knob. I can twist a pot and get instant and reliable changes in sound.
My exact experience.

The soldering was easy enough to do, though somewhat of a pain. I'd never soldered before and had too many project lined up to lose my synth for days so I just went for it.

And it became an entirely new, superior, instrument. I was quite surprised at the difference it made.
#29
21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
  #29
Gear maniac
 
jimtheswede's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 156

jimtheswede is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by M. Sunshine View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and info.

I'm going to be ordering the PE kit and will attempt to install it myself. No worries though, I'm going to practice on some junk electronics to gain some fine-tipped soldering skills.

Also, I thought I'd add that DSI has one of the best customer service departments of any electronic instrument company I've had to contact (which have been quite a few). Not to brown nose, but it's true.
I thought I'd save a few bucks and do the PE mod myself, but didn't use a fine-tipped iron and I don't have very good eyes.....I mucked it up and had to send the board to DSI to fix. They fixed it and sent it back very quickly. They were great to work with!

Since getting the PE mod done, this is a MUCH better synth - really made a huge difference!
#30
21st November 2012
Old 21st November 2012
  #30
Gear addict
 
ACHISWELL's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Location: Manchester

ACHISWELL is offline
just to jump slightly away from the main subject matter, (sorry lol),
If one was to buy a second hand P'8 how would they tell from sight/inspection that
it is a PE edition and not and encoder edition?

cheers.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Meriphew / Electronic Music Instruments & Electronic Music Production
13
R08 / Music Computers
10
Mike6581 / Electronic Music Instruments & Electronic Music Production
24
A27Hull / Geekslutz forum
11
Orange_METaL / Geekslutz forum
3

Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.