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Broken CS-80? Repair costs? Advice needed please
Old 17th March 2016
  #1
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Broken CS-80? Repair costs? Advice needed please

Hi there, hoping to get some opinions.

Recently had the chance to buy a CS-80 in France. However, upon arrival there were loads of issues:

- 1 or 2 voices didn't respond to the synth panel
- When playing 1 note, to go through the voices, 2 notes sounded very loud and didn't respond on the synth panel or velocity etc.
- After touch didn't respond well on some keys
- Poly after touch didn't work well
- Velocity didn't respond on some keys
- Some keys didn't respond at all to the synth panel
- Out of tune heavily
- Output Left on mains didn't work
- Headphone output Left didn't work
- Weird noise problem in signal: after about 15-20 seconds a loud wave of noise is heard. This is always heard. Also when using the presets.
- Velocity knob: when turned down all the way, sounds would still come out fairly loud.
- Velocity knob: when turned halfway, the sounds would crackle, distort almost.

My question: are all these things easily fixable?
Do you think it's worth the risk to buy it if it's a reasonable price?
What do you think a broken CS-80 is worth?

Thank you.
Old 17th March 2016
  #2
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Ask yourself these questions -

Where are you going to take it for repair?
Have they worked on CS-80's before?
Will you have to ship it?
Are you going to be OK playing it without MIDI?

Figure $1000 US to repair, just to be safe. Likely it will need extensive work if you want it "right" (i.e. - PS stable, 4000 series CMOS replaced as needed, parts replaced, lots of hours of tech time).

Every CS-80 seems to be different. I had one that worked (mostly) and simply opening it up and moving some cards around changed behavior (wires becoming fragile? bad solder joints? who knows). Other folks have had better luck with theirs, but you won't really know how extensive the problems are until the tech gets in there.

Bottom line is - if you absolutely have to have a CS-80, buy it as-is for as little as possible and then prepare to spend many weeks and many dollars getting it back to 100%.

It's kind of hard to part out a CS-80 in the sense that everything is point-to-point wiring and you either unsolder every card and every panel component or you cut a bunch of wires and leave it to the buyer to unsolder it all. Of course, you have to be sure what you're parting out is either "as-is" or tested.

My personal opinion is that life is too short to be messing around with a CS-80 these days.
Old 17th March 2016
  #3
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Just find the best technician, make a full revision.

My personal opinion is that life is too short to be without a CS-80
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #4
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Ask yourself these questions -

Where are you going to take it for repair?
Have they worked on CS-80's before?
Will you have to ship it?
Are you going to be OK playing it without MIDI?

Figure $1000 US to repair, just to be safe. Likely it will need extensive work if you want it "right" (i.e. - PS stable, 4000 series CMOS replaced as needed, parts replaced, lots of hours of tech time).

Every CS-80 seems to be different. I had one that worked (mostly) and simply opening it up and moving some cards around changed behavior (wires becoming fragile? bad solder joints? who knows). Other folks have had better luck with theirs, but you won't really know how extensive the problems are until the tech gets in there.

Bottom line is - if you absolutely have to have a CS-80, buy it as-is for as little as possible and then prepare to spend many weeks and many dollars getting it back to 100%.

It's kind of hard to part out a CS-80 in the sense that everything is point-to-point wiring and you either unsolder every card and every panel component or you cut a bunch of wires and leave it to the buyer to unsolder it all. Of course, you have to be sure what you're parting out is either "as-is" or tested.

My personal opinion is that life is too short to be messing around with a CS-80 these days.
thanks for your insights.

I'm kind of in the middle now between:

- Should I buy a broken CS-80 for less money and hoping it could be repaired, spend the time and dedication to make it work again?
Or
- Should I wait, save some more, and buy a working one possibly a serviced one through a reseller?

or, secret option number 3: just give up
Old 17th March 2016
  #5
I just found quite a bit of info under Yamaha CS 80 repair on Google. There are some stories of people that describe their trials and tribulations and it sounds brutal. You can find good technicians that can fix it but it will cost a fortune. There are repair manuals out there as well. It's a wonderful instrument but strap your seatbelt very tight if you decide to go down that road.
Old 17th March 2016
  #6
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Fuseball's Avatar
If you're planning to bring it to the uk (not sure where you're based), Kent Spong is the man to talk to. If anyone might know how to fix the problems you mention, it's him.
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
thanks for your insights.

I'm kind of in the middle now between:

- Should I buy a broken CS-80 for less money and hoping it could be repaired, spend the time and dedication to make it work again?
Or
- Should I wait, save some more, and buy a working one possibly a serviced one through a reseller?

or, secret option number 3: just give up
How much money are you willing to spend? RL music have from time to time, completly overhauled CS80s. Expect to pay 14000 GBP.

If this seller makes a reasonable price, it may worth the trouble, you can also make some upgrades.
Old 17th March 2016
  #8
Gear Head
 

kent spong is your man KSR
Old 17th March 2016
  #9
Man what a dilemma. A once in a lifetime chance to own a truly iconic piece of synth lore on one hand or a gut wrenching money pit that could drive you to the brink of insanity(and financial ruin) with no guarantee it will ever function 100%, and if it does for how long?
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
...with no guarantee it will ever function 100%, and if it does for how long?
It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does? - Gaff, Blade Runner.
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #11
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Brown View Post
Man what a dilemma. A once in a lifetime chance to own a truly iconic piece of synth lore on one hand or a gut wrenching money pit that could drive you to the brink of insanity(and financial ruin) with no guarantee it will ever function 100%, and if it does for how long?
yes. The risk is there, and it's already driving me kind of nuts.

I think at this point the safe thing to do is to hold on to the money, save more, and buy a perfectly working one.
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
yes. The risk is there, and it's already driving me kind of nuts.

I think at this point the safe thing to do is to hold on to the money, save more, and buy a perfectly working one.
You can always get the Arturia CS-80 plugin to quench your thirst for a little while longer.

https://www.arturia.com/products/analog-classics/cs-80v
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Guru View Post
You can always get the Arturia CS-80 plugin to quench your thirst for a little while longer.

https://www.arturia.com/products/analog-classics/cs-80v
sure is more stable
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #14
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Synth Buddha's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
sure is more stable
Yes, unlike a broken CS-80 the Arturia sounds bad ALL the time.
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #15
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Buddha View Post
Yes, unlike a broken CS-80 the Arturia sounds bad ALL the time.
that's just mean.

I could honestly say, the arturia sounds much better than the broken CS-80 I played with. heheh

If I could describe the sound, it was like trying to tame a very angry elephant. I was like: "be more calm, do as I say".
But no matter what I tried, it made the sound of an unpredictable, distressed and aggressive elephant.
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
that's just mean
Indeed!

Kinda joking, of course. I was just using the Arturia a couple of days ago, after not having used it for months. You can get some nice sounds out of it. It's ok for what it is, I suppose. Kind of a fun thing to play around with too, at least for those of us who don't ever plan on getting a CS-80. I can PRETEND I have the real thing... :D
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #17
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Buddha View Post
at least for those of us who don't ever plan on getting a CS-80. I can PRETEND I have the real thing... :D
I kind of wished I felt the same atm. To make things even harder, seller called me up just now.

Turns out they are going to service the CS-80 by an unknown technician. I told him that it would probably take months. He said: it would be done less than a month. I am very skeptical.
Old 17th March 2016
  #18
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RL music use Kent Spong - he's the guy to talk to in the UK as others have said - as far as the headphone out is concerned on my CS60, IIRC (haven't used it with phones for many years) the headphone output is mono and only comes out on one side with stereo cans, which might be the same for the 80, but sounds like the least of your worries with this one!
Old 17th March 2016 | Show parent
  #19
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Coorec's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
Turns out they are going to service the CS-80 by an unknown technician. I told him that it would probably take months. He said: it would be done less than a month. I am very skeptical.
Well, what can you loose. Let them do the service stuff then check again.

Meanwhile talk to Kent Spong, since he seems to be in the know. He can probably tell you better than anyone else (including you) what to expect and wether its worth the purchase.
Old 18th March 2016
  #20
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Unless they are practically giving it away (worth your time and money to have it fixed, as opposed to only a small savings) I would probably pass.
Old 18th March 2016 | Show parent
  #21
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ApolloBoy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
Turns out they are going to service the CS-80 by an unknown technician. I told him that it would probably take months. He said: it would be done less than a month. I am very skeptical.
If I had a CS-80, I wouldn't let any tech work on it unless they had experience working on CS-80s. A CS-80 isn't really something you want to half-ass repairs on.
Old 18th March 2016 | Show parent
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApolloBoy View Post
If I had a CS-80, I wouldn't let any tech work on it unless they had experience working on CS-80s. A CS-80 isn't really something you want to half-ass repairs on.
I think most any tech would run away screaming if they had never touched one before.
Old 18th March 2016 | Show parent
  #23
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patrickdafunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
I think most any tech would run away screaming if they had never touched one before.
The tech who is going to work on it had experience with cs 50s and 60s. Maybe a good sign?
Old 18th March 2016
  #24
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plasmasynth's Avatar
Wish it was in the US. Id probably spend 20-30 hours documenting any and all issues then drive it to a tech if i couldnt fix it myself. I'd midi and unison it at the same time. 1 or 2 voices messed up is still probably worth 8k. Madness
Old 18th March 2016
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickdafunk View Post
My question: are all these things easily fixable?
I don't mean anything negative with my comment but If you don't know the answer to this question yourself, i suggest you stay away from this synth as far as possible.

A friendly advice.
Old 18th March 2016
  #26
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Arturia's CS-80 V is garbage compared to the Memorymoon ME80. ME80 will get you much closer. One of my favourite VST synths.

Old 18th March 2016
  #27
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If it would be cheap, I would buy it. Then I would do my best at cleaning and servicing it by reseating everything and checking thoroughly for bad caps or cold solder joints. Probably replace the scratchy pot as well.
After that it would propably have less problems. What's left would either be dealt with by myself if I could find a service manual with good enough troubleshooting procedures, a tech that knows his stuff, or the next owner. A faulty cs80 will very likely sell for some money anyway.
That way, there would not be much to loose, but the potential gain... Significant.

I did just that when I bought my Lexicon 224. Upon inspection it didn't even boot. Had it way cheaper than I originally intended. Took it home, studied the service manual and got it working with a bunch of errors the same day. Errors were dealt with as I got some tantalums ordered. They were caused by one cap failing on a memory board.

Been working flawlessly ever since.
Old 18th March 2016 | Show parent
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
I don't mean anything negative with my comment but If you don't know the answer to this question yourself, i suggest you stay away from this synth as far as possible.

A friendly advice.
Thanks dude.
Old 18th March 2016 | Show parent
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoaT View Post
If it would be cheap, I would buy it.
The problem it's that the seller is asking a lot of money. If it was something like a 5k-ish figure, it would definitely worth the trouble, with the right technician of course.
Old 18th March 2016
  #30
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JoaT's Avatar
I see... For 5k I would skip it.
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