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808 defective transistors
Old 5th November 2019 | Show parent
  #91
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Stormchild's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by triez View Post
It's not a myth that the selected noise transistor has a very specific sound, otherwise the wouldn’t have bothered testing and selecting them but it isn't hard to find other transistors that are very close to that sound if you have a sample to test against and you spend some time doing listening tests.
I'm with you on that. The myth is the idea that there's one magical component that accidentally existed in small quantity and once those ran out, it became impossible to recreate the 808, which is why it's so special and only the original will do. All the makings of a great story, but it's fiction.

Interesting component? Yes, for several reasons. Otherworldly pixie dust without which the 808 cannot exist? No.

(You obviously know what you're doing and don't need to be told any of this. My comments are mostly for anyone who comes across this thread that might still be infected by the Magical Transistor Theory.)
Old 5th November 2019 | Show parent
  #92
Here for the gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by triez View Post
So sorry for the delay on this, I recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne and I am setting up my service centre in a new city so I have had to neglect the blog for a while. Once I get everything un-crated an set up and all of the synths and equipment out of storage I will get back to updating it again. I have been keeping the 10 original transistors that I purchased from Roland in the spare parts inventory along with all of the stocks of other rare parts that enable me to effectively run a restoration business but as these transistors fail so rarely I don't need 10 of them in stock so I may put some up for sale. Alternately I do intend to use my test rig and test some 2SC945P's in the studio and pick some that sound close, once I get a batch of those I will let you know.
Awesome work. And same for me, please PM me when you are planning to sell these
Old 5th November 2019 | Show parent
  #93
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Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by triez View Post
So sorry for the delay on this, I recently moved from Sydney to Melbourne and I am setting up my service centre in a new city so I have had to neglect the blog for a while. Once I get everything un-crated an set up and all of the synths and equipment out of storage I will get back to updating it again. I have been keeping the 10 original transistors that I purchased from Roland in the spare parts inventory along with all of the stocks of other rare parts that enable me to effectively run a restoration business but as these transistors fail so rarely I don't need 10 of them in stock so I may put some up for sale. Alternately I do intend to use my test rig and test some 2SC945P's in the studio and pick some that sound close, once I get a batch of those I will let you know.
But why not use 536? They seem fair priced, and no hype whatsoever:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-Trans...4AAOSwi8VZXLgV

Many TR-808's use 536 for noise as was posted earlier in this thread:

Old 6th November 2019 | Show parent
  #94
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
But why not use 536? They seem fair priced, and no hype whatsoever:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-Trans...4AAOSwi8VZXLgV

Many TR-808's use 536 for noise as was posted earlier in this thread:

It might be a good fit, I won't know until I test a batch of them against the originals though.
Old 6th November 2019
  #95
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realtrance's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Glad to hear the defective transistors are finally getting fixed!
Old 6th November 2019 | Show parent
  #96
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Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by triez View Post
It might be a good fit, I won't know until I test a batch of them against the originals though.
I'm curious to learn how will you perform the test?
Old 6th November 2019 | Show parent
  #97
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
I'm curious to learn how will you perform the test?
I have a test rig that is a duplicate of the TR-808 noise circuit and I have 10 original, unused, paint marked Roland transistors that I purchased from Roland some time ago (I run a service centre) so I can easily test other transistors against an original selected transistor in our studio or using a spectrum analyser, a listening test is really the better way of the two.
Old 6th November 2019 | Show parent
  #98
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autoy's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
But why not use 536? They seem fair priced, and no hype whatsoever:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/10PCS-Trans...4AAOSwi8VZXLgV

Many TR-808's use 536 for noise as was posted earlier in this thread:


I just bought an 808 and indeed has the 536 noise transistor for sure.
Old 6th November 2019 | Show parent
  #99
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Don Solaris's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by autoy View Post
I just bought an 808 and indeed has the 536 noise transistor for sure.
Well.... then i guess it looks like one myth just got busted!
Old 7th November 2019 | Show parent
  #100
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autoy's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Well.... then i guess it looks like one myth just got busted!
I have to say though, after properly calibrating the white noise on this 808 sounds utterly amazing, and very much identical to my 945p machines (606 and CR-8000). My guess is selection for the exact noise profile in these transistors is the key.
Old 9th August 2020 | Show parent
  #101
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwolf View Post
Behringer will clone that defect
they didn't
Old 9th August 2020
  #102
Gear Nut
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted c74c961 View Post
i seen in the 808 documentary that roland used damaged or defective transistors they got at a discount because they couldn't afford new ones and the roland founder claims that this gave the 808 its distinctive sound or "sizzle". then when the 808 became a hit they had no way of getting a hold of such transistors so they couldn't capitalise on its success.

what an interesting story, and another classic roland curse/twist of fate.

i
Transistor aside - Roland didn't re-manufacture the 808 and 909 during the 90's when they became popular was because the factory would have required almost complete re-tooling. I remember this from an interview Rolands CEO gave around 95
Old 26th November 2020 | Show parent
  #103
Here for the gear
 
Roland philosophy for a very long time was to look forward, not repeat themselves, etc. Although a commercial failure at the time (no one wanted to make demos with an 808) actual recording artists were using it on records, but the business model / strategy wasn’t in place for that. The amount of people actually making records in 1980-1990 (and beyond) was too small to justify reincarnating the 808. It was intended for the average musician, aspiring musician, etc. to play music along to and those people didn’t want it. It wasn’t until everyone who owns a laptop now owns a sound lab too (in the box) and is a “producer”, that it made sense to recreate these kinds of machines. It was never seen as a “relic”. One can name hit songs from every year since its release that the 808 (or at least its kick drum) are featured on. How can that be a relic? It’s always been used, since it came out, and has defined the sound of entire genres.
Old 27th November 2020 | Show parent
  #104
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Stormchild's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeka_Peli View Post
Roland philosophy for a very long time was to look forward, not repeat themselves, etc. Although a commercial failure at the time (no one wanted to make demos with an 808) actual recording artists were using it on records, but the business model / strategy wasn’t in place for that. The amount of people actually making records in 1980-1990 (and beyond) was too small to justify reincarnating the 808. It was intended for the average musician, aspiring musician, etc. to play music along to and those people didn’t want it. It wasn’t until everyone who owns a laptop now owns a sound lab too (in the box) and is a “producer”, that it made sense to recreate these kinds of machines. It was never seen as a “relic”. One can name hit songs from every year since its release that the 808 (or at least its kick drum) are featured on. How can that be a relic? It’s always been used, since it came out, and has defined the sound of entire genres.
The 808 is no more outdated than a piano or guitar. A great instrument is a great instrument.
Old 3rd December 2020 | Show parent
  #105
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🎧 15 years
I'm still interested in buying a transistor for the noise circuit of my 808 clone!
Old 3rd December 2020 | Show parent
  #106
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
The 808 is no more outdated than a piano or guitar. A great instrument is a great instrument.
808 is not an "instrument", by this I mean that, while tons use its sounds, it was not designed to be played, and few (compared to how many use 808 sounds) actually play it with their hands on it, live. You don't see people clamoring for its archaic sequencer to be brought back. People don't even know what its sequencer can or can't do, they want the sound, the boom and tick, but the sound it not the "instrument".

There were other keyboards and string instruments before the piano and guitar as we know them today.


There's also a distinction that needs to be made between when those things were when new versus how they are perceived now, now that they've amassed a huge cultural value.

Imagine for a moment that the 808 didn't have the history that it does, and was just a new machine that came out on the market, like same day as the DrumBrute Impact for example. Would you still call it a great instrument then?
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