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Formanta Polivoks - a few issues Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 15th September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Formanta Polivoks - a few issues

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum, and I've been lurking for ages, literally, a great resource for audio production and recording tips. I'd like to become a recording engineer myself, although there is too much gear (not that I'd need it, really) and not enough money, but course, you can still record an album with three or four microphones and the right state of mind. Anyway...

I've bought a Formanta Polivoks, which has some small issues. Basically, it needs a general revision, but still, I'd like to know if some of the things are "normal":

- many of the features of the synth (for example, filter cutoff, or LFO speed) are extremely "logarithmic" in response, as in, most of the changes happen in a quarter of the entire travel of the pots, is it possible to fix this by replacing pots with other ones with a different impedance\taper?

- I can't make the filter ADSR work: the sustain pot seems to works as a cutoff frequency pot, I mean, there is no attack or decay, nor release, maybe I got something wrong

- I can't understand why the release in the amp section doesn't work, how much release is there supposed to be?

Anyway, is it easy to repair a Polivoks, just in case? I read that it uses discrete components everywhere, and that there are Western equivalents for each component, which should work just fine.
Old 17th September 2011
  #2
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
is it possible to fix this by replacing pots with other ones with a different impedance\taper?
Yeah, no problem. Pretty much everything's discrete. Just look up the schematics - some pots are logarithmic, some are linear. One can swap that. There are mods around which use a simple resistor soldered to the resonance pot in order to stretch the (originally very samll/dense) area where the filter turns into self-oscillation.

Quote:
- I can't make the filter ADSR work: the sustain pot seems to works as a cutoff frequency pot, I mean, there is no attack or decay, nor release, maybe I got something wrong
- I can't understand why the release in the amp section doesn't work, how much release is there supposed to be?
envs are standard adsr which are loopable (!)
The layout of the ADSRs is a bit special, you can figure it out here:

http://www.vintagesynth.com/patches/polpanel.pdf
Old 5th October 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Hi,

I took the Polivoks to a technician and well, he replaced a bit of parts, he said the envelopes now work, but there is a problem with the filter env retrigger. It doesn't work (while the amp env retrigger works), and it's a real pity. He wasn't at all familiar with the kind of synth and he also said that it differed quite a bit from the schematics you can find on the 'net, anyway, what does the filter retrigger depend from?

Adriano
Old 5th October 2011
  #4
Lives for gear
 
oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampetrosillo View Post
Hi,

I took the Polivoks to a technician and well, he replaced a bit of parts, he said the envelopes now work, but there is a problem with the filter env retrigger. It doesn't work (while the amp env retrigger works), and it's a real pity. He wasn't at all familiar with the kind of synth and he also said that it differed quite a bit from the schematics you can find on the 'net, anyway, what does the filter retrigger depend from?

Adriano
In addition to the switch being in 'repeat', start with A,D,S,R all at 0. Slowly turn up the A and D and S and you should start hearing the envelope repeating. There's certain ranges for the pots where it stops repeating. I can't remember exactly which, but work each one separately. You probably need to hold a key down as well.
Old 26th June 2017
  #5
Here for the gear
 

I also have this synth and the filter ADSR is a bit wonky, I can't quite seem to figure it out.
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