Digisound 80 refurbishment

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: Kent, luketeaford, lisa, Joe.

User avatar
krisp14u
Oakley4All!
Posts: 1176
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:19 pm
Location: UK
Contact:

Post by krisp14u » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:35 pm

Morley wrote:Some lovely systems guys!
Krisp1 Yours has a great balance of modules.
Image
Cheers :party:

I have another VCDO to go in but what do I take out!

I keep thinking about selling it
Then I plug it in have a play and realise no one would pay what its worth to me
Took me a long time to replace every Jack and pot not to mention cleaning it all up
Cheers :guinness:

Paul
www.krisp1.com/store/
Fine Modular systems Built in Yorkshire UK EU Planet Earth

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:37 pm

NYMo wrote:Nice work...hopefully it will last for another 30 years :hihi:

Cheers
I won't store it in a leaky, damp shed for the next 30 years...

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:50 pm

fireclown wrote:what is the architecture of the dual resonant vcf?
Pair of 3320's?
It uses a CEM3350 dual VCF chip - full details with circuit diagram here: http://www.digisound80.co.uk/digisound/ ... /80-16.pdf

The result is fairly subtle, but sounds very nice. Not an in-your-face filter by any means.

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:04 pm

snufkin wrote:I think you should try and track down some nos kits to fill the gaps >:)
Rare as rocking horse manure, alas. But I've been offered a spare Digisound panel for the Dual EG module, and I plan to build a Ken Stone CGS78 dual ADSR to put behind it. Sacrilege, I know, and Charles Blakey will roll in his grave, but I don't think it is wise to build any new modules that use CEM chips. So that will leave only one empty slot in my 24 module cabinet. I'm interested in making offers on any Digisound module or Digisound faceplate, if anyone wants to sell.

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:29 pm

Morley wrote:Some lovely systems guys!
Krisp1 Yours has a great balance of modules.
Agreed, that's a set of DS modules to die for!
krisp14u wrote: I have another VCDO to go in but what do I take out!
Maybe the power amp? But the power amp is so 70s/80s - like the built-in speakers in the ARP 2600.
krisp14u wrote: I keep thinking about selling it
Then I plug it in have a play and realise no one would pay what its worth to me
Took me a long time to replace every Jack and pot not to mention cleaning it all up
Keep it as a point of reference for the Oakley modules. This Digisound, even more impressive than yours, sold for 4000 pounds at Vemia earlier this year - but that's only an average of 100 pounds per module: http://www.spheremusic.com/Bargaindtl.asp?Item=10830

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:32 pm

bennelong.bicyclist wrote: Keep it as a point of reference for the Oakley modules. This Digisound, even more impressive than yours, sold for 4000 pounds at Vemia earlier this year - but that's only an average of 100 pounds per module: http://www.spheremusic.com/Bargaindtl.asp?Item=10830
Err, 133 pounds per module - it only has 30 modules, not 40.

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:07 pm

bennelong.bicyclist wrote:Refurbishment should be complete by Xmas. I have asked Santa for some new patch cables...
The other outstanding task is to build this little Schmitt trigger circuit so that the Dual EG module responds properly to 5V gates and triggers - it fixes a design fault in the original module (sorry Charles, the rest of your design work was kick-arse): http://burnit.co.uk/sdiy/index.php?page ... page=egmod

Has anyone else had problems with their Dual EG module?

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:17 am

krisp14u wrote: I keep thinking about selling it
Then I plug it in have a play and realise no one would pay what its worth to me. Took me a long time to replace every Jack and pot not to mention cleaning it all up
Here's what krisp14u's Digisound sounds like: http://soundcloud.com/krisp1/digisound-play-time

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:22 am

bennelong.bicyclist wrote: Here's what krisp14u's Digisound sounds like:
And also like this: http://soundcloud.com/krisp1/swamp-v-digisound

User avatar
snufkin
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 809
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Post by snufkin » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:49 am

bennelong.bicyclist wrote:
snufkin wrote:I think you should try and track down some nos kits to fill the gaps >:)
Rare as rocking horse manure, alas. But I've been offered a spare Digisound panel for the Dual EG module, and I plan to build a Ken Stone CGS78 dual ADSR to put behind it. Sacrilege, I know, and Charles Blakey will roll in his grave, but I don't think it is wise to build any new modules that use CEM chips. So that will leave only one empty slot in my 24 module cabinet. I'm interested in making offers on any Digisound module or Digisound faceplate, if anyone wants to sell.
not quite as rare as you would think they pop up on the bay from time to time and I have been offered kits a few times a while back
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-V-C-E ... rid=229508
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CEM3340-VCO-D ... 7675.l2557
WTB: any Digisound80 / Digisound 80 faceplates/pcbs/kits.

annilog
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 2:35 pm
Location: England

Post by annilog » Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:35 am

bennelong.bicyclist


Hi

If you are still looking for two modules to complete your cabinet I have some for sale

Brian

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:21 pm

annilog wrote:bennelong.bicyclist
Hi

If you are still looking for two modules to complete your cabinet I have some for sale

Brian
Yes, have sent you a PM.

Tim C

User avatar
jonne74
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1068
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:43 am
Location: Göteborg, Sweden

Post by jonne74 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:48 am

If/when you vacuum that case, I'm sure you're going to kill a fully functional and fragile mini eco system. Keeping an eye on this for sounds :party:

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:00 pm

jonne74 wrote:If/when you vacuum that case, I'm sure you're going to kill a fully functional and fragile mini eco system. Keeping an eye on this for sounds :party:
I recently sold on eBay a Roland System 100 Model 101 which was stored in the same damp shed as the Digisound - it didn't fair as well - see http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/151159791323 - but everything still worked, with only a few key contacts needing cleaning and a few noisy slider pots.

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Nearly finished!

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Feb 09, 2014 2:50 am

As I mentioned earlier, I had two spare spaces in my 24 module Digisound cabinet, so I decided to build two more modules to go in them:

Image

One faceplate came from Doug at http://www.synthparts.com , the other from a guy in New Zealand who has various Digisound parts and a few incomplete modules which he apparently bought from the Digisound "factory" before it closed its doors.

However, although the faceplates are genuine, these aren't really Digisound modules - in fact they are Ken Stone CGS modules, a CGS35 Steiner-Parker Synthacon VCF, and a CGS78 dual EG:

Image

Purists may shudder (are there any Digisound purists?), but I think these modules are in the spirit of Digisound being entirely DIY, and they fit the panel quite well (note cable ties to secure one end of the PCBs, a bit ghetto but remarkably secure), and the pot and jack functions fit quite well with the panel labelling.

I also built the little Schmitt trigger circuit suggested by Seb in order to fix the gating problem which was a design fault with the Digisound Dual EG module. The veroboard is just superglued to the edge of the Digisound PCB, which means I can remove it later if necessary:

Image

Finally, I replaced a few dodgy jacks, and all the fine-tune pots on all the oscillators (can you guess which pot is new?):

Image

Next step is to re-assemble everything into the cabinet (the design of the cabinet makes bolting the modules in a real pain, and thus I need to think carefully about their order and placement), with a final check of the calibration of each module as it goes in, and then I'm finished! No doubt I'll want to replace some more corroded jacks and noisy pots in due course, but I want to use it a bit first before deciding what else to replace, if anything.

Final photos and some sound samples next, in due course. Oh, I must buy some more patch cables!

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Digisound stuff on eBay

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:51 pm

A guy in NZ is selling various Digisound parts on eBay - faceplates, a few NOS PCBs, a few populated PCBs and some rare parts. I bought two faceplates from him, but I now don't need any more Digisound parts. Really, I don't. See http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/capricornone ... 1398835134

He has more stuff - see http://www.trademe.co.nz/music-instrume ... 978919.htm - ask him via eBay if/when he will be listing the other items, if you are interested. Some of the stuff he is offering, such as used PCBs, isn't likely to be very attractive to anyone.

User avatar
cretaceousear
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2340
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
Location: Suburbia, London

Post by cretaceousear » Sun Mar 23, 2014 3:06 pm

Hi - trying to find pics of my Digisound to add here - I took it to bits so looks holey right now

I'm pretty certain one of the CEM VCO chips is done for - it oscillates but in wrong freq range. If I swap chips, card to card, it's clearly the chip at fault.

Do I just have to wait for a CEM 3340 on ebay?
What do they go for? About £60?

Might it be less hassle to build a new circuit or is there no similar replacement?

Thanks!

I met a guy many years ago who knew Charles Blakey - he had a sad tale of his heart attack.

User avatar
dougt
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1132
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:47 am
Location: Sillycon Valley, CA

Post by dougt » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:00 am

If the problem follows the chip then yes it's the chip. I have CEM3340s available (cheaper than on ebay). Send me a PM or email from my site if you want one...

User avatar
alphabetter
Common Wiggler
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:24 am

Post by alphabetter » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:24 am

Thanks for sharing the pics. Great to see these systems.

A bit off-topic, but you might be amused that I used the Digisound Envelope Tracker in as part of my new LushOne module:
http://lushprojects.com/lushone/echo/
lushprojects.com - a feast of electronics fun

User avatar
cretaceousear
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2340
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
Location: Suburbia, London

Post by cretaceousear » Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:19 pm

some pics of mine
Image

Image

and though I say it myself it's quite a handsome beast
Austin Montego bronze (a car colour) and colour coded rings on the jacks
(all metallic colours)
outputs : gold
cv in: red
signal in: blue
modulations in : green
triggers and gates : purple

and the required holes for the bits I never finished

>@ Doug.. thanks for that _ will get myself organised and put an order in

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:01 am

dougt wrote:If the problem follows the chip then yes it's the chip. I have CEM3340s available (cheaper than on ebay). Send me a PM or email from my site if you want one...
I can recommend Doug as a source of CEM chips. I bought several from him for my Digisound - all good, no hassle, arrived promptly and well-packed.

I also bought two CEM chips on eBay that Doug didn't have in stock. Both worked, but both had bent pins, one seriously bent, and were only barely cheaper than Doug's prices..

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:04 am

cretaceousear wrote:some pics of mine
Image

Image

and though I say it myself it's quite a handsome beast
Austin Montego bronze (a car colour) and colour coded rings on the jacks
(all metallic colours)
outputs : gold
cv in: red
signal in: blue
modulations in : green
triggers and gates : purple
in
Wow, that's gorgeous! You may well own the world's most beautiful Digisound-80.

User avatar
cretaceousear
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2340
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
Location: Suburbia, London

Post by cretaceousear » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:18 am

Thanks Bennelong - glad you like the look !

I remember I didn't like the white Digisound panels and I dislike the opposite of white lettering on black..
I had 4 spray cans of different bronze metallics at home (from a college graphic design project I guess)- so used the colour I liked best - could be a problem geting a match when I do the last panels!

The jacks are push fit - Roberts radio, so high quality - not had a single jack failure either.

User avatar
bennelong.bicyclist
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1025
Joined: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:54 am
Location: Sydney, Australia

Post by bennelong.bicyclist » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:23 pm

cretaceousear wrote: The jacks are push fit - Roberts radio, so high quality - not had a single jack failure either.
I don't suppose the Roberts Radio sockets are still available anywhere? They look gorgeous. Or at least the anodised rings around the sockets?

User avatar
cretaceousear
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2340
Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 10:01 am
Location: Suburbia, London

Post by cretaceousear » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:06 am

bennelong.bicyclist wrote: I don't suppose the Roberts Radio sockets are still available anywhere? They look gorgeous. Or at least the anodised rings around the sockets?
I guess you might find some on ebay! I painted the rings in Humbrol metallic enamel.
It might work to paint the nuts on jack sockets - though they might be too small to stand out, unless you have 1/4 inch. I did think about colour coding the knob caps as well but decided that wasn't so useful on a modular.

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”