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ARP Axxe Repair Thread (was Cleaning Vintage (Arp) Sliders)
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7  Next [all]
Author ARP Axxe Repair Thread (was Cleaning Vintage (Arp) Sliders)
valis
Greetings, I'm sorry if this subject has been talked about to death on various sites. I've been doing some research into how to best clean some sliders on an Arp Axxe and there's a million different methods so I'd love some advice, preferably from people who have experience with this sort of thing thumbs up

Anyway, like I said, I have an old Arp Axxe that is in need of a cleaning. At the moment I'm going for improvement, not necessarily a new feeling synth.

It seems like the best method, and the one endorsed by the legendary Kevin Lightner is to use pressurized soft water and then air dry the board. This is not really an option for me. I don't have the resources to do this so I'd prefer not to try. I know I could unsolder the sliders and wash them by hand but again, I'd like to try to avoid this..

I suppose I could get some bottled water and wash the entire board in a big pan and dry it with either compressed air or gently with a blow dryer. Thoughts on that? I do have some concern about not completely drying the board and something rusting (or worse)..

Buying replacement sliders is out of the question right now as I'd like to try to DIY it. And Yes, I've worked on synths before..

Anyway, moving on..

There's the Isopropyl Alcohol method. I have 91% Isoprophyl Alcohol and could clean the sliders with a q-tip or even a syringe. I am concerned with residue not evaporating and being left in the slider shaft though. Still, people seemed to of successfully used this method to clean there Oddys (see AH).

I don't want to do the Deoxit thing after reading some horror stories (and since it really won't clean out the sliders very well but just moved the gunk around).

Also..

After I'm done I assume that I'll need some fader lube. What are peoples' opinions of GC Luberex, Caig Fader Grease, or Caig Fader Lube?

Thanks for Reading!
dude
i am in the exact same boat and would love input as well. my axxe and little brother need a good slider cleaning/lube. anybody?
valis
Damn, two Oregonians with some dirty Axxes..
Luka
i heard the only way to really refurb them is to desolder, dissasemble, clean (scrub), relube, reassemble, re-solder

and it sounds like a PITA


im not sure if squirting any kind of liquid into them is going to help
dude
Luka wrote:
i heard the only way to really refurb them is to desolder, dissasemble, clean (scrub), relube, reassemble, re-solder

and it sounds like a PITA


im not sure if squirting any kind of liquid into them is going to help


i SO don't want that to be true, but i have heard the same. very frustrating
Luka
i was going to do this for a friend until i learnt the process :(
(which i heard from our local synth tech guru)
valis
Here's KL cleaning an Odyssey with water. It looks like a great method but I'm not sure how I'd get the water pressure (or if there's anywhere in town that has softened pressurized water)..



I really don't want to take those sliders apart, or at least not without some practice..
valis
Are the faders on an Axxe "carbon compound faders?"
dude
hmmm. that looks scary.
JohnLRice
FWIW . . .

You could try Caig FaderLube:
http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.293/.f

This page has a link to a PDF that gives some usage instructions:
http://store.caig.com/s.nl/it.I/id.52/.f?sc=17&category=-117
dude
oh john thanks for that. i hope that it will do the trick. i am talking to my local techs about their thoughts.
valis
Let me know what your tech say. I'm going with some fader lube and some Isoprophyl Alcohol, as recommended by Tim Servo..

http://old.nabble.com/Anyone-find-a-good-lube-for-arp-odyssey-style-sl iders--td8878179.html#a8895795

I'd be all about the water method if I had pressurized soft water and a thorough way of quickly drying the board (Oregon in November isn't really a good place for anything to dry)..

JohnLRice wrote:
FWIW . . .

You could try Caig FaderLube:
http://store.caig.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.293/.f

This page has a link to a PDF that gives some usage instructions:
http://store.caig.com/s.nl/it.I/id.52/.f?sc=17&category=-117


Anybody have any experience with Caig FaderLube? There seems to of be some horror stories over at AH regarding using Deoxit..
Reptil
when the fader is clean the lub e is excellent.
I got some spare faders this weekend, but I'm interested in cleaning
+1 that Odyssee in the shower looks scary eek! help
emdot_ambient
valis wrote:
Damn, two Oregonians with some dirty Axxes..

I've got 'em beat...I'm one Marylander with two dirty Axxes..

If anyone gives this a go, let me know how it works out. I'm going to spring for new keyboard bushings soon for both of them and my (broken) Minimoog. I was thinking of just going ahead at some point and getting new sliders altogether...but that would be about $229 + shipping from the UK, or $319 + shipping if I got enough to do my ARP Sequencer, too. Still, that's not a bad price considering it's only about $4.90 per slider for the AXXE with 23 sliders total (this is based on the kits from http://www.synthrestore.co.uk/products.htm which are out of stock until Dec '09).

Add about $46 for keyboard bushings per AXXE and $50 for the Minimoog...about $500 total to refurbish 2 AXXE, 1 Minimoog (not including its malfunctioning PSU or any other needed replacement parts) and 1 Sequencer.
valis
I just gave the Axxe a shower yesterday and *knock on wood* everything appears to be good. The sliders feel a lot better but I'm waiting for some Fader Lube to come in the mail before I reassemble to unit and give it a full test..
dude
valis wrote:
I just gave the Axxe a shower yesterday and *knock on wood* everything appears to be good. The sliders feel a lot better but I'm waiting for some Fader Lube to come in the mail before I reassemble to unit and give it a full test..


cheers,

uz gotz ballz.

respek!
valis
dude wrote:


uz gotz ballz.




Lol, that much is true!



I've been detailing my adventures with the Axxe and some of my other synths on my pretty lame blog:

http://obsolete-synthesis.blogspot.com/

I haven't updated it to reflect the bath since I'm waiting for the FaderLube to come in the mail. Still, There's some info on disassembling the case and cleaning the keys, case, etc. I'm certainly no great expert so take everything with a grain of salt if, you're interested enough to look..
scozbor
yes I have a roland sh3a. the filter does not work any more.

more precisely, the resonance does not seem to work. the cutoff acts like a volume knob. The filter still passes audio though.

i'm wondering if it's just the fader....
emdot_ambient
valis wrote:
...http://obsolete-synthesis.blogspot.com/

That email from KL is most reassuring. I'm pretty sure I'll do the same thing...let us know how it goes, though; I"ll still let you be the guinea pig

lol
emdot_ambient
valis wrote:
...http://obsolete-synthesis.blogspot.com/

Oh...As you mention, the AXXE's circutry is very simple. Ever considered modding it? Seems to me it would be fairly easy to make the thing semi-modular. I've seen one online that had that done, have always thought about doing some of that.
valis
emdot_ambient wrote:
valis wrote:
...http://obsolete-synthesis.blogspot.com/

That email from KL is most reassuring. I'm pretty sure I'll do the same thing...let us know how it goes, though; I"ll still let you be the guinea pig

lol



Lol you may as well let me be the guinea pig. I didn't really want to do it but the sliders were and absolute mess. All things considered, I think this method is safer than me unsoldering all the sliders, taking them apart, cleaning the insides, reassembling them, and resoldering them back on the board. There's a lot that can go wrong there. Plus washing the board addresses some other issues.

Truth be told, I didn't fully submerge the circuit board. I filled up a water sprayer with very warm distilled water and blasted the sliders, back of the board, and other components. It was much more of a controlled washing. Then I took some Q-tips and 99% Isoprophyl Alchohol and cleaned out in the sliders. I'll go more into detail later.

Yeah, that email from KL was most encouraging. I thought it was pretty awesome he sent it.

Anyway, I'll post details and pics after my package comes and I put the thing back together. Everybody keep there fingers crossed for me..
valis
emdot_ambient wrote:

Oh...As you mention, the AXXE's circutry is very simple. Ever considered modding it? Seems to me it would be fairly easy to make the thing semi-modular. I've seen one online that had that done, have always thought about doing some of that.


You may be referencing this website that has some very interesting Axxe mods:


http://www.cykong.com/Synths/ARP%20Axxe%20AS%20Modular/ArpAxxeModular( AS).htm
(I cannot get that URL to properly format. If you're interested in seeing it, just copy the whole thing into your browser without any spaces..)


I've considered doing some mods but truthfully it's pretty far down my to-do list. I'm sure they'd be real simple but I already have some old monos I've modded to be semi-modular so this isn't a huge priority. As the machine stands, with it's gate in/out, trigger in/out, CV in/out, and audio to the VCF, it'll adapt really nicely in a modular studio.

I have a buddy who bought an Axxe circuit board on Ebay some time ago. He plans to make his Axxe into a modular machine. I'll let you know how that goes if it ever happens..
emdot_ambient
That's the site. I'd rather run all the jacks out the back...and maybe just do them as 1/4"...I HATE 3.5mm jacks and plugs! Cheap ass things.

Before I go modding mine (assuming they're working), I'll probably do something about the wiring of the Gate/Trigger/CV.

The way they've done, if you run a Gate/Trigger/CV into an AXXE, it disconnects the keyboard, making that AXXE a slave to the input signal.

The keyboard of the slaved unit becomes a big waste of space. What I'd like is to have a Keyboard Gate/Trigger/CV output that's independent. It would be disconnected from the PCB's inputs, but shunted to 3 separate jacks so that it could still be used to control other modules, like transposing a sequencer.
valis
Hey All,

With the acquisition of another 1970s monosynth this week, I'm moving right along with my Axxe project. I thought some of you might be interested in how things are going/went. If anybody is interested in fuller details they can go here:

http://obsolete-synthesis.blogspot.com/2009/11/arp-axxe-restoration-po stings.html

.. But here is the rundown:


Overall Impressions:

Success! After doing this wash, the synth feels, plays, and, sounds worlds better. I'm quite happy that I went through all of the trouble because it really is a fabulous sounding synthesizer. Excellent tone, great filter, an absolute gem. All and all, this method was definitely a success and worth the trouble. It's definitely not factory new but it is much better now.

Original Problems:
Extremely stiff and dirty sliders, sine LFO not working, S&H not working , White Noise not working, Saw Wave oscillator not working, Saw Wave oscillator slider not working, something weird going on with ADSR and oscillator, strange persistent tone that played after every note you played.

Remaining Problems:
I still can't get any White Noise out of the machine and the Sample and Hold still is not working. I'm sure that the two issues are related since the Sample and Hold triggers from the White Noise source. I suppose that I'll have to look at the schematic and see if I can figure out what is going on..

Things left to do:
Fix the White Noise and the Sample & Hold problem, fix bushings, I should probably go through the calibration procedures, replace power cord (slight fraying near chassis).

Method Used for Cleaning:
Heated purified water and a spray bottle for the circuit board and sliders, 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and some Q-tips for the sliders, water and a little dish soap for slider caps and case, a bit of Caig Fader Lube for the sliders, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for the keys.

Pictures:

ARP Axxe before restoration




A clean Axxe



Note: Both of these previous two "before and after" pictures have been brightened in Photoshop. I've been having problems getting good lighting with the camera that I have. The keys are definitely not that glowing white!



Here's a picture of the Axxe that hasn't been brightened at all. You can see that there's still some yellowing to the keys and some of the bushings are off a little. The slider caps, of course, also haven't been put back on. Still, it looks much better..



Keyboard Before:


Keyboard After:



Sliders Before:


Sliders After:



Caps and Knobs Before:



Caps and Knobs After:


(See previous picture in this forum of the ARP circuit board in the shower)
emdot_ambient
valis wrote:
Method Used for Cleaning:
Heated purified water and a spray bottle for the circuit board and sliders, 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and some Q-tips for the sliders, water and a little dish soap for slider caps and case, a bit of Caig Fader Lube for the sliders...

Sweet! OK, so did you use the spray Faderlube or squeeze bottle or what?

...and how did you dry it?

Also, are you considering replacing the keyboard bushings? If the keys are stiff or clack when you play them, it's 'cause the bushings have dried out and become hard. Replacing them pretty much restores its Pratt-Read keyboard to how it originally felt.

I'm going to give both of my AXXE's a bath and then replace their bushings. See how that goes before I do drastic things like replacing sliders or shelling out for a real tech to look at them.

thumbs up Thanks for the update!
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