This synth has seen much better days. I acquired this many years ago when purchasing a Roland Juno-106 from a guy out of the paper classifieds. The Juno-106 had a broken slider but otherwise was in wonderful shape. I told him that I didn’t mind as I planned to restore that slider; and he asked me if I was into “restoring” that I could have this other synth that needed a ton of work. I said “let’s check it out”…
He proceeded to take me under his front porch crawlspace to acquire this beast from the earthen floor. I asked if it worked and he said no; hasn’t worked in a long long time; but I was welcome to it; as a matter of fact I remember him somewhat begging me to take it with the Juno to get it out of his “storage”. So what the heck; a good project for the future I thought! I took it home and plugged it in…nothing; and given I had a new Juno to play with this ended up in the basement for another day.
Fast Forward about 17 years, and I remembered this thing was sitting in the basement. Might as well check it out since I was working on restoring my Mini-Korg and Moog PolyMoog Synthesizer anyway. I drug this thing from the basement and it looked better than I remembered it; but still it was pretty gross and banged up. I again plugged it in and nothing…so I opened it up and it was full of mouse/rat poison…nice!
After cleaning it out I started looking around and noticed that the fuse was blown. I replaced the fuse and the green light lit on the front of the keyboard! Cool! Upon checking it out everything seemed to work just fine; that was easy enough. This thing is analog as hell and has some really neat features, so I have decided to restore it along side the Mini-Korg (see this post). I’m looking forward to these projects.
Here is my “to do” list for this project (Project Start Date, Jan 11, 2013)
1) Fix the 3 broken keys
2) Hope to find replacement sliders and toggle switch extensions to match; this is likely going to be difficult; I may try to use a 3dPrinter if that is cost effective… ???
3) Clean it up; not sure what to do about the faded screening around the Traveller section.
4) Add CV/Gate for both synths and the overall synth and perhaps audio inputs.
5) Redo the wooden sides and face plates.
If you have any experience restoring this synth; please drop me a line; I’d love to ask some questions…
UPDATE (1/25/2013): MISSING/BROKEN KEYS ON ORDER (Project total so far: $24)
Found a good deal on eBay for early Moog/Korg keys so I purchased the ones needed. I figured that would be the harder part; but keeping your eyes open (thanks to automated searches) and having good luck is “key” :).
I bought some cleaner that is supposed to take the old duct tape residue off of the metal and I’m going to test that out today.
UPDATE (2/6/2013): Deep cleaning and key replacement (Project total so far: $24)
Did some deep cleaning on the unit. Started with all the slider caps and knobs…I need to make two grey oval slider caps, one orange pointed knob, one red traveller knob and one orange tube slider cap. I’m investigating using silicone rubber molds and resin or possibly 3d printing to do these…
I found it’s “born on” date as well as the original check list (I’m assuming) from the factory. October 1976!
Here is the control panel all washed up. I need to fix some of the wear with a black marker; a Sharpie didn’t do the trick; will check into an auto-body or hardware store for touch up markers soon.
Here is the Maxi-Korg as I was starting to clean the keyboard keys. Someone dumped their Cola in there and it was a mess; the keys, the springs, and all the contacts…I can’t believe the contacts still worked!
The Moog keys that I purchased are very close to the Korg series keys. I had to file down the curved hook that holds the key into the keyboard assembly. As I was going through these; I noticed several keys that were also the Moog variety; it looks like someone else has done some keyboard repairs already. I was able to fix 2 of the keys with superglue too.
As you can see, I didn’t file much away; but it sure made the keys much easier to install. The several keys that were already installed that were Moog keys were very difficult to remove. I filed those down too.
So, here is the Korg DV-800 after I did the deep cleaning today. Looks already much nicer! Note there are no wood faceplates or sides; I will get to those in probably another month or two.