What is KVR Audio? | Submit News | Advertise | Developer Account

Options (Affects News & Product results only):

OS:
Format:
Include:
Quick Search KVR

"Quick Search" KVR Audio's Product Database, News Items, Developer Listings, Forum Topics and videos here. For advanced Product Database searching please use the full product search. For the forum you can use the phpBB forum search.

To utilize the power of Google you can use the integrated Google Site Search.

Products 0

Developers 0

News 0

Forum 0

Videos 0

Search  

How reliable are your hardware synths?

Anything about hardware musical instruments.

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

tapper mike
KVRAF
 
3619 posts since 19 Jan, 2008

Postby tapper mike; Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:58 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

I paid the 50 up front and told him upfront if it was going to cost me under 200 go ahead and don't worry about calling me. (again I'd known this guy for years and years) He called me anyway to tell me it was done and all it needed was a quick soldering and to let me know when I'd be getting it back. Because he isn't local and all his dealings go through the guitar store.
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4033 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:08 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

tapper mike wrote:I paid the 50 up front and told him upfront if it was going to cost me under 200 go ahead and don't worry about calling me. (again I'd known this guy for years and years) He called me anyway to tell me it was done and all it needed was a quick soldering and to let me know when I'd be getting it back. Because he isn't local and all his dealings go through the guitar store.


Sure, that's what I thought that you were getting at. I was specifically talking about the call mid repair where it's going to go over X. Some customers are difficult about this, or don't understand what repairs will cost. He probably called you because you knew him well. I know when I've subcontracted to some place they don't really want me calling the customers directly, I call them, they call the customer. They liked to refer to their subcontractors as their "service department."
mztk
KVRAF
 
2063 posts since 12 Jun, 2004

Postby mztk; Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:53 am Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

ghettosynth wrote:
mztk wrote:
UltimateOutsider wrote:There is also no way in hell I'll ever send another synth to a repair shop who A) Charges up-front and B) Isn't local.


this guy was a total conman.


I don't know who you're talking about, but in any case this is something of a strong statement. I'm not defending bad service, but, there's more than one side to every story and, in the past when I've done repairs, I've tried to prepare customers for the worst but they don't always listen very well.


this was about the guy who sent in some (Roland MKS?) rack units for repair,
and prepaid 500 bucks, and waited for months with no result. ok, so maybe
we didn't hear everything, and i appreciate that if you fix stuff you might
have another view - funny story with the printer.

you'd expect to hear some sort of status update at least, and might get a bit
worried when those things have ramped up in desirability/market value.
if you're getting stuff fixed, you ideally want someone local, and with whom
you can at least discuss the job - not some sort of electro holyman who
forbids the impertinence of questioning anything. you know, a bit like the
mechanic who lets you know he can't be arsed with your vehicle, or with you,
and then you're trapped in this waiting game, hoping for the best, but with
no practical recourse if it doesn't turn out as you hope (because who can
pursue minor matters effectively, really?)
janostman
KVRist
 
90 posts since 21 Aug, 2009, from Sweden

Postby janostman; Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:37 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

In my country there is no such thing as "prepaid".

If you leave something to be repaired, you pay when you collect it.
If you don't then, well...
___________________________________________________
Developer and proud owner of http://www.dspsynth.eu
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4033 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:39 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

mztk wrote:
ghettosynth wrote:
mztk wrote:
UltimateOutsider wrote:There is also no way in hell I'll ever send another synth to a repair shop who A) Charges up-front and B) Isn't local.


this guy was a total conman.


I don't know who you're talking about, but in any case this is something of a strong statement. I'm not defending bad service, but, there's more than one side to every story and, in the past when I've done repairs, I've tried to prepare customers for the worst but they don't always listen very well.


this was about the guy who sent in some (Roland MKS?) rack units for repair,
and prepaid 500 bucks, and waited for months with no result. ok, so maybe
we didn't hear everything, and i appreciate that if you fix stuff you might
have another view - funny story with the printer.

you'd expect to hear some sort of status update at least, and might get a bit
worried when those things have ramped up in desirability/market value.


Yes, I agree with all of that, I just don't think failing to get those things makes someone a conman automatically.

if you're getting stuff fixed, you ideally want someone local, and with whom
you can at least discuss the job - not some sort of electro holyman who
forbids the impertinence of questioning anything. you know, a bit like the
mechanic who lets you know he can't be arsed with your vehicle, or with you,
and then you're trapped in this waiting game, hoping for the best, but with
no practical recourse if it doesn't turn out as you hope (because who can
pursue minor matters effectively, really?)


Yes, you do want to be able to discuss the job, and I know exactly what you mean about car mechanics, it's really challenging to find one that you can trust. However, there's a fine line between impertinence and wasting an expert's time and that's one of the points that I think is important to understand.

As I said, I used to earn my living repairing audio gear. With amps we had a policy of just replacing semiconductors back to the phase inverter. We'd give a ballpark quote based on wattage that was reasonable in most cases, but, it absolutely depended on the specific semiconductors involved. Inevitably customers would ask "why must you replace all of them, why not test them and replace just the broken ones", which is a reasonable question. The answer is simple, we can statically test semiconductors but it's often hard to discern certain kinds of damage that might only show up when the amp has really heated up. So, because we don't want to do the job twice, we do the job once, correctly. Now, if that answer isn't good enough for you, then you've crossed the line into annoying the electro holyman with your impertinence. No, I'm not going to delineate all of the different ways that transistors can be damaged, no, it doesn't matter to me that your grandmother never turned it up more than halfway, and yes, you are wasting my time trying to save a few to a few tens of dollars.

Then, I would just get annoyed and try to get rid of you. Today, if you are lucky enough to convince me that I should repair your gear, I'm going to tell you to take it to someone else and you are forever on the blacklist.

On the other hand, if I DO ask you questions, they are important and I want you to answer them honestly.

Now with respect to MKS synths and other such gear. First, some of them ARE a pain in the ass to work on. Second, what can go wrong with such gear can often be difficult to pin down. Analog circuits are easy enough, but nothing is socketed and many of the digital chips are unobtainium so you have to take a cautious approach. Sometimes this means a lot of diagnosis if you haven't seen the problem before, and, because repair techs have to keep their bills paid as well, it sometimes means that it has to happen over multiple sessions. There were many cases where there was no way that I could charge the full time spent on repair. You have to strike some balance between charging for your time and, in essence, investing in your personal knowledge base for the future.

What I'm saying is that there may only be two alternatives, 1) wait six months to get your MKS back, 2) have it sent back to you broken. No tech wants either, but the alternatives aren't attractive either. They can't put your unit on the bench for a week single mindedly tracking down this obscure problem. They might have to take what they've learned about it, put the unit back on the shelf, and do some research. Every time this happens, it's not unreasonable that it takes a week, or more, to get back to it. Waiting for parts can be a month or more if they are obscure, and this process may have to repeat itself.

Now, as far as local is ideal, that may be true, it probably seems that way from your point of view. That said, the guy that's remote might have learned a lot of detail from his specialization and sending it to him could mean the difference between getting it back quickly, or having it sit on the shelf for months because it's the kind of problem that I'm talking about above.

I have fixed more than a few synths, that were sitting on some shelf in a generalists shop for over a year. This happens a lot since I go out of my way to buy broken analog synthesizers.
JCJR
KVRian
 
953 posts since 17 Apr, 2005

Postby JCJR; Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:54 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

Electronic repair is just a problem for all concerned. The most ideal situation is a factory-run central repair depot, where the tech sees the same units all the time and knows every possible failure mode. A fella could get enough practice to be real fast in turnaround, and have all needed parts on hand, no parts ordering or making do with a part that is almost but not quite the same.

I enjoyed designing and building stuff, or modifying people's gear, but straight up repair benchwork drove me stir crazy. You could never predict in advance whether a unit was gonna be simple like a bad solder joint or loose wire, or complicated like replacing half the guts, or a science project where logical diagnosis fails, and it takes forever to finally fix the gadget by replacing a 10 cent part, after you tore your hair out forever to find that bad 10 cent part.

Having never been a mechanic, perhaps mechanics have it just as bad, but seems perhaps more predictable diagnosis-- no gas, fuel pump not working, replace fuel pump, done!

I did pricing, structured so that the customer would pay a little higher than reasonable on simple quick repairs, because some percentage of gadgets are gonna be tough dogs that you could never fix quick enough for the customer to be able to afford the bill, so there will be some units you "lose money on". Sure you get paid, but maybe only 5 or 10 bucks an hour if the stupid thing took forever to diagnose. If it takes hours to find the bad 10 cent part, then your hours are already sunk when you can call the customer and tell him, "it will be 10 cents for parts and $500 in labor" and then the customer either has a heart attack or comes looking for you with his gun. :)

So some percent of the jobs, almost had to lose money on, just to prove to the customer that I'm not a freaking moron who is too stoopid to fix his gadget. :) So to stay in business, need to charge a little more on the simple repairs. Communism in action!

When I was doing it, market may be different today, but if you let it be known you would fix music gear, within a short time so much work would come in that you would be hopelessly behind forever until you finally come to yer senses and stop doing that. :)
janostman
KVRist
 
90 posts since 21 Aug, 2009, from Sweden

Postby janostman; Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:02 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

I have schematics of every synth in my studio.
That includes both the digital and analog ;)

But that's just me being able to read them.

I don't expect a musician to do so.
And being able to repair them.
___________________________________________________
Developer and proud owner of http://www.dspsynth.eu
ghettosynth
KVRAF
 
4033 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Postby ghettosynth; Wed Jun 25, 2014 2:58 pm Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

JCJR wrote:Electronic repair is just a problem for all concerned. The most ideal situation is a factory-run central repair depot, where the tech sees the same units all the time and knows every possible failure mode. A fella could get enough practice to be real fast in turnaround, and have all needed parts on hand, no parts ordering or making do with a part that is almost but not quite the same.


I agree, barring that though, perhaps the next best thing is the specialist who might have enough parts accumulated and all of the manuals easily at hand.

When I was doing it, market may be different today, but if you let it be known you would fix music gear, within a short time so much work would come in that you would be hopelessly behind forever until you finally come to yer senses and stop doing that. :)


Exactly, LOL!
tylerdurden91
KVRer
 
18 posts since 14 Jan, 2013

Postby tylerdurden91; Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:32 am Re: How reliable are your hardware synths?

masterhiggins wrote:One of the things that prevents me from buying hardware synths is the fact that if they break down, you're pretty much at the whim of whatever authorized/unauthorized repair center that's capable of fixing your issue. Depending on how fugged up it is I'm sure has a bearing on the repair price/turnaround time. By the time you send it in, get a quote, pay shipping, does it ever become pointless to fix it? Like let's say I buy a Minibrute used for like $400. If something fries out on it, do you think it would make sense to try getting it fixed?

Before I get ahead of myself, does anyone have any experience with getting hardware fixed by a repair shop? What was it like and how much did it cost?

I know that computers break down all the time but I'm a bit more experienced troubleshooting those problems and when a computer dies (if properly backed up) you can just move your projects over to a new one and you're on your way again. At least that's how I've justified it. :)

-Sam


UPS turned my Korg 01/W Pro X into kindling and when I brought it to a repair shop,there were no replacement parts for it(last year of production was 1995)and in 1996,I'm shit out of luck!?
Perhaps if this keyboard wasn't made out of particle board,a trip to the repair shop wouldn't have been necessary.
Not much has changed since then,in terms of build quality.The last hardware keyboard to peak my interest,was the Roland FA-series,but it's a flimsy plastic piece of shit in terms of build quality.
I loved the build quality of my old Kurzweil PC3 LE6...but the display screen was so outdated and virtually no PC integration.
As I see it,there will always be serious compromises in hardware in one form or another,just by virtue of the fact that you can't customize hardware workstations like you can with computer workstations.
Customizing from the ground up,to the precise specifications of the individual,will never happen in hardware...but if by some remote chance it did,the price tag will be insanely high.
Previous

Moderator: Moderators (Main)

Return to Hardware (Instruments and Effects)