Korg Maxi-Korg 800DV / Univox K3 part 7: Back together

The Maxi-Korg project languished for a while before a flurry of activity got it working back in March. Let’s review my to-do list from September of 2020 as a means to provide updates:

I still need to refinish the wood cheeks to use the originals until I can get new made

Still using the original wood. Once it was all back together I decided I needed some quality time making sounds with it before I took it back apart for any reason. This is not to say I won’t ever replace the wood, but probably not for a while. It can only be original once.

I need to clean up and remove some paint speckles around the bodywork from someone painting with a roller near this – hopefully it is latex paint

This was time consuming and as one can imagine with TINY paint spreckles it was tedious. After trying some mild cleaners and wood or plastic tools it was decided that my fingernail was the best implement for removing the paint from the textured metal bodywork. There are some areas where there is still a haze of discoloration from paint, but I can live with it.

Looks pretty good above. Superglued key is still holding together! I bought some new black oxide hardware for the panel – I’ll see if I can get my son to swap it sometime soon. Keeping company with some frequent collaborators. I spy a Source and a System 100.

To do continued:

I have 1 capacitor to replace on an oscillator board

This got done pretty soon after the September 1 2020 update. Was simply a cap I forgot to order. No big.

I have to repair the foot that got bent in transit

This also happened pretty soon after last update. You all have replaced a bent machine screw at some point I bet? Yeah, it was just that. M8 I think. Only hiccup here was the rubber foot was bonded to a fairly thick threaded metal washer and I had to straighten the screw out to remove it. I swear I took pictures, but I can’t find them.

I need to power on and test it – all sorts of things can go wrong there.

Okay, we are now at the beginning of the 6 months of not being touched. Here’s what happened. I assembled the thing completely after doing the little jobs described above and after a lot of careful checking of connections decided to power it on. The green power light lit up without complaint, but the keyboard didn’t make any sound. I fussed about with it for a few minutes before a call to dinner pulled me away, and somehow I didn’t touch it again until March 2021.

Why no sound? Turns out I had the volume turned all the way down instead of all the way up and a few more settings such that it wasn’t going to get any sound out of it until I messed with it for a while. Remember the first time you powered on a synthesizer and tried to make a pleasing noise? Not as easy as it looks. Yeah, I forgot about that lesson. Oh well, lesson relearned!

Looks good above. Wood is banged up but only about 10% more than I find acceptable. I still need to make a blue insert for upper synth fine tune, but not a real priority. Note the absence of felt slider and switch covers between the faceplate and guts. If I ever get back into this thing I’ll add some.

I made the insert for the lower octave switch. Lower Ring Mod switch also needs one. Looks okay, but not perfect. I think I saw someone selling inserts for a 700S at some point and thought about buying a set, but somehow didn’t and now I can’t find them. Oh well.

There’s that dark spot on the wood again where I sanded a little too deep trying to remove a cup ring.

This section to the far right on the control panel is what the 800DV is all about. It controls how the two independent 700S synths in it interact, and sets the rules for what the keyboard does. One needs to spend time with the manual to appreciate all the options.

Even the back came out looking pretty good! Serial number is 0353. I’ve seen serial numbers 770637, 5307 and 5816. I wonder how many they made? Somehow I bet it’s not more than a few thousand even though the serial numbers suggest more. A lot of times serial numbers have a model/year/region/revision prefix or suffix in addition to the actual serial portion.

Yes, that is a 1960 Fender Vibrasonic amplifier. It’s an early center volume example. I need a foot switch for it and to replace the grill cloth. I’ll finish tidying it up before long but not before the 1968 Fender Bassman head beside it that gave up on living a few weeks ago.

This is the end of the get-it-working part of Maxi-Korg restoration. There will probably be some epilogues as I make small improvements as mentioned above. Hopefully my studio will be such that I can make some demo videos of these synths in the future.

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