There are lots of sites with synthesizer links and there are lots of dead links. I’ll try and keep this up to date as domain registrations lapse and are bought up by squatters.
Got a synthesizer related business or site and want to be included here? Comment or send me an email to hamilton.mm @ gmail .com.
Top sites (as far as I can tell):
S o c i a l :
Modwiggler. The most focused on synthesizers of the social platforms and full of helpful friendly fellow enthusiasts. I got lots of valuable input on my CS-60 refurb from thread participation. Very active marketplace.
Vintage Synth Explorer. Barely alive zomvbie site these days, but pretty good forum participation in years past. I think everyone from VSE made their way to Modwiggler (was Muffwiggler) and Gearspace (was Gearslutz). Although imperfect VSE still has probably the best thumbnail descriptions of instruments. If you look at a synth on eBay, chances are most of the description will be lifted from this site. There is a good balance of music making and gear obsession to be found here.
P a r t s :
Vintage Planet. Frequently updated site with lists of available vintage analog synth parts organized by make/model and manufacturer part number, which sounds like it should be easy to navigate, but it’s not until you discover most synth parts manuals are available as free downloads on their sister site Synfo.
Syntaur. Quick and friendly source of most replacement batteries, keys (I’ve bought Akai AX-60 and Arp Omni successfully) and a somewhat random selection of other stuff as machines are parted out.
Synthparts. Doug’s been at it a while and has a lot of stuff. He seems to specialize in rare chips including CEM’s, SSM’s, and the OEM Roland and Yamaha’s. Drop him a line and see if he has what you need.
Technology Transplants. I’ve purchased several batches of parts from them including a Moog Source touch panel and a bunch of the Juno 60 stuff. They sell as ‘Chipforbrains’ on eBay. Limited selection, but good prices if they have what you need. Pretty fast shipping too.
Oaktree Enterprises. They have a small selection of parts, but happened to have had the parts I needed twice. Friendly and quick to ship if you can get them on the phone.
Vintage Vibe. They have a small selection of Synthesizer parts including some cool Arp Omni and String Ensemble bits. Big draw here is lots of Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric piano bits. I’m still not clear if their 200A key bushings are each or for a set…
Vintage Synth Shop. European site with interesting list of parts and Synths for sale.
S e r v i c e :
Analog Synth Service. Greg is a great, easy to deal with guy and his prices are such that it doesn’t make sense to even try and fix your own Sequential gear. I had a busted up Six-trak serviced there for less than $100 in 3 days. He doesn’t like to ship and takes his time getting back to you sometimes, but as a one man show working from home this is to be expected. Sorry to all you SCI guys in North Dakota who can’t swing by his l=place for a quick tune-up.
Custom Synth. UK based outfit specializing in customs. Ever thought a color change would improve your favorite synth? These are the guys to go to. They also appear to undertake technical customs like their Roland JX-3PG. A browse of their Flickr site is a must.
This Old Synth. Chris seems to like Moog’s but is willing to give most projects a go -even my two Omni’s and a bunch of floppy-disk based 80’s synths I’ve seen whenever I stop by.
MIDIpolis. Home of Io, Minerva and Midipoly, the Jupiter 4, Juno 60 and Monopoly MIDI retrofits. Bringing some old favorites (who doesn’t want a Jupiter 4??) into the 21st century with detailed MIDI control. Now I am starting to wish I held onto my Juno 60 and Jupiter 4 and Monopoly… having kids has some small drawbacks I guess!
Synthcon. No longer active as far as I can tell, but I keep hoping they’ll be resurrected since I have a Jupiter 6 that doesn’t have the mod. Home of Europa, an incredibly deep and full featured MIDI enhancement for the mighty Roland Jupiter 6. The manual is thick and there is a lot to learn, but if you want a truly flexible MIDI implementation, this is what you need. Europa modified Jupiter 6’s tend to bring hundreds more dollars than non-modified examples, so it’s worth the effort for that alone.
Synthspa. Specializing in Roland Juno 106 voice repairs, body color changes and LED upgrades, but also the current go-to guy for the Jupiter 6 Europa MIDI upgrade and more. I wonder how Juno 106 examples fare on the market compared to restored originals?
I n f o r m a t i o n :
Retro Synth Ads. Fun active blog that is exactly what the name implies. Found it when I was looking for a CS-60 brochure.
Old Crows synth site. A wealth of information on the Yamaha CS series focusing on the mighty CS-80. Also includes a good DIY repair write-up of leaky batteries in the Korg PolySix. Good information on lots of related topics.
Synfo. Sister site to the excellent Vintage Planet with lots of free service manuals for download and links to synthesizer repair shops.
Synthfind. Thinking about selling your Roland Jupiter 8 on eBay and want to see what they have gone for over the last 3 months on eBay? This is where you go. If they added sale/no sale information and end price they would kick ass -as it is they kick ass, but have room for improvement.
Prophet 600 Blog. Looking to get serious about your Prophet 600? This blog gets deep into the Prophet 600, from simple service to Jupiter 6 Europa type functionality upgrades. Check it out!
TummyTouch. Yamaha Electone Service Manuals E70 / E75 / P.A.S.S Tech books. All the service info you need to plan your Electone organ to GX-1 conversion.
More to come!