Need lube advice for slippery filter sweeps!
November 10, 2008 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Vintage synth maintenance help needed! I have a Roland SH-09 monosynth...

...and I recently cleaned the sliders on it because they were dirty and were performing less than optimally.

Now, they work fantastically, but the cleaner stripped a lot of the grease out of them. This is probably a good thing, as that grease was probably from about 1981. The problem now, though, is that the action of the sliders is very stiff. When you move one, you get a metal-on-metal feeling and it is very hard to get a smooth glide.

What sort of grease should I put in there to restore my smooth action (I need my filter sweeps back!), and how should I put it in? I have never taken the synth apart to the degree where I could actually get to the individual sliders themselves, so a method of application that would allow me to just squirt it down in there from the top would be ideal.

Any help?
posted by kaseijin to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
If anyone would know, it's the folks on the synth-diy list.
posted by jdfan at 12:55 PM on November 10, 2008


Or Analogue Heaven.
posted by xil at 2:02 PM on November 10, 2008


I think DeoxIT FaderLube should do the trick - this is exactly what it is made for. Lots of places sell it online.
posted by exogenous at 3:13 PM on November 10, 2008


I have owned a bunch of vintage synths (including an SH-09!) and here's what I found w/r/t cleaning them:

1. You can use a pencil eraser to clean the keyboard contacts. Caix DeoxIT works all right if you just spray it in there, but it works best if you CAREFULLY open up the sliders by peeling back the metal prongs, and scrape out any crap that's in there first. A lot of old synths have rubber/foam which doesn't age well (the roland SH-09s were made in 1982-3 I think) and it can go everywhere depending on how delicately the synth has been treated.

2. If you are not daring enough to crack the original sliders/pots, check out Technology Transplant (formerly known as ChipForBrains) on ebay. He might have a website now. It's run by a dude named Cy who MANUFACTURES spec replacements for many old Roland parts - sliders, pots, buttons, transistors, filters, benders, knobs, et cetera. I have successfully repaired an SH-101, RS-09 and other old Roland synths with his parts. He is located in Hong Kong, which is probably how he gets the parts made so cheaply. His english is bad and you may be suspicious when you have to wait a month for the parts to arrive, but he's good for it.

3. I would generally recommend popping the hood and checking out the inside, regardless. Any synth you buy of this vintage has probably been owned by several different people in different environments and has almost certainly collected dust/animal hair/human hair/smoke residue. (Besides, once I opened the pocket in the case of a 12-string guitar I bought used, and found a little bag of white powder in there. Who knows what you might find inside.)
posted by rubadub at 9:26 AM on November 11, 2008


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