Welcome to Sound Doctorin's Global Synthesizer Resource!

      (update 11/12. I think everyone's used to things on here, hard to get motivated to change it ;-)) -Bob)

Site Index:
(Click on the category that best fits your need.)

* Technical and General Information on particular production synthesizers

* Parts, including semiconductors, keys, knobs, etc.

* Part doumentation including SSM and CEM chips etc. Datasheet4u.com also recommended for looking up most other chips.

* DIY Links for some great 'Do it Yourself' projects and aids!

* Features and Comparisons of various synthesizer models and designs. (Eg. Digital vs. Analog)

* History of Musical Synthesizers. Landmarks, Designers etc.

* Synthesizer Museums you can visit in person by appointment usually.

* Music Electronics Technicians (People I recommended if you need a repair etc.)

* Links to sites on Modular Synthesizers, Organs and Electric keyboards

* Shipping a synth? (A helpful guide focused on putting stress in the right places, and saving money on materials!)

* Deadbeats and others to avoid dealings with. MOst of my online experience is great, but beware of these special cases. If you've been ripped off send documentation and I'll post it on this page.

Here is a page showing a map of my studio, where you can click on synths for sound samples. And my Home page for more diversity.

Check out Synthark for a well done general info spec and photo database!

Here is our FEATURED LINK! (The life of Jim Williams)

Select a Manufacturer

Access Akai Alesis ARP Casio Clavia Conn Crumar Elka EML EMS E-mu Ensoniq Fairlight Farfisa Fatar/Studio Logic Fender Rhodes Freeman Hammond Hohner Jen Kawai Korg Kurzweil Moog Oberheim Octave PAiA Peavey PPG Roland RSF Sequential Circuits Siel Teisco Waldorf Yamaha

And some general synth tips.

KEY to synth pages: MRP was intended to be mfg. retail price. However some were taken from Keyfax omnibus which I found was probably listing dealer typical prices on some. So if anyone can supply actual info along the way please do! Also number manufactured is approximate obviously on many. Some from Omnibus, some from other articles like SOS stuff, and some from careful examination of many serial numbers to get a good statistical approximate. Please inform me of bad content on any of these pages! Thanks. I've done my best to insure that content is accurate, but if any unforseen error causes your synthesizer to explode and take out an entire city block, I cannot be responsible. However let me know where the catastrophe occurs so that I might scout around to see if any good pieces survived somehow ;-)

    Here is a link to help locating parts including major sources for electronic parts, some of my semiconductor, key, and misc inventory, and some accessory links that seem useful. NOTE that for keys, if you know the keyboard you are looking for simply pick the mfg. above, then your keyboard, then 'keys' under the parts section and it should take you there without searching.

Some good general links with helpful repair tips, circuit ideas, etc. :

Books, Guides, etc. and part documentation that you might find helpful.

Colin's wonderful upload/download page for diy circuits, datasheets etc.! Click Here!
Osama Hoshuyama's Synthesizer Circuits page with a very nice collection of circuits and notes!
A list of common parts/sources and some circuits and pics Jim Patchell's DIY page.
Rene's Synths 'R' Us with lots of cool circuit info. Hey someone else likes tube VCF's!
Ken Stone's awesome page of module designs.
Wilson's VCO design page.
Ian Fritz's Sound-house page.
VCF's from various classic applications.
Ring Mod circuit that looks cool/easy.
Tiny Synth an open source code/ diagram synth project
Papareil's Synth Labs with various cloned filters and some original modular designs.
Juergen Haible's page with a large number of useful designs etc.
Gyraf's site focuses on compressors, EQ's, mic Pre's and has lots of diagrams for hard to find stuff in that area as well.
Standards for MIDI, .wav etc. A good programming resource. (Sorry dead page.)
MIDI to CV converter project!
Don Buchla Schematics of interest
Music technologies group has some synth related aps for vintage EPROMS etc.
web cam midi controller open source!

Synth related parts information(see my 'parts' link above for more specific parts)

Curtis Electromusic in memory of the great chip designer Doug Curtis. Lots of useful information on these chips used in Oberheim, Sequential, Moog and many other top end synthesizer products.

For some tech info and what chips are used in what,SynthDIY chips page
And a list of which chips go in some common machines at the moogulatorium page.
Or for another list focusing only on SSM and CEM prefixed chips, Synthtech page
Obsolete device data for nixie tubes and semiconductors.
The development of the LM13600 and LM13700. Interesting tale.

Resources to aid with Synthesizer design and troubleshooting:

Rane Tech notes Contain a great overview of things you should know first!

Musical Applications of Microprocessors- Hal Chamberlin
Musical Engineers Handbook- Electronotes
Formant synth building page

Synthesizer Technicians:

MITA or Music Instrument Technician Association for a wide variety of qualified service technicians.

Analog Synthesizer Service Greg is a top notch SCI and Korg expert and has reasonable rates. Bay area.
Music Technology - These guys are helpful and do a lot of different things including synth work. In Springfield, VA
Rogue Music - comes recommended from Synth groups
Paul Brooks Does synth repair in St. Louis, MO
Analogics for wood restorations by Wes Taggart
Five Star Engineering Dean Freewood is a synth tech/engineer in Mesa Arizona. 480-289-4450/343-0620.
Sound Doctorin' - In my unbiased opinion (..rotating bias pot on my opinion CCW)...a generally helpful guy. :-)
Retrolinear Tim Warneck is an EE interested in refabricating some of the old Curtiss chips but also is recommended for synth repairs. Located in Philadelphia area (North Wales)
Syntronics John Koumoutseas at 43 Flagg Road, Southborough, MA 01772 ph. 508-963-1462
Forat Electronics Bruce is a great tech who worked for Linn Drum and has a rich history of experience. Ph. 818-763-3007
Dennis ZidonGood general tech in Grand Forks, N. Dakota. 701-772-1460
Abell Audio Dan is an experienced synth tech for Columbus, OH area. Shop works on variety of gear.
Moogchild Synthdrome Technical service in Spain specialized in vintage gear, buying/selling/brokering and synth parts.
Philsynth has a highly recommended facility in Germany. Link to facebook page.

Generally helpful links/info for techs:

Reset proceedures for most digital synths.

General Tech Tips for synthesizer repair. (Cleaning key contacts, interconnects, sliders/potentiometers, battery changing/types of batteries, etc.)

Cosmetics and Refinishing Tips

list of synthesizer collections of significance that you can visit by appointment.

EMIS Synthesizer Museum of Bristol, UK 0117 956-1855

Cité de la Musique Paris, France 01 44 84 45 45

New England Synthesizer Museum Dave Wilson at 603-881-8587

MOST (MUseum of synthesizer technology) Bozeman, MT USA 406-582-5849

What we don't cover:
     Some synths are built more for home use and then tend to be fairly similar, cheaply built, and hard to find good information on so I haven't bothered to delve into putting up pages on them detailing repair information etc. Ebay and different places have lots of them for sale all the time but I just can't get interested in them. (Actually since I wrote this I've taken part in a buyout and we'll save ebay fees and sell direct if you are interested in pretty much any model of psr, casio etc. from the 80's to mid 90's. )
     There are many great sites showing synthesizers that are of a 'modular' design. These have often many boxes with individual components of a synthesizer in individual boxes that may be mounted in a rack or the like. For basic information, pictures, etc. on any unit you don't find try Vintage Synth Explorer. You might also join the "Analogue Heaven" mailing list or "Synth DIY" for even more technical info on such beasts. There are some venders who currently still make these. Go to the directory at modularsynth.com.
     Many devices with an "Organ" classification are part synth also and some have a great sound and a lot of historical significance. In particular I'm a fan like many of Hammond and Yamaha Electone series organs. And of course we can't say enough about Combo Organs now can we?!
     ALSO, the Soviets built many cool synths. I won't attempt at this time to say anything there because of the difficulty/impossibility attaining parts, etc. For more info, go here!