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Yeah, it's finally come to that time for my trusty, (very) old keyboard: Some keys either go full velocity to hardly heard when struck, with other notes plain gone completely, and the pitch wheel even less reliable. And this, I must add, is even after one trip to the repairs already just a couple of years back (but also with a house fire in between since then).

So now the question is how to best deal with the situation? My top 3 options I've thought of yet include:

1. Try another trip to the repairs and hope it sticks
2. Get one of these compact (cheap) "controller" keyboard to serve as keys, so you can still use the working sounds/features of the existing instrument
3. Use this as the "perfect excuse" to dig into the pockets for a brand new (expensive) keyboard that in all likelihood is vastly superior to what you got already on top of actually working proper


So... what you all think?


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We had a similar problem with an old keyboard. We searched the Internet and found a step by step instruction for dismantling the keyboard. We did but the instructions didn't exactly match our keyboard version. Since JonD didn't care about this keyboard any longer he just dumped it and bought a new one.

But you might search the Internet to see what you can find and maybe repair it yourself.

Personally if it is a really old keyboard I would not have it repaired. Things just wear out, just ask my body!


Why is it that the people who tell me to calm down are the ones who tick me off in the first place!

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a while back i did the advertising for a guitar manufacturer. they were complaining that more and more people were entering the market becuase guitar tech hardly ever changed whereas electronics such as keyboards developed incredibly quickly and models became obsolete and it was always a race to stay ahead.

see what a new keyboard would bring you or maybe buy last year's model second hand as prices falll and you may not need the latest gizmos

you may get a vastly superior keyboard quite inexpensively

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Originally Posted By: MarioD
Things just wear out, just ask my body!
Or mine! grin

But that also rather plays into why I'm hesitating to go for a brand new replacement, as then I've spent a lot on something which is likely to actually outlast me crazy


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Originally Posted By: Bob Calver
see what a new keyboard would bring you or maybe buy last year's model second hand as prices fall and you may not need the latest gizmos
Ah yes, the great "If I get what I want, will I get what I need?" dilemma (to quote a truly awful song from an even worse film!). Practically worth its own thread, that concept smirk


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Hi
Keyboard contacts aren’t an impossible DIY task on some.
But it depends on the make and model.
One of the more successful ones are older Yamaha psr types .
The contacts are usually in strips of about one octave.
They are made of rubber and like a row of bubbles inside of which are conductive pads , these press down on to what is often a printed cir. Gold plated pair of contacts.

Their worst enemy is dust and smoke and the pads loosing their sticky and falling off the rubber strip onto the contacts and shorting out permanently, hence your high 127 ones.
Some folks say a blast with an air! can believe me it seldom works for one thing if the rubber is any good it will prevent you getting the air where needed.
Removing the pads and cleaning the gold contacts, then putting the old pads back, might work but while you spent all that time it is better to change the pads .

Which brings you to finding a source for the spares normally only the manufacturer.

In all cases you will have to separate the keyboard clam shell remove the keys keeping them in strict order of layout as the have different shapes, and weight if a weighted keyboard.
Not for the faint hearted unless you are good at such things.
Also look out for interconnections between the top and bottom of the shell case.

Mike


Last edited by Mike Head; 02/08/20 11:29 AM.

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I experienced a similar situation.

In 1993-94 I bought the Roland JV30 with on-board sounds (Roland GS & MT32)
It wss a bit heavy and 39" long...took up a lot of real estate on the mixing desk.

About 3 years ago one of the micro switches was not responding and when I played a note it sounded like a purring tiger....regardless of the note I was playing.

My search began:
I didn't care about on-board sounds because I long ago began acquiring sound modules.
Being the Roland MVS-1/Roland MBD-1/Proteus FX/Roland XV580)
I also have the Midisport 4x4 USB midi patch bay....works great.
I don't think of myself as a keyboard player but I can play well enough on my original songs.

So...I decided all I needed was a controller with a much smaller footprint.
I went with this one and it works just fine....it's USB...it's 70$.
Lots of control/flexibility:
https://www.amazon.com/Monoprice-MIDI-Keyboard-Controller-Pitch-bend/dp/B0160ACM5O/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Stage+Right+by+Monoprice+49-Key+MIDI+Keyboard+Controller&qid=1581283056&sr=8-1

But...it's a fiscal or preferential call.
Personally, I wouldn't waste time trying to fix something that old unless I preferred tinkering with antiquated gear over song writing/recording....which, I don't. smile

Good luck on your quest.

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Originally Posted By: chulaivet1966
...it's a fiscal or preferential call.
Indeed! But I'll still absolutely have a look at your suggestion there, if not but for that being the first (and so far only) one that applies to item 2. in my list of options... and because I'll readily admit I know next to nothing about what's available in that category wink
As for option 3, if people want to chime in on that with specific suggestions like you have done, then if I were to go for something similar to what I'm about o lose, then models along the recent Korg PA series (which I myself only just found out about because of this issue) give some idea of the general concept.
Originally Posted By: chulaivet1966
Personally, I wouldn't waste time trying to fix something that old unless I preferred tinkering with antiquated gear over songwriting/recording....which, I don't. smile
Nor me, so I'm definitely with you on that one. In fact, I'm so far from being the DIY type I didn't even list that solution as an option grin


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I am still using a very old Yamaha P250 (probably 20 years old now) as my studio controller keyboard. These were very solid and built like tanks. It is a full 88-note weighted action and although there might be better actions now available I have been very happy with it. It has mod and pitch bend wheels and sockets for expression pedal as well as sustain etc. It also has built in and very powerful speakers which I rarely use but can be useful in certain situations. If I am recording a vocal harmony I can quickly turn on the speakers to remind me of notes and then turn them off when I am recording my vocal.

You could probably pick one of these up for a good price so long as you double check it has been well looked after.

Which keyboard is giving you some trouble? It does not sound like it is worth spending repair money on that might not work out.

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Originally Posted By: Icelander
[quote=chulaivet1966]I'm so far from being the DIY type


I'll take on some "DIY" issues with music equipment/issues if I'm comfortable with my knowledge and approach to the problem.
But...in this specific context....time to upgrade and not avoid an inevitable.

If I were you and excepted the fact it's time to upgrade your keyboard/controller I'd ask myself what midi options path suits you personally.
Do you prefer having on-board sounds with your keyboard?
OR
Do you prefer just a controller to access the other midi options/patches that are available?

Me....and I've been doing this a long tome...prefer just the controller route and the outboard sound modules and midi patch bay.

Happy spending....

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Originally Posted By: funkycornwall
You could probably pick one of these up for a good price so long as you double check it has been well looked after.


Good suggestion if he wants to stick with on-board sounds.
Probably some good deals out there if one does some research.

Back to it....

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Originally Posted By: chulaivet1966
....time to upgrade and not avoid an inevitable.
I hear you...so really you all, I'm not looking at that option in any sort of serious way by this point, particularly as I've already sent it to repairs once in the last 5 years and it didn't stick. Sending it again to repairs and expecting different results?! I mean, that's just the definition of insanity, innit grin
So it's about option 2 or 3 from here on, peeps, alright cool

Originally Posted By: chulaivet1966
If I were you and accepted the fact it's time to upgrade your keyboard/controller I'd ask myself what midi options path suits you personally.
Do you prefer having on-board sounds with your keyboard?
OR
Do you prefer just a controller to access the other midi options/patches that are available?
Well, that's the ultimate inner debate I'm having, innit. I mean, I don't really need a top sounds piece if the top price tag that came with it was just too steep, you know. That's why I'm keeping the controller solution in the picture to begin with.
The sounds and features of my old thing, which I think hold up to standard quite well today, still (amazingly) all work, it's just the keys that have crumbled... so the sounds & features of whatever "full" replacement would have to be pretty impressive for me to consider it worth the equally "full" price. The 'problem' is, those that fit that bill admittedly do exist out there, like the aforementioned PA series.

I am actively looking at both of these solutions, this thread is just my way of further outsourcing the task, so to speak cool


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Been there, done that several times. It's not worth it because modern stuff is not only much less expensive relatively speaking but the sound tech is so much better you won't believe it. You "think" your old beast sounds good because you're totally used to it. You can get a new Yamaha or Casio 88 key DP for under a grand that plays and sounds just great. Lots of very good choices for $600-$700. No way is it worth it to spend one penny more on repairing a 30 year old digital keyboard.

If you're also looking for full featured controller functions, that's different, they could be a bit more but still very affordable. The brand new Roland 88 shown at NAMM really looks interesting and it supposedly sounds and plays well too at around $1,200 and there are others like that.

Out with old junk, in with the new hotness! If you want to read all about the latest stuff, get lots of informed opinions about it check out the Keyboard Corner forum.

Also, check out Piano Man Chuck's Youtube channel. All he does is review and talk about the newest DP's. He's not interested in organ clones or synths, his name says it all.

Bob


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Originally Posted By: jazzmammal
You "think" your old beast sounds good because you're totally used to it.
I loved this line! laugh

As someone who's notoriously reluctant to 'let go' of things (as per this very thread, my OS being a decade old be another sample), I think this observation was maybe more on point than you even realised and precisely what needed to hear.

Thanks for the insights & suggestions, which I shall of course also be looking at, I just had to single this bit out because of its share poignancy,
- Brill cool


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Have to admit Icelander, as you can tell from my sig below, I'm running a 30+ year old DX7II. Have many times thought about getting a newer more featured keyboard. Maybe it's just me but I'm hung up on the fact that I'm playing a classic, not only that but it has as many memories of me as I have of it! We're both becoming vintage collectables!

These days its sounds are dated but since I use it with newer modules and VSTi's, it still functions well as a controller...maybe your's might as well.

Aside from that, if you are using it for sound generation or if you can't use it as a controller; I would have to agree with the others above...maybe its time to move on. The likelihood of having yet another repair to an instrument that old heavily depends on finding someone these days that understands that older technology and can get parts...not very likely although they'll gladly take you money with a smile!

As for me, if the DX dies I'm going all out with a controller, VSTi's and MIDI modules.

Jeff


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Still have an old DX9 here that I don't use much but it still works great!




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A DX7 is an exception. It's a true classic, and still has a great action talk about built like a tank! It not good for acoustic piano sounds it's basically an electric piano and began the whole FM synth revolution. All modern keyboards have "digital piano" patches as opposed to Rhodes and Wurlies and they're all based on the DX7. If I had one of those I wouldn't get rid of it either. That is worth repairing and there are plenty of techs who can do it.

Speaking of classics an older Kurzweil PC series is one of the best controllers around as well as having about 1,500 sounds. Those are full blown professional stage keyboards. A PC2 X which is the 88 key version would be under a grand if you can find one. I have a newer PC3 76 which is 76 keys with a synth action. I'm putting it up for sale soon because it's just too heavy for me to schlep to gigs any more but it's still a great board. They have been selling for under a grand too. A PC3 88 would be more than that but you rarely see one for sale used.

Bob


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This is all very interesting, but maybe it's time I should narrow things down a bit here for the purpose of further discussion/suggestions:

I'm leaning now more towards a full replacement rather than an added "controller", so I'm primarily looking for an instrument that has (at least) the full GM & GS sound set on board, as well as accompaniment functionality, because that's precisely what I'm about to lose when my existing Roland KR model finally caves in for good.
So, while it so happens that the piano sound & 'hammer action' keys of my Roland is in fact its flagship (lifted straight from one of their dedicated DP instrument at the time, as I understand it) and is what I'll miss the most purely due to the quality of these, I am not looking for a designated "Digital Piano" instrument as defined by today's terminology. I simply cannot do what I need/want to be able to do with that kind of a keyboard.

Having that hopefully cleared up: I was already aware of the Genos/Tyros series (not keen), but only just very recently heard of Korg entering the market in that particular genre (PA series, very impressed so far), which made me wonder what else is out there that I simply haven't heard of?
If I can attempt to steer this discussion towards that from here on...

Last edited by Icelander; 02/12/20 07:37 AM. Reason: Correcting mistakes

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Eddie,

If there is a brick and mortar piano, musical instrument store or pawn shop nearby it might have a consignment section with used or trade-in keyboards. Typically they will let you try them out in the store and the manuals and drivers are available to download online.


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This will do the job, they a pretty basic if cleaning don't help then just price the new contact set:


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