News

Exciting news....
This Old Synth acquires the exclusive rights to Synthfool's Opto-key for MiniMoog project.


As a tech I'm increasingly frustrated with the chore of trying to restore the (oxidized) key contacts on the MiniMoog to full operation, and unless it is frequently played the issue of "squirrelly keys" comes back.

I have been installing Opto-key for my customers which removes the key cleaning cycle, AND adds simple note-on/off MIDI.

I was concerned and saddened to hear that Kevin Lightner at Synthfool could not continue the Opto-key project as it addresses the biggest reliability/playability issue with the MiniMoog, and have negotiated with him to transfer ownership here.

Once the on-hand materials such as circuit cards arrive I will commence building the product to Kevin's spec and make it available for sale. As I'm also a software developer with experience in embedded systems I plan to enhance and support Opto-key moving forward.

Welcome to This Old Synth, home of Opto-Key

Moog Musonics MiniMoogThis Old Synth was created out of our AmpTech guitar and amplifier service (Amptech) with a specific focus on vintage analog synthesizers (preferably the ones with knobs on!) and is now 99.9% of what I'm doing in the shop. More and more vintage synths were being brought in, especially MiniMoog's. My focus is more and more on vintage Moog, espescially the MiniMoog for which I aqured the sole rights to Synthfool's Opto-key for MiniMoog which finally solves the key contact problems with this synth. I also do a lot of vintage Roland synths and drum machines.

It seemed like the other repairers were either too backed up or were having too much difficulty fixing certain vintage keyboards, so I stepped up! I'm including drum machines in the vintage synth category, not just keyboards.

I'm avoiding large/heavy synths these days as I have neither the space or the strength in my back to deal with them. The no list has piano or strung type keyboards such as the Fender Rhodes, Clavinets, and Wurlitzers, along with Vox and Farfisa organs. I do not have parts or test machines for the Roland Jupiter 8 / J6 so I'm not taking them in. Also on the no list are the Moog PolyMoog and MultiMoog. These suffer so many failures due to their design and a total lack of parts for them that I feel I would need a staging/test machine for each of them. They are large and need extensive renovation which leaves them on the bench for far too long.

I'm constantly scouting for parts for these machines, and where a unit is beyond economical repair I will offer to buy it as a parts machine. This has the added benefit of being able to supply parts to other repairers, so I have added a parts section for that.

If you look at the Repairs page you can see that I'm covering a vast array of makes and models. My developing preference is for all things Moog, especially the MiniMoog for which I have the Opto-Key solution for the unreliable keyboard contacts and have an excellent source of replacement cases for. I have also worked on numerous other Moog's including the Rogue, Concertmate MG-1, Opus 3, Source, Prodigy, MicroMoog, Taurus 1, Taurus II, Sonic 60, Satellite, and a Modular System 55.

E-Mu II and Z80ICEThe E-Mu Emulator II was a common item in the shop so I actually purchased one to support testing etc. These machines are suffering badly with corroded chip sockets etc. (and there are lot's ofE-Mu Emulator 2 test rig them) after being stored in basements and garages. The EII does not travel well and tracing issues is difficult to say the least. I decided that with the size of these units swamping the shop, and repairs not being economical that I would stop taking them in. Sorry!

Steiner-Parker SynthaconA snapshot look in the shop today reveals that ISteiner-Parker Synthacon Internal view have just completed a Gleeman Pentaphonic,  ARP 2600, EMU Emulator II, EMU SP1200, Roland SH-101, Roland SH-02, Moog Prodigy, and an ARP Solina. A Steiner-Parker Synthacon,  and an Oberheim OB-X just came in, so every day something new!

I often get asked to look at newer gear but have to decline as I do not have access to parts (and the electronics are often a card with huge surface mount chips on it which is not serviceable), schematics etc. For the newer Moog's owners have to ship their gear back to the factory as there are no authorized service centers. I would like to be a Moog authorized service center but can't, and that sucks!

My focus is on vintage analog synths, vintage drum machines, and the Roland Space Echo. Vintage here means primarily 1970's, and this cuts off in the mid 80's.

We are in a throw-away age, but that should not be the default case; spending a little to extend the usable life of a loved instrument is the "green" thing to do. To find out more about ThisOldSynth see About Us.

Please contact Chris Hewitt at This Old Synth to discuss your requirements