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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.4: Yamaha retro synth, valve oscilloscope and more

El Reg's contraptions confessional no.4: Yamaha retro synth, valve oscilloscope and more

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.4: Yamaha retro synth, valve oscilloscope and aggrandized

Conjecture me, it's all bound to come in handy one age

By Bob Dormon, 21st Dec 2013

Cache in the Attic For the The Register features on MIDI's 30th birthday, Bob Dormon fired up his trusty Atari ST 1040FM and an Apple PowerBook Duo 270c, however there's a worthy deal deeper than elderly computers in his haul auditorium of vintage tech. Even a novice in the craft of chucking matters out, here he tunes up, warms up and winds up a meagre gray favourites.

Yamaha, Solartron and J.E. Dallas & Co.

When a companion of mine volunteered garret margin in change for my laying a floor up there, she probably hadn"t imagined that I"d be storing a pile of crap my precious tech in her loft for over 12 years. So it was with a definite extent of anxiety and relief that my choice of gadgetry really functioned when I retrieved them.

The youngest protest is my besides antecedent synthesiser - by this admission, you can probably divulge I"m not in the habit of disposing of things that all the more work. Make-believe in 1980, I bought my Yamaha CS-10 secondhand a infrequent oldness succeeding and proceeded to produce some identical vile noises with it. The subtleties of its assorted modulators were contemporary concepts to me, although the arrangement of this synth, with all its knobs for waveforms and envelopes, was a corporeal class in soundshaping.

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Yamaha CS10 monophonic synthesizer

Yamaha CS10 monophonic synthesizer

Having apart one oscillator, this monosynth was never the fattest sounding instrument of the times, on the contrary what I actually appreciated approximately it was its outward input. I could pay for autowah thing elsewhere of it when I plumbed in my guitar. Also, the trigger input when connected to a drum machine, could deliver pulsing basslines, the paper money would gain to be played on the keyboard though, no MIDI here.

Talking of MIDI, I always meant to excite a MIDI-to-CV (control voltage) converter for it, nevertheless all the more the basic Philip Rees model was never cheap at 50, which was value something back then. These days, Expert Sleeper"s Silent Custom offers a software alternative, enabling audio interfaces to deliver this function. It"s about 42 and there"s demo chronicle very whether you fancy giving it a try. The synth itself does seem get suffered slightly from its long attic sabbatical, a couple of F keys don"t work, on the other hand I"m guessing this could be defective contacts and can be remedied with some Servisol, a screwdriver and a solution of purpose. By the way, Yamaha much has the CS-10 user manual on its location provided you"re keen.

My Solartron oscilloscope could blooming retain been imaginary as far back as 1963, if the senile electronics enthusiast mark Radiomuseum has its dates right. Vintage corroboration gear aim Jonz Valve Stage much shows off its innards. The corporation started off as a British outfit in the 1950s and in spite of a infrequent changes of hands, Solartron yet has going concerns in the UK in distinctive examination accoutrement fields. Back in the 1980s, I acquired my Solarscope Disc 1014.3 from an electronics trustworthy I worked for. It had been dumped, as it was no longer bill direct to function and calibrate - the timebase autotriggering had besides forfeit some of its sturdiness. Still, it always worked husky sufficiently for my public expression tracing needs.

Solartron CD 1014.3 oscilloscope

Solartron CD 1014.3 oscilloscope displaying Yamaha synth sawtooth output on one of its blurry days

Contemporary from the attic and looking decidedly grubby, I gave this antiquated noblewoman a generation or two to acclimatise before turning it on. When I did last of all gift it up, alas, annihilation happened. Fit it looked that way, but it was condign warming up, which took minutes rather than seconds.

Eventually, a blurry beam appeared and, despite adjustments, stayed that way. Then I realised I was moulding target changes far as well quickly, as there was a delayed response. Capture things slowly and the doorknob twiddling eventually delivers a beam of satisfaction. I hooked up the scope to the Yamaha CS-10 and soon, maxim tooth waveforms graced its graticule and a dusty scent entire the extension as it continued to glowing up.

Once in a while you contemplate something and it dispassionate charms you into buying it. Indeed, that"s what happened during a evening to the senescent Greenwich marketplace in the mid-1990s when I spied a Triumph portable wind-up gramophone from J.E Dallas & Sons. Thirty quid subsequent and it was mine along with a bunch of 78RPM records. I always thought, if the lights potency out, I"ll still admit music, as it"s entirely mechanical.

J.E. Dallas and Sons Triumph wind-up gramophone

J.E. Dallas and Sons Triumph wind-up gramophone

Turning the ear for the head period in ages had me wondering if I"d hear some deathly twangs or creaks, but luckily not. The turntable spun slowly, as if it was getting away of bed, and the aboriginal platter groaned inconsistently. Another entire eccentric person though, and all was well. A regular hurry and a generally pleasing tone from this player which is thankfully, not the raucously cacophonous sort.

Addicted its portability, beneficial instance and overall fetching styling, I"d assumed the Triumph to be from the 1950s but UK industrial anecdote stop Grace"s Guide suggests this British society started off with banjos in 1875 and even succeeding Jedson guitars, but didn"t enter upon gramophone industry until the unpunctual 1920s. So my phonographic bargain is probably in its eighties, but still in mere skilled delivery with parcel of spare needles in the tin.

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