Thursday, November 14, 2013

ARP Solina Restoration Work

I don't mind a little wear and character on my synths but this project came to me looking like it was in a barfight as seen in the original photo.
Fabricating the cabinet was a much bigger project than I anticipated, but all the hard work has definitely paid off with a fantastic looking piece. The devil is in all those little details - things that make a Solina what it is. Sure I considered something extreme or unique. But I absolutely love the original design, and wanted something faithful to that.

It has been dressed in solid Poplar hardwood with Candlelight stain color from Woodcraft.

I imagined a Solina logo would look spiffy on the back although they were never made that way on this particular version. A graphic in the service manual probably, subconsciously, gave me the idea.

So I trimmed out the logo reveal on a self-adhesive transparency, and painted the area gold.

To finish out the project other work was done:
- Pulled all the keys, cleaned them and inspected the bushings which seem ok.
- I needed two replacement keys, but none were to be found. I explored old school casting methods to fabricate a couple of keys from scratch, no 3-D printers around here. First I had to remove the damaged plastic from the metal frames and glue the new plastics on. The fabricated keys are at C4 and F4, not the raised keys which I should have resolved but maybe later. It was time-consuming and a bit expensive, but in the end I had fun and learned something all new to me. You probably wouldn't know the difference between the way the original keys look or play unless I told you which ones they were.
- Some dead and hanging notes were resolved
- Replaced the big electrolytic capacitors I ordered from Mouser in the power supply and main oscillator board.
- Replaceed slider cap ordered from Syntaur.
- Added a square pilot light from radio shack I fabricated a hole mount adapter for the existing bulb/housing.
This restoration is far from what I would call complete, but this Solina looks, plays and sounds charming again.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Synth Meet 2013 Grand Prairie, Solina Project

Some sights and sounds from Oct 2013 Synth Meet. I left my audio recorder at home so I overdubbed some MS-20 mini during some parts.
The Solina Restoration should be completed this week. More details to follow.