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.

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