image of Prophet T8 Synth repair at Bammel TV
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Prophet T8 Synth Repair at Bammel TV Technology Services.

July 2018: Customer brought to us his Sequential Circuits Prophet T8 synthesizer. It’s vintage synth repair time again—in particular, Prophet T8 synth repair time, at Bammel TV Tech Services.

The Prophet T8 , often considered the flagship or pinnacle of the Sequential Circuit line, was released in 1983 when analog synthesizers were being replaced by digital-FM synthesis machines such as the famed Yamaha DX-7. The T8 is a monstrous sounding 8 Voice polyphonic synth with analog circuity under digital control, allowing the user patch storage and a 670 note on board sequencer, for programmable pattern playback. 

The T8 featured 76 weighted keys with full MIDI implementation, plus velocity and aftertouch that could be routed to various destinations, or used to control different note aspects—very uncommon at this time. This synth is very similar to its predecessor the legendary Prophet 5 in its sound and is often thought of as Sequential Circuits’ pinnacle synthesizer: Digital control of analog sound with an extremely flexible, intuitive and beautiful design – right down to the wood panels. 

The Prophet 8 had a bit of a tough time competing with the Yamaha DX-7, which was much cheaper, but for quality it was unmatched. Used by artists like Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins, it still sounds great: the Rolls Royce of analog synthesizers. Generally these beasts are hard to find today and still very expensive. 

In this particular repair, the customer had various complaints. We found the native procedure to reload all the internal factory settings. This involves setting program parameters by way of in-loading a WAV file, an archaic but effective procedure. In addition, we found the in-out jacks were iffy so we ordered and replaced those as well. 

Here is a Youtube video of a T8 being put through its paces. 

Prophet T8 Synth Repair: another one bites the dust at Bammel TV. For our main keyboard and synth repair page, and other examples of synth repair at Bammel TV, click here. 

Bammel TV Technology Services
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Oberheim OB-8 Vintage Synthesizer Repair

VINTAGE SYNTHESIZER REPAIR at BAMMEL TV TECHNOLOGY SERVICES

We had occasion of late to fix up a real classic: the vaunted Oberheim OB-8 synthesizer. Similar synths in the OB-X line by Oberheim defined much pop sound in the early 1980’s, the most notable example being the classic album Moving Pictures by Rush.

The customer brought in his OB-8 with complaint of No Sound. Upon bench diagnostics we found many swollen and leaking capacitors, with many dirty and contaminated control potentiometers. We developed our repair prospectus and estimate for the customer. Our notes indicated:

UNIT NEEDS SIGNIFICANT RESTORATION, POSSIBLY 4-6-8 HOURS OF LABOR, POWER NEEDS TO BE RESTORED AT COMPONENT LEVEL WHICH WILL REQUIRE EXTENSIVE TROUBLESHOOTING  AND RESTORATION OF THE POWER SUPPLY.

UNIT ALSO NEEDS KEYBED CLEANING,  KEYBED ALIGNMENT, CAP REPAIR JOB, and ORIGINAL PATCH RESTORATION.

In the event, restoring the instrument’s original sound patches proved the seemingly-insurmountable barrier to repair completion. In the early 1980’s only comparatively primitive techniques for importation of sound patches existed. We spent far more time than had been originally budgeted, but we eventually solved this issue and repairs were ultimately successful.

Another one bites the dust at Bammel TV. For our main Digital Piano Repair and Synth Repair page, click here. Here, a link to the Youtube video for this repair: