Prolonged life for vintage polyphonic synthesizers

Martin Hoewner and Heinz Weierhorst, technicians from Bochum (northern Germany),  offer visionary solutions for specific problems with vintage analog synthesizers. One such weak point is the power supply unit. They have specially recreated a new PSU for Roland Jupiter-8, Elka Synthex, Moog Memorymoog and Sequential Prophet-5.

Let’s let them speak for themselves:

“The Jupiter-8 tends to run hot. And there’s a lot of background noise in the Memorymoog and the Synthex, caused by the internal fan. Further, the Prophet-5 PSU tends to buzz. We set out to eliminate these three things. The result is a new PSU – which lengthens the life of the instruments and saves electricity as well.

Four Jupiter-8 in a row. Number 1, 2 and 4 have the new PSU installed. Photo (c) Synthtaste

To the high temperatures: these cause electronic components to age prematurely. So an improvement here means prolonging your instrument’s life.

Another problem is abration of the PSU cables due to mechanical wear caused by frequent opening and shutting of the instruments. This can even cause a blown fuse, which may ruin your beloved synthesizer. A problem we were able to solve, too.

There are no more fan noises and no more electric buzzing because our PSU doesn’t heat up und thus doesn’t need any cooling.

Power consumption may not be something that worries you a lot, but it’s still something to think about. We were able to reduce this considerably. The Memorymoog gives us a great chance to demonstrate this: it now needs 48 instead of the original 118 Watt. The picture below shows the Jupiter-8 …

Jupiter-8 power consumption. Original PSU (left) and new PSU (right). Photo (c) Synthtaste

A pleasant side effect of all of this, is that there is additional room in the synthesizers now for further upgrades. Space for our velocity- and aftertouch modification by means of a velocity sensitive keyboard, for example. A nice upgrade that’s also in our program.”

For further infos see:


GreatSynthesizers has checked out the advantages of the new PSU with the Elka Synthex. The modified instrument now weighs a few kilos less (still heavy enough, no question about that) and it has a new power supply unit (PSU) that doesn’t require that original, noisy fan. The synthesizer remains absolutely quiet. So there’s nothing more between you and the superiour tone quality of the Synthex. Recommendable.

Elka Synthex with new PSU - and without fan. Photo (c) GreatSynthesizers

Elka Synthex with new PSU – and without fan. Photo (c) GreatSynthesizers

Filed under General

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman,, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP,, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.