The Inner Workings Of Beautiful Machines…

Welcome to our blog about the inner world of electronic music synthesizers. This is a site for those who use and love vintage electronic musical instruments or who are interested in joining the community of people who are continuing the legacy of creating music using these machines. TSLOS is run by Steve Jones and Craig Sue at our service centre in Sydney, Australia.

The purpose of this blog is to take you inside these synthesizers with little photo essays detailing the inner workings of the vintage instruments that we use ourselves and that come through our restoration workshop. The posts will provide a little technical information without being too nerdy, the idea being to provide a photographic tour under the hood of each synthesizer with insights into how and why they work and sound as they do. If you are into vintage synths and have wondered what things such as Curtis chips and Moog ladder filters actually look like, Why a CS-80 weighs 100 kilo’s or why a Roland MKS-80 is most definitely not a “Jupiter 8 in a rack” then our blog will show you.

With each post we will also work to demystify issues around reliability and servicing, buying, tuning and maintaining these instruments in the hope that it will help you to achieve the satisfaction that comes from playing a perfectly working synthesizer that is a part of the history of electronic music. Tap or click on the images for a larger view!

Roland SH-101

Roland's lightweight monosynth from the 1980's. Roland's SH series are undoubtedly among the finest synthsizers ever made. Their sonic character has stood the test of time and they are sought after to this day despite the large number of new offerings in the...

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Roland SH-7

The flagship of Roland's SH series synthesizers, the SH-7. Roland's SH series are undoubtably some of the finest synthsizers ever made. They stand head and shoulders above most of their competition from that era for reliability and build quality and their sonic...

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Caring for the Roland Juno-106

Roland's Juno-106 is one of the most popular polysynths ever made. It is simple to use, it sounds warm and lush and along with it's signature chorused pad sounds it is a versatile bass synth with it's single oscillator per voice, it's DCO architecture keeps it in tune...

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Electro-Harmonix Mini-Synthesizer

The Electro-Harmonix EH-0400 Mini-Synthesizer: A surprising little synth with a big sound.  Recently Craig bought an EH Mini-Synthesiser and after we gave it a service and check out we had a good play with it through a studio monitor system. We were surprised at just...

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Korg PS-3300 Polysynth

Before the famous Korg MS-series there were three large polyphonic synthesizers released by Korg. They were unique to this day in that they were true polysynths because they have individual VCF's, envelope generators and VCA's for every key. They were designated the...

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Minimoog Model D

The Moog Minimoog, also known as the "Model D", has maintained it's place as one of the most iconic synthesisers in history and is highly sought after to this day for it's unmistakable Moog sound and it's classic industrial design. It began with it's "Model A" genesis...

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Sequential Circuits Pro-One

The Sequential Circuits Pro-One Synthesizer After the success of the legendary Sequential Circuits Prophet 5 polyphonic synthesizer, Sequential released a synth that was in many ways a monophonic version of the Prophet 5. While the build quality of the Pro-One was not...

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The Yamaha CS-80

In the late 1970's Yamaha released a large, groundbreaking polyphonic synthesizer that was a kind of little brother to the enormous and very rare GX-1. It was used by many artists - Toto, Paul McCartney, ELO, Simple Minds to name a few but the artist who brought the...

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The Korg 35 filter

The Korg 35 filter Back in the 1970’s when Korg, Roland and Yamaha were bringing out their now classic synths and drum machines one of the hallmarks of their design was the supremely clever little circuits that the Japanese engineers came up with to fulfill the...

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