Over the years, I've collected various bits of kit for recording and playing music. I've ended up with a few items, which might be termed 'vintage music equipment' and a few more, which might just be referred to as 'old'.
This page is a work in progress, but eventually I hope to list all the items I think might be of interest to anyone else. Where I've picked up any useful hints and tips, relating to specific items, I've included these too.
I bought my Yamaha DX7s second-hand in the mid-1990s. It's a great piece of kit; I love playing and programming it. Amazingly, its original battery only expired at the end of 2009, after at least twenty years (Yamaha stopped producing the DX7s in 1989).
As the original battery was soldered to the motherboard, inside the instrument, I decided to replace it with a battery holder, sited in a more accessible location. I've added a detailed page, describing the procedure with instructions and photographs (link below).
There are a few functional differences between the DX7s and original DX7 and, whilst there's a wealth of information available for the original MkI version of this famous synthesizer, there isn't so much for the MkII. I decided to create a few pages as an additional contribution to the support information available for the Yamaha DX7 series of keyboards (or Digital Programmable Algorithm Synthesizers, as Yamaha described them). I started by publishing a web page on how I replaced the internal battery and, following feedback via my contact page, expanded the details. In response to further feedback I created additional pages and this seems to be an on-going process. I'll keep doing this as long as people keep asking (assuming I know, or can find the answers). So far I've produced pages covering the following specific Yamaha DX7s information:
In response to the increasing popularity of my DX7s pages on this site, I've now created a Yamaha DX7s home page.
In the late 1980s a friend of mine had a Yamaha PSS-680. I fell in love with it and bought one of my own straight away.
Originally, I just used the PSS-680 for messing around, but ended up using some of the voices in recordings; you can beef them up with a bit of EQ. The main synth sound on the "Petty Cash "demo is my PSS-680. Also, the auto-accompaniment options are great fun and there are loads to choose from; I even ended up writing a song based on one ("The End").
There's been a piano in my family for well over a hundred years; for most of that period it was the same old upright parlour piano. The YDP-101 has a much better feel than our dear old Morrison and Austin upright ever had and never needs tuning; it's quite basic by modern digital piano standards but it suits me fine.
I bought this great music computer from a friend in the late 1980s. I still have all the original packaging and documentation, the YK-01 keyboard and the following cartridges:
I used the CX5M for song writing and as a sequencer for some early demos I recorded. It includes a full Yamaha 4 operator FM synthesizer and I learned FM voice programming on it, using the YRM-502. I also learned a lot from the excellent "300 voices for Yamaha 4-operator synthesizers" by Derek Sebastian and Eric Noizette. I programmed a few of the voices from the book into my CX5M and used them in recordings; the 'sinister' solo synth voice in "Bogey Men" is a good example.
I bought a Yamaha TG100 when they first came out, around 1992. It was a cost-effective way of adding a General MIDI AWM expander to my basic home studio set-up.
In the end I only really used the TG100 for its drum kits, which were better than anything else I had. It doesn't get used much these days but, being the horder I am, it's still there on top of the rack and connected up to the mixing desk.
I bought my Roland CR-1000 with the Yamaha CX5M in the late 1980s. It's a basic drum machine, which can be used for live accompaniment, or as a MIDI drum expander module.
The PCM samples still stand up pretty well, apart from the decay on the cymbals, which is pretty poor by modern standards. All the other voices have that classic 1980s drum machine sound, including the once ubiquitous hand clap! I still use my CR-1000 for instant accompaniment when I'm tinkering around with a guitar.
I bought my Vox AC15 CC1, second-hand, several years ago with the aim of trying to reproduce the classic 1960s / 70s valve sound. I opted for the AC15 rather than the AC30 thinking it might spare the neighbours a little. As I and the neighbours discovered, the AC15 packs a lot of punch for a 15 watt ammplifer. My amp has had the original Vox-badged 30 watt / 16 ohm GSH1230-16 Wharfedale speaker replaced with a Celestion G12M 25 watt / 16 ohm 'Greenback'; otherwise it's unmodified. I built a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster clone using 'new old stock' components, basing the circuit around an OC44 germanium transistor and this really makes a difference when I put it between my American Standard Strat and the AC15. The poor old Peavey Bandit has tended to be a little neglected in recent years.
I've added a downloadable copy of the Vox AC15 Custom Classic (AC15CC1 / AC15CC1X) Owner's Manual to the Music Equipment Manuals page.
I bought this versatile and competitively priced American amp in the early 1990s and it's still going strong. It's an early (non Transtube) model, equipped with a single Sheffield speaker, which I believe is a little bit brighter than the Scorpion speaker some of the early Peavey Bandit 112s were fitted with.
I've added a downloadable copy of the Peavey Bandit 112 Operating Guide and a Peavey Bandit tone settings blank to the Music Equipment Manuals page. I created the tone settings blank myself, so I could note down any settings I found that wanted to use again.
So far, I haven't included any other amplifiers, outboard equipment, or guitars, but will add them at some point.
If you have any queries, comments, or suggestions relating to anything on this page, or any other part of AlexAnnesty.com please get in touch via my contact page.