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Power issues with a Yamaha PSR-620: worth a DIY attempt?


RichardAshkenazi

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Hi, I'm Richard. I've posted on these forums before; just not in the keyboard section. Here's my situation: A Yamaha PSR-620 has been passed down to me. It saw a number of years of faithful service in our living room when I was a teen, and it appears to the eye to be in pretty decent condition. However, at some point since I last played it (many moons ago), it gave out. Plug the thing in (or put batteries in), turn it on, and nothing: no sound from the keys, no display. Strangely, there's one sign of life: the speakers (though mostly just the left one) crackle when you turn the volume knob while it's supposed to be on (the crackling happens through the headphones, too). This gives me some sort of vague, ill-considered hope that all is not lost. So I've kept the thing in my closet.

 

So now I'm trying to start a new band, and since I can't find a keyboardist like I was wanting to, I'm just gonna play 'em myself (along with guitar and vocals (though not all at once)). Piano was my first instrument, after all; I know enough about what I'm doing to make it sound good. All I need is an instrument. I'd most likely be using it as a MIDI controller with my laptop (thanks to my Firebox), at least when I want better/different sounds than the instrument itself can provide. I was shopping around for a cheap portable keyboard, and some pawn shops in Austin have passable ones, but if I already have one with the features I need (touch sensitive, 61 keys, MIDI ins/outs), why not use that? So I brought it to a service guy at a reputable local gear shop, and the estimate alone was gonna be half of my (admittedly flexible) budget of about $100 that I'd potentially put toward a new one. Yeah, no go.

 

So ends the setup. The question: Is it possible to fix my PSR-620 on my own? Does anyone have any thoughts as to what I might be able to do to the thing to try to resurrect it? Are there resources on the Internets that would guide me in diagnosis and repair? Or should I just leave the thing for dead and get another cheap-o keyboard somewhere? (And if so, how does one dispose of a dead keyboard?)

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You are probably better off picking up a brand new MIDI controller as a replacement for the PSR-620 especially since you plan to use a laptop.

 

If $100 is your budget, there are several models available, for example:

 

Click Here

 

Check out the others as well. Good luck. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Thanks for the link, ProfD. However: I actually already have a basic MIDI controller (Edirol), but it's only two octaves, and it frustrates me to no end to not be able to stretch out and use both hands the real way (considering that I learned how to play on a grand piano). So I'm thinking 61 keys minimum. Also, I prefer something I can use by itself if I want/need to. I like the laptop idea because it opens up better softsynth-based tones, but I also want to be able to turn it on and play if I have the urge, and not have to wait for the computer to load everything (and pray the thing doesn't freeze up or something). So yeah.

 

Dementedchord: It was Strait Music, actually. They've been decent to me in the past, but I've never had a repair with them, so I suppose I don't really know how good they are in that respect (and thanks to that estimate charge, I don't plan on knowing, at least for this issue). I'll look into Resurrection Electronics.

 

Another option came up, too: I was in Guitar Center this evening looking for deals, and they had a used Casio WK-3200 for $150. I played it for a bit, and was pleased. Maybe MORE than I need, though. And more money than I'd planned. Still, is this a deal I should take advantage of while I have the chance?

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But I want it NOW. WAAAAAAAAH.

 

Besides, if I wait, there's always a chance I'll throw that money away on something stupid, like medical bills or rent.

 

Seriously, I'm not sure I agree that saving for something better is good for my current situation. My thoughts are: 1) I'm from the school of thought that maintains that competent playing and quality compositions can shine through less-than-stellar equipment (especially in an ensemble setting), and 2) I'm not a pro-level keyboardist anyway, so why spend the extra cash?

 

In summation: None of your opinions matter to me, and I'm just gonna keep justifying my GAS until I finally buy something, after which I'll probably regret my decision (but by then it'll be too late to do anything about it). So problem solved!

 

(I think.)

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Originally posted by RichardAshkenazi:

My thoughts are: 1) I'm from the school of thought that maintains that competent playing and quality compositions can shine through less-than-stellar equipment (especially in an ensemble setting)

I'm of the school of thought that it's pointless to buy a Korg OASYS when you don't know what a C major scale is. (Sort of like, don't buy a power gym to "get fit" and then put it in the loft 'cause it never gets used.)

 

Once you are actually playing to any level, cr*p equipment becomes an impediment. It doesn't have to be the OASYS, but $150 Casio? Gimme a BREAK...

 

And please, just throw the POS old Yamaha where it belongs. In the DUMPSTER. :D

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Hmm... actually may have to withdraw that comment.

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/YAMAHA-PSR-620-SYNTHESYSER-KEYBOARD-GREAT-CONDITION_W0QQitemZ320038050760QQihZ011QQcategoryZ38091QQcmdZViewItem

 

$379 Buy it now price?!

 

It's just possible that the Yamaha PSR-620 isn't all that bad, especially if the sounds/synth engine/effects were "handed down" from the AWM pro synths of the era... and, in fact, may be better than an entry level keyboard today.

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Originally posted by RichardAshkenazi:

This gives me some sort of vague, ill-considered hope that all is not lost. So I've kept the thing in my closet.

Probably the digital electronics or something associated with them are screwed (i.e., the "brains"/tone generator etc.,) but the analog section (power amp etc.) for the speakers still works.

 

So... I wouldn't hope for much.

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Originally posted by soundscape:

It's just possible that the Yamaha PSR-620 isn't all that bad, especially if the sounds/synth engine/effects were "handed down" from the AWM pro synths of the era... and, in fact, may be better than an entry level keyboard today.

e.g., Yamaha PSR-530 (from a couple of years later) demo:

 

http://www.synthmania.com/Keyboards/Yamaha/PSR-530/Songs/demo%207.wma

 

Casio WK3200 demo:

 

http://www.casio-europe.com/euro/downloads/emi/wk_8beatpop_hifi.mp3

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Ok I while neither of your choices is great I would absolutely positively and without any doubt whatsoever fix the PSR 620 before I spent a dime on the WK3200. The PSR has much better sounds and is reliable. The Casio WK series has a long and sad history of lockups, freezes and refurbished units. Buyer Beware!!! Of these two options the PSR is a much, much better option.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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My decision has just been simplified by the fact that the used Casio at Guitar Center has been sold ('tis the season, after all), and the price for the same model new is $50 more. Also, I just don't care anymore, and I'm gonna do what I probably should've done in the first place: make the most of what I have before adding to it.

 

So yeah, time to see about repairing the Yamaha.

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