Voyager long term care/fixes?

Tips and techniques for Minimoog Analog Synthesizers
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ummagumma
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Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by ummagumma » Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:25 am

Since the Voyager is coming up to 20 years since it was introduced ( 2002? ) I am wondering about routine maintenance & things to look out for, if you own one?

I assume most of the analog board failures have probably happened by now, that were going to happen (?) -that was due to a bad batch of IC's from a supplier, correct?

So are there any preventive things to watch for? aside from maybe the power supply capacitors

does anyone know if the display screen is a common, sourcable component?

thx!

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MC
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by MC » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:39 pm

Original owner of a Signature Edition Voyager since 2003. Zero trouble, although Moog did replace some ICs as part of routine maintenance when I took mine in for calibration.
Gear list: '04 Saturn Ion, John Deere X300 tractor, ganged set of seven reel mowers for 3 acres of lawn, herd of sheep for backup lawn mowers, two tiger cats for mouse population control Oh you meant MUSIC gear Oops I hit the 255 character limi

Zecross
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by Zecross » Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:08 pm

My SE cherrywood #378 is still running ok. Calibration made every two years by myself!
Laurent, Voyager SE #378 cherrywood

Markyboard
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by Markyboard » Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:40 am

It's important to bring the silicon substrate of all op-amps in the audio signal path to just shy of their melting point on a weekly basis. Judicious use of feedback is recommended.

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ummagumma
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by ummagumma » Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:45 am

haha!!

:lol:

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dschwabe
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by dschwabe » Sun Oct 11, 2020 1:54 pm

Hi,

I have a Voyager XL (Tolex edition) and recently had to send in the power stabilizer and digital board for service.
The synth was misbehaving in that it would "reboot" itself erratically and frequently after turning it on.
After I received (excellent) instructions for an initial diagnosis I sent in just the power stabilizer and the digital board.
Took about 3 1/2 weeks turnaround time and the issue got resolved.

Just now I noticed that many of the chord/pad type sounds sound very much out of tune and I started some measuring.
Found that I have to tune osc2 to +4 and osc3 to +5 to bring them both in perfect tune with osc1. Overall the master fine tune knob has to be at ~ -0.25 to bring the tuning to a perfect A440.
Luckily the "spread" or scale is still perfect. It's just that osc2/3 offset that causes trouble for all of the old/original patches.

Trying to figure out now if this is something I can adjust myself.

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ummagumma
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by ummagumma » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:24 pm

I am not sure if anyone has ever posted the calibration procedure for the voyager?

but it sounds like the osc need calibration, to me

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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by Markyboard » Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:58 am

This was posted on Knobtweeks, part of Yahoo Groups which is now gone:


Amos at Moog once posted this:

Osc 1 tuning & scaling info

Here is the info you should need in order to adjust the tuning of oscillator 1 on your Voyager

"First you will need something with which to prop up the chassis so that you can open the back panel while you work. I recommend a stack of books or similar, about 3” thick. Raise the panel to its full upright position and slide your prop under the back so that the panel will rest in a vertical position. Now you can remove the five screws from across the back panel and open the synth.

I have attached a diagram which has the relevant adjustment points highlighted in a lovely shade of blue. There are two multi-turn trimmers (RT1 and RT2), which are tall and boxy with a brass turnscrew at the top, and there is one single-turn trimmer (RP9) which is a squat boxy item with a recessed plastic turning adjustment. The latter, RP9, is the adjustment for the keyboard tracking of oscillator 1. This is the first thing to adjust.

Here is how to set up the Voyager for proper tuning: Go to the Edit menu and select “Init. Defaults,” press Enter, cursor to Yes and press Enter. This will set all of the oscillators to (what should be) unison tuning, all set to Squarewave. By default only oscillator 1 will be turned on.
Next, go back to the Edit menu and select “Pitch Bent amount” – set the pitch bend to Off. This ensures that pitch bend does not inadvertently affect your tuning.
Go to the Mixer section of the control panel and switch off Oscillator 1, and switch on oscillator 2. Do not adjust the oscillator 2 or 3 “fine tune” controls; leave them be so that your tuning is not thrown off by accident.
Hook up your synth to a tuner and use only the master Fine Tune control (lower left of the control panel next to the Glide rate knob) to adjust the master tuning until oscillator 2 is in proper tune. We tune to the low “E” on the keyboard, and then test the keyboard scaling by playing the “E” two octaves up on the keyboard. Generally if this interval is set correctly, then there is very little error across the rest of the keyboard.
So, once you have determined that oscillators 2 and 3 are properly tuned, set the switches in the mixer section so that oscillators 2 and 3 are both turned off and only oscillator 1 is on.

Play the low “E” and check the tuner; is Oscillator 1 in tune? Also, you could turn on oscillator 2 and listen for beating between the oscillators. If Oscillator 1 is not in tune at low E, then we need to make a few adjustments before setting the keyboard scaling. First, adjust the multi-turn trimmer RT2 until oscillator 1 is bang-on pitch at low E. it can help to set the Gate switch on the control panel to On/Ext. so that the note will continue to play while you make adjustments.
Next, set the Oscillator 1 Octave switch on the panel to 2’. Play the same low E key on the keyboard and check the tuning. If it is not in tune (should be E5, I think), adjust the multi-turn trimmer RT1 until oscillator 1 is exactly in tune at the 2’ octave setting. Now switch back to 8’ on oscillator 1 and play the low E key and adjust RT2 if necessary to tune in E3 on your tuner. You may need to go back and forth a time or two between the above steps; when you are finished you should have an oscillator that is in tune at all of the octave settings when playing the same low E key. A note: if the tuning is OK on all lower octaves but it is not correct at the 1’ setting, you can adjust the single-turn trimmer RP11 to correct this.


OK, so now Oscillator 1 is in tune and can be scaled to the keyboard. Turn on Oscillator 2 and listen to be sure that oscillators 1 and 2 are still in unison on the low E. Do not adjust the tuning of oscillator 2! If the two oscillators are not quite in unison, adjust RT2 until they are.
Now play up two octaves on the keyboard; it will probably sound wretched. Very carefully, as it’s quite sensitive, adjust the single-turn trimmer RP9 until oscillators 1 and 2 are in unison again. This will, unfortunately, have some effect on the Osc.1 Range adjustment, so you should play the low E again and see if the oscillators have drifted apart a bit. At this point you might want to switch off oscillator 2 and listen only to oscillator 1 as you fine-tune the adjustments. You will want to alternate between playing the low E and the E two octaves above it… use RT2 to adjust the low E to be in tune, and RP9 (with the utmost delicacy as it is so fiddly) to scale the keyboard such that the high E is in tune. Through all of these adjustments, do not change the panel knobs in any way apart from switching the various oscillators on and off using the mixer section.

This completes the calibration of oscillator 1.

Osc 2 tuning and scaling info

Follow the same procedure as with Oscillator 1 to set up the Voyager for proper tuning: Go to the Edit menu and select "Init. Defaults," press Enter, cursor to Yes and press Enter. This will set all of the oscillators to (what should be) unison tuning, all set to Squarewave. By default only oscillator 1 will be turned on.
Next, go back to the Edit menu and select "Pitch Bend amount" and set the pitch bend to Off. This ensures that pitch bend does not inadvertently affect your tuning. Before you begin to make any changes to the tuning, be sure that your Voyager has been turned on and running for 30 to 60 minutes, so that it can reach a stable operating temperature.

Next, connect your Voyager audio output to a tuner and use only the master Fine Tune control (lower left of the control panel next to the Glide rate knob) to adjust the master tuning until oscillator 1 is in proper tune. We tune to the low E on the keyboard, and then test the keyboard scaling by playing the E two octaves up on the keyboard. If this interval is set correctly, then there is generally very little error across the rest of the keyboard.

Go to the Mixer section of the control panel and switch off Oscillator 1, and switch on oscillator 2. Do not adjust the oscillator 2 or 3 Frequency controls; leave them be so that your tuning is not thrown off by accident.

Play the low E on the keyboard and check the tuner; is Oscillator 2 in tune? Also, you could turn on oscillator 1 and listen for beating between the oscillators. If Oscillator 2 is not in tune at low E, then we need to make a few adjustments before setting the keyboard scaling. First, adjust the multi-turn trimmer RT4 until oscillator 2 is exactly on pitch at low E. If you turned on Oscillator 1 also, you can adjust RT4 until there is no beating between oscillators. If this is confusing, turn off Oscillator 1 and listen only to Oscillator 2. It can help to set the Gate switch on the control panel to On/Ext. so that the note will continue to play while you make adjustments.

Next, set the Oscillator 2 Octave switch on the panel to 2'. Play the same low E key on the keyboard and check the tuning. If it is not in tune (should be E5, I think), adjust the multi-turn trimmer RT3 until oscillator 2 is exactly in tune at the 2' octave setting. Now switch back to 8' on oscillator 2 and play the low E key, and adjust RT4 if necessary to tune in E3 on your tuner. You may need to go back and forth a time or two between the above steps; when you are finished you should have an oscillator that is in tune at all of the octave settings when playing the same low E key.

A note: if the tuning is OK on all lower octaves but it is not correct at the 1' setting, you can adjust the single-turn trimmer RP20 to correct this.

OK, so now Oscillator 2 is in tune and can be scaled to the keyboard. Turn on Oscillator 1 and listen to be sure that oscillators 1 and 2 are still in unison on the low E. Do not adjust the tuning of oscillator 1! If the two oscillators are not quite in unison, adjust RT4 until they are.
Now play up two octaves on the keyboard. Very carefully, as it's quite sensitive, adjust the single-turn trimmer RP21 until oscillators 1 and 2 are in unison again. This will, unfortunately, have some effect on the Osc.2 Range adjustment, so you should play the low E again and see if the oscillators have drifted apart a bit. At this point you might want to switch off oscillator 1 and listen only to oscillator 2 as you fine-tune the adjustments. You will want to alternate between playing the low E and the E two octaves above it; use RT4 to adjust the low E to be in tune, and RP21 (with the utmost delicacy as it is so fiddly) to scale the keyboard such that the high E is in tune. Through all of these adjustments, do not change the panel knobs in any way apart from switching the various oscillators on and off using the mixer section.

At this point, Oscillator 2 should be in tune.



Osc 3 tuning and scaling info

Here is the info you should need in order to adjust the tuning of oscillator 3 on your Voyager.

See the diagram for oscillator 3 tuning trimmer locations. There are two multi-turn
trimmers (RT5 and RT6), which are tall and boxy with a brass turnscrew at the top, and there is one single-turn trimmer (RP16) which is a short square item with a recessed plastic turning adjustment. The latter, RP16, is the adjustment for the keyboard tracking of oscillator 3.

Here is how to set up the Voyager for proper tuning: Go to the Edit menu and select "Init. Defaults," press Enter, cursor to Yes and press Enter. This will set all of the oscillators to (what should be) unison tuning, all set to Squarewave. By default only oscillator 1 will be turned on. Next, go back to the Edit menu and select "Pitch Bend amount" and set the pitch bend to Off. This ensures that pitch bend does not inadvertently affect your tuning. Before you begin to make any changes to the tuning, be sure that your Voyager has been turned on and running for 30 to 60 minutes, so that it can reach a stable operating temperature.

Next, connect your Voyager audio output to a tuner and use only the master Fine Tune control (lower left of the control panel next to the Glide rate knob) to adjust the master tuning until oscillator 1 is in proper tune. We tune to the low E on the keyboard, and then test the keyboard scaling by playing the E two octaves up on the keyboard. If this interval is set correctly, then there is generally very little error across the rest of the keyboard. Go to the Mixer section of the control panel and switch off Oscillator 1, and switch on oscillator 3. Do not adjust the oscillator 2 or 3 Frequency controls; leave them be so that your tuning is not thrown off by accident.

Play the low E on the keyboard and check the tuner; is Oscillator 3 in tune? Also, you could turn on oscillator 1 and listen for beating between the oscillators. If Oscillator 3 is not in tune at low E, then we need to make a few adjustments before setting the keyboard scaling.

First, adjust the multi-turn trimmer RT6 until oscillator 3 is exactly on pitch at low E. If you turned on Oscillator 1 also, you can adjust RT6 until there is no beating between oscillators. If this is confusing, turn off Oscillator 1 and listen only to Oscillator 3. It can help to set the Gate switch on the control panel to On/Ext. so that the note will continue to play while you make adjustments.

Next, set the Oscillator 3 Octave switch on the panel to 2'. Play the same low E key on the keyboard and check the tuning. If it is not in tune (should be E5, I think), adjust the multi-turn trimmer RT5 until oscillator 3 is exactly in tune at the 2' octave setting. Now switch back to 8' on oscillator 3 and play the low E key, and adjust RT6 if necessary to tune in E3 on your tuner. You may need to go back and forth a time or two between the above steps; when you are finished you should have an oscillator that is in tune at all of the octave settings when playing the same low E key.

A note: if the tuning is OK on all lower octaves but it is not correct at the 1' setting, you can adjust the single-turn trimmer RP14 to correct this.

OK, so now Oscillator 3 is in tune and can be scaled to the keyboard. Turn on Oscillator 1 and listen to be sure that oscillators 1 and 3 are still in unison on the low E. Do not adjust the tuning of oscillator 1! If the two oscillators are not quite in unison, adjust RT6 until they are.

There's one bit missing from that procedure. From the Moog forum:
Quote:
Note on Osc 3 tuning: Osc 3 has the tendency to sync with Osc 2. You may find it helpful to de-tune Osc 2 before tuning Osc3. Go to “init parameters” and turn Osc 1 off. Then, turn the Osc 2 Freq knob fully counterclockwise and turn the Osc2 Octave switch down to 32'.
Without that it'll appear you've got oscillator 3 in tune but it's quite likely to drift again within a couple of days.

Some general comments after having tuned my Voyager multiple times:
• Parts of the power supply that are live at mains voltage are exposed when you open the rear panel of the synth.
• Trimmers have very limited lifespans, typically something like 200 cycles, so don't adjust them any more than you absolutely have to.
• The process is very time consuming. There was a comment on the Moog forum that it takes an experienced engineer about 30 minutes; first time I tried it took me about 3 hours and I began to think I'd never get it right...
• The comment about the keyboard scaling trimmer being ridiculously sensitive is the absolute truth: turning it enough for the movement to be visible will send everything massively out of tune and it's not easy to get it back again.
• When you open the rear panel of the synth the change in temperature affects the tuning. So you really need to open it, make some changes, close it back up and wait for the tuning to stabilise before you check it.
• A stroboscopic tuner, like one of the Korg Pitchblack series, is a big help because they're very accurate.
• A proper non-conductive trimmer tool is a good idea: I use CK ceramic ones.
It's easy enough to find the trimmers: they're all clearly labelled as in the instructions and are located towards the bottom left of the board.

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MC
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Re: Voyager long term care/fixes?

Post by MC » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:42 pm

That procedure is more complex than it needs to be. I never had to touch keyboard trimpot.

If your Voyager drifts with the hood open, it probably has the wrong caps in the charging core. There was a supply problem and Moog had to substitute those caps, but the replacement caps do not hold stable tuning. I found out when I compared my unstable RME Voyager against my rock solid Signature Edition Voyager.

Korg Pitchblack tuner is designed for guitars. I have a Korg tuner and it is NOT accurate enough for calibrating synth VCOs. I had to use a benchtop digital frequency counter to get acceptable results. I now use a Peterson 490 strobe tuner for that task (I know that the Moogworks uses the Peterson app).
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