Open Mic: Own and perform with synths and other electronic gear for any length of time and you’ll eventually run into a synth disaster.
Maybe you shipped a carefully packed keyboard and it came back smashed. Maybe you stored too many keyboards on a gorgeous glass table….until the glass broke.
Or maybe you were onstage, ready to play, and looked down to realize that your keyboard had completely lost its memory.
The Sequential Circuits ‘Five Trak’
My personal synth fiasco started with a winning bid, several years ago, on eBay for a Sequential Circuits Six Trak. I paid my money and awaited the arrival of my first polyphonic analog synth.
When it arrived, I unboxed it and tried it out. It sounded pretty good….except for every sixth note, which would never make any sound. One of the synth’s voices was dead on arrival!
So, contacted the seller. He said to just get it fixed and he’d credit me for the repair. I shipped the Six Trak off to a company called Wine Country – the best-known Sequential service center. They fixed it up and sent it back, good as new – at a cost, with shipping, of a couple of hundred bucks.
It was starting to look like things were going to work out – until I emailed the seller the invoice for the repair work. At that point he fell off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again. eBay’s dispute resolution process accomplished absolutely nothing.
The disaster, though, is that instead of appreciating the Six Trak as a vintage analog synth, I still see it as a visual reminder of getting scammed on eBay.
Getting scammed on eBay is pretty bad. But it’s nothing compared to building the ultimate synth cave and finding out that it leaks every time you get a good rain.
What’s your worst synth or electronic music gear disaster?