Category Archives: News

Haynes Build Your Own Mini Amp Kit (Review)

Silent Witness was “doing my head in”, so I thought I’d build this Haynes Amplifier Kit.

I bought it at 75% discount, but hey, it’s Haynes, so it must be ok?
Turns out it’s made under license by a German firm.
Took about an hour, but that’s only because I had wire cutters/strippers. Without them it would have been TWO hours.
  1. The board is too big for the space between the speaker and the volume control. I had to install it upside down and skewed.
  2. You need wire strippers/cutters. Not made clear.
  3. The volume control is wonky unless you install the washer underneath instead of outside.
  4. The wires on the speaker, volume control, and aux jack are too long. You need to bend them so the case will shut.
  5. Same applies to the resistors and capacitors, you need to bend them to clear the case. Or cut them. See 2, above.
  6. There’s no way to secure the battery. I pritt-sticked it in place, but that will not last.. poor!
  7. You need a really small flat screwdriver to attach the volume knob. Not mentioned anywhere.
On a positive note, it worked first time. More by luck than judgement.  I need to look  at increasing the gain by swapping resistors..
The list price for this item is around £20.. I reckon £10 would be a fairer price.
The instructions are rubbish, printed way too small and in grey rather than black, on white. I needed a magnifier with an led lamp..
Next up will be the Haynes Retro Radio Kit. I have the Advent Calendar version where you get the components day-by-day over 24 days..
Finally, can I point out that this post was NOT sponsored in any way: I bought this kit with my own money.

Haynes Retro Radio Kit Advent Calendar

While I admit I haven’t done any work on any music-related stuff for a while, I HAVE been messing about with one of these:

It’s a new version of the standard Haynes retro radio kit, but with all the components arranged as an advent calendar, so you get new components every day for 24 days. Neat.

Anyway, I have FOUR of these for sale on AMAZON UK, all brand new and sealed. And for less than half the price Haynes were asking..

Click the image or link above if you fancy having a go..


You may also be interested in this: Haynes Retro Camera Kit Advent Calendar

Minor Structure Changes & Verification Update

I’ve rejigged the top menu a bit, as it was getting unwieldy.
The “contact” and “about” pages are now under the “Home” item, and “Cookies” is now under “Legal”.
I have added very prominent “I am not a robot” recaptcha verification to all contact forms.
It’s also added to comments and logins.
(Believe it or not, I was getting spam from contact forms and comments – FFS!)

RANT: Akai Timbre Wolf – Where are the ADSR and LFO?

Right. Here we go.

The Akai Timbre Wolf appears to be a cheap, but capable “analog” synth. It has FOUR separate voices which can be used separately or combined.

There are separate controls for each voice.

There are NO ADSR or LFO controls for any of them!

What the hell use is a synth without LFO or ADSR?

So we have four voices. But you can’t change the ADSR settings and you can’t manipulate the sounds with LFO.

Yes, there are settings for “Decay” and “Filter Envelope”. Where are the LFO and ADSR? Nowhere.



A spurt of activity..

I have bought and sold a Korg MicroKorg XL+,  a Boss DS-330, an iPhone 5c, bought TWO iPhone 5Ss, and an Alesis Photon.

However, I have done absolutely bog-all in terms of fixing things lately. (Ok, I ordered knobs for the Photon, and 3d-printed the joystick knob for the Delta)

I hope to have the Ion IDM02 drum machine fixed and sold shortly. It will probably take me half an hour all-in, but it’s just finding the urge to do it.

Maybe if there’s only “I’m a celebrity – get me out of here” on the telly, maybe that will work.. but tonight, it’s TOTP 1986..


S10430 and m259eb1 chips.

I have acquired EIGHT untested AMI S10430 and TWO untested SGS m259eb1 chips.

The AMI chips are keyer/divider chips as used in the Korg Delta, which is what I will be using for testing.

The SGS chips are described as “16 rhythm generator” chips, as used in many organs. I tried all sorts of searches on the web before I realised that the info was on SynTeknik.Com, in the vintage chips section. I need to get that indexed properly. I have no idea how to test these, or what they are worth..

** Update: The M259EB1A chips are now listed on eBay. See the For Sale section.. **

Another DR-55, and a couple of Soundmasters, added to the list..

Found a box in the garage containing a (dead) DR-55, an SR-88 (untested), and an ST-305 (untested).

SO, I now have THREE DR-55s (at least), one of which works. Also, an untested SR-88, broken SR-99, untested ST-305 (I suspect broken, because it’s in the same box..)

This was lurking behind a BIG (dead) 90s Roland, the EK2 and the CS1000.  Must DO something about those.

There is also a microKorg chassis lurking in there (with keyboard). Forgot about that.

There is also a (working) Roland SH1000, (working) Korg m500, (dead) Maestro Rhythm Jester, and god-only-know what else..

Oh, and the Delta. 🙂



AMI S10430 Keyer / Divider chips.. And more..

This is a longish story, but I have now tracked down some NOS (New old-stock) AMI S10430 chips.

If you recall the original story, I needed one for my Korg Delta, but couldn’t find any. I then found a (REALLY COOL) guy in Holland who had FOUR untested chips. We did a deal, where I got one chip, and sold the other three for him (after testing). That worked out really well except for the stupidly long gap in the middle where I did absolutely naff-all. (Other projects, bah!)

Anyway, I found a link on a forum where another guy said he may have a couple of untested chips. I got in touch, and when he looked into it he actually had EIGHT, plus some other stuff. We’ve done a deal, and I bought the lot, untested.

I still have the Korg Delta with the socketed S10430 (IC3), so I CAN test them. I plan to keep some as spares, and sell some on. Depends on how many work..Watch this space. I MAY use eBay again, or just sell from this site.

I’m quite interested in the “other stuff” he’s bundling with the S10430s. These are described as “rhythm generators on a chip.”.  Again, watch this space..