Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

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Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:37 pm

I have an all original, fully functional (as far as I can tell) Yamaha CS-60 that I bought about 10 years ago. I have not used it much but a recent move means it now has a nook in my living room and a dedicated amplifier, so I have been using it regularly with it on for maybe an hour at a time.

The last few times I have used it I noticed it had a smell that it didn't have before, and now it has the smell even when it's powered off. It is kind of a chemical + electronics type smell, not a burning or smokey smell. I had a Yamaha SK-30 years ago that had a similar smell, but not as strong.

I opened it up the other day to see if I could spot any leaky electrolytics thinking maybe I was smelling electrolyte that was heating up, but I didn't spot anything out of the ordinary. There is a lot of stuff in this big old box, so I of course couldn't see everything.

I have heard that plastics can begin to off gas when they age and heat cycle, but wouldn't know where to start testing that theory.

The questions:

Has anyone experienced this smell issue with a Yamaha CS-50, 60 or 80? This assumes since they have similar construction they would all experience this if it was common.

Is it possible I am smelling electrolyte from a leaky capacitor? Would replacing electrolytics help?

Any other thoughts on the smell?

Thanks for reading!
Last edited by randomtransient on Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by maxl0rd » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:19 am

CS80 definitely has a smell once it’s warmed up. I won’t speculate about your capacitors.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:39 am

Is the CS-80 smell you have noted strong? Does it linger very long after use? Has it changed over the years?

Maybe I'm falsely correlating the smell to capacitor break down.
Last edited by randomtransient on Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by e-grad » Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:58 am

randomtransient wrote:
Thu Jun 24, 2021 11:37 pm
Is it possible I am smelling electrolyte from a leaky capacitor? Would replacing electrolytics help?
Sorry, I am of no help to your original question. However, the CS 60 is old, very old. I'd suggest to swap all electrolytics (and the tantalums if used).

I had an similiar aged hifi amp which developed several issues. Since I don't want to invest money to get it repaired I just have changed all electrolytic caps in a layman's atempt to repair the amp. Most of the electrolytic caps just looked fine. However, one could tell from their weight their dielectric must have evaporized over the decades. The amp works fine now.

edit: Tantal => tantalum
Last edited by e-grad on Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by SkyWriter » Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:09 am

Many electrolytic's dry out over time. It's been a long time. Probably a good idea to do it now if you're handy at it.

Also e-grad mentions, tantalums too.
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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by e-grad » Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:14 am

SkyWriter wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:09 am
Also e-grad mentions, tantalums too.
Thanks! Tantal is the German word.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by SkyWriter » Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:19 am

e-grad wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:14 am
SkyWriter wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 11:09 am
Also e-grad mentions, tantalums too.
Thanks! Tantal is the German word.
Learn something new everyday! Thanks!
Follow the money.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:52 pm

Thanks for all the replies - I have been coming to grips with the need to replace the caps in the CS-60 - especially with values on this family of Yamaha where they are these days - would be stupid not to do proper preventative maintenance and let something be harmed by a failure. I fully recapped a Korg Maxi-Korg 800DV last year - was a long road, but a good learning curve for the CS-60 I would think. See here if you are curious: https://preservethesound.com/2020/08/25 ... itor-list/

No other thoughts on the smell?
Last edited by randomtransient on Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by doombient.music » Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:55 pm

I had all electrolytic caps as well as tantalum caps replaced in my CS50, just in case. While my tech was at it, he also replaced the 40+-year old 4000 series CMOS components on the KAS board, just to make sure they would not cause any issues in the future. He did the same with a Korg PE-2000 when it was showing slightly funny (not in a hah-hah kind of way) behaviour.

It might have been a bit over the top but a) it makes me sleep better at night, and b) it feels a lot safer to turn on and play the instrument -- must be some kind of psychological thing going on here.

I would also renew that white paste that helps to dissipate heat from the voltage regulators, just in case.

As for the smell, all vintage synthesisers have a smell of their own when heating up -- it's a huge difference whether it smells lie old dust (and old flux residue, or nicotine) warming up, or some kind of toxic smell from leaking capacitors -- mind you, you do not always see them leaking as they sometimes tend to puke underneath, between the PCB and the can the sit in.

Stephen

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by SkyWriter » Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:19 pm

doombient.music wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:55 pm
I would also renew that white paste that helps to dissipate heat from the voltage regulators, just in case.
"Thermal compound" that old? Absolutely! Good point :0)
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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Fri Jun 25, 2021 2:53 pm

Thanks for the hints everyone. Found a manual online and will be making a capacitor list, tantalums and all. Not sure I want to mess with ICs at this point, but may change my tune when I get it opened up.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by doombient.music » Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:57 am

SkyWriter wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 1:19 pm
doombient.music wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 12:55 pm
I would also renew that white paste that helps to dissipate heat from the voltage regulators, just in case.
"Thermal compound" that old? Absolutely! Good point :0)
Thermal compound -- that's the word I was looking for.

Thanks.

Stephen

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by Seaweed Sound » Sat Jun 26, 2021 2:46 pm

there's a good thread on gearspace from someone who did a CS-60 restoration:
https://gearspace.com/board/electronic- ... -60-a.html

good luck and keep us posted

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Sat Jun 26, 2021 4:27 pm

Wow - thanks for the link. I messaged the guy who did the rebuild to see if he had a capacitor list. There is not much in the factory parts manual.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by PYJAMAGROOVE » Mon Jun 28, 2021 3:27 am

I second replacing all the tantalums (I can tell you lots of horror stories involving these in my CS80). They WILL fail. And when day do it's a nightmare. Change also as much the 4000 IC's as you possibly can (especially KAS and SH boards).

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:41 pm

I plan on replacing the one tantalum I spotted.

Why is it recommended to replace the 4000 series ICs?

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by maxl0rd » Mon Jun 28, 2021 6:56 pm

The old CMOS parts were less reliable than their modern counterparts. They fail often and leave you with weird annoying behavioral glitches that are challenging to debug. So people often just replace them all if they are doing a full service to prevent future issues.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by Jefro » Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:15 am

I just did this in a CS-30. It wasn’t a tough job. Just time consuming. It’ll be much more so in a CS-80. Just be patient and take your time.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:11 pm

Okay okay. I will replace the 4000 series ICs after I get through with replacing capacitors.

I'm keeping a blog of the work here: https://preservethesound.com/

CS-30 is high on my next synth list. How was doing a service on it? Lots of caps and ICs?

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by Jefro » Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:23 pm

The CS-30 was pretty easy to work on. There were a couple ICs that needed replacing. They were expensive to get a hold of. I ended up replacing two in one of the envelope generator circuits and a filter IC. I replaced all the electrolytic caps too. The whole job took a few weeks including my bumbling troubleshooting. It was a relatively easy job though, I just took my time. The PCBs are all one sided, which made it a super simple job.
Last edited by Jefro on Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by Jefro » Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:25 pm

Double post

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:26 pm

Is your CS-30 a 100V model? If so, do you just plug it in to 120V or is there a 120V tap on the existing transformer you can change the wall cord to, or do you plug it into step transformer? I have read that most 100V Japan market synths will work on 120V, but I worry about longevity doing that. My Roland System 100 Model 101 states 100V - 120V on the serial number plate, so maybe it's okay? There's probably a thread on voltages somewhere...

I have been looking for someone I can ask these questions of. Thanks.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by Jefro » Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:32 pm

It is a 100v one. I have a bunch of Japanese gear, so I bought a big transformer that I can plug a bunch of 100v gear into at the same time I bought the CS-30. I currently have the CS-30, a CS-10, and a CS-15 all plugged into it. I have found that plugging Japanese stuff straight into an American outlet seems to be fine, but i didn’t want to risk it on the CS-30. I have a 100v Roland space echo that I plug straight into the outlet, and it’s had 0 issues.
Last edited by Jefro on Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by Jefro » Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:35 pm

On a side note, if you look at the service manual for CS synths, the transformer for both the JP version and the American one have the same part number. They just use different connections on the transformer. I never tried to find out if they can be modified. I did try swapping out the transformer in my CS-10 at one point, but I didn’t do something right and I got no power, so I swapped it back.

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Re: Yamaha CS-60 - time to replace electrolytic capacitors?

Post by randomtransient » Wed Jun 30, 2021 3:51 pm

Thanks for all the answers. Are the different CS mono synths different enough to warrant having all of them? I kinda figured getting the CS-30 would mean I could ignore the rest.

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