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Electone EL-87: How different from the EL-90?

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  • Electone EL-87: How different from the EL-90?

    Hi friends. A local seller has a Yamaha Electone EL-87 on offer. There is very little information on this model online. Can anyone tell me how this differs from the EL-90, which seems to be both common and well-liked? Many thanks for any light that you may shed on the subject.

  • #2
    Judging by what is actually on line, this appears to be a model made for the Far East market only. Superficially, it appears to be identical to the EL90. Without a spec sheet, there's no way I can tell you any more.

    The EL90 is indeed well liked. They are starting to display power supply problems, requiring replacement electrolytic capacitors, but other than that they appear to be long lived and reliable. Values in the UK have tumbled in recent years, but you haven't given a location so local values may well be different.
    It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

    New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

    Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
    Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
    Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
    Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pieanoman View Post
      Hi friends. A local seller has a Yamaha Electone EL-87 on offer. There is very little information on this model online. Can anyone tell me how this differs from the EL-90, which seems to be both common and well-liked? Many thanks for any light that you may shed on the subject.
      I believe the display is smaller than the EL90 and the amplification is also less.

      The manual is available
      https://jp.yamaha.com/files/download...8117/EL87E.pdf
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Current: Yamaha EL400, Yamaha C60

      Past: Technics GA3, Technics F100, Technics FA-1

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      • #4
        Thanks to both of you, Andy and Abang! I'm in Hong Kong, which fits the fact that this organ was made for the Asian market. I saw it today. Everything seems to works and the condition is excellent. Bench is also included. I don't know yet if manual and disks are included. Still waiting to hear the asking price. And yes, the display looks to be smaller than on the EL90. Abang, thanks for the link to the manual! Not sure whether I'll get this one, but if I do and the electrolytics die, it should be a repair that I can handle.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by pieanoman View Post
          Thanks to both of you, Andy and Abang! I'm in Hong Kong, which fits the fact that this organ was made for the Asian market. I saw it today. Everything seems to works and the condition is excellent. Bench is also included. I don't know yet if manual and disks are included. Still waiting to hear the asking price. And yes, the display looks to be smaller than on the EL90. Abang, thanks for the link to the manual! Not sure whether I'll get this one, but if I do and the electrolytics die, it should be a repair that I can handle.
          I just repaired an EL-90 with leaky capacitors on the power supply. I took a couple of pictures in the beginning stages of the repair. I first replaced two bad caps, added some jumpers and got it running. Later, I replaced all the large filter caps and reinforced the jumpers. The initial symptom was it came on but didn't play and no info in the display.

          The problem with leaky caps isn't just bad caps that need to be replaced, it's the stuff that leaks out is very corrosive and damages traces on the circuit board.

          Geo
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Absolutely! One of my students had the same symptoms on his EL90, same cure, including repairing a few eaten through PCB tracks. He replaced every e-cap on the board. As prevention is better than cure, worth checking for leaks and half eaten tracks and, while the board's out anyway, do the replacements. Not a long job.

            As for value, I can't comment on Hong Kong values, but another student had an EL90T (wooden sided cabinet with bigger built in speakers) as her 18th birthday present. It cost her dad just £400, and included loads of disks and a library of music books (which quickly sold on eBay!). That was two years ago and prices have dropped a little since then. I have a neighbour who has an EL90T and has been trying to sell it for some time with no luck. The EL900 is the one that seems to hold its value and push the EL90 down.
            It's not what you play. It's not how you play. It's the fact that you're playing that counts.

            New website now live - www.andrew-gilbert.com

            Current instruments: Roland Atelier AT900 Platinum Edition, Yamaha Genos, Yamaha PSR-S970, Kawai K1m
            Retired Organs: Lots! Kawai SR6 x 2, Hammond L122, T402, T500 x 2, X5. Conn Martinique and 652. Gulbransen 2102 Pacemaker. Kimball Temptation.
            Retired Leslies, 147, 145 x 2, 760 x 2, 710, 415 x 2.
            Retired synths: Korg 700, Roland SH1000, Jen Superstringer, Kawai S100F, Kawai S100P, Kawai K1

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            • #7
              Again, thanks to all for the information (and congrats to Geo on a successful repair job). The seller wants $US 1300, which I think is far from realistic. Perhaps with time and without a sale she'll consider a more realistic price. Time will tell...and as it passes I fear those caps may be doing their damage. With that EL90T were on this side of the globe...

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              • #8
                Almost identical damage to an EL90 I rescued before being dumped. It seems the electrolyte finds its way to the underside of the board through the apertures which facilitate air circulation around the voltage regulator heatsinks. Presumably it then creeps along the underside, being most aggressive in hotter areas around the regulators. Cleaned both sides of the board with copious quantity of isopropyl alcohol, repaired 3 tracks to the -15V regulator and replaced all the power supply filter capacitors The only other fault was 3 dodgy switches on the floppy drive. Disk-in/Density/Write-protect. Cleaned the contacts.
                Now have fully functional EL90.
                Original symptoms - loud pops and flashing lights. Illuminated but blank display.

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                • #9
                  Update to my earlier post: An EL87 that I picked up had no sound output through the right side speakers. It showed no capacitor leakage problems when examined (but I changed them all anyway). In this case the problem was that a fuse resistor that supplies +VCC to one of the three audio amplifier modules (STK4152II) had opened up, thus leaving the amp with only -VCC supply. This caused the audio amp to put out a negative DC voltage that activated the speaker protection circuitry (which explains why sound was still available through the headphones). Unfortunately, the fuse resistor showed no signs of blowing (these normally show evidence of heat before they blow) so it took quite a bit of testing to discover the problem. Replacing that fuse resistor brought the missing audio channel back to life. Anyone with an Electone that loses audio through left or right speakers should check these fused resistors (100KΩ) first.

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