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Yamaha E-70 - Rebuilding it from mud

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  • Yamaha E-70 - Rebuilding it from mud

    Hello again.

    If a didn't introduced myself properly, I'm Robert. I'm 30 years old and I'm a passionate music lover, crazy about technological marvels from ancient times. Combining this two things made me start gaining interest about vintage organs from the 70s, specially Yamaha models.

    I know some of you told me that buying a delicate organ like the Yamaha E-70 would be risky, but I had to do it, I couldn't resist the experience of having one. I'm very stubborn. I know that if maybe I waited a little more and save some bucks I could get a unit in better shape, but this is not the case.

    The story behind this organ is this: I found in the internet, searching for an organ with a vintage sound. Here in my country (Argentina) the usual models you can se are the basic ones. Top of the line are really hard to see and the prices are based on what people can find in pages like reverb or e-bay (for example, there is one E-3 for sale, complete and in good shape, for AR$ 52000 which is equivalent to USD 1400), but considering that the minimum salary per month rises to 400 USD, this crazy prices make getting a unit in this line really hard.

    So, when I saw this E-70 and recognized it, I started to think about having it. I knew that the unit weights 300 lbs and is really big, and, in fact, climbing to the 6th floor using a tiny elevator was one of the most stressing things I've ever made. But I still considering it totally worth it: this crazy I am: buying a beautiful organ in crappy condition and getting it into an appartment. But the hard part has finish (this is what I consider by the moment).

    Once I had the unit inside the appartment, the show began.

    First thing I did was trying to clean the source to supply the voltage to correctly try all functionalities from the organ. I disconected the amplifier part because I was thinking about connecting it right to an external amplifier. To be sincere, I wanted to avoid what it seems to be a short circuit or something strange in the amplifier-part of the source, which causes humming in the transformer. Once you disconnect the secondary part of it, the humming dissapears.

    Click image for larger version

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    After taking all the mud and dust, the sourche ended looking like this

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    Now, time to switch on.

    It works! The Flute and Orchestras for the upper, lower and bass (Funny I and II are really strage!), percussion, auto arpeggio, glide, auto bass, expression pedal and even the tremolo speaker! Everything is dirty and needs fully maintaince, but it works! Which makes me happy.

    What I have to solve now is making all the keys sound.

    Click image for larger version

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    I know how it works, but I don't know what could I use to clean the key contacts. I don't want to mess it. So I want to be careful.

    OK! That's all for now. If you want me to explain better, please let me know.

  • #2
    Congratulations on saving the E-70 organ. I am amazed at how much used organs cost in Argentina. Here, E-70 is thrown away or given for free.

    You can clean the key contacts using a Q-tip and denatured alcohol according to previous posts here by others who have done it.. Good luck.
    Current: Yamaha EL400, Yamaha C60

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


    • #3
      I like to use pipe cleaners ( for cleaning the stems of smoking pipes ) for cleaning Yamaha contacts more than Q tips. They have a bit more texture, but are still soft and absorbent. And they are longer. Also, because they are sorta stiff, you can bend them to whatever angles you might need.

      They are not real easy to find anymore, but I'll bet people still smoke pipes yet, even in Argentina.
      Regards, Larry

      At Home : Yamaha Electones : EX-42 ( X 3 !!! ), E-5AR, FX-1 ( X 2 !! ), FX-20, EL-25 ( X 2, 1 chopped, 1 not ). Allen 601D, ADC 6000D. Baldwin 626. Lowrey CH32-1. At Churches I play for : Allen Q325 ( with Vista ), Allen L123 ( with Navigator ). Rodgers 755.


      • #4
        I use single-use alcohol swabs (alcohol wipes or pads) for cleaning circuits. They don't leave cotton filaments behind like Q-tips. You can cut a strip off the pad and hold it with needle-nose pliers to wipe under through-hole resistors and similar components.