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Author Topic: My experience doing maintenance on the Keylab 88 keybed  (Read 187 times)

Eric Barker

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My experience doing maintenance on the Keylab 88 keybed
« on: September 05, 2017, 03:39:11 am »
...Not as bad as I'd expected.

Being a keyboard player, it's a good idea to know how to do some of your own mechanical and simple electrical maintenance on the board. Keyboard repairmen are rare and expensive. And luckily, about 90% of keyboard issues are fixable at home, usually the result of dirty contacts.

I was playing a gig the other night and one note started playing at 127 and not giving note-off messages, needless to say I freaked, so the next day I finally braved popping off the lid and doing some cleaning on the contacts. The keybed is a Fatar TP/100/LR, which is a newer model and not as common as the ubiquitous TP/10 line, which most of the maintenance videos and articles out there are on. I used to play on an Alesis QS8 which used a TP/20 bed, which was a lot like the TP/10. The TP/100 is quite a bit different in construction, and at first when following a TP/10 video, I got kind of nervous, but it's actually just as easy to get to, and in some ways, it feels simpler.

Here's the TP/10 video which, although different, is still good to watch.

Unlike the TP/10, the TP/100s sensor strip does not detach from the keys. If you watch any TP/10 maintenance videos, it used to be that you would unscrew and take off the entire sensor strip, along with rubber contacts, and then work on it separate from the keys. But for the TP/100, you just pop out the keys individually, take out a section of about 6-10 keys, and then you have instant access to the sensor strip without having to remove it. The key tops (which are separate from the hammers) are clipped in on the top and pop out fairly easily by pushing toward where the player would sit. Underneath, there are sections of rubberized contacts, about 6 notes long. In order to clean one note, you'll need to remove the keys from that whole section, beginning with white keys and then the black keys. After that, the rubber contact strip section can be popped out for access to the sensor strip. The video I watched on the TP/10 advised using rubbing alcohol to clean it, and that seemed to work well. I cleaned off the strip, the rubber contacts, and the keys themselves, before I popped everything back in. Afterwords everything worked as good as new.

At the end of the day, Fatar makes good solid kit that's very user maintainable. I applaud their slick design, it seems sturdy and fairly easy to work on.

Freakwave

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Re: My experience doing maintenance on the Keylab 88 keybed
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2017, 05:44:47 am »
intresting, thanks for the info.

I might add; once you open your instrument you probably loose your waranty.

F. 8)

Eric Barker

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Re: My experience doing maintenance on the Keylab 88 keybed
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2017, 06:21:38 am »
That's very unlikely, that tends to only apply to closed systems like iPhones and computers with proprietary screws. Here's the actual wording of the warranty, I don't see anything about repairs. https://www.arturia.com/warrantypolicy

Typically in this situation, it is "open at your own risk", if you break something as a result of the maintenance, then it's not covered. However:

A) Being on Hawaii (and previously Alaska), I'm a long, expensive shipment away from a licensed Arturia tech. This board is major source of income for me, and I need it in working order quickly. I do have a backup board, but it is vastly inferior, and, frankly, a pain in the a**, so if I can do without it, it's worth it to me.

B) I'm fairly confident in my maintenance skills for simple procedures. I've replaced pitch wheel springs, fixed aftertouch sensors, repaired keys many times... even fixed a blown transformer.

C) The way I see it, even in this modern age of closed boxes, the electro-mechanical parts of a keyboard, like a guitar are designed to be user-serviceable to some degree. I see it as part of my responsibility as a professional keyboard player to be able to perform any minor maintenance that I can. I suspect many others feel the same way, which is why I'm offering these little tidbits.

Freakwave

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Re: My experience doing maintenance on the Keylab 88 keybed
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2017, 05:32:49 pm »
Zen and the art of keyboard maintanance.
F. 8)

 

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