The DSS-1 why it's great and why you should get the upgrade

This discussion has been forked from this one to prevent it from being hopelessly derailed. We all want to know how Rolf’s Wave One project is progressing, so we’d better leave that thread for him to update us.

So let’s talk about the Korg DSS-1 and its little brother the DSM-1

SHHH Don’t tell anyone how awesome this sampler/synth is, or I’ll never get one for an affordable price!

But my god they’re huge.

yeah they are huge! that’s why mine is still down in the cellar and not in the studio corner

Just to make it easier to pick up where the discussion was left, I’ll quote the last comments here:

"im the uk registered installer for the dss1-x upgrade the upgrade is now a revision 4 which is cheaper but is more tech work

we are also doing it for the dsm1 sampler which will make it into a great synth as not only will it have bigger ram capability than the trinity but it can do 4 voice multi so you can do prophet type sounds but with bigger samples but were adding the res feature as in the dsm1 the res is tied to ground = no res

yes i have the revision 2 board in my dss1 which was the first 24mb version with usb the first rev was a copy of the original upgrade and gave scsi capability

mine has both scsi and usb i fit neuritic usb sockets in the back and keep the original floppy as at first i fitted cf and usb dual floppy combo,s but the usb sticks used to stick out to far and i caught it on a few occasions so i punched a hole in the back near the audio outs and now the usb stick fit there much better also what is good about the usb upgrade is you get all 128 presets and not just 32 like before and you can have many more multisounds than the original and the full library is already in the usb disk format are you able to load the wave files in the original 2mb version

as these will be in wave format you will need a sample dump program otherwise sample wrench is now a free product i owned it for years before he made it free ware it is great as it dumps to none standard sampler formats like the s900-950 the emaxes 1 and 2 and the prophet2000-3000 and the ds1 and the dsm1

ill start uploading them my drop box you will be able to load the 1mb files in to the dss1 2mb machine via sample dump ill do it as it is on the disk with the samples you cant do the stereo versions on the dss1 where on the eII you could assign the pri and sec voices to be hard panned via the voice chip same on the emax but all i do with them in the dss1 is to layer them as like they are in the preset and detune them slightly to get that natural chorus sound

as for the setting i could write down the envelopes levels for a d s r and the filter setting not many use the filter but for cutting out the aliasing as on the EII emax1 they never added brickwall anti aliasing filters you were supposed to do it with the analog filter where as most synths had brickwall anti-aliasing filter with a cutoff of between 10khz and 16khz"

"If I could find a way to ship my spare DSS-1 and DSM-1, I would be very interested in the upgrades. Espicially for the DSM as the drive is finicky at best.

I do think that it would make an awesome modular oscillator with the right upgrades thanks to the separate outs. The EPS is very flexible with the output expansion.

Do you also tune the resonance to self oscillate in the DSM upgrade or the same level as the DSS?"

Something I would like to see in any upgrade is the ability to fine tune the samples. That is the biggest drawback. Even the Mirage has better fine tune options. I seem to forget about that as I tend to use samples I prepare on the computer and are already fine tuned.

Well I guess the point of upgrading the DSS-1 is really to be able to do the fine-tuning on the computer. But I agree, that’s really not where the DSS-1 is at its best.
I wonder if anybody has reverse-engineered the DSS-1 firmware, though I guess Tom from Straylightengineering has probably done that.
Something like what they did with the MPC (JJOS) for the DSS-1 would be killer!

remember the firmware of the original is not used but the upgrade version was we were lucky to have the original coder on board who got his ancient code out and added the code blocks for the fifo for adding the usb aswell as the scsi and added the bigger memory support its actually done by bank switching as the 256k per biggest sample is a hardware limit and could not be overcome so tom did a fpga ram bank switching which allows each multisample to use 1 of 15 bank switching regions for 1 -15 samples in a multisample

as for sending the whole machine i only need 2 boards the ram board and the cpu board so postage is cheap

and i have test machines here which i use for testing and setting up

you have wave support also you can tune the filters in the dss1 they have a fine tune control for this

but the samples i create are set for the correct root note and dont require any fine tuning

as for the dsm1 its still being done and yes the res will be able to go to the full 7v range well 6.8 for self oscillation as is done on the slayer mod as the max volt range on the 2069 chip is 0-7v

its set to about 5v on the dss1 so it does not self oscillate

a trick to getting the correct sample frequency for root not i use 2 programs awave studio and fmj chromatic tuner by the same company

i then play the sample in the wave editor on the awave studio i then change the frequency playback rate until i get the root note i want the same way the samplers do internally by reading fast for higher playback or slower from ram for lower pitches

once i have found the correct root note i want i then convert the sample rate to one of the dss1 sample playbacks 16 24 32 48 then my sample is the correct pitch at the correct rate.

@jhulk: well this changes things a bit, so I might as well have the upgrade made, but I just paid my taxes, so any purchase of anything right now is out of the questions.
Anyway, since you seem to know quite a bit about the DSS-1. Mine has a problem that turned out a couple of years ago, the left (or right, can’t remember) output just went dead. I can still get both channels on the noisy headphone out, but not from the two main ones. Any idea of what it could be?

ok thats an easy fix the audio output board the final section uses the jameco phono outputs they are used in the newer synths even the kronos uses them they just have different product codes i stock them

now the biggest problems with korgs is that they rely on the solder pads and mechanical strength

and phono plugs that are not at 90 degrees due to gravity can pull on the plugs over time causing cold solder joints it happens to all korg synths from the dss1 all the way up to the kronos

ensoniq use the same connectors but also use nuts to secure them and dont suffer the same problem

so take out the output board which is 3 screws its also the phones board and the midi board and reflow the pads and you will find that you will have you audio back through the outputs

also on the dss1 they used sip output opamps in the filter section and the dual delay boards

they are 1458 opamps and there slew rate is crap and its them that actually make most of the hiss noise i change them to the oasis and triton and m3 sip opamp which are a better and quieter opamp that is pin for pin compatible and works of the same voltage rating the 4570 made by nec

so its a 10 minute fix job use some 60/40 leaded solder as i do for all my projects as the lead free solder suffers from growth and over time can grow spines that can short out pads nearest to them

Send me a quote on a DSS and DSM upgrade, please. I am more interested in the DSM upgrade, but may do both as it just makes sense. :slight_smile:

You definitely know a lot about these synths.

im a registered korg repair station and roland and an ex ensoniq repair tech finished in 1997 when they were brought out by emu

dsm one is in design stage so until we have a pcb you will have to wait but

but the dss1 rev4 boards you can order direct your self from tom or i can order it direct my self to my workshop costs the same amount in price but obviously if if you order it it will be sent to you then to me so it costs additional postage also it depends on where you live as there are techs in different countries that are able to do it in the country you live any thing ensoniq though im your man im about to release an scsi card solution with a slim floppy drive combo drive

i repair all korgs out of warranty stuff and rolands and source no longer parts sold by either

im also the emu tech i do emax 1/2 upgrades and emax scsi upgrades and oled displays i also service sp12 and sp1200 i have a lot of famous customers also that i do repeat repairs for from around the world

i also build lots of diy stuff from the shruthi to tube mixers and outboard gear

pm me direct and ill give you quotes for the work ill also send you in the post the xlr punch out tool so you can punch out your machine for the usb neutrik connector and then you send back to me

it means you can keep your original floppy drive and have the usb stick on the back

thanks a lot for the tip jhulk! I’ll do that as soon as I find a moment!

Stupid question, beyond the front-panel and outputs/filters is this replacement the entire guts of the sampler? CPU, memory, and all that’s required to play sound?

no there is a cpu upgrade and a ram upgrade and some logic there is 2 pcbs added that have the fpga and the new cpu and the usb port and a mfc connection to the new ram board which also has an fpga the ram chips are removed and inline sockets are fitted the new ram board fits on these pins

theirs an smd part to fit which is partly also through hole this takes the logic for the ram switching to the new ram board and has a 6 pin mfc cable

then you have to remove a load of chips put in a new 1.44mb floppy controller chip add some cuts and logic chips removal with link wires as the new logic is on the new cpu board done by the fpga

the usb controller has 2 usb type a female socket which you plug the cables to the usb sockets on the back

there is a lot of desoldering involved of very fine tracks so you really need to know what you are doing as pad repair is costly

it was a diy project at first but so many did not know how to desolder properly that we ended up having to repair tracks and pads that it cost more than us just doing it so now only supported service statins can do it

I bought a kit, but haven’t had the time to do it yet. Hopefully the documentation covers everything.

yes the documentation covers everything just take your time dont use to hot to desolder

always add extra solder before desoldering as it will help melt the original solder

its also leaded solder so use 60/40 tin lead solder not lead free as they both dont mix well also in the kit the inline low profile sockets are very tight you need to make sure all solder is removed or use a 1mm hole cleaner same cleaner for through hole desoldering gun for cleaning the tips

Thanks for the tips.

I too have a noise issue with my DSS1 headphone out. I get a LOUD buzz! I have tried re-soldering with no luck. After reading this thread I have been scanning the DSS1 service manual to locate the op-amps that Jhulk mentioned but I can not seem to find them in the parts list. I would like to replace them and see if it corrects the issue. This is a bit of an old thread, but if anyone could tell me the part number of the Op amps in the DSS1(so that I can locate them in the service manual and find them in the synth) and a link to a good replacement I would be grateful.