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Adjusting and Fixing
What We Learned
Mark VI
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For You


Several interesting machines landed on our doorstep this year.  Let's check 'em out!


Last year

A little over a year ago this was the state of Rick's Mellotron FX Console.  You can read a lot more detail here.  At that time it had been beautifully refinished, but the electronics were in rather a state of disarray.  It ran and made sound, but motor speed control was rather questionable.  OK, the 8-voice gargled!

This year

The "Brendatron", as it has come to be known, spent a great deal of time in the UK in the care of Mr. John Bradley.  The kinks have been worked out, it's been buttoned up nicely, and it runs like a watch.  Rick has been using it endlessly in Toronto.  (It's available for rent from Coll Audio, too.)

Having a look at the FX Console

Wanna milk shake?  While practicing with his band, Rick often gets an earful of teasing from his band mates.  Every now and then Rick has to pause and allow the FX Console to cycle to a new sound.  And the whirring cycling motors prompts chants of, "What ya doin' over there, Rick?  Making a milk shake?"

So for the next practice session Rick was prepared.  "Hey, Rick.  Next song.  Gonna make a milk shake?"  Rick hit the station selection buttons.  "Yes, would you like one?"  "Sure!"  And sure enough, as the cycling stopped, Rick reached down and picked up a stashed milk shake and handed it over to his stunned band mate.

Yes, it slices, and it dices!

Unfortunately near the conclusion of our soiree, some stubborn pinch rollers caused a cycling jam in the FX Console, and three tapes were accordioned.  Sigh...Well, Martin promises to have Rick's tapes sorted out shortly.



Dan Miso brought along two machines for fixin' up.


Martin and Dan at Dan's M400

Your stock M400.  Nothing too interesting here, except maybe the paint job and the wonderfully bizarre scratches on top of the power supply!  We have no idea what caused the scratches in the top of the power supply, maybe you do.  Perhaps someone tossed something sharp into that part of the 'tron and move the 'tron around.  Who knows.  But the paint?  Ahhh, lovely, thick black paint, slobbered on with a nice, big brush.  It happened to a lot of 'em, actually.

Dan lacing up some brand new tapes in his M400

Mike Dickson had a small crowd around to look at Dan's machine---until he cleared the bloody room!
In the blast zone were Martin, John, and Terry (now recovering fine).

EMI M400

Nice cabinet, hinged cover, short style keyboard (which some M400s also have)

For a short time EMI assembled M400s.  The outsides are a bit different from the standard M400 (note the area beneath the keys), but the guts are largely the same.

Unfortunately most EMIs were made very poorly.  The cabinet, although quite good-looking, is never square, and neither is what's inside.  Streetly have taken to rebuilding many of these units, and repairs involve complete disassembly and squaring them up during the rebuild so the tapes run correctly.

No teeth!

Waiting for attention

The EMI box was one of those left undone at the end of the weekend.  It had been disassembled, and it would be up to JB and Martin to put it back square and functional during the week.


One of these was auctioned on E-Bay a short time ago, so if you missed it, here's one in-place in Dan's M400.

It's a Mellotron Attenuator.   Its job was to cool down the normally hot output of the M400.  Think volume control.

And, as you can see, it goes to 11.  ;-)