# Alesis Andromeda A6

Alesis @ 20 December 2016

a6 “ALESIS ANDROMEDA A6 -2002 – (No. 2) Great Condition!
Sadly, I have to let another awesome Andro go. This is my second Andromeda, and I had full plans to keep this one but needs must – so here is a chance to get a great synth at a good price.

There are many resources on the interweb about the Andromeda so I’m not going to fill this with all the specifications – do a google search if you want to find out how amazing this synth is.

I originally bought the Andromeda as I wanted a do-it-all analog synth, a synth that could sound like a Moog, or a Roland, or an Oberheim, or a Yamaha CS, and even a large scale modular – and the A6 meets all those expectations and more, it really can sound like a minimoog or an OB-8, and yes, it even gets very close to a CS-80!

So, lets talk about this unit (No. 2) and dispell some general Andromeda myths.

Firstly, this unit is in great cosmetic condition, I have raised the shadow level on all these images so you can see the quality of the black plastic and the panel fascia.

To be totally transparent with you here are the list of marks on this 15 year old instrument: –
(some marks are to be expected, it is used).

The LCD and Ribbon are perfect.

The laminate panel fascia has a slight lift in the lower left side resulting in a very slight raise of the laminate and a hairline crack less-than 1 inch in length. Purely cosmetic and actually not that noticable.

The metal front and back chassis are very good, only a few slight marks by the IEC power outlet and some of the jacks (as to be expected where plugs are plugged in and out). The ALESIS ANDROMEDA decal has yellowed slightly as is often the case on these 15 year old instruments.

The left side pitch/modwheel assembly is brand new – installed in 2015 as part of a service and restoration process.

The left plastic side end cheek is brand new, I had it replaced but I was not able to track down a new right side panel.

The right plastic side end cheek has had some abuse throughout its life, it came to me cracked along the top edge and with a big hole in the side. I filled the hole and sanded the cheek and temporarlity sprayed it knowing that I would eventually replace it. It’s actually not too shabby and in the end I didnt bother replacing it – I do have a replacement keyboard end panel which will be supplied with the unit – so all you would need to bring this up to as-new condition would be a new right end cheek but Im betting no one will bother as it is actually pretty good.

On a few of the knobs, the silver paint on the tops are wearing out – In the past I have used a silver permanent marker to make these look better but you might want to paint them?

OK, some myth busting!

There is no such thing as a perfect working Andromeda – so it makes me laugh when I read other A6 ebay listings and it says “In perfect working order. And Alesis had a number of manufacturing problems as they went bankrupt, some later Andromeda’s were very poorly put together as quality and assurance slipped.

Alesis cut corners to bring this synth to market and in doing so, they caused all sorts of problems for users, most notably the use of cheap potentiometers (knobs) which tend to stick, causing parameters to randomly change without you touching a knob. Some people say this is down to poor internal interconnecting board cables, some say it’s the knobs, a lot of it is the incomplete and somewhat buggy operating system but I would wager, most if not all A6s now suffer from sticky knob syndrome!

So here’s what I can tell you about this unit (No. 2) and what you need to do to eliminate this issue.

This unit was stripped and cleaned throughout in 2015, every card connector and every connecting ribbon was cleaned. Every potentiometer was re-lubed and all systems were re-calibrated (I have photos if you want to see them including the new mod/pitchwheel and side cheek installation).

After a while of not using the synth regularly, an occassional pot will glitch (most noticeably the OSC2 and Sub OSC2 in the mixer), there’s so many knobs on this thing that its quite possible you wont turn a particular knob for a while!

The solution is very simple, the more you use the synth, the less pot trouble you have!

I turn this unit on, let it warm up for 30 minutes, watch the display to see which pots are sticking (it jumps to the parameter which is glitchy), I then turn that knob back and forth a few times and its perfect, this takes all of a few minutes and then the synth performs flawlessly for the whole session that it’s on for, the more you use it, the less you’ll even have to do that – I was working on a song recently and over a period of several days I had no problems at all.

I think by including the display soft knobs, Alesis didnt help the situation as its quite possible to program the synth and NOT use any of the section knobs at all!

I will re-lube these pots before the unit ships, so i’ts very possible that you might not experience this but you will experience glitchy pots on an A6 at some point!

I’m telling you this because this unit is actually one of the best operating units I have used, and I want you to know everything upfront.

So, to recap, awesome synth, big sound, great all-round cosmetic condition, recently serviced, autotunes 100% of the time, powers up pretty much perfectly (very rarely you might have to switch it off and then on again, standard practice on Andromedas), plays great, very little issues compared to other A6s out there.” Click here to visit listing on eBay

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