Thursday, January 26, 2017
MISPRINT! Rare Vintage Korg VC-10 Vocoder SN 2005
via this auction
"Here we have a vintage Korg VC-10 vocoder synth. As you can see in the pictures, they have spelled "RESPONCE" instead of "RESPONSE." I have been looking for information about this error, and can only confirm that it happened. According to Wikipedia, "It has been noted on Korg Kornucopia mailing lists  that early versions of the VC-10 have a misprint on the front panel block diagram, which spells "FREQUENCY RESPONCE SIMULATOR" rather than the correct "FREQUENCY RESPONSE SIMULATOR"."
I do not see other listings with the error currently, or in recent sales. The serial number is, as expected based on above, lower than typically seen, at #1600**.
Cosmetically, it's in great shape approaching 40. There are some small scratches on the back of the unit (pic 9), and on the front under the keys (pic 10). There is some light swirling which appears to be from previous cleanings, which is completely surface as far as I can tell (pic 11). There is some rust on some of the screws. There is minimal pitting on the mic input hardware (pic 8), and a rust spot on the microphone neck (pic 3, about 60% from top).
Functionally, every button and switch responds well based on my testing, which basically involved going through the steps in the manual and checking responses. The analog UV display is also functioning perfectly. The microphone works great, and the single synth sound available responds to all knobs and switches as designed. I simply cannot get it to function as a vocoder. I can get perfectly clear, un-effected voice, but when following the manual, the synth sound does not go away when it is supposed to, specifically when the OUTPUT/BALANCE knob is turned all the way to "simulator." At this point, according to the manual, there should be no keyboard sound if there is not vocal input, however on this unit, the keyboard sound is still heard. This may be a simple fix for you, I may be doing something dumb, or it may need lots of work, I have no idea, which is why the unit is being sold as is - I simply can't pay to send it to people to try to fix and then pay to have it sent back. Though I am typically not shy about opening things up, and rather enjoy doing so, in this case I did not because I do not feel confident that I would know what to look for in something from this time period. Further, since it is apparently very close to working, there is a lot to lose if I completely broke it.
Even if you can't fix it, you'll still have a cool piece of history."