Dirty Dirty Synths

I don’t mean a thick, grimey sound, I mean selling filthy equipment.

I was just chatting with @brucegill about our mutilual pet hate:

Paying large (relatively) amounts of money for valuable items, only to have them arrive with a coating of the previous owner.

Now, I’m not talking about well-loved equipment. Well made gear that’s built to last is my jam. I love to see old boxes with missing paint and only 3 rubber feet. I come from a family of restorers and love to take something of quality, give it the TLC it deserves and restore it to prior glory.

But give it a clean first hey? So here’s my rant.

The hierarchy of Dirty Synth Sins:

1. Skin and grease.

That crack filled with a yellowy, green gunk from years of holding and touching and pressing with sweaty fingers and greasy hair. Just… I mean… Surely at some point the guy noticed his sedimentary build up right?

In the Watch world this is called “arm cheese” and I can’t think of a better name.


Why are there so many pubes on everything? How do they get jammed under buttons? Are you all playing chopsticks with your pecker?

Yeah some are beard and head hairs, which isn’t a lot better, but are these being sold by Wookies?

3. Unknown Liquid Splashes

Is that circle coffee? BBQ sauce? Blood? How did it not get wiped off as soon as it dripped? Why was it sent to me!?

4. Dust. Thick dust.

The most common but surely the easiest to spot and solve right? OK so you haven’t been playing it in a while, you kept it in the garage - the photos didnt have all that dust, maybe you could have popped it in a box while you waited for it to sell? Would it be so hard to give it a wipe? Get a little brush on there? Most of that’s your skin mate.

OK, that feels better.

Most things I’ve bought have been clean. This isn’t every sale. And I get it, some products have little vents and holes and stuff gets in - I’m not expecting anyone to take something apart just to make sure its not full of cat sick. But I particularly dislike it when photos appear one way and the item arrives looking like it was just pulled out of a Medieval Bog.

Or is it just me and @brucegill getting these?


Idk how you can pretend to be a real synth player if you dont :thinking:


Some people are just grubby smeg heads, a pet hate of mine too.

Edit: I can’t stand to see dust on my gear so I just keep it covered when not in use, where possible, and use a paint brush to give it the occasional clean. I also use spectacle wipes to clean them occassionally.


yea its rank. surely you’d want to at least present your gear in good condition to a prospective buyer even if you generally don’t care for it at all too. no idea.

I’ve bought gear that arrived stinking of ashtrays. one piece caked in grease n grime. some people are nasty.

all my gear is immaculate. n when I sell I package with the upmost care. treat how you would like to be treated innit.


One turned up with such a strong smell of Cannabis i was high for a week :slight_smile:


A sentence I find myself saying all too often.


Even worse when it’s yellowed the white plastic but you couldn’t see that in the photo because the phone’s white ballance throught it was compensating for yellow lighting!

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I laughed out loud. Arm cheese. Gawd

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Spent weeks repeatedly cleaning an Electribe, never got the yellow off the pads or got it smelling normal. Managed to make a bit of improvement though.

Now I double check for the ‘comes from a smoke-free studio’ line in the description.

Dude, I’ve removed arm cheese from steel bracelet links that is so old it’s turned black and stopped the segments (smegments?) from moving.



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If its a hard plastic, make up some retro-brite - it’s basically hydrogen peroxide with some oxy-clean - it’s mainly for removing the yellowing caused by UV damage of older light plastics, but it also removes tar / nicotine build ups.

If its soft rubber/plastic, burn it and send it back to the seller.


That unit is long gone - sold on with an apology for the remaining smell. :wink:
Been meaning to try out retrobright at some point though

lmao :rofl:

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I feel like I’m indebted to each person that buys my gear.

Thats why I coat my gear in blood before I ship it out*

Jk- please buy my gear


I once “repaired” a malfunctioning MD from a very good friend, that had had it for years (and second hand).
I basically opened it and cleaned it… I should have taken pictures!!
I went as far as I could, cleaning the black human grease in the grooves with a tooth brush (my usual paint brush was of course not enough), removing some ashes and bread from the inside, and hair around the encoders, I washed the faceplate as if someone had eaten on it.

I returned it clean and working as new, pretty happy to have released in this world a clean MD :nerd_face:


Yeah, that’s the good stuff…

Use a stronger solvent.

A little friend?


Imagine collecting all that lovely DNA though.