APX-6 Dead

APX series guitars are designed with a focus on playability. Their thin bodies and cutaways that provide greater access to the upper frets, offer smoother switching between electric and acoustic instruments.

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APX-6 Dead

Unread postby TimTang » Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:13 pm

I have a Yamaha APX-6 that I hadn't used for a few years and when I dug it out and plugged it in there was no sound. I also heard a rattle inside the body and it turned out to be a capacitor.

I took it into Yamaha service to have it repaired and after a few weeks I went back to see what was taking so long. They told me that the circuit board was bad and Yamaha doesn't make them any more. That's IT! Throw it out and buy a new one! Can you believe this?

Imagine if Fender or Gibson said I'm sorry we stopped making parts; just buy a new one. Any one considering buying a Yamaha might contemplate my experience before making a purchase.

This is the same guitar David Gilmore used on the Pulse album and video. Imagine Yamaha telling David Gilmore "I'm sorry that guitar is dead; buy a new one"?

Anyway...Does anyone know where I can get replacement parts or a schematics so I can try and fix it myself? I have no intention of just throwing it out and certainly wouldn't replace it with a newer Yamaha.
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Pre-Amp Images

Unread postby TimTang » Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:05 am

For those with some electronic background here's the boards that make up the pre-amp:

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Image

I hope someone can point me in the right direction. I don't really want to just discard my guitar.
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Unread postby Clyde » Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:47 pm

Hi Tim,
Welcome to the Forums! First off, this guitar forum does not get a lot of traffic, so you'll have to be patient and I know that's difficult when you need to repair something. I don't have a guitar background, so my offerings may or may not apply. I'm kind of surprised that Yamaha does not stock the circuit boards for those guitars, they are usually pretty good about parts for older keyboards. I know from other work that I've seen with electronics that the circuit boards rarely go bad but the components (such as capacitors, etc.) do go bad but can be replaced or you may also have bad solder joints to re-do. On one of the Hammond forums I'm on people are constantly "re-capping' or installing new capacitors in their Hammonds. A schematic of your board would likely prove to be very helpful if you want to repair it, I don't know if they are readily available anywhere.
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Possible relief in site

Unread postby TimTang » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:22 am

I found someone that is willing to replace that caps for my Yamaha APX-6. Mark from e-lectronics.com has been repairing the Zoom 9002 for sometime now and also supplies kits for those willing to do it them selves. The Zoom has the same problem in that the caps deteriorate over time until it won't function anymore. The Yamaha APX pre-amp is a different beast but he is willing to take a crack at it.

I'll keep the forum posted as to whether it's successful or not. If it works this will be good news for any APX owners that have had their guitar for 10 years or more. Yamaha doesn't manufacture any of the components required to repair the pre-amp and they refuse to answer any emails pertaining to the subject so this may be the only way to breath new life into a dead Yamaha APX. Yamaha won't even provide a circuit diagram for those that want to fix it themselves, which I find unusual for such a large corporation with a good reputation for service.

Mark's company e-lectronics has a very good reputation, and he personally communicates with his customers, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he can make this pig fly.
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Unread postby Saul » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:15 pm

I'm surprised Yamaha say they can't fix it. It's not exactly the most complicated board around! I doubt it's the actual board itself that is the problem. All those component parts or their equivalent should be available from any of the major electronics retailers.

Maybe they thought it would cost more to replace the parts than it would to buy a new guitar? Perhaps that's what they meant because of course it's not just the parts but the cost for labour as well.
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby GlennAitken » Sun Jul 17, 2011 1:09 pm

Hi Tim, I own a lot of these APX guitars - the main fault with them is called a Hybrid IC in the preamp, they go every couple of years (of constant use) and need to be replaced by Yamaha. I have mine done when they fail - the guitars pixup system is just too great to not use them! Hope that helps, Glenn
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby niclasericsson » Wed Sep 28, 2011 3:52 pm

I own a "dead" APX-6S and I would like to try and see if I can repair it myself. Is there anyone who can tell me how to remove the circuitry from the inside of the guitar?
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Re: Pre-Amp Images

Unread postby oletor » Thu May 24, 2012 9:16 am

Hello did you find a sulotion to your problem? I have the same with my guitar apx-7 with similar electronics and hope to get some advise on how to fix.

Ole Kristian

Oslo - Norway
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby Saul » Thu May 24, 2012 9:35 am

I think this has to be a do it yourself fix if Yamaha are saying they cannot repair it. I am still astonished that they say this. They keep parts for nearly all of their keyboards going back 20 or 30 years. I can guarantee they sell more APX guitars than they do Motif Keyboards so why they would not have the parts available is a mystery!

If the pre-amp went down in my CPX I would definitely repair it myself but I guess it depends on getting the right parts and how handy you are with a soldering iron.
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby FrenchGuit » Fri May 25, 2012 12:28 pm

Just a thing about capacitor : I know they need to receive some electricity over time to keep their characteristics else they damage. So if you have not used your guitar for several years ...this is a normal failure. It is the same with all electronics device not used for a long period of time.

Also I read it is good to ensure capacitor remain under a small voltage permanently to avoid time effect damage. I think this is for chemical capacitor that need little electricity to keep their chemical integrity.

I also read when reusing a capacitor that have been unused for a long time , it is good to provide him with a small voltage some time before reusing in order to reactivate it.

Conclusion : keep a battery in your preamp and use it from time to time it will make the electronics live longer.
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby basreflex » Sun Jun 24, 2012 9:41 pm

well, I did repair an APX-10.

after several hours of searching I found that the electrolytic capacitor depicted on the upper left corner on the pcb (10uF) was leaking fluid. actually you can see that already ont the first picture in this post, some residue from the acids from the capacitor. the opamp goes into dc offset, ( and that is the erroneous error of dead chips reported earlier).
some times the cap detaches itself from the board as a result of the etching fluid.

so replace this cap with a ceramic 10u 16V X5R 0805 and everybody will be happy .. clean the solder points thouroughly to remove the acid residue.

I found the same leaky caps in a takamine preamp ...

happy pickin !
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby bengigir » Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:06 pm

Dear TimTang

I assume this is a very old case published here ,
Anyway , with your permission , did you manage to solve this problem ? please advice how you did it since Im having the same problem .
I’m an old guy , try to play back again after so many years , so I took my old APX7 from my warehouse and realized that the same capacitor went out from the ECB , please advice how to take out the ECB out from the guitar if possible in order to try and fix / replace it .
Sorry if this case is not relevant anymore I just found this Blog on the Internet .
Many thanks in advance ,
Ronen
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby MJRinne » Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:55 am

Just noting that the issue is still valid and would benefit from more shared experiences. I just replaced the battery for my APX-5 after a lengthy period of acoustic-only use and found the pickup system completely dead. And like many others, I'd also be happy to know what to take into account before starting to rip out electronics and start disassembling.

So, if you have information to share or link, I'd also love to see it!
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby djc » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:00 am

I have an Apx 20 ( 1987-1992 ? ) The electronics work great . Unique stereo, 3 strings can go to the
left channel , other three to the right . Also works mono . 2 sets of out put jacks . Guitar had some serious neck issues . I removed the electronics so that someone that knows their potential can put to proper use . Sophisticated stuff , patience and expertise needed ! The finish also clouded up.
So, I will deal with the guitar in time . The electronics should go to good hands . I am in the usa. I will take $100.00 u.s. , int'l priority shipping should be between $12.00- $20.00 I am at :djcguitar@yahoo.com or phone # 276-768-6127 . I read apx 6 dead . This unit works even after
long term storage . 9 volt battery ! The guitar is beyond restoring to original condition - but the electronics belong with the right person . Sept . 17 , 2013
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Re: APX-6 Dead

Unread postby jeffjones60 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:58 pm

Will you take $50.00? I have 2 old hardly used APX 10ns (purchased on ebay) that have low output from the preamps, likely from dying or leaking capacitors. Yamaha is no help and luthiers want to replace the whole system when the problem is likely just a small part. The APX 20 and 10n are different instruments but (I think) have similar electronics and I am thinking of, as an experiment, splicing this preamp into one of the problem guitars.
I am in Chicago until Jan 28th, in Los Angeles after. I can be reached at:
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(818) 632-6805
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