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Old 10-12-2017, 11:10 AM   #1
jwillifixit
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Default Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Hi there fans of the Supernova 2... I have recently come into ownership of a rack model and it's not working properly. I was hoping that if I describe the issue someone here might be able to point me in a direction.

Okay here goes... It powers on and all the lights flash once then the display shows "Supernova" than it adds "voices 24" and on the next line "O/S version 2.0" as it is changing to that the Part buttons 1-8 and the edit button light up than the display changes to show "Seq 30303 Dist" and on the second line "Prog A049" and a few of the lights are lit. Seems normal enough.

Okay I found out how to play the factory demo and was playing that but didn't mess with any knobs or buttons. There are 3 demo's and I did move from one to another a few times... I let it sit playing one of them and it played for quite some time like that just fine.

Well I turned up the master volume and it just sort of locked up. Display was still lit but no button or knob did anything... volume up/down didn't change anything. I couldn't change any menu or setting.

I used some contact cleaner and cleaned the pot's a bit. After that it seemed to be working correctly (let me add that I am not a musician and have no input source for this - I've only output from the headphone out to powered speakers). I moved around through several menus and discovered that it would make sounds if you hit the part buttons... way cool sounds I might add!!! Okay this is great I'm thinking. Well not so much because now it's back to doing the same thing. I can start it and move a few knobs and then it locks up and won't do anything. If I'm in the demo it freezes on the last sound and just starts looping it (same if I'm hitting a part button). Display is illuminated and all it's just non-responsive. Okay - thoughts? I'd love to get this working and try to put a Casio LK-220 I have into a computer and output Midi to the synth and PLAY!!!
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

open it and UPLOAD some foto's of the power supply section.
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Old 10-15-2017, 01:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

I'd second that ^^^
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Old 10-21-2017, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Sorry for the delay... here's the pic's. Power supply board and the processing board. I've ordered what from research I believe is a replacement psb and it'll be here monday so we'll see what that does.
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File Type: jpg IMG_5197.jpg (722.6 KB, 17 views)
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File Type: jpg IMG_5199.jpg (934.7 KB, 15 views)
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

very nice, perfect soldering - very clean on top.
caps could be aged, but nothing visible.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Well the replacement PS arrived today and that was not the problem... issue remains. Must be on the processing board. I think I'm going to send this in to Novation for repair evaluation/quote. I love the sounds I've been able to make this thing make!!!
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Photos of that, perhaps? Bad caps could be lurking in there too.

Odds are good they farmed out the power supply (or got it from some OEM), so just because that has jap-caps, doesn't mean they didn't cheap out on the ones on the main board...

Last edited by Khron; 10-23-2017 at 07:08 PM..
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:12 PM   #8
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Here's the main board. I didn't pull the front panel board but here's a stock pic of what this unit looks like from the front. That's a LOT of rotary pot's. Anyway I've opted to send this to a service center that works directly with the OEM of the unit. They just received it the other day so we'll see. Again... this is a really sweet '80's synth and my total cost of ownership will simply be the shipping and repair cost so...
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Old 11-14-2017, 05:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

On the bottom left of the board, looks like there are 2 voltage regulators?
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Thought I'd update and close out this thread...

So I sent the unit into an OEM recommended repair facility (American Music and Sound
A Division of Jam Industries USA in Southhaven, MS). Now there's a few threads on Gearslutz about how crap Novation products are and how bad the service is at AMS. I can't speak to the Novation product quality issue as I have no real experience there. I can tell you that this synth that I picked from the dump and is basically 20 years old is working perfectly with only minor repair required so...

Here's my experience with AMS: I got an RMA and sent them the unit. I followed up to confirm they got it and then followed-up a week later to see how it was progressing. I was told by the service leader that it was on the bench and a tech would be looking at it that day. I didn't hear anything for a few days so followed up again - normally was getting someone on the phone right away but that day it was a long time and finally just left VM and followed-up with an e-mail. From that day forward I was in e-mail contact with the actual tech working on my machine.

We had several exchanges about the issue and what he was doing... long and short of it was it needed the firmware (ROM) flashed because it had become corrupt and it needed one rotary pot replaced. Total = 2 hours labor (inspect, diagnose, repair) and $2.50 for the part. As this had none of the knob heads/covers on it he also asked if I had knobs for it stating that he had just enough spares for it and would include them for free if I needed them. I told him I did not and would greatly appreciate it!

Total bill:
Outbound shipping $36
Repair $132
Return shipping $20
33 free knobs -$196.35
So I got this jem serviced and back better than I shipped it and I'm $8.35 to the good!!!
The tech also included a printed copy of the owners manual in the box.

I am beyond satisfied with the service I received from AMS!
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Old 12-24-2017, 05:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

That's pretty great!

I've had a similarly positive experience with Focusrite's own tech-support in the UK. A year or two back i had bought a faulty Scarlett 18i8 (USB socket was destroyed), which also had a few screws and a couple plastic bits missing. After a couple emails back & forth, the guy sent me the missing bits for free!

Pretty much the same story with a Scarlett 18i20 earlier this year - after some troubleshooting, turned out the firmware had gotten garbled up. They ended up sending me a preprogrammed replacement one, once again, for free Along with one or two plastic button tops (one had snapped off).
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Old 12-25-2017, 12:51 PM   #12
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Default Re: Novation SuperNova 2 Rack - Freezes up.

Great stories from both of you!
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