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Casio DH100/200 Squeal Fix

  • 23-07-2007 1:26pm
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,046 democrates

    The Casio DH100 looks and sounds like a toy sax, but it has midi out and acts as a capable breath controller for more useful voices (eg Hammersound Soundfonts). The only problem I had was if you blew too hard it would squeal horribly, I could never relax playing like that but it was still usable.

    Sadly I got it down from the attic the other day to discover it was now constantly stuck making that high-pitched squeal, and only barely in the background could I hear the notes. If you have this problem with your DH100 or DH200 you may be in luck.

    Google turned up some pages that showed the fix:

    I followed the first one and it worked perfect.

    It's a simple capacitor replacement. C39 (underside of top circuit board) was a cheapo, faulty, or bad design choice in the first place, I replaced it as described with a 47 micro Farad electrolytic capacitor rated at 25v, but 16v will do, eg product 10062 from Peats is 14 cent (that's including vat, I wouldn't set anyone up for a shock).

    This even fixed the problem of it squealing when you blow very hard, no it won't work on the gf, but seriously, it's now better than it was when I bought it new, and all this bacause back in the day some suit shaved around two cent off the cost of the capacitor. Q.C. Passed my hoop. Shoddy Ted.

    If you're not into soldering onto circuit boards or are afraid you might get the +- backwards, get someone who can, my advice would be to ask them just to follow the instructions on the first link above to replace the capacitor. A simple component replacement should be a cheap job, 30 mins max. including reading the website.

    If you ask them to "repair" your instrument, that's a different job, now they can talk about diagnosis, oscilloscopes, component tests etc. and you're into much bigger loot. I'd only proceed to that if the capicitor replacement didn't work and you can get an up-front quote which is well below the cost of buying a working second-hand replacement. The service manual might be of interest for an open-ended repair job.

    There's also an adventurous hack to make vibrato switchable for more flexible performance, personally I won't bother, if it's an issue I'll just quantise the midi pitch data afterwards. Hope this helps someone.


  • democrates wrote:
    The Casio DH100 looks and sounds like a toy sax, but it has midi out and acts as a capable breath controller for more useful voices

    Never heard of this, but now I want one!
    This even fixed the problem of it squealing when you blow very hard, no it won't work on the gf, but seriously


  • cornbb wrote:
    Never heard of this, but now I want one!
    They're out of production now unfortunately, but as you'll see on, the yamaha wx5 or akai EWI4000S (pricey) seem to be the main contenders now. You might get an old casio on ebay or if you threw a free wanted ad into someone might bite (I shudder to think how many ended up in the dump with the squeal problem).

    The new devices don't have a built in speaker, but have decent control of pitch bend (it's on or off linear portamento within a fixed time on the casio, no way you're doing the lonesome boatman with that sideshow bob pitch curve) and higher resolution breath sensors. The resultant midi stream must be awesome.

    I've never trained on any wind instrument before, and only ever learned to perform the part from UB40's "Food for Thought" from start to finish on this instrument, but I had a cunning plan.

    For other tracks I'd play each individual segment over and over until I got it down and keep the midi for a few usable versions. Then in the sequencer I'd cut and paste the best midi parts into a final track. You're not stuck with disjointed segments, select the end note of one part and the start note of the next and specify curves for pitch and volume so it's continuous (mostly I had no need, bit of a syncopation junkie).

    I reckon any muso can get passable results this way without going the whole hog on formal education which is not an option for everyone. I mean how difficult would it be to come up with something like the wind piece on Kinobes "Slip into something more comfortable", totally elevates the track.

    No doubt 'that sort of thing' is sacrilege to some wind players, but it could be argued that more interest in wind is a rising tide that can lift all boats, some people may take up a wind instrument properly as a result of this experience, or when these tracks are successful there's work for real players on the sold-out world tour of Skibereen. Think 'more groupies' and practice those special push-ups (one is all you need).