Gakken SX-150 reknobbed

I’ve come a long way since my second synth purchase in 2008:

Gakken SX-150, minus two knobs.

(First was a PAiA Gnome some 30 years earlier.) Funky little thing, a toy but not bad considering it cost about $46 back in 2008. Nowadays Amazon has it at $91 and there’s a Mark II (with seven knobs!) for $114. No word yet on a Behringer clone.

The other day I finally got around to some repair work; there was a loose connection on the power switch. Reflowed the joints and it’s much better now.

Unfortunately two of the knobs have gone missing. (And a third one fell off that day and I couldn’t find it for a few minutes. They weren’t very secure.) I’d wanted to replace them but I’d never found any knobs like them. They go on pots with knurled shafts that are recessed behind the panel, so the knob center extends about a cm back from the skirt. I tried googling for Gakken replacement knobs but came up empty.

SX-150 knob.

Having recently bought a 3D printer, I thought about printing new knobs. But then I decided an even better idea would be to print some adapters. A regular Boss style MF-A01 could go on one end with the other end sticking out behind the skirt, a near clone of the original. After some trial and error I got something that fit on the SX-150 pots and had the right length.

Adapter on its own and with MF-A01 knob attached.

I liked it enough to replace all five knobs, not just the two missing ones.

SX-150 with replacement knobs.

Did I mention there was some trial and error?

Trial and error adapters.

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