Archiving / storing synthesizers

TL/DR: Need suggestions on how to store a synth in a house, in a high humidity environment.

I’ve got an Arp Avatar that I had completely refurbished five years ago. Today, I was dusting it with a brush and the bristles of the brush somehow managed to snap off one of the sliders. This is the third slider to break since it’s been refurbished. I’ve fixed them by using plastic epoxy, but I fear this is a problem that I will continue to have as the synth continues to age.

Since I don’t play guitar, I will never use that portion of the synth. My plan is to put away the Avatar, store it the best way I can, and purchase a Korg Odyssey desktop to replace the Avatar, and hopefully stop putting undo stress on the Arp.

What is the best practice for storing a synth? I live in Washington, on the water, so humidity is an issue.

Thank you.

This probably isn’t the answer you want, but why go through the trouble of storing something you’re not going to use?

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Use a pelican case and some large reusable silica gel dessicant packs. Go somewhere air conditioned (air conditioners dehydrate the air) and not re-humidified. Let the synth acclimate for 24 hours, same with the open pelican box. Then, put the synth in the case, unseal the dessicants, put them in the case, and close it up. If you put sufficient dessicants and started with fairly dry-ish air, it should last without serious humdity damage for quite a long time. When you plan to open it and check on it, be prepared to re-heat the dessicant packs for 3 hours at 300F, so probably a good idea to open it in a lowish humidity area with an oven (someone’s home, perhaps?).

However, the snapping of the plastic indicates that perhaps the slider plastic has oxidized badly and become brittle. This has nothing to do with humidity and much more to do with either UV exposure or simple aging. That aspect may be unrecoverable.

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Because it has sentimental value to me, I got it in a trade with a band that I like, so it’s like a weird piece of memorabilia. And I’ve got the room to store it, so I don’t want to get rid of it.

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Thank you for the advice, I’ll do exactly that. Perfect.

And yes, I assumed the same as you that the brittleness of the slider was due to aging. I brought up the humidity because that’s a new factor, and one I felt I should consider when storing the synth. Really appreciate the help, thanks.

No problem, glad to help. Dealing with sensitive electronics, storage, and humidity has been an issue for me as well in the past. This method has been by far the most successful for me.

I have been storing some electronic instruments under my bed for a few months. There is a heating vent underneath the bed, which makes it quite warm, probably 80-90 degrees. Will storing analog or digital synthesizers in this heat have any undesirable effects?

Just guessing that the metal components are probably ok but it’s possible that any glues or plastics might dry out or warp, respectively.

At least that’s what I’d be wondering about if it was my room…

Sending you good thoughts :+1:

Heat accelerates the deterioration of electrolytic capacitor dielectric, as well. While 80-90F is not particularly hot and I’m sure some synths spend their lives around that temperature just fine, if you have a cooler place to store them it might be preferable. Simply redirecting the vent with some cardboard to blow out from under the space instead of entrapping the hottest air right there might work as well.

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