Kurzweil K2000

Many years ago I played a Kurzweil K2000 in a studio I was visiting and for some reason I was not impressed with it. A few weeks ago one became available at Paul’s Boutique in Toronto and I hummed and hawed over it for a while and finally decided it might be cool to check it out so I bought it.

Well once again it turned out I was wrong! I don’t know why I didn’t like it all those years ago, but now I LOVE it! So far I’ve only heard the presets and already I think it has a massive amount of potential. The french horn sound alone makes it worth the price!

Me and the Kurzweil K2000

This picture also shows the missing Korg Arp Odyssey in the background. I pre-ordered it in march and here we are in early June, still waiting. I’m hearing rumours that it may not arrive until late July!

You can also see the screen in this picture. It was very dark and I wondered if displays didn’t have backlights in those days but it turns out it’s common for the backlight to wear out. So I ordered a new, compatible display from Digikey ( Digi-Key – NHD-24064WG-ATMI-VZ#-ND ) and spent a couple of days slowly and carefully installing it. The hardest part is desoldering the ribbon cable connector so I highly recommend getting a connector to solder to the display, and a new ribbon cable with the proper 20pin connector. That would have saved me many hours!!

Other than that the installation was fairly simple. Everything comes apart fairly easily and even adding the wires for the new power supply is easier than it looks. Here’s a couple of notes that might be useful if you are going to do this:

Here’s the blog I used as a guide: http://helium.deepgreen.ca/dave/K2000_Display/

I didn’t have to make the hole any larger, the display I got fits perfectly as is.

If you get the display I mentioned from Digikey (or where ever), you don’t need to take out the plastic window under the display. Just take the 4 screws out of the display and hopefully you can lift or gently pry the display out.

The old display uses an A/C power source. That’s why you have to add a couple of wires to feed a new 5V DC source to the power connector after removing the old transformer and transistor.

The default programs come back after all this so you don’t have to back them up (and can’t as far as I could see).

You will probably want to put a 100 ohm resistor in the power supply leads because 5v is actually a bit much for this display. It’s way too bright!

When you turn it on, you may not see anything at first. There are 2 things you need to know here:

1. It takes a few minutes for the instrument to reinitialize.

2. The contrast is probably way off. Try looking at the display from various low angles. It may look blank from directly above but from low and to the right you might see it perfectly. And don’t make the mistake I did! The Contrast adjustment from the Master mode is just a fine adjustment. To do a course adjustment hold down the ENTER button and turn the wheel. I spend quite a bit of time trying to find a way to fix a problem that didn’t exist!

Here’s the finished product:

K2000 - New Display

Much better! Now I have to learn about programming this beast!

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