How to change the tubes inside a Korg Electribe ESX and EMX

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First you will need to get the new tube(s) for your Korg X-series machine(s). I highly recommend the Gold Series Electron Tubes by Groove Tubes. The model number is GT ECC83. These have excellent clarity and boost the sound coming from your machine(s) dramatically. It also cuts down on the “hiss” sound you may hear in your machine(s). You can get them for around $20 each off eBay easily. Second, you will need a small Phillips head screwdriver (to remove the tube covering plate) and a small flat head screwdriver (to adjust the tube knobs).

First Step: Make sure your machine is turned off and unplugged from its power source. Use the Phillips head screwdriver to remove the two screws that hold the tube covering plate onto the Korg Electribe machine.

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Second Step: Now you must remove the tubes (or just one if you’re replacing only one). They will be in there pretty tight but don’t worry, Korg has built the machines tough like that and you will not hurt it by grabbing and wiggling them a little hard to work them out. It helps if you twist them slightly while wiggling them.

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Third Step: After you’ve removed them, look inside and you will see two tiny knobs in between where the tubes go. These are the balancing knobs which you will use to adjust the balancing of your new tubes once you put them inside the machine. You probably won’t have to adjust them much, if any at all, if you use the tubes I have recommended.

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Fourth Step: Place your new tubes inside the slots so that the pins match up with the holes and push down firmly, making sure they go all the way in. Before putting the cover back on, plug your machine up to its power source, turn it on, and play a a few patterns to make sure the sound is not off balance. If it sounds like it’s too far to the left or too far to the right, even if you adjust the panning for the sound(s) being used in the pattern(s) you’re playing, then you need to adjust the tube knobs. Use the small flat head screwdriver to adjust those knobs to get the tubes perfectly balanced.

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And last:

Once you get it sounding the way you need it to, place the cover back onto the back (make sure you screw it on tight), and you’re done. If your old tubes were fine and you put new ones in just to enhance the sound, then keep the old ones around. You might could resell them elsewhere or could use them in case of emergency if you blow out one of your new tubes.

Tips/Warnings: I’m not certain if changing the tubes in your Korg Electribe machines voids the warranty or not. If you are concerned of voiding the warranty, please contact Korg and ask them before changing the tubes.

Other Notes: The photos were made by me using one of my Korg Electribe ESX sampling sequencer machines.

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