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Original Stylophone Mods and Fixes (and how to fit a volume control)

This information is for the old original Dubreq Stylophone from the 1970's. There are a lot of modern reproduction stylophones that use an 8 leg chip to produce the sound, these stylophones usually have multiple sounds and already have a volume control. Sometimes these stylophones are sold as 'original stylophone' but they are not (although they are made by the son of the original stylophone designer). There was also the 'new sound' stylophone in the late 70's(ish) which were made by Dubreq. The 'new sound' stylophones also used an 8 leg chip to produce the sound and had a volume control fitted. This page is mainly about the original stylophone without the 8 leg chip. I cannot give advice on other stylophones, as I do not own them so cannot experiment on them. Use this info at your own risk. I am not liable for any damage to yourself or your equipment by following anything listed on my website.

I will be adding to this page when I can, If you need more info before then, please contact me.

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Adding a (much needed) Volume Control

There are 2 main ways to regulate the volume on the stylophone. The simplest way is just to add a 100 ohm resistor inline (series) with the speaker. to do this, remove one wire from the speaker and solder the resistor between the wire and the speaker.

Stylophone speaker switching

You can solder a switch across the resistor so you can easily select either full or half volume. (R2 and S2 in pic) In most equipment you would -most likely- damage the amp by adding 100 ohms to the speakers impeadence, but the original stylophone uses a very basic one transistor amplifier and so the impedance isn't critical and it will work happily with the added resistor. I have developed this switching whilst working out a solution to use in my own stylophone. It has been successfully working for a number of months without any issues.

The second way is to add a variable resistor to the base of the amplifier transistor to give a fully variable volume control. Lift the base leg of the amp transistor and connect it to the wiper of a pot (maybe 10k), connect one end of the pot to ground and the other side to where the base leg went. This is the basic description of an experiment I did. It works, but I have not had time to draw diagram/take photo yet or work out an optimal value of the pot. I hope to experiment more with this when I get time

Speaker cutoff

If you want to play your stylophone through an external amp, you will notice that the internal speaker does not turn off. The simple way (of course) is to put a switch in one of the speaker wires, but the problem if you do that, is that if you turn on the vibrato you will get a pulsing noise through the external amplifier.

The solution is simple. Use an 100 ohm resistor as a 'dummy load' in place of the 75 ohm speaker. Solder the 100 ohm resistor to the - (ground) on the speaker. Desolder the wire from the + (positive) side of the speaker and solder it to the common (usually center) pole of a switch. left pole of switch goes to speaker + and the right pole goes to resistor. (S1 and R1 in pic above) So that when speaker is switched off it connects the resistor instead

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