Time for a pretty large update, and then some.
I've received the shipment mentioned above, and there are some mixed feelings. Nah, kidding, I'm happy as a pig in mud! But not all is well, so let's start with a spoon of tar in the proverbial barrel of honey.
First, I've ordered plenty of stuff, including a pair of "SLi-ready" OCZ DDR2 RAM modules, which, n0 matter how I searched the box, didn't seem to materialize. Instead, there was an odd pair of DDR4 by Samsung, something I have no use for. Ah well, things like that do happen, and it's a risk you take when ordering stuff to a shipping forwarder, since you can't inspect the items when they arrive, and it would be impolite to delay feedback till you actually forward them home. Call this a loss of fifteen bucks and move on, I guess.
Second issue is a much more unpleasant one. That CT3670 I was supposed to fix? Well, brackets did arrive, and I did solder one right in place. To say I'm proud of how nicely I managed to do the soldering is to say nothing. It felt like a breakthrough, most contacts couldn't be distinguished from factory made (and I'm normally not that good at it so I was pretty happy to have learnt something). It didn't work, however (no magic smoke, just wouldn't init), and multimeter wouldn't tell me why. What's more unnerving is that I don't know if it worked before to begin with, as I never got the chance to test it on Bard at the time. So now I'm stuck with a card I'm yet to fix, and I'm not 100% sure it can be fixed. Ah well...
Now, onto the brighter side of things. I've received a nice yellow board for that Athlon XP, along with everything I need for it. Well, everything but the video card. I'll be using a Radeon 9600 Pro for a while, until I make up my mind on what I actually want there. Perhaps, a Gigabyte 6800 GT, like the one I didn't win in an auction a couple days ago? Or screw period correctness and go with "the fastest AGP card"?
Anyway, I don't need to bother deciding on what cooler to use. This is my pick, and I'm pretty happy with it. I've even tested it, and it sounds nice and clean, and looks amazing with the board, mostly out of the way of all the yellow stuff. For now, let's pack it, as there is no case yet, and the board quite obviously needs a recap, and the new caps haven't arrived yet.
I've also managed to solve a problem with Bard. It simply didn't want to work with a switch for some strange reason (keys would get ignored, and mouse would simply stop responding after a second of rapid movement), but it was quite happy with a Tripp Lite USB to PS/2 converter. Now what I've come up with is an unholy adapter chain that, surprisingly, works quite well and doesn't induce any noticeable input lag with either mouse or keyboard. Clearly, this is something I wouldn't recommend unless you absolutely have to, especially considering the cost of adapters involved. But hey, they work, and I can use it with that Cybex switch, so no more extra keyboards on my desk!
Finally, the icing on the cake. The very reason I wanted this shipment so badly. Korg NX5R.
The thing came in 110V variety, so I had to open it and switch to 220V mode. I just love how they went through all the trouble to support both voltages what can be essentially called "out of the box". Just open it, plug the connector into a different set of pins, and voila! Even the fuses are there for both voltages!
Never mind the mess of screws, it is a very organized mess, with four top ones in a square being the side screws, while the two rows are, well, two rows of back screws in their respective order, and it does matter, as there are different screws there. Anyway, I was also happy to see that it did have the DB51XG inside! Quite a lot of folks (ok, by "a lot" I mean more than one, which, given the rarity of NX5R, is indeed a lot) are selling it daughterboard removed, and boy I'm glad there was no foul play involved here!
I was also surprised to know there are actually 4 demo tracks on it, as opposed to the two on NS5R. Moreover, the fourth one I'm sure I've heard somewhere else. Perhaps on some Yamaha? Granted, I remember the melody with some additional effects, but it still sounded just fine here. After doing some (very basic) YouTube search, I couldn't find a single video with all four songs, so video incoming sometime soon(tm).
And eternal doom on LGR (see what I did there? 😀), you made MIDI mountains a thing, and now they just keep growing! I've already got a whole shopping list, and it doesn't stop at MU80...