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Need advice on Roland D-50 repair
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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 12:31 pm    Post subject: Need advice on Roland D-50 repair Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have a chance to buy a Roland D-50 for less than $150.00. The seller says the two keys don't work, not because they're technically broken but because "the inside of the keys area needs to be cleaned" as how he described it. He says a music store will charge about $100.00 for this cleaning and he would just as well sell it off instead of paying for it. Can anyone tell me a bit about keys cleaning? All of my synths never leave my studio and I've never had it done. Is it something I can do myself? I called a music store and they told me it could be a sensor strip that could have become defective in it but they don't fix Roland keyboards and couldn't say for sure without seeing it.
I won't see it until wednesday when I go to check it out and demo it but he says otherwise it's in great shape and comes with manual and power cord. Any advice would be great! The D-50 has always been on my short list because it's been described as having an analog sound despite being an LA+8-bit sample digital synth. I heard it's great for pads.

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modulator_esp
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:28 am    Post subject: Re: Need advice on Roland D-50 repair Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gothboy wrote:
I have a chance to buy a Roland D-50 for less than $150.00. The seller says the two keys don't work, not because they're technically broken but because "the inside of the keys area needs to be cleaned" as how he described it. He says a music store will charge about $100.00 for this cleaning and he would just as well sell it off instead of paying for it. Can anyone tell me a bit about keys cleaning? All of my synths never leave my studio and I've never had it done. Is it something I can do myself? I called a music store and they told me it could be a sensor strip that could have become defective in it but they don't fix Roland keyboards and couldn't say for sure without seeing it.
I won't see it until wednesday when I go to check it out and demo it but he says otherwise it's in great shape and comes with manual and power cord. Any advice would be great! The D-50 has always been on my short list because it's been described as having an analog sound despite being an LA+8-bit sample digital synth. I heard it's great for pads.


I have had experience of dirty key contacts in several Roland synths I have owned and in each case it was fairly easy to rectify. It involved taking the synth apart, unhooking the dirty keys, lifting up a rubber strip and cleaning the key contacts underneath with some alcohol.

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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the reply! I'm reading up on the D-50 and I've learned that it's fairly common for them to develop key problems like this. I'll probably be controlling it from my midi controller most of the time and wont use the keyboard on it except when I'm programming it. Smile I was wondering if you knew of an instruction on how to open it up and do this type of cleaning procedure.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gothboy wrote:
Thanks for the reply! I'm reading up on the D-50 and I've learned that it's fairly common for them to develop key problems like this. I'll probably be controlling it from my midi controller most of the time and wont use the keyboard on it except when I'm programming it. Smile I was wondering if you knew of an instruction on how to open it up and do this type of cleaning procedure.


I had a D50 once but never had to open it up, my problems were with older synths like the JUNO-106 and JX-10 which were relatively simple to open up as they have hinged tops.

I expect the D50 might be a bit more difficult in that you'd probably have to go in from the bottom and may have to remove some boards to get at the keyboard assembly.

One thing to bear in mind with the D50 is that it is allegedly quite sluggish when controlled by midi

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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

One thing to bear in mind with the D50 is that it is allegedly quite sluggish when controlled by midi[/quote]

Hummm.....I haven't heard about that in all my reading and postings on other forums. You mean because it's monotimbrl? Sluggish when controlled by a controller, or by sequencer? I've contacted other D-50 owners on other forums and they have never noticed any sluggishness.....bearing in mind that there's always some kind of latency.

Having it repaired by a local Roland authorized repair shop costs $232.00. They won't fix just one or two keys. They tell me the only way to get at the contacts is to pull all of the keys out and if you fix or clean just those two it can affect the other keys. They take all the keys out, do the cleaning and repair and bring the thing up to factory spec.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I'm sure I read somewhere that it had quite 'bad' latency via midi

As to having to remove and clean every key, I wouldn't expect this to be the case from my experience with other Roland keyboards (and all my other synths), but I never had to do this with my D50.

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Dragon's Lair



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had the same problem with an Alpha Juno 2, and I believe they have the same or similar keyboards. You can remove individual keys, but depending on which keys they are, you may have to remove a few keys on either side of the bad one, the rubber strips with the carbon contacts in them are in 4 or 6 key "strips". Be careful not to scratch or damage the carbon contacts, use denatured alchohol, do not use rubbing alchohol it has an oil mixed in with it that will leave a thin film on the contacts, making them worse than before you "cleaned" them.
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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Dave, Are there a lot of springs involved in removing the keys in this one btw?
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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had a dodgy key as well, but I fixed it by spraying some electronic cleaning solvent between the keys and tapping gently for a while. This is a dodgy way of "fixing" it I know, but as long as you use pure hydrocarbon solvent, (basically, isopropyl alchohol in a spray can) you can be sure it won't do any harm, and may just avert having to go in up to your elbows. It does, however, just shift the gunk around. It doesn't get rid of it.

I've also opened mine up a few times as well, when I was checking out the back up battery on the expansion board etc. Dismantling it properly to get at the key contacts is not as scary as you might think, and would be the best way to bring it up to spec. Personally, I wouldn't pay for someone else to do it, but if you're keen to have it done and easily lose track of how to put something back together, then it could be a good idea.

If you go ahead with it, we can go cleaning the keys together if you want. I could answer questions while you do yours, and I could take photos of the process if you lose your way. I probably need to do some work on mine anyway. I could clean the keys properly, adjust the velocity/aftertouch, get rid of the expansion board etc.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gothboy wrote:
Dave, Are there a lot of springs involved in removing the keys in this one btw?


There is 1 spring on the back of each key, they are fairly easy to take off.
Here are a few links to check out

http://www.rolandus.com/
http://www.sonicstate.com/synth/rolandd50.cfm
http://www.synthzone.com/roland.htm

You should be able to get the service manuals directly from Roland, the Sonicstate and Synthzone pages have lots of other links.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks Dave and Uncle K,
Hey, what kind of store sells denatured alchohol? They don't sell it a supermarkets' pharmacy section.....only isopropyl rubbing alchohol. I was told on another forum this is the stuff to use because it leaves no residue.
Spec sheets on the D-50 are no longer downloadable or available on the Roland site and the support from them on the D-50 is virtually nil. I called them the other day and this little pissweed wouldn't answer any questions. He just kept babbling on about taking it to a "Roland Authorised Service center" Blah, blah, blah.....and they charge $232.00 to do this. So I'm going to see if I can give it a go. As soon as I get some of this alcohol You and me will go at it Uncle K. The first key I'll try to fix is the lower D, the second key from the bottom.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Gothboy wrote:
As soon as I get some of this alcohol You and me will go at it Uncle K.


What a classic quote! Laughing

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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Doh! Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cheers drunken
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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Allright but seriously! He, he..he I found some denatured alchohol at a local hardware store. At some point soon I'm going to open up the D-50 and see if I can access the contact pads.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool,
make sure you set up a spot where it can sit in a state of dismemberment for a while, cos our timezones don't exactly match, and if something stumps you, it might be 12hrs before I get to the same point.

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Gothboy



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't start disassembling your D-50 just yet. I can't get to it this weekend I don't think. My riding mower arrived and I have to uncrate it.
As I mentioned before, I sprayed some electrical cleaner under the low D. The next day the key started to work again Shocked but now the two black keys next to it don't work Crying or Very sad . Usually this means that gunk was partially dissolved and the respread on new areas of the contact so it gives me hope that I can fix this problem. If I can't fix it with a cleaning I'm going to try to find contact parts. I'd rather spend the two hundred some odd dollars putting toward a new computer.....hell, I could buy a Roland JX-8P for that! Laughing I can see why the contact pads are noted for going on these machines due to the pressure required to engage any modulation with the aftertouch!
I've been going through the manual and finally figured out how to sweep the filter with the LFO. I made two decent pads and like what I hear so far, though it's a far cry from virtual analog! I'm trying to figure out the TVA envelope.....I can't seem to get a good slope on the attack even at 100. It doesn't seem to fade in correctly.

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Uncle Krunkus
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'd check to see if the TVA has any keyboard tracking on it and what value. It could be something else I s'pose, but KT is what springs to mind first.

BTW, cleaning/re-adjusting the aftertouch is one of the reasons I'd like to go in. The aftertouch is more than likely some kind of resistive rubber pad, it's a global control (ie; it's not key specific) I think there could be a problem with the rubber(?) getting hard over time. This could possibly be fixed by adjusting a main aftertouch sensitivity trimpot, but I'll need to find it first.

PPS, the fact that spraying spread the problem to the adjacent keys proves (to me) that cleaning will work. It's just a case of careful disassembly and re-assembly.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Right.......thanks, I'll get back to you on this. I guess the way to open the D-50 is from the bottom. Have you ever opened your D-50 up before?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, a few times. You need an uninterupted work space and something to put the screws in. There's lots of them. I'm gonna see if I can find out anything else about the expansion before I start.
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2007 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Does anyone have any knoledge of an online source for old Roland parts for machines like the D-50. I contacted my local Roland repair center and at first they told me to bring it in and that they'd be able to bring the D-50 up to "factory spec", but today I called them asking about parts and now they tell me that they have no parts for the D-50. I need to replace the lever stick. Confused
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ObsoleteSystems



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:25 pm    Post subject: D-50 repairs?
Subject description: i have some key issues on a D-50...
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Alright i've had a Roland D-50 for a good 7 years now, my biggest problem with it, is it has a few dead keys. Mainly the "E" key on all octaves is dead, as well as sometimes i think it's the "C" on all octaves (i haven't tunred it on in about a year, and when i did then i used a midi controller)

I'm assuming it has to do with the internal wiring, or a keyboard daughter board, so i propped the beast open (i've done minimal repairs and cleaning on many older synths in the past, so opening a board was not that scary, except...) and there appeared to be tin foil type material wrapped around 2 "groups" of cables leading from the main board to the daughter board just underneath the keys. I was wondering if this was normal, this material seems a bit thicker than typical tin foil (i tore a little piece of it) however it also looks like it's not doing anything important besides holding the tiny wires together (easily fixed with electrical tape if needed).

Does anyone know if this foil is necessary, or something that maybe a previous owner had put on the wires? i would think tin foil could mess up some of the connects, as sometimes when i turn the board on...all the keys work, it's just rare that they all work.

Everything else in the board looks beautiful, and otherwise i have no problems, just the dead keys (if one dies on the board they all do of the same note in all octaves).

it was a steal at $40, and i LOVE the sound of this board, it's amazing, and i love the feel of the older semi-weighted (small metal weights in the bottom of the keys) keyboards, and would love to play this without a midi controller without dumping a ton of money into repairs.

thanks in advance, and i'll be watching.....sorry about my over abuse of parenthesis ha ha ha

j.b./o.sys
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: D-50 repairs?
Subject description: i have some key issues on a D-50...
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ObsoleteSystems wrote:
thanks in advance, and i'll be watching.....sorry about my over abuse of parenthesis ha ha ha


Shocked ... don't worry (I do worse (at times)) ... Laughing

And welcome

The tin foil probably is meant for shielding, to keep the digital noise of the key scanning process out of the audio circuits.

... right ... how to make it work again ... my guess would be be, since groups of keys give up, that it's a bad wire or a bad cable connection for the keyboard matrix scan circuit ... are there any connectors you could pull and reseat?

You could also wiggle the wires, see if that changes things.

Check the foil if it touches circuit parts, probably not, but don't remove it, when it touches something pull it aside a bit and put some (isolating) tape on it to prevent this from happening again.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i've uploaded some pics here....so you can see the foil material that's inside the synth that i'm talking about:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v231/obsoletesystems/DSC03189.jpg
and
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v231/obsoletesystems/DSC03188.jpg

thanks again...

j.b./o.sys
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

....and you can also see the foil in some of the photos from this thread here: http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-17733.html That documents the saga(successful.....!) of me cleaning and fixing dead keys on my D-50. Go through this long thread and it explains it all. In my case it was a broken contact on the green PCB board that lies underneath the keys....I soldered it after long trial and error and with the help of the good people here. I'd give it a thorough cleaning if you hadn't already done so first.....clean the contacts real good and go from there. Then report back...we'll give you a hand. I was able to fix one of the keys this way....the other needed the solder. You said you bought it used....like I did....so you don't know what it was subjected to before you had it. In my case it was used live a lot....in bars, and someone had spilled beer or something in it(I think...!) so you never know. Mine is working fine now.
The foil is supposed to be there, btw! Wink
Let's get all those D-50s fixed up and working! Laughing

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