Roland Juno 60 part 2: Cost benefit analysis or ‘How much money will I lose?’

First order of business in an endeavor like this is to see if completion is possible, and if possible, financially responsible. Do not overlook this.  Imagine if I did all the work I propose to do, spent all the money on missing parts and all 12 of the $40 – $60 a pop voice/filter chips were bad.  That said, near as I can figure there are two parts you can’t readily buy or make yourself: IC’s IR3R01* and IR3109.  There may be other dear chips in this machine but it shares these two with the mighty I’m-gonna-have-to-get-me-one-someday Roland Jupiter 8.  If more than one of the combo of 12 of these chips is bad in your Juno 6/60, you might as well buy a parts machine or part out your machine.

How do you answer whether it’s a good idea to undertake the endeavor?  I looked my sad, sad synth over and compared a picture like this from eBay:

to mine: Yer gonna have to click more to see!

Looking at the two I need ‘manual’ and ‘write’ buttons, some keys and some slider caps.

I tested it when I bought it and everything worked (voices/filters/presets) so it really is a matter of finding and installing parts and a little cleaning and creative fixing of unacceptable cosmetic blemishes. So from doing these comparisons I made this shopping list:

  • 11 white keys (roughly 2 of each) with springs
  • 8 Black keys with springs
  • About 20 key bushings
  • 2 three position toggles
  • 2 two position toggles
  • 18 slider caps
  • 3 slider potentiometers (1 1M/2 50K)
  • 3 wave form button caps (white/yellow/orange)
  • 1 transpose button cap
  • 2 momentary switches ‘manual’ and ‘write’
  • 1 pitch bender disk
  • 2 rubber feet
  • Volume knob

I put all this stuff on a spreadsheet, went on the internet and figured out a cost.  $245 plus about $30 shipping (I can provide sources if you want). For argument I’m going to add $50 in unforeseen expenses like capacitors, solder, touch-up paint etc. Next I went to eBay and figured out a good average price/condition for a Juno 60.

This complete, nice example sold for $860 recently, several similar machines made similar money.  I doubt I can make mine this nice, but you never know.  I am going to add $100 to the value as the buyer in most cases is paying $100 in shipping.

So my budget is $960 minus the $200 I’m into the Juno 60 (gas/time/ATM fee etc).  That leaves me $760 I can spend.  Take $325 in parts/supplies from that and I can spend $435 in labor on this.  What’s my time worth?  I’m about to find out.

‘But wait’ you are thinking.  I can pay myself $20/hr to doing a bunch of skilled labor, making $435 total OR I can take this baby apart, get that $50 per chip, eBay off the rest and MAKE $500 – $600 profit on my $200 investment -essentially paying myself about $100/hr to take it apart, list stuff on eBay then go to the post office.

This is where the I/me in the equation comes in.  I like working with my hands, especially when there is a challenge to overcome.  I like recycling stuff that has intrinsic value and what has more intrinsic value than a musical instrument?  I like hunting for parts all over the eWorld.  And best of all -I like playing synthesizers!!

There you have it.  It is, in my opinion, based on my personal value set worth fixing this synthesizer.

Up next: Taking it apart!

Part 1 of the sweet odyssey of a Juno 60 rebirth can be found here.

Part 3 of the quest is here.

*Footnote of note:  Sharp makes a chip with part number IR3R01.  This is a totally different chip from the Roland IR3R01.  Don’t waste your money!!

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