Roland EP11 Piano Plus wood cheeks

One of the downfalls of products from the early 80’s is the crap plastic they made a lot of stuff out of, and the putrid shades of slightly green beige it turns over time as the fire retardant bromine migrates out of it.  I bought this Piano Plus 11 off craigslist while I was restoring the Juno 60 to steal the key bed and maybe some buttons, sliders and other components out of.  I got it home, spent some time horsing around with it, and decided I just couldn’t kill such an interesting thing, so I just swapped its perfect key bed for the slightly glitchy one in the Juno 60.  What’s so interesting about it you ask?  Well, it has built in drum patterns, bass accompaniment and a kick-ass arpeggiator – all with a din sync out to drive other stuff.

This did 18 months of solitary confinement in my closet while my wife’s pregnancy progressed and then while the boy grew as I did late night/early morning diaper shifts.  One day I came across it while looking for some shoes and realized this would be a great first keyboard for a kid, so I pulled it out and sized it up.  The plastic cheeks -similar to a Juno 106 and JX-3P were offensive, so I decided to get some wood cheeks made.IMG_6711Here’s the nearly finished product.  The wood cheeks make the cream colored panel a lot more acceptable.  Yes, that’s a VP-330 under it, more on that later.IMG_6710

Looks like an early computer or piece of medical equipment.  I could have painted them black, but wood is so much nicer.  Goofy little speaker actually sounds really good!  I’ll post a demo at some point.


Old and new side-by-side.  I got these little 90 degree brackets to mount the wood.  A little measuring and marking is all that’s required to get it together.


Note the new holes in these brackets.  I even tapped them to an M4 (or was it M5?) so I could use the original hardware.


Brackets mounted.  


I had to cut this one to clear the key-bed mount.  Could be worse problems I suppose.IMG_6709

Original screws all mounted up.  Go back to the first picture for a final shot.

I did a lot of research looking for a schematic or manual for this when I first got it and came up with nothing and the build plate is in Japanese, so I think it may be a rare item.  If I get the itch to modify some circuits, this may be my first victim since the accompaniment tones are rudimentary and simple switches.  Maybe I could put in pots so that the voices could be mixed and maybe even after that add an ensemble circuit from a crusty chorus pedal I have laying around.  Oh sweet possibilities.  I’ll try and get a demo video for this up before long.


1 thought on “Roland EP11 Piano Plus wood cheeks

  1. Hi, nice work!

    I have an EP-11 too which I love.
    Only problem is that Din Sync out – it would be much more useful to have sync in, or maybe switchable as on TR-808′ and TB-303 (if I remember correctly)

    Since I’m not really good with soldering iron or modding synths I thought i should ask you:
    Do you think such a mod is feasible, easy to do? Please let me know how, I have friends who could perform the mod for me but he is not understanding synths so I have to tell him what to do.

    Thanks, Les

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