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Trying to keep the revs up

Roland Juno 60 resto part 7: Bender panel

Any long task is accomplished in small increments.  A difficult task is accomplished by spending more time thinking about it than trying to do it.  A long difficult task… you get the idea.  The bender panel on this Juno 60 is frankly fucked up.  Let’s give it a clean.

Gold finger would love it.  Amazing thing is there were no screws securing the board or bender to the panel, it rattled around, but it worked.

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Roland Juno 60 resto part 6: Flicking your switch

Synthesizers of this era relied on mechanical components to select and vary controls.  Toggles to switch between settings or switch them off, sliders and pots to vary resistance and incrementally change the magnitude of a filters effect/strength of amplification/rate of change etc and momentary switches to change logic states. This afternoon I removed and cleaned up all the momentary switches that control the wave forms, chorus settings, presets and write capabilities.  If this thing was a little cleaner I would have cleaned them on the boards, but as can be seen below, the boards are pretty dirty and removing them was only a few minutes work.

Pretty gross build-up on these switches and on the circuit board below them.  I pulled the middle switch the other day to see why it didn’t work -it was missing the little contact button.  There’s one of those Hitachi HD14051BP’s that are probably about to hit the endangered IC species list.

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Roland Juno 60 resto part 5: Wood

The Juno 60 is possibly the last synthesizer in the Roland line to feature wood ends.  Jupiters’ 6 & 8 had brushed metal ends, the SH’s and RS’s by this time were electronic sandwiches with plastic for bread and the Juno 106 had plastic as well.  To say the Juno 60 has wood ends is somewhat of a stretch really, as  it’s really wood simulating sticker applied to particle board.

This particular Juno 60 had been treated poorly and the ends looked horrible, but for all their ghastly appearance they did the job they were made to do -they protected the rest of the synth from assaults to it’s flanks.  New factory replacements do not exist so replacements had to me made.  Good thing we are talking about wood here ’cause I know a guy named Paul…

Starting at the end for once.  Here you are -a pair of cheeks and front edging in Sepele -an African hardwood a lot like Mahogany but about $6/BF, with a walnut stain and satin urethane finish.

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Roland Juno 60 part 4: Power supply board and Pitch bender assembly

The power supply board seemed like a nice place to start since it’s small, really dirty and needs a lot of attention. First order of business was making a sketch of which wire went where coming out of the transformer since I had to cut these wires to separate the transformer from the board.  I also took a bunch of detailed pictures of the plugs and wire bundles so I’d be able to plug everything back in when it’s time for reassembly.

I read with interest a post about Arp Omni sliders that described a process for cleaning them without removing them from the boards.  It involved washing the boards in Simple Green, rinsing them in distilled water and thoroughly drying them.  I did this on my Omni 2 and it came out great, so I used the same process on this power supply board.

Looks damn good now.  All the barf is gone.  The plug pins are all clean and shiny. 

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Yamaha CS-80’s on eBay right now!

Update 5/15/2013:  CS80 number 1259 is on eBay right now.  Used by Little Feat, not sure anyone buying a CS80 is going to care about this.  Asking price is $17,999!


Update 8/16/11: The $17,999 CS-80 from Perfect Circuit has sold for asking price.  A new record?

I keep an eye on the search term ‘Yamaha CS*’ since I have a CS-50 and am always looking for parts to squirrel away.  Tonight I was surprised to see there is a CS-80 arms race going on.  What’s all the fuss?  Check out some Vangelis CS-80 demo’s on YouTube and you’ll see.

First up is this guy from Perfect Circuit Audio for $17,999 out of Southern California.

Someone’s got some solid Photoshop skills.  That is a mighty fine looking keyboard.  $17,999 is the Buy it Now.

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Roland Juno 60 part 3: apart it comes/goes/is

I come from a classic car background.  A project to me weighs 2000+ lbs.  While the comparison is not all that great from a tonnage view, they do require a similar approach and care to make sure it can be put back together.  This Juno 60 is pretty easy to deal with from a picking it up and moving it perspective, reasonable schematics are readily available and I have a complete, together, nearly-fully functional Juno 6 to look at if I get lost.  Even with all this reference material it makes sense to keep all the little bits separate, take lots of pictures like those below and make diagrams like the one below if you think it’s going to be confusing in a month/year when you go to put it back together.

Besides showing how gross it was inside this thing, this shows which connectors go where, zip tie placement for if you get really into putting it back to exactly how it was and other details.

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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!

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Clavioline: early synthesizer

I put my Gibson Clavioline on eBay yesterday.  My back room is full of keyboards to fix, I just bought an expensive piece of gear (and several cheap pieces), need to replenish the hobby money and I just don’t see myself getting around to fixing this thing any time soon.

The Clavioline is basically a primitive mono synthesizer with presets and some variations on each preset.  The chassis was designed to bolt under the keyboard of a piano, to give the piano player a little something extra in the sound generating department.  ‘Runaway’, ‘Telstar’ and ‘Baby, You’re a rich man’ are the most famous instances of Clavioline in popular music.

Simple as that.  Rocker switch toggles for tone presets, effects etc, sliders for octave I believe and sprung plastic keys.

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Akai AX-60: Neat bargain synth

It’s an addiction -this Craigslist bargain hunting bug.  You’re not looking for anything in particular, just something interesting to act like a piece of chewing gum for your brain.  In such a fashion this Akai AX-60 came into my life.  A quick VSE search led me to believe they were worth buying and the price was right on this one.  It had two physically broken keys, the big display window had detached from the front panel and it was dirty but all the sliders were present and all voices and filters worked.

Silly me I didn’t take an overall before picture -this is a way after, it’s up for sale era picture.

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Roland Juno 60 part 1: project or parts?

I have a soft spot for hard luck cases; a trait you will come to recognize in me if I can manage to keep this blog up.  Case in point is this Juno 60 that I bought off Craigslist today for what I consider a good price.

Tape is for ‘transport’ as there are no screws holding it together. Yes that’s a penny peeking out where the D key should be -had a decent jingle worth of change rattling around in it.

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