Roland Juno 60 part 11: What ever happened to it?

I got a few questions about the final result of my efforts on the Juno 60.  Well?  I got it to basically function.  One voice had some issues that I couldn’t solve, but a trip to my friend Chris at This Old Synth got it to 100%.  I messed with it for a few months and decided that I didn’t need another big Poly sitting beside my Jupiter 6 and others so I sold it on eBay.

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Here it/he/she is.  The wood sides came out amazing, the sound is/was fantastic, and some lucky guy paid me just under $900 via eBay for the chance to own it.

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Daniel Miller ‘Sunflight’ cover by my band ‘The Stranger’

I’ve got some instruments and if you are here reading my blog about synthesizers, you probably do too.  I have noticed that in many of the worlds of collectable stuff, the function and purpose of the stuff seems to take a secondary meaning to the acquisition and ownership of the stuff, with vintage musical instruments -synthesizers included- being no exception.

In the spirit of appreciating synthesizers for their intrinsic capabilities, here’s a cover song by my band.  The original was written and recorded by Mute records founder Daniel Miller for his ‘Silicon Teens’ project.

Instruments on this track include: Moog Source, Roland SH-1000, Sequential Circuits Prophet 600, Roland Jupiter 6 and others.

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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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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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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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Instruments 1: vintage Yamaha SK30 synthesizer organ

Randomly or perhaps opportunistically is how I have filled out my instrument collection.  This Yamaha SK30 was on Craigslist -I had never heard of the SK line but it looked neat.  I emailed and was the second guy to respond.  I sent my hone number and tried to arrange a meet up.  After 2 weeks of silence I sent a ‘hey -if you’ve still got it…’ email.  A week later the seller responded and the next morning I was driving home with this in the back of my station wagon.  During those three weeks I read up on the SK series of analog synthesizer/organ/string combo keyboards and got this impression:  robust/reliable construction, great Hammond B3 emulation when combined with a Leslie, good fat synth bass, limited but none-the-less fun synth and the ability to mix all the voices.

The SK30 -massive -well, not as massive as the SK50d or CS-80, but still almost approaches the 90 pounds Vintage Synth Explorer claims!  Notice that all the slider knobs are parallel -not usually the case with 30 year old synths that are regarded as toys.

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Putting together an iPad music studio part 2: hooking things up

In part 1 I talked a lot about my fumbling for a solution.  Here’s a diagram of what I am using now -a very compact set up.  I am using powered monitors because I have them -one could easily use a home stereo, boom box or headphones.

Cables numbered above are thus:

1 is the USB cable that’s an integral part of the iMic -it plugs in to a USB port.

2 is an RCA stereo to 1/8″ male stereo cable -one goes from iMic 1/8″ out to RCA tape in, the other goes iMic 1/8″ in to RCA tape out.

3 is a 1/8″ male to 1/8″ male stereo cable.  One connects iPhone or iPad 1/8″ out to mixer input of you choice.  The other connects the mixer headphone jack to the monitors.

4 is a 1/4″ male to 1/4″ male mono instrument cable.  Plugs instrument to mixer.

6 is a 1/8″ stereo female to 1/4″ stereo male.  You get the idea.

I seem to have omitted 5… sorry about that!

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