Roland Juno 106 #10 (extreme makeover, synth edition)

Roland Juno 106 restoration before and after
before and after

(Now for sale in our Reverb shop!) (Sold)

I bought this busted Juno from a guy who was a mover who got it as a tip on a moving job! It was the dirtiest Juno I’ve ever seen.

chip chomp

Inside I was greeted with a damaged module board from someone’s past attempt to replace one of the 80017A voice chips. Actually, I shouldn’t call it just an attempt, because miraculously, the replaced chip (with the chomp, at left) was one of only 2 that was making sound at all. So I guess they sort of succeeded?

My guess is that the chip above was damaged in the process of removing it from whatever sad donor Juno it came from. The globby solder on the leads is the remainder of a lot of globby solder that was all over the board; the excess desoldering/soldering heat applied by this person had caused a lot of the PCB traces to lift. It took me a while to track down all the damaged ones and repair them.

I think I have now memorized what the correct voltages on every pin of a Juno 106 voice chip are. Just a few more rough ones and I probably will have memorized the whole schematic.

Since I was already down a chip and I know some buyers prefer cloned voice chips instead of restored old ones, I opted to replace the whole set of voice chips with Analogue Renaissance clone voice chips and restore and keep the non-damaged old ones as spares.

Other work done: replaced ALL panel tact switches, cleaned all sliders, replaced slider gaskets, recapped power supply, replaced power inlet with IEC, replaced battery, reloaded factory sounds, calibrated to Roland specs.

Blue button tip: Most notably, I think I finally figured out the actual best way to restore blue buttons on Junos, and it’s probably not what anyone would have guessed because it’s so simple.  After trying all kinds of methods in the past to try to slough off the discolored top layer and get to the blue plastic underneath, I figured out the best way is just to paint them with a sponge brush and regular satin acrylic paint (a sample that I got mixed at the big paint section at Lowes). I gave them a quick sanding and spray painted them with plastic primer first to make sure the paint would stick. With the sponge brush, you don’t even see any brush strokes.



3 thoughts on “Roland Juno 106 #10 (extreme makeover, synth edition)”

  1. I did the peroxide paste trick (aka retrobright) on the blue buttons and succeed to a point but the green tint comes back after a few months, so yeah I agree spread paint is way better if you can get the right tone.
    My JX-3P chorus is now fixed, as it seems someone fiddled with a transistor and replaced it with a wrong one in the past, and I’ve also taken the opportunity to install the Organix MIDI expansion which I wholeheartedly recommend: as there are no waiting lists anymore. I’ve also made a few notes on the installation to make it easier for the unexperienced:

    1. yeah, the peroxide UV treatment was one of the other methods I tried on the blue buttons too before I finally accepted the idea of painting them.
      The other big breakthrough was realizing I don’t just have to go to a craft store and choose a color from their selection of small bottles of acrylic craft paint.
      You can go to a “real” paint store or Lowes, Home Depot, etc and bring one of the buttons with you, look at the thousands of colors they have and find the one that perfectly matches the original color of the button (which you can see on the backs of them) and then ask them to mix you a sample of it.
      The sample jars at Lowes are $3.00 and it’s higher quality paint than craft paint, for a much larger amount!
      Side note: craft paint is a scam.

    2. Alison,
      I recently bought a Roland Juno 106 and found the sounds most enjoyable. The keyboard has a “breathing” effect which I found incredible that they would go to such lengths to install. But there is a sound on there that lasts for over a minute taking you to the moon. Although it’s in fair good condition I wouldn’t mind having someone look at the contacts and keyboard.


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