Roland Juno-106 restoration/repair, nice update parts are now available

Juno-106When quoting restoration/repair of the Juno-106 I often describe it as a money pit because of the amount of work it requires, and high parts price. If it is in physically nice condition and you want to keep it then it is worth investing in as it is a nice sounding synth. I just want folks to know what they are getting into up front and that it is not a quick and cheap fix as if the voice modules have not been dealt with then they need to be.

Juno-106 Voice ModuleWe all know about the voice module issues on the Juno-106. If the module has not failed the chances are it will so I recommend changing all 6 80017a modules. If you have the original 80017 modules then you need to change them as a set as Roland warns your in the Service Notes that the timbre is different on the “a” variant. A common belief is that it is the epoxy coating becoming conductive over the years that is causing the failures (dead, crackling, failing the various tests in Test Mode) and that the acetone strip method was a cure. Long term the acetone strip method was not holding up and I had a couple of units in for rework that had been to the xxxxSpa. Looking at these with a microscope I Acetone stripped voice modulessaw incomplete material removal between the pins of the chips, and pins on the chips and the chips pins going cold-soldered. This leads to the belief that it is not the epoxy becoming conductive, but more it is the that the epoxy was pushing against the chips and as the temperature fluctuates, it expands and contracts which eventually lifts legs off the pads on the PCB. I re-flow the solder on all the pins on my re-work solder station under a microscope, then coat the module with silicone conformal coating to seal the moisture out and protect them. This will not cure a bad chip but has recovered a far greater percentage of modules with far less fallout. I also see failures of the Wave modules but the acetone strip (if the epoxy comes off with this method) does not seem to help as there is a red coating of “other stuff” over the actual chips that I have not tried to remove so cannot re-flow the soldering. This coating is much softer than epoxy so the epoxy is not applying any leverage on the chips.

I still do some acetone strips but prefer folks to order the complete package of 6 voice andAnalog Renaisance Voice and Wave modules 3 wave modules from Analog Renaissance in Belgium (Analogue Renaissance voice and wave module package ) and bring/send them with the synth. They have a buy 5, get 6 pricing on the voice modules. These are really nice and a much better solution than acetone stripping. Shipping is a bit slow and the price is something like $350 depending on the exchange rate but I so much prefer installing them as I know I can just put them in and they set-up easily and work. Syntaur also carries the modules but do not offer a complete package price.

I change the battery and reload the factory patches on a service, plus clean the unit inside and out. There is a factory FCO for early battery fail that was later incorporated. Check that pins 4&5 of IC4 which is near the battery.

On the modulation panel it is common for the mod lever and/or Laser cut gasketsLFO bend plate to be broken. Syntaur carries these. I also see failures of the sliders. When I service a mod panel with the old crumbling gaskets still in place I remove the old gasket and fit a new new laser cut gaskets (foam or fiber) which I have had made.

ThFront panel crumbling gasketse final area of concern, and one which many initially come in for is the front panel. Bad sliders cause it to constantly drop into edit mode crumbling gasket(you can see bad ones wittering on the MIDI Out stream). The gaskets over the sliders crumble and fall into the slider impacting its smooth travel so things get worse and worse with the shaft breaking when you move a tight one. The switches behind the buttons become sticky and intermittent (they can’t be cleaned).

For a front panel service we:

  • Clean the panel removing all the old gasket materialGaskets and old button switches removed. Cleaned after.
  • Clean (or replace the sliders… I’m recommending these really nice ones from
  • LASynth that the slider caps are a correct fit on. These work and feel perfect: LA Synth Juno-106 Slider set )
  • Fit new laser cut gaskets (foam or fiber) which I glue to the front New gaskets installed, looking good!panel. This looks
  • really nice and works well
  • Replace all of the button switches if they are original/any are failing.

IEC ConnectorIEC ConnectorOne final item folks like is to have the original 2 pin power connector replaced with a standard IEC grounded cable connector


As you can see there is a lot of work to do in order to get a tired Juno-106 back to a nice operating condition. Contact me if you would like yours restored.


March of the Juno-106

Juno101_1I do not know why, but March saw a stream of Roland Juno-106’s. Voice module failures were a commonJuno101_4 failure item, and I spent a lot of time running modules through the acetone bath. The acetone bath method is not a cure all, as once a chip is damaged by the epoxy coating shorting it, then it is bad of course. The acetone strip method is a Juno101_5good preventative maintenance item though. I have been suggesting that customers look at services such as the synthspa as they say they will replace bad modules as part of their stripping Juno101_8process, and I cannot compete with that as I’m having to purchase reclaimed modules for repair.

Juno101_2One unit had been dropped which resulted in a lot of broken keys, and a distorted panel. Another unit suffered a broken pitch bend lever, and another the plastic push “spring” for VCO modulation (both of these parts are available from Sam at

Juno101_7Loss of patches due to battery failure was seen on 2 units, so I’m recommending replacing the battery now even if the voltage is good. The bad side of this though is that the patch loading tool for the Juno-106 only does a patch at a time (no sysex load/dump capability), so you have to do the tedious patch edit and save for all 128 patches.

Juno101_6Two units were highly touch sensitive, and this was due to multiple bad sliders. One issue leading to this is oxidization due to a bad storage environment, another is the crumbling gasket Roland used falling into the slider. The cure is to remove, open and clean all sliders, remove old gasket material, and make a gasket from stiffened felt. While I have been in this area I have also been replacing intermittent patch etc. switches, and really they should all be done if one fails as dust getting into the switch is the culprit.

A final issue seen is with the bubble contact strips failing and giving intermittent keys. On the Juno I seem to be seeing other factors such as a liquid spill (on the Korg Poly6/61/MonoPoly they just plain fail).

All of this is leading me to making the standard service for the Juno-106 include front panel switch replacement, slider removal, open, clean, and lube, gasket removal and replacement, battery change, and optional module acetone strip. This is all labor intensive so not cheap, but it would get the keyboard running nicely again, and last another 20 years.

Roland Juno 106

Roland Juno-106 800017a chip removed

Roland Juno-106 800017a board with chip removed

A number of these have come into the shop and for most of them it is a 80017a voice module issue. Roland put 3 chips (including the 3109) and supporting components onto a module, then covered it with a moisture sealing epoxy coating. There is a belief that the coating was required in order to protect surface mounted resistors from humidity change in order to stabilize their value, and/or protect their IP. This coating is thought to become conductive after 20 years or so. The only source of replacement parts is through chip pulls from scrap machines, and they are rare so costly. A typical symptom is a hanging voice, and/or crackling. I recently invested in a de-soldering station in order to get these Juno-106 Main cardchips out cleanly. The keyboard here was purchased on Craigslist by the customer for a good price but when he got it home he found it crackled badly, and a voice was hanging (you can isolate which of the 6 voices it is by putting the keyboard in test mode). For this unit it was not obvious which chip it was but careful testing showed it, and it could be verified with an oscilloscope. A replacement was obtained and fitted; all seemed well. After 3 hours of just sitting warming on the bench another chip started to crackle and had to be replaced. Speaking with the chip vendor this scenario is not unusual. The keyboard was not such a deal now that the cost of two replacement chips is factored in but the customer loves it and will get good use from it.

I have been using the acetone strip method to try and re-use a bad module before Roland Juno-106 Stripped 80017a Modulesscouting a replacement. It takes 3 days of soaking and careful work to get residue out from between the chip pins. I silicone seal the module after washing it in order to seal the above mentioned resistors from humidity. This method has been pretty successful with crackly modules, but has not been good for completely dead ones, or where the VCF is drifting as we are looking at chip failures in those cases. It is a sad fact that all of these 800017a modules will eventually fail, and one unit eventually did have all 6 replaced. I have not tried the aftermarket replacements for the 800017a, but would advise folks to consider that. Also there are places that Roland Juno-106 on the benchyou can send the card and they will acetone strip all 6 modules; I’m not sure what the deal is when the strip does not work on a module though.

The bottom line is that if you are thinking of buying a Juno-106 then be aware of its issues and that they are not cheap to repair.

via This Old Synth – Vintage Analog Synthesizer Repair Portfolio Page.