Category Archives: Keyboards

Electric Keyboards, Electronic Keyboards, Midi Controllers, Synthesizers

Mam … Step away from the super glue.

I just spent and extra 30 minutes time carefully extricating a jack from a circuit board so as not to damage the board because someone attempted to glue the plastic jack back together.

If something breaks on your gear super glue may sound like a good idea at the time, but 99.9% of the time it is not.

Super glue

Most of the time it just makes things 10 times worse than they already were.

It is so useless in electronic repair I don’t use even a small tube of it in two years’ time.

Do yourself a big favor and think at least twice before you try to super glue something.

Randy Morgan …..  Owner & head technician at All Service Musical Electronics Repair

Cleaning controls or “pots”

Controls

Almost every piece of equipment be it a keyboard, a mixing board, a guitar amplifier, or an effect unit has some good old fashioned potentiometers (Pots) that at some time in its life will need to be cleaned.

Cleaning controls is a pretty simple process; it is the getting to the controls to clean them that can sometimes be complicated.

Fist a warning about faders or slide controls. Do not clean them unless the absolutely need it, and only use special fader only cleaner, and finish up with some fader lube. If you use anything else the controls will become so stiff you will barely be able to operate them. Even when you use the proper products on them they will still be stiffer than they were before they were cleaned. That is why I advise not cleaning them unless it is necessary.

Fader controls unlike rotary controls can be cleaned without taking the equipment apart. You just spray the fader cleaner in the slot that shaft rides in that the knob it attached to. Then work it back and forth over its entire sweep several times, apply some fader lube in the same way, and you are done.

Cleaning rotary controls requires disassembly of the unit being worked on. Once you have accesses to the controls the process is pretty simple. Most, but not all rotary controls have a slot or other opening on the back, or side that you can spray your preferred brand of control cleaner into.

Clean the controls one at a time, do not spray them all first and then go back and rotate them as it is not nearly as effective as spraying the cleaner into the control and then immediately rotating it vigorously several times over its entire sweep.

Here at the shop we generally clean each control twice, the reason we do this is if you have to spend several ours on cleaning the controls on say a mixing board that you had to pull all the circuit boards on to get to the controls you sure as heck don’t want to have to pull it all back apart because you were not thorough in your first attempt.

A few additional notes on control cleaning.

When cleaning controls on keyboards, and synthesizers be careful not to get any control cleaner in the area of the keyboard display, or the keyboard contacts.

When cleaning controls on guitar amplifiers try not to get any cleaner on the tubes or any of the power resistors.

When cleaning controls on mixing boards there will generally be a lot of cleaner run off after cleaning the controls. Put the board on some old newspapers or something else absorbent and let the cleaner drain off before you put the cover back on it. It generally helps to do this with the mixing board left sitting in a variety of positions to facilitate draining of the excess cleaner out of the mixing board controls.

Randy Morgan …..  Owner & head technician at All Service Musical Electronics Repair

Broken USB ports

usb port

Many pieces of gear these days have USB ports of this style.

Keyboards use them, DJ mixers Use them, DJ control surfaces use them, some standard mixing boards use them, some effects use them, Digital recorders use them … On and on the list goes.

The problem is the connectors were really designed to be plugged in and left alone.The music industry really needs to come up with better connector to use. The big problem is about 25% of the time when these break off the circuit board they also damage that circuit board.

Unfortunately when these break you must take them to a well-equipped and experienced shop trying to change these yourself, or having an ill equipped shop try it will only end in your having to replace the entire circuit board. Which in most cases is the Main PCB. This is a most definite do not try this at home situation.

My best advice of course is to be as careful and as gentle as you can with these USB ports. As I said they are a poor design choice for this gear and break easily.

Randy Morgan …..  Owner & head technician at All Service Musical Electronics Repair

Roland Juno 106 voice IC’S

Juno 106

Roland stopped making the replacement Ics some years ago. However there is a guy over in Europe who is making a good quality reproduction. So if you have an old juno laying around that you thought was beyond hope due to bad voice IC’s you thought wrong.

I have installed this new part in several Juno keyboards to date, they work great and even after several years i have yet to have had one fail.

Here is a link to the part: http://www.analoguerenaissance.com/D80017A/

I do not recommend attempting this one yourself as the traces on those old boards are pretty touchy and they can be destroyed pretty easily.

Randy Morgan …..  Owner & head technician at All Service Musical Electronics Repair

 

Sticking keys on Yamaha keyboards

Sticking keys on Yamaha keyboards

I guess all good things must come to an end.

Yamaha has just informed us that as of 1/1/2014 they are no longer providing no charge replacement keyboards to correct sticking keys.

So if you have sticking notes they will need to be individually repaired at your expense.

If you have a Yamaha keyboard with sticking keys, stuck keys, or sluggish keys there is a possibility that you can have a new keyboard installed in your unit for just the cost of the labor.

There are way too many models affected to list them all here. So if you have a Yamaha keyboard with sticking keys go to our website www.asmusic.org at the top of the page you will find a Contact link, click that link, and then click our email link to email us the Model and serial number of your Yamaha keyboard. We will then check with Yamaha to see if it qualifies and email you back the results.

By the way you do not have to be the original owner to take advantage of this, Also you would be surprised at how old some of the models they are covering are. So even if your keyboard is pretty old it is still worth checking into.

Don’t forget to visit our website: www.asmusic.org when you get a chance.

Randy Morgan …..  Owner & head technician at All Service Musical Electronics Repair

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