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S50/S550 3.5 ICON
S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE

This page contains S‑50 / S‑330 / S‑550 / S‑760 / W‑30 information about;

S50/S550 BULLET GOTEK USB FLOPPY DRIVE EMULATOR ‑ The Modern Day 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive Replacement
S50/S550 BULLET S‑550 DISTORTED SOUND ‑ Connecting The S‑550 To Non‑Grounded Equipment Can Cause This
S50/S550 BULLET S‑550 MOUSE / RC‑100 ISSUES ‑ A Common Problem With The S‑550
S50/S550 BULLET S‑50 CONTROL JACK TEMPLATES ‑ High Resolution PDF Printouts To Make Things Easier
S50/S550 BULLET S‑50 NOISE, STATIC AND DISTORTION ISSUES ‑ It's The Relay Coil. Here Are Some Solutions
S50/S550 BULLET S‑550 NO SOUND OUTPUT OR SCRATCHY SOUND ‑ Also Happens With The S‑220 & MKS‑100

S50/S550 BULLET SCSI2SD ‑ The Latest & Greatest Techno Stuff. Wow!
S50/S550 BULLET SCSI CD‑ROM ‑ Aaah Yes...... The Elusive External SCSI CD‑ROM
S50/S550 BULLET SCSI ZIP DRIVE ‑ Extra Sample Storage In A Major Way
S50/S550 BULLET SCSI HARD DRIVE ‑ Even More Extra Sample Storage
S50/S550 BULLET CD-5 SCSI CD‑ROM ‑ Roland's Mysterious And Very Annoying Proprietary SCSI CD‑ROM
S50/S550 BULLET ULTRASCSI HARD DRIVE ‑ UltraSCSI? 1980's Sampler? Yes... It is possible!

S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 SCSI ‑ The KW‑30 SCSI IC Chip Upgrade. Simple & Cheap
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 EPROMS ‑ W‑30 Firmware Info
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 LCD REPLACEMENT ‑ Stop that whining banshee from Hell!!!
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 CUSTOM WAVE ROMS ‑ Replace The Default Wave ROM's With Better Samples
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 CONTROL JACK TEMPLATES ‑ High Resolution PDF Printouts To Make Things Easier
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 REAL‑TIME FILTER CONTROL ‑ Take Your W‑30 To The Next Level
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 "COOL BLUE" LCD BACKLIGHT ‑ Your W‑30 Display Shines Again!!!
S50/S550 BULLET W‑30 LCD CONTRAST POT REPLACEMENT ‑ An Easy Fix For This Common Problem

S50/S550 BULLET "dd" ‑ Mac Support For Creating And Archiving 3.5" Floppy Disks And Disk Image Files
S50/S550 BULLET SPARES ‑ Roland Spare Parts Cross Reference List
S50/S550 BULLET POWER CABLE ‑ 2‑Prong Power Cable Replacement DIY
S50/S550 BULLET NO VIDEO OUTPUT ‑ S‑550, S‑330 And S‑7xx Samplers Use The Same Fuse For Video Circuit Protection
S50/S550 BULLET MONITOR SHARING ‑ How To Share 1 Monitor With 2 Or More Samplers
S50/S550 BULLET FUSE REPLACEMENTS ‑ A Fuse Reference Page For Roland Samplers And Synths
S50/S550 BULLET 3.5" FDD REPLACEMENTS ‑ Inexpensive Replacement Drives For The S‑50, S‑550, S‑760 and W‑30
S50/S550 BULLET OMNIFLOP or SDISKW ??? ‑ Disk Image Utilities For Copying/Creating/Archiving Sample Disks
S50/S550 BULLET MOUSE AND RC‑100 ISSUES ‑ A Common Problem With The S‑330, S‑550, S‑750 And S‑770
S50/S550 BULLET THE EV‑5 EXPRESSION PEDAL ‑ Build An EV‑5 Hand Controller For A Fraction Of The Cost
S50/S550 BULLET USING A NON‑ROLAND MOUSE ‑ How To Use A PS/2 Or USB Mouse With The S‑550, S‑330 Or S‑7xx
S50/S550 BULLET TACT SWITCH REPLACEMENTS S‑50, S‑7xx & W‑30 Button Madness
S50/S550 BULLET SP-700 LCD DIY REPLACEMENT ‑ An Inexpensive Modern Day LCD Replacement
S50/S550 BULLET RGB TO VGA VIDEO CONVERTER ‑ $19 Board For Connecting A Color Monitor To The S‑Series Samplers
S-50_S-550_ZONE FAVORITE DIY TOOLS AND DIY VENDORS ‑ Tips For DIY Freaks Who Like To Save $$$
S50/S550 BULLET GOTEK USB FLOPPY DRIVE EMULATOR (USB/FDE) ‑ A Modern 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive Replacement

Quick links for navigation to other S‑Series and W‑Series topics:
Sample Disk Image Reader             Synth & Sampler Firmware/Binaries    RSB Sample Library List
S‑50 Service Information Sheets      Create Your Own W‑30 CD‑ROM's        S‑760 Support Info
SCSI2SD Example Setups               Solve S‑50 Noise & Static Problems   S‑50 Support Info
Cloning ZIP Disks & Hard Drives      SysEx Verification Utility           S‑550 Support Info
Cloning MicroSD Cards For SCSI2SD    Operating System Matrix              S‑330 Support Info
Roland CD‑ROM Compatibility Matrix   Front Panel Display Freakout         W‑30 Support Info
W‑30 Tips & Tricks                   Control Inputs/Outputs               Magazine Articles
Toggle Switch For USB Floppy Drive   Monitor Cables. RGB & Composite      Startup Floppy Disks
S‑760 Encoder Replacement            Download Vintage CD-ROM's            Download Free Samples


"dd" ‑or‑ OMNIFLOP ‑or‑ SDISKW ???

The built‑in "dd" utility on the Mac is what I use all the time now to create, copy and archive all of my 3.5" floppy disks. It's a quick, no frills solution for creating and sharing floppy disks, *.IMG and *.OUT Disk Image files for the S‑Series, W‑Series and DJ‑Series samplers

Until I discovered the "dd" tility on the Mac, OmniFlop was my favorite utility on my Windows PC for creating S‑Series, W‑Series and DJ‑Series sampler disks from *.OUT files. OmniFlop is an excellent tool for creating and sharing *.IMG and *.OUT Disk Image files for use with a USB Floppy Drive Emulator (USB/FDE). Also, a required utility if you still use floppy disks with your sampler. I highly recommend using OmniFlop as a replacement for the DOS based SDISK and its Windows counterpart SDISKW. OmniFlop even has a special menu selection for working specifically with Roland sampler disks

I initially had some minor hardware issues with installing a working 3.5" floppy disk drive. It turned out that only the old‑style 720KB DS/DD or 720KB/1.44MB Dual Support drives will work. The newer and (of course) less expensive 1.44MB DS/HD will only write disks for use with the S‑750/S‑760/S‑770 samplers. After solving that problem, I compiled some useful installation notes here

SDISKW is a good program to use if you plan to use only 3.5" floppy diskettes with your Roland sampler and don't want to work with any advanced disk image files (*.OUT, *.IMG, *.S50, *.S33, *.W30, etc...). SDISKW might also be a better choice for you since it will work with an external USB FDD. Each of these utilities has an advantage over the other

               Link Arrow "dd", OmniFlop, SDISKW and 3.5" Floppy Disk Drive Installation Notes

GOTEK USB Floppy Drive Emulator (USB/FDE)

There are many methods of making a GOTEK USB Floppy Drive Emulator (USB/FDE) work with a Roland S‑50, S‑550, S‑330, S‑7xx or W‑30 sampler. The easiest way is to buy GOTEK Model: SFRM72‑FU‑DL for about $25 (USD) and simply plug it into the sampler where the floppy disk drive used to sit. The disadvantage of using this model is that there are very few bells and whistles available. The GOTEK factory firmware on this model uses a very boring 7‑segment LED display and the two buttons on the front make a clumsy user interface

Luckily, there are alternatives for updating the GOTEK firmware and the best version I've seen is available for free. You can purchase a low‑priced GOTEK for about $17 (USD), a nice, crisp OLED screen for $2, a rotary encoder for $3 and update the firmware yourself using free installation software. In the past, other firmware updates required a special serial interface and a $10 software license for each GOTEK you updated

The only extra hardware you need for this free FlashFloppy firmware update is a standard USB cable. When I updated my GOTEK with the FlashFloppy firmware, installed the OLED and rotary encoder, It worked perfectly the very first time I tried it. Very unusual for mods like this when trying to make 1980's technology work with modern gadgets. In fact, after all the updates went so smoothly, I thought perhaps that something had gone wrong  Smiley

Keep in mind that the OLED screen and Rotary encoder are optional add‑ons but... for these low cost parts, I highly recommended adding them. It's like the difference between driving a Ford Pinto and a Corvette Stingray

Back Arrow

A link to installing a GOTEK USB/FDE on your Roland sampler using the free FlashFloppy firmware is here
     (This firmware update requires free software installation and additional parts [optional] which requires soldering)

Back Arrow

A link to installing a GOTEK USB/FDE the easy way on your Roland sampler is here
     (No soldering or extra modification is required for this method)

GBS 8200 CGA/EGA/YUV To VGA Video Converter Board DIY

This is an inexpensive way to connect your S‑50, S‑550, S‑330 or S‑7xx to a standard 15‑pin LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor. This DIY project was much easier than I expected. The results are GREAT and so are the cost savings! Thanks to this tiny video board, I'm now able to use my S‑50, S‑550 and S‑760 samplers with a sharp looking, crisp and clean 17" LCD color display. The monitors I used for testing were standard 15‑Pin VGA which were previously used with generic video boards on a PC. I am assuming that just about any 15‑pin LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor will work with this DIY. I also had a cheap leftover +5V DC power supply so my total investment was less than $25 (USD)

(click for larger image)
8-Pin DIN DIY Plug
Tayda Electronics P/N: A-3344

The parts required to make this DIY work are
  • 8‑pin male DIN connector, full size (Tayda Electronics P/N: A-3344). The cost is less than $1 (USD)
  • 15‑pin LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor (or any VGA Color Monitor if it uses a 15‑pin VGA connector)
  • +5V DC (2A) power supply, center tap positive
  • GBS 8200 CGA/EGA/YUV to VGA Video Converter Board v4.0 (I paid $24 (USD) from eBay which included free shipping)
    • It is highly recommended to place the GBS 8200 board inside of a protective metal enclosure to keep it static‑free and safe from any ESD mishaps. A good size is a 1590DD diecast aluminum guitar pedal enclosure. Originally designed by Hammond, high quality generic 1590DD enclosures can be found at Tayda anywhere from $9.99 to $14.99 (USD) depending on color styles. There are some very wild Day‑Glo Orange and Fluorescent Green colors along with boring brushed aluminum models to choose from. The drawback to using a 1590DD enclosure is that they are very difficult to create openings for VGA and power cable access. The aluminum walls are very thick. A hacksaw and drill press are required. See a large selection of inexpensive 1590DD enclosures here
Note: The video board used for this DIY was GBS 8200 v4.0. Other PCB versions will most likely work but I'm unable to verify those

Build Procedure

1) Take the white 8‑pin connector that came with the GBS 8200 video board and move the grey wire in Slot "S" over to Slot "HS". To remove the grey wire, use a needle to press down on the metal connector then gently pull the wire up and out (see Figure 1). The reason for moving this wire from Slot "S" over to Slot "HS" is because an HSYNC signal is required for S‑50, S‑550, S‑330 and S‑7xx RGB video output. The grey wire by default on the GBS 8200 video board is connected to an "S" video signal (CSYNC), not HSYNC

(click for larger image)

2) Solder the six wires on the white 8‑pin connector that came with the GBS 8200 video board onto the 8‑pin male DIN connector
S‑50 / S‑550   8‑PIN DIN MALE PLUG            GBS 8200 VIDEO BOARD 8‑PIN WHITE CONNECTOR (P11)
VIDEO SIGNAL   PIN#                           PIN#   WIRE COLOR     VIDEO SIGNAL
GROUND         2   <---------------------->   GD     BLACK          GROUND
VSYNC          5   <---------------------->   VS     YELLOW         VSYNC
HSYNC          4   <---------------------->   HS     GREY           HSYNC [AFTER MOVING WIRE]
BLUE           8   <---------------------->   B      BLUE           BLUE
GREEN          7   <---------------------->   G      GREEN          GREEN
RED            6   <---------------------->   R      RED            RED
+5V            1   DO NOT USE                 -      NO WIRE        DO NOT USE
OPEN           3   DO NOT USE                 S      NO WIRE        DO NOT USE


Because these wires are supplying video signals, I opted to shield them by wrapping three layers of aluminum foil around the entire six wire cable assembly. I then took some black electrical tape and wrapped everything tightly. I'm not sure if the shielding is necessary but I did it just to play it safe

3) Connect all the cables and power on all the devices...
(Make sure the power supply you are using is "center tap" positive!)

(Sampler GBS 8200 Video Board 15‑Pin LCD Flat Screen VGA Monitor)
Six Wires Wrapped With Foil And
Electrical Tape To Prevent
Unwanted Electrical Interference
(click for larger image)

That's all! I didn't even need to bother with the On‑Screen Display menus for the video board. There are Chinese and English menus available but I never had to use them. I plugged the 8‑pin DIN cable into my S‑550 and plugged my 15‑pin LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor into the video board, powered everything on and it worked right away without any menu interaction. Super simple
Another S‑550 owner with this same video board has put together a great overview of how it works including the menus. For more details check out freudelheim S-50_S-550_ZONE


If you experience any problems with the screen shaking, freezing or rolling around, try resetting the GBS8200 board back to the defaults by pressing and holding the "DOWN/AUTO" button for more than 5 seconds. This will reset the GBS8200 board into the 800*600 output mode

If you want to take a chance and venture into the cryptic Chinese menus, the quick route to get English displayed is made by pressing:
          MENU   >  UP   >   MENU   >   UP   >   UP   >   MENU   >   MENU

Other menu functions (with no OSD menu showing on the monitor)
     Auto‑Scan: DOWN/AUTO
     Reset The Board: Press and hold DOWN/AUTO for 5 seconds
     Video Mode‑Select (RGBS / RGBHS / YPbPr): UP (RGBS = 15‑pin VGA connector)

This video board is very easy to use. If you need additional menu info and technical specs, you can download the GBS 6800 Operation Manual at this link Adobe Logo

If this video board will be used with an S‑50 or S‑330, an inexpensive metal housing is recommended to keep the static sensitive components safe. I use a Hammond 1599DD aluminum enclosure (normally used as a guitar pedal case). If this is to be used with an S‑550 and there is no HD5‑IF SCSI Interface Card installed, you can do what I did and take advantage of the empty space on the underside. Place the video board inside the sampler like so...

(GBS 8200 Video Board With 8‑pin DIN Cable From P11 Mounted In The Underside Compartment Of An S‑550)

GBS 8200 Video Board With 8‑pin DIN Cable From P11 Mounted In The Underside Compartment Of An S‑550
S-50_S-550_ZONE            S-50_S-550_ZONE
(Dell E176FP 17" LCD Flat Screen Monitor
(click for larger image)

S-50_S-550_ZONE            S-50_S-550_ZONE
Sharp LL-T15A4-B 15" LCD Flat Screen Monitor
(click for larger image)

$20 (USD). Now that's the kind of DIY I like... nice and inexpensive!

If needed, here is some more detailed info;
I tested the GBS 8200 video board with a Sharp LL‑T15A4‑B 15" LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor (manufactured in 2003 ‑ specs) and a Dell E176FP 17" LCD Flat Screen VGA Color Monitor (manufactured in 2006 ‑ specs). In addition to a standard 15‑pin VGA Out connector, there is also a 12‑pin socket (P12) on the GBS 8200 video board which provides a video output signal for R, G, B, VSYNC, HSYNC, and GROUND. If you have an older style monitor like a CGA, EGA, or RGB, this extra 12‑pin connector might be able to adapt to those older style monitors by using a different connector arrangement. For this DIY, the included 8‑pin connector (P11) with six wires was used. You might be tempted to use a tap off of the main S‑550 circuit board to supply power for the GBS 8200 video board. Don't do it. Ordering a replacement circuit board for vintage gear like the S‑550 is not an option. Play it safe and stick with a cheap external power supply. An external power supply will also help to isolate any hum the GBS 8200 video board might introduce into the S‑550 audio circuit

How To Share 1 Monitor With 2 Or More Roland S‑Series Samplers

If you have 2 or more Roland S‑Series Samplers, this inexpensive DIY is for you. Complete plans are contained in this PDF file
               Link Arrow S-50_S-550_A-B_Switch-Box_DIYS50/S550 MONITOR DIY

Using A Non‑Roland Mouse With S‑550, S‑330 or S‑7xx Samplers

NOTE: The S‑50 will not work with any type of mouse. The EXT CONTROLLER port on the back of the S‑50 will only work with the optional DT‑100 Digitizer Tablet. If you plug a mouse into the EXT CONTROLLER port, you run the risk of causing a short circuit in the sampler. Likewise, if you plug a non‑Roland mouse into the EXT CTRL port on the S‑550, S‑330, S‑750, S‑760 or S‑770, you run the risk of causing a short circuit. If this happens, see the Roland Fuse Reference Webpage

After losing bid after bid on expensive MU‑1 mice at eBay, I decided to purchase a KMTech PS/2 to MSX mouse adapter instead. It works flawlessly with my S‑550 and S‑760. The adapter is very small at 63mm x 19mm x 13mm. Compared to the price of a used MSX mouse, this clever adapter board is a bargain at $32 (USD) + shipping. The overseas shipping to the USA was amazingly fast at only 6 business days! The eBay seller is kevinmount* who has a 100% Feedback Rating

The big advantage this adapter has over an MU‑1 mouse is that if the PS/2 mouse goes bad, a replacement is inexpensive as opposed to finding another expensive MU‑1 mouse on eBay. Plus, every MU‑1 or MSX mouse I've seen for sale on eBay is being sold as a used item and is already 20+ years old. I've had excellent results using a WYSE PS/2 (P/N: 770510‑21L / LED Optical Type) and a DELL (P/N: M-S34-6MD / Ball Wheel Type). It's recomended that when using a LED Optical Type mouse, do not use a mousepad with complex patterns. Use one with a solid color or the mouse pointer will jump around the screen

My only complaint about the board is that it needs some type of cover. My solution was to wrap everything with black electrical tape. I can't stand to have an exposed circuit board with static sensitive components glaring at me. It goes against everything I was taught about electronics  S50/S550 MOSUE BOARD

           * The item was PS/2 to MSX Mouse Adapter Purchased from eBay seller kevinmount with a 100% positive feedback rating
             Ship time: 6 days from United Kingdom to the USA
             Search eBay for 'MSX Mouse Adapter' and you should be able to find the item right away


2‑Prong Power Cable Replacement DIY

Tired of always looking for that oddball 2‑Prong AC power cable? Do something about it. Here's a super simple mod that will let you use the more common 3‑prong AC cable with your Roland sampler. The cost for parts was less than $1. In addition to always being able to find the right AC cable, this mod adds ground circuit protection. Why is that important? Just ask several S‑50, S‑550 and W‑30 owners who connected their sampler to an ungrounded mixing board. The audio output transistors on their samplers were toasted!!!

The mod is so simple that all it needs is a picture to explain. It's easy as 'connect the dots'. If you buy the correct sized AC power adapter (P/N: 703W‑00/03), it's a 1 for 1 swap, no case modification and no sheet metal to cut. There's even a pre‑drilled hole in the case for the ground wire. Just piggy‑back onto one of the screw holes used for the serial number plate. Easy! The DIY image shows the mod for an MKS‑70 but this will also work with an S‑50, S‑550, W‑30, MKS‑50 and a bunch of other Roland rackmounts and keyboards. If you are using a sampler with something running other than 110/117V AC, please note... this mod has NOT been verified to work on a sampler running 220V/240V. This mod is only for those with electronics experience. Author accepts no liability if you damage your synth or hurt yourself. Always keep one hand behind your back when working with live electrical circuits. It's the best way to stay alive

               Link Arrow AC Power Receptacle Replacement DIY

                     If you just want to buy a 2‑prong AC replacement cable, don't pay the ridiculous high prices at eBay or elsewhere
                     The 2‑prong replacement cable is Hosa P/N: PWC-178 and is available at sweetwater.com + always FREE Shipping / NO Minimum!

W‑30 LCD Replacement DIY

Detailed instructions for replacing your old LCD. Not the easiest DIY in the world but the good news is for under $30 (USD), you can get rid of that annoying high pitched shrill in the process

* * * Update: December 2021 * * * A new version of this DIY manual is now available. Feedback from others report that a 100 Ω / 1W resistor works best with the Blue, Black and Monkey Vomit Green displays. Also, most people agree that cutting off the existing LCD wiring harness and reusing it is easier than assembling a new Hirose connector so this has been added as Option #1
W-30_LCD W-30_LCD
Link Arrow W-30 LCD Replacement DIY - Ver. 20211221
(Right‑Click then Save As PDF)
buydisplay.com P/N: ERM24064FS-1
(240x64 Black/White)

W‑30 Backlight Replacement

W-30 Backlight

Over time, the W‑30 backlight will begin to fail and get dimmer. It takes a while to disassemble the W‑30 to gain access to the LCD, but installing a new Electroluminescent Panel (ELP) segment is quick and easy. The old ELP slides out easily after unsoldering two leads

There are several vendors on eBay selling ELP's the price range of $8 to $20 (USD). The most common colors available are Blue or White

When soldering in place, use a heatsink (a large coin also works well) and touch the leads with the soldering iron for only very brief moments and use a lower than normal temperature for the soldering iron. I had to trim off about 1mm from the top and bottom edges to make it fit. However, it's not an issue because this flexible ELP may be bent or cut into any shape. This ELP also works with Roland S‑750, S‑770, Akai, Kurzweil and EMU samplers. The Roland W‑30 Blogspot has some good before/after pictures about this replacement. A green ELP is shown on that webpage but the instructions are valid

* * * Please Note * * * If your W‑30 has a high pitched and incredibly annoying shrill, that sound is caused by a failing high voltage inverter circuit which drives this ELP. Replacing the ELP will not stop this annoying sound. Your best course of action would be to replace the entire LCD assembly as detailed at this link

W-30 Backlight


W‑30 LCD Contrast Pot Replacement

One of the most common failures on the W‑30 is a broken LCD Contrast Potentiometer which is located on the back of the sampler. This knob has a tendency to break easily during transport because Roland used a sub‑standard plastic part. Symptoms are a wobbly, unreliable knob or worst case scenario, a blank LCD. You can replace this one using an Alpha brand 9mm B10K Ohm potentiometer. The cost is only 67¢ (USD) and is available from taydaelectronics.com. The part number is SKU: A‑1850

This part is not a direct "drop‑in" replacement. Replacing this one is a little tricky because of the tight quarters and the case alignment. I had to cut off a small section at the end of all three pins and bend them at a right angle to make it fit into the PCB holes. I cut two 25mm sections from a strong paperclip, sanded off the outer chrome and soldered them to the ground frame of the pot. I then soldered the other ends to the empty GROUND trace holes on the PCB for stability (the empty GROUND trace holes were leftover from the old potentiometer). The result was a perfect fit. The old potentiometer I removed was a B5K Ohm so I'm not sure if the previous owner of this sampler replaced it sometime in the past or if Roland changed the value to a B5K Ohm on later production models?!? The schematics in the W‑30 Service Notes say this part should be a B10K Ohm pot so that's what I used

Don't get your potentiometers locations mixed‑up like I did  
      LCD CONTRAST is on the MAIN BOARD and Silkscreened as VR1
      INPUT GAIN is on the ANALOG BOARD and is also Silkscreened as VR1

Note: This replacement part from taydaelectronics.com is also a plastic part just like the Roland original. A metal shaft potentiometer is too large to fit through the opening in the case unless you drill it larger. You can take your replacement one step further and cut the plastic shaft off flush with the back of the case and add a flat‑blade screwdriver notch for adjustment. This way, if the back of the sampler gets knocked around during transport, the recessed knob will be unaffected. The drawback is of course, it's not very easy to adjust the contrast knob while you are on stage

The INPUT GAIN Potentiometer is also a part which breaks easily but this potentiometer is much harder to replace because of it's odd‑ball value which is C5K Ohm (Anti‑Logarithmic). To date, I've been unable to source an equivalent part number for this potentiometer

S‑50 And W‑30 Control Jack Templates


I designed these templates after being frustrated time and time again by having to move my S‑50 and W‑30 away from the wall to locate where certain audio and control jacks are located. This makes it easier to plug cables in and out without having to always face the back of the sampler... or use a mirror. There are four template variations with different fonts and color schemes for each sampler

               Link Arrow S‑50 Control Jack Templates

               Link Arrow W‑30 Control Jack Templates

                    File Format: PDF Document

Mouse Or RC‑100 Is Unresponsive, Intermittent Or Not Working (S‑550, S‑330, S‑750 & S‑770)

I always thought the mouse interface on the S‑550 sucked due to a poorly designed operating system. It turns out those claims were unwarranted. I didn't know it at the time but the problem was always with the EXT CTRL 9‑pin connector on the front panel. I opened up five S‑550's and all five had broken or loose solder connections at this PCB location. Due to age, excessive pressure on the case, strain on the 9‑pin connector or a combination of all three, these solder connections break off or become loose. Some of the symptoms include
  • Mouse or RC‑100 Is sluggish, intermittent, unresponsive or not working at all
  • Screen cursor jumps to the bottom of the page
  • Unable to boot sampler into Mouse Mode or RC‑100 Mode
  • Settings for Mouse or RC‑100 won't work during system boot (i.e. Holding Numeric '2' Button @ Power‑up)
  • Mouse or RC‑100 suddenly stops working
  • Sampler stops and reboots itself for no reason
After reflowing new solder to all 9 pins, the mouse works better than ever now. Of course Murphy's Law kicks in for this fix. This section of the S‑550 is the most difficult to access. It requires no less than the removal of 26 screws, the faceplate, the Jack Board, three wire harnesses and three mounting plates. Have at it!

If you are still having problems with the mouse or RC‑100 after extensive troubleshooting, be aware that there is a 1/6 Watt PICO® Fuse Resistor which may have blown. I remember back in the 1980's when a rash of Atari computers had a similar problem. If a device other than an Atari mouse or joystick was plugged into the 9‑pin jack, it would sometimes create a short and blow a PICO fuse because one of the pins carries a +5V signal. A similar situation may exist here with the S‑550, S‑330, S‑750 and S‑770 (the S‑760 does not use a PICO fuse in the EXT CTRL circuit)

This Fast Blow PICO Fuse (P/N: 0251.750NAT1L) manufactured by Littelfuse has nearly the same resistance as the original of 0.15 Ohms. Since this is a "Fast Blow" fuse, use a heatsink when soldering this component in place. Use a slightly lower than normal soldering temperature and don't let the soldering iron make contact for more than three seconds at a time. Otherwise, the performance may be deteriorated or the fuse may open. This one (P/N: 0251.630MXL) will also work in a pinch. It has a lower blow point (630mA vs. 750mA) and a higher resistance (0.2 Ohm vs. 0.15 Ohm). The differences are so minimal that it should not be an issue (i.e. only 1/20 Ohm). As long as the blow point is lower and the resistance is close, you're covered

The original PICO fuse installed by Roland was a Panasonic P/N#: ERQ16NKR15E     ‑     Original Panasonic datasheet: here

S550     S330     S760
Mouse schematics for the S‑550 (Left), S‑330 (Middle) and S‑750/S‑770 (Right) showing fuse resistor locations


Video Output Not Working (S‑550, S‑330, S‑750, S‑760 & S‑770)

If your sampler is having an issue with no video output, it is possible that a fuse in the video circuit has blown. Just like the mouse circuit, the same 1/6 Watt PICO® Fuse Resistor is used. This Fast Blow PICO Fuse (P/N: 0251.750NAT1L) manufactured by Littelfuse has nearly the same resistance as the original of 0.15 Ohms. Since this is a "Fast Blow" fuse, use a heatsink when soldering this component in place. Use a slightly lower than normal soldering temperature and don't let the soldering iron make contact for more than three seconds at a time. Otherwise, the performance may be deteriorated or the fuse may open. This one (P/N: 0251.630MXL) will also work in a pinch. It has a lower blow point (630mA vs. 750mA) and a higher resistance (0.2 Ohm vs. 0.15 Ohm). The differences are so minimal that it should not be an issue (i.e. only 1/20 Ohm). As long as the blow point is lower and the resistance is close, you're covered

One important thing to know is that Pin #1 of the 8-pin DIN connector in the video circuit is connected to the PICO fuse and +5V DC. Pin #1 is used by some monitors and some external video boards but not by others. SCART external video boards and some older RGB monitors require a connection to Pin #1. The GBS 8200 external video board and some older RGB monitors like the Atari SC1224 and SC1435 do not use a Pin #1 connection. If you have no video output with the latter, replacing the PICO fuse will not help so look elsewhere for the problem. If you have no video out and are using an external SCART video board, check for a fried PICO fuse

The original PICO fuse installed by Roland was a Panasonic P/N#: ERQ16NKR15E     ‑     Original Panasonic datasheet: here

S550     S330     S750S770
RGB video schematics for the S‑760 (Left), S‑330 (Middle) and S‑750/S‑770 (Right) showing fuse resistor locations

S760     S-550_PICO

No Sound Output Or Scratchy Sound Output/Input (S‑550, S‑220 & MKS‑100)

Broken traces on the Switch Board are a common point of failure with the S‑550, S‑220 & MKS‑100. Over time, moving the sampler around will place too much strain on a particular section of the Switch Board and it will eventually crack. This usually occurs when the module is shipped from Point A to Point B. Broken traces on the board will set the total output volume knob to zero which renders the sampler useless. The problem area is located near the REC LEVEL and VOLUME potentiometers (VR1 and VR2). I was able to fix my S‑550 by using epoxy on the broken PCB then soldered some jumper wires to reconnect the traces which were snapped

Scratchy sound or no sound at all can also be related to the REC LEVEL or VOLUME potentiometers (VR1 and VR2). If you are experiencing scratchy sounds when using either of these potentiometers, you can replace them using an inexpensive one manufactured by Bourns. The part is available here at Mouser for less than $1 (P/N#: 652‑PTV09A‑4015FB103). Just like the original B10K potentiometers VR1 and VR2, this replacement has a very short Flatted/D shaft. The pins need to be bent slightly to fit into the PCB but it works perfectly

Special Note For MKS-100 Owners:
The REC LEVEL potentiometer (VR1) for the MKS‑100 is B50K... not B10K so use P/N#: 652‑PTV09A‑4015FB503 for VR1 (and use P/N#: 652‑PTV09A‑4015FB103 for VR2)


Distorted Sound Output (S‑550)

If your S‑550 is experiencing distorted sound output, it's possible the previous owner was careless and connected one or more of the 1/4" output jacks to a non‑grounded mixer or some other type of non‑grounded equipment. Since the S‑550 is not grounded by default, this can easily damage one or more of the nine output transistors on the Analog Board (this board is located in the compartment underneath the sampler). It's an easy fix if you are handy with a soldering iron. Replace all nine 2SC2878A transistors at locations Q1 through Q9. As of January 2022, there are a few vendors on eBay and AliExpress selling replacement 2SC2878A transistors. Even if you've isolated only one or two outputs as the culprit, take some extra time and replace all nine transistors while you have the board out. It's possible that other transistors were damaged and are ready to fail soon. Detailed information about this fix is available in this thread over at gearsz.com. This is another reason why it's a good idea to ditch that stupid 2‑prong Roland power cable and add a three‑prong AC power outlet to your Roland samplers/synths to ensure proper grounding! If you are in a jam and can only find 2SC2878-B transistors, they will work but... you will need a transistor tester to measure and select only those with an hFE less than 700


S‑50 Noise, Static And Distortion Issues

If your S‑50 is experiencing noise, static or distorted audio then join the crowd. Over time, the S‑50 can start to experience a problem with the relay coil which is located on the Jack Board. The relay coil is there to temporarily delay an inrush of current to the Audio Out circuit so that any annoying loud pops are avoided when you power on the sampler. The Audio Out circuit is essentially turned off for a couple of milliseconds

The three solutions I know of are to Replace It, Clean It or Bypass It

SOLUTION #1 - Replacing The Coil
Tom Arnold, another S‑50 owner, has supplied an excellent solution which has been verified by several online visitors here. He designed a very small PCB which is used to replace the single relay coil by using three inexpensive, low current and easy to source relays. The big advantage to this solution is these new relays are easily swapped out when they fail. According to Arnold, the S‑50 design is prone to failure because the original single relay coil and replacement relays will eventually fail over time. Since it's very difficult to remove and clean the factory installed relay coil, swapping out three 0.85¢ relay coils makes more sense because they are socketed on this new PCB

"This is a 3DPDT relay board to replace the 6PDT relay in the Roland S‑50. Two holes in the middle are for hold‑down screws. I recommend putting in sockets so you can replace the relays more easily as they will go out again the way they are being used."

The best price I've seen for these new relays is only 0.85¢ each from Allied Electronics. You'll need to buy three 16‑pin IC sockets and three 5V relays (Zettler P/N#: AZ822‑2C‑5DSE)

The bad news is that OSHPark has a minimum purchase of three PCB's. The good news is they only cost $3/each

               S50/S550 DOWNLOAD PCB's designed by Tom Arnold are available from OSHPark here

               S50/S550 DOWNLOAD 5V Relays From Allied Electronics - here

UPDATE (November 2018)
: Open Mirror from Australia was able to install this new PCB and Relay setup into his S‑50 before I was able to (it's still on my To‑Do list). He reports excellent results. The distortion he was experiencing has completely disappeared

S-50 Coil   Click here for images of his installation plus... Before & After sound comparisons   S-50 Coil


SOLUTION #2 - Cleaning The Coil
Jim Atwood Of Japan has a step‑by‑step solution for cleaning the relay coil at this link;

               S50/S550 DOWNLOAD S‑50 Noise, Static And Distortion Solution

SOLUTION #3 - Bypass The Coil
Some online visitors have reported they have bypassed the coil completely and just remember to keep the volume slider at zero when powering up. Since this will significantly alter the original circuit design, I won't provide any info about that fix. It seems risky, IMO

The S-50 Or S-550 Front Display Panel Is Blank / Freaking Out / Intermittent

Q: I have an S‑50 / S‑550 and the display screen is blank or acts weird. What can I do?

A: Some owners have reported failures with bad solder connections on the FIP display. Use a magnifying glass to inspect for hairline cracks and reflow NEW solder if needed. The FIP driver coil for the display panel is also a common point of failure with the S‑50, S‑550, Super JX‑10, MKS‑70 and other Roland synths. The cause is a manufacturing defect which has been traced to the Sumida Corporation, the only supplier of this coil (P/N: 12449251). Unfortunately, sources for replacement coils are very difficult to find. A supplier on eBay has some redesigned replacements which sell for $75 USD. Another hope is to find an old coil from a cannibalized Roland product which uses the same part number. The JX‑10, JX‑8P, GM‑70, GR‑1, DDR‑30, S‑50 and S‑550 synths/samplers all use the same part number. However, be aware that these coils may also be defective. There seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when or if a coil will fail. Guy Wilkinson has a webpage with detailed troubleshooting of the FIP display and FIP coil
at this link

Note: The image on the right shows the coil on an S‑550 Main Board as denoted by the silkscreen label T1. The coil for an S‑50 is located on the Panel Board Assembly and has a silkscreen designation of L1 even though these are the same part number. Also, the MKS‑70 synth uses a nearly identical coil but the windings are slightly different. The coil from an MKS‑70 will most likely work in a pinch

Tact Switch Replacements (S‑50 / S‑750 / S‑770 / W‑30)


After time, some of the buttons (tact switches) will start to act intermittently or fail. The best solution is to replace all of the tact switches at the same time because if you only replace a few, others are bound to fail soon after. eBay and other vendors sell complete sets of tact switches and these range anywhere from $30 (USD) to $92 (USD). Ouch! You can save a lot of money buying them instead from an electronics supplier such as mouser.com. You can get a complete tact switch replacement set from Mouser for less than $8 (USD)

There are two types of tact switches to choose from. I prefer a harder press Operating Force of 2.6 Newton because I like to hear that solid 'Click!' whenever I make a selection

1)     Brand Name: ALPS
        Manufacturer P/N: SKHHAMA010
        Mouser P/N: 688-SKHHAM
        Operating Force: 1.6 Newton (Black)
        Operating Life: 500,000 cycles
        Size: 5mm (H) x 6mm (W) x 6mm (D)
        [ Alternate P/N: OMRON B3W‑1000S ]

2)     Brand Name: ALPS
        Manufacturer P/N: SKHHARA010
        Mouser P/N: 688-SKHHAR
        Operating Force: 2.6 Newton (Red)
        Operating Life: 200,000 cycles
        Size: 5mm (H) x 6mm (W) x 6mm (D)
        [ Alternate P/N: OMRON B3W‑1002S ]

The total number of tact switches needed for each sampler differs
(Do yourself a favor and buy a couple of spares because... shit happens!)
   S‑50  / 34
   S‑750 / 21
   S‑770 / 21
   W‑30  / 29*
* FYI ‑ After replacing tact switches on my W‑30, the Panel Board position was lower than expected. To make all tact switches work properly when pressing buttons, I had to place a 1mm tall plastic spacer under each tact switch before soldering them in place. I'm not sure if all W‑30's are like this or not?!? The original factory tact switches were Roland P/N: 13169633 which is the discontinued ALPS P/N: SKHHAD039A. This same tact switch was used for the D‑70, Juno‑106 and S‑10

The Operating Life for these tact switches is realistically, probably 10 years until stress and/or oxidation starts to set in and they become intermittent. Removing old tact switches from the PCB is a matter of personal preference. The method I prefer is to use a small sharp pair of diagonal flush wire cutters and cut all four leads off from the top side of the PCB. Take extra care not to wedge the wire cutters in‑between the base of the tact switch and the PCB when cutting the leads. This places excess force on the via traces on the underside of the PCB causing possible damage. Use a solder sucker, a fine tipped soldering iron or a stainless steel hollow desoldering needle and remove the leftover pins from the PCB holes. Remove any excess solder remaining in the holes. The vias on the brittle 30+ year‑old PCB's are very fragile. Take extra care not to lift them off the surface of the PCB while desoldering. Using too much heat or keeping the soldering iron too long in one spot usually leads to this type of problem

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD Tact Switch Reference Page For Other Roland Synths/Samplers

Tact Switch Replacement (S‑760 Only)

Tact switch leads for the S‑760 are mounted extremely close on top of the Panel Assembly PCB and using diagonal flush wire cutters to remove them  (as explained above) is not the best method for this sampler. I recommend using the combination of an Exacto razor knife and a stainless steel hollow desoldering needle (or a solder sucker) to remove these small tact switches from the PCB. Heat the solder trace on the backside of the PCB and use the Exacto razor knife to gently pry the tact switch up and out of the PCB via. Use the stainless steel hollow desoldering needle (or a solder sucker) to remove any excess solder from the PCB vias. I found working with the S‑760 Panel Board Assembly to be a real challenge. After soldering the switches in place, two of them did not work because the solder did not make a good connection. I suspect that using a very low temperature setting was the culprit. After reflowing solder on these areas, a good contact was made. I used a very low temperature setting because the 30+ year‑old Roland PCB's and traces are quite brittle and fall apart easily. Also note that the Panel Board Assembly and Encoder Assembly are incorrectly labeled in the S‑760 Service Notes

The total number of tact switches needed for the S‑760 is 13. Do yourself a favor and buy a couple of spares because... shit happens

There are two types of tact switches to choose from. The original tact switches installed by Roland had a light touch Operating Force of 1.3 Newton*

1)     Brand Name: OMRON
        Manufacturer P/N: B3F-6022
        Mouser P/N: 653-B3F-60223
        Operating Force: *1.5 Newton
        Operating Life: 300,000 cycles
        Size: 5mm (H) x 6mm (W) x 6mm (D)

2)     Brand Name: OMRON
        Manufacturer P/N: B3F-6020
        Mouser P/N: 653-B3F-60203
        Operating Force: 1.0 Newton
        Operating Life: 1,000,000 cycles
        Size: 5mm (H) x 6mm (W) x 6mm (D)

        Note: These switches will also work for the Roland JV‑80, JV‑90, JV‑880, JV‑1080, JV‑2080, U‑20 and XP-50

The original switches I previously recommended were manufactured by Panasonic but these have been discontinued
You may still be able to find some fof these from other electronic supply houses online

       Manufacturer P/N: EVQ-22705R (This part was marked as obsolete at mouser.com in August 2019)
       Manufacturer P/N: EVQ-21405R (This part was marked as obsolete at mouser.com in August 2019)

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD Tact Switch Reference Page For Other Roland Synths/Samplers

S‑760 Rotary Encoder Replacement

Although it's not exactly a "Drop-In" solution, this rotary encoder replacement works extremely well. It requires an inexpensive custom PCB, a low‑cost commonly found rotary encoder and little bit of soldering. I have also supplied an alternate method which does not require a PCB. It takes a little more work but if you are miserly to the extreme... that's the one for you

S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S-760 Encoder Replacement DIY
S-760_ENCODER_DIY                              S-760_ENCODER_DIY

SP-700 LCD Replacement
  • The Screaming Banshees From Hell
    • Two of the most common failures on the Roland SP‑700 are
      • 1) Dim or dark LCD backlight
      • 2) High pitched shrill emitting from a defective high voltage inverter
        • A defective high voltage inverter supplying current to the LCD’s Electroluminescent (EL) backlight causes a high pitched & incredibly annoying shrill. Replacing the electroluminescent panel will not solve this issue. The only solution is to replace the entire LCD assembly. It's a lot of DIY work but luckily, you can find an inexpensive modern day replacement LCD for only $26 (USD). This replacement completely removes the high voltage inverter circuit and does not rely on an EL backlight panel because it uses a normal LED for illumination. As a bonus, there are four colors to choose from for a new LCD - White (over Black), Black (over White), White (over Blue) or Black (over Monkey Vomit Green)


After‑Market Floppy Disk Drives

DIY info for replacing an unreliable or broken FDD using inexpensive Chinon, Teac, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, NEC & other brands. Some of the instructions are easy as moving/adding jumpers while others require a steady hand w/intermediate soldering skills

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD FDD Tech


If you are one of the lucky 10% to have an HD5‑IF SCSI Card installed in your S‑550 or if you have a KW‑30 SCSI IC chip installed in your W‑30 (for only $7), it's possible to connect a maximum of 4 external SCSI devices at a time. However, the ZIP drive is an exception to this rule. Only two ZIP drives may be connected at a time because the SCSI ID# of a ZIP drive can only be #5 or #6 which is set by a hardware switch on the back

The ZIP100S2 and ZIP250S SCSI drives are able to store up to 80MB of S‑550 or W‑30 sampler data on a single ZIP disk and up to 250MB for the S‑760. This gives you an endless supply of storage space which is only limited by the number of blank ZIP disks you have. There are several models of ZIP drives. Some are parallel, some are USB and some are SCSI. If you plug a parallel ZIP drive into the sampler, you can kiss your SCSI card goodbye because it will fry it... extra crispy. You MUST use a ZIP SCSI model Z100S2 or Z250S. These SCSI models have two selector switches on the back and two DB25 female connectors on the back. One switch selects SCSI ID#5 or #6 and the other switch turns termination ON or OFF. Several users have reported that the ZIP drives are very temperamental. From my experiences, I can say without a doubt, using a ZIP drive with the S‑550 can be very frustrating. At times, the ZIP drive appears to be working fine then suddenly it just disappears from the SCSI chain as if it were disconnected. It takes several SCSI scans from the menu to have the S‑550 find the device again to get it back online. Some people claim that the built‑in termination activated by the switch on back is weak. I decided to buy an Active SCSI Terminator to see if it would help and it did. With the power turned off for the S‑550 and the ZIP drive, I plugged the DB25 Active SCSI Terminator into the open connector on the ZIP drive and set the on‑board termination switch on the back to the OFF position. I noticed that this eliminated the need to constantly refresh the SCSI connection. Over time, I have connected other external devices (hard drives, CD‑ROM's) and I no longer need to use the Active SCSI Terminator. I just set the ZIP drive to SCSI ID#5 and one of the hard drives to SCSI ID#6 and make sure this last hard drive in the SCSI chain is terminated. (Note: Using the ZIP drive with this Active Terminator caused my W‑30 to hang when booting up. Removing the Active Terminator and using the on‑board termination switch eliminated the problem)

Important Steps To Follow
Figure 1
Parallel ZIP (1 Male DB‑25 And 1 Female DB‑25 Connector)

Figure 2
SCSI ZIP (2 Female DB‑25 Connectors)

1) You MUST use the proper 25‑pin cable which was supplied with a new ZIP drive. Most 25‑pin cables you find for everyday computer use are wired for use with data transfer programs, parallel printers, scanners and other non‑SCSI devices. Cables made for most parallel and serial devices will not work and could possibly damage the SCSI card on the sampler. The 25‑pin ZIP cable to use is a straight through cable, 1 to 1, 2 to 2, ......, all the way up......, 25 to 25

2) Make sure the sampler and the ZIP drive are both powered off before connecting the 25‑pin cable. Never plug or unplug the ZIP drive from the sampler when the power is turned on for either device

3) Connect the 25‑pin cable to the ZIP drive connector on the left marked "ZIP". If the ZIP drive is the only SCSI device or is the last SCSI device in the chain and nothing is plugged into the 25‑pin port on the right, make sure the termination switch on the back is set to the "ON" position. If you are using an S‑550, I recommend using an Active SCSI Terminator instead

4) Power on the ZIP drive first then power on the sampler. It is impossible to boot the sampler using a ZIP drive. The S‑550 and the W‑30 both have information hard‑coded onto the boot ROM IC to only recognize Hard Drives or Floppy Drives as a boot device. You must always boot an S‑550 with a 3.5" floppy disk in the drive or from a USB/FDE with a valid boot disk image loaded. The only way I have been able to successfully have the ZIP drive recognized by the S‑550 is by booting the sampler using the CD‑5 System Boot Disk Ver. 1.00 (For unknown reasons, the most current CD‑5 System Boot Disk Ver. 1.02 and the HD5‑IF System Boot Disk Ver. 1.03 will not work with my ZIP drive)

5) If the last device in the SCSI chain is a ZIP drive, then you won't be able to boot from any hard drive! For example, if a ZIP drive were set to SCSI ID#6, it would be the last device in the SCSI chain. At boot time, the sampler will go out to search for the last SCSI ID# which is #6. Since the sampler can't boot from a ZIP drive, it will not boot from any hard drive. Setting the ZIP drive to SCSI ID#5, setting the ZIP drive termination switch to "OFF", setting a hard drive to SCSI ID#6 and terminating the hard drive will solve this problem

Once the ZIP drive is connected and recognized by the sampler, you will need to format a ZIP disk using the Roland proprietary filesystem. It takes about 9 minutes to format a 100MB disk. After that, it's a very long process to get the ZIP drive functioning as an effective storage device because each individual sample disk needs to be loaded into the sampler and then saved over to a corresponding slot on the ZIP drive. There are 64 available slots to use on the ZIP drive and each slot will hold the equivalent of one 3.5" floppy disk. The HD5‑IF Owner's Manual provides detailed instructions about how to get things working. One important thing to note is that regardless of how big the ZIP drive is that you are using, the maximum storage capacity will always be 80MB per ZIP disk no matter what. This is a limitation of the S‑550 and W‑30 operating system. The largest hard drive partition recognized is 80MB and the ZIP drive is treated just like a regular hard drive. Keep this in mind when searching for a used ZIP drive to buy. A more expensive 250MB model with larger capacity ZIP disks will not offer any space advantages over a less expensive 100MB model. The only advantage of buying the more expensive 250MB model is if you plan to share it with other samplers like the S‑760 which is able to take advantage of the extra storage space

I was able to find an inexpensive Z100S2 with power adapter and DB25 cable on eBay for under $17 (USD) so I decided to roll the dice. I can't say that I would or would not recommend using a ZIP drive with the S‑550 or W‑30. I think if you can find an inexpensive SCSI ZIP drive (and get an extra Active SCSI Terminator if it is the only external device connected to an S‑550), the ZIP drive is a great accessory. I'm still undecided about which is better... a USB/FDE or a ZIP drive, mainly because of the following PROS and CONS. Obviously, the best choice is to have both on the same system, but choosing one over the other is a tough decision

Once you get a ZIP drive connected to your S‑550 or W‑30, here's a large collection of samples you can download. Each file is an 80MB ZIP disk image which containins 64 Roland sample disks. Once you load the ZIP disk image onto a blank ZIP disk, just pop it into the ZIP drive. Hassle free and no need to waste time loading individual floppy disks

               S50/S550 DOWNLOAD 192 Roland Sound Disks In ZIP Drive Image Format

There is a ton of info about archiving/restoring large ZIP drive libraries to/from your S‑550 and W‑30 sampler at the ZIP‑A‑Dee‑Doo‑Dah! page. This page explains a powerful and inexpensive way to share ZIP Disks, Hard Drives and MicroSD cards. Don't let the technical stuff get in your way. Most of the processes use easy point and click utilities for Windows users. The advanced Terminal window commands are reserved for the Mac and LINUX crowd ;^)

               S50/S550 DOWNLOAD ZIP-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Library Archive Tutorial

  • A very large supply of unlimited 80MB sample disks is possible. Each individual ZIP disk will store the equivalent of 64 3.5" floppy disks (80MB) so this method makes archiving samples convenient. It's also easy to swap out ZIP disks to load large banks of different samples. Unlike a fixed hard drive, popping 80MB disks in and out is very easy

  • The ZIP drive loads disk image files twice as fast as a 3.5" disk drive or a USB/FDE

  • You are able to easily view up to 64 disk image files on one screen using MODE > DISK > SUB > HD Area I or II. Using a USB stick with a USB/FDE does not offer this convenience

  • You are able to easily view, load, mix and match individual Patches or Tones within Wave Bank A or Wave Bank B. This offers a huge advantage over using a USB/FDE or a 3.5" disk drive because it allows you to create custom Wave Banks using up to 64 different disk image files to choose from on one screen. Using a USB/FDE or a 3.5" disk drive to load individual Patches or Tones is only usable within one disk image file, the one which is currently loaded

S50/S550 ZIP PATCH            S50/S550 ZIP PATCH
(click for larger image)

  • My ZIP drive would not stay online for more than 15 minutes at a time when connected to an S‑550. I had to constantly refresh the SCSI connection using MODE > DISK > Setup > COM > HD Restart. Using a DB25 SCSI Active Terminator solved this problem with the S‑550 and eliminated the need to constantly refresh the SCSI connection. However, the extra $10 (USD) expense for this terminator was kind of a bummer. When using the same ZIP drive with a W‑30, I did not experience any such problem and the Active Terminator wasn't needed

  • After adding up the costs to use everything (ZIP Drive, ZIP Disks, Terminator, HD5‑IF SCSI Card), I feel that purchasing a USB/FDE is a better bargain in the long run and is just as easy to use without the hassle of having an extra external device, extra cables and the HD5‑IF SCSI Card

  • New samples only saved onto ZIP disks make it difficult to transfer to a computer hard drive for archiving or to send them to other people

  • Old technology. As time marches on and the hardware ages, some ZIP drive owners have experienced the dreaded Click Of Death which results in permanent loss of the ZIP drive and sometimes the ZIP disk currently installed in the drive. As with any media, it is critical to backup any important samples onto more than one medium

SCSI Hard Drive


As mentioned above, it's possible to connect a maximum of 4 external SCSI devices at a time to the S‑550 (w/optional HD5‑IF SCSI Card) or W‑30 (w/optional SCSI IC chip). Connecting a SCSI hard drive is a little tricky because only a few models will work. The HD5‑IF owner's manual states that there are only five hard drive models from 20MB to 80MB which can be used. However, there are some exceptions to that rule. I successfully connected a 160MB hard drive and it works just fine with my S‑550 and W‑30. There are other drives larger than 80MB which will also work, most of which are compatible with Apple hardware. The website at Neil's Webbly World has a list of compatible SCSI hard drives, some as large as 9GB! It's impossible to use all the available space on a 9GB drive because the maximum size recognized by the S‑550 and W‑30 O/S is 80MB. I think using a hard drive this size is significant to note because in the past, connecting an 80MB drive usually meant it was a hard drive already 25+ years old. Having the option of using a "newer" hard drive only 5+ years old sounds more promising for longevity

The model I connected has a label on top which reads 'Quantum ProDrive ELS'. The actual model number and the size of the hard drive is somewhat hidden and you can't tell just from looking at the top label. The model number is hidden on the bottom label attached to the 50‑pin SCSI connector and reads '170S' which indicates this is a 160MB SCSI drive*. There are three jumpers on the PCB labeled A0, A1, A2 which are used to set the SCSI ID Select#. You will need to set this to something other than the default '#6' if you have any other device using SCSI ID #6. Detailed info about the jumper settings for the 170S is here. A large list of jumper settings for other makes and models is here

* It's important to note that there are several Quantum ProDrive ELS hard drives with the exact same label on top. Not all of them are SCSI and they all have different storage capacities. The only way to ensure the hard drive will work with an S‑550 or W‑30 is by checking the model number shown on the bottom of the 50‑pin SCSI connector (click on the third image below)

To get the S‑550 to recognize this hard drive, I had to boot from the HD5‑IF Ver. 1.03 Utility Boot Floppy Disk. To get the W‑30 to recognize this hard drive, I had to boot from the W‑30 Hard Drive And CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.07. For the S‑550, formatting the hard drive was easy by using the drop down menus MODE > DISK > MENU > Setup > COM. Next, click on HD Format. After the format process begins, the messages in order were; HD Formatting ** ‑ HD Initializing ‑ HD Saving System ‑ Working ‑ Complete. The process took only four minutes from beginning to end. Even though the size of this Quantum drive is 160MB, the S‑550 and W‑30 would format it to use only 80MB. This is a limitation of the S‑550 and W‑30 operating system. The hard drive storage area allows up to 64 slots per SCSI hard drive or ZIP drive (64 3.5" floppy disks). The maximum number of slots you can fill at one time using four SCSI storage devices would be 256 which is approximately 185MB (256 3.5" floppy disks). On a scale of 1 to 10 by today's storage capabilities, that's about a 1 Smiley

VERY IMPORTANT: If you want the S‑550 or W‑30 to boot from the new hard drive and not from the floppy, see this link

(Note: 50‑pin SCSI connector, not 40‑pin IDE)
It's convenient to have that many storage slots available but realistically, the extra cables, cases, noise, heat, cost and effort of adding four SCSI devices seems pointless. In my opinion, just using one hard drive or one ZIP drive with the S‑550 or W‑30 is the best option. It enables you to view, load, mix and match individual Patches or Tones within Wave Banks, something a 3.5" floppy drive or USB/FDE is unable to do. While performing some functions within the Hard Drive menus, I'm reminded of the slow and outdated 1980's technology. Using 'HD Copy' on the W‑30 took 1 hour 10 minutes to complete. Yeow!

On my system, the SCSI ZIP drive is not recognized unless I boot from the CD‑5 System Boot Disk Ver. 1.00 (For unknown reasons, the current CD‑5 System Boot Disk Ver. 1.02 and the HD5‑IF System Boot Disk Ver. 1.03 will not work with my ZIP drive. If you have a similar setup, the only way to boot your system and have both SCSI hard drive and SCSI ZIP drive recognized at the same time may require booting from the CD‑5 System Boot Disk Ver. 1.00. One of the rare instances where an O/S upgrade is actually a downgrade
(click for larger image and SIP info)

A Note About On‑Board SCSI Hard Drive Terminating Resistors
At the factory, Quantum installs two, sometimes three resistor networks in sockets on the PCB to terminate the SCSI bus. Only the first device (usually the host) and the last device on a SCSI bus should contain terminating resistors. When installing the Quantum ProDrive ELS in any other position on the SCSI bus, remove the terminating resistors. On my hard drive (Quantum ProDrive ELS / Model 170S), the terminating resistors are located near the 50‑pin SCSI connector. These are labeled on the PCB as RP41 and RP42. They are light green in color, have 10 pins, are 2mm x 25mm, socketed and labeled "E111G 213". I had no need to remove these since the hard drive is the only device in my SCSI chain. If you are experiencing problems, you may need to remove these if the hard drive is somewhere in the middle of the SCSI chain. If you plan to buy one of these used Quantum disk drives on eBay, you may want to verify with the seller that the terminating resistors have not been removed after years of use. If needed, you can find replacements for sale online. Do a search for "Bussed Circuit SIP‑10"

SCSI Device ID#
Just like external CD‑ROM's and ZIP Drives for the S‑550 and W‑30, SCSI Device ID #7 is reserved as the main hardware ID# for the sampler so only use SCSI Device ID #0 through #6 when setting up a Hard Drive

  • You are able to boot the S‑550 and W‑30 from the hard drive. Using an ancient 80GB hard drive with the W‑30, I was able to boot the system in only 26 seconds. The hard drive loads and saves a disk image file twice as fast as compared to a 3.5" floppy disk drive or a USB/FDE

  • You are able to easily view up to 64 disk image files on one screen using MODE > DISK > SUB > HD Area I or II. Using a USB stick with a USB/FDE does not offer this convenience

  • You are able to easily view, load, mix and match individual Patches or Tones within Wave Bank A or Wave Bank B. This offers a huge advantage over using a USB/FDE or a 3.5" disk drive because it allows you to create custom Wave Banks using up to 64 different disk image files to choose from on one screen. Using a USB/FDE or a 3.5" disk drive to load individual Patches or Tones is only usable within one disk image file, the one which is currently loaded

S50/S550 ZIP PATCH            S50/S550 ZIP PATCH
(click for larger image)

  • After adding up the costs to use everything (Hard Drive, External Case, Terminator, HD5‑IF SCSI Card), I feel that purchasing a USB/FDE is a better bargain in the long run and is just as easy to use without the hassle of having an extra external device, extra cables and the HD5‑IF SCSI Card

  • New samples only saved to the hard drive makes it difficult to transfer them onto a computer hard drive for archiving or to send them to other people

  • Adding a small capacity 20MB hard drive onto the system hardly seems worth the effort since it will only store the equivalent of sixteen 3.5" floppy diskettes

(80‑Pin SCA to 50/68‑Pin Adapter)

UltraSCSI Hard Drive DIY For The S‑550 / W‑30

The S‑550 and W‑30 normally use external 50‑Pin SCSI hard drives. It's possible to connect newer 80‑Pin UltraSCSI hard drives using an inexpensive 80‑pin to 50‑pin Single Connector Attachment SCSI Adapter Board (SCA). UltraSCSI SCA hard drives use one cable to supply all of the power and data. This adapter board separates the power from the data and lets you use an old‑style SCSI 50‑pin connector. UltraSCSI SCA adapter boards can be found on eBay and elsewhere for less than $5 (USD). The big advantage this offers is that you can use newer hard drives to replace your old 25+ year‑old dinosaurs which are slowly failing. Although you won't benefit from faster speeds or larger capacities, they do offer a less noisy environment and are more reliable. Compared to the older 50‑pin Quantum hard drives on eBay, these newer 80‑pin UltraSCSI hard drives are far less expensive. I bought an 18GB UltraSCSI hard drive for only $5 (USD) w/warranty. The last 50‑pin Quantum hard drive I bought was over $45 (USD) and it sounds like a broken blender. Setup is very easy and you can use your existing SCSI hard drive case. If you don't have an external SCSI hard drive case, old LaCie SCSI CDROM's are a good eBay purchase. Just pull‑out the CDROM mechanism, pop in the hard drive with the SCA Adapter Board and you're ready

Not every UltraSCSI SCA hard drive will work. The S‑550 and W‑30 are still expecting to see a hard drive with the correct cylinder configuration. The hard drives I tested and verified were 18GB Quantum Atlas V, Model 37URC (Dell P/N: JP‑037URC) and 18GB Quantum Atlas 10K, Model 323U (Dell P/N: 0001323U). I'm not positive, but I'm guessing that just about any 9GB, 18GB, 36GB or 72GB Quantum UltraSCSI SCA hard drive with an SE jumper will work fine. Keep in mind that a smaller GB size will be faster to Format / Clone / Restore if you're planning on performing those tasks often

Complete DIY instructions for the UltraSCSI in this document

               S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD S‑550/W‑30 UltraSCSI DIY  (PDF)

  • Very cost effective and easy to replace an existing hard drive or add as a new one. I pulled the old 80MB Quantum hard drive out of my external SCSI case and popped in the new UltraSCSI hard drive and adapter board without any hassles

  • Newer hardware. My UltraSCSI hard drive was manufactured sometime between 2001 and 2003 and will most likely last longer than my old 80MB Quantum

  • Super quiet!


  • If you plan to backup/restore this newer hard drive using the "dd" utility or any other method, the UltraSCSI SCA's are large capacity drives and will take a much longer time to backup/restore. The "dd" utility does a bit‑by‑bit copy and copies everything, not just the first 80MB of data

  • To date, I've been unable to figure out how to get an UltraSCSI drive to boot the O/S. Starting up a sampler still requires booting the O/S from the FDD or USB/FDE

  • If replacing an older 80MB hard drive, the only "quick" way to get your existing data over to the new drive would be using the sampler menu selection "HD Copy", the "dd" utility, or the Windows freeware utility HDD‑Raw‑Copy‑Tool. To perform any of these tasks, you will need an additional hard drive or a ZIP drive connected at the same time

SCSI2SD Device With MicroSD Cards
(Very compact at only 100mm x 50mm; 4' x 2')

SCSI2SD ‑ I Really Like This Gadget! WOW!!!

Note: SCSI2SD Model: IM150402001 ‑ v5.0α with v4.6 firmware installed is the only model the following instructions and configurations have been verified and tested with for the S‑550, W‑30 and S‑760 samplers. It is unknown if anything discussed here will work with the S‑750, S‑770 or DJ‑70MKII samplers or any SCSI2SD Model other than v5.0α with v4.6 firmware

This ultra‑cool SCSI device will emulate up to four 80MB virtual hard drives on the S‑550 or W‑30. It will emulate up to four 600MB virtual hard drives on the S‑760. If you have a Mac, it can also emulate up to four 600MB virtual CD-ROM drives (click here for more info re: virtual CD‑ROM setups). When configured correctly, it is also possible to boot the S‑550 or W‑30 from the last 80MB virtual hard drive configured on the SCSI2SD chain. Same with the S‑760. Very convenient!!! Using a DB25‑F to 50‑pin adapter and a DB25‑M to DB25‑M SCSI cable, it plugs into the DB25‑F SCSI connector on the HD5‑IF card (S‑550), the DB25‑F SCSI connector of a W‑30 (KW‑30 IC Upgrade), an already connected hard drive (DB25‑M to 50‑pin SCSI cable), an already connected ZIP drive (DB25‑M to DB25‑M SCSI cable) or the built‑in DB25‑F SCSI connector on the S‑760

Configuration is very easy and it only takes a couple of minutes to setup. The only real "time burner" is having to format the four hard drive areas. The format process is still quite slow due to limitations of the ancient O/S on the sampler. For the S‑550 and W‑30, this device uses up to four separate SCSI ID device numbers for the virtual 80MB hard drives and you can choose any four SCSI ID's between #0 and #6. It has a slot for a MicroSD card which it uses for storage (I recommend using a 4GB MicroSD card [or larger] which will make archiving and duplicating your MicroSD card possible). A USB Micro-B to USB-A Cable is used to connect the SCSI2SD device to a computer for configuration and/or updating the firmware. It is important to use a quality brand USB cable. Some inexpensive USB cables do not use enough wires and they will not work properly. See the section below titled "Troubleshooting Power & Cable Issues - Item #3"

As of March 2022, the SCSI2SD is $70. You will also need a power supply, DB25‑F to 50‑pin to adapter, a 4GB MicroSD card (or larger), USB Micro-B to USB-A Cable, DB25‑M to DB25‑M SCSI cable and an enclosure (recommended). My total investment was $105 which is a little pricey. However, this device now gives me the equivalent of four 80MB hard drives with no mechanical parts to fail and a minimal amount of external cases, cables and no more NOISE! The cost savings and convenience is substantial compared to buying old SCSI hard drives

The basic steps for configuring a SCSI2SD for use with an S‑550, W‑30 or S‑760 are
  • Ensure your S‑550 or W‑30 already has a SCSI Interface installed (S‑550 = The HD5‑IF card and the W‑30 = The KW‑30 IC Upgrade)
    • When using the SCSI2SD (or any SCSI Device) with the S‑550, I only use the CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00 disk because it's the only one which allows my setup to use more than one SCSI hard drive at a time. For unknown reasons, the HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility v1.03 and CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.02 disks won't enable my setup to use multiple SCSI devices
  • Buy an S‑550, W‑30 or S‑760 compatible SCSI2SD board from ITEAD
  • Also needed are;
    • DB25‑F to 50-pin Converter Adapter (Model: IM150709001)
    • DB25-M to DB25-M SCSI Cable
    • 4GB (or larger) MicroSD Card
    • USB Micro-B to USB-A Cable (See Troubleshooting Power And Cable Issues)
    • An enclosure to protect the static sensitive components on the SCSI2SD (optional)
    • External +5V DC power supply (500mA max). The SCSI2SD has a female Molex connector on it's PCB (The same power connector found on most SCSI hard drives). Interestingly, the Molex power connector on the SCSI2SD does not use the +12V pin. In fact, it's not even connected to any trace on the board so you can get away with using an inexpensive +5V DC power supply. I modified mine to use the more common two‑conductor barrel power connector. The power specs can be found here

      F1 SMD fuse on the v5.0α SCSI2SD board

      • Note: Documentation for various SCSI2SD boards state that you might be able to power it using the SCSI ribbon cable inside the sampler. This is NOT the case with the S‑550 and W‑30. There's not enough current on the internal SCSI ribbon cable to do that. You will absolutely need to use a +5VDC external power supply. Some people have taken separate wires and connected them to various spots on the S‑550 or W‑30 Main PCB to grab +5VDC and Ground. I don't recommend this because the Roland engineers designed these samplers to work at a specific power level. The extra HD5‑IF SCSI card inside the S‑550 is already drawing additional power. This mod may work but I prefer to leave the factory power specs alone and use an external power supply. For mine, I use a regular "Wall Wart" +5VDC power supply that's rated at exactly 500mA. The small, compact type of +5VDC USB power supply used to charge cellphones, iPods and iPads will work by using a modified USB cable but, I recommend finding one that's rated at exactly 500mA. I've seen some of the cheap ones go as high as 4A which might spell disaster. Whereas S‑550 and W‑30 samplers DO require an external power supply for the SCSI2SD, the Roland S‑760 Roland sampler DOES NOT. Simply plugging the SCSI2SD into the 25‑pin SCSI port of the S‑760 will supply enough power to make the SCSI2SD work without using an external power supply. From the S‑760 Owner's Manual: "The S‑760 provides for the supply of power to its internal terminator. Additionally, it sends out power on the SCSI bus (for use by external SCSI devices). Therefore, no additional settings need be made to any of the SCSI devices in the SCSI chain."

  • Download the Firmware Update Utility Configuration Tool* from the Files section at SCSI2SD ‑ code/src wiki
    • There are different versions of software for different SCSI2SD boards
      • The version I tested with my SCSI2SD Model: IM150402001 v5.0α was v4.6

           *Download all the files in the firmware and bootloader directories plus the files needed for a Mac, PC or Linux computer

      *Note: Some users have sent me eMails saying their new v4.8 firmware upgrades have caused some issues with their samplers
                Roland W‑30:
      Unable to load and save Song/Sequencer data. An "ILLEGAL REQUEST" error message appears
                Ensoniq TS‑10:
      Numerous SCSI errors displayed

      I have tested v4.6 extensively and so far... have not found any bugs. I have not yet tested v4.7 or v4.7.1 and will remain on v4.6 since it is stable and is working fine for my needs

    The following configuration screens are from setting up a SCSI2SD for the S‑550 or a W‑30 using a Mac but they should look similar on a PC or Linux system. For S‑760 configuration setups, see the section below titled UPDATE: April 2018
  • Connect the SCSI2SD to the computer with a micro USB cable, run the scsi2sd‑util program and update the firmware
    Otherwise, you won't be able to save the configuration back to the SCSI2SD and the sampler will not see it on the SCSI chain

    Note: If you are running the scsi2sd‑util app on a Mac and you receive one or both of these error messages when trying to update the firmware;

        1) "scsi2sd-util" is damaged and can't be opened. You should eject the disk image
             You will need to temporarily change the Mac System Preferences settings in Security & Privacy to "Allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere"

        2) Unable to open "scsi2sd-util"
            Try right‑clicking on the app icon and opening it instead of double‑clicking on the app icon to open it directly


  • Set the Startup Delay to 1, SCSI Selection Delay to 255 and turn on Enable Parity and Enable Unit Attention
         (Note: Enable Unit Attention is optional but highly recommended if you will be performing 'Hot Swaps' with microSD cards)


  • Configure up to four SCSI devices and set them up exactly the same
    Select a Device tab 1, 2, 3 or 4
    Place a checkmark to Enable SCSI Target
    SCSI ID = 0 to 6 (ensure this number does not collide with another SCSI device in the chain)
    Device Type = Hard Drive
    SD card start sector = Auto (the SD card start sector value is adjusted after placing a checkmark at Auto)
    Sector size (bytes) = 512
    Sector count (the Sector Count is adjusted automatically after entering 512)
    Device size = 80MB
    The remaining parameters are arbitrary (Vendor ‑ Product ID ‑ Revision ‑ Serial Number)
    Note: In the examples shown, the reason I chose 1, 2, 3 and 4 is because I have a CD‑ROM at SCSI ID#0 in my SCSI chain


  • Save the configuration to the SCSI2SD


  • Eject the SCSI2SD device from the Desktop then physically disconnect the SCSI2SD from the USB port on the computer and exit the scsi2sd‑util program. If you are running this on a Mac, you will need to "eject" the scsi2sd‑util program. Wait 30 seconds and reconnect the SCSI2SD to the USB port on the computer. Run the scsi2sd‑util program and click on the Load from device button. This will verify that your configuration changes were saved to the SCSI2SD flash memory


  • If everything looks good, with the sampler powered OFF and all other devices in the SCSI chain powered OFF, plug the SCSI2SD into the DB‑25 SCSI port on the sampler. Insert a microSD card into the SCSI2SD. Connect the power supply to the SCSI2SD and power on the sampler. You should now be able to format the four 80MB virtual "hard drives" on the MicroSD card (or however many devices you configured). If you run into any trouble, check the SCSI2SD User Manual

Troubleshooting Power, Cable And Booting Issues

  • 1) The dreaded "Searching for SCSI2SD device \" error. The most annoying problem I have found with getting everything to work correctly was finding a compatible USB Micro‑B cable. I have six USB Micro‑B cables and only half actually work because most of these do not have enough wires connected. Most of the inexpensive USB cables are manufactured by leaving out some of the copper wires to save production costs. To make matters worse, when you plug in a cheap USB Micro‑B cable, the yellow LED power light on on the SCSI2SD board lights up to give you the impression that all is well. Most inexpensive cables will supply power but are unable to transfer data because important data wires are missing. I have found that higher quality USB Micro‑B cables do the trick (i.e. cables for the Amazon Echo, FLIR Thermal Camera and Fire Tablet work just fine). Monoprice has a huge selection of USB cables at excellent prices. I have corrected any future issues in my music studio by taking a pair of wire cutters, cutting the cheap cables in half and throwing them in the trashcan  Smiley

    2) When using SCSI2SD with the S‑550 or W‑30, a microSD card must be plugged in into the SCSI2SD device before powering on the sampler. Otherwise, the W‑30 will not boot and the SCSI2SD device will lock‑up showing only a solid LED

    3) Some S‑760 owners have reported issues when trying to supply power to a SCSI2SD device using the internal SCSI cable on the sampler. This usually happens as a result from a previous owner plugging a bad device or bad terminator into the SCSI chain and it blew the fuse on the S‑760 Main PCB at location F1. Checkout the S‑760 fuse section at this link about location, testing and replacing this on 117V systems only. There are two fuses inside the S‑760 labeled F1 so don't get these confused with each other

    4) Some S‑760 owners have also reported that when using a v5.5 SCSI2SD board, the LED will remain on solid and the sampler freezes/locks up. The only solution is to supply +5V DC / 500mA using the USB port

    5) Some SCSI2SD users have reported errors after connecting the wrong sized power supply to their SCSI2SD device. Something to check would be the SMD Fuse at the upper left silkscreened as "F1" and the nearby Diode silkscreened as "D2". Sometimes these will blow if a higher voltage or excess current is applied at the power source. Check for continuity and replace one or both of these as needed. I'm not sure what the replacement P/N would be for F1. I have eMailed the SCSI2SD manufacturer but they will not release any info about part numbers. For what it's worth, I did find a SCSI2SD schematic online but I don't know if this is for a v5.0α SCSI2SD board. Fuse F1 is shown as 1.5A Hold (Resettable Fuse) and D2 is shown as a Shottkey diode. The part number silkscreened on my D2 is B340LB and is available at Mouser here

Important Things To Note
  • When booting the sampler from the SCSI2SD, the O/S contained on the last SCSI device will be used... the device with the highest SCSI ID#. For more info about booting an S‑550 or W‑30 from a SCSI device, see this info

  • The model I tested was P/N: IM150402001 - v5.0α. It's unknown if any other model will work with the S‑550 and W‑30. Other vendors are selling versions which have the PCB modified so you can't update the firmware, some versions will only work with 8GB SD cards and some are selling for $130 over what the normal price should be. I'd recommend only purchasing from ITEAD. It's free shipping to the USA and some other locations. If not free, it's usually under $5 for Registered Airmail
    (Click For Larger Image)

  • It is highly recommended to place the SCSI2SD board inside of a protective case to keep it static‑free and safe from any ESD mishaps. The perfect size is a 1590BB diecast aluminum guitar pedal enclosure. Originally designed by Hammond, high quality generic 1590BB enclosures can be found at Tayda anywhere from $5.99 (USD) to $8.99 (USD) depending on color styles. There are some very wild Day-Glo Orange and Fluorescent Green colors along with boring brushed aluminum models to choose from. The drawback to using a 1590BB enclosure is that they are very difficult to create openings for mini-USB cable, power connector, SCSI cable and microSD card access. The aluminum walls are very thick. A hacksaw and drill press are required. See a large selection of inexpensive 1590BB enclosures here

  • All testing and configuration was performed using these O/S disks
    • System for FD/HD/CD Ver.1.07 (W‑30)
    • CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00 (S‑550)
      • For my setups, the S‑550 HD5‑IF Hard Disk Utility Disk v1.00 through v1.03 and CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.02 would not recognize more than one SCSI device at a time. If you have more than one SCSI device connected to the S‑550, I recommend using only the CD‑5 CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.00 to boot your sampler, format the hard drive, configure, and save the Hard Drive and FDD system disk configurations

  • The fastest way to populate a MicroSD card with sample disks or to archive all of your samples on an existing MicroSD card is by using the "dd" command line utility. To populate a MicroSD card, the "dd" utility will do a bit‑by‑bit copy of 80MB worth of sample data onto a SCSI device in a matter of minutes. Using the built‑in FORMAT and COPY commands within the S‑550 or W‑30 menus to populate a MicroSD card with 64 floppy disks could take hours and hours and HOURS to complete. The way to accomplish this is by using ZIP or disk image files. There is a selection of 80MB ZIP and disk image files you can use at this link

  • After plugging the SCSI2SD board into the S‑550 or W‑30, It takes a while to format the MicroSD virtual hard drive partitions so have patience. After choosing the Virtual Hard Drive ID# (0 through 6) and choosing FORMAT, it takes about 7 minutes for each virtual partition. The process order for virtual partitioning using the W‑30 operating system displays on the LCD as:
    "Initialize." (Counts Down Twice From 64 To 0 ‑ Once Fast And Once Slow)
    "Saving System." (Counts Down Once Very Slow From 70 To 0)
    "W‑30 Factory Patch/Tone Copyright Roland" (Counts Down Once From 30 To 0 ‑ Saves The Start‑Up Configuration Onto The Current Partition)

? SPINNER Planning to connect additional ZIP Drives or Hard Drives? Example Setups Here

  • No mechanical parts to fail as with a Hard Drive, CD-ROM or ZIP drive system

  • Sample data from a new virtual Hard Drive or CD-ROM will load at the maximum allowable speed of the sampler. Compared to a slower external 1x speed CD-ROM or ancient Quantum Hard Drive, the load speed is a huge improvement

  • Easy to manage storage and super simple to copy and/or archive. Just pop the MicroSD card into a card reader and archive the contents using the "dd" utility or freeware. There are billions of 99¢ MicroSD to USB adapters on eBay which work very well for this purpose

  • When setting up four virtual 80MB hard drives, the large capacity enables the equivalent of storing 435 3.5" floppy disks on one MicroSD card. The MicroSD cards can be removed and replaced easily for unlimited storage. Plus, MicroSD cards are very inexpensive

  • Likewise, when setting up four virtual 600MB CD-ROM drives, the large capacity enables the equivalent of storing 3,800 3.5" floppy disks on one MicroSD card

  • Can be configured to "hot‑swap" MicroSD cards with the SCSI2SD while the sampler is powered on. Try that with a regular SCSI hard drive! On second thought... don't try that because something will probably fry  Smiley

  • No more freakin' "broken blender NOISE" from those ancient Quantum hard drives!

  • Moderately expensive @ $70 + $35 for extra parts (power supply, 25‑pin SCSI adapter, enclosure, MicroSD card, cables, etc...)

  • The operating system built into the S‑550 is somewhat crippled because the only external CD‑ROM it will work with is the Roland CD‑5 which is no longer available. Unfortunately, this means the SCSI2SD is unable to load any CD‑ROM image files on the S‑550. Likewise, the W‑30 is unable to load any CD‑ROM image files via the SCSI2SD (Although the W‑30 will work with a few third party external CD‑ROM's). The means the S‑550 and W‑30 are only able to use up to four 80MB hard drives. Luckily, this is not an issue with the S‑750, S‑760 or S‑770

UPDATE: April 2018
? SPINNER Are you using a v5.0α SCSI2SD board with an S‑550, W‑30, or S‑760? Ray Bellis has designed some very useful configuration scripts for Mac OS X and LINUX which will multi‑partition a MicroSD card into four sections. This enables you to access up to four virtual CD‑ROM's as *.ISO files (or four virtual Hard Drives) on one MicroSD card. If you are using it with an S‑550 or W‑30, a variation of these same scripts will enable partitioning for use with four virtual 80MB hard drives. Both of these configurations are useful if you plan to clone or copy large *.IMG files onto a MicroSD card. This method effectively eliminates the lengthy process of having to format four partitions separately for hours and hours using the snail‑like response of the ancient sampler O/S ‑ More Info Here

When the metal plate labeled "OPTION" is removed from
the back, underneath is a DB‑25 Female SCSI connector
This SCSI connector is installed on all factory stock W‑30's


You can check to see if your W‑30 already has this optional SCSI IC installed without opening up the case. There are two ways to do this
(Before continuing, you will need a copy of the W‑30 v1.07 Boot Disk for CD/HD)
  • 1) While booting, immediately after the * Welcome * to the world of the Roland W‑30 message, for a brief two seconds will appear "SCSI Interface Not Ready" if the optional SCSI IC is not installed


  • 2) If you missed the brief message above on the LCD, after the system has booted
    • Press SOUND button
    • Use VALUE knob to select 8 (SCSI Check)
    • Press ENTER button
    • Press F1 button (SCSI Check)
    • At the top of the screen will appear "I/F Check"
    • If it says "OK" then a SCSI IC is installed
    • If it says "NG" then the SCSI IC is not installed -or- there is a problem with the SCSI circuit
I'm still undecided if the Roland KW‑30 Upgrade Kit was a great 'forward looking design' or a 'total rip‑off'. In one respect, it's a very good design because there are several W‑30 owners who will never connect a SCSI device to it. This saved Roland and those W‑30 owners some money by not installing the Fujitsu MB89352AP SCSI IC chip in every sampler. On the other hand, Roland originally sold the KW‑30 Upgrade Kit for the overinflated price of $199. Vendors on eBay still sell their own copy of the KW‑30 Upgrade Kit for $60. The only thing inside the box is an IC, a disk and a Xerox page.

Arm yourself with info and here's a $55 discount for ya... You can buy the same Fujitsu SCSI IC chip for only $5 (USD) then download the disk and instructions for free. Vendors on eBay are charging an extra $55 to send you the items in a box. The instructions are basically;
  • Open Case
  • Install SCSI IC Chip
  • Close Case
Super Easy! This was the most feature packed & cost effective upgrade I've ever made to one of my synths or samplers. The payoff was VERY beneficial. I found an inexpensive AppleCD 150 external CD‑ROM on eBay and was finally able to get all the samples off the Roland L‑CD1 CD‑ROM. There's 165 floppy disks on that puppy!

I found six eBay vendors selling the Fujitsu IC chip and one of the least expensive had a 2 for 1 special price of only $9 (USD). There were several available as of October 2019

* FYI: when plugging in the Fujitsu MB89352AP IC chip, take note that the machine tooled IC socket installed by Roland is absolutely horrible. It takes an unusually large amount of force to seat the chip correctly. I had to apply so much pressure that I ended up removing the main PCB so I could support the back section. I was worried about cracking the PCB. It was that difficult!!! It's very hard to see because of the tight quarters, but ensure that all the pins are seated securely. Initially, when I installed the IC in my W‑30, the IC chip kept popping out until I reseated it firmly and the pins were all the way down into the sockets

Here's the info you need to get your W‑30 working with SCSI devices;
  • Buy one Fujitsu MB89352AP 48‑pin SCSI IC chip
    • eBay vendors I have used before are jk_parts and xiaobao_semi (Both have very _F_A_S_T overseas shipping to the USA)
  • Download the W‑30 Service Notes v05‑89 (Detailed installation and operation instructions start on Page 16)
  • Download the W‑30 Hard Drive And CD‑ROM Utility Disk v1.07HD (You will need this to boot the W‑30 into SCSI mode)
  • Download the W‑30 For FD, HD, CD Owner's Manual v04-89
    • Updated+Expanded Edition. Hi‑res 300DPI scanned pages → PDF file
  • There's already a empty "machine tooled" IC socket installed on the Main PCB. Simply plug in the Fujitsu IC chip. Done!*
    • Oh yeah... someone sent me an eMail to say he bought a W‑30 on eBay and the Fujitsu chip was already installed. Bonus!

And... if you think I'm exaggerating about what I consider to be price gouging by Roland, take a look at page 16 under KW‑30 Manual for Service and you will see this notice which makes you think that Roland did not want any W‑30 owners to see how easy the upgrade is;

Good Morning Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to........

The Elusive External SCSI CD‑ROM


I am always updating my S‑550 / W‑30 CD‑ROM Compatibility Matrix. If you have a working CD‑ROM not featured on this list... please send me an eMail and let me know the external model P/N and the internal mechanism P/N you are using so others may benefit during their search for these old SCSI dinosaurs

W‑30 External CD‑ROM
I was finally able to connect an external CD‑ROM to my W‑30 which actually works. It's an AppleCD 150 with a Sony CDU‑541‑25 internal mechanism + caddy. Another mechanism which also works with the W‑30 is the Plextor PX‑43CS. None of these models will play audio CD's from the sampler menu like the Roland CD‑5 model does but... I can live with that. I had no idea how cool it is to have CD‑ROM access on my sampler. The W‑30 menu for calling up sounds is a dream compared to using floppies or a USB/FDE. I'm finally able to access all of those S‑50 / S‑550 / S‑330 / W‑30 sample disks on the Roland L‑CD1 CD. 165 Floppies worth. Whew! It's been a long wait!!! Rutger Verberkmoes has posted the Roland L‑CD1 CD as a disk image file you can download and burn to CD. The instructions at that webpage are somewhat confusing so I have created an easy 10‑step "L‑CD1 Extract & Burn Guide". The instructions are geared towards Mac users but the app used in the guide also works with a Windows PC. A list of all the floppies on the Roland L‑CD1 CD is here

If you're really feeling adventurous, you can download and burn W‑30 Collection CD #1 and W‑30 Collection CD #2 available at this page.
I've also included some notes about the process I used to create these custom W‑30 CD‑ROM's

SCSI Device ID#
Just like external Hard Drives and ZIP Drives for the S‑550 and W‑30, SCSI DEVICE ID#7 is reserved as the main hardware ID# for the sampler so only use SCSI DEVICE ID #0 through #6 when setting up a CD‑ROM. The factory default for the S‑760 is SCSI ID#7. This can be changed by the user if needed. I prefer to keep this set to SCSI ID#7 to avoid confusion. When booting the S‑760, the SCSI ID# for the sampler will be shown on the LCD or CRT Monitor. If the "UNFORMATTED" error appears on all eight SCSI DEVICE ID#'s when trying to use the LOAD or CONVERT LOAD commands, this usually indicates there are two SCSI devices set to the same SCSI DEVICE ID#. Check and change the SCSI DEVICE ID# so that each SCSI device has a unique ID#. Also ensure that any SCSI DEVICE ID# does not collide with the main S‑760 SCSI DEVICE ID#. The default device number of the S‑760 is set at the factory but this may have changed depending on settings made by a previous owner. You can change the S‑760 SCSI DEVICE ID# easily when you are in Mouse+CRT mode using the following menu commands
      System  >  SCSI  >  S-760 Self SCSI ID  (ID#7 is the Factory Default)

      System  >  LD/SV SysPRM  >  SavePRM  (Responds briefly with "!!Complete")

S‑550 External CD‑ROM
I have completely given up hope in my search for a CD‑ROM to connect to my S‑550. The AppleCD 150 came sooooo very close to working. It's recognized by the O/S, ejects CD's and passes the SCSI test menus but when loading Patches or Tones it locks‑up the S‑550. Most of the info I've read on the Internet shows that the only CD‑ROM compatible with the S‑550 is the Roland CD‑5. Just from looking at the inside of a CD‑5, you can tell it's not a normal CD‑ROM. Off to the side of the mechanism is an additional SCSI board unlike regular Apple CD‑ROM's I have seen

AppleCD 150 Caddy Eject Malfunction
Some AppleCD 150 mechanisms will stop working because they continuously eject the caddy. Over time, defective capacitors on the logic PCB will start to leak. This is a very common problem with Sony CDU‑541 mechanisms and similar Sony mechanisms. AsteronTech has put together a detailed repair guide for replacing the nine defective capacitors. Note: The replacement guide at AsteronTech uses ceramic capacitors in place of electrolytic capacitors to reduce the chance of capacitors leaking in the future. I'm traditional and prefer to use components exactly as shown in schematics. I have compiled a list of mouser.com parts which are exact replacements here

External SCSI CD‑ROM's At Boot‑Time (S-760)
When using an external SCSI CD‑ROM with the S‑760, the start-up boot screen does not always display all of the connected SCSI devices

     C = CDROM               H = Hard Drive or ZIP Drive               * = No Device Connected

Ensuring that a CD‑ROM disc containing valid Roland or AKAI media is inserted into all connected CD‑ROM's prior to powering on the S‑760 will prevent this from happening. This is not a huge issue but it is quite annoying when troubleshooting because you are unable to tell if there are any SCSI device conflicts until you actually boot the sampler and try to load a CD‑ROM disc. As shown in the screenshot to the right, an external SCSI CD‑ROM is connected as Target #0 and Target #4. Both had a valid Roland or AKAI CD‑ROM disc in the caddy prior to powering on the S‑760. If no CD‑ROM disc is inserted, asterisks will fill all of the slots. Unfortunately, this also mimicks a SCSI ID conflict!!! Testing this same scenario with a SCSI2SD showed that it does not matter. If no microSD card is inserted, a "C" will appear regardless. I will assume this behavior also applies to the S‑750/S‑770/DJ‑70MKII.

SCSI Cables

DB25M to SCSI-1 (C50)
I wanted to add this info so that others will not experience wasted time troubleshooting SCSI connections due to using the wrong SCSI cable. I've found bogus cables on eBay and elsewhere which are advertised as DB25M to SCSI‑1 (C50). Some of those cable descriptions are misleading because they will not work with any hard drives, CD‑ROM's or SCSI2SD devices for Roland samplers. They are in fact a very uncommon cable used for older Macintosh interface cards and they use the wrong wiring. Unfortunately, the connectors on the end of those cables are identical to a valid DB25M to SCSI-1 (C50) cable. Can you tell which is which in the image below?


It is impossible to tell just by looking at the connectors but... both of these cables are different. The cable on the left is a valid DB25M to SCSI‑1 (C50) cable. The cable on the right is a Future Domain TCM‑830/845 SCSI‑1 (C50) cable and will not work with Roland samplers. Using the wrong cable will freeze the sampler during the SCSI test phase at boot‑time and in extreme cases will blow a fuse on the sampler and/or fry the SCSI device it's connected to

It's not a hard and fast rule but generally, valid DB25M to SCSI‑1 (C50) cables are short and 45cm to 90cm long and Future Domain TCM‑830/845 cables are 1 meter, or longer. The best thing to do when trying to find a Roland compatible SCSI cable at eBay or elsewhere is to check with the seller to ensure the wiring pinouts are valid. A valid DB25M to SCSI‑1 (C50) Roland SCSI compatible cable is usually advertised as an "Apple Mac SCSI Cable" and uses 38 wires. The incompatible cable uses only 25 wires

Here are the cable pinouts for the two cables which explains the vast differences because of Roland's DB25M SCSI wiring scheme


Roland DB25M ⟸⟹ SCSI-1 (C50)              TCM-830/845 DB25M ⟸⟹ SCSI-1 (C50)

   (REQ)  1 ⟸⟹ 49                                (GND)  1 ⟸⟹ 1
   (MSG)  2 ⟸⟹ 46                                (DB1)  2 ⟸⟹ 27
   (I/O)  3 ⟸⟹ 50                                (DB3)  3 ⟸⟹ 29
   (RST)  4 ⟸⟹ 45                                (DB5)  4 ⟸⟹ 31
   (ACK)  5 ⟸⟹ 44                                (DB7)  5 ⟸⟹ 33
   (BSY)  6 ⟸⟹ 43                                (GND)  6 ⟸⟹ 5
   (GND)  7 ⟸⟹ 16, 18, 19                        (SEL)  7 ⟸⟹ 47
   (DB0)  8 ⟸⟹ 26                                (GND)  8 ⟸⟹ 10
   (GND)  9 ⟸⟹ 20, 21, 22                    (TERMPWR)  9 ⟸⟹ 15
   (DB3) 10 ⟸⟹ 29                                (RST) 10 ⟸⟹ 45
   (DB5) 11 ⟸⟹ 31                                (C/D) 11 ⟸⟹ 48
   (DB6) 12 ⟸⟹ 32                                (I/O) 12 ⟸⟹ 50
   (DB7) 13 ⟸⟹ 33                                (GND) 13 ⟸⟹ 18
   (GND) 14 ⟸⟹ 1, 2, 3                           (DB0) 14 ⟸⟹ 26
   (C/D) 15 ⟸⟹ 48                                (DB2) 15 ⟸⟹ 28
   (GND) 16 ⟸⟹ 4, 5, 6                           (DB4) 16 ⟸⟹ 30
  (ATTN) 17 ⟸⟹ 41                                (DB6) 17 ⟸⟹ 32
   (GND) 18 ⟸⟹ 7, 8, 9, 11                    (PARITY) 18 ⟸⟹ 34 
   (SEL) 19 ⟸⟹ 47                                (GND) 19 ⟸⟹ 21
(PARITY) 20 ⟸⟹ 34                               (ATTN) 20 ⟸⟹ 41
   (DB1) 21 ⟸⟹ 27                                (MSG) 21 ⟸⟹ 46
   (DB2) 22 ⟸⟹ 28                                (ACK) 22 ⟸⟹ 44
   (DB4) 23 ⟸⟹ 30                                (BSY) 23 ⟸⟹ 43
   (GND) 24 ⟸⟹ 23, 24, 25                        (REQ) 24 ⟸⟹ 49
   (N/C) 25 ⟸⟹ 38                                (GND) 25 ⟸⟹ 25

SCSI-1 (C50) to SCSI-1 (C50)

This cable is easy to find on eBay and elsewhere. It is normally used to chain SCSI CD-ROM drives and SCSI Hard Drives together. There's nothing fancy about the wiring for this one. All the pins are straight through connections: 1 ⟸⟹ 1, 2 ⟸⟹ 2 ... ... 49 ⟸⟹ 49, 50 ⟸⟹ 50. It's optimal to use a very short cable for these when chaining Roland SCSI devices

SCSI-1 (C50) to DB25M Adapter

If you have some unused C50 Centronics cables laying around, Monoprice sells a useful adapter (Product #845) for only $4 which I use a lot. It converts one end of a C50 Centronics cable over to a DB25M. One of these adapters creates a nice C50 to DB25M cable for only $4. Two adapters creates a DB25M to DB25M and it's easy to change back to a regular C50 to C50 Centronics cable if needed. Compared to the price of a C50 to DB25M cable, this is a very inexpensive option

W‑30 Jog Wheel And Encoder Replacement

Several quality options for replacing your jog wheels and/or encoders

               W-30 ENCODERS W‑30 Jog Wheel & Encoder DIY


Real‑Time Filter Control For Your W‑30

A very cool, easy and inexpensive DIY using a minimal amount of parts. These same functions can be performed using the Roland EV‑5 or EV‑7 Expression Pedal

               W-30 VIDEO W‑30 Real‑Time Filter Control DIY Video
                    (This Links To A YouTube Video)

               W-30_Techno_Sounds.zip W‑30 Filter Control Sample Files   (W-30_Techno_Sounds.zip)
                   The creator of this very cool DIY sent me some custom W‑30 samples which really take advantage of the different filter controls


This foot pedal is a variable resistor for controlling different parameter functions on the W‑30. Depending on how the EV‑5 control jack is assigned, this pedal can modify Control Changes in real‑time. The W‑30 Control Change parameters which can be changed using an EV‑5 are 

#1 = Modulation       #2 = Breath Controller       #7 = Volume        #64 = Hold/Sustain

The video bleepbit posted above has info on his webpage which states, "...the trick is to set the EV‑5 to receive the Control 2 (Breath Controller) and the Breath Controller to the Aftertouch (to do it press Config 2 / F4 in the Performance Mode) and save your preferences to the System Disk (Save / F1): Now, you can manage the cut‑off in your sounds by the real‑time filter."

The EV5 retails for the outrageous price of $119 USD and the EV‑7 retails for even more at $279 USD. It is a very simple circuit and it is quite easy to make an equivalent tabletop hand controlled input device using a couple of inexpensive potentiometers, a 1/4" stereo plug, an enclosure and some 2‑conductor shielded cable

Instead of buying the 1/4" stereo plug and 2‑conductor shielded cable separately, I suggest that you buy an inexpensive, ready‑made cable on eBay and snip off one end. That way, you'll have a 1/4" plug already soldered onto a cable which will eliminate extra work on your part. I have found this to be the least expensive route. I was able to build one for under $11 ‑ and that includes the shipping charges! Granted, it's not a true foot controller but, it's still a useful real‑time input device for the W‑30 and other samplers/synths, as demonstrated in the video above by bleepbit

The EV‑7 and EV‑10 expression pedals are identical to the EV‑5 except they are housed in a metal case, not plastic. The EV‑10 had an extremely brief production run before it was replaced by the EV‑5. Recently, the EV‑7 seems to have been removed from the inventory of most online retailers


❖ Also works great with other samplers/synths including the Roland Alpha Juno‑1/2, HS‑10, JX‑10 and the MST Expressor Eurorack module
❖There is an optional add‑on polarity switch mod which enables EV‑5 compatibility with non‑Roland gear. Details for adding this optional switch into the circuit are here
❖The image shown on the right is a dual EV‑5 hand controller. This variation on the original design uses one 1/4" stereo output jack and one 3.5mm stereo output jack (hidden from view). Using output jacks instead of hard‑wiring the output cables was preferred since I already had several existing ready‑made cables. The knobs on top are the Main Controllers (VR1)

Adjusting the EV-5 Minimum Volume Knob


U-20 Homepage EV-5 Owner's Manual
   (Japanese and English)

EV-5 DIY Parts List (Hand Controller Version)
   Tayda P/N: A-1982 - 10K Ohm Linear Pot
   Tayda P/N: A-1983 - 50K Ohm Linear Pot
   Tayda P/N: A-5081 - 1/4' Stereo Plug
   Tayda P/N: A-5166 - 1590A Enclosure
   2 Conductor Shielded Cable (Shield = Ground)


Variation: DIY Dual hand controller with optional output jacks

S‑550 And W‑30 Firmware: EPROM's or OTP EPROM's?
OTP v2.00 EPROMS Soldered Onto The S‑550 Main Board
These OTP EPROM's are found on later production runs

It is unknown what the final firmware versions are for these two samplers but I suspect they are v2.02 (S‑550) and v1.03 (W‑30)

The S‑550 has a pair of EPROM's on the Main Board labeled IC#3 and IC#6 which contain the sampler firmware. Depending on the production year, these IC's are either EPROM's with Quartz windows or One‑Time Programmable EPROM's (OTP). The easiest way to tell is:
  • If they are in sockets and can be removed easily, they are EPROM's with Quartz windows (the label on top covers the Quartz window)

  • If they are soldered onto the Main Board and the silkscreen on top reads "Roland", they are OTP EPROM's
Quartz Window EPROMS (W‑30 & S‑550)
These S‑550 EPROM's are found on earlier production runs

On late production models, it will be extremely difficult to upgrade because they will be soldered onto the PCB. The part numbers shown on both of my OTP EPROM's are LH57F003 (v2.00) and other owners have reported LH57F007 (v2.01). This is a Roland manufactured version of the Sharp LH57128‑20 OTP EPROM. It can be read and backed‑up using an EPROM burner but obviously, it will be next to impossible to unsolder it safely from the Main Board without taking a chance on breaking fragile PCB traces. My advice would be to just keep things as they are if you have v2.00, v2.01 or v2.02. I have seen a few rare cases on late production models which have socketed Quartz window EPROM's containing v2.02 firmware

Note: Unlike the W‑30, the S‑550 does not use ODD or EVEN EPROM's. Both IC#3 and IC#6 contain identical firmware code so you only need to backup one of the EPROM's and burn two of the same EPROM's when duplicating. Binary files for creating your own S‑550 EPROM's may be downloaded for free at the Synth & Sampler Binaries Webpage

To check the current firmware version of your S‑550 EPROM's, a monitor needs to be connected to the RGB port of the sampler
  • Power on the S‑550 while holding down the  [ 1 ]  button on the DATA ENTRY KEYPAD
  • Continue to hold down the  [ 1 ]  button until "Please Insert System Disk" is displayed on the monitor
  • Continue to hold down the  [ 1 ]  button and insert System Disk v1.13 in the floppy disk drive, USB/FDD or SCSI2SD device
  • Continue to hold down the  [ 1 ]  button while the disk loads and starts to counts down from 70 to 0
  • When the countdown reaches 67, you may release the  [ 1 ]  button
  • Press the  [ DEC / NO ]  button when the countdown is complete and "Next Disk Please?" is displayed
  • Press the following buttons in order:     [ FUNC ]     [ MENU ]     [ ]     [ EXECUTE ]     [ MENU ]     [ 1 ]     [ DEC / NO ]
A message similar to the following will be displayed on the CRT screen:
     Ver # disp
     MT25 ROM. Ver. 2.01  05 AUG/88   (This Line Displays The EPROM Firware Version#)
     S‑550 SYS. Ver 1.13  26 OCT/88   (This Line Displays The Floppy Boot Disk O/S Version#)

This is a list of all the S-550 EPROM firmware versions I have found in the wild
     MT25 ROM. Ver. 2.00   11 SEP/87
     MT25 ROM. Ver. 2.01   05 AUG/88
     MT25 ROM. Ver. 2.02   01 FEB/88
Through extensive testing, I have been unable to find any differences between these three versions. My best guess is that some minor changes were made to improve timing on the SCSI chain

Every W‑30 I have ever seen (early and late production models) have both EPROM's IC#19 (EVEN) and IC#20 (ODD) socketed so they are much easier to work with. Also, I've never seen any version other than v1.03. The only real need to make copies of these two EPROM's would be to have a backup available in the event the electrons deplete over time. For more info about electron depletion, see the EPROM Quick Start Guide

To check the current firmware version of the W‑30 ROM's, power on the sampler while holding down the [ F1 ] button
A message similar to the following will be displayed:
     W‑30 ROM Ver 1.03 [01/21]
Note: Binary files for creating your own W‑30 EPROM's may be downloaded for free at the Synth & Sampler Binaries Webpage

W‑30 Custom Wave ROM's

Special Thanks go out to Ishibashi Hisao and Bernd Brüning for all of their hard work on this very cool and FREE W‑30 upgrade. It replaces the two default Wave ROM's with new code on the factory Wave ROM IC's and contains 32 new Wave samples. Vintage Drums, Oberheim, Moog, Juno and several others are included. For more information, see this YouTube video

Installation Instructions:
  • ANIMATED_STAR The benefits of this amazing upgrade are numerous. However, unsoldering these large 32‑pin IC's should only be attempted by those with advanced soldering skills. The double‑sided PCB on the W‑30 poses a major risk if something goes awry
  • Ensure you are properly grounded, working on a static‑free workbench or table and wearing eye protection during any soldering tasks

  • Carefully unsolder the two original Wave ROM's on the MAIN PCB at locations IC29 and IC30
    • NOTE: DO NOT confuse these new Wave ROM's with the main O/S EPROM's at locations IC19 and IC20
    • The new Wave ROM's are 32‑pin IC's... NOT 28‑pin IC's

  • Install two new 32-pin DIP sockets

  • Download the custom code for the two new Wave ROM's

              Download JX-Edit

  • Burn the new Wave ROM's for IC29 and IC30. Recommended blank EPROM's to use are:
    • AT27C040-90PU / OTP - 4MB (512K x 8)
    • TMS27C040-12JL / Quartz Window - 4MB (512K x 8)

  • After burning the new Wave ROM's, plug them into the new 32‑pin DIP sockets
    • Ensure the IC notches are aligned correctly in the DIP sockets before you turn on the W‑30 ! ! ! ! !

  • You will also need a new custom W‑30 Boot Disk to use these new Wave ROM samples (included in the download link from above). After starting‑up your sampler with a custom boot disk, the W‑30 will work just like before but it will have a new set of amazing default Wave ROM samples to work with. Included in the download link above are variations of W‑30 boot disks. Depending on the setup you are using, these are the new boot disks to use:
         v1.10 (Only 3.5" FLOPPY or GOTEK)
         v1.07 (SCSI2SD / HARD DRIVE / CDROM / ZIP DRIVE)
         v1.06 (Only 3.5" FLOPPY or GOTEK - Fast Boot)
         v1.01 (Only 3.5" FLOPPY or GOTEK - Old School Version)
Note: If you are new at burning synthesizer Wave ROM's, there are detailed instructions for creating your own at this link

Replacement Power Switch [ S‑550, S‑220 and MKS‑100 ]
Sony P/N: 554‑880‑12
Power Rating: 5A @ 250V AC
Type: ON/OFF w/Four Solder Lugs
If your old S‑550 switch is experiencing problems, don't bother trying to repair it. Some of the parts inside are sealed in plastic and other parts are wired in place. Repairing it is a lost cause. This power switch works with the S‑550, S‑220, MKS‑100 and a wide selection of other Roland synths and samplers including the D‑110, D‑550, GM‑70, JV‑880, MKS‑20, MKS‑50, MKS‑70, MKS‑80, and U‑220. In the 1980's and 1990's, this power switch was also used with a variety of Sony/JVC/Panasonic TV's and component stereo devices. This power switch is quite robust and therefore more expensive than most. Replacements can sometimes be found on eBay for about $10 (USD). Do a keyword search for "ALPS  SDGA3P"
Replacement Power Switch [ W‑30 / S‑330 / S‑750 / S‑760 / S‑770 (except for the S‑770 Canada version. Eh?!?) ]
Power Rating: 5A @ 250V AC
Type: ON/OFF w/Four Solder Lugs
If your old switch is experiencing problems, the outer shell is removable and the inner workings can most likely be repaired by cleaning the contacts only if you have the skillset and patience of a watchmaker and you like puzzles. Use caution if you attempt to repair this switch! My experience with this one proved they explode like a hand grenade because they are spring loaded. Use eye protection and only open the outer case while holding it inside a Ziploc baggie to keep the parts inside from flying across the room! Replacement switches can be found on eBay for only $2.50 (USD). Do a keyword search for "ALPS  SDL1P‑D" or visit the jk_parts storefront on eBay

Roland Service Sheets
S‑50 Service Information Sheets For Roland Engineers

Factory supplied info for repairing S‑50 hardware and software bugs

               Link Arrow S‑50 Service Information Sheets

Main PCB Board Assemblies And Power Supplies

There are four different models of the S‑550 sampler. Each one uses a different transformer (110V, 117V, 220V or 240V). The DIY's shown above were installed and tested on five different S‑550 samplers. Four of the models tested use the 117V transformer and the fifth uses a 240V transformer. 117V And 240V transformer systems use identical Power Supply Board Assembly PCB's. Main CPU Board Assembly silkscreen part numbers on the five models tested were
S-550 PCB
  • PCB #1 P/N: 79380120 00 AIN-32H UL94V‑0
    • Very Early Production Model
      • S/N: 830xxx w/socketed EPROM IC's v1.00

  • PCB #2, #3, #4 & #5 P/N: 79380120 02 AIN‑32H UL94V‑0
    • Mid & Late Production Models
      • S/N's: 853xxx, 864xxx, 867xxx & 886xxx

  • USB/FDE was the only DIY tested on the 240V transformer system

There are two different models of the W‑30 sampler each using a different Power Supply Board (110V/117V & 220V/240V). The DIY's shown above were installed and tested on two W‑30 models using only the 110V/117V transformer model. The Main CPU Board Assembly silkscreen part numbers on both models tested was

  • PCB #1 & #2 P/N: 76212120 UL94V‑0 AIN‑32H
    • Very Early & Mid Production Models
      • S/N's: AB0xxxx & AB1xxxx w/socketed EPROM IC's v1.03
It's interesting to note that the W‑30, S‑330, S‑750 and S‑760 samplers all use the identical Power Supply Board. If you find yourself in a pinch and can't find a replacement power supply, one option might be to buy a "broken" sampler on eBay (i.e. one with a broken floppy drive, broken LCD, etc...) which has the same model power supply inside... provided it powers on, of course :^)
     100V / 117V Power Board ‑ Roland P/N: 22443588 / MSA817
     220V / 240V Power Board ‑ Roland P/N: 22443589 / MSA818

The schematic for this power supply is absent from the W‑30, S‑330, S‑750 and S‑760 Service Notes. A stripped down schematic and component layout does appear in the S‑770 Service Notes. However, there are no component values listed... only the PCB silkscreen numbers. This model is extremely difficult to repair because TDK also took extra precautions to protect their design by encasing some of the circuitry inside a shell of polyresin. Thus, some of these components can't be replaced or even identified. Thanks soooooo much :^(

Listed above are the Main PCB Board Assembly model numbers used for testing these DIY's. It's highly unlikely, but there is always a possibility that some modifications and add‑on gadgets will not work with other Main PCB Board Assembly models. Modifications made to any factory stock equipment will always pose an element of risk. Sometimes mistakes are made which are irreversible. The author is not responsible for any damage or injury resulting from this DIY info. Use this DIY information at your own risk

Spare Parts Cross Reference Chart

I've compiled a small cross reference chart which is useful for matching duplicate spare parts on Roland synths and samplers. I use this list to find spares on broken equipment bargains found at eBay auctions. I just bought an S‑220 for only $23 which has enough spare parts for 19 different Roland synths and samplers. Gotta love eBay! ANIMATED_SMILE

               Link Arrow Spare Parts Cross Reference Cart

Favorite DIY Tools And DIY Vendors

Tips For DIY Freaks Who Like To Save $$$. I picked this selection of gadgets and vendors because of the extremely LOW cost. I use everything shown here almost every day and highly recommend each one

               Link Arrow Favorite DIY Tools And DIY Vendors

Safety Precautions and Disclaimer
Modifications made to any factory stock equipment will always pose an element of risk. Sometimes mistakes are made which are irreversible. Improper soldering and handling of electricity can cause serious injury and damage the synthesizer. Use caution when handling static sensitive devices and the PCB. Make sure you are properly grounded, working on a static‑free workbench or table and wearing eye protection during any soldering tasks. The author is not responsible for any damage or injury resulting from this DIY info. Use this DIY information at your own risk. And, I can't stress enough, the importance of wearing eye protection while soldering. That stuff flies everywhere sometimes!

S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE     S-50_S-550_ZONE

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