Roland S‑550 And W‑30 EXTERNAL SCSI CDROM's
- Compatibility Matrix -


EXTERNAL SCSI CD-ROM - Model (Mechanism)
             CD-5 (Sony CDU-510-99)
YES YES      
             CD-5 (Sony CDU-6111) YES YES   ROLAND CDROM  
             CD-5 (Sony CDU-6112) YES YES      
             CD-5 (Sony CDU-8012) YES YES     ROLAND CDROM
             Direct from Roland documentation:
                          The Roland CD‑5 is the only type of CD‑ROM drive known to work with the S‑550
                          It used a Sony CDU‑6111 mechanism. The CD‑5 came with a CD‑ROM disc that contained the S‑550 sample library (L‑CD1)
                          Source: S‑330/S‑550 SUPPLEMENTAL NOTES ‑ March 20, 1998

     Apple - Model (Mechanism / see Caddy Eject Malfunction*)
             AppleCD 150 (Sony CDU-541-25) NO YES [1] [6] [7] ROLAND CDROM  ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD 150 (Sony CDU-8002) NO unknown   ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD 300 (Sony CDU-8003) NO unknown   ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD 300e (Matsushita CR-8004) NO unknown      
             AppleCD 300e+ (Sony CDU-561-25) NO NO [4] ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM   /   ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD 600e (Sony CDU-8005) NO unknown   ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD SC (Sony CDU-541-22) NO unknown   ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD SC (Sony CDU-8001) NO unknown   ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             AppleCD SC+ (Sony CDU-8002) NO unknown   ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM

     Miscellaneous - Model (Mechanism)
             LaCie 104372 12x 10x 32x (CDBP-161040S) NO NO [4]    
             LaCie 104737 16x 10x 40x (CDBP-121032S) NO NO [4]    
             (Nakamichi MJ-5.16si / 5-CD Changer) NO NO [4]    
             (Panasonic CR-508) NO YES [1] [2] [3] [9] ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             Panasonic LF-1700JB NO NO [5]    
             (Plextor PX-43CS) NO YES [1] [2] [3] [8] ROLAND CDROM ROLAND CDROM
             Toshiba TXM3401E1 (Toshiba XM‑3401B) NO NO [4]    
             Yamaha CRW2100 NO NO [5]    
             Yamaha CRW8824 NO NO [5]    

[1] Does not play audio CD's from the sampler menu. The message 'ILLEGAL REQUEST' is displayed. Otherwise, works great with sample data CD's
[2] On the back of the mechanism next to the 50-pin SCSI connector, the columns labeled 'BLOCK' and 'PARITY' should be jumpered
[3] There are some 11-pin SIP Terminating Resistors socketed on the PCB which may have been removed. Verify if these are needed for your setup
[4] Device is recognized by the S‑550 and W‑30 but locks up the sampler when trying to access a CD during any LOAD operation
[5] Device is recognized by the S‑550 and W‑30 but a "HARDWARE ERROR" message is displayed during any LOAD operation
[6] This model also works with the S‑760 but does not play audio CD's from the sampler menu
[7] This model had factory installed firmware v1.8g
[8] To test this mechanism, it was installed inside an AppleCD 150 external SCSI case. The mechanism had factory installed firmware v1.01
[9] Along with the 'BLOCK' and 'PARITY' jumpers, the 'TERMINATION' jumper should be set accordingly. See the settings at this link

Required Specs
 Speed  Block Size
   Load Mechanism    Interface
          S‑550[10] 1X 512 Caddy SCSI‑1: 50‑Pin ⇆ 25‑Pin ⇆ HD5‑IF Upgrade
          W‑30[11] 1X - 4X 512 unknown SCSI‑1: 50‑Pin ⇆ 25‑Pin ⇆ KW‑30 Upgrade

[10] There is no guarantee that if you find an internal Sony mechanism and install it inside a generic external SCSI case it will be compatible with 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 CD‑5. Just from looking at the inside of a CD5, you can tell it's not a normal CDROM. Off to the side of the mechanism is an additional SCSI board unlike a normal external Apple CDROM
[11] It's possible the W-30 will function with CD-ROM speeds higher than 4X. The highest speed mechanism I have been able to personally verify is 4X using a Plextor Model: PX-43CS

     Caddy Malfunction Info
* Caddy Eject Malfunction
Some AppleCD 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 parts which are exact replacements here

     Miscellaneous Info
     From an old post at

     [sgroup] S550 and SCSI supported drives
     Date: Fri Oct 4 14:05:54 EDT 2013

          I've spent years looking for CD ROM drives that work with the S-550.
          I was strung along by computer salvage yard guy who swore he had one, but had to find it again.
          I kept offering him premium price to spend the time. No dice.
          I finally bought early all single speed SCSI drives off of EBAY and checked them out
          but very little success. The problem is people get very little money for them so chuck them out.
          The one that I found was from a school in Canada.

          Here is what I found:
          The AppleCD 150 is almost impossible to find and I have no experience if even the 300 works.
          The 150 should work but good luck finding them.**
          The Sony CDU-6111 definitely works. I found a CDU-6112 that worked.
          It eventually failed and I tried to fix it by replacing head but couldn't.

          All others that I bought where the numbers were close but were not compatible.
          Most sellers don't advertise the model numbers, but you got to look for a Sony single speed
          SCSI early model, and, if, an external drive, it would be part of a "caddy" system.
          In the end my S-550 had the hard drive, 4CD's but a broken CDU-6112.

          Now I have (3) S-760 and I file convert all the S-550 CD's from a CD I bought off of EBAY.

** Editors Note: I have tested an AppleCD 150 with Sony CDU-541-25 mechanism + factory firmware v1.8g and it is NOT compatible with the S‑550

Burn Your Own S-550 And W-30 CDROM's
Download S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD Roland L‑CD1 CD

Table Of Contents
165 Sound Disks
S‑550 And W‑30 Format
Download S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 CD Collection #1

Table Of Contents
64 Sound Disks
W‑30 Format
Download S-50 / S-550 DOWNLOAD W‑30 CD Collection #2

Table Of Contents
64 Sound Disks
W‑30 Format

S-50 / S-550 ZONE
- If you have any info to add to this list -