I buy a lot of broken gear on eBay and I'm able to fix about 90% of everything I find. It's usually a simple fix. If you have a synth with no power, intermittent problems after it warms up, resetting, rebooting, stereo jacks cutting in & out or external MIDI gear not working, it's probably due to the fact that back in the 1980's and 1990's, Roland and other synth makers used sub‑par solder and/or not enough solder to hold components in place


After 30+ years, the solder begins to break down and hairline fractures appear. This occurs at a higher rate for components which generate a lot of heat like Bridge Rectifiers, Power Transistors, Large Electrolytic Capacitors, Power Input Jacks, DIN Connectors, MIDI Connectors and Audio Sockets which get a lot of use. The best approach is to use a magnifying glass and carefully inspect the backside of the circuit board. If you spot any suspect areas, re‑flow a hefty amount of NEW solder. Some of the synths, samplers and external accessories I have found with an unusually high number of solder fractures are:

ALPHA JUNO            GR‑1            JV‑880            JX‑10            MKS‑70            MKS‑100            PG‑800            S‑220            S‑50            S‑550

Also worth mentioning...

I receive a lot of eMails and field many questions at synth related forums and also on Facebook. The most common question I get about problems with a synth has to do with errors when trying to load Patches and Tones. About 99.9% of the time, the problem always turns out to be a crappy MIDI interface. If you have a cheap‑o MIDI interface which looks similar to the one shown below... throw this piece of shit in the trash! Do It Now. Seriously! This thing is total junk and you get what you pay for. Inexpensive MIDI interfaces like this are unable to properly regulate the buffering of MIDI data. They will work fine with simple messages such as CC, Note On, Note Off, etc... however, when you try to send SysEx messages which are much longer, the SysEx data cuts off after only sending a few bytes. The "Midi Buffer Full" error message is also a common sight. Investing in a higher quality MIDI interface will solve Load/Save errors and other communication problems. Also, if you experience errors when transferring Patch and Tone data from a computer to a synthesizer, DON'T use a USB hub. Plug your MIDI interface directly from the computer to the synthesizer. Why? Some external USB hubs fail when multiple USB devices are attached because there is not enough power to share. Small power sags will suddenly cause one or ALL of the attached USB devices connected to the hub to fail, often accompanied with a "disconnect" signal
These MIDI interfaces have been tested and will work with large SysEx Dumps
 ESI Midimate II                      MOTU 823 mk3
 ESI Midimate eX                      RME FireFace UC 2X2
 M-Audio Profire 2626                 Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd Gen
 Tie Studio MIDI 1i1o                 Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 2nd Gen
 Yamaha UX 16 USB/MIDI                Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 3rd Gen
 iConnectivity mioXC 1x1              Miditech MIDIface 4x4
 iConnectivity mio 1x1                Miditech MIDIface II Thru

These MIDI interfaces are shit and don't work with large SysEx Dumps
(some might with a special driver)
 AVID/M-Audio Fast Track Pro         M-Audio MIDISport 1x1
 Lekato MIDI USB                     M-Audio MIDISport 2X2
 Fore MIDI Interface                 M-Audio MIDISport UNO
 DigitalLife MIDI-C01                M-Audio Uno
 Hosa USM-422 MIDI                   Hosongnic, Urweonu, HiFangeow, etc...

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!

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