How to Repair the Roland D50

Written by ryan cockerham
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The Roland D50 was first introduced in 1987. Unlike analogue synthesizers, the D50 utilised a digital subtractive synthesis. This method of audio production has become popular in digital audio workstations. As with any audio equipment, extended use increases the possibility of malfunctions. By following a few simple steps, you can quickly diagnose and repair any common problems you may encounter with your D50.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Connect the D50 to the nearest outlet or power supply and turn it on. If the device fails to turn on, or the LCD displays function at a dim level, this could indicate a malfunctioning power supply. Since the D50 is considered a vintage product, locating a replacement power supply may prove to be difficult. Several websites specialise in replacement parts for older audio equipment. Contact one of these vendors for more information on finding a functional power supply.

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    Press the keys on your D50 and listen carefully to the tones produced through the speakers. The keys on the D50 are designed to react to variations in touch intensity. If any keys consistently produce softer sounds or fail to respond to a harder touch, contact sensors within the keyboard may need to be cleaned. Follow the steps outlined in the first reference source to successfully repair your contact sensors.

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    Purchase a new D50 sound card if your keyboard powers on correctly but fails to produce any sounds. The D50 uses a portable sound bank that is plugged into the keyboard prior to use. Over time, the sound bank may stop functioning entirely. Although Roland no longer produces sound banks for this keyboard, they are still available for purchase through a number of online audio equipment vendors.

Tips and warnings

  • A wide variety of websites and forums are devoted to synthesizer performance and repair. With a small investment of time, you can find tips and techniques to expand your abilities with the Roland D50.
  • Always disconnect your synthesizer from electrical sockets or power supplies before you attempt to repair internal components. The risk of electric shock is always present when you are manipulating audio equipment that is receiving electrical current.

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