Roland JV-80 Multi Timbral Synthesizer (#2)


This is the 2nd JV-80 that I bought. Just as the first one this one has a lot of problems with the keys. Red glue everywhere and a handfull of black keys cannot even be pressed. Apart from that it seems to work fine. A few buttons don’t work so I’ll fix that along the way. Lets dig in…

I removed the bottom plate so I could have a clear look at the keys. You can clearly see the red glue that causes so much problems in a lot of 80’s and 90’s Rolands.


It’s the glue that is suppost to keep the metal weights in the keys that deteriorates over time and starts running.. sticky mess. But there is a relatively simple fix.

Some of the black keys literaly dropped their weight so those keys couldn’t be pressed at all. In the pictures below you can see the weight sticking out. It’s actually firmly stuck in that position.


Two white keys where badly deformed. I don’t know what happened there but maybe someone tried to remove the red glue at some point. With a blowtorch. Or a flamethrower..


I contacted Roland and I’ve ordered two brand new keys. At 5 euro’s each they are not very expensive.

The stuff I’m going to use to remove the red glue is called Sodium Hydroxide. Draincleaner basically. I buy this stuff at Kruidvat in the Netherlands. It’s cheap and mixed with water it creates Caustic soda. (BE CAREFULL! dangerous stuff!!) This will eat away the red glue without damaging the keys or the weights. I’ll update when I’ve done this.

Update feb 14 2015:

I just put all the keys in the Caustic soda solution:


I used 50 grams Sodium Hydroxide per liter of water. Wear rubber gloves, old clothes and eye protection! Carefully mix the Sodium Hydroxide with water and put all the keys in:


30 mins later most of the red glue is gone:


It can still take hours before the weights drop out the keys all by themselves. I usually leave it be overnight. The weights from the black keys need more time before they drop out of the keys. You may need to refresh the caustic soda once or twice.

After all the weights have dropped I cleaned all the keys and glued the weights back in:


After that I cleaned the contacts and reassembled the keybed:SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

While waiting for the replacement keys to arrive I replaced 8 tact switches. The buttons they where underneath either didn’t work at all or had to be pressed very hard. I had to search for the correct tact switches for a while (6x6x5 mm 2 pins) but I found them at a webshop called Although on the outside these look identical to the ones I replaced the action is a little different. They require a little more force when pressing and they make a different clicking noise. In the bank 1 – 8 buttons I replaced bank 3, 6 and 8 and it’s pretty easy to tell which are the new ones if you click all the buttons but everything works fine now 🙂

tact switch

If you look on Ebay you’ll find sellers who will sell you these 10 ct buttons for 2 euro’s a piece. 😛 Better buy them from your local electronics store. It’ll save you a lot of money.

The whole thing is put back together and everything works fine now. This is the second JV-80 that I own. The first one I sold right after it was finished. I’m keeping this one for a little while. I’ve played it for half an hour and I must say that I am very impressed with the sound! It just sounds very rich and powerfull!!!


Just as I finished this one I picked up another JV-80 for little money 🙂 Probably sell one now.


3 thoughts on “Roland JV-80 Multi Timbral Synthesizer (#2)

  1. I’m going through the same right now on my JV-80. What glue did you use to glue the weights back in? And did you do anything with the felt strips? Some spots on the white strip are soaked in that red glue and that makes the keys “click” when pressing them, because the felt is hard now and no longer soft and fluffy.


    1. Hi Joerg,

      Sorry for my late reply. I must have missed it.. I used Pattex Power Fix Polymer to glue in the weights. You can buy it at Hornbach for around 10 euro’s and there is enough glue in one cylinder for about 25 synthesizers I think 🙂 Whenever I had a drip of the red glue on the felt I just removed a little bit of the felt that was soaked or covered it up it a new piece of felt.. If you remove a tiny bit of the felt you can ‘fluff up’ the area next to it to close the gap a bit..

      grtz, Jorick


      1. Jorick,

        Thank you very much for your response.
        I am in the States, so Pattex is not available, but at least I know what I’m looking for,
        since I am actually german familiar with the Pattex brand.

        As for the felt, I might have to replace a few pieces here and there.
        That shouldn’t be too bad.


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