Roland JV-1000 Music Workstation


Roland JV1000

A few months ago I  bought a Roland JV-1000. One of the last 90’s JV’s I’ve never owned before. It’s a very impressive looking synthesizer and it’s based on the JV-80 so it sounds great too 🙂 It’s basically a JV-80 and a MC-50 MKII sequencer with a very nice 76 key semi-weighted keybed and some extra’s. This one looks great and there are only a few minor issues.

Technical specifications:

  • Polyphony – 28 voices (expandable to 56)
  • Oscillators – 1 resonant lowpass filter
  • Arpeg/Seq – SUPER-MRC / SUPER-MRP Sequencer
  • Filter – Digital filters
  • Effects – 8 reverbs + 3 chorus
  • Memory – 256 Patches (can expand to about 600); 64 Performances
  • Keyboard – 76 semi-weighted keys (responds to velocity and aftertouch)
  • Control – MIDI (8- to 16-parts)
  • Date Produced – 1993 – 1996

One of the issues is (ofcourse) the keybed. Like many other late 80’s and early 90’s Rolands this one has the red glue problem. Not too difficult to fix so no problem. I’ve discovered that about half a dozen keys don’t work at all and about a dozen black keys are difficult to press down because of the glue issue.

I’ve put it in testmode to find out that only one button (Effects) doesn’t work. I’ll have to take the whole thing apart to fix that one button. Also not very difficult but a little time consuming.

The service manuals says that in order to test the sequencer I need a floppy with a test program.. I haven’t been able to find that yet so I don’t know if the sequencer buttons are all functioning.

Apart from that everything seems to work: all sliders, MIDI, card reader.. even the aftertouch works (a little).

Will update soon!

Update march 7th 2016:

I’ve cleaned the keys last week. It was the usual overnight soak in caustic soda that cleared the red glue mess up without problems.

Here are some ‘before’ pictures of the keys:

And some pictures during the cleaning process:

After that I reglued the weights:

And put the whole thing back together 🙂

I still have to fix the ‘Effects’ button and I also still have the problem that about 6 or 7 consecutive keys in the upper region don’t work at all. I’ve removed the pcb’s underneath the keys again and did some measurements but all traces seem to be fine. Could be a problem with the rubber contact strips..

Also still have to figure out what I’m going to do with this synth when it’s finished. I currently have several old synthesizers but I would like to have something more recent. I workstation actually. And not a 10 years old one. I kind of like the FA series. But I would like an FA-07 which doesn’t exist. The FA-06 only has 5 octaves which is not enough for me. I’ve never played one but I’ve played other recent Rolands and I doubt very much if I like the (non weight and no aftertouch) keys of the FA-06. I really like the keybeds of the U-20 and JD-800 (which are the same) and the JV’s and XP’s are also pretty good.. but I guess they don’t make ‘m like that anymore :’)

The FA-08 has a hammer action keybed and I’m not a fan of that either. Maybe I have to try one but I didn’t like the keybed of the XV-88 I owned. Always played keyboards instead of piano. Never got used to keys needing that much force 🙂

So a FA-07 would be perfect: 76 semi-weighed synth action keys. Pity they don’t make it. I could midi the JV-1000 into a FA-06 but that would be a little ridiculous.

Maybe a Yamaha or Korg then 🙂 not sure how much I want to spend yet but maybe I’ll sell my D-50 and JD-800 to be able to put some more money in a decent workstation. Problems problems 🙂

Update march 15th 2016:

There are about 5 or 6 consecutive keys that don’t work on the right hand side of the keybed. I suspect an open trace to be responsible so I took the JV-1000 apart again.

This looks suspicious:

20160315_203705 (Medium)

I have done some measurements and the 3rd one from the top row is not connected to the other end anymore.. I’m going to solder a bypass wire between these points in order to fix this.

After I put it back together all the keys work now 🙂 Succes!

The only thing left is the ‘Effects’ button.. This is the only button that doesn’t work at all and it’s (understatement of the year) a lot of work to get to it.. so while I was fiddling with the synth after I fixed the keys I decided to punch gently push the Effects button to see if it might have magically repaired it self in the meantime. To my surprise it displayed the Effects menu 😎 Even better: it works fine now.. even if you press it gently 🙂 I hope it stays this way because this saves me a lot of time.

20160315_212418 (Medium)

While the synth was open I fixed an other minor issue as well: the big rotary knob was kinda wobbly. The little nut holding the potentiometer in place inside had come loose a little bit so I tightened it and now it works perfect again.

Now I will clean the synth on the outside and put a million screws back in it. Then I’ll use it for a while to see if everything keeps working before I decide what to do with it.. keep it or sell it.


2 thoughts on “Roland JV-1000 Music Workstation

  1. Hi, Jorick
    Your posts about synth repairing is just great, it’s really very helpful!
    That type of epoxy glue you used to put weights back?
    And how much glue do i need for all 76 keys?
    I have same problem with red glue on my Roland XP-80 and currently I’m trying to fix it.
    I’ve already delete old glue and metal weights. Btw, I’ve use ordinary sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) and it works just fine.


    1. Hi George,

      I don’t use epoxy glue (2 component glue that is). I just use a regular glue like at the moment: Pattex Power Fix Polymer. It’s a black glue and very strong. It’s a +- 30cm cylinder shaped container which you can put in a “glue cylinder gun”. One tube costs about 10 euro’s and will last about 20 synthesizers I guess 🙂

      grtz, Jorick

      Liked by 1 person

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