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D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:28 am
by amv
I just bought my second D-50 and was quite heartbroken to find that for the billionth time, a keyboard has arrived in the mail with a couple keys not working right. Nothing is mechanically broken, but one key doesn't produce any noise, another key only does so intermittently, and I suspect at least a few others might be a bit inconsistent regarding velocity.

There are a handful of videos on YouTube about opening up a D-50 and making minor repairs to the keybed. Does anyone on this forum have experience doing this? I'm not looking for tips so much as much as an idea of whether I should even try this in the first place.

I'd love to learn how to handle this issue myself in the future, but I love my vintage synths and don't want to ruin them with a clumsy repair attempt. Thanks!

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:21 am
by Europanaut
I just did my D50 keybed last week. Easy stuff, if you take your time. I'm happy to help, if you would like to contact me via email. (I'm not here at the forum often.)

I have some photos that may also help.

ceratos (at) shaw dot ca

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:48 am
by Jabberwalky
It's not bad. It's sort of a pain to get to them though. You also need to peel back a glued piece of plastic, and glue it back down into place. You often have to remove many of the keys surrounding the bad key to lift up the contacts (which are in strips of 5 or something).

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:52 am
by amv
Thanks for the encouragement, I'm thinking more and more about possibly doing it.

Here's a more important question, though: this is the FOURTH keyboard I've picked up from either eBay or Reverb that's advertised as 100% flawless, only to show up with one or more broken keys (in fact, my last D-50 showed up with almost the exact same defect). Every time this happens I basically tell the seller I have to take it in for repair and request a refund equal to my local synth guy's 2-hour minimum ($120), which is the cheapest I can get it done locally. They've all obliged so far, which I appreciate, but I hate having to do this 90% of the time I order new gear. It's a huge hassle for me and it's a huge bummer for them, since I'm sure at least most of them did their best to pack it safely.

What do others on this forum do in this situation? Am I being unreasonable or is this a pretty standard response? And do I just have unbelievably bad luck, or are keyboards always this fragile in the mail?

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:53 am
by amv
Jabberwalky wrote:You also need to peel back a glued piece of plastic, and glue it back down into place.
Yikes, maybe I spoke too soon. :) THAT sounds a bit dicey to me.

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:32 pm
by cornutt
I need to tackle this too... I've got a JD-800, which I think uses the same keybed. The aftertouch quit working a while ago, and now I've got keys going dead. Right now it's only playable through MIDI.

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:09 pm
by Yekuku
cornutt wrote:I need to tackle this too... I've got a JD-800, which I think uses the same keybed. The aftertouch quit working a while ago, and now I've got keys going dead. Right now it's only playable through MIDI.
They use similar keybeds but they are not exactly the same. The JD uses a a flexible PCB strip underneath the keys while the d50 has a normal pcb.
Dead keys could be a result of rubber contacts that have popped out, dirty or worn carbon on the rubber contacts, dirty or worn carbon on the pcb , circuit failure or in the case of the JD 800 , red epoxy glue that prevents the key from pressing the rubber contacts properly.
Usually gentle contact cleaning solves the problem, but you have to be very careful because the carbon is very sensitive and it can be easily worn.

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:01 pm
by amv
Hmmmm... I really do keep going back and forth on repairing this myself, especially with the talk of the carbon traces (which I've heard elsewhere too).

So does anyone have any thoughts on dealing with these minor keyboard defects fresh out of the FedEx packaging? I'm sure it wasn't something the seller was aware of, but even if it did happen during shipping there's no way FedEx is going to cover something that has zero cosmetic or even physical evidence (it's just a silent key).

I'm really just left charging a local synth shop's minimum fee back to the seller. Just seems like such a drag for everyone involved, but I can't think of a better solution.

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 12:31 am
by Jabberwalky
Just fix it. It's not that bad, and you'll feel a sense of accomplishment when you get them playing beautifully again. Also, check out this step by step process, http://www.bustedgear.com/repair_Roland ... tacts.html

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:09 am
by amv
Cool, thanks for the vote of confidence. I think I'm going to do it. My larger question, though, is what to do about receiving an item that was billed as 100% functional but arrives with these kinds of defects. This worries me especially since I have a few other keyboards on my buying horizon that might not be so easy to fix. Whether or not you can handle it yourself, do you expect sellers to compensate you in some way in a case like this?

And either way, I now have to spend an afternoon or so of my free time fixing this. That's gotta be worth something.

Re: D-50 keybed repairs - suitable for a total newbie?

Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:16 pm
by Jabberwalky
The reason to learn key repair on the D50 is that more of the keys will start to go as time goes on. Now you'll be prepared.

Everyone has a different scale of forgiveness regarding eBay repairs. The D50 keys don't go bad in the shipping process. That's from years of sitting around. It wasn't tested fully.