Advice needed on buying a defective Juno Alpha 2

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Yekuku
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Advice needed on buying a defective Juno Alpha 2

Post by Yekuku » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:38 pm

HI guys,
I am interested in buying a roland alha juno 2 and I have found one for sale but with a few problems.
The seller told me that he is having trouble with the power cable, the unit restarts with slight movements of the cable. Also one slider does not work as expected. I thought that these were easy fixes and I decided to buy it for 250 euro.
Then the seller informs me that he has "just" realized that there is a noise artifact at every keypress on every patch, sounding like a "bell" or a "tympani". (?)
I am afraid that the power interruptions he was experiencing could have caused this.
Could this be an easy fix or shall I pass it ? I noticed that Aplha parts are a bit hard to find ...
Unfortunately I cant test the keyboard before buying it and I have a strong GAS for an aplha juno :?
Aplha's are quite rare in my country, so this is my chance to grab one :(
It is all about sharing...

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Re: Advice needed on buying a defective Juno Alpha 2

Post by Psy_Free » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:19 am

I don't know about the problems you describe, but I personally wouldn't buy an Alpha Juno 2 for 250 Euros with those problems. They may be hard to find in Greece, but you can always look overseas via e-bay, and wait for a working one.
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Re: Advice needed on buying a defective Juno Alpha 2

Post by Pro5 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:32 pm

That is WAY too expensive for a problematic juno 2!!!

I've seen a few J2s with damaged voice chips, gate arrays and DCO problems which lead to keyboard problems, missing voices or erratic behavior. The problem with the J2 is that it has NO socketed common chips (IR3R05 etc) so unless you are an expert with soldering you will probably not be able to fix it yourself. The gate array chips seem to be a common fault point on the Alpha's and this chip has very fine pins/solder points and needs good tools/experience to swap.

Other than that it's already a fairly cheap/limited synth that you shouldn't be paying top price for even in fully working condition.

I would say that synth has dying voice/filter chips and personally wouldn't pay more than around £50 for it (so that I could part it out if beyond repair). Your move!


and my personal opinion, having owned Juno 1/2 and MKS-50 is that they can make some nice enough sounds, the Juno 2 makes a decent /compact midi controller AND it can sound fairly punchy and sweet (ala Juno sound of yore) but they are over-priced because of the Juno name. MKS-50 I've found was usually more reliable (except for front switch wear) but the keyboards sounded slightly better (I admit this is most probably psychological as most keyboards sound better than their rack versions to my ears lol) to me and weren't as fiddly with no patch/tone BS. I'd probably own one as a simple messing around synth to come up with ideas IF IT WAS CHEAP but I wouldn't pay a lot for one.

I also found that on all 3 of my Alpha family, I kept returning to the 'same kind of sound' that sounded really nice on them, a kinda bass sound, and sort of generic/synthetic lead line which sounds nice with portamento/mono mode etc but other than that it wasn't too interesting, just as I found with my previous Juno 6 in fact! Hence why I no longer own them, I got bored of them and found my JX-3P infinitely more interesting with way more vintage tone - slightly less bass punch sure but it sounds 'authentic' or alive while alphas sounded pre-sweetened/canned (though their 3in1DCO thang is very interesting and unusual).

Just my opinion, and I do think everyone should try these things for themselves as it was fun (the Alpha Juno 2 is the best of the 3 all round while many prefer the rack but I found it boring to use) but again, buy cheap, try it out, sell it if you get bored or keep it if you love it but do not act impatiently and buy a DODGY one for the normal going price because as I said they appear quite flaky and with quite poor build quality (esp the Juno 1 and it's all plastic upper)

What do I like about Juno 2 though? It's keybed! which I fitted to one of my polysixes and the polysix now feels 100X nicer to play and has the quality of key it's sound deserves!

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Re: Advice needed on buying a defective Juno Alpha 2

Post by Yekuku » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:26 pm

Thank you very much for your replies, I appreciate it ;)
I have experience in repairing stuff but the price is too high and the seller is not willing to drop the price any further.
I think it is a waste of money and time, so I 'll pass...

I enjoyed reading your post Pro5, thanks for all the information.
Pro5 wrote:I admit this is most probably psychological as most keyboards sound better than their rack versions to my ears lol)

lol! You are not the only one m8 :D
It is all about sharing...

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