Thursday, November 17, 2011

Roland - Why such cheap connectors on expensive gear?

I just finished repairing the 2nd piece of Roland music gear in the past two months. Earlier, I removed the audio output jacks from a Roland SPD-S Sampling Pad and replaced them with a cable to an external breakout box. The 1/4 in output jacks are used more than any other connector on the device, but the parts are of poor quality, and mounted in such a way that guarantees their failure. No strain relief is provided -- all the stress of plugging and unplugging audio connectors is absorbed by the connector and its' solder joints. While the connectors are threaded for a mounting nut, the design does not allow them to be added. Original retail on this device was between $500 and $800. Earlier this week, I repaired a Roland RD-700SX Stage Piano. Original retail was likely between $1000 and $2000. The contacts of the power connector were totally mangled. Rather than use a replacement part that would likely fail again, I used a connector from an old piece of test gear.

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