Yank those Juno 106 Voice Chips!

Today I went ahead and removed the 1st, 5th, and 6th voice chips from my Juno 106. It was nearly impossible “for me” to get the chips out unscathed, so I elected to simply yank them. Then I used a Solder Pump to clean up the pin holes. Everything went fine. I then mounted the board back into the Juno 106 and fired it up. The static, crackling, and pop sound “Completely” disappeared. Thus I appeared to have answered my question. Dying voices can exhibit “non-stop” crackling, noise, hissing, popping, etc. absolutely. This can prevent you from recording or performing live with the Juno 106.

Furthermore, in test mode I CRANKED the volume and played with the VCF frequency slider and noticed that the other three voices had about 5% life still left in them. They were very hard to hear, but I could detect some sound after playing the keys. This helped me to determine that the background noise had to be “hopefully” coming from 1,5, or the 6 voice chip and that they were not completely dead yet. Thus the constant crackling noise.

So beware that even if the key sounds dead, it may not be just yet. You may need to crank the volume really high in test mode or even in regular playing mode to try and detect faint sounds when hitting the keys. Note that you’ll also have to watch your ears, but it should be rather quick to hear a synth sound of some sort.

Now I effectively have a Roland Juno 103 as people are calling it when you lose voices. However, I am planning to put in an order for the complete Voice Chip Set from Analogue Renaissance this week to both replace the 3 bad voices and have spares in case the other three fail.

For those who have pulled their dead or dying chips and still have noise, my guess is that another voice is probably “just starting” to crap out. I was worried this might happen because I would then have to really think about how to detect which of the three voice chips left were bad. That might have been difficult considering they all were sounding about the same.

I wish everyone continued success with fixing their Juno 106. I found mine for 50 bucks in Japan. It cleaned up really nicely and with some new clone chips installed, I should be back to jamming in no time. Note that for now I can just play with 3 voices. Ala Juno 103! Enjoy!

Regards, Jim

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