A few days ago I picked up a used Roland Juno-G in nice shape from a local second hand music store for a hundred bucks. This is actually my second Juno-G as I purchased one about a year ago in mint shape with a working LCD screen. The LCD screen still works today which is great considering Juno-G LCD screens are breaking down like crazy now. It’s days are numbered though for sure. The second Juno-G had a failed LCD screen but the reason I bought it was because inside there was a Roland SRX-07 Vintage Keys expansion board. Plus there was a 512MB ram stick and a really nice soft case included. The Juno-G itself is in excellent condition with the only exception being the bad LCD screen. I felt it was a good purchase because those SRX-07 expansion boards are over $300 on Ebay now. I took out the SRX-07 board and put it in my Fantom X7.
After some research over the past few days I’ve come to the conclusion that there is absolutely no known or “consistent” fix for the LCD screen. This is unfortunate because the Juno-G has a pretty nice feature set that would have made it a nice synth to keep and use for some time. Here is a consolidated rundown of fixes that worked for some, but ultimately failed or will fail.
1. Replacement LCD Screen – So far just about everyone who has forked over money for a replacement LCD screen has experienced a 2nd, 3rd, and in some cases a 4th failure of the LCD screen. There is no way I’m going to spend $200 or so on a replacement LCD screen for the Juno-G knowing that it’s just going to break down again within months or even a year of replacement. That’s crazy! At this time there does not seem to be any known replacement LCD Screen for the Juno-G.
2. Ribbon Cable Fix – I’ve been intrigued about a ribbon cable fix that suggests the LCD cables need to be heated near the connection on the LCD PCB board. I’ve read an account from someone in Germany who fixed their LCD this way but I have yet to find any specific details to how this was done. There does seem to be an agreement among many technicians that the ribbon cables are the root of the problem, but we just don’t know where. Note that Roland is said to have replaced the two small interconnecting ribbon cables on the LCD PCB with a longer one, however, in almost every case the LCD resulted in failure. So I don’t think replacing two short cables with one long one fixed the problem at all.
3. Updating the OS to v2.0 – Contrary to what’s been written around the web, OS version 2 does absolutely NOTHING to fix the LCD issue. Do not believe otherwise. This is an absolute myth.
4. Other things that do NOT work are cleaning the synth, swapping the ribbon cables, working the job wheel or sliders in a frantic manner, powering off and then on after 5 minutes, or sprinkling pixie dust over the Juno-G.
Like a few other synths I’ve worked on, it seems the exact problem with LCD screen is still a mystery with the general public. I believe Roland knows the exact problem but of course they are not going to say a word. I’ve lived in Japan long enough to know how Japanese companies like Roland work so that’s no surprise. What is a surprise is that the Roland Juno-G is a decent synth with a lot of great functionality and features on board. Why nobody has cracked the the LCD puzzle yet is interesting. All I know is that I don’t plan to sell either of my Juno-G synths just yet. I really believe IF the LCD problem gets solved they will definitely get some attention again and could even become popular for stage performance.
Currently I have my Roland Juno-G with the LCD problem sitting on my work bench. I’m going to do my best to solve the problem because I believe the solution does not require an LCD replacement or a cable change. I really only think it requires understanding how those cables work and finding a way to attachment them in a more effective manner that improves the contact of the LCD. Perhaps there is a power supply problem, or maybe another issue, but I really do think the answer is in there somewhere.
Unless proven otherwise, as of the date of this post I absolutely see no solution at all right now for replacing or fixing the Juno-G LCD screen. Nothing out there works including the Roland repair. I would like to find out more about the “heat” or “solder” solution from the gentleman in Germany but that’s like finding a needle in a haystack. There is zero information in the Yahoo groups and the info on Roland Clan is dated at best. Other forums and blogs have bits of information here and there but nothing solid.
I’ll update this post as I progress and find additional information. One day I hope to solve the mystery of the Roland Juno-G LCD display.
UPDATE #1 – It’s gone!! I stripped the second Juno-G for spare parts and then chucked the rest into the garbage bin this morning. The Roland Juno-G is a lost cause with the crappy LCD screen they installed. I would avoid this synth like the plague and stick to the Fantom series instead or later Juno series synths. Luckily I didn’t waste my money in that I got a working SRX-07 Vintage keys expansion board, nice case, 512MB memory stick, and some replacement knobs. Sayonara Roland Juno-G!!
Here is a video showing the problem with the Roland Juno-G LCD Screen. The video does NOT provide a working solution.