New Analogue Renaissance Juno 106 Voice Chip Clone

Here is a quick shot of one of the new Analogue Renaissance Juno 106 Voice Chips I purchased from here: There is a photo of the chip already on that site, but it looks slightly different then the one I received. The main difference is the black socket like sleeve on the pins as pointed out in the photo. I trust that most people just leave it as is and install the chip to the board as shown. I thought it was worth mentioning though because to a novice, it certainly would raise a question or two. There also 11 pins instead of 12 for those counting pins, but the lack of black sleeve on the original chip shown on the site was interesting. Just to confirm, for those who have installed these chips, did you all in fact just leave that on there?

Analogue Renaissance Juno 106 Voice Chip
New Analogue Renaissance Juno 106 Voice Chip

Note it’s next to impossible to ask questions directly to Analogue Renaissance and there is no mention of product support. Although I hired a technician to solder a couple of chips, I am definitely a novice with only a few keyboard soldering projects under my belt. So I am posting my thoughts and findings on one of my blogs here for those who wish to comment. I’d appreciate hearing from anyone with either positive or constructive negative comments.

After my experience thus far would I have purchased clone chips from Analogue Renaissance? Yes, but only ONE and not the package deal. If I can’t get one chip to work, then I certainly wouldn’t buy the rest understandably. Thus I made a mistake and am now trying to salvage and make it work with what I have. I most certainly would investigate rejuvenating older chips after carefully desoldering them. Perhaps if you buy new ones you can try the process found on Youtube. I posted a link in my previous entry below. If I can’t get the two installed to work, then I’ll most likely give away the remaining four and take the $400 loss. Ouch!

I must reiterate that I have not heard ( or I should say found ) one single problem or complaint regarding the installation of the Analogue Renaissance Voice Chips. Based on that I would definitely grab and give it a shot. I only wish I knew why mine didn’t work.

UPDATE – I believe these are called “Straight Male Headers – Single Row” which are a type of connector. You obviously leave the plastic part on there and just drop the chip into the slots. This is what I did so no problem there.

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Old Roland 80017A and MC-5534A Chips Removed

Here are two examples of Roland Juno 106 80017A and MC-5534A Chips Removed. The 80017A is the Roland Juno 106 Voice Chip. Note that the pins are broken from the removal process. I know there is a way to rejuvenate these old chips by removing the black resin cover, but I didn’t think I would need to do this given that I recently purchased brand new Analogue Renaissance Clone Chips. However, those do not work after installation into my Juno 106 board, so I kind of wish I had pursued that avenue first to save money or to at least test to see if an original would work. I recommend hopping over to Youtube and looking up the process before buying new chips like I did.

The Second chip pictured below is a removed MC-5534A Filter Chip from the Juno 106. This was removed because it was failing and I had received a new clone model from Analogue Renaissance, however, again there is no way at the moment to determine if it works because the Voice Chips around it from Analogue Renaissance don’t work. Board problem? Maybe so and I’m currently looking into it. Solder problem? Always possible, but I had a good soldering expert do the work, so it’s unlikely, but again possible. Just no solid answer on that yet.

Old Juno 106 Voice and Filter Chips
Juno 106 IC Voice and Filter Chips

A couple of weeks ago I notice a lot of eight 80017A original Voice Chips were sold on Ebay from Belgium for a little over $500. They were apparently new and were from old stock. If you check on Ebay you can still find a few every now and then. I went with the Clones from Analogue Renaissance because after research I noticed 100% of the customers were satisfied and got them to work. Why my $400 package doesn’t work I don’t know, but it’s extremely disappointing to say the least.

Using Juno 106 Without Voice Chips Installed

In the photo below you can see a shot of my Roland Juno 106 board that I took not too long ago. I took this to illustrate that you can silence the snap, crackle, and pop noise that failing or dying 80017A Chips make. These were desoldered using a Vacuum Pump device and some Desoldering Wire, however, ultimately they were eventually yank out (nicely I must add) and then the holes cleaned up nicely. Once the board was placed back into the Roland Juno 106, there was a nice silence form the removed chip. I could then proceed with playing in either Unison mode or just with the few voices I had left. The Juno 106 sounded awesome. Note that you still get a faint noise from the Chorus effect which is common with all Roland Juno 106’s I believe.

Installed and Removed Juno 106 Voice Chips
Installed and Removed Juno 106 Voice Chips

You will also notice that I still have two of the original Roland 80017A chips in the #3 and #4 slots. They work perfectly and are currently the only two chips that work on the board. The MC-5534A Filter Chip is still working fine in the middle of #3 and #4 Voice chips respectively.

To the right you will also see a brand newly purchased Analogue Renaissance Juno 106 cloned Voice Chip installed, however, this chip is does NOT work. It’s disappointing, however, I am still looking into the matter. The chip is soldered nicely and as you can see next to it on the left is the MC-5534A Filter Chip original still intact and of course the pulled #2 80017A Voice Chip that went bad. I have yet to put in a second chip as of this writing for fear or it not working as well. I’m trying to determine if the new Analogue Renaissance chips are good and why they are not working when appropriately soldered into the board.

In Conclusion, you can most certainly play your Roland Juno 106 Synthesizer with pulled or missing Voice Chips. It will eliminate the Snap, Crackle, Hissing, and any other Noise these failing 80017A chips can create. A trick to playing the Synth without the chips is to hold down the number of voices that play on the keyboard ( in my case 2 ), and then tape down the remaining silent voices to the far right or left of the keys ( in my case 4 dead voices ). You can then release the working voices and play anywhere on the keyboard no problem, but of course the Juno becomes a 2 polyphonic Synthesizer. You can also still play in Unison Mode which works nice too, but it does give you a different tone that some like and dislike. Either way, you can salvage the Roland Juno 106 and play bass lines or make it a mono Synth.

Stay tuned for more updates. Thanks!