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Old 04-10-2012, 08:12 PM
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Fuzrock Fuzrock is offline
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Default Repairing Roland SPD-S

I should preface this post by saying that my SPD-S is way out of warranty. I bought it used off ebay and it has served my well (once I reloaded the factory install) right up until it was rained on (along with the rest of my cherished gear) at a street dance by band was playing last summer. Ever since then my SPD-S has had a noticeable hum or whine to it. At least that's when I first noticed it.
I had been getting by at gigs by having the sound guy put a gate on it. That really worked well but certainly wasn't a cure for the long term. It was very much present and annoying at rehearsals.
I make my living as a computer geek and thanks to that experience, I had enough courage to pull my SPD-S apart with the assistance of my coworker, Greg, who has tons of hands on knowledge about circuit boards. Here's what we found.

Those little pop can looking things are called capacitors. They are all supposed to be nice and clean and flat on top. These were swollen and leaky. Luckily, the caps have all of the information you need right on the side of them. Listed is the voltage and micro-farads. We ordered the replacement caps online.
When we got them, Greg went to work with his trusty soldering gun. One by one, he pulled out the bad caps and replaced them with the new ones.

Here's a pic with all new caps installed.

Here are all the bad ones he pulled out.

Here are some random pics of the SPD-S being open and exposed. Kind of scary isn't it?



Now here's the part where we have it all back together and powered on. Not only did it boot up, the thing actually works. Here's the kicker. THE HUM/WHINE IS GONE!!!!

The parts for this repair cost a whopping $10 (I ordered double what I needed, BTW) plus $5 shipping. All the disassembly, soldering and reassembly took about an hour and a half if you don't count the part where we waited a few days for the new caps to come in. I don't know what it would have cost if I had put it in the shop but I'm pretty sure I saved myself a bundle.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:21 PM
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BacteriumFendYoke BacteriumFendYoke is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Nice to know that when these things go wrong, I can repair it with my old trusty. Old trusty needs a new tip, actually. You just reminded me.

It's nice to see somebody actually using their common sense and repairing a unit like this. So many people wouldn't.
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Old 04-10-2012, 11:33 PM
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Fuzrock Fuzrock is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

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Originally Posted by BacteriumFendYoke View Post
It's nice to see somebody actually using their common sense and repairing a unit like this. So many people wouldn't.
At $599 per unit I couldn't afford not to. Actually, Roland is phasing these out (I think) and are now offereing the SPD-SX which is $799. These things need to last as long as possible. They shouldn't be considered a throw away and replace type of item.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:37 PM
humanizr humanizr is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Ive had a SPD-S for five years now, and no real problems, except one of the pads losing a little sensitivity. However a month ago at practice the sound from both audio outputs and headphone out reduced by 95%, and stayed there since. Needless to say as is the unit is totally useless. I suppose the warranty is now up, anyone know if this is something relatively easy to fix?
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Old 09-12-2012, 05:36 PM
Daggabosh Daggabosh is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Thanks, Fuzrock, for posting this. I sent my SPDS with exactly the same symptoms to Roland to have it repaired. They quoted me 500 $ for a new mainboard.
I will now attempt to fix it myself, with quite a lot more confidence, thanks to you!
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Old 10-07-2012, 01:08 AM
razortongue1 razortongue1 is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

question where can i order the caps, i was thinking the same thing, thanks for posting the pics and process. Is that aluminum shield supposed to touch all the contacts on the bottom of the board?
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:08 AM
mitch 250 mitch 250 is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Thanks a Lot,

I had almost the same problem,

your post has been really helpfull.

(My SPDS is working again now)
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Great thread. My SPD-S has a pretty good whine to it. I'm not confident enough to try and fix it myself but now I know what the probable solution is. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:29 AM
madridrummer madridrummer is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Hey man you save my life!
Thanks A LOT!
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Old 09-28-2013, 01:47 AM
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e-R-o-c-k e-R-o-c-k is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Hey man! Thanks for posting this. My spd-s has a hum/whine sound also. Been going crazy looking all over the net to see if there is a fix for it. Took it to a Roland service repair shop and they didn't want to deal with it. Found this post... and i'm gonna give it a shot. I ordered the capacitors and even picked up the same soldering tool in your pics. I'll report back after my attempt to follow your steps.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:55 AM
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pnolle pnolle is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Hi Fuzrock,
thanks for your excellent post. Although it's been a while since you did your repair, I wonder if you might have a kind of circuit board map or if you could tell me where the internal memory sits.
Since a few days my SPD-S only displays "memory damaged!", factory reset as described in the manual does not work. In other forums I've read that other users with the same problem were charged as much as a new device for the repair - I guess it's because Roland would only exchange the whole main board. So if you (or anyone else in this thread) could help me with that, I would try and replace that module.
Thanks
Nik
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Old 03-19-2014, 05:12 PM
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Fuzrock Fuzrock is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

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Originally Posted by pnolle View Post
Hi Fuzrock,
thanks for your excellent post. Although it's been a while since you did your repair, I wonder if you might have a kind of circuit board map or if you could tell me where the internal memory sits.
Since a few days my SPD-S only displays "memory damaged!", factory reset as described in the manual does not work. In other forums I've read that other users with the same problem were charged as much as a new device for the repair - I guess it's because Roland would only exchange the whole main board. So if you (or anyone else in this thread) could help me with that, I would try and replace that module.
Thanks
Nik
I'm sorry, I don't have a map. Replacing that module would be very tricky and would require a lot more technical expertise than I possess. You might also have a heck of a time finding a replacement module or something compatible. When you did the factory reset, did you download the latest software from Roland's website and restore from a Compact Flash card? You may be best off finding a a used SPS-S and using the one you have for spare parts. They have gotten really cheap since the newer SPD-SX has come out.
I got incredibly lucky a while back. I was looking through the restock section on Musicians Friend and came across an SPD-SX for $329 with a shattered LCD screen. I called Roland and they quoted me $79 for the a replacement LCD. Long story short, I got a brand new SPD-SX for slightly more than half price! There was absolutely nothing else wrong with it. I sold my SPD-S for $250 so in the end, it only cost me less than $200 to upgrade.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:30 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Hey Fuzz. I'm glad this post resurfaced.

Great job on the repair!

Here is a question for you and your friend who helped.

What are the odds of taking an SPD-SX apart and installing more remote trigger jacks to take the place of the built in pads or the foot switch jack ?

My theory is that the built in pads simply have two wires attached to them and thy could be rerouted to a 1/4" jack (two triggers per stereo jack like the existing remotes)

It would be a gutsy move to attempt such a modification but I'd bet it's not rocket science.

Remote triggers make the thing so much easier to play and I'd really like to have more than the 4 provided. I have one that is out of warranty and I would be willing to take on a project if I had some technical guidance.

Doable?
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:20 AM
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuzrock View Post
finding a replacement module or something compatible.
Wow, you were really lucky there! Actually I hadn't been using my SPD-S for about a year because it's so tedious to configure, with that giant old flash card, the 8-letter filenames, assigning sounds to pads on that tiny display.. I only switched it on to format the card and sell the whole thing and get an SPD-SX or maybe a Yamaha DTX Multi 12 - this is only 2/3rds of the price and the only disadvantage seems to be the small wave memory. What's important to me is the internal click and routing it only to the headphones but not to the FOH.
Anyway, I think the memory is a lot harder to replace than a display or a pad, because those are just connected with ribbon cables, but the memory seems to be solded directly on the board. Roland wrote me back and they said if they could replace it, it would be around 100, if not I'd neet a new mainboard for 500, and that's definitely not worth it. I guess I'll bring it to a store and then we'll see if I get away with the cheap repair.
Thanks anyway!
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:39 PM
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emmettrhall emmettrhall is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Excellent post. Im new to the forums and just got an spd-sx much like u did via musicians friend. Was wanting the sdp-s but the price was right for me. Was also digging the yamaha but for 30 more bux ended up with the sx. Im looking forward to your answer to mr trix here. I dunno if this helps anyone but as of sunday, i saw some sdp-s units thst people could maybe use for spare parts and whatnot going for as low as 50 bucks. Hope i didnt screw up yer thread my friend!
Emmet
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:26 PM
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Fuzrock Fuzrock is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Quote:
Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
Hey Fuzz. I'm glad this post resurfaced.

Great job on the repair!

Here is a question for you and your friend who helped.

What are the odds of taking an SPD-SX apart and installing more remote trigger jacks to take the place of the built in pads or the foot switch jack ?

My theory is that the built in pads simply have two wires attached to them and thy could be rerouted to a 1/4" jack (two triggers per stereo jack like the existing remotes)

It would be a gutsy move to attempt such a modification but I'd bet it's not rocket science.

Remote triggers make the thing so much easier to play and I'd really like to have more than the 4 provided. I have one that is out of warranty and I would be willing to take on a project if I had some technical guidance.

Doable?
When I did the screen replacement in the SPD-SX, I only disassembled it enough to get the job done and I really didn't spend any extra time surveying the guts of the thing. I should have taken pictures and started another thread for those who might need to replace their screen in the future. I was just too excited to get my new toy up and running for the first time. As for adding more remote trigger jacks at the expense of losing on board triggers, I'm sure it's possible but may be difficult. I suspect that the pads may all be connected to the main board by a single ribbon cable. If you attempt to break the wires out, it would have to be from each individual pad and you may never get full functionality back if you try to undo your actions. I personally would not try this. You may just want to find a brain from an e-kit if you want triggers all around you.
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Old 03-20-2014, 09:20 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

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Originally Posted by Fuzrock View Post
You may just want to find a brain from an e-kit if you want triggers all around you.
And the brain would somehow trigger the SPD pads?????
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2014, 05:39 PM
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Fuzrock Fuzrock is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

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Originally Posted by New Tricks View Post
And the brain would somehow trigger the SPD pads?????
What I'm saying is if you need more than 4 extra pads around your kit, get a brain in addition to your SPD-SX or just use a brain instead.
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Old 03-21-2014, 08:34 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Yeah but I need to trigger samples from the SPD. I can't load samples on to a module.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:20 PM
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Fuzrock Fuzrock is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

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Yeah but I need to trigger samples from the SPD. I can't load samples on to a module.
Geez, man. How many samples per song do you use? Do you even have time to play drums while you're hitting all of them? LOL!
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:34 PM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Best case, 1

Worst case, 11

Some songs are as simple as triggering a rhythm guitar part during the instruments portion of the song. Some are simply verse chorus.

I have learned to make adjustments and usually I can limit it to 4 to 6 segments.

Generally I use pad 1 on the SPD for the song's intro. Easy enough. I also use pad 9 for a kill switch. Very important :)

On an easy/typical verse, chorus, bridge song, I can cover it with just three pads mounted on the right side.

I took on this project because 1) I couldn't find a reliable keyboard player and 2) the music we play (60's/70's/80's/90's classic rock/pop) has very basic drumming and I felt the need to do more. It's actually pretty simple. A lot of songs are repetitious and the backing parts start at the top of the measure which means you usually have a free hand at the time.
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Old 08-23-2014, 05:58 PM
AngryQuaker AngryQuaker is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Hi, folks. New Tricks, if you haven't found a solution to your problem, I might venture a couple suggestions. You can use the pedal inputs in a couple different ways, and I think they can probably get you where you need to be. You can use fairly inexpensive pedals, all they need to be is a momentary switch. It sounds like I do a lot of what you're doing (calling up sequenced/sampled horns, keys, latin percussion, etc, to fill in blanks) and I use Boss FS-5Us. If simply using the pedals to trigger more sounds isn't enough, you can also program them (or pads, for that matter) to scroll up or down thru your various kits. If you really have that many unique sounds you need to call up during one song, spread it out over two kits, and use the pedal(s) and/or pad(s) to switch kits during the performance. I've also found that some passages, say a horn lick, will be shorter for the first time around, and longer later in the song. Sample the whole "long" passage, and set the pad or pedal you're using to trigger it to "ALT." When you need the "short" passage, trigger it, then hit that pad or pedal again to stop the playback at the appropriate time. When you need the longer passage, just go ahead and let it play out. The horn lines in Santana's "Smooth" would be one good example of how I use this method. Doing this, and/or switching kits mid-song should allow you to accomplish your goals, or at least get closer. Anyway, I'd think two external pads on each side of your drum kit, and two pedals in addition to the SPD-SX's pads should be plenty once you work out the logistics.

As for opening up the SPD-SX to attempt repairs, I recommend strongly against it. My headphone jack was starting to go a little wonky, so I thought I'd open 'er up and check it out since it was so relatively easy to replace the capacitors in the old SPD-S as explained in this thread. Wrong. The SPD-SX is much more difficult to get apart, and once I finally HAD to do it, I was in constant fear that I was going to damage the thing irreversibly. I had to do it because when I'd removed all the screws, the two pieces of the housing still didn't want to come apart. I shook and jiggled and peered and pried, and still no joy. I figured there must be another screw or something under the rubber pad piece, so I took that off to have a look. It's pretty easy to peel off, BUT DO NOT DO IT. There are no screws or latches under there, and once it's off, you HAVE to get the case apart to get it back on properly. It's held down by little rubber nibs that fit into holes in the casing. Pulling them out is no problem, but you cannot push them back thru the holes. You have to get the case apart and PULL them thru from the back side. I honestly don't know what was holding the case together, but I did manage to get it apart without breaking anything. The gain knob on the back is one impediment, but I still think there's more to it than that. Maybe it was just mine being a little extra sticky. Anyway, once you get the two pieces free from each other, you'll find that the PCB where the USB jacks reside is held on to the bottom casing with four screws, and ribbon cabled to the rest of the PCBs. I didn't want to risk damaging the ribbon cables, so I took out the screws, which was no mean feat with no more room than you have. And while I was in there, I saw that there are really no "old-school" thru-hole capacitors or other components. It's all surface-mount stuff which would be quite a challenge to replace or repair (at least for a novice to intermediate de-soldering guy, such as myself). I didn't see any obvious cold solder joints or anything amiss with the headphone jack, so I left it be, and put the SPD-SX back together carefully, after pulling the rubber niblets back into their holes to replace the rubber pad. I'd say it was a nightmare, and I will not undertake it again lightly. I apologize that I didn't take pictures, but I was getting down to the wire on having a show to play, and I'm currently using the SPD-SX as my whole kit, minus a couple cymbals. So while I was able to get an extra 6-8 months out of the trusty old SPD-S, I don't think the SPD-SX is going to be the same kind of story. And that's my story.

Special thanks to Fuzrock for getting me the aforementioned 6-8 months, and thanks to you all for reading my novella here. Hopefully it will save someone the headache and nerve-wracking ordeal I put myself through. And at least for the past couple shows, I haven't had any problems with the headphone jack. Knock on wood. lol

-Russ
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  #23  
Old 08-28-2014, 02:45 AM
Booman Booman is offline
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Default Re: Repairing Roland SPD-S

Hi Fuzrock,

Thanks for the post. I am having the same noise issue with my Spds. I opened and sure enough, there are a few bulging capacitors. I hate to trouble you, any chance you coukd relay the part numbers for the capacitors and where you ordered the from? Other than contacting Roland, Im not sure where to start.

Thanks,
Brandon
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