Monday, November 29, 2010

My Roland W30's LCD

My like (or dislike) of Roland 12-bit samplers is sometimes joy and pain. It's really mainly joy because of the sounds these beasts produce but mainly pain because when it comes down to instant music making goodness, Ableton Live 7 on my Mac trumps all. I keep the dusty samplers around for memories I guess. My most recent saga involves a Roland W30 I found on craigslist back in 2004 for 100 bucks. The guy selling it thought he could just turn it on and play piano. He must have thought it had piano sounds and built in speakers like the toy Casio and Yamaha keyboards you can find at consumer retail stores. I didn't mention any of my knowledge of the W30 and just walked out with a big grin. One problem: "The unit turns on but doesn't make sound," the guy said. Well, I looked at the unit and thought to myself, oh, it only needs the LCD back-light replaced. I turned on the unit and the LCD did not light up. No light and no graphics. I put the keyboard away and put into the future projects pile.
Several years later, I bought a backlight from Telesis and took apart my W30. I thought I did a pretty good job in the repair. I have pictures hiding some where on a hard drive that I should put up. Nevertheless I got deep into Ableton use and put the sampler away. I recently pulled it out because a friend needed a keyboard to practice piano lessons so I dropped it off. Later I went to check on the keyboard and saw the LCD lights up super bright but there's no readout (no text). LCD back-light replacement worked but the real problem is the LCD is blank. So really all it's good for right now is just playing back disks I make on my S-330 or via a PC. Good times with a hunk of junk.


boatrock said...

I want to buy your W-30.
Mine has a bad floppy drive but the rest works. If your floppy drive works i will happily swap them out and make one good (using the term loosely!)unit out of the two.
If you have no use for yours (and it seems you really don't) name your (reasonable) cash price.
I live in CA but am flying to Milwaukee next week so maybe we could hook up for the exchange.
Please e me back at
Hope to hear from you.
Thanks, Laurence

Anonymous said...

unlucky with the roland w30 huh? Man I bought an roland w30 and the main problem other than a few buttons that I can easily but back into place with an double sided sticky tape, is the lcd. I fear it will do the same thing that your roland w30 will do even if I fit a new backlight. I know it sounds pathetic but iam reluctant to move on from it seeing as it is my first sampler.

Regend said...

I still use the W30 without the LCD. I just make disks on an s330 and pop them in and just use performance mode on the W30 =)