Archives for posts with tag: Roland TR-909

Arthur Baker Rules…

TR-808

TR-909

TR-303

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This is a forward from the list.  There’s been a lot of chatter about the new Roland attempt to re-capture the magic of the TR series drum machines…

For those interested here are some more in depth comparisons

 TR8 vs 909:
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TR8 vs 808:
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TR808 sounds better. TR8 sounds digital, could easily be a sampler or software.
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I can’t pass up the chance to share this hilarity.  I’ve seen this Roland TR 909 come up on Ebay in the past and now it’s popped up on Craigslist in Denver.  I wanted to  memorialize it in all it’s glory before it’s gone for ever!  Be sure to check out the gallery.  It’s just crazy.  The TR 909 looks like it was brought into a burning house to play a DJ set by the fire department!

TR 909 Fire 1

Direct Quote from Craigslist :

Roland TR-909 Drum Machine – $1500 (Longmont)

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Roland TR-909 Drum Machine… Original owner. Bought it new in late 80’s. First $1500 buys it. Everything works, but tarnished from being stored in a studio that was heated with wood stove.Totally clean in the inside other than very little dust.When I plug in with speaker… all seems to work. All instruments sound perfect and work, including the loud and soft keys. I didn’t notice any scratchy sound on knobs other than when the main volume is turned almost all the way down. I think minor cleaning would solve that.Now… I bought this new in the Mid 80’s… they JUST came out when I bought it. I played around with the programming of it, and I either am not remembering how to clear written programs, or it might have a internal battery that needs replacing. Or, maybe it has issues. My point is that I know everything works, but I don’t know 100% if the programing memory thing works. Probably does, but I don’t have time to re-learn this unit. It’s not supper use friendly.

Any in 100% perfect shape are over $2500
Will sell this as is for $1500. Cash only… no pay pal.
NOTE: I personally think an old item like this is better viewed in person. No returns, sale is final, so you get what you get. Cash and carry, no shipping offered.
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My development is become arrested.  Space Lazr hath shaken my brain.  And the Korg wavz re Soooo Squayrwavy…..

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This track consists of the Roland TR 909 from here and the Korg from here… Also, the Korg bloops in the breaks are triggering from a master clock.  the same clock is driving the TR 909 via R-sync and Simmons SDSV Via 96 Sequencer clock ( With MFB sequencer ) here… it’s awesome when everyone talks synth!

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XBS has been making an effort to do more tech related stuff this month.  In for repair today is a Roland TR-909 in messed up shape.  Someone had tried to refurbish it and made most of it’s age and design  related problems worse!

1, The main drum switches were replaced which is nice but they were installed sloppily and so out of true that the buttons don’t fit in properly.  On further investigation the problem was often the fact that too much silicone was used to glue in the drum switch LED’s so that the switch didn’t fit flush to the switch board PCB.

2, The ribbon cables were re-soldered and rendered non functional because the ribbon cable ends were not trimmed evenly prior to soldering ( anyone familiar with multiconductor cable work knows that the trimmed end lengths of all parts must be exactly correct or else they break off immediately due to imbalanced strain distribution ).

3,  One of the new drum switches was actually bad so it was replaced with one of the original ones that was removed.

On another note, the previous owner did manage to get the Roland TR-909 OS v4.0 chip in and it works which is a huge relief as that would be hard for me to troubleshoot.  Also, the pots and small switches were done well when they were replaced and all seem to be working. =D

So, I have to say that this is one of the most annoying designs ever conceived by man from a standpoint of repair and maintenance.  The boards barely fit in on top of each other inside the case with some long shaft pots going through the switch board from the voice board.  Everything needs to be taken apart to get to the switch board and that’s the one that gets the most abuse!  The switch board is also where the CPU and OS live, right next to the buttons all the ‘house music’ dudes are banging on.  The ribbon cables are soldered to the PCB on one end and have connectors on the other.  I wish they were connectors on both ends so you could replace a cable or work on a board without having an octopus of cables to be mindful of.  They also barely fit in the case around the boards that are barely in there to begin with.  The drum switch caps are so flimsy i don’t know how they were ever on there solidly in the first place.  And the OS is pretty clunky and unintuitive to make music with.  Nothing like the OB or Linn ideas in language or execution.  It does sound Great though.  I just wonder how this was designed when all the Roland synths of that era that i’ve been inside are immaculately designed and completely modular for maintenance purposes!  Who knows!

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