Tag Archives: Roland VK-7

Fixing Hammond XB-2

A few weeks ago Dejan and I began our work on Hammond XB-2 again. The current problem can be heard here:

We tracked the problem back to the static RAMs, which was also mentioned as a solution in one of the comments on this similar youtube video.

We opened the keyboard and took out the main board. As you can see in the picture below, somebody already played (changed) the MUSE RAM chips (the size is different, thus the chips are hanging by the wires – top right corner).

The XB-2 main board

The XB-2 main board

Suprisingly, this thing worked in its own distorted way …

When you change the chips, make sure that you have the same form factor

When you change the chips, make sure that you have the same form factor

We unsoldered the old chips and cleaned the board …

Cleaning the holes ...

Cleaning the holes …

We also made sure we have the right DIL (dual in-line) sockets and put those on first.

Lots of pins to solder ...

Lots of pins to solder …

The DILs

The DILs

Dejan obtained the replacement chips from old computer boards. These are not identical to the originals (the new ones must be newer since the old ones had 70ms latency according to the manual) but should do the job.

Chips in sockets

Chips in sockets

 

However, the problem remained. Next step: change the V61C16 chips. Unfortunately we don’t have those and need to find them (or their alternatives) first. If anyone has any information on where to get them, please let me know!

Big boys … new toys: Roland VK-7 and Hammond XB-2

Last week I bought two aswesome instruments  – a Roland VK-7 and Hammond XB-2. The latter unfortunately has the MUSE chip failure. I tested it few months ago and shot this video. I still haven’t given up on it. I checked some options including the XB2-kit. The kit is however more expensive than a fully functional keyboard (and the XB-2 keyboard itself feels really crappy compared to the Roland’s VK-7). But still … I’m gonna fix it someday :) Or at least make it a fully functional midi controller, possibly using arduino + midi kit to translate the drawbar messages into something understandable by another synth (e.g. VK-7 or hopefully a standalone box).

The Roland is awesome. The previous member Jani Baš played it for years in his former band tribute to love. Not only is this instrument great, it also has some history, which makes it even more valuable sentimentally. Here are some pics. The recordings will be produced (not so) shortly, depending on my playing skills (it’s still on todo list) :)

Baby got home :)

Baby got home :)

Both keyboards side by side (VK-7 top and bottom XB-2). Both keyboards are equal in size and general purpose. VK-7 is also a synth (see the left top side of the keyboard).

Both keyboards side by side (VK-7 top and bottom XB-2). Both keyboards are equal in size and general purpose. VK-7 is also a synth (see the left top side of the keyboard).

Now, back to the (other) keyboard :)