The Complete Restoration of a Roland VP-330 Analog Vocoder


A customer had purchased a Roland VP330 - the original analog vocoder - which didn't do much at all. After inspecting the circuit it became clear that the most conservative way to restore proper function would be to replace ALL of the failing electrolytic capacitors in all of the PCBs. In addition, the slider pots were so incredibly caked with dirt that the only proper was to clean them was to remove and disassemble each one, soak the parts in a mild deteregent solution, rinse thoroughly, dry, and reassemble and relubricate the moving parts as new. Many hours later, after also cleaning all the wiring harnesses, pots, jacks, and replacing all of the electrolytics, the vocoder was calibrated using the original factory service manual.

The sound of this unit is quite remarkable, stunning. It is very liquid and complex. It serves as a reminder that digital vocoding algorithms are only an approximation of the types of sounds that this unit can generate.

These pictures are shown just before final assembly and before calibration, but after all componenets have been replaced. Click for a larger picture.