Boss Drum Machine Woes

Boss/Roland gear such as Keys, Synth, Racks, Drum Machines, etc
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BearBoy
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Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by BearBoy » Wed Feb 14, 2024 6:07 pm

I've got two Boss drum machines: a DR-550 and a DR-670. I've not used either for maybe a year or so as I generally use EZ Drummer these days for recording etc.

Anyway, I decided to have a play about with my DR-550 earlier today. I connected a pair of headphones and got quite a lot of static hiss, even with the volume control at zero. This only gets marginally louder as I turn the volume up to full. The left channel is noticeably louder than the right channel and there is a sort of distorted click in time with the beat coming out of the right channel. This click is audible even with the volume at zero and no other sound coming through. It clicks in time with the flashing red tempo light (with a slight double click on the first beat of the bar).

Wondering whether the headphone output had a fault, I then connected it, using the L and R 1/4" jack outputs, to my mixer. Got the same results. Overall level is pretty low and I had to max the volume controls on the mixer (both the channel and master) to get a reasonable sound level.

Finally connected it in mono to the mixer, using the L(Mono) 1/4" jack output. This time I got the distorted click in both left and right ears.

All of the above happens whether the drum machine is powered by batteries or PSU (I tried two different, known working, official Boss PSUs).

Decided to try my Boss DR-670 after this only to find that it too has a problem :( Whenever it makes a sound (either through hitting one of the drum pads or playing a pattern), the drum machine reboots. If I play a pattern that is silent for two beats, it will restart on the third beat when the first actual sound is played. Otherwise it seems okay. i.e. I can navigate through the settings, change from song play to pattern play, switch drum kits etc. Again, have tried with battery power and a PSU but it's the same with either.

I Googled the issue and have found a couple of other people who have experienced the same problem on other forums but no joy identifying a fix.

Bit of a long shot but has anyone encountered either of these issues / got any suggestions as to what might be wrong with either machine?

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BearBoy
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Re: Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by BearBoy » Wed Feb 14, 2024 6:10 pm

Just to add, both machines were working perfectly last time I used them and have been stored in their original boxes in a wardrobe in my office (no cold/damp garages or anything like that).

zentropa
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Re: Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by zentropa » Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:17 pm

Does it crackle when you turn the jog wheel on the DR-550?

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Re: Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by BearBoy » Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:26 pm

No, there's no crackling when I turn the jog wheel.

zentropa
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Re: Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by zentropa » Wed Feb 14, 2024 7:56 pm

Well, my guess wasn't right then.

I have had troubles with the DR-550 and similar era machines like the Alesis SR-16 developing weird issues if the jog wheel pot starts getting corroded. My last SR-16 had some stuff where it started acting up more on one of the stereo outputs more than the other.

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Re: Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by BearBoy » Wed Feb 14, 2024 8:18 pm

Funny you should mention corrosion, I've just taken it apart and the copper sheet covering the circuit board looks pretty ugly:
Boss DR-550 small.jpg
Boss DR-550 small.jpg (90.37 KiB) Viewed 1783 times
The circuit board beneath the bit of the sheet I can see under (the bottom part in the photo) looks fine but I'm guessing this probably has something to do with my issues :(

The top part of the sheet, which is probably where I need to be looking as that's where the jacks, volume control etc are, is soldered down so not so easily accessible.

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Re: Boss Drum Machine Woes

Post by BearBoy » Wed Feb 14, 2024 10:15 pm

Weird thing that’s got me a bit stumped is that this looks like damage caused by leaking batteries but there are no signs of any leakage/corrosion in the battery compartment and, as far as I know, the DR-550 does not have an internal battery.

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