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Problem with new Roland FR1x

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pehilton

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I bought a Roland FR1x in June this year, and loved it right away, (especially the musette sound.) But in August, the left hand strap suddenly gave way inside the instrument. Fortunately the dealer, Roxys in Batavia NY, US, was understanding and sent me a new instrument to replace it.
Now I was happy again. But less than three months later the exact same thing happened.I looked inside the bass side case cover, and found that the strap was secured to a piece of metal with four screws which went on into plastic beneath the metal. The whole piece with metal, plastic , screws and all just pulled right out of the surrounding plastic area leaving a jagged eliptical hole.
I have sent the instrument to the service center in California, and am awaiting a repaired instrument. Of course I had to pay to ship it out there. Service Dept suggested maybe I was too strong in pulling the bellows, but Im 85 years old, and dont have the strength to pull that hard. I think this might be a weakness in structural design - anybody have any thoughts?
 
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In my view it is definitely a design flaw in the 1x. I had the same thing happen. In the yahoo v-accordion site there is a discussion of how to repair it yourself, if it's not on warranty. The site where the strap is anchored doesn't seem to be able to withstand a strong bellows pull over time, and the plastic will be pull apart, as yours did. The same thing has happened to some 3x instruments as well.
It is not difficult to fix, but since yours is under warranty there's no reason not to have it repaired by Roland.
Your description of how the strap anchor pulls out the plastic, screws and all, is exactly what others have experienced.
The good news is that a proper fix will make your 1x better than new. If it happens again, check the v-accordion users group for more information.
Hope you continue to play it as it should be played, with gusto. ;<)
Richard
 

JIM D.

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We have had a few 1x models that have had the bass strap anchor failure. ( http://www.falcettimusic.com/ ) Ive repaired these by filling the anchor point with epoxy and the fix seems permanent. I must add that the bass strap failure in some cases was the result of using the bass strap as a carry handle and not excessive playing force. :roll: :tdown: :roll:
 

dunlustin

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I do not believe any Roland accordions have been made in China?

The strap failure is a known issue in Europe too.
I'm a bit surprised Roland have not modified the build to deal with it/done a recall, rather than expecting retailers to find their own solution.
As a FR1XB owner I do find this a bit of a worry - certainly wouldn't like to be told it was my fault given the wider experience.
Could it be this coincided with Roland Corp's difficulties/buyout and they were preoccupied with other matters?
 

Glenn

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JIM D. said:
I must add that the bass strap failure in some cases was the result of using the bass strap as a carry handle and not excessive playing force. :roll: :tdown: :roll:
This thought did cross my mind as well Jim. :roll:

By the way, are there similar issues with the bigger brother of this instrument, aka the FR8x?
 

JIM D.

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The 1x is the only model that has had the bass strap issues. Some of the customer's with this issue have admitted to using the bass strap for a carry handle, and some absolutely deny this practice. Whatever the reason for the bass strap failure we repair our customer's 1x's at no charge on or off Warranty. :tup:
 
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Jim,
You may not have noticed the discussion in the v-accordion forum, but two 3x owners have also had the bass strap anchor break off, and from their descriptions, the problem and solution are identical to the 3x. I know of no such failure in the 7x or 8x.

I can attest that, at least in my case, I most definitely did not ever lift the 1x by the bass strap. But I also plead guilty to pulling quite hard, and probably harder than the average player. It would be interesting to measure the force exerted on the strap by different players, but it is clear in looking at the anchor point in the 1x and 3x that extra force can weaken or rip apart the anchor site. As I suggested, to me it's an annoyance but definitely a fixable problem, and not something I'd worry about as long as it is repaired well.

There is a possible additional point that might be relevant. Normally I play all of my v-accordions at full or near-full volume, and it's partly because that's when I can hear the dynamic changes that I expect. The time that my 1x strap failed was when I was recording at perhaps 60%, per the suggestions of a sound expert. I found myself unconsciously pulling harder than normal to try to produce the loudness my ears expected from a particular level of exertion. So in that sense perhaps I was to blame. Or maybe I'll blame the sound expert. ;<) Or...maybe even the strap design is the true villain....

Strap failure may not be common, but it does occur. I have no reason to believe that it is associated with recent changes in Roland, as my experience certainly predated that. I don't often play the 1x, but after fixing the strap I would have no hesitation in pulling it hard as I usually do.

Richard
 

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Maybe a bit off topic but you would think with 200 years of accordion building experience that the problems of fixing a bass strap would be solved by now.
 

JIM D.

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Roland has been in the Virtual Accordion business for less than 20 years and their V accordion models are not constructed the same as a hand made acoustic accordion. The body of a V accordion is the same construction as a digital or piano keyboard. Roland being a rookie in the accordion market some of the Roland models have had teething problems, but as a player and V accordion tech since their introduction to the market, I can assure you that Roland has always addressed and corrected any design problems. The new V accordions are now being assembled by the Italian firm Fatar and from their well known quality products used all over the music industry, the connection of Roland and Fatar could just be a marriage made in history.
see here -- http://www.fatar.com/
 
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pehilton

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As the originator of this discussion on bass straps, I have read the replies with interest. Especially that several others have had exactly the same problem. No, I don't ever pick up the instrument by the bass strap - it never occured to me to do so.
I hope Roland's service department does more than epoxy glue it back together. (I could do that myself.)
When I get it back, I'll try to remember to let you know what the "fix" was.
Thanks to all who commented.
 

dunlustin

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With no response from Roland on either side of the ‘Pond’ and having a personal interest, I’ve had a look at what they say on the France-based forum.
Pooling experiences they have found:
Failures of the Left hand strap have been reported on one FR3, one FR3X one FR3S and a FR18 (diatonic)
Of the 15 FR1XB mentioned, 8 have failed and 7 have not. Small numbers from which it would be unwise to draw too many conclusions.
The serial numbers follow the form Z*C0xyz. No failures have been reported for serial numbers Z4C0xyz and above (up to Z9). Reports run from Dec 2013 to May 2014.
Repairs have been made either by replacement part (not specified) by the retailer or more commonly return to After Sales (Belgium) where the whole LH shell was replaced.
One retailer said that Roland had modified the mould (May 2014).
 
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pehilton

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I was particularly interested in the post that said Roland corrected that weakness with a redesign last May. I guess I got one before the correction, but hope the service dept fixes mine with the new parts.
 

JIM D.

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Roland is now much aware of Bass Strap design and have addressed this in the new 8x model. There is a video in the stress test of an 8x Bass Strap here --
 

dunlustin

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for peh..
I wonder, could you post the serial number - I'll try to get It added to the records.
Also I think you're saying the failure is at the bottom but confirming would be nice.
Two in a row - now that is bad luck!
Good luck with the replacement.
Many thanks
 
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polkadottie2

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I have only owned my Fr1x for a little less than a month and my bass strap broke
It is under warranty of course but since it is the week before Christmas I do not want to ship it off to the dealer.
I'm lucky to be married to Mr Fix it who went in and repaired the problem using a small piece of wood and longer screws to get me thru the holidays. I think his fix may be better than new and u till Roland comes up with a permanent fix I'm not sure if I will even send it back. I should let them know it has happened though. I don't want a new accordion just to have it fail again. Thanks for posting this thread so we know we aren't alone! Oh, and for the record,I would never use the bass strap to pick up an accordion!
 

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