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The story of a used Roland FR-1x

dunlustin

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See:
 

JerryPH

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I don't know, I've taken apart my 8X and I recognize this material... it isn't plastic really, but rather a kind of composite. Actually, real plastic would likely be stronger and last longer, but on top of that, this composite material is also harder to repair. It doesn't accept glues or resin repairs well (I am not sure how well it would work on epoxy style repairs), so it is very hard to fix.

This is quite the challenging situation, but on top of that, because I have a fair idea of the strength of this material, and it takes quite a lot to cause a break like this is leading me to believe that there was a fair amount of abuse to help this along to happen. I'm not talking about swinging teh accordion around with the bass strap, but very hard pulling, holding via the strap, lifting via the strap... that kind of pressure on this material will let go... I saw how weak it was after only removing a screw and placing it back in TWICE and already it was lose and I was being VERY gentle.
 

dunlustin

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It's a pity that the first (unhappy) FR1X owner didn't get around to posting an update in 2014.

On the use of epoxy: Jim D's experience is positive.
I have not seen any ref to FR8X having the problem. There were other isolated examples.

Roland Belgium seems to be the place for support in N W Europe.
 

jozz

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The material is rather "flaky" or brittle once broken. So a compositie of some sort sounds just about right.

Anyhow, I unfastened the LH shell, thankfully that is very easy and requires only the unscrewing of all the chrome plated screws visible. Thus, making the backside easily accessible.

I took the time to inspect the top side as well, but that seems to have a better design with 4 supports to each screw. It feels completely solid when I press down on the support.

The bottom side only has two supports lengthwise, or so it seems. Furthermore, the three holes seem countersunk from the bottom. You can see why this part breaks easily around the screw holes.

  • I will try to fabricate some fitting plate, maybe aluminium, that will sit like a glove and make contact with as much shell surface as possible to spread the load as wide as possible.
 

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JIM D.

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As for the gluing of the injection molded plastic parts that make up the bodies of "V" accordions there is a repair solution.
If you scuff the plastic with a light sandpaper , apply liquid super glue to the scuffed surface and you will find it welds itself
to the plastic surface. After the super glue application you will find an epoxy type glue will now adhere to the prepared
surface. A 5 min. epoxy works well here as it gives adequate time to work with. In the case of a bellows strap break on
the FR 1 first apply masking tape to the outside exterior of the bellows strap cavity. with the assembly upside down fill
the cavity with the mixed epoxy. After 5 min. remove the tape and be patient and wait for at least 12 hrs. for the epoxy
to harden to the point it can be drilled. Then drill for the original screws replace the plate and refasten the bass strap
assembly. The repair should outlive the life of the "V" accordion. Early FR-1 models had a thin injected molded inner
bass plate and I repaired many in their first introduction models. Later FR-1 models came with a proper thickness
molded part. There are many original FR-1's still out there an when picking up or carrying the accordion with the
bass strap will break the inner bass plate. If you obtain a used FR-1 and break the inner bass plate by all means give
the repair a try. It will be less expensive and less of a hassle trying to obtain a new bass plate.
 

Dingo40

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Jozz,
I see Jim D has experience with this problem and, luckily, some advice for handling it.🙂
I'm sure we're all barracking for you and would be very interested in how it pans out: please keep us updated!🙂
 
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jozz

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Thanks @JIM D.

That is the simple step by step that I needed for encouragement.

I went out and the epoxy is now hardening.

So here's what I've done so far:
  • scuffed plastic inside and out with small piece of scotchbrite
  • superglued a corner crack first
  • applied royal amount of superglue (1 gram) to bond / prepare surface
  • taped inside to create a little well for the epoxy to fill up
  • taped outside to hold the epoxy from pouring through the broken hole
I'm hoping I can drill this stuff to hold the original screws. Folks at the store told me it would. Otherwise I might use bolts and nuts all the way through. I ended up using the entire volume of the epoxy into the well.

Now for the 24h of waiting! Fingers crossed
 

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JIM D.

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If you find the screws to loose in your drilled holes apply a bit of super glue in the drilled holes and let the glue set.
 

jozz

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Thanks for the support!

So today I ventured into my workshop again. After venting out the epoxy fumes I could start drilling and assembly.

The stuff was hardened but still had a little flexibility. So I gave it another couple of hours.

The underside "block" looked nice and hardened. On the topside the surface was a complete mess, the stuff hadn't really flowed and filled the spaces and cracks. I guess this stuff isn't really liquid enough. It appeared more like gel when stirred.

Luckily, the topside would accept drilling and the original screws. I tried my best to tug it around a bit, but it seemed strong enough.

I thought about drilling through and putting two bolts in but it really felt like overkill.

So now it's back together - happy camper!
 

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JIM D.

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Congratulations on your fix. Most epoxy brands will also work with different curing times. I use a product that has a shorter
working time and will harden in 5 min. and fully harden in 12 hrs. --
 

jozz

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Thanks @JIM D.

The store also carried the 5 min. "TURBO" stuff, but I opted for this to give it time to let "flow" into the cavity. That never happened, and I had to "push" it down, hence the mess you see at the topside.

At first I put everything back but forgot to connect the bass button wires back up. 😬 Thought I screwed it up when there as no bass sound...

Anyway, the hardest part was probably getting the loops for the bass strap through the body shell again. It pays to first attach a string to them to pull them through while you jiggle the shell to reinstall the air button shaft.
 

JIM D.

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Forgot to mention getting the bass strap back thru the plate. Your solution was exactly what I would have advised.(y)
 

jozz

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Now that's sorted, on to further playing.

Next headache:
- I want to layer bass orchestral sounds onto bass accordion sounds.
eg. Double bass on top of accordion root bass notes.

I've looked at SOLO and DUAL mode for treble side, but this doesn't carry over to the bass side.

Doesn't seem possible?
 

Chickers

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My reason for finally buying digital is mainly that I could practice in silence, and late in the evening with sleeping kids (I have now one small kid and a fresh baby).

My findings so far:
- playability is not so bad, after a couple of hours when you get used to the difference from an acoustic
- it is silent if you wish - while maintaining some bellows expression (my main concern)

So far I'v only just begun playing around with it. The only thing I have changed is setting the reverb to 0.
Hello, I wish you luck with your Roland.
A few months back I purchase the Roland FR-4X, and am not very happy with it.
It really takes some getting used to this "different" instrument.
Maybe a highly skilled, and very experienced accordionist can adjust more easily, and find the Roland nothing more than
a variation.
For me, my motivation was to purchase a light, easy to handle accordion, that gave me the variety of sounds without
all the confusing discussions, and details about reeds, wet, dry, tremelo, cossotto, on and on.
I've heard many GREAT sounding acoustic accordions, and tried to find find an appealing accordion---in my price range.
Many disappointments. Most of which I have come to learn and understand it's me, and my lack of accomplishment.
I have discovered that even the most basic reed assembled accordions can sound fantastic when being played the
accomplished accordionist, and playing a fitting musical score for that instrument.
In my humble opinion, I think the Roland V-series accordions are great for a player that wishes to make switch (register)
changes throughout the tune in order to gain wide appeal, and variation. The same notes can sure sound very different.
Depending on an individuals motivation, there are lots of "pro's" and "con's" for the Roland. I find them as "Difficult decisions"
 

pentaprism

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Hello Chickers,

No matter what Roland says, and no matter what a V-Accordion looks like, it is NOT an acoustic accordion. If you expect it to be, as you know, you'll be disappointed.

It took me a while to draw the line. But once I've done it, I like my V-Accordions just like I do my acoustic accordions.

I play a V-Accordion almost everyday (with headphones). But I have to admit that whenever I know my playing doesn't bother anyone, I'll grab one of the acoustic accordions.
 

jozz

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Hi Chickers,

I can relate to parts of your experience.

It's not really lightweight, and it sure has many more options than what I need.

I bought it for a very specific reason - silent playing. And I bougt it pre-owned, because I also was totally unsure if a digital accordion would be my taste and in acceptable playability.

It's growing on me, slowly. In time, maybe it will grow on you?

I can understand it might be frustrating once you buy an expensive Roland, and it doesn't feel quite right, it's a bummer. I bought it blind, so it was a bit of a gamble. The "many accordions in one box" is a bonus and helps a lot in having fun. So much that I can see using this "tool" also musically, which I first thought I never would. But it's a fun thing, and keeps my family sleeping after ten o'clock.
 

Mr Mark

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Better late to this thread than never, congrats on your acquisition!

I really like mine but have found it really only works for me with quiet practice settings.

I can't get over the lack of bellows feel but maybe this is more an issue with my particular model (FR3s). Most often for practice I will just set the bellows at zero and keep them closed so I'm only working on fingerings.

The perfection of keystrokes is perhaps too much - although I can't argue with the fact this will likely make me a better player I also came to the conclusion that none of my acoustic accordions respond like that so I shouldn't let that alter how I'm doing things.

My band would like me to use it for the simple fact there are no microphone issues, but for me the feel cannot be replaced nor the organic authentic nature of an acoustic (plus the aesthetic of a rapidly moving bellows on stage is not something my Roland will do unless I drill a bunch of holes in it...hmmm...:ROFLMAO:)..

I did go nuts and buy two sets of batteries and a charger (EBL 2800 mAh on Amazon for about $100 CAD) and am happy with the freedom of movement they afford but wow they don't last long - but long enough for a three hour gig before I change into the second set of batteries, for what its worth.
 

jozz

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I agree, it cannot totally replace the acoustic feel. But it doesn't exactly feel like a toy either, that's what I was afraid of at first. It feels like a proper instrument.

I think they switched over to new bellow sensor tech for the newer X-models?

For me the FR-1x works, to the point that I can really play without noticing the bellows at all and completely focus on the playing. Of course I don't play highly expressive stuff but I know it would bother me daily if the bellows were a little 'meh...'.

I did experiment with the pressure and the curve setting first.

There are two things that bother me the most after a few weeks in:
  1. Having to connect the power adapter each time.
  2. That I can't layer orchestral bass on top of accordion bass!
 

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