I am wondering (especially the A4/AR Mk2 grey models) what lifetime potential could/will the Elektron boxes have? We see 80-90s Analog Rolands still around working fine but on the other hand the 10-20yrs MFB Tanz… models can break easily as I’ve heard. Are there any general issues regarding the current Mk2 machines that might foresee their next 10 yrs?
Screens are always a bit of a problem for longevity, but they’re usually pretty simple to replace.
Other than that it’s the usual stuff like encoders, batteries and a few capacitors that will probably need replacing eventually. Again, though, none of these are big jobs for some who knows what they’re doing.
Some of the AR mk2’s had shitty pads, but again, easy fix.
The MK1 screens will outlive the Mk2 screens. Other than that, back up batteries will need replacing.
Ive had my OT MK1 apart a couple of times, the capacitors look fine and everything is well assembled. No reason why it shouldnt last as long as my 40 odd year old MS20 which works fine and has never been repaired.
Stuff that is made properly with quality components, lasts a long time. (Providing its looked after of course)
Is maybe worth to buy screens and pads from Elektron, cellar them up, is handy for you 10-20 years later or adds a plus to the resale price. My worry is that let’s say you keep an E machine for decades, then by the time you need something replaced, parts will not be available anymore.
I have been tempted to buy lots of the Rytm Mk1 films and pads and become a Rytm engineer. It’s easy even for a dunce like me to repair.
Interesting that you call out analog specifically… the only analog Roland equipment which has failed on me was the HS-60 (Juno 106) with its famously melting voice chips…
I’ve had a lot of digital Roland equipment fail on me over the years…
- SR-JV expansion boards (& probably VS8F-2) with bad (exploding, fire hazard) capacitors
- JP-8000 with bad capacitors
- XP-50 bad capacitors
- MC-303 (found a dying one at Goodwill; assuming bad capacitors)
- worn out aftertouch on some late 80s/early 90s keyboards
- MC-50mkii button failures (mki seems fine)
- various — encoder knobs wear out
- MC-80 - I don’t know, it just crashed a lot. Maybe capacitors?
- U-220 (glue broke on the power switch; easy fix)
A few models who kept kicking while in my possession (not listing anything made after 2010):
- TR-909 (even though my unit had a crack in its PCB! it only took out the cymbal crash sound)
- MKS-50 (“analog”)
- MC-50 (orig)
- VS series (though the analog trim pots can be too scratchy)
- PR-800 (miss you buddy )
As long as the manufacturing details are there, you’ll likely be able to have your local corner store make you one.
If you’re able to perform the repairs, there are replacement screens that can be used with Elektron that can be sourced from ebay for about 17 usd. I have one that I wanted to mod my MD to match with my OT mkII screen, but I warmed to the orange screen. Now it’s being saved as a replacement.
Also, look out for yourself and instead of stressing buy it while you can regardless of cost, if you can! This happened with my MD when the +drive failed literally a few months after Elektron stopped making them and their stock was depleted.
It’s also not fair to expect a manufacturer to always have stock on hand. They need to evolve, too!
I’ve done minor repairs on all my Elektrons (mostly replacing switches) and it seems to me from dealing with Elektron Support that they place great value in keeping their instruments in use for as long as possible. Not sure about MM/MD, but they definitely still stock replacement parts for MkI machines like Rytm, Octatrack etc, which are quite old now. I’ve been really happy with the support service, and pricing for spare parts.