VOGONS


First post, by CrossBow777

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Recently picked up a used Edirol SD-20 to add to my small midi module collection. It does work near as I can tell but there are a few things about it that I can't quite find direct info about in the users manual nor online and was hoping maybe another user here might have more experience with this particular module?

first issue was that I wasn't able to get hardly and sound from the front headphone jack or output RCAs. The volume knob would make a difference but I literally had to turn all volume to max on my PC to barely hear anything coming from the SD-20. I then connected it up via the optical output to my PC and that works just fine and sounds really good. But it is still about 10db lower in volume compared to my other modules so I still have to turn up the volume a little more when listening to it. I looked and didn't see any reason why the output from the RCAs and front line out would be so low?

This module can also be powered from the computer USB bus via a type a to type b cable. I tried this out yesterday and while it does work, it isn't without some oddness that could be normal for this module but again I can't find anything in the manual to confirm.

1st oddness is that I found out the module will NOT power on at all if you have the USB cable plugged in and also have a Midi input cable plugged into the midi in port. Unless you change the interface switch on the back to USB in which case the module will power one from the USB. Seems to use the Midi in or any of the serial interface connections, it will only power one and work with the use of a DC adapter.

2nd oddness is that even with the interface set to USB and it powered and running from USB, the module doesn't appear as a dedicated sound device in windows at all. Windows detects it is there and I'm able to select the SD-20 port A or B within Midi software, but it seems odd there aren't any other software volume levels to play with etc...

3rd oddness was in USB connected mode, the USB connection will just shut off after playing a game in Dosbox? The module is still powered up and windows still sees it is there, but the USB indicator on the module isn't lit and no sound is produced without power cycling the module?

And to add more questions than answers about this particular module. Remember when I said the volume on the RCA and line out jacks was pretty much nothing? Well, they actually did start to work when it was plugged in via USB power? But even then the RCA output was still about 20db lower than the optical and about 30db lower than the rest of the system as a whole. Stranger still, the RCAs are still putting out this amount of volume now even with the module set back to DC and using my Midi in to interface with it. Originally the RCA outputs basically didn't work.

I've looked to see if there is a way to sort of factory reset this thing and have found nothing. I did try and hold down the MODE button as I powered it on just to see but that doesn't seem to do anything either.

So are these issues above normal for the SD-20 or does mine seem to have some internal issues that it shouldn't be having? It works fine for my needs via DC power and using the Midi IN and the optical audio output but still..just strange.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 1 of 16, by yawetaG

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CrossBow777 wrote:

Recently picked up a used Edirol SD-20 to add to my small midi module collection. It does work near as I can tell but there are a few things about it that I can't quite find direct info about in the users manual nor online and was hoping maybe another user here might have more experience with this particular module?

first issue was that I wasn't able to get hardly and sound from the front headphone jack or output RCAs. The volume knob would make a difference but I literally had to turn all volume to max on my PC to barely hear anything coming from the SD-20.

Why are you using volume levels on your PC to change the volume on a MIDI device that should have its own integrated volume control? Turn up the latter.

This module can also be powered from the computer USB bus via a type a to type b cable. I tried this out yesterday and while it does work, it isn't without some oddness that could be normal for this module but again I can't find anything in the manual to confirm.

1st oddness is that I found out the module will NOT power on at all if you have the USB cable plugged in and also have a Midi input cable plugged into the midi in port. Unless you change the interface switch on the back to USB in which case the module will power one from the USB. Seems to use the Midi in or any of the serial interface connections, it will only power one and work with the use of a DC adapter.

2nd oddness is that even with the interface set to USB and it powered and running from USB, the module doesn't appear as a dedicated sound device in windows at all. Windows detects it is there and I'm able to select the SD-20 port A or B within Midi software, but it seems odd there aren't any other software volume levels to play with etc...

AFAIK, the USB port is only there to serve as a USB-MIDI interface (this is valid for almost all synths with a USB port), not USB power (this is something of recent years). It is normal that one of the regular MIDI ports gets disabled, because most modules with such a setup can't merge MIDI signals internally.
It does not make your module magically plug-and-play. If there is software available to change settings on the module, it will make use of MIDI over USB to do so. Changing settings that way will only work from that specific software, unless you install a MIDI librarian that offers a control panel for your specific module or you use sys-ex files played from your favourite DAW.

3rd oddness was in USB connected mode, the USB connection will just shut off after playing a game in Dosbox? The module is still powered up and windows still sees it is there, but the USB indicator on the module isn't lit and no sound is produced without power cycling the module?

All notes off MIDI signal?

And to add more questions than answers about this particular module. Remember when I said the volume on the RCA and line out jacks was pretty much nothing? Well, they actually did start to work when it was plugged in via USB power? But even then the RCA output was still about 20db lower than the optical and about 30db lower than the rest of the system as a whole. Stranger still, the RCAs are still putting out this amount of volume now even with the module set back to DC and using my Midi in to interface with it. Originally the RCA outputs basically didn't work.

Install the software for the SD-20 and see what the results are.

Otherwise return it to wherever you got it from...

Reply 2 of 16, by derSammler

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As for your volume issue, that's not normal. I use the headphone jack of my SD-20 all the time and the output is loud, very loud. Maybe the volume knob is damaged on yours, or the pre-amp inside.

As for USB, it's like yawetaG has written. You can not use USB just for power. It's either MIDI In + PSU, or USB only.

Also, I highly recommend installing the "SD-20 Editor" that comes with the unit.

CrossBow777 wrote:

2nd oddness is that even with the interface set to USB and it powered and running from USB, the module doesn't appear as a dedicated sound device in windows at all. Windows detects it is there and I'm able to select the SD-20 port A or B within Midi software, but it seems odd there aren't any other software volume levels to play with etc...

That's not odd at all. It's just an USB MIDI interface in that mode, not a sound card. Whatever you want to control must be done by sending MIDI commands to the unit.

CrossBow777 wrote:

I've looked to see if there is a way to sort of factory reset this thing and have found nothing.

There's no factory reset. The SD-20 will lose all settings whenever you remove power. Configuration can be done with the SD-20 Editor.

Reply 3 of 16, by CrossBow777

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Okay...let me add more that I didn't type originally then since I've got some ears.

I did install the SD-20 driver from Roland. Since I'm on windows10 I had to go about disabling the driving signing mode through advanced startup to do it however. But even then you don't get any other additional device setup options from the driver. If there is other sd-20 software, then I'm not aware of it as all the Roland site has is the drivers for the device.

And I know about the volume knob, I've tried turning it and it does work but again the volume from the front line out and rear RCAs is no where near the volume of my other devices in the system or from the optical output on the back. I've suspected there is a problem with the amplification on this unit (I did get it used afterall), but looking inside it, I couldn't find anything obvious at all and have been unable to find any schematics on this thing to help troubleshoot. My guess is that someone in the past plugged in something with power on into the front line-out for headphones. I'm going to also assume that since both the line out on the front and the RCAs are both very low in volume that they are tied off the same amp circuit inside and that the optical output (As it is NOT effected by the volume knob on the front) either doesn't or uses a separate amp for its output.

To give you an idea on what I have to do to get volume working from the RCA and front line out..

Sound card volume on the PC has to be maxed on both main volume and line-in volume.
My external speakers require its volume to be at just a little over halfway.
Volume know on the front of the SD-20 has to be at max.

The above will provide what I would call my usual normal listening level. But if I were to forget to turn most of this stuff down afterwards, the other sounds and line in devices on my computer would blow up the speakers and my ears.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 4 of 16, by yawetaG

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CrossBow777 wrote:

Okay...let me add more that I didn't type originally then since I've got some ears.

I did install the SD-20 driver from Roland. Since I'm on windows10 I had to go about disabling the driving signing mode through advanced startup to do it however. But even then you don't get any other additional device setup options from the driver. If there is other sd-20 software, then I'm not aware of it as all the Roland site has is the drivers for the device.

Quite a lot of older Roland devices don't work nicely with Windows 10 because of driver issues... According to this that includes the SD-20 and a special installation procedure is required:

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic. … hp?f=20&t=55497

BTW, googling "Roland SD-20 Windows Editor" gets me this link:

http://my.roland.com/support/by_product/sd-20 … es_drivers/2823

Reply 5 of 16, by CrossBow777

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yawetaG wrote:

Quite a lot of older Roland devices don't work nicely with Windows 10 because of driver issues... According to this that includes the SD-20 and a special installation procedure is required:

https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/viewtopic. … hp?f=20&t=55497

Yes, as I stated I had to go through advanced startup to disable driver signing in order to get the installer to work. The installation of the driver worked as again through USB I'm able to select the SD-20 in midi programs as well as it showing up in Dosbox's /listmidi options.

yawetaG wrote:

BTW, googling "Roland SD-20 Windows Editor" gets me this link:

http://my.roland.com/support/by_product/sd-20 … es_drivers/2823

Again, I honestly wasn't aware there was an editor for this unit. What does it do exactly? I didn't see it on Roland's official support sites but will check it out.

Another thing I forgot to mention and this leads also to there being some issue in the preamp stage of this module..

When I first tried to use it from the RCA and line out on the front, there was no sound at all. If I turned everything up to full I could just make out some sound from my speakers. However, after I attached it via USB and was running it off USB bus power for a bit, I noticed that the optical out seemed a bit louder. I then tried the RCA jacks again and that is when they were working but still not to the same volume levels as I would have imagined or to the same level of the optical output.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 6 of 16, by derSammler

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CrossBow777 wrote:

Again, I honestly wasn't aware there was an editor for this unit. What does it do exactly?

It does everything that you can do on other Roland devices using the buttons and display on the front panel, which the SD-20 lacks.

Reply 7 of 16, by yawetaG

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CrossBow777 wrote:

Another thing I forgot to mention and this leads also to there being some issue in the preamp stage of this module..

Or the volume pot is toast and doesn't do much past a certain point...personally, I would start checking that first, as replacing a volume pot is considerably easier than replacing a (SMD, likely) opamp.

Or just return it to where you got it from as "not working properly". SD-20's are not that rare.

Another thought: Is the power supply functioning properly? If it outputs the wrong voltage, that might also explain your problems.

Reply 8 of 16, by CrossBow777

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Volume pot appears to be working fine. I don't recall the exact values right now since it was last weekend when I hooked my DMM to the pot to measure the resistance but it had quite a large range from the lowest to highest so I'm pretty sure the volume pot is fine. The original power supply I'm NOT using as I got this SD-20 from yahoo auctions japan and it came with the 100v input version. I'm using a PSB-120 on it same as my MT-32 and MT-200 modules.

So..returning it isn't really an option. I wouldn't try to repair any of the SMD stuff without a schematic to follow since the various sections of the output stages could be anywhere on this board. Optical out seems to work fine and that is how I'm currently listening to audio from it. Maybe further down the line at some point if I find one cheap, I might snag another and hope for a better result. As this one seems to be working fine otherwise (minus the RCA outs and front line out) as most of the old GM games have never sounded better!

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 9 of 16, by derSammler

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I would rule out the PSU anyway, as with all Roland units, they happily take anything from about 7V to 15V of input voltage. There's a VRM inside to create the 5V.

as most of the old GM games have never sounded better!

Can't agree more. Be sure to try Descent with it, it will blow you away if you have good speakers, too.

Reply 10 of 16, by CrossBow777

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The PSU I'm using with it is the one I normally use on my MT-200 and that works without issue and definitely requires more omph from the PSU than this SD-20 will ever need.

I actually did try Descent with it and it did sound really good, but you know what really blew me away! X-Wing... and also the Power! SC-55 midi album sounds amazing on this thing.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 11 of 16, by CrossBow777

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I got the RCA and front line out working!!! Yes! Turns out it was one or several caps. I noticed that the entire thing is done using lead free solder and there was some evidence of possible leakage around a few of the smd caps in it. So, about an hour ago, I twisted all but one of them off and replaced them with standard radial caps and now the line out and RCAs are the same volume as the optical but the front volume knob is only at the halfway mark on that SD-20. So they will get much louder if needed and right now they are great!

So...yeah, I wasn't hopeful but it looks to have been bad caps.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 12 of 16, by t52sync

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CrossBow777 wrote on 2019-11-30, 03:02:

I got the RCA and front line out working!!! Yes! Turns out it was one or several caps. I noticed that the entire thing is done using lead free solder and there was some evidence of possible leakage around a few of the smd caps in it. So, about an hour ago, I twisted all but one of them off and replaced them with standard radial caps and now the line out and RCAs are the same volume as the optical but the front volume knob is only at the halfway mark on that SD-20. So they will get much louder if needed and right now they are great!

So...yeah, I wasn't hopeful but it looks to have been bad caps.

what caps did you replaced?..

Reply 13 of 16, by CrossBow777

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t52sync wrote on 2020-11-14, 05:49:

what caps did you replaced?..

All of the electrolytic caps I could find in it minus one of them as I didn't have the proper spec value on hand. Still working great for me!

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 14 of 16, by t52sync

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CrossBow777 wrote on 2020-11-16, 20:21:
t52sync wrote on 2020-11-14, 05:49:

what caps did you replaced?..

All of the electrolytic caps I could find in it minus one of them as I didn't have the proper spec value on hand. Still working great for me!

can you please upload a photo of the mainboard?.. i think i have the same issue on my sd20. it will be a big help.. thank you.

Reply 15 of 16, by CrossBow777

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I will see about taking it out of the loop and getting pics. There weren't a ton of caps as I recall but quite a few. I know that was a shotgun approach to things but as it wasn't working 100% anyway and I could see evidence of leakage on the board from some of them, I figured it couldn't hurt.

Might be worth it for me to document it fully and perhaps submit it so that an actual Cap Kit and map can be created for others in the future. Same as I did with the MT-32 about 2 years ago now I think?

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-90, SD-20

Reply 16 of 16, by Retroit

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CrossBow777 wrote on 2021-01-18, 17:10:

I will see about taking it out of the loop and getting pics. There weren't a ton of caps as I recall but quite a few. I know that was a shotgun approach to things but as it wasn't working 100% anyway and I could see evidence of leakage on the board from some of them, I figured it couldn't hurt.

Might be worth it for me to document it fully and perhaps submit it so that an actual Cap Kit and map can be created for others in the future. Same as I did with the MT-32 about 2 years ago now I think?

Hello,
I just bought the same module and it be grate to create a BOM list and picks where and how to replace all caps.