Author Topic: VG99 Time before failure  (Read 528 times)

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Offline amplayer

VG99 Time before failure
« on: October 02, 2014, 10:05:34 AM »
My opinion is that the VG-99 is too fragile for live use.  My VG-99 has never left my house.
Even though you can get an inexpensive one, how good will you feel if you break it just before the gig or even during the gig?

The GP-10 seems much more durable to me.

I'm actually planning to sell my VG-99 and get the GP-10.
However, at least here in Southern California, VG-99 is not too easy to sell.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 10:32:33 AM by Elantric »

Offline pasha811

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 12:03:39 PM »
My opinion is that the VG-99 is too fragile for live use.  My VG-99 has never left my house.
Even though you can get an inexpensive one, how good will you feel if you break it just before the gig or even during the gig?

The GP-10 seems much more durable to me.

I'm actually planning to sell my VG-99 and get the GP-10.
However, at least here in Southern California, VG-99 is not too easy to sell.

That's scaring.. but I feel you as it's the way I am thinking about it. It seems that GP-10 is the way to go, floor pedal, equipped with a good set of goodies :-)
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

Offline Elantric

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2014, 12:17:54 PM »
Quote
My opinion is that the VG-99 is too fragile for live use.  My VG-99 has never left my house.
Even though you can get an inexpensive one, how good will you feel if you break it just before the gig or even during the gig?

The GP-10 seems much more durable to me.

I have to agree.

I own two VG-99's - one is perfect purchased new  - among the first Roland shipment to USA. I use this at home 100%

The other I purchased "used  - as is" in 2009 for $100 - I spoke to the original owner and he said his "broke" VG-99  was used on the East coast US and left in the vehicle a few too many cold nights during freezing winter, - and then fired up cold (without allowing for the VG-99 to warm up to room temperature) and used in a bar band situation on weekends. The symptoms are the VG-99 works only for the first 45 seconds after power up - then it exhibits a large "crash" sound on every patch change. This is traced to a bad  intermittent  BGA solder ball connection to the PCB under one of the DSPs and RAM chips  and this issue is a classic case of early lead free solder IR reflow problem during assembly. Global RoHS/WEEE lead free materials mandated laws  resulted in lots of Electronic M.I. gear sold between 2005 and 2007 suffering early failure due to temperature extremes because the electronic industry had to convert to higher temperature "lead free" solder, and the early SMD (Surface mount Device) assembly profiles that were not dialed in yet .     


More stories  on early adoption of RoHS/ WEEE lead free electronics
http://www.dbicorporation.com/rohs.htm
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 03:52:33 PM by Elantric »

Offline musicman65

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2014, 12:50:01 PM »
My opinion is that the VG-99 is too fragile for live use.  My VG-99 has never left my house.
Even though you can get an inexpensive one, how good will you feel if you break it just before the gig or even during the gig?

The GP-10 seems much more durable to me.

I'm actually planning to sell my VG-99 and get the GP-10.
However, at least here in Southern California, VG-99 is not too easy to sell.
My VG99 has been mounted in a road case and has been in constant live use for 6 years. Its tough enough. My FC300 is a tank.

Offline pasha811

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2014, 03:10:05 PM »
I have to agree.

I own two VG-99's - one is perfect purchased new  - among the first Roland shipment to USA. I use this at home 100%

The other I purchased "used  - as is" in 2009 for $100 - I spoke to the original owner and he said his "broke" VG-99  was used in on the East coast US and left in the vehicle a few too many cold nights during freezing winter, - and then fired up cold (without allowing for the VG-99 to warm up to room temperature) and used in a bar band situation on weekends. The symptoms are the VG-99 works only for the first 45 seconds after power up - then it exhibits a large "crash" sound on every patch change. This is traced to a bad  intermittent  BGA solder ball connection to the PCB under one of the DSPs and RAM chips  and this issue is a classic case of early lead free solder IR reflow problem during assembly. The 2005 Global RoHS/WEEE lead free materials mandated laws  resulted in lots of Electronic M.I. gear sold between 2005 and 2007 suffering early failure due to temperature extremes because the electronic industry had to convert to higher temperature "lead free" solder, and the early SMD (Surface mount Device) assembly profiles that were not dialed in yet .     


More stories  on early adoption of RoHS/ WEEE lead free electronics
http://www.dbicorporation.com/rohs.htm

My VG99 has been bought on 29-Dec-2010 it had firmware 1.03 on it. Should I worry?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 03:28:18 PM by Elantric »
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

Offline SuperNiCd

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2014, 03:10:38 PM »
That is scary stuff.  I treat my VG-99 just like I do my guitars.  At the risk of personifying them, they follow this rule of thumb.  None of them sleep somewhere that I wouldn't.  Good to know this though, and that temperature extremes are what can cause the problem.  I'm sure I'll be even more cognizant of that now.
Strat w/ GK-3, Godin LGXT
VG-99, GR-55, GP-10
---------------------------------------------------------------

Offline Elantric

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2014, 03:21:11 PM »
Its really an issue of the VG-99 being in a plastic chassis (just like the RC-505 = poor choice of materials IMHO) , and if if it gets put in a crowded soft bag with the FC-300 and driven several miles bouncing along in the trunk of your car , there is a high risk of the VG-99 chassis twisting a bit  - with resulting twisting / flexing of the internal VG-99 Main DSP PC board, and this can fatigue BGA lead free solder joints. All VG-99's are at risk - so avoid sudden impacts and wide temperature extremes with the VG-99 . 

Back in 2010 Roland US quoted $800 total to fix the broken VG-99, comprised of $725 for replacing the Main DSP board and $75 for Tech Labor.

By contrast the Boss GP-10 is much more sturdy with its all metal chassis which does not flex the PC board. 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 03:58:53 PM by Elantric »

Offline SuperNiCd

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2014, 03:45:28 PM »
Quote
if if it gets put in a crowded soft bag with the FC-300 and driven several miles bouncing along in the trunk of your car , there is a high risk of the VG-99 chassis twisting a bit  - with resulting twisting / flexing of the internal VG-99 Main DSP PC board, and this can fatigue BGA lead free solder joints.

Well, @%^&*.  That is exactly what I'm doing with it, and I assumed like most Roland products it was tough enough to stand up to that.  Thanks for the warning - I'll be changing my transportation practices.
Strat w/ GK-3, Godin LGXT
VG-99, GR-55, GP-10
---------------------------------------------------------------

Offline Elantric

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2014, 03:51:53 PM »
Quote
Well, @%^&*.  That is exactly what I'm doing with it, and I assumed like most Roland products it was tough enough to stand up to that.  Thanks for the warning - I'll be changing my transportation practices.

Hope my info helps deliver many years of VG-99 functionality  for you.

Because last time i checked, Roland US has zero VG-99 main PC boards and no repair is possible since finding any electronics tech who still performs PC board level bench repair of SMD components has become a lost art.

Broken VG-99 PC boards end up in waste disposal land fills  - a fate that will never occur for a pre 1976 Fender Tube amp! 
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 03:59:54 PM by Elantric »

Offline amplayer

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2014, 04:21:15 PM »
Because last time i checked, Roland US has zero VG-99 main PC boards and no repair is possible since finding any electronics tech who still performs PC board level bench repair of SMD components has become a lost art.

Well I certainly don't blame anyone for not wanting to perform PC board level bench repair of Surface Mount stuff.  Eegads.  I can only imagine the nightmare.
And, in the case of the VG-99, any problem probably would amount to replacing more than just one or two components.  Then, those components may not be available for purchase.

...  I better hurry up and sell my VG-99.

Offline pasha811

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2014, 12:45:13 AM »
Its really an issue of the VG-99 being in a plastic chassis (just like the RC-505 = poor choice of materials IMHO) , and if if it gets put in a crowded soft bag with the FC-300 and driven several miles bouncing along in the trunk of your car , there is a high risk of the VG-99 chassis twisting a bit  - with resulting twisting / flexing of the internal VG-99 Main DSP PC board, and this can fatigue BGA lead free solder joints. All VG-99's are at risk - so avoid sudden impacts and wide temperature extremes with the VG-99 . 

Back in 2010 Roland US quoted $800 total to fix the broken VG-99, comprised of $725 for replacing the Main DSP board and $75 for Tech Labor.

By contrast the Boss GP-10 is much more sturdy with its all metal chassis which does not flex the PC board.

I transport VG99 into a metal case internally surrounded with http://www.dizeta.it/images/dz_imballi_su_misura/gommapiuma_bugnata.jpg aling with 13 pin cable, F6 switch and  power adapter, so it cannot twist. However Winter is approaching...
and I feel a GP-10 calling..

Thanks for pointing this out Elantric!
Listen to my music at :  http://alonetone.com/pasha/

Offline SuperNiCd

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2014, 04:21:08 PM »
Quote
Hope my info helps deliver many years of VG-99 functionality  for you.

Your info has always been useful and held in the highest regard.  Last night my VG-99 started traveling in a passenger seat in its own padded bag.  Makes me think I should consider a GP-10 for live use to lessen the risk of failure, though I think it could be a tough transition for me.

Despite that I probably only use 10% of the the 99s overall feature set live, I have really come to appreciate its immediate and straightforward tactile control over sound at my fingertips with no bending over, mousing on a laptop, or other less than ideal ways to get my tone right.  I really bought it for live use and for me, it shines really brightly for that.
Strat w/ GK-3, Godin LGXT
VG-99, GR-55, GP-10
---------------------------------------------------------------

Offline musicman65

Re: VG99 Time before failure
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2014, 08:59:29 PM »
I guess the reason I've never had a device failure is my mounting method. I would never throw anything electronic in a gig bag, bang it around, and then put it on the floor and repeatedly plug/unplug all the connections every gig. That's gear ABUSE in my mind.

I sell industrial electronics and have gear that has been running 30 years non-stop in factories. I'm not worried about an electronic device wearing out if properly mounted and protected. Only the capacitors will fatigue over time.

I hard mount my gear to a rigid surface and prewire everything. The cables stay connected until they fail. The hard surface is a road case that opens to make my front line pedalboard. It is never left in extreme temperatures. I've used a PodXT, XT Live, X3, and VG99 this way and NEVER damaged them or experienced failures (except X3 switch failures, bad quality) over the last 11 years. I transport/setup/teardown 3-4 times a week. That's over 1500 times. The VG99 is showing no signs of fatigue but I have a backup just in case and may buy a third if the price keeps falling. Please everyone, dump your flimsy VG99 for the newer GP10! :)