Fix a Roland XP 50 with no sound

One of my sons wants to learn to play piano. It just so happens I own a Roland XP 50 keyboard that I kept in storage for a number of years. It didn’t work when we hooked it up, but we figured out how to fix a Roland XP 50 with no sound. Spoiler: The problem was the battery. Fortunately, it’s not hard to replace a Roland XP-50 battery.

When we turned it on, the Roland XP-50 display flashed a message that said user memory damaged, the LCD screen was incredibly faint, and it wouldn’t make a sound.

Replacing the Roland XP-50 battery

Some people talk like replacing the battery in a Roland XP-50 is a big deal. It isn’t. If you have a power screwdriver, you can do it in two minutes. If you don’t have a power screwdriver, it might take 10. Trust me, you don’t have to be a technician to do it.

Lithium batteries are good for about five years and chances are mine was on year 20. Fortunately, the XP-50 uses a common type of battery: the CR2032 battery, the same as my car’s keyfob. We unplugged the keyboard, flipped it over, and removed about 20 screws. Then we removed the metal plate, and the battery was right there on the mainboard. Click a metal tab and the battery tilts out. We replaced it with a cheap CR2032 from Dollar Tree. You can probably also get one at the nearest drugstore. Just push the new battery in, with the embossed side facing up. Don’t touch any of the electronic components while you’re in there. Accidental static discharge causes permanent damage to them.  Be cautious but not paranoid–stay near the battery and you’ll be fine.

When we replaced the screws, plugged the power back in, and turned the keyboard on, it still didn’t work right. The display was still faint and still had that mysterious user memory damaged message.

Roland XP-50 factory reset

So I reloaded the factory defaults. The Roland XP-50 factory reset is a five-step process. The factory reset only takes another minute or two.

1. Press the DISK/UTILITY button.

2. Press #4 on the 10-key pad to select SOUND.

3. Press #5 on the 10-key pad to select PRESET.

4. Press ENTER, then turn the value dial until the screen says Memory Protect OFF.

5. Press ENTER twice. The display will say COMPLETE.

At that point, the display shone at a normal, readable brightness, the message about user memory damage was gone, and it played through the headphone jack. Then I hooked it up to an amplifier, and it played fine through the amp as well. Most importantly, it kept working even after I turned it off and back on.

Long-term storage

If you ever have to store a Roland XP-50 for a long time, as in several years, I would strongly recommend you pull the battery. If the battery goes dead and leaks, it can damage the circuit board. That will be an expensive repair. Pull the battery, put a note on the unit saying it needs a new CR2032 battery, and you’ll be safe.

8 thoughts on “Fix a Roland XP 50 with no sound

  • November 21, 2016 at 12:55 pm
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    Hi, i found your post while searching for “Xp 50 no sound”. I replaced the battery on mine not long ago as “low battery” message was being displayed on start up; it’s been a year and no problems until a few weeks ago: the synth turns on the orange display and that’s all; no characters, no sound at all; until this week it used to be that if I left it on for a few minutes it would work, but now nothing; did you have this same kind of problem? Thanks!

    Reply
    • November 21, 2016 at 1:46 pm
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      Mine didn’t work at all until I changed the battery, even if I left it on for a while. Receiving no display at all is strange. My display was garbled at times but I did get a display, just no sound. You might try taking the battery out, waiting a few minutes, putting it back in, and seeing if that brings you back to life enough to reset factory defaults.

      Reply
  • December 22, 2016 at 9:42 am
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    Hi Dave!

    I was going to go out to play with some friends last week when I had the same issues you had with no sound and no display. Panic!
    But I did the factory reset and got both my display and my sound back. You saved me at least the $125 I was quoted by a repairman to do a diagnostic check on my keyboard if not more. Now to get a battery since it did say low battery. Thanks!

    Reply
    • December 22, 2016 at 2:18 pm
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      Glad I could help!

      Reply
  • January 9, 2017 at 1:54 pm
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    Just wanna say this post is still saving Roland XP50s everywhere. We’re back up and running. Thanks so much for the walk thru!

    Reply
  • May 7, 2017 at 7:28 am
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    Really thorough solution here. 1. The Battery Replacement got the sounds going again. 2. The Factory Reset got the Display to get back to normal. It was so bright in contrast, that I could just barely see enough of the letters to get through the factory reset procedure. Thanks Dave!

    Reply
  • May 18, 2017 at 12:13 am
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    Excellent useful advice, thanks.. Im digging my xp out of the closet after many years of non use.. Now if I could only fix the Alpha Dial, lucky the increment buttons are Ok.. Cheers from Brisbane…

    Reply

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