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Roland Alpha Juno 2 vs JX-8P?

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  • Roland Alpha Juno 2 vs JX-8P?

    I'm looking to replace my Microkorg something a bit more exciting, and was originally planning to get an AN1x. However, I had the opputunity to play a JX-10 in a second-hand shop and I rather liked it. It was an absolute bitch to program, but I managed to find a virtual pg-800 that runs on Mac, which solves that issue. Reading through various forum topics on the JX synths, many users seemed to suggest that the JX-8P was in fact a more desirable instrument than the JX-10 (and tbh the Super JX is biblically huge - I don't have the space). I noticed the Alpha Juno popping up as well - I always dismissed these in the past because they look so basic and conservative, but damn they sound amazing!


    I really like that '80s DCO sound.


    So I guess this is an Alpha Juno 2 vs JX-8P vs AN1x thread!

    Budget is

  • #2

    The Alpha Juno is a better choice for your first / only synth for a decent stretch. On paper, the JX-8P is more complete (two oscillators and two envelopes) but the oscillators do not have PWM and the envelopes feel sluggish.

    We can't forget the other member of the Roland DCO trifecta: the JX-3P. Oscillators similar to JX-8P, but filter is more powerful and (single) envelope is a little faster. Downside is that the keyboard is not velocity/aftertouch sensitive.

    Get the Alpha Juno, and then get the MKS-30 (JX-3P rack) later, but watch out for 80017A failure in the MKS-30.

    I'm the vaccine for the Access Virus.


    • #3

      Software controllers like the virtual PG-800 will not work with the JX-10 as its MIDI spec is flawed, doesn't update in real time via MIDI unless you get the EPROM update. However the rackmount MKS-70 will work, as will the JX-8P. Also, the JX-10 is not all that much bigger/heavier than the JX-8P.

      These 80s DCO synths aren't really great substitutes for modern VAs, as they lacked the processing power for fast envelopes and such. The analog filters are nice though, and make them better for warm pad / brass / strings sounds, but not so better for cutting leads, basses and noises.

      Korg Z1, Yamaha Clavinova CLP-350, Alesis Ion, Alesis QS8.2, Kawai K3M, Arturia CS-80V, VAZ Modular, co-author of MinimogueVA and Arppe2600va.


      • liliththekitten
        liliththekitten commented
        Editing a comment

        I've owned both and sold the Alpha. I was using the JX almost exclusively and the Alpha seemed redundant. The JX sounded better and has a more complex synth engine, though the Alphas have some nice tricks too. PWM can be faked on the JX. It is true about the envelopes,I just set the VCA to gate if I need a fast sound, it loses something, yes but w/e. I also think the JX has more of a classic Roland sound while the Alpha sounds like its own thing. Both do interesting FM-y sounds

        If you've got the money/space, they complement each other well. I like having a minimal setup, I will buy an Alpha again though. Prob a JU-1 or MKS.

        The An1x is quite good.