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Slagging the Jupiter 8 - most overrated synth ever?

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  • Slagging the Jupiter 8 - most overrated synth ever?

    Well, i see people lusting for these, and i see them praised a lot as being the be-all, end-all of analogue synths - but after all, what i personally found when i owned one for a brief time (5 months) was that it basically does your standard poly synth duties.

    The only sounds that really stood out to me as being characteristic, and possibly unique, were the weird X-mod sounds you could get out of that thing.

    All the rest of the sounds were (although of a very nice quality, i give it that) rather bland and generic and personally i have not regretted selling it for a single moment, since i can get equally exciting synthsounds from the rest of my gear.
    (Actually getting an @Juno did the trick for me when deciding to sell - all the punchy Roland sounds i desire are found in that one... And quite a few pads too )

    IMO the single reason to own one of these monsters is the boast factor - musically they dont add much to anyones sonic arsenal.
    (That is, unless you want to replicate famous eighties sounds )

    It's probably a bit like the guitar communitys '58 Les Paul - everybody would like one, but no one would be able to tell it from any good LP in a musical context.

    Although i have never heard a JP 6 in person, i would actually imagine it to be more interesting to play with and possibly more useful within "modern" productions, but this is just a hunch and i might be totally mistaken in this assumption.
    Guitar picture, Gear List, Clip List and travel pics from Peru, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. Bonus: Some pics from Denmark too.

  • #2
    I think lots of synths have this halo - and the only way to "demystify" it is by trying the machine yourself.
    "Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.
    Synthesizer Programming Megathread - add your tips & tricks or ask how to recreate sounds!

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    • #3
      -

      yeah, but can you find another synth that has orange, yellow, white, green and blue buttons in the same box?

      -
      SynthMania.com
      SynthManiaYouTube

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      • #4
        -

        yeah, but can you find another synth that has orange, yellow, white, green and blue buttons in the same box?

        -

        Why do you ask me ?
        If anyone knows his synth knob colours it should be you

        ... actually, in person the colour choice does not look that bad, but yeah, if the Tele-tubbies had been around when it was famous, they'd have played it
        Guitar picture, Gear List, Clip List and travel pics from Peru, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. Bonus: Some pics from Denmark too.

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        • #5
          I vote for the TB303 as overrated over the jupiter any day.
          Access: Virus B
          Korg: ER1 MkII, M1rEx
          Nord: Lead 2x
          Roland: AX7, Dr660, Juno 106, TD3s
          Yamaha: TX81z

          www.myspace.com/the_joey

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          • #6
            ever consider that those sounds seem generic now because they were pioneered, dominated, nay defined by the Jupiter 8 and its kin? After all, those synths have been imitated by others now for 20-some years. The Roland J's are where those sounds came from.

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            • #7
              Well, another big plus that the JP-8 has, it's the immediacy of use - all controls, knobs and sliders are in front of you... it's quick and easy to program great sounds - not to mention, the arpeggiator, split/dual capabilities... and the orange lettering of course.

              But yes, in the end, it is a classic '80s polysynth - no less, no more.

              Maybe, if you are interested in more "modern" sounds, you should try the JD-800...
              SynthMania.com
              SynthManiaYouTube

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              • #8
                I can't agree. If you are going by feature set sure, it's not the most complex synth around.

                If you appreciate quality over quantity, the synth just sounds magical. I would take it over a JP6 any day of the week.

                I played for several years with a guitar player who used a 59 Les Paul on stage, and it too had magical tone.
                Moe---It puts the SINES in the basket, or else it gets the hose again.http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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                • #9
                  I guess some of you guys are just too young to know!

                  My JP-8 was without doubt a great monster of a machine when I bought it in 1982!!! I loved its sound, style, buttons, sliders, everything. It oozed with everything I (and lotsa bands at that time) wanted.

                  Today? Give me the Fantom X or anything else, really. Technology moves on as does the music and its audience. But always a place for the sounds of the past, like the JP-8, Mellotron, whatever. And even virtual synths do a good job at that.

                  Sold the JP-8 along with JP-4, TB303, TR808, TR909, and loads of other OLD goodies years ago.

                  My new Radias is much much better than my old (1983?) Roland System 100M synth... And much cheaper too. Young kids today have everything they need. Just PLAY the damn things.
                  Richard
                  Hong Kong
                  Fantom XR, mTron, Radias, Reason, Sonar 7PE, VSM.

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                  • #10

                    Today? Give me the Fantom X or anything else, really.

                    In a certain way, the Jupiter was the early 80's Fantom in the sense that it's a flagship model; integrating a sequencer happened later (JX10 has one, albeit modest) because of the cost and method of storage, but in the meantime you got an arpeggiator and split/layer stuff as good as it could get, and a high polyphony count.

                    Sold the JP-8 along with JP-4, TB303, TR808, TR909, and loads of other OLD goodies years ago.

                    I hope you managed to score a fat profit on it .
                    "Part of an instrument is what it can do, and part of it is what you do to it" - Suzanne Ciani, 197x.
                    Synthesizer Programming Megathread - add your tips & tricks or ask how to recreate sounds!

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                    • #11
                      Yes and no would be my answer.

                      Youve got to ask yourself why, if its 'the most over rated synth ever', that so many poeple seem to see it as some sort of pinnicle of synthesis. Whether it be die hard Roland fans or people who just think it looks cool, you cant take away the fact that it does what it does very well. It has a charactor to its sound that makes it special. Pads & silky brass sounds, sound beautiful on this synth.

                      I used one for 2 years at college whilst studying film, and got to know it quite well, i even thought it over-rated (specially at the price it goes for), but at the end of the day, it is, like the Memorymoog, CS80, Prophet 5, a classic. You cant take that away from it.

                      OK, if it didnt have the stigma attached to it, it has today, if i found one in a shop s/h, i would probably pay
                      Vive La Synthesizer!

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                      • #12
                        I think the JP8 is overpriced actually. It is definately not overrated though. It has THE classical 80s sound to it ! Most "trademarks" sounds on the 80s comes from this monster. I must confess: a year ago or so I had one in a studio I worked in, didn't play it much, did some great arpeggios, but it looked quite just like any "other" synth in the category. So what makes it so special ? I guess the ROLAND vco sound it has to it. There is something in the Roland sound to me that is very musical, gentle, magical, like some of you said before, and the JP8 does it the best. I can never miss a JP8 when I listen to one on records. What I really like in its sound are really those brass/horn fat leads with some prtamento added to it - aka "Head over Heels", "Save a Prayer", "New Song" etc... These are so musical and so far I couldn't reach them with any of my current synths. There IS a reason why they like Juno 60 for pads in particular, if you know what I mean... The same way you'll probably won't use an Ibanez for 4th position clean sound rather than a vintage Strat, or a Strat for metal chords...
                        * Join the group for Yamaha CP60/70/80 pianos: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/yamahacp
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                        • #13
                          its only overpriced atm.
                          >just seen above post, repeating now<
                          great synth

                          power to weight/size good not great.

                          I find the jp8000 has a bit of all roland analog polys (no
                          i'm not saying it can replace them);-)

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                          • #14
                            Yes and no would be my answer.

                            Pads & silky brass sounds, sound beautiful on this synth.

                            Well, yes and no - i still thought that the sounds were a bit characterless (and yes, i did my own programming ).
                            Maybe compared to a sample they might sound lush (VCO vs. 16 bits, d'oh), but they didn't really blow me away. But of course that is a matter of taste.
                            I just feel that it is highly overrated on this point.

                            I agree that it is a classic and (as Paolo stated) that it has a great interface, and all that - but all of this does not take away from the fact that it left me quite underwhelmed. And i am usually a sucker for Analog...
                            But classic does just mean that a piece of equipment has a place in history, not necessarily that it does stuff better than other stuff

                            As for the 80's bands using them, well they didn't really have much choice, did they? They were reliable and AFAIK the only other thing with as many performance options were some of the Oberheims.

                            As for the suggestion of JD800, i'll pass, thx
                            What i really would like to get my hands on right now (apart from a JP 6 just to see if it is as bad as its reputation) is a Microwave XT because the specs make me think that after 10 -15 years it might still be capable of interesting sounds that will not sound quite dated but it seems that there is a long wait ahead... They hardly ever pop up in our classifieds

                            Mate stubb, about the LP '59 thing... even though it might have "magical tone" (which i doubt it would have had if someone had replaced the gibson logo with Hondo ), is that tone really worth 150 K+*??? Or are you paying for a bit of rare guitar history instead of the actual sound?

                            * I have no idea about current '58/'59 pricing
                            Guitar picture, Gear List, Clip List and travel pics from Peru, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Indonesia. Bonus: Some pics from Denmark too.

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                            • #15
                              Yep, I'd definitely search for an XT over a Jupiter.... nothing's come close to its distinctive sound and architecture in the past ten years.

                              I suspect the only reason any older synths get "overrated" online is because a few people engage in cross-forum marketing campaigns for this or that synth (the Ion comes to mind) as preparation for their getting ready to try to sell theirs, for ridiculous prices.

                              There was a lot of noise about the JP-8 online just prior to some idiot trying to e-bay one for a ridiculous price I suspect nobody on this planet will ever pay, for example.
                              A Gadibus usque ad Auroram

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