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Juno vs JX - which do you prefer?


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A friend of mine recently added a classic JX-8P to his keyboard collection, which got me thinking about this.

The Juno series from Roland seems to have developed a huge fan base - particularly the Juno 6 / 60 / 106 models. And they are indeed very cool. They’re classic analog synths. But I’ve always liked the JX series a lot too - particularly the JX-3P and JX8P. While you need to add an optional controller to them to get the same hands-on control as the Junos, they do have some other features the Junos lack, such as a second oscillator.

How about you? Which series do you prefer, and why? What disadvantages do you think the two different lines have when compared to each other?

 

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Truth be told, I have little to add here, but I'd like to see this board build up a little traffic, so I think posting helps.  I never had the money for bigger, better synths, and these were out of my budget.  Even so, I have some opinion.  I always thought the Rolands had good synth, string and brass sounds, especially compared to the DX line, which I largely hated.  I bought a Korg DW-8000 about a year before the M1 came out.

Now, as an adult, with 30 years in my career, I've found myself in a different place.  When I bought that DW, my EPS, and a couple modules (K1m and TG-33), I had a limited set of sounds (easily stacked with the EPS), I'd find some I liked, and used them live.  Now that I can afford much better axes, I am almost overwhelmed with sounds, it can take an hour to wander through all the available piano sounds in my Juno-D, let alone some of the others.  I like old synths, and especially some of the sounds they can make, but since my EPS died, and the other relics get old and scratchy, I'm gonna steer clear of them for live use.

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21 hours ago, thelurker said:

Truth be told, I have little to add here, but I'd like to see this board build up a little traffic, so I think posting helps. 

It certainly does - thank you! :thu: 

 

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I never had the money for bigger, better synths, and these were out of my budget.  Even so, I have some opinion.  I always thought the Rolands had good synth, string and brass sounds, especially compared to the DX line, which I largely hated.  I bought a Korg DW-8000 about a year before the M1 came out.

 

That's another under-appreciated classic IMHO. I think its reputation is hurt less over it being a hybrid than it is by the relatively sparse user interface - kind of like the JX series, although unlike the Korg, they have DCO's. I think my ESQ-1 is kind of similar to the DW-8000 in some respects - digital oscillators / wavetable, but analog filters... 

 

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Now, as an adult, with 30 years in my career, I've found myself in a different place.  When I bought that DW, my EPS, and a couple modules (K1m and TG-33), I had a limited set of sounds (easily stacked with the EPS), I'd find some I liked, and used them live.  Now that I can afford much better axes, I am almost overwhelmed with sounds, it can take an hour to wander through all the available piano sounds in my Juno-D, let alone some of the others.  I like old synths, and especially some of the sounds they can make, but since my EPS died, and the other relics get old and scratchy, I'm gonna steer clear of them for live use.

That's definitely a risk with older keyboards - parts are not always readily available, and neither are good techs who know how to service them, so as they age, more and more of them go out of service. 

I always wanted a Kawai K1m, but I never did pick one up. Ditto that for the Yamaha TG33, although I had a friend who owned one, so I've spent more time working with that module than with the Kawai. If I was offered one or if I spotted one at a good price, I'd be tempted to grab it, even today. Vector synthesis at a very affordable price! :cool2: 

 

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I have never owned a Juno; only fooled around with a couple that belonged to someone else. I have owned a JX-8P since about 1984 -- the model with the patch names printed on the buttons.

Maybe it's just the familiarity, but I prefer the sound of the JX-8P. The strings and other pad sounds just have their own unique character, as do the "synthy" patches, and the piano sounds are pretty decent, as long as you don't expect them to replace a real piano.

I still use mine occasionally when recording, although the PG-8X VSTi emulation is so good that I often use that nowadays, rather than dragging the keyboard out of its case and setting it up.

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