Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

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Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby WhinyLittleRunt » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:30 pm

I was hesitant to post this because it's such a first-world problem, and I really don't like when people complain (especially when they more than have the means to buy or own something) BUT this is a gear forum, and fortunately I'm in the right place to do it...

I bought a Jupiter 6 about a year and a half ago, when I literally had money to burn on gear. It was one time thing (at the time) to buy up some of my favorites, within reason, and of course I had a laundry list of things, but for the most part, the heaviest spending got me two classic vintage boxes from the list: an ARP Odyssey Mk3 and the JP6. The JP6 is upgraded to Europa, I think I got a fairly good deal on it, it's in great shape, etc etc.. but, after all this time, I really haven't fallen in love with it. Like, at all. For contrast, I already own an OB-8 and have for some time. As limited as I feel the OB is sound-wise, it just sounds really good. Plus at this point I know my way around it. When I got the JP6, I was really psyched to own it, and then I fired it up and started playing around with it and kinda went... "okay, so... cool." But I just never got on with it. It's full of great options as is, like simple things such as solo mode, or the highpass filter... again, those aren't necessities but it's nice to hit a button and have it. With the Europa installed, a huge part of that upgrade was focused on the arpeggiator and all the cool c**p you could do with it. And I assume you can, although the one thing I wanted to do (clock the arp with a drum machine, even a Roland box) just wouldn't work. Never got it working either. I think Synthcom got sick and tired of me asking questions and gave up answering, and then he went on hiatus. I boot the unit into Roland code, and the arp clocks correctly.

So, here I am, with a synth that sounds, for the most part, ok... has a boatload of functionality, and yet, the one thing I'd love to be able to do I can't do. Clearly it's a Europa issue somewhere. I gave up caring because I have better things to do with my life, but I mean come on. And yes I tried this with several machines and got the same result. It's made me kind of ignore the synth, honestly. That's a pretty big deal to ignore something that cost me over 2k...

2 of the things on my 'list' were a Prophet 5 and a Korg Trident. I have wanted a P5 forever, but the current prices just make it very impractical for a 5-voice limitation and such a close similarity to my OB. As much as I still want one, it's more a 'want' because I want it in my studio, not because it will give me the sound I'm after. The Trident, on the other hand, is another neat synth, but again, prices have gotten out of hand.

The other side of me says, sell the JP6; try to make back the money I spent on it and then finish paying off some unrelated c**p and then put the remainder towards something else cool, but not another poly... I try to keep telling myself I don't need two polysynths... and while they don't sound that much alike, they're similar enough for me to always rely on old faithful (OB-8) while the JP6 stares at me like, whatever dude...

I think I posted this more to see how many others feel the same about the JP6... I've personally never desired or wanted to own a Jupiter 8 so there's none of the "it's not an 8" nonsense. It's more I'm just either really lazy and can't program a decent sound out of it, or legitimately can't love it and should say goodbye... any thoughts?
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby meatballfulton » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:35 pm

Having owned and sold a lot of vintage pieces years ago, all I will say is that some instruments do not live up to the hype once you finally have it in your hands. Everyone's tastes are different, buyer remorse on a vintage synth may be more common than folks like to admit.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby desmond » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:40 am

I was never a fan of the Jupiter 6 - I don't like it's sound character, or the way it looks, or the controls, it's always been a bit "meh" for me. *Some* of that is the "it's not an 8" thing, as I *do* love the JP8, but then I also really like other Roland synths like the JX8P/JX10...

I certainly don't consider it in the same league as the OB8/P5/JP8 class of analog polys...
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby WhinyLittleRunt » Mon Jun 26, 2017 12:53 am

desmond wrote:I certainly don't consider it in the same league as the OB8/P5/JP8 class of analog polys...


And that was exactly one of the things that hit me as I was playing it in the first few hours! Like, it's good, but sound-wise it really wasn't even touching the OB...

This is good... keep 'em coming. Someone out there may be the lucky owner of a JP6 soon.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby commodorejohn » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:26 am

The JP-6 is definitely not instant magic the way its big brother is, and I eventually sold mine for that reason. Still, it's a h**l of a lot of functionality in one package (two-way sync alone is pretty cool, and the multimode filter is great stuff,) and I find myself missing mine every now and then anyway...
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby V301H » Mon Jun 26, 2017 5:39 am

The Jupiter 6 is my favorite of the polySynths I have. It has pretty much every function you expect in an analog Synth and in some ways goes beyond many other Polys including the Jupiter 8. I can almost always get whatever I want from this Synth. I could rave about the JP6 all day but there are a couple of things I will mention.

I prefer the sound of the Triangle wave over any other Synth I've played. On most Synths the Triangle is on the mellow side but the JP6 really whistles brightly in comparison.

The other thing I'll mention is the wide frequency range of the oscillators. This makes for outstanding chime/bell-like sounds that have a near-digital sparkle. In Sync mode the wide frequency range allows you to make acoustic/electric piano-like sounds other analogs can't touch. Even the Matrix 12 with all it's power plus velocity response doesn't quite have the bright sound quality to do a convincing piano sound.

I will agree with you on the OB8 having a really good sound, especially for spacey strings/pads. Since you mentioned the Prophet 5, IMO as good as it sounds it can't really touch the OB8 for those kind of sounds and lacks some common functions found on the Jupiter 6, OB8, and most other Synths.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:07 pm

I can't quite understand why people can be bothered to buy a JP-6. To me, it's one of the least interesting synthesisers ever made, and the Europa upgrade didn't change anything about that for me.

People tend to believe it must have something in common with its bigger sibling, the JP-8 -- or the JP-4, for that matter. It doesn't. It sounds fairly bland to my ears. I'd instantly sell it to raise funds for a P-5 -- if a P-5 is what you always wanted to have, get yourself one (and don't settle for a half-baked compromise). But be prepared that a) it might not be anywhere as great as you picture it to be (see Meatballfulton's remark) and b) that it requires quite a bit of maintenance work.

Couldn't detect that many similarities between a P-5 and an Oberheim, though. Must be my ears.

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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby WhinyLittleRunt » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:23 pm

V301H wrote:Since you mentioned the Prophet 5, IMO as good as it sounds it can't really touch the OB8 for those kind of sounds and lacks some common functions found on the Jupiter 6, OB8, and most other Synths.


ppg_wavecomputer wrote:I'd instantly sell it to raise funds for a P-5 -- if a P-5 is what you always wanted to have, get yourself one (and don't settle for a half-baked compromise). But be prepared that a) it might not be anywhere as great as you picture it to be (see Meatballfulton's remark) and b) that it requires quite a bit of maintenance work.


Well, so these two reasons are exactly why I haven't gotten one yet in all these years. One, with the way prices are slammed, I just can't justify that in any circumstance. I also know part of me just wants it to look at it all pretty next to my other stuff and say I have a P5, although after a few weeks, like everything else, it will just be another piece in my studio and I just won't care and the honeymoon will wear off. It always does. I've definitely played them and got a fair amount of time with them to know what I like but at the end of the day, 5 voices is VERY limited for my playing. 6 doesn't help much either but it's 1 better than 5 for some chords...

V301H - I thank you for giving a positive review; it's kind of what I need to hear so I don't do anything stupid. It might actually make me spend more time trying to program some good sounds on it. I never saw the JP6 as the little brother to the 8 anyway. That's why I mentioned before I never had any desire to own a Jupiter 8. Yes, the 8 is very cool but not 10k cool and there's nothing I'd do on that differently than on my OB or the 6 because that's just the kind of player I am... it would be a waste.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby V301H » Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:30 pm

Yes, those five voices on the Prophet can be limiting. On my Prophet I get dropped notes if I don't play in a very precise detached manner. This happens even when I play less than five notes. According to the tech that restored it this is due to the limits of processing power available at the time and not a defect. I like having a classic rev. 2 in the arsenal but now I think a Prophet 10 or T8 might be a better choice. I got the rev. 2 for much less than eBay asking prices and even so I am somewhat disappointed with it. I certainly wouldn't consider it to be worth the $5-7K they sometimes sell for.

The Jupiter 6, OTOH, allows me to play with my natural technique with no note dropouts within the 6-voice limit. The split is nice because you can have a 2-voice unison/poly/solo Bass sound on the left and 4 voices available on the right for another sound or 4 voices on the left and 2 on the right which can be configured to your preference. The arpeggiator settings are available on one or both sides of the split as desired. You can save your setups which includes all the performance parameters like portamento, arpeggiator, and unison/poly/solo for instant recall. It doesn't save the actual split point but it does store all the performance functions on each side of the split.

The OB8 also stores performance setups with the added advantage of being able to layer sounds and I believe it may save the split point too. Even with only four voices in layered mode I have no problem with dropped voices if I stay within the limit.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby ppg_wavecomputer » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:28 am

V301H wrote:Yes, those five voices on the Prophet can be limiting. [...]


So can eight voices be on a CS80.

Come on, people used four-voice polyphonic Oberheims and Jupiters and PPGs and still they managed to coax great music from them.

You have to adapt your technique accordingly, and everything will be fine (but then again, the first instrument that really influenced my playing technique was the Mellotron...).

I also know part of me just wants it to look at it all pretty next to my other stuff and say I have a P5, although after a few weeks, like everything else, it will just be another piece in my studio and I just won't care and the honeymoon will wear off. It always does.


Sheesh, you seem to have had too many synths...

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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby madtheory » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:34 am

I assume you've tried a Prophet 6? Did that not satisfy your desire?
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:You have to adapt your technique accordingly...

You missed the bit where he said it doesn't happen with a 4 voice layer on the OB-8. So in this case, it is a problem with the Prophet itself, which is interesting. Although I'm not sure why- I don't think there was anything changed about voice allocation after Rev 1, it's the same algorithm in all Revs... must check that. But definitely different synths have quirks in this regard. I used to exploit it on the CZ-5000 and the Bit One.
ppg_wavecomputer wrote:Couldn't detect that many similarities between a P-5 and an Oberheim, though. Must be my ears.

That's an interesting point. Both have lots of character but the OB8 is definitely more distinctive, maybe because it is less flexible? Especially the oscillator mix thing, that's kind of annoying. But as soon as you apply any mod or filter at all to the sawtooth, or start detuning, the OB makes itself known. P5 rev 3 is a bit more of a chameleon in that regard, I think. Been a ridiculously long time since I tried these synths. And I dunno about rev 1 or 2.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby V301H » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:29 pm

Regarding mixing sections. it is interesting to note the compromises that apparently had to be made due to the limits in processing power. It seems that having a full-service mixing section forced compromises in other areas. On the Prophet 5 there is a continuously variable knob for each oscillator and noise as well as keyboard tracking. The OB8 has on/off switches (half on Osc 2) for these same functions. The Jupiter 6 has one knob to balance the levels of the oscillators, an on/off switch for noise in the VCO 2 waveform select section, and a slider for key tracking in the filter section.

The Prophet 5 rev. 2 being the earliest fully programmable poly has the most limitations which include:

No VCA modulation.
No S & H/Random.
No stored modulation level (has to be set manually with mod wheel).
No pitchbend range setting.
Always goes to patch 11 after Autotune is used.
One bank select switch to step through patch banks.
Unison setting is always five voices with no single-voice mono mode.

The OB8 and Jupiter 6 at the expense of full-service mixers have none of these compromises and excel in additional functions. Later versions of the Prophet may have improved somewhat in some of these areas but by 1983 were behind other manufacturers and never really caught up.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:04 pm

I suspect that has less to do with processing power per se and more to do with the necessity of divvying up the available channels on the multi-channel sample-and-hold devices that analog polys used to enable one DAC to produce the many necessary CV sources for six or eight voices (two oscillator pitches, filter cutoff and resonance, envelope parameters on synths which didn't use software envelopes, etc.)
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby meatballfulton » Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:35 pm

Processing power on an analog synth? Sure, using a switch rather than a pot simplifies patch memory at a time when saving a couple of bits in memory was a big deal. Still, there are plenty of analog synths with limited mixing functions with no memory.
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Re: Slight buyer's remorse on my Jupiter 6...

Postby Pro5 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:55 am

I almost bought a JP-6 once then backed out, realising I was buying it based on looks and name. Because aside from a couple of interesting bandpass pads (Which I actually prefer the warmth and texture/epic-ness of my JD-800 doing similar) the sound of the '6 isn't quite there (for the money they cost). If they were cheap I'd love one, much like my old JX-3P it would be a synth I'd get out when I need that sound but for me, not a workhorse.

I'd definitely take a Prophet 5 over a JP-6 if someone offered me them and I could only take one (and couldn't resell). In fact, all things considered I'd probably even taken a new prophet rev 2 over a Jupiter 6, it can do FAR more (other than multimode and Cross mod) and I think it actually sounds better overall, even with that curtis filter and DCOs. :o

I wasn't a big fan of the Prophet 08 but against the JP-6 and as a useful musical tool it would be preferable and the Rev gives it the knock out punch with the sub/waveshaping etc over the p'08, the JP-6 just seems to have a very narrow sweet spot and limited range of *usable* sound where it doesn't fizz out.

A Jd-800 with polysix (currently) makes a great alternative to a JP-6, but a Rev 2 put in there too would round it off... and all 3 would have cost me less than most JP-6s go for (at what I paid for the JD/Six).

But only you can choose. If you're not loving the Jupe - flip it! You won't lose any cash esp if you got it at a good price. Someone will snap it up so long as you don't overprice like a lot seem to be trying with the JP-6 these days (it's no '8)

edit: Have since owned Rev2 and it's a cool synth, but the filter and oscs do let it down for bread and butter analog stuff with proper weight/dimension, it's kinda flatter. It can make a ton of sounds, many pretty ones, many dark ones, like a prophet-lite, but vs the PROPHET 6 it felt lacking in a big way (for my sonic needs).

The Prophet 6 turned out to be what I've been looking for all along. PROPER analog weight/warmth, but lots of modern features and enough modulation/toys to make it very fun and better than JP-6 but much nicer sounding than Rev2/p08.

I prefer it to the OB-6 also which I've tried, which is nice but a bit too limiting and 'samey' and I'm much more a fan of the ability of the Prophet 6 to do way more great sounds and darker/moody pads and drones that the OB-6 is a bit too fizzy for (lightweight). OB-6 tone grates on me after a while and wouldn't want to use it all over an album but Prophet 6 is ideal for it as its sound is very flexible for almost any sound you can think of (inc bandpass filter sweeps with the two filters involved with the env at once)
Last edited by Pro5 on Mon May 28, 2018 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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