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JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:59 pm
by jahreed
Hey all,

Just wanted to share a great find i made recently...
Came across the lowrey/jvc line of home keyboards via an odd craigslist posting.
My first purchase a lowrey v100/ jvc kb300 was had for $50.
This is an interesting line of devices poised between the analog organ 70s and preset digital home keyboard 80s.
the v100 sounded pretty good but very noisy and with very limited programability.

the other day i found a lowrey v-120 for sale on ebay...
just like this one: ... b-700.html

Analog drums that are actually punchy/not pokey
Lush poly strings with chorus and stereo effect (not sure of sound generation, perhaps analog divide-down?)
Programmable chord and bass progressions
seriously trippy preset arpegios
decent signal to noise
This is a real instrument and i'm loving the sounds off it.

Next step, filter cutoff, drum mutes, research into how i can trigger or sync this creature...

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:58 pm
by Sweep
Thanks for that. There seem to be quite a few non-obvious keyboard from that time period and later that bear exploring. I'm fond of some of the Technics and Casio range, but I haven't tried any JVC stuff yet. Lowrey organs seem to have been quite interesting, though bulky and heavy from my limited experience. More manageable keyboards from them sound promising.

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:15 pm
by mmp
I have the portable Lowery L2 Wandering Genie. A truly great cheese machine. I got mine for $50.00. It has 10 analog drum beats and some great combo organ sounds. One key bends whatever chord you are playing up a minor second, useful for Hawaiian cheese, I guess. There is also an auto-repeat mode that syncs to the beat. The case is walnut vinyl with indoor/outdoor carpeting in sh#t brown. I love the stupid thing.

Here's someone's demo:

There are a few others.

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:59 pm
by Sweep
The cheese stuff's fine, of course, when that's what you want to have fun with. But I also think some of these basic keyboards are underrated.

I continue to use the Technics KN750, for example, not for cheese, but because I prefer the electric pianos, most of the time, to the ones I can get with the Kawai K1, or the DX7, or the Roland D50. Ditto the koto on the 750 and several other patches.

Old Casios have a certain plinky charm. But with newer ones like the CTK 900 I can get quite a few good and useful patches, including some very useful organs, plus ring modulated stuff that you have to dig for, but it's in there if you do. And I can upload WAV files to it so I can play samples. It's portable and self-contained, and I can play classic Fairlight sounds in the street when busking if I want to.

Then there's the challenge of getting something worth hearing out of something very cheap and basic. I bought two Yamaha PSS keyboards for £1 each off a market stall. One was so bad I binned it rather than charity shopping it, because I didn't think its continued existence did anything for music. But the other one sounded pretty good. I put it through a Lexicon and recorded a piece with it called Cheap and Cheerful which is on my website, and I also sampled it into a V-Synth and got some excellent results. I then gave it away.

There's mileage in some of this stuff.

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:10 pm
by mmp
Well the cheese is the easy thing to find. Everything depends on context anyhow. Even the L2 has cool stuff that I wouldn't hesitate to use in a production. I just happen to also love cheese. No offense intended.

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:25 pm
by Sweep
I think you've summed it up very well there.

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:02 am
by EmptySet
Hurrah for Lowery Microgenies! I grew up on a V60 and later tracked down a V120. They are pretty cool for what they are (esp the V120). They can sound awesome through some pedals. Also, an old organ trick, but you can carefully press on more than one instrument at a time. And if you crank the accomp and turn off the bass and drums, it can sound like a poor man's sequencer. Bad part: don't mess with the tuning adjustment on the bottom. Hard to get it back to normal if you do.

Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:52 pm
by jahreed
thanks for the replies!
I am keen to get some mods on these boards...really i wish i could clock them somehow at a minimum...
is there any circuit bending method to get the internal clocks in line with an external pulse/trigger


Re: JVC/Lowrey home phatness

Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:12 am
by mendesb
Still have the Lowrey L2? Interested in purchasing. Reply here, or email directly to WIll reply in minutes.