Juno's vs. JX's

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billybobjoe
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Juno's vs. JX's

Post by billybobjoe » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:54 am

I am currently in the market for my first polysynth and have been looking at the Roland synths from the early 80's. I initially wanted a Juno 60/106 because, who doesn't, but the problem is that I have a budget of about $500 Ca max, unless it was too good to be true. Therefore I started to consider the JX8P as a cheaper alternative. I would need a PG-800 though, because I honestly need one control per function. I have also considered the JX3P as well as the Korg Polysix, although that would be out of my budget.

Basically my thoughts are as follows:

I would prefer something with midi, as I can't afford to buy an expensive converter and want to sequence this board.
I would want a controller with my JX as otherwise I would go crazy.
I love the sound of the Juno's, especially the 60, but I feel like it's really common.
I like the flexibility 2 oscillators add, but I don't know if the JX8P/3P will really sound as good/better than the 6/60/106 even with 2 oscillators.
Listening to demos hasn't helped me greatly as they all seem to sound good, just different. My one thought is that I like smooth and soft sounds as well as bright and brassy sounds.
I highly enjoy the Roland portamento a la JP8

Right now on my local craigslist I have seen Juno's (mostly 106's.. there was one 6) and JX8P's and 3P's with controllers for about $500... So I'm wondering whether it is worth spending that much on a JX (and if so which one 3P or 8P) or whether I should hold out for a Juno and try to get a 60 and either a midi retrofit or a converter. Now I know a lot of people say it's silly to compare the Junos and JXs but consider this scenario the "if you could only buy one and it had to last you" scenario. This would be one of my few synths but also my very first poly, which I think changes things slightly.

To try and summerize: If I can get a JX8P or 3P with the controller for $500 is it worth it? and if so which one?

Hopefully my ramble made sense.

Thanks a lot!

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by nathanscribe » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:40 pm

I've been using Junos (6 and 60) for twenty years, and a JX-10 with Pg-800 for just two or so. Bearing in mind I have a deep and unending love of the Junos as a result of this, I still think it's going to be a toss-up between certain features - the Juno 6 and 60 lack glide, the 106 has it. The 106 has MIDI built in, the 60 can easily be controlled (and control) via an interface, and the 6 lacks memories. The JX have 2 oscs but no sub-osc, and the 10 (and therefor probably the 8 too) have a smoother, softer tone but are also capable of timbres the Junos can't do because of the modulation available.

I would not personally like to program the Jx-10 without the PG-800. I've never used a JX-3P so can't comment. Sonically, the two families are different, but both are good in their own ways. Listen to some demos; force yourself to write off anything that is above your price bracket; if there's a feature you absolutely must have, discount the others; there's your shortlist. Roll a die and pick one - if you're not happy, you want one of the others. Go with your gut, I doubt you'd despise any of them really.

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by Scories » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:05 am

Hi. Here's what I already wrote about the jx-3p : This is not an entry level synth indeed. When I got into synths, a dozen years ago, there was a Juno6 and a JX-3P for sale in my city. I'm glad I have chosen the Juno. But since I've learned more about synthesis, I've dropped the Juno and bought a JX. It can sound cold, warm, deep, piercing, epic, bassy, ambient, razory, pyschedelic or light as a feather.

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by SSquirrel » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:12 am

About a decade ago I lucked into a Roland JX-8P+stand+PG800 programmer+sustain pedal+hardshell case for all of $250. Stupid college kid moving away. A few years later the guy who owns the music store in my hometown got a Juno 106 from a friend of his who had apparently had it in her attic for 20 years. I think I have one knob busted and a slider cap missing, but it's otherwise fully functional.

They're both very nice synths, but I see the Juno anywhere from 3-800 depending on condition and the JX goes for $500 by itself and the same again for the controller. If you want the 8P w/the controller and can find it for $500 or less, it's a very nice synth to have. I'm actually considering selling both of mine, but I'll probably end up closer to market prices honestly. I have stuff I want to replace them with :)

Just took a glance, the pitchbend got rebuilt by a friend of mine and it works nicely now. It was all broken when I got it. The cap is missing from the DCO's LFO and the Decay from the ADSR is completely missing the entire slider and cap. Someone years ago melted a key a bit w/a cigarette it looks like, but it's otherwise in pretty good shape. I need to test the voices sometime soon. Wow, a slider for the 106 is about $15 on Ebay and just a cap is about the same. Crazy.

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by synthparts » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:23 am

SSquirrel wrote:Wow, a slider for the 106 is about $15 on Ebay and just a cap is about the same. Crazy.
I've got them cheaper... Anyway I would recommend the JX-3P at todays prices as the most bang for the buck and it is not too bad editing without the programmer and the polyphonic step sequencer is fun.
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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by SSquirrel » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:42 pm

synthparts wrote:I've got them cheaper... Anyway I would recommend the JX-3P at todays prices as the most bang for the buck and it is not too bad editing without the programmer and the polyphonic step sequencer is fun.
Oh I don't doubt they can be had cheaper, I just did a quick glance at Ebay to see what was available at the time of my post b/c I haven't bothered looking into it myself before. The JX-3P is also the same synth engine that is found in the GR700 guitar synth floor unit, the PG200 programmer will work with it too.

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by synthparts » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:54 am

The GR700 doesn't have a MIDI In though so the only way to play it is with one of their GR guitars. If you decide to get the slider, caps, and key you need for your 106 let me know, I have them.
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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by SSquirrel » Thu Feb 02, 2012 4:46 am

synthparts wrote:The GR700 doesn't have a MIDI In though so the only way to play it is with one of their GR guitars. If you decide to get the slider, caps, and key you need for your 106 let me know, I have them.
Thanks, I'll keep that in mind. I'm not that mechanical really, so if I do end up w/them on ebay, maybe I'll toss your link up there as a "BTW, to get those parts, check him out" :)

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by ryryoftokyo » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:47 am

This is a tough call. Both in the series are outstanding boards. It depends what you want out the synths. I enjoy the Juno 6/60/106 but can I feel a bit limited by them, BUT they have a MASSIVE sound. The JX 3P/8P/10 are all VERY different beasts. The 3p is a prime piece because out of the lineup, it sounds most like what people think of when they hear "vintage synth". The 8P is a staple in my rig and can go anywhere from dreamy, to gritty, to downright insanity. The 10 is a great board in it's own right, but it always felt too clean and clumsy when compared to the 3P and 8P.

For the price, I would aim for either a JX8P or a Juno 6.
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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by V301H » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:37 pm

Keep watching Craigslist. Good deals still come up now and then. In December I got a fully-functioning Juno 60 locally for $400.
Some pluses of the Juno 6/60 are a great sounding self-oscillating Filter, the same as the Jupiter 8. A non-resonant High-Pass Filter for rolling off excess low-end. Very good Arpeggiator and flexible mixing of DCO, Sub-Oscillator, and Noise. The Invertible Envelope allows for some interesting evolving textures. Variable Pulse-Width though it doesn't go to zero on my Juno. PW can be modulated by LFO or ENV. The controls are built-in and nicely spaced across the front panel rather than being crowded together on a sometimes hard-to-find separate unit as on the JX series. Also, the built-in chorus is legendary although I do find it sounds very good with the chorus off.
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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by Phenom » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:36 pm

V301H wrote:Some pluses of the Juno 6/60 are a great sounding self-oscillating Filter, the same as the Jupiter 8
does the Jupe 8 filter self-oscillate? No personal experience, but was lead to believe it didn't?

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by cornutt » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:16 am

The Jupiter 4/6/8, the Juno 6/60/106, the MKS-80 Mk I, and the JX-3P all use the IR3109-based filter circuit.
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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by dblondin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:54 am

I have the Juno 60 with a Pro DCB MK3, JX10 and JX8P with one PG800 programmer that I share between them.

The JX10 is a lot of fun to program with a PG800. It is capable of complex sounds and has a lot of range. Lots of personality too. The JX8P, although simpler in design, I like even better than the JX10. It's easier to navigate parameters because you're not having to deal with a dual JX8P type structure. I'd actually rather have two JX8P's with PG800's than one JX10 and programmer, even though the sonic capabilities might fare better with a single JX10. But for me, the biggest weakness with the JX boards is the soft attack. And for that reason I tend to only use them only for softer sounds.

Overall, my love runs deeper with the Juno 60. It's got a nice blend of fatness and punch. I don't use it for ambient sounds. I don't think it's interesting enough for pads and such without some external processing. Mostly I pull it out for sequenced things and for that it just delivers every time. Especially of the bass variety. I never really use the presets as it's so fast to whip up a sound. So I'd probably be no less capable with the much cheaper Juno 6.

If I were shopping for these boards in your price range I'd go for the JX8P or Juno 6 and if I could only have one it would be the Juno. I've never had a JX3P but I love what I've heard.

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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by computron » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:16 pm

Out of the jxs I have both the 3p and 8p .I find the modes for unision great on the 8p .but. even with that I prefer the 3p sonicly.the chorus sounds better on my 3p and I love the simple sequencer. The 8 p is more quite then the 3p.you don't need a PG controller if you must have one .you can get a BCR for a little over 100 or cheaper and it works for all JXs.I only have experience with the Juno 6 and I prefer the jx3p over the 6 but prefer the 6 over the 8p.if I was in your shoes I would grab a 3p and the BCR controller 300 and change for both. There is a 3p on CL by be locally for 200 and I see them priced around that often.
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Re: Juno's vs. JX's

Post by billybobjoe » Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:49 pm

Hey, thanks for everyone's input.

I ended up getting a JX3P with the PG200 for $450 CAD. The keyboard is a little dirty and the chorus can be noisy, but other than that it works perfectly. So far I've been extremely impressed with the sound and overall usability of the synth. You can make a great variety of sounds easily. I really like the sound of the filter; the resonance is quite reminiscent of a JP8 (Well ya, same chips). It sounds great with 'plucky' sequences and when tweaked correctly the crossmod settings can do some really cool things. The internal sequencer is also tons of fun for just improvising or sketching tracks, especially with the overdubbing ability. The only problem I have with it is that the MIDI control is a little annoying. It normally resides in omnimode, and the only way to put it to channel 1 is to turn it off, plug the midi out to the midi in, hold down 6 keys, and turn it back on in the midi mode. It's a bit of a pain. But once you get that done it's a breeze to use in a midi setup. Of course there are a few firmware upgrades that remove that issue. If I were to characterize it (don't take my word on this as this is the only Roland poly I've ever owned) I would say it's somewhere between the Junos and the Jupiters sonically. Overall I'm super happy with it and won't be selling it any time soon (quite possibly ever).

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