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Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:44 am
by vuuv
Without the PG programmers, eBay prices for the three are all pretty equal. The programmers obviously increase the cost quite a bit but still end up cheaper than something like a polysix or juno60, at this point. Without the programmer, it seems like the 3p is a bit easier to program, but is less robust than the 8 or 10.....your ideas here:

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 8:52 am
by Pro5
less robust? what does that mean? sound wise? physically?

no

the 3P is by far the most interesting sounding, the most analog sounding and the one I kept (out of that and the 8P). 8P/10 have far more features and esp the 2nd env which is handy, however it's main usefulness is for pads/strings and a certain samey pads/strings at that. For almost all other sounds other synths sound better to me.

As for the 3P it sounds more like a Juno (but not quite) and maybe a tiny tiny tiny hint of the more percussive side of a Jupiter 6 (and sometimes 8) as it has a much better filter than the 8P/10. It's more genuinely punchy, clearer sounding and has a metallic vibe and retro fun factor.

Yes 3P is easier to program without the programmer (edit mode a/b then a single button press vs having to type in parameter numbers on the 8/10) - however you can hook any midi box up to the 8/10 but not the 3P as it doesn't have sysx/cc - you can fit a mod (as I have) that enables this though.

Sound wise it's down to taste/pref - they can sound a bit similar on some sounds but generally do different things. 3P is definitely more what you'd think of an early 80s analog Roland sound, though lacking a bit in bass and has no real PWM. While the 8P/10 were obviously designed to compete more with digital (DX7) and tend to go towards pads, e-pianos etc. They can both do big sync sounds but it just sounds purer on the 3P to my ears.

8P/10 can sound MASSIVE though (which 3P doesn't) but I have no use for 8P's sound in my music. I also think the 8P tends to sound more dated funnily enough, as it's overall tone that is hard to work away from will remind you of the mid 80s power ballads and the cure stuff. While the 3P has a more timeless tone (while obviously being early 80s if you want it to be).

Long story short I adore the 3P, I can't stand the 8P (and the JX-10 is just a pain to work with thanks to bad midi and silly patch/tone system) - though If you want the power of the later JX's I'd go for the MKS-70! more power than the 8P and more reliable/functional than the 10! MKS-70 is a great buy on the 2nd hand market.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:27 am
by commodorejohn
Man, the JX-10 gets such a bad rap. Yes, the MIDI sucks, yes, the range of sound is limited, but within that range it's just a pure joy. Super-classy, lush, mellow, restrained tones are what it excels at - somehow even the stuff like oscillator sync that generates weird yowly tones on other synths comes out sounding refined on the JX-10. You have to go into full-on cross-mod-with-heavy-pitch-modulation territory before it even approaches sounding nasty and dirty. So when you employ those features, there's a whole world of classy, mellow sounds that on other synths would be getting funky and nasty to be explored. It may not be a jack-of-all-trades, but dammit, it certainly approaches being a master of some.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:25 am
by nathanscribe
The 10 also has a nice long keyboard with a decent semi-weighted action, four outputs, and sounds massive when layered - I made a brass patch using 2 detuned oscs and mild chorus, layered and detuned again. The low end was fantastic.

Mostly the 10 excels at big smooth sounds, and the layering is something to consider, given that you still get a 6-voice analogue after that. Without layering, where else are you going to get 12 analogue-filtered voices for the price?

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:05 pm
by Swayze
I absolutely agree with the previous posts. You guys know your JX's and your descriptions are spot on. :clap:

So I'll attempt not to repeat to much of what's been said already. I also favor the 3P over the 8P in the sound department. To me, the 3P punches while the 8P purrrsss. Although neither sound quite like a Juno 6/60, the 3P gets much closer and fits the bill for that vintage Roland DCO sound, and is much more interesting than the Juno to boot. That's why it's a keeper for me. Both JX's sound kinda dull next to a Juno, but the 3P still has a pleasant and edgy sound of it's own.

The 8P, while well suited for pads, just had this numb-sounding timbre that was fatiguing to my ears. It's hard to describe but it had this "weight" in the low mids that would literally give me a headache. As a result, I've avoided it's successor the JX10 as well. The added features and superior keybeds with aftertouch don't make the later JX's winners in my book. JX3P FTMFW!!! :thumbright:

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:12 pm
by pflosi
What I like most about the three of them is the super cool sequencer in the 3P.

Regarding filters: 3P is IR3109, like the JU6/60 or JP8... 10 and 8P are both IR-3R05. Maybe that helps :thumbright:

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:02 pm
by tomorrowstops
but the JX-10 is......so uuuggggllly

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:05 pm
by nathanscribe
No, it's beautiful. Like an early '80s calculator.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:04 pm
by synthroom
I agree with the assessments above. I love the 3P - It's a keeper. I had a 8P and while I didn't find it as interesting as the 3P, it's got merit. I sold the 8P with the intention of getting a JX-10 someday.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 7:34 pm
by princefan3
Never had a JX10 so cant comment there...

i favour the JX8P as its a synth that has learnt its lessons from before..the sound is lush and i was planning to use it with a Linn 9000...instant miami vice....its not a responsive synth and i can understand peoples frustration
main drawback is its size for its use that it gets, but just look at the amount of stars that have used her.

i liked the JX3P, sequencer was interesting, although wandered. i would agree that programming was easier than
i was expecting, sounded too tinny in the end and not enough bass....no octave option which frustrated the h**l
out of me...and the midi was weird...couldnt be arsed in the end.

i sold it and got Juno 60, what an improvement....dont really miss the JX3P now.

thought it better to go juno 60 + JX8P..... against juno 60/ JX3P they sound too similar.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:14 am
by vuuv
Awesome, thanks, everyone! That all kinda confirms what I was feeling but didn't have like, first-hand knowledge about.

AND it turns out, just in a stroke of luck, tonight a 3p with the programmer JUST popped up and is available to buy in town now and a pretty dang reasonable price but.....would clear out a big chunk of the money I have at the moment. Not enough to drive me to ramen for two weeks but.....it'd be tough, and I'm trying to talk myself either into or out of it (if I don't get that, I might as well grab the tx81z that just popped up, anyway, since it's cheap).

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:14 am
by princefan3
Hi Vuuv.....had a TX81Z also...you have to work that thing hard though...tops for bass..but other sounds
sounded scratchy..no strings....one trick pony came to mind.

i would go get the JX3P with programmer..you will learn more from the experiance than a TX81Z.
i ve learnt you have to spend more in the end, but the reward is that you can just sell on if you dont like it.
which i did in the end.

i did love the size of the JX3P..the guy that i sold it to has kept in touch with me and modded her to a KIWI kit
and made a fully working software programme of the programmer. amazing.

good luck with your purchases anyway.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:40 pm
by commodorejohn
If you want the sound of the TX81Z, I'd hold off and go for a V50 when you spot one for a good price. Keyboard, twice the polyphony, vastly improved MIDI implementation.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:30 pm
by PolyMTL
I guess some will think I'm crazy but I had both JX-3P and JX-8P, each with their own programmer. I gave the JX-3P to a friend and kept the JX-8P. It sounds much more different to my Juno-6 and I like diversity ;) JX10 and 8P sure don't deserve all the hate.

Re: Roland JX showdown: JX-3P vs JX-8P vs Super JX10

Posted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:02 pm
by ninja6485
The way the jx-8p does digital sounds is actually quite nice, and not frequently mentioned. It puts a warmer, edgier spin on some classic digital sounds that is really sort of unique. It's also pretty deep for an analog synth in its price range, with fast enough envelopes for the digital sounds; I'm surprised to hear people get bored with it. It has a lot of modulation options for subtly varying the pitch & interplay between the two oscillators, which can be the difference between a good patch and a great patch! Another plus is it sits very well in a mix. It's usually responsible for sounds that wow me months afterwards in a track, even if I didn't have quite the same impression while writing it.

I think for comparing the Jx's, you almost have to look more at where your synth collecting is going to go afterward. The 3p not only has competition with the higher priced junos, but also the lower priced alpha junos. It may be a great mid point between the two. Since I had a Juno-60 when I bought my 8p, I chose to not pursue the 3p. The Jx 8p however seems to be more of a cross between the junos and the d-50. It shares a lot in common with the presets of the d50 & tx81z, and can cover those bases fairly well if you aren't too interested in expanding into digital territory. Luckily, even if you are, the 8p holds a center position which can pair with either a juno or a d50, providing a touch of analog or digital characteristics that the other synth is lacking without stepping too much on their toes. It is definitely a smooth, lush programmer's synth, so if you're looking for more of an aggressive key players synth, you may want to lean toward the 3p.