Modern Jupiter 8

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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Reginator
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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Reginator » Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:00 am

101 Force wrote:...the MKS-80 will not disappoint. It's a powerful polyphonic synthesizer, and you can certainly get a lot of use out of it.
I agree the MKS-80 has Jupiter potential considering it's lineage. The fact that it's a Roland synth from the same era is enough to give you goosebumps.

It's good that the list is only 3 synths: MKS-80, Andromeda A6 and Prophet 08. The JP8V was in the running but the eLicenser keeps me from installing it.

I really do appreciate everyones help. It's great to be a part of this group! :D

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by pflosi » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:28 am

Another option might be the studio electronics code / omega.

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by OntarioHydro » Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:30 pm

Lots of love for the MKS-80 over here.

If I had to carry an analog poly on my back for the rest of my life it would be no question which one.

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Carey M » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:50 pm

pflosi wrote:Another option might be the studio electronics code / omega.
As a former Omega owner, if I was looking for a 'Modern day Jupiter-8', and money was no object, I'd get an Omega. The discrete VCOs and the 12dB SEM filter make for some great JP-8 like pads for example.

- CM

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Reginator » Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:02 pm

Carey M wrote:
pflosi wrote:Another option might be the studio electronics code / omega.
As a former Omega owner, if I was looking for a 'Modern day Jupiter-8', and money was no object, I'd get an Omega. The discrete VCOs and the 12dB SEM filter make for some great JP-8 like pads for example.

- CM
Just as some folks claimed to have seen Sasquatch, I’ve seen an Omega-8 before! It was racked besides other behemoths; SE-1, Supernova and other things I didn’t recognize at the time. This was few years ago and the price scared me away. I haven’t seen one since…

I didn’t get a chance to play the Omega-8 but I YouTube’d it and it’s bad a*s! It’s still costly but I’m sure it’s worth it.

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by 101 Force » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:42 pm

I'd recommend the MKS-80. Unless you've got more money than you know what to do with you're probably better off at least starting with an MKS-80 and seeing where that leaves you.

It really only sells for unreasonable prices on eBay, and you can still get them well-priced locally, through the Analogue Heaven Mailing List or here on the Vintage Synth forums. If it turns out to not be your cup of tea you really shouldn't have a problem selling it for what you paid... but if you had to turn around and sell an Alesis Andromeda or Studio Electronic Omega8 because they didn't suit you it might be a little more difficult due to their higher costs.

The MKS-80 does have really good MIDI/SYSEX implementation as well, and if you need hands-on control but don't want to shell out the extra cash for an MPG-80 the Kiwitronics Patch Editor covers the most important functions.

Personally I think most electronic musicians only need one or two good polyphonic synthesizers, as it's far more common to use monophonic instrument lines in most forms of music. Most of us have quite a few polyphonic synthesizers and are left lusting after more, and while I can't guarantee an MKS-80 will stop you from lusting after other synthesizers I can tell you it can act as a suitable substitute for quite a few of them. It has a good sound and it's unlikely you would disappointed with it.

It's worth noting the MKS-80 is a suitable candidate for a third-party upgrade as well. The VCO chips, in theory, can be configured to output all of their waveforms at once, rather than muting unused waveforms. An enhanced CPU may be able to add additional envelopes as well. I have no idea if anyone will ever decide to tackle this niche and provide it as a kit to the public, but it bodes well for a synthesizer that is already pretty awesome to have the possibility of having more life breathed in to it in the future.

You will most likely have questions about the MKS-80 rev4 and rev5, and the bottom line is it doesn't matter which revision you get. I have a rev4 and have only used a friend's rev5 sparingly, but someone I trust when it comes to electronics and synthesizers has done an extensive side-by-side comparison of the two. He concluded while there is a difference between the two, especially when loading the same patch in to rev4 and rev5 units, this can be remedied 99% of the time by adjusting the filter cutoff or resonance on the rev5 unit. Don't buy in to the hype about rev4 and rev5 units.
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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by shaft9000 » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:38 am

An MKS-80(most are Rev4) is a lot closer to a Jupiter-6 due to the CEMs inside.... or somewhere else entirely(Rev5).

Frankly, the Juno 6 or 60 sounds more like a Jupiter-8 than anything else. So go get one. they're so cheap that there's really no excuse for not having one if you want a JP-8 but can't have one for whatever reason.
Also Jupiter-4 and JX-3P share some similarities; but the JP-6 and MKS are entirely different inside.
I keep a Juno-6 around, not only because it sounds great, but it shares many of the JP-8 parts inside. I may need to borrow some of it's guts for future repairs.

of all my polys the A6 is the least like my JP-8 in sound and usability. It took me a couple months to get comfortable w/ A6 (i still dislike the mod menu and display in general) and only a few minutes on the Jupiter.
They sound almost nothing alike, even though they are both 'drifty'-VCO class polys - the filters are totally different behaving & sounding, the EGs on JP-8 are short&tight, A6's EGs are much more flexible but not as snappy.

the closest-sounding modern synths to a JP-8 are Omega and Sunsyn. But neither are a replacement, or even more than ~85% like a JP-8 imho.
I give the Sunsyn the edge due to it's fantastic hardware EGs that are the next-best-thing for giving the unbeatable JP-8 'sexpump' arp sounds:


in the final analysis imho there is no replacing one with the other in terms of sound character and playability. each is great in it's own way, doing what it does best.
Last edited by shaft9000 on Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:02 am, edited 4 times in total.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Solderman » Wed Aug 25, 2010 1:41 am

Reginator wrote:The JP8V was in the running but the eLicenser keeps me from installing it.
I have to agree it sucks that they make you run the licenser just for the demo. FWIW, it's quite heavy-handed on CPU usage, and I really miss the voice tolerances. By that I mean even after running auto-tune, there are subtle variations in a real JP8 from voice to voice, which for tuning between voices and/or oscillators, means playing different keys gives a slightly different beating, thus a fatter sound. JP8V does not have this, but they got most of the tonal character right, based on A/B comparisons that I did. You probably won't notice the voice tolerances are missing until stacking the same patch in dual mode, and with JP8V instead of a fatter version of the patch, you get ugly phase-outs.

I got around this in my quick demo by using dual mode for the same patch, but giving one of them a very, very slight envelope detune.

I can't speak much for the MKS-80, but you mentioned hands-on controls, and I think it only accepts sysex, and MPG-80 programmers are rare and not very well built. The Kiwitronics controller is pretty expensive too, but of course goes up in savings when you own more supported devices.
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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Reginator » Wed Aug 25, 2010 2:41 am

The MKS-80 is a great poly-synth indeed. Thanks for the info on the rev 4 and rev 5. Funny thing about devices; with each new release either something gets better or something gets worse. ;) I’m not rich by any means so $2.5k - $3k is my limit. The MKS-80 and MPG-80 combo falls within that from what I’ve seen. I haven't given up on the Andromeda A6 or Prophet 08 but the MKS-80 is pretty sweet. Hard decision but either way I don't think I can lose.

I’ve owned my JP-8080 since it was first released and it’s a good poly-synth but it sounds a little thin after purchasing my Minimoog Voyager. Now I lust for real VCO’s. I’ll keep the JP-8080 since it houses the bulk of my sounds. It might be fun to reprogram those sounds on the new synth but I’ve already recorded most of my album with the JP-8080.

***I posted before reading shaft9000 and Solderman comments*** ;)

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Reginator » Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:27 pm

After listening to some demo's on the web, the Sunsyn and Omega-8 are at the head of the class. No doubt there.

Here’s what I have to choose from:

SunSyn, Omega-8, Andromeda A6, Prophet-08, MKS-80, Juno-6, Juno-60

Closest to Jupiter-8’s character:

SunSyn, Omega-8, Juno-6, Juno-60, MKS-80

Modern attributes:

SunSyn, Omega-8, Andromeda A6, Prophet-08

Extensive MIDI (aftertouch, knobs, sliders, etc)

SunSyn, Omega-8, Andromeda A6, Prophet-08, MKS-80

$3K or less:

Andromeda A6, Prophet-08, MKS-80, Juno-6, Juno-60

More bang for your buck:

SunSyn, Omega-8, Andromeda A6, Prophet-08, MKS-80

This isn’t going to be an easy choice but I guess I knew that going in. Thanks again all for you help! :D

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by shaft9000 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:17 am

I'd give a good look at the JP-4, too. Old and funky as it looks, this thing positively RIPS and offers aggression that the 8 lacks. They share some hardware, so ahve similarities, but the JP-8 is a little more stable and bi-timbral to boot.

one thing about JP-8 - imho it is one of the most well-behaved, mellowest polys.
It doesn't really dothe sickness like other synths can, in that it rarely if ever sounds angry or aggro.
Big, warm, wide, deep, gorgeous and swirly yes, but not a whole lot of punch in the gut and definitely very little "ripping" sound like a Prophet5 does. the JP-8 xmod sounds mellower, more like a ringmod than a Prophet5 doing xmod.
Now, the JP-4 hardly needs crossmod, though, as the LFO doing filterFM rips through hyperspace.
I would not disregard the JP-4 as ime the early Rolands are built military grade-reliable compared to the other polys of the time. get them serviced every 8-10 yrs and they should be fine. (unlike OBs,P-5/10, CS-80...and bloody good luck if you should take on a polymoog or memorymoog!)

Just another thing to consider.
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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by skweeegor » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:49 am

Reginator wrote:I tried to install the JP8V but the computers I use for for my DAW are only networked together and never access the internet. The eLicenser wants me to access the web and that's not going to happen.
Plugging into the internet for 5-10 minutes is not going to unleash three million viruses on your computer. 99.9999% of infections are caused by visiting a bad site/opening an infected e-mail. Of course everyone says "they didn't do anything, it just happened" but that's rarely the case. Just sayin...

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Reginator » Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:51 am

skweeegor wrote:
Reginator wrote:I tried to install the JP8V but the computers I use for for my DAW are only networked together and never access the internet. The eLicenser wants me to access the web and that's not going to happen.
Plugging into the internet for 5-10 minutes is not going to unleash three million viruses on your computer. 99.9999% of infections are caused by visiting a bad site/opening an infected e-mail. Of course everyone says "they didn't do anything, it just happened" but that's rarely the case. Just sayin...
You're probably right. I've had those rackmounts for a decade but I keep the internals matched and up to date. They've never been on the internet and I'll admit I'm a little skittish. :oops:

shaft9000 - Yes! I hope the new synth will misbehave or play nice when asked. I'll check out the JP-4 to see what's her game, but a poly-4 might be a little conservative. I might have to get her a companion poly-8.

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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Solderman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:04 am

My JP4 demo(for posterity's sake, of course :) ) :


It's not quite jupiter 8 territory, since it's single oscillator with a sub, and both the arpeggiator and patch storage are far more limited in functionality. The one I played above didn't sound all that thick without the chorus, to me, but I guess you could tune the voice cards to get more fatness. Quite a warm sound, though. I don't like the effect of pushing its VCA into overdrive, but that fast LFO at self-oscillating resonance is something you'll never get in a JP8.
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Re: Modern Jupiter 8

Post by Reginator » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:12 pm

That JP4's got a lot of kick! I loved the LFO trick - very sweet. I'll try it with my Voyager to see if I can get something like that out of her. I'll even try it with the JP-8080!

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