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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Roland JX-3P Analog Synthesizer with PG200 Programmer

via this auction

"One of the iconic synths of the 80s, the JX-3P has a well-earned reputation among its devotees as being something special. In many ways, it's like the better-known Juno, in that it has a digitally-controlled analog architecture. You could be forgiven for thinking that it's a Juno with buttons instead of sliders, but you'd be wrong ...

Unlike the Juno, the JX-3P has a second oscillator, a wonderful chorus effect, patch storage, a handy step-sequencer and MIDI. This means that you get really rich string and weird 80s pad sounds, rich lead and bass voicings, more control and, well, fun.

There's something different about the JX-3P's sound, as well - it's hard to explain, but there's a presence and edginess, insistent and very playable, that the Juno lacks. You either love it or hate it, but you certainly know when you've got it ... It's a bit like the difference between playing a guitar through a modern solid-state amp and then switching to valves. There's nothing like it.

The only drawback with the JX-3P was the button-pushing needed to edit patches, which felt tiresome at the time (though if you've ever tried to edit a modern FM patch from the keyboard, you won't complain about the JX-3P). With the add-on programmer, which attaches itself magnetically to its perch on the front of the synth, it's just a joy - like fiddling with a proper pre-digital analog gismo."

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