An affordable analog polyphonic synthesizer with
memory and Midi interface. Jx3p is a really nice analog machines with nice features and drawbacks, however is it still worth a buy? or is it totally obsolete?
KEYBOARD typical eighties design all plastic (10 Kg weight) and features 61 keys C-C with no
Velocity. It is reporter that some later OS (only by EPROM updates) supports the Velocity IN parameter.
Main panel has no display but 38 buttons +3 sliders, but edit process is done one parameter per time with a single SLIDER data entry system which is pretty awkward - fortunately the optional programmer Pg200 badly helps. On the left side there is a Pitch bender with a 3-range switch and a button for LFO modulation retrig. Back panel has the following connections: Footswitch Sustain, Clock IN for sequencer, Stereo Output jacks with a three-way switch for impedance set, Tape I/O, Midi I/O and custom input for the PG200.
Power supply is internal- exists in both 220V and 110V versions.
VOICE engine based on a 8-bits CPU Intel 8051 that manages up to 6 DCO voices and 6 X BA662 generates 2 detunables DCO per voice. DCO voices can be hardsynched or Crossmodulated by a kind of frequency ring modulation called "METAL"process.
OSCILLATOR voiceboard generates 3 different waveforms at 4' 8' 16' Octaves heights including Ramp, a 2X Squares with 2 fixed preset Widths (at 50% and 10% duty) + 1 White noise circuit (but available only on second DCO). Oscillators sound seems to be sometimes weak and the OSC volume balancing can set no more than 50%-50% between DCO1 and DCO2.
FILTER structure is based on IC IR3109 same as the bigger Jupiter 8, and analog VCF Multimode with a very good resonant at -24 dB LOW PASS + 1 classical Roland non-resonant High Pass like Juno60.
EFFECT the stereo analog Chorus for a very retro lush touch to your
recording resulting bright in a mix; it is based on Bucked brigade model Panasonic MN3009 - MN3101.
ENVELOPE a single EG featuring 4 segments ADSR shared between VCA and VCF. It results a bit sluggish and definitively not so snappy.
LFO a single oscillator modulates DCO and VCF with 3 different waveforms: Square, Saw and Sample & HOLD and a 4th waveform Noise Random is available only by direct
JX3P edit (not by PG)
The LFO structure has a Delay time function, Free mode or Retrigger by the dedicated button, but I noticed that the maximum frequency rate is pretty low.
SEQUENCER section eatures 16
steps (max 128) with Fill function, Note insert (up to six) and Pause step. Very intuitive and quite easy to use. SYNC the Tempo has its own internal frequency or can be synched to external analog trigger by +5V pulse signals.
MIDI interface is rather basic and accepts only few messages like NOTE ON or OFF. Unfortunately The jx3p cannot use Midi and PG-200 programmer at the same time... yes THE big rip-off! Luckily some third
part company produced new set of hardware OS that expands the original Midi protocol
with a full spectrum of Control Change for each parameters and a full Midi Sysex dump handling.
MEMORY RAM is split into 4 banks X 16 patches called "ABCD". First 2 banks are fitted into the ROM (the presets) while others are RAM and battery back up on a 8k EPROM - fed by soldered battery CR1 model. There is no factory reset or Midi Sysex dump just tape load.
- PG200 a lot of old
fashioned pots. Wired with a custom six pins cable, the data flows is quick but not sadly recordable.
- MKS30 rackmount version is Mks30 planet-s with some technical enhancements but it does not sound quite the same with different 80017A (like Juno 106).
if you have some cool recordings, consider sharing them. Thanks