JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

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JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby theundertakermc » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:47 pm

JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one would you choose ? which one sounds better ? i'm looking to buy one of these ... i don't care about the price .... just wanna know what you guys think !!?
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby Z » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:17 pm

Talk about comparing apples to oranges AND BANANAS!

Depending on what you want kind of sounds you're looking for. For straight up analog sounds, I'd go for the Juno, but have plenty of VCF/VCA clone chips on hand. For cold (but cool) digital sounds, the Super JX gets my vote. For ROMpler sounds, the XP for sure. If you're looking for realistic, bread and butter sounds, the XP is the way to go.
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby Phollop Willing PA » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:51 pm

JUNO 106 :D
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby StepLogik » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:55 pm

get whichever one smells the best to you
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby Syn303 » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:47 pm

Phollop Willing PA wrote:JUNO 106 :D


That synth is the thinnest sounding pile of shite i have ever layed hands on. The 6 and 60 are far better.
The XP-50 you can expand with four JV boards, the vintage synth board is a favourite of many XP & JV owners.
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby HideawayStudio » Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:07 pm

Syn303 wrote:
Phollop Willing PA wrote:JUNO 106 :D


That synth is the thinnest sounding pile of shite i have ever layed hands on. The 6 and 60 are far better.
The XP-50 you can expand with four JV boards, the vintage synth board is a favourite of many XP & JV owners.



Oh heck - here we go again! let's not start the bash the 106 vs 6/60 war- there are just too many pro's still using this synth to knock it - they can't all be wrong! Juno 6/60 and 106 are all superb synths - it's just that they are good for different applications.

My opinions of the following gear are:

MKS-70 - Huge, powerful, quite warm, with stable DCO tuning but rather slow envelopes (it's basically two JX-8Ps in one box with a common controller) - not at all snappy - I never use mine for bass. Perfect for big warm pads and textures, analog strings and slower brass. A programmer or at least a decent midi editor is a must as working from the front panel is not very nice. I've have one for many years (ex Howard Jones) and I will never part with it. First impressions can be bad as the factory presets SUCK! The MKS-70 is not a bad investment - it will never loose you money provided you don't pay really silly money for it. One with a PG-800 programmer though will cost you a small mint!

Juno-106 - Extremely accessible classic which positively encourages you to tweak with superb midi implementation for age. Perfect for analog newbies and pros alike. In my opinion much more of an all rounder than MKS-70 and has a faster envelope making it better suited for dance/electronic music. Great chorus - great for bass, PWM, pads, brass, white noise FX and even bell like sounds - not as warm as Juno 6/60 but more flexible and has midi out of the box. All in all very fun to own and looks great. HOWEVER!! - a big word of warning - the Juno-106 is now notorious for failed VCA/VCF chips which has caught out so many unwitting non-technically minded buyers. There are very few genuine bargains around as a result. Although the original ICs are almost impossible to track down there are some good clones around now. Please take this warning seriously as more and more 106's end up with loving owners there are more and more dodgy ones floating around on eBay. Please note though - if yours turns out to be ok you will never loose money on it - they are very sought after and hence expensive now.

XP-50 - Well for me... ugg! - It's yet another rather characterless ROMpler from Roland. I personally can't get excited about such a thing - that said they are all based on Roland's superb sample library and if you need bread and butter sounds then I suspect there are far worse options. The XP-50 will never be worth much (at least not compaired to JD-800, D-50 or Yamaha SY-77/99!) - which in a way is a good thing as you will get a heck of a lot of keyboard for the money.

So my verdict: Well as others have said, it depends on what you are looking for. If you have a very small setup then I can't really recommend the Juno or the MKS as they are not multitimbral and wouldn't be right in a mix on their own. On the other hand, If you have other gear, then the MKS and Juno would make extremely worthy additions to your studio so:

If you have a bit of gear already and are into dance/electronic music - it has to be the Juno
If you have a bit of gear already and you need love warm analog pads and slower textures - it has to be MKS-70
If you have little gear or are into composing piano ballads then get the XP

Before I start a war of words here - these are my opinions only :)
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby rockmanrock » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:18 pm

Roland's digital filters on the XP/JV/XV series sound vile to my ears. They're okay up to a point but the resonance is really nasty. They can sound alright but it's not like the analogues where you have a huge sweet spot and they're difficult to make sound bad.

Of the three synths you've listed you'll have the most fun with a 106.
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby Mandolin Rail » Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:15 pm

Hideaway nailed it sopt on - I love my Juno 106 but by itself it can be a little thin - I layer mine with the JX-3P's dual oscillators and program my own sounds. The presets were just ok in the 80's - now they sound horrid.
I have not had the pleasure to try the MKS-70 - but I would not hesitate to pick one up IF I could find one for a decent price. If you need realism, go for the XP-50 - but if you really want to play with synthisis - get the Juno 106 - It's hella fun to tweak and play around on.
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby ohmaha78 » Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:54 am

I would go with the MKS-70 my self. Love the sound but, as others have stated not great for bass due to the sluggish envelopes. But make sure to get the programmer! I didn't really use my MKS-30 a lot until I got the PG200! Now it gets used quite a bit!!
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby JMP » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:16 am

HideawayStudio wrote:The XP-50 will never be worth much (at least not compaired to JD-800, D-50 or Yamaha SY-77/99!) - which in a way is a good thing as you will get a heck of a lot of keyboard for the money.


Your last line I would agree with but on Ebay UK an XP50 will cost almost as much as a JD800 and a fair bit more than a D50.

If you have little gear or are into composing piano ballads then get the XP


Well I'd say you need to get past the presets... spend some time with it and you can great results for any kind of music, particularly when considering the numerous SR-JV80 expansions available.

To theundertakermc - My XP50 demo is here:

http://www.soundclick.com/util/getplaye ... 04544&q=hi

But yes, if you want hands-on easy programming then the 106 may be a good choice (although the Juno 60 is a wiser one) the MKS so long as you have a PG800 but the tone/patch structure can be frustrating. For variety of sounds and expansion possibilities, go for the XP. A rack version JV1080 will give you the exact same sound engine and expansion but for less, about £150 in UK.
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby braincandy » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:10 pm

They're not really competitors unless you want to compare the Juno-106 and MKS-70 since they're both analog.

Juno-106 = immediacy with everything available to you on the front panel.
MKS-70 = sounds as thick as a brick. Wonderful for lush pads.

What are you going to be doing with it? What sounds are you primarily looking for?
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Re: JUNO 106 , ROLAND XP-50 or ROLAND MKS 70 ...wich one ???

Postby Murderhausen » Wed Mar 11, 2009 3:51 am

I have both a Juno 106 and a JX10 (which is the keyboard version of the MKS 70 sans PWM). People have already mentioned the immediacy and ease of use of the Juno, as well as its ability to introduce a newcomer to programming. It sounds nice and I have used on nearly everything I have ever recorded. But I am going to tell you to get the MKS70 simply because it has an extra oscillator, and along with it different effects like sync. Someone said the 106 is more of an all-rounder, but I have to disagree. As well as having the extra oscillator and all that comes along with one, the MKS70 will also offer you an LFO that can produce shapes other than the sine wave that the 106 exclusively uses. Both have a chorus, and the MKS can even let you stack sounds to make, essentially, a four oscillator or two timbre patch. You'd really have to get the programmer for the MKS70, though, which is going to cost as much as the unit itself.

As far as the XP50... it really depends on what you want to do. Maybe the best option would even be a keyboard or rackmount virtual analogue provided it has a good enough user interface to cope with programming it. The best VA interfaces I have experienced are the Nord Lead series and the Roland JP8000. By the way, I think the JP8000 covers the bases of both the Juno and JX/MKS series with the addition of some new waveforms (most-notably the Supersaw) and some decent effects. The JP8000 also offers you the ability to apply the LFO to the VCA for tremolo or to the pan for auto-pan. Pretty cool.
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