Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Sir Ruff » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:50 am

Ok, we've managed to do every other possible juno 60 comparison, but no one's mentioned the most relevant of all... (This is prompted by my finally getting a juno 60, and deciding it's finally time to give my long unused juno 1 the boot).

We all know the specific technical differences-juno 1 would beat the juno 60 easily in that category (excepting envelope PWM which is a great feature that the juno 1 doesn't have), but what about the sound?
Ok, well the juno 60 should win easily in that category (it does for me at least), but when you factor in the increased parameter options of the juno 1, things get a little murkier...
Having a speed control for the chorus is very useful, as is having pitch env, etc... I also like the compact size of the juno 1.

So which is it to be?
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Z » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:02 am

At this time, I have one of each generation of Juno synths (JU-60, JU-106 & HS-80 w/ PG-300) and was thinking of doing some sort of comparision video. I'd be happy to whip up something quick using the JU-60 & HS-80 if you need - I just need to know what exactly you'd like me to compare.
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby braincandy » Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:52 am

I had Juno-1 for a few months about 5 years ago and reacquired a Juno-60 for the 2nd time this past December, so forgive me if my memory is a little foggy on the Juno-1.

I look at sound + fun and the Juno-60 wins hands down. The more advanced specs on the Juno-1 don't matter much to me. The one-slider-per-function interface on the Juno-60 and more real-time control is worth the extra cash. The Juno-1 never made me forget about the 60. I even preferred the 106 to the Juno-1 (before the 106 started having issues). I'm not saying the Juno-1 is a bad synth--it's a good choice for an analog poly for very little scratch and does some decent basses and pads.

Is this a situation where you have to sell one or the other, because I don't think Juno-1s even sell for that much anymore, do they? Might as well keep it and enjoy its compactness and use it as a "lap" synth when you're lounging around, if you don't need the cash.
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Sir Ruff » Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:00 pm

Thanks for offer Z-but seeing as already have both now I don't really need help comparing them :wink: I definitely couldn't see owning all three-maybe one of the junos and and alpha, but not the 60, 106 AND alpha...

No braincandy, they do not sell for much (and I ain't askin a lot either!) That was basically my argument for keeping it so long... I actually had an mks-50 in the past with the pg-300, but that thing was so unintuitive-like, what the hell is the difference between a patch and a tone on a mono-timbral synth?
Anyways, ironically, I actually enjoyed programming the juno-1 more sans pg-300... you just scroll through and edit as needed. Which is why I ended up keeping it.

But really, what is the point of keeping stuff just for the sake of keeping it? I am on a full-scale decluttering mission in anticipation of moving, and so now especially, the j-60 has made this redundant.
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Sir Ruff » Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:35 am

So I was totally set on selling the alpha.... the I started actually playing it again. It really does sound different in a few ways. Having a different LFO for chorus and PWM (and filter) really does open up the sound. It can also have much slower envelopes. I am able to produce my favorite early 90s techno filter sweeps that are just kind of too clean and bright (polite) on the 60. preset Syn Rise is awesome (taking advantage of all 3 LFOs)-straight off an early 90s german techno record. And Cosmo sweep is also super hot.

the 60 is much better sounding overall, but more polished and bright. It just doesn't have that resonant bite (but admittedly sounds a lot better without rez). dammit.. I'm almost considering selling the 60 or keeping both... argh! :lol:
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby synthshaw » Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:56 am

I picked an HS80 up last year in mint condition, and i'm glad i did. Different tonal quality from the other Junos as you say, i find it great for booming bass and sub bass. The aftertouch on this model adds a lot of value for me, for opening the filter or adding vibrato. I like to put it in mono mode with glide and do that sliding rumble bass, great synth.
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Solderman » Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:56 pm

I don't have much to add here, as I don't own a Juno 60, but in trying to emulate 60 sounds I've heard on the Alpha, the latter just cannot do that warm gooey stuff at all.
I chalk it up to the filter designs on each. 60 has a standard OTA 4 pole lowpass. Alphas have a 2 Pole Lowpass in series with a 2 Pole bandpass, just like the rev 5 MKS-80. The alphas seem to have a bit more sensitive VCF that clips easier in the mid-range, and some would say Roland perfected the tuning on the Alphas a little too much.

I personally like the resonant sweeps, bright strings and squelchy squares on my Alpha. Hoover sounds I can take them or leave them. I like the ability to modulate multiple parameters at once with the Env Depth and Mod Speed buttons too.

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analogue. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." - Brian Eno
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Excellent tips

Postby Gossioii7 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:53 am

Excellent tips .I really appreciate all these points, and I agree completely…
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Phenom » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:19 pm

I owned both together for a time with the Juno 1 sitting right on top of my 60, so I guess I compared them quite a bit. I echo what's been said here that the 60 was the superior synth. The 60 can sound quite thick with the chorus, tho without the dco's can sound a bit thin, though by no means unpleasant (unlike some DCO synths). The Alpha always sounds quite thin unless it's doing it's chavvy PWM trance and hoover stuff, it really should come with a fake burberry baseball cap. both can sound a bit plasticy I feel.

The filter on the 60 is so sweet and pretty, almost sacharine at times, the filter on the alpha has less character, which is not helped by it's lack of self-osc. The env attack times was better on the 60, the LFO on the Alpha is nice tho, great for ultra long sweeps and drones. One thing I will say for the Alpha is that it is a unique sounding synth, and the waveform options are fab, and the sound always moves and swirls, almost digital in it's transparancy. I miss the Alpha a bit actually.

The performance section on the 60 is much nicer with the old Roland joystick control of filter cutoff, which is so obvious, but so fun I don't care, and the arp is very nice since I can now sync it, via my Pro DCB or my 808, so it sees a bit more action than it used to.
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Sir Ruff » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:01 am

Solderman wrote:I chalk it up to the filter designs on each. 60 has a standard OTA 4 pole lowpass. Alphas have a 2 Pole Lowpass in series with a 2 Pole bandpass, just like the rev 5 MKS-80. The alphas seem to have a bit more sensitive VCF that clips easier in the mid-range, and some would say Roland perfected the tuning on the Alphas a little too much.

This is really interesting, I had no idea... thanks for posting! the resonance of the 60, like someone else said, is very clean and pretty... the alpha on the other hand really bites... perhaps that's the effect of the bandpass filter in series? but it definitely doesn't sound like the mks-80 ver 5. (although admittedly, I never compared them side by side, and without the chorus, the alpha rez wouldn't soud quite as good.)
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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby Solderman » Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:25 pm

Sir Ruff wrote:This is really interesting, I had no idea... thanks for posting! the resonance of the 60, like someone else said, is very clean and pretty... the alpha on the other hand really bites... perhaps that's the effect of the bandpass filter in series? but it definitely doesn't sound like the mks-80 ver 5. (although admittedly, I never compared them side by side, and without the chorus, the alpha rez wouldn't soud quite as good.)


Same as the Juno-60 doesn't sound like the Jupiter 8 in 4 pole mode. :) They use the same generation IC for VCF, but there's so much more to consider. I can only make my 2 pole LP -> 2 Pole BP observation from looking at schematics, so there could be more to it than that. Since the Alpha's VCF doesn't self-oscillate, my guess is you're getting a thinner and higher resonant peak for some part of the upper midrange, so it comes off sounding more harsh.
The chorus designs on each Juno are also slightly different; mostly updated parts with a similar architecture. The Alpha's chorus is nearly identical to the Boss CE-300, which I use with my Jupiter, and it's great for that. Biggest difference is the Boss has an Expander circuit in addition.

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Re: Battle of the junos: alpha juno 1 vs juno 60

Postby lhm1138 » Mon Apr 20, 2009 9:06 pm

The Alphas have a slightly cold sound to them, perfect compliment to more thick analog synths. Not the best workhorses, but if you have other stuff they play quite well with others.
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