Jen Electronics SX-1000 Synthetone

Jen SX-1000 Image

The Synthetone SX-1000 is an old Italian basic mono-synth. It has a single analog DCO with three waveforms: sawtooth, square, and PWM (Pulse Width Modulation). There is an analog filter (12dB/octave) with cutoff, resonance, and LFO modulation. There is also a simple ADSR envelope for shaping your sounds. In addition there are also white/pink noise generators a glide effect and a vibrato effect. It's known for fairly stable tuning too. Probably its best sounds are the lead ones, the basses aren't that deep but it sure can scream!

What it doesn't have is MIDI, CV/Gate or any other form of control. MIDI retrofits can take care of this however. Unfortunately there is no patch memory, and there is no way around this limitation. Its knobs are boldly colored and well layed-out for easy hands-on access; but you'll need a Polaroid camera if you want to store your patch settings! Also lacking are an arpeggiator, sequencer, pitch/mod wheels, and effects. Nevertheless, this Italian vintage synth is a very cheap entry-level analog synth that has some unique sounds and characteristics worth checking out if you find one. It's been used by Future Sound of London, LFO, Nexus 21, Altern 8, Eskimos & Egypt, Fillmore, Man Machine, Tim Simenon, Broadcast, Plone, Luke Vibert, Ladytron, Prodigy and Herb Legowicz of Gusgus.

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43 Visitor comments
August 20, 2009 @ 2:16 pm
Mine and most of the planets first 'real' mono synth.. limited, but a good intro into synthesis. you WILL lose most of the endcaps, but rest of construction very solid. weak sound, probably not much use these days as it has no memory or control
August 9, 2009 @ 8:35 am
Very tough machines... mine fell out of a land Rover on the way to a gig.. broke off top & bottom C keys, and a couple of the knobs, but everything still worked fine!!
November 26, 2008 @ 10:22 am
The Jen SX1000 has got to be the most under-appreciated monosynth of the lot! Although it's very simple, it's capable of some really screaming lead sounds and some trully insane bass tones (particularly when PWM is used carefully). It's as solid as a rock and always works a charm, it also never goes out of tune (unlike a lot of it's bargain bin VCO-equipped rivals). And trust me, it sounds about as undigital as you could ever imagine!
Thomas kenny
November 26, 2008 @ 5:48 am
I First seen one of those synth's called The Jen SX-1000 Synthetone way back since 1981 in the catologue shop in northfield,Birmingham it was a very cheap model the same time casio keyboard's first came out that time & when I saw the controls on the SX-10000 machine I didn't understand what those controls were used for it was too misunderstandable to me.
October 26, 2008 @ 1:36 pm
Actually, it is an analogue oscillator, that then drives a digital chip that scans the keyboard and generates the note. So, yes, it can go out of tune just like any other analogue oscillator synth.

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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - One DCO (sawtooth, square, pulse-width modulation); 4-octave range (32', 16', 8', 4'); white and pink noise generators
  • LFO - 1 LFO; Vibrato
  • Filter - 1 Low-pass filter, 12dB/octave, with ADSR
  • VCA - 1 ADSR
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - None (Kenton Midi Retrofits available)
  • Date Produced - 1978 - 1982
  • Resources & Credits
  • Image from the collection of Daniele Marziali found at the Jen Synth Pages

    Thanks to Jesper Odemark for providing some information.

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