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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42 Visitor comments
Paul Soulsby
March 20, 2010 @ 5:08 am
It's pretty low on features, but has a really unique sound. Reminds me a little of a Korg MS-10. If you can find one for under £100, buy it! Simple but really interesing timbre. The master oscillator can be heard on mine (very high pitch tone)!
March 17, 2010 @ 9:54 am
I think its a great little synth and very much underated too.... Very nice bass sounds and altough not as fat as a pro one or mini thats what makes it so unique. Not every sound you use has to scream out and see off your bass bins!! This is all over eary future sound of london tracks ..
November 17, 2009 @ 5:44 pm
excellent little budget synth, great sounds and user-friendly.
November 17, 2009 @ 12:38 pm
These have started going for silly amounts on ebay (£200 - £300). Not really worth more than £100. Nice little synth though despite the limitations, and literally hundreds available here in the UK for some reason.
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
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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