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
bob atx
February 21, 2013 @ 1:27 pm
A new band from London called Zulu Winter uses one to great effect but I didn't know these synths were so limited in function. I guess it's all about the right sound and they get the most from it.
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LinearProg
December 4, 2012 @ 7:48 am
A band called Kling Klang also use one for bass sound. I have owned one for a while (cost me £160) and I have found it to be the most versatile in my music, the PWM control is amazing considering its a 'cheap' synth.
http://soundcloud.com/evil_ernie
A.Vandelay
November 20, 2012 @ 8:17 pm
@connor

I'm not sure if they actually are man. There are a few synths in that video that could potentially be Jens but they have features that mean they probably aren't. I have one of these and I'm extremely attached to it but as demonstrated by the video, with their iphone emulators, huge modular systems and wonderful italian leather jackets, Depeche Mode are into much more sophisticated things.
Connor
October 27, 2012 @ 1:01 am
Just a little update, I noticed Depeche Mode using one on their new album (through studio footage)
Connor
October 3, 2012 @ 3:11 pm
I got one of these in london for £250 (~$400) and it blew my mind. I underestimated this thing, for a seemingly basic synth, it really has some oomph to it. I know one other person that has owned one and we both agreed that it does have a weak filter, but wow- pink/white noise generator, vibrato, pulse/saw/square waves, two ADSRs. Quite a machine!
 
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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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