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
Kev Atherton
April 29, 2014 @ 5:39 am
Lovely little synths, pretty plentiful (in the UK anyway) and you can mod without that fear of ruining a valuable 'vintage' synth.

I also have a couple of Jens that I've been modding recently, they're much more versatile after the mods. I've blogged about modding my first one if anyone's interested (I'm not electronics trained, but it's not hard)

http://kevinatherton.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/little-jenny-the-ressurection -of-a-simple-italian-70s-synth-other-waffle/
gridsleep
November 21, 2013 @ 11:00 am
A Polaroid camera to store patch settings. The funny thing is, human beings have this little known magical facility called memory. It is possible to store whole books and symphonies right inside the brain for instant recall. It only requires a little effort and concentration. I guess that might be asking too much from the "I can remember it for you wholesale" generation. A gadget for everything and an atrophied brain.
Tommy
October 8, 2013 @ 1:07 am
Hey, Cammy! I had to carry mine in a black liner too when i purchased it from a guy off the classifieds in 1998! My very first synth, i still LOVE mine. I managed to get even FENDER RHODES sounds out of it!!! (albeit monophonic and dusty sounding) The nice thing is that everything is laid out on knobs in front of you, so theres a lot of fun to have experimenting. Kenton still makes midi retrofits for this one, so there must be a lot of these hangin round. Italian synth, from when italian industries where really good and catering for vox, dallas arbiter, etc etc
craig m
June 30, 2013 @ 6:15 pm
Django Django used one of these at Glastonbury 2013!
Cammy
May 14, 2013 @ 7:09 pm
I bought one for £19 in cash generator the only problem was the pitch dial had been knocked off but you can still turn it, they didnt have a plastic bag big enough so I asked for a bin bag and I still remember how I felt walking home that day. It wouldnt work work for the first 2mins after buying it and I thought I been robbed then it suddeny sprung into life and has workked since. It has a lot of character and I love mine. limited but that can be appealing, as it made me really experiment.
 
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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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