Roland Super JX-10

Roland JX 10 Image

Released in 1985 the JX-10 (Super JX) combines two individual JX-8P's for an outstandingly warm, rich and analog sound which is still used in many modern studios all over the world. This synth was the first Roland Synth to be fitted with a quality 76 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. Two DCO's per voice, two ADSR envelope generators per voice, and a resonant lowpass & non-resonant highpass filters are only the beginning. It has a 12 voice polyphony for a total of 24 oscillators and it is by far one of the most programmable synths of its time! However, as on the JX-8P, knobs and sliders have been replaced by low-profile buttons and a nice LCD display. Although this may look sleek and elegant, it makes editing a chore. Assign parameters to the alpha dial for tweaking, one at a time, or get the optional PG-800 Programmer to provide traditional, hands-on, dedicated sliders for editing the JX-10's parameters.

The JX10 has a Chorus effect and a chase-play Delay function. The chase-play function allows programmable delayed repeats of voices by alternating patches of the upper and lower modules. The simple chorus effect is either off, slow or fast. It has two programmable sliders (if you don't use the PG-800) for some real-time control which can be recorded along with other effects and keyboard modes into one of the 64 Program Patches. This is in addition to its standard 50 preset and 50 user patch memory. A simple sketch-pad 1-track real-time sequencer is also on-board. It stores sequence data directly to an M16C card, or an M64C card for Patch/Tone OR sequence data. The M16C has a capacity of 400 notes, the M64C 1440, according to the manual.

The JX-10 also comes in a rack-mount version known as the MKS-70. It's worth noting that the JX-10 can not be edited via SysEx, however the MKS-70 can which is one reason many have chosen the rack version over the keyboard. The JX-10 can make bulk dumps of its sounds over sysex, but only with (discontinued) Roland M64C RAM cartridges. The JX-10 has been used by Jane Child, Pink Floyd, Duran Duran, Angelo Badalamenti, Yellow Jackets and The Cure.

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97 Visitor comments
April 25, 2009 @ 12:25 pm
planetplayer - Actually, its a 4 pole 24db filter, per the orginal manual, and the keys are not even close to slow (1.5 oz weights). I'm doubting you own this machine; the MKS is only better if you need MIDI editing, due to the fact that the MKS has cleaner D/As, resulting in a slightly thinner sound. The thickness goes JX8P, JX10, then MKS- all due to increasingly cleaner D/As. The JX10 is probably the most reliable example to own of a vintage pure analog path synth. Keep in mind that the DCOs are still analog (read the manual)- the square wave generator is pure analog, and they pass through a digital modifier to create rampt or sines waves for processing. Before people listen to opinions, remember most people who comment on this synth have never actually played one!
Guillermo Tin
February 7, 2009 @ 3:01 pm
The Bad: Screwed MIDI implementation.It's uncapable of responding to any CC message, so you just can't do a simple cutoff sweep through MIDI. I haven't got the PG-800, but I can say it is reasonably possible to program sounds without it, given you have the practice of fiddling around digital menus. I must warn, though, that without a PG-800 you won't be capable to alter any parameters in real time, except for the pitch bender, and an almost-useless breath slider. That keeps the timbre very straightforward: what you hear is what you program. All of these have prevented me from using the Jx more, as I keep going for my other synths instead to save time. It has a WONDERFUL keyboard response (that sometimes need maintenance), but the lack of decend MIDI and real time controllers will stop anyone from using it as a master keyboard. So, in the end, owning a MKS-70 would be a better option to me.
Guillermo Tin
February 7, 2009 @ 2:25 pm
The Good: Extremely powerful synthesizer, it's dual Jx8p achitecture allow endless possibilities in programming complex analog sounds that few other synths are capable of delivering. Has the lovely Roland sound (and the infamous roland chorus), instantly recognizable from dozens of records in the last two decades. If the analog synthesis of this machine could be compared to an orchestra, I'd say it would cover the strings and the brass sections, along with some percussion. As other reviewer once noted: the Jx-10 is pure class. It's the synth to go if you're into Lyle Mays sonic territory.
January 11, 2009 @ 12:42 am
12db filter 24 DCOs, xmodulation and osc sync, unison are top features. The keyboard is slow. At the time you had to do twice the work to get a performance patch from scratch compared to the JX-8P. Most sounds are clean. 76keys are nice. Sounds are nice but factory sounds were clean digital types. Played this in mid1980's. MKS-70 rack mount is better. Keyboard action is not good, needs maintenance.
January 7, 2009 @ 9:51 pm
The Super JX is a very underrated synthesizer. It has a very lush and full sound about it that I love. It is rather difficult to program without the PG800 programmer, but it is worth the effort even still. It is capable of warm thick pads, growls, bells and some of the best sounding synthetic (ethereal) pianos you have ever heard. The factory presets are a pretty poor representation of its ability so create your own. The dual mode is awesome and is part of the reason why it sounds the way it does. If you come across one give it a look. The build quality is kinda flimsy IMHO, but they are pretty reasonable $ wise. There was a rack version too. The MKS70 I think? A great piece of equipment that came out in the mid 80's. And yes, It does have 24 oscillators.
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User Rating

Rated 4.32 (632 Votes)

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  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 12 voices
  • Oscillators - 2 DCO's per voice (24 oscillators)
  • Effects - Portamento, chorus, chase-play
  • Memory - 50 preset, 50 user patches, 64 Program Patches, External memory cartridges
  • VCF - One resonant low pass and one non-resonant hi pass filter (which can be used simultaneously)
  • VCA - 2 ADSR envelope generators per voice
  • Arpeg/Seq - 1-track real-time sequencer, 400 note memory (M-32 card), 800 note memory (M-64 card)
  • Keyboard - 76 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from yousenditworks eBay Store.

    Thanks to Ecky Zudrop, JC CUTZ and Matthew Bassett for providing information.

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