I’ve been thinking about not renewing, but “reoldering” my synth park lately, since I’ve realized that drum machines and poly synths of the early 80’s is my thing.
Today I went to Denmark and bought a Roland JX-3P with a PG-200 programmer and a case. I got a fairly good deal!
So far, I really like the sound of the JX-3P. It sounds a lot more vintage than the newer JXs and feels a lot more responsive. The programmer is a very nice addition, it should have been built in the synth from the beginning. The presets are mostly hideous, but that’s easily solved with the PG-200. Custom patches can be saved to any of the 32 user slots. This must be one of the most underrated analog synths ever. It can do amazing brass sounds and I really like brass. It’s nice with two DCO:s and faster envelopes, compared to the other JXs.
The JX-3P was released in 1983 and one of the first synths with midi. And it works very well, I noticed that even program change messages work. One thing that doesn’t work though, is using the PG-200 and midi at the same time. There’s a switch on the back where you decide what to use. This is quite annoying if you have a midi sequence running and want to tweak the sound. However, there’s a cheap mod available called the Organix JX-3P MIDI Expansion that fixes this issues and also makes the PG-200 send midi CC! And some other stuff too. I’ll order it ASAP!
Another thing about midi and the JX-3P is that it was made in two revisions, I have an early one and it lacks midi through. Later revisions have it built in.
I know it’s a bit insane, but I got a very good deal and bought an MKS-70. The MKS-70 is the rack version of JX-10. The JX-10 contains two JX-8P. So at the moment, I have a total of five JX-8P engines!
It seems to be fully working, has a few scratches on top and the front panel looks very nice. However, when booting it and pressing the VALUE button the screen read “Ver 1.03 FINAL JX”, which is not the last version of the firmware. Regarding “FINAL JX”, it’s kind of strange because it was not the last JX synth produced (JX-1 was the last one, though it’s not analog) and it was not the last firmware version either. Just like on the JX-10, the firmware was very buggy on the MKS-70, but they got it all sorted out with version 1.08. I’ll have to open the MKS-70 and check what kind of EPROM it uses.
I know, I already got a DMX. But yesterday I saw an Oberheim DX with midi for sale on the US eBay. The highest bid was at $70 with less than two days left. This was a potential bargain!
Unfortunately the seller didn’t offer international shipping according to the ad. So I contacted him like a often do in these situations, and most times they actually can ship abroad. With two hours remaining the price was $128. This guy however didn’t answer my message, which was too bad for both him and me. The auction ended at $285 which is a steal. If he had offered me international shipping he could have gotten $400 from me instead…
Just bought an Oberheim DMX. It was a real bargain, listed at 2000 Danish crowns ($350). I called him and offered him 2500 ($440) if he’d reserve it for me. He had one person that had contacted him before that wanted to buy it, and said he would call me if that person didn’t buy the DMX. At that point I told myself that it most certainly would be sold.
Later that day he called me and said that the buyer didn’t have the cash. So now I was first in line. I jumped in my car and drove to Denmark. Even if the condition wouldn’t be great, or if a voice card would be bad, it would still be a bargain. When I arrived and saw it in real life I couldn’t believe my eyes – it looked mint and worked flawlessly. I bought it for 2500. He told me that people after me in line had offered him 3000 ($530) and more. Very nice seller by the way! He told me that it’s this DMX that is used on this recording. I think the seller is the guy playing the bass in the video.
On the way back I turned on the radio and heard Into the Groove by Madonna. That must have been a sign. Just like when I heard Carrie by Europe when I was driving home with my JX-8P.
The sound is fantastic, very punchy. And extremely present! Already love it!
Now I have to stop writing and Google for MIDI-mods and check if the battery could cause problems.