I hated the synth for the interface and the trouble I had servicing
it, but it would be unfair to say that it is a bad synth. It's good
(to say the least) and I have grown to admire its hidden potential. It
can kick some serious ass, squeeze some tears from eyes, and send some shivers down the
spine, which translates to a wide range of inspiration
opportunities. I think it's the most soundtracky cheap vintage analog synth.
And maybe even the best cheap 80's Roland synth engine-wise.
Soundwise... well, that's another story.
though the way
the synth looks may be unstimulating (banish the designer!), the sound is of first
quality and reigns supreme full-spectrum. You just need to like this quality - I often don't. I hate to use tech /
nerd language, and I could very well use the word "not agile", but
here we go: it's stiff DCO quality. The
good-morning-how-can-I-help-you tone of this synth oscillates
between a can of razor-blades, a glass of marbles and a medley of 80's
hits (I'm sure half of its price level is generated by fans recreating
the "Final Countdown" hit song).
The areas where it can be relied on most are:
sparkling chorused strings (when speaking about toying with the filter
open), haunted or cinematic pads (best with the filter cutoff low) and some
austere-but-interesting, chorus-less blips and leads. As far as bass
theory is concerned, the JX-8p really delivers in low frequency (I even have to push the HPF slider up a bit sometimes),
however, this is yet another area that needs to be classified as
not convincing. If you're after Adamski's Killer type basses (or
again: the 80's), then it's okay, but for a more snappy, versatile and
effectively generic bass machine search elsewhere.
the inherent timbre, the JX-8p is one of those models inviting you to
dig into parameters and create something new every couple of weeks. It
has much more things beneath its hood than all those Junos, Polysiks
and stuff, and that ensures more fun and wider palette of patches.
you don't have the programmer, the original PG or the virtual one,
don't even bother to touch the synth. I'm serious. Your body's gonna
produce so much frustration hormone that you will fall into a
horrible, mind-wrecking agony and eventually die.