MAN CAVE, or a grotesque of mid life crisis
JP08 Boutique Jupiter 8
Best for: fridge magnets that actually work
A Jupiter 8 in a weeny wee wee little box! What ever will they think of next! Although one could churlishly ask why '08', when you only get 04 voices. I can’t imagine that twice as many would been twice as much but then apparently you couldn’t run it on batteries, which is some perversion of the Japanese. As it is, you must buy two. You can buy more if you like, Roland won’t mind. But be quick, we’re being Boutique!
Being a man of opulent means and stupid to match, I ordered two in Australia. Help the local industry. The shop said they would be ready by Christmas. Disappointing, but OK. Then the shop said late January and I thought this boutique shit had gone too far. Got one 2nd hand off eBay, and paid much less. Smells new. Probably stolen.
A very weeny little box. God made me with small, tidy fingers for mini keys and controls such as these. But still it is a little hard to get them right where you wanted them, needed as the filter does have a temper. Could have made it bigger, spend-the-five-bucks Roland. They have come out and said these are not supposed to be high end, even though they share the AIRA technology, the AIRA gear is priced higher and better made. Not even the same team. Pshaw.
I couldn’t tell you whether this sounds like a Jupiter 8. At around $10,000 a Jupiter 8 would have to sound like trumpets announcing Jesus Come Again to be worth the price. If this thing even remotely approaches that, it will do. Trumpets announcing local cat, OK fine.
What I can do is compare the JP08 to the JP8080, seems only fair. They have a similar layout, but the older 8080 is based on a mix of models, as much MKS70 or MKS80 as JP8. It has much bigger controls and has ten voices, band pass instead of high pass. So long as you stay within the traditions of Roland Pies, that stringy horny chorused thing that people like, you are going to see an advantage to the JP8080 which has a wider variety of tricks up its sleeve – supersaws, ring modulator, feedback waves and so on. In fact 90% of the Jupiter 8 sound can be made simply by boosting the treble, sometimes the bass.
The JP08 is better at being difficult. It can be a very dirty little box, particularly the cross modulation is a horror of the best kind. Strangely enough it’s able to be angry two ways – in a pretence of being analogue, and also when you push the emulation too hard – for example pitch the oscillators all the way up, put the cross modulation all the way up – there is absolutely filthy digital glitching which I don’t see as bad at all, it’s wonderful to move between two ‘fuck you’s’ on one instrument.
The other noticeable area is the VCA. When you raise that too high it distorts badly, in a very analogue but unpleasant way. I get the feeling that since 1981 the Roland people locked the VCA down to a sensible level, solving this problem but emasculating the results.
It has a similar noise to the System 1m, but the latter seems more burnt. Like if you lit this one up with butane. Not done enough to expand on that yet sorry.
All in all a bit of Future Fleacore and I am tickled to be at the start of it, for surely these will be thrown out in large numbers a decade from now.
“Mr. Takahashi! I have taken 1981 and made it run on batteries! I am wearing my proud face!”
“Batteries? Why the fuck batteries? Jesus.”
THIS TOY IS EASY TO USE
IF YOU HAVE SMALL HANDS
IT MAKES YE OLDE JUPITER SOUNDS
THE SOUND QUALITY IS GOOD
IT WAS CHEAPISH AND IS A BIT HARD TO GET
ITS RATING IS WTF BATTERIES?
It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.