Roland Revamps Vintage Synths with Boutique Series

Roland is bringing back three of its most legendary synthesizers, the Jupiter-8, the JX-3P and the Juno-106, as affordable and portable recreations with its new Roland Boutique series of virtual analog tabletop synthesizers, including the JP-08, JX-03 and the JU-06.

For years, synthesizer enthusiasts have been begging Roland to bring back the classic analog synths and drum machines that helped shape the course of electronic music. With the AIRA series, Roland presented virtual analog recreations of the TR-808 and 909, TB-303, and SH-101 using their Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology, all presented in a distinctive futuristic green and black finish.

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Now Roland is using ACB technology to revisit old-school synths once again, but this time the aesthetics and knob functionality stay true to the originals while still being portable and affordable, as well as updated with new features not found on the original synths.

There are three modules offered in the Boutique series: the JP-08, based on the Jupiter-8; the JX-03, based on the JX-3P; and the JU-06, based on the Juno-106 analog synths. All three modules have up to four voices of polyphony each, with the option to chain two modules together for up to eight voices. Each module also features a 16-step sequencer, two ribbon controllers, a built-in speaker, battery or USB bus power, MIDI/USB in and out, and mini jacks for stereo input, output and headphones. The Roland Boutique modules also can slide into an optional two-octave mini keyboard unit, the K-25m. Let’s break down the classic and updated features of each of the modules:

The JP-08 condenses the humongous and iconic Jupiter-8 into a tiny box, offering 36 of the original parameters directly onto the front panel of the module. The JP-08 also features brand new LFO and VCO waveforms and an expanded VCO range. Two chained JP-08 modules would give you access to the same 8-voice polyphony of the original Jupiter-8.

The JX-03 maintains the spirit of Roland’s first MIDI-equipped analog synth by bringing the preset buttons from the original JX-3P as well as all 24 knobs of the optional PG-200 controller, which is often regarded as the key to unlocking the hidden potential of the JX-3P. The JX-03 adds more extensive cross-modulation capabilities for the second DCO, as well as new LFO and DCO waveforms and an expanded DCO range.

The JU-06 recreates the Juno-106, one of Roland’s last analog synths ever made, by featuring 23 of its knob and slider controls, including its classic on-board chorus effect. The JU-06 differs from its predecessor by offering a faster LFO and a new continuously variable hi-pass filter.

Some gearheads may complain that these new modules are not analog. However, not only has Roland stated that it will offer a new series of fully analog Eurorack modules with the System-500 later this year, but buyers will be getting high-quality digital technology that sounds incredibly close to the real deal, all for a fraction of the price and space.

The Roland Boutique JX-03 and JU-06 will be available for $299, the JP-08 for $399, and the K-25m for $99.

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