It might look like a toy keyboard with its colour scheme but it’s certainly well built and for all that weight it also weighs in heavy for sound possibilities and quality. This is an underrated vintage synthesizer, but lacking in hands-on control and a good midi implementation, to be fair it was Roland’s first venture into MIDI synths, all of which can be improved with certain upgrades mentioned below.
The unit itself is fairly heavy as were most of the keyboards of the day, inside a mix of wooden bottom, top what appears to be steel on hinges that opens up and away from you revealing the boards inside, and plastic end cheeks.
On the surface of the synth there is a layout for the rather pricey PG-200 the original controller allowing you to tweak all the synths parameters these can be found on eBay occaisionally for around £200-£400 UK Sterling. If you think that I picked my JX 3P up for around the £250 mark then up to £400 is pretty steep for a midi controller, also you will need a special DIN cable that is not the standard midi connector, again found on eBay.
Once you have something to control it with then, wow you can really have fun with all its other parameters and of course its analog filter that is meant to be the same as in the Juno and Jupiter series synths.
As mentioned before the midi is rather limited and to just on/off information.
The unit does have a built in 128 Step sequencer, which is fun, and you can get some cracking sounds from it, all classic Roland analog sounding, strings, pads, bass, brass, effects, pretty much any analog synth sounds you can think of, (its bass sounds suprisingly deep).
If you really want some amazing new features and a proper midi implementation then Kiwi Technics have created a chip upgrade that gives you the following features to bring the unit up to date (A full list can be found on the Kiwi Technics website): https://kiwitechnics.com/jx3pupgrade.htm
A lot of synth for the money well worth checking out, and if you can afford the KIWI technics PE controller or the Roland PG-200 controller you will be having fun for years to come!
Way back 😊 1983!
Keyboard/Number of keys
Can store up to 32 different TONES, however a KIWI Rom upgrade will grant you 256 Tones!!!
2 DCO’s per voice
128 Steps Sequencer
Arpeggiator with KIWI upgrade
ROYALTY FREE EFFECTS