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SunSyn in 2018 Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
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Thread Starter
SunSyn in 2018

The JoMoX SunSyn has been at the very top of my dream synth list for years now, but I was always super paranoid at the idea of buying into a slew of problems with the acquiring of one. I've now been offered one of the last Mk II's which has me feeling slightly better due to the increased reliability. I'm wondering if you guys who own one would still be willing to buy into one today, in 2018, for market value. It's a very expensive synth, but, again, one I've wanted for ages so I'm seriously considering it right now. I need to act fairly quick. I've got an incredible tech local to me for whom no project is too great to take on- he's very highly regarded and I'm sure a trip to Germany wouldn't be needed should anything go wrong with the SunSyn. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

If I had the money I would def get one. Life is short. It sounds great, has lots of features, and those rco's. I wouldn't worry about it breaking down. Mostly negative issues are reported and blown out of proportion...and if it does well, nothing in there that can't be fixed
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
It's your dream synth
You have the money for it (so it seems)
You have a local tech that you trust
So...what are you waiting for?
Go grab the beast and start enjoying
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Id go for a Chroma.
Better sound imo ( owned a chroma, with all the midi/cc etc kit and played a Sunsyn on a number of occasions)
Possibly better support and cheaper.

.Just adding an alternative in the mega synth bracket for you to think about.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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7 Hz's Avatar
Sometimes, meeting your heroes is a let down :-)

I didn't like this synth in real life. The sound and interface didn't do much for me. That was back when they were going for £1000 on the s/h market.

On paper, it seems amazing. They go for a lot of money now because they are rare, but back when they were in production, they were a hard sell for Jomox.

Jomox stuff is quirky (to be polite), and this synth is no exception.

If all of that doesn't put you off, you should get it, but be ready to be let down somewhat. Hopefully you'd be able to sell it again and not lose money. maybe you will just click with it and love it, but I'd give you a 50/50 chance you'll get annoyed with it after a while.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

You will get a lot of opinions from people that dont own one, but I do & it's one of my most valued pieces of gear ..
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
KazRemark's Avatar
 

Same, one of my favorite synths and been rocking an original that was converted to MKII for years now with zero issues. I wish I wouldn't have fretted about their supposed problems for years before that or I could have grabbed one for way cheaper
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
The JoMoX SunSyn has been at the very top of my dream synth list for years now, but I was always super paranoid at the idea of buying into a slew of problems with the acquiring of one. I've now been offered one of the last Mk II's which has me feeling slightly better due to the increased reliability. I'm wondering if you guys who own one would still be willing to buy into one today, in 2018, for market value. It's a very expensive synth, but, again, one I've wanted for ages so I'm seriously considering it right now. I need to act fairly quick. I've got an incredible tech local to me for whom no project is too great to take on- he's very highly regarded and I'm sure a trip to Germany wouldn't be needed should anything go wrong with the SunSyn. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
The Sunsyn is my graver synth. I'm gonna take it to the grave.

It's easy to edit, yet you can create really modular like patches with it's matrix system, the combo of the analog and digital waves are delicious, and everything from great shimmering analog pads, thick syrupy punchy bass with meat, great percussion, and crunchy hifi digital grit. This one is the Ace of Spades for me.

Oh, so yeah, I'd easily buy it again.

And if I must, I have an original late serial number and it's solid all around. I've thought about converting to an MKII, but haven't had any need because it's been so reliable.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pelican View Post
Life is short.
Yep, that right there. My dream synth is the Andromeda and, even though I could be up the creek without a paddle if something went wrong with it (some parts are no longer available, I believe), I'd grab one in a heartbeat if I had the money. And the Sunsyn, being as legendary as it is, I would think would be super easy to sell if you suddenly needed the money. One life, it'd be a shame to not own your dream synth if you get the chance.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
The JoMoX SunSyn has been at the very top of my dream synth list for years now, but I was always super paranoid at the idea of buying into a slew of problems with the acquiring of one. I've now been offered one of the last Mk II's which has me feeling slightly better due to the increased reliability. I'm wondering if you guys who own one would still be willing to buy into one today, in 2018, for market value. It's a very expensive synth, but, again, one I've wanted for ages so I'm seriously considering it right now. I need to act fairly quick. I've got an incredible tech local to me for whom no project is too great to take on- he's very highly regarded and I'm sure a trip to Germany wouldn't be needed should anything go wrong with the SunSyn. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Life is short. If I wanted one that bad I would bite the bullet and get it.

If I didn't already own an Xpander it would defiantly be on my bucket list.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
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GYang's Avatar
Sunsyn came to my place after classics as OBXa, JP8, P5, Memorymoog and PPG Wave sat there for years and somehow in same time as Omega 8.
Long story short all above stay and play, with nothing else capable to replace any of above machines for particular uses and purposes.
Notable exclusions are from time to time Andromeda A6, DSI Polyevolver and Waldorf Pulse2 based homemade polysynth.
Sunsyn is as essential as any great analogue polysynth can be. Upgrade it to v 2.0, secure good power supply and enjoy.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
I really wanted the Sunsyn when they came out, but couldn’t afford it then. Today, I would consider the Quantum over the Sunsyn, though I’d wait until we get some real user demos of that before jumping on a preorder.
Someone should make a thorough demo of the Sunsyn. There are some cool sounds owners posted on YouTube, but not much when it comes to analog polysynth sounds. I may be wrong, but it seems like the stuff posted is more built around the RCOs and less of the VCOs. The analog sounds decent, but I don’t find it to be in the same class as something like a P5, OB or JP8, based on the demos. It reminds more of a Studio Electronics poly, which is not a bad thing. The RCOs sort of work like a wave table, which is a pretty cool integration on an analog synth.

Regardless, if the Sunsyn is your dream synth and you have the opportunity to get one, I say go for it.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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drockfresh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwarecore View Post
Yep, that right there. My dream synth is the Andromeda and, even though I could be up the creek without a paddle if something went wrong with it (some parts are no longer available, I believe), I'd grab one in a heartbeat if I had the money. And the Sunsyn, being as legendary as it is, I would think would be super easy to sell if you suddenly needed the money. One life, it'd be a shame to not own your dream synth if you get the chance.
Where would you be if something went wrong with the sunsyn?

I think I read interview where the builder said he stopped making them because they were so complicated to build. What happens if one breaks?

Isn’t there only one person in the world who can fix them?
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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schmuck's Avatar
From what i read by jomox about the sunsyn voice cards I also believe even good technicians will have a hard time if something goes bad.

But then again I haven't heard much of issues with them breaking down - the complaints were mainly about features/multimode/quirkiness.

My late SN V1 that I had upgreaded to v2 works like a charm for years now as well and I would buy it again. The interface is very good for programming. It's an absolute monster with its 8 ballsy voices...
Old 1 week ago
  #15
Gear Head
 
weird_oscillator's Avatar
 

I'd buy one.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Thread Starter
You guys have convinced me (I think).
The seller is a really nice guy and has agreed to give me a few weeks to pay it off. I will be sending a deposit this week.
It's an extremely expensive piece of gear so I'm quite nervous, but it's something I've wanted for over a decade so it's nice to know I'll be able to call one my own.
FWIW, this is possibly the last one made- it's the only black one with the gold knobs. Not my favourite aesthetic-- much prefer the white/orange ones--, but the idea that more of the bugs were worked out by this point is somewhat reassuring.
Does anyone know which track(s) Aphex Twin used the SunSyn on?
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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schmuck's Avatar
Cool congrats I hope you'll pull through. I think none of the sunsyns is a looker. But once it is in front of you...it has a presence with those 8 voices where each one feels like a full sounding mono synth of it own right...you start to love the ugly bugger! Plus, the programming is really very comfortable on it. It's likely to work forever, too, so all is groovy!
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty.west View Post
You guys have convinced me (I think).
The seller is a really nice guy and has agreed to give me a few weeks to pay it off. I will be sending a deposit this week.
It's an extremely expensive piece of gear so I'm quite nervous, but it's something I've wanted for over a decade so it's nice to know I'll be able to call one my own.
FWIW, this is possibly the last one made- it's the only black one with the gold knobs. Not my favourite aesthetic-- much prefer the white/orange ones--, but the idea that more of the bugs were worked out by this point is somewhat reassuring.
Does anyone know which track(s) Aphex Twin used the SunSyn on?
Every once in a while in life we have to slay the dragon and hold its heart while it’s still beating, no matter the cost or risk to ourselves. Godspeed bold knight, and earn your forum’s namesake!
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsieur_R View Post
Every once in a while in life we have to slay the dragon and hold its heart while it’s still beating, no matter the cost or risk to ourselves. Godspeed bold knight, and earn your forum’s namesake!
Co-sign..
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
DuffMan2000's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang View Post
Sunsyn came to my place after classics as OBXa, JP8, P5, Memorymoog and PPG Wave sat there for years and somehow in same time as Omega 8.
Long story short all above stay and play, with nothing else capable to replace any of above machines for particular uses and purposes.
Notable exclusions are from time to time Andromeda A6, DSI Polyevolver and Waldorf Pulse2 based homemade polysynth.
Sunsyn is as essential as any great analogue polysynth can be. Upgrade it to v 2.0, secure good power supply and enjoy.
can you tell us more about Pulse2 poly setup? cuz official Waldorf stance is that it doesn't work.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmuck View Post
Cool congrats I hope you'll pull through. I think none of the sunsyns is a looker. But once it is in front of you...it has a presence with those 8 voices where each one feels like a full sounding mono synth of it own right...you start to love the ugly bugger! Plus, the programming is really very comfortable on it. It's likely to work forever, too, so all is groovy!
I love it's looks. Eye of the beholder I guess.

I think the 'each voice feeling like a mono synth' comment is right on the money. I feel the same. Playing one note just cuts to the core. You can feel it.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Has anyone got a Sunsyn where the filters actually calibrate and track properly? I had two--an mki and mkii--and neither could achieve this. It seems endemic to the thing and was a major letdown for such a hyped machine--hard to make straight patches when each note's filter is totally out of whack.

To the OP, this is something I would check for in advance. It certainly soured my view of it (not to mention other voice tuning quirks which seem to vary from machine to machine).
Old 1 week ago
  #23
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Nigel99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
Has anyone got a Sunsyn where the filters actually calibrate and track properly? I had two--an mki and mkii--and neither could achieve this. It seems endemic to the thing and was a major letdown for such a hyped machine--hard to make straight patches when each note's filter is totally out of whack.

To the OP, this is something I would check for in advance. It certainly soured my view of it (not to mention other voice tuning quirks which seem to vary from machine to machine).
Mine sounds fine to me - but if you could direct me to how to best set it up to test the filter calibration I would be happy to try that out for you.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel99 View Post
Mine sounds fine to me - but if you could direct me to how to best set it up to test the filter calibration I would be happy to try that out for you.
The simplest test is to turn off the oscillators and make the filter self-oscillate and then adjust the filter to a reasonable level so the self-oscillation is audible (and also at a reasonable pitch). I can't remember if the Sunsyn cycles through voices or resets to the same one per key, but if the former, hitting the same key repeatedly should yield roughly the same note (give or take a few cents).

If keyboard tracking is on and set to 100%, chords using the self-oscillating filter should be possible (regardless of how it cycles).
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 

Absolutely worthless in 2018. I would begrudgingly accept one to prevent it from becoming landfill however...
Old 1 week ago
  #26
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Nigel99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Ruff View Post
The simplest test is to turn off the oscillators and make the filter self-oscillate and then adjust the filter to a reasonable level so the self-oscillation is audible (and also at a reasonable pitch). I can't remember if the Sunsyn cycles through voices or resets to the same one per key, but if the former, hitting the same key repeatedly should yield roughly the same note (give or take a few cents).

If keyboard tracking is on and set to 100%, chords using the self-oscillating filter should be possible (regardless of how it cycles).
Yeah, you seem to be right.

I'll look into it and see if the individual voices can be calibrated. Some of them appear to be in tune, but a few succeeding voices go up chromatically. How would the envelope tuning be affecting this?

It's such a delicate ecosystem in there, I definitely feel a sense of caution fooling around with it. I notice that enabling tuning in some modes throws ERR codes for each voice/octave and results in no sound and all voices disabled - even after a restart. (It actually just happened to me and requires a full restart/retune to get the voices back. Scary!)

If you have any suggestions i'm happy to check them out....
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Lives for gear
 

Are you guys saying the Sunsynth has no auto-tune like an Xpander has?

(The auto-tune on an Xpander tunes the oscillators, filters, resonance and the amps)
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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Nigel99's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noisewagon View Post
Are you guys saying the Sunsynth has no auto-tune like an Xpander has?

(The auto-tune on an Xpander tunes the oscillators, filters, resonance and the amps)
The latest ones fully autotune: filters, envelopes etc - I'm not sure about the MK1's - maybe you need to tune the filters/envelopes manually periodically?

FWIW, mine sounds fxxkin fantastic and for regular subtractive up to crazy RCO modulated madness it works 100% (maybe 99%...), but there is some weird ways about it. I'm yet to figure out any multimode functions - technically I should be able to achieve a layered patch, but so far - no dice.

It's a cool unit tho, I would say that the routing possibilities combined with the typical Jomox fat analog voices wobbling around in various states of de/tune goes a way to explain it's killer sound. If that's your thing. It's not as hugely analog-y resonant as the Prophet 5 rev2 I had, but it does many more tricks and still sounds massive and panoramic, shimmering, whatever...
Old 1 week ago
  #29
@Nigel99 I am no way familiar with Sunsyn internals, but on most synths there will be two filter frequency trimmers per voice. One for fine tune and the other for v/oct. Do the voices all track the keyboard in tune? With keyboard tracking on 100%, just play the same note in successive octaves to see if each play the same note +1 octave from previous, regardless if they are out of tune. If they track properly, then the fine tune probably needs calibrated. It can be expected for the VCF to be out of tune if there is no autotune on the filter and if the Sunsyn hasn’t been calibrated in a long time, if ever.
I calibrate my synths by ear using a reference 440hz tone since I don’t own an oscilloscope. I can understand being reluctant on opening up the Sunsyn though, considering how much it cost. Is there even service manual available online? If VCF tuning isn’t too bad, I’d probably just let it go. VCO on the other hand would be different.

The filter on some of the voices on my OB-8 do not stay in tune even with calibration. I am pretty sure it is due to the aged single turn trim pots because they are very sensitive to adjustments. The resonance level trimmers are a bit finicky as well. I don’t find it to be too concerning. It’s sort of the nature of an old synth and gives that unstable characteristic. However, I ordered new Bourn sealed multi turn trimmers to replace them eventually. I imagine the Sunsyn has quality modern trimmers in it, so you probably won’t need to be concerned about those.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM0 View Post
@Nigel99 I am no way familiar with Sunsyn internals, but on most synths there will be two filter frequency trimmers per voice.
AFAIK, there are no trimmers--the idea is that everything should be calibrated in software and I don't think there is a difference in terms of the mki vs. mkii differences here. However, the calibration routine described by Jürgen didn't work on either unit I had. I emailed him about it but never got a reply.

I'm sure they sound fine and calibrate better on some units (and I've read as much in previous GS posts), but I'm guessing it's more common than not.
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