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Polysix vs Juno 60 vs Juno 106
Old 23rd June 2016
  #61
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ToneKontrol's Avatar
 

two yearly bump, keeping with the last post.

I've had/got all 3 of these (well I no longer have the Juno 60 or 6 that I had). For me the rating as a synthesizer AND playable instrument goes:

1. Juno 106
2. Polysix
3. Juno 60

The last two however could swap position based on day of the week and mood.

Juno 60, for me it had one, maybe two fortes, fast/punchy arps and the bubbly filter. I found overall it felt more samey from tone to tone than either the polysix or 106. I guess it felt like what it was, a cut down, DCO attempt at a cheap mini-jupiter, while the 106 feels more like Roland actually made it a complete instrument, its OWN instrument with finesse. Aside from one or two things where the 60 can sound a bit like a Jupiter (ie radio gaga arp) it doesn't hold up across a range of sounds, more like it was a cash in on the Jupiter rather than a well thought out instrument with its own sound. Juno 106 can also mimic some Jupiter tones, both junos can often sound very similar when doing just the tone, but they DO feel different when actually playing them. Note to note the 106 flows, the 60 feels more static. This is why I believe Roland made the ultimate juno with the 106.

If money is no object and you must have all the classics then a 60 is a fine addition. For me personally I think the 106 is a much better synth, both in range and fluidity of sound and playability/control/utility. In other words it's the perfect juno for most things (unless you require hardware envelopes).

Quote:
Originally Posted by relis View Post
Juno 106 is a sub-bass monster. "Why does my heart feel so bad" is good example of it. "Power of Goodbye" is another. Great for many other stuff too, trully workhorse. I like it more than a Juno 60.
Yes I believe the 106 is a much better bass machine than the 60. And it's funny that so many state/think/assume that the 60 is going to be better, maybe due to the envelopes, but to me it always felt a bit weak down the low end (unless doing tight arps). I mean it was very nice compared to a lot of synths but it didn't hit or carry the same weight as the 106! I know the 106 has a built in eq bump, and you COULD EQ the 60, but it's not just that. It just seems the sound is integrated better on the 106, over the range of the octaves and the spectrum of sounds, the 60 was a little hit or miss for many tones (I'd rather go to polysix / JX-3p or something in those cases - if I didn't have the 106)

For strings or sweeps, long release stuff again the 106 feels and sounds better when I A/Bd them in my studio. There's a certain beautiful rubbery yet airy sound to the 106 doing pads/strings that makes it a perfect synth to not smother a mix yet still add character. It fills in the cracks in a mix a bit better than the 60 does, the 60 kinda hits your more over the head saying "I'm an old Juno" and that's not always what you want. 106 CAN indeed sound like a Juno but it never really sounds like it's trying too hard (or the player trying too hard) to be 80s or "juno". Ultimately I found the 106 was a gorgeous sounding and playing instrument and I really appreciated the extra control I had with it (portamento, factory midi, bender with modulation in one not seperate button). Also the LFO goes faster than the Juno 60, there's some other enhanced parms too but can't recall what (maybe env speeds can be set longer).

And while the usual thing is to prefer the older looking synth, not for me, I found the Juno 60 rather quaint and a touch silly looking next to all my other synths, due in part to the chunky buttons and over large end caps, and generally LARGER footprint for a fairly simple synth. It just tended to look a bit scruffy (even though it was near mint) next to a range of other synths from the early 80s to modern. 106 just slots in and STILL looks cool/classy and fun without looking like some old bit of furniture. I'm not a wood fetishist though. And FWIW the 106 end caps are pretty sexily shaped!

Yes, I loved its fast arps, but for everything else? The 106 is a dream. 106 can see off many higher class synths in tone and playability (even dual osc - esp modern stuff like Prophet 08/6 etc), while doing a wide range of stuff (for a single osc synth), the 60 is very much more restricted, it can do the sounds sure, but it never sounded as natural. I felt its DCO-ness was a touch more obvious (the 60), it just wasn't as fluid from note to note, while the 106 is, well those that love them know exactly what I mean, it just plays so nicely and imo it IS an improvement. It may have been nice to retain the hardware envs but maybe it would have put that 'hard' edge back that I didn't like on the 6/60 - the edge that makes each tone sound like JUNO - bass, strings, lead - all variations on a tone - 106 sounds like a lot more things and not just a Juno doing Juno tones.

Polysix, this is a real treat if you dig the dusty VCO sound and SSM filters (I do). The PWM on it is very nice, the whole synth is alive sounding, it can do filter tricks and menacing drones that the Junos won't, it can also sound way more vintage. Like the 106 I find the polysix lends itself to a larger variety of pleasant, musically useful sounds, compared to the Juno 60 which again has a very narrow range where it felt inspiring. P6 and 106 are my choices and I think the popularity of the 106 is testament to how great it really is, yet too many people want the wood ends or older unit just because it fits into some internal criteria, some things it does better than 106 but imo 106 does more things better (and things you can't do on the 60).

Also the two poly modes on the 106 are very useful, poly mode 2 is good for fast sequences to avoid notes ringing on when you don't want them to, makes it sound punchier and clearer. Poly portamento is beautiful on it, I prefer the size and the looks, the built in MIDI and all that patch space! (128 vs 54? + a few hidden spaces). That I also LOVE the sound of 106 and only kind of like the sound of the 60 is the decider though, I easily live without the 6 or 60 but everytime I try to sell the 106 I play it and just can't let it go. Had the alpha junos too (cool but nothing like the first 3), they all went, only 106 remains. It's the definite cult classic, wooden ends or not!
Old 23rd June 2016 | Show parent
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneKontrol View Post
Yes I believe the 106 is a much better bass machine than the 60. And it's funny that so many state/think/assume that the 60 is going to be better, maybe due to the envelopes, but to me it always felt a bit weak down the low end (unless doing tight arps). I mean it was very nice compared to a lot of synths but it didn't hit or carry the same weight as the 106! I know the 106 has a built in eq bump, and you COULD EQ the 60, but it's not just that. It just seems the sound is integrated better on the 106, over the range of the octaves and the spectrum of sounds, the 60 was a little hit or miss for many tones (I'd rather go to polysix / JX-3p or something in those cases - if I didn't have the 106)
The reason for this may be that the sub oscillator slider on the Juno-106 goes much louder than that on the Juno-60.
Old 23rd June 2016
  #63
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This is interesting. I had always heard 60 is straight up a better sounding 106. Now I will do my own research.

I love the way the Juno 60 sounds, although I understand the "samey" comments very well. Apart from getting a Juno 60, what synth does the Juno 60 sound even better? The Jupiter 8? To me, even the JP8 lacks some sort of (DCO?) sweetness of the Juno 60 sound. From what I understand, the JX3P is closely related but its DCOs and envelopes are worse and harm the sound.

Also, I should add, I've heard the lowly Alpha Junos have deeper bass than 106 or 60! If I were OP, with a budget constraint, I might get the Polysix and tack on a cheap Alpha Juno if I can't buy everything.
Old 23rd June 2016 | Show parent
  #64
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Juno 60 just has that kind of round, warm tone that 106 doesn't have. I don't really know why is that because I haven't owned them both at the same time. I'm scientific to an anal(og) level in these kind of things so that difference has puzzled me since I sold my first Juno 60 and got a 106 later because it had midi. I sold my 106 long ago too and wondered all these years if I just imagined the difference and the lack of something in the 106 sound. Then I bought the Juno 60 again just because I thought it would look nice on top of my Rhodes but there it was again, THE SOUND! The Juno 60 still sounds marvelous! And so familiar and samey (because of the chorus) but still excellent. However if I want to use the analog Roland sound in my productions I use my MKS-80.
Old 23rd June 2016
  #65
I currently have all the Junos (6, 60, 106 and Alpha Juno 1) and I think the 106 is my fave of them all. I should prob add a Polysix at some point, people say so many good things about them.
Old 24th June 2016 | Show parent
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breaks Dude View Post
I currently have all the Junos (6, 60, 106 and Alpha Juno 1) and I think the 106 is my fave of them all. I should prob add a Polysix at some point, people say so many good things about them.
I have a synth service centre and studio and currently I have two Juno-60's and 8 106's in the studio. The only real reason to buy a Juno-60 over a 106 is the arpeggiator, ADSR PW control, possibly slightly faster envelopes due to the hardware ADSR and the necessity to replace the 106's 80017A modules with newly produced clone IC's.

The 106 has a louder sub, a more compact chassis and is lighter and easier to move around and it has MIDI. It also does not use the very rare IR3R01 envelope IC's that the Juno-60 shares with the Juno-6 and Jupiter 8.

There are certainly circuit differences between them, especially in gain staging, multiplexing and envelope generator topology.

They are both wonderful sounding machines and you can't go wrong with either of them but it is an absolute internet forum myth that the Juno-60 has a sonic "magic" over the 106. If you are going to choose one over the other then do it on features rather than overall sound. If you want a larger bottom end choose the 106. If you want arpeggiation and envelope PW control and you like the different modulation controls choose the 60.
Old 24th June 2016
  #67
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SidneySheldon's Avatar
 

Juno 106 is the king of all synths in terms of tone. Absolute pleasure.
Juno 60 is the RAWest and punchiest and the most aggressive Roland ever, sounds very much like the Jupiter 8.
P6 is just a fun synth, but nothing special in terms of tone or anything else.
Old 24th June 2016
  #68
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JblKid95's Avatar
 

Juno 60 has a sound that will cut through very easily. Sounds deep in the low mid range, and the high mids. The 106 is not as deep sounding in those areas but because of that the 106 adopts an undeniable tone. The 106 is weak in low mid, and high mid comparitively, so it doesn't cut through as much as the j60 but you forget about that pretty quickly once your inthralled in the beauty of the sound. It has this haunting juno sound that can never be replicated. I had j60, j6, j106 and hs60(Juno 106 with speakers). Still have the hs60 till today. Call me crazy but i heard differences between hs60 chorus and 106 chorus. Hs60 being wider and deaper. So much so that I talked a friend into buying my j106, and buying back my hs60 from him. I sold him a very early sought after j106 at a bargain. I didn't care, that's how bad I wanted my hs60 back. I will never sell my hs60.
Old 24th June 2016 | Show parent
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidneySheldon View Post
Juno 106 is the king of all synths in terms of tone. Absolute pleasure.
Juno 60 is the RAWest and punchiest and the most aggressive Roland ever, sounds very much like the Jupiter 8.
P6 is just a fun synth, but nothing special in terms of tone or anything else.
"King of" what??
Old 24th June 2016 | Show parent
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidneySheldon View Post
Juno 106 is the king of all synths in terms of tone. Absolute pleasure.
Juno 60 is the RAWest and punchiest and the most aggressive Roland ever, sounds very much like the Jupiter 8.
jk, right?

I remember comments/reviews like this on HC in the '90s and coming to realize that the people who made them actually had zero synth experience (aside from Junos).
Old 24th June 2016
  #71
Deleted User
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I turned down a Juno 6 for $200 a few years back.
Allow me to quote myself to my co-worker (who told me it was on sale at a pawn shop)
"I won't buy it because it only has one oscillator"

A few years later, I regret being an oscillator snob
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