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What Would You Choose? (AX-80, JX-10, JX-8P, JX-3P)
Old 27th January 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
What Would You Choose? (AX-80, JX-10, JX-8P, JX-3P)

So here's the dilema, all of these synths are in the same price range (minus the JX-3P, but I'll get into this later), and I'm at a bit of a loss on which one to choose.

Specs wise, the Super JX is definitely the beast in this line-up, but what looks good on paper is not always the case (as I've read about on here - mad midi, no sysex unless I modded it). I know the JX-8P is a good all around performer, and I can play this unit without problem before buying. Lastly is the Akai, which I've never played - it sounds, interesting (?) from the youtube demos that I've seen.

Anyways I'm looking for a pad machine, and they're all hovering around the $400 mark. What would you choose?


(I found the JX-3P in the basement of a music store, and it won't power on. I'm planning to pick this thing up for peanuts, fix, and sell).
Old 27th January 2011
  #2
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flat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eple ➑️
Anyways I'm looking for a pad machine.
Super JX all the way.

I've owned JX3P + PG200/ JX8P (Only played AX80 briefly so can't comment)

Apart from the JX10's sysex midi flaw (which is fixable), it is the best choice of what you listed, no arguement whatsoever. Better still take an MKS-70 if you are happy controlling it.

The JX10 has it faults, but people who try to say having a JX8P is better are seriousley deluded. 8P sure sounds nice, but being able to layer on the JX10 gives it a much wider/larger sound palette.

*edit* it also has a superb synth key action. A pleasure to play.
Old 27th January 2011 | Show parent
  #3
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dlmorley's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
For Pads, out of those, Yes. Super JX.
I prefer other synths but it's good at pads.
Old 27th January 2011 | Show parent
  #4
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Cannot comment on the super jx, but the jx8p sounds very plastic to me.
The AX80 on the other hand has less of a signature sound but it can sound really fat for a dco synth.
Old 27th January 2011 | Show parent
  #5
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flat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sensing ➑️
Cannot comment on the super jx, but the jx8p sounds very plastic to me.



The AX80 on the other hand has less of a signature sound but it can sound really fat for a dco synth.
I think I know the sound you are refering too, but thats the classic cliched 80s Roland shrieky brass stabs. I hate those sounds too, but the JX is capable of the most beautiful pads and strings with almost breathtaking high end tails. Certainly not plastic there.

I've been trying to find the vid of that beautiful haunting layered pad pairing of JX10 + DW8000 that was on youtube, but alas it seems to have been taken off. : (
Old 27th January 2011 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
for everything else.. Akai AX-80 smokes the rest.
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Addict
 
giorgio's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
all i can say is that i love my jx3p with programmer. what a nice sounding board. something magical about this cheap thing. i like the sound better than the jx8p, dunno about the other 2.
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #8
Shy
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Super JX-10 from that list, but I'd choose MKS-70 or MKS-7.
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #9
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Derp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth ➑️
I think I know the sound you are refering too, but thats the classic cliched 80s Roland shrieky brass stabs. I hate those sounds too, but the JX is capable of the most beautiful pads and strings with almost breathtaking high end tails. Certainly not plastic there.
+1. Definitely some amazing strings that come from that range of synths. I vote JX10 if you can get an editor for it, otherwise get the JX8P and if you miss layering that much, you can always multitrack.
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
Ericdestler's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Akai Ax-80 good for modern basses, plucked chords,arps and analog brasses - a bit cold sound in general however great synth
Roland JX-10 good for pads, bells, slow envelopes, very warm. I find this synth not very useful for modern electronic production. Generally ,great for vintage sounds
Roland JX8p - same as JX-10
Roland JX3p - great for modern/vintage basses, plucked chords,arps, analog brasses and analog pads. Great sound character, very useful and underrated DCO gem.

my vote goes for JX3p with PG programmer
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #11
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The Elf's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
JX-8P for me. The JX-10 doesn't bring anough to make its MIDI shortcomings worthwhile.

Now the MKS-70, that's a different story... heh
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #12
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Jetty's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
JX 8P is 50% of the JX 10 and probably 90% easier technically.

If you just want to make a few sounds, play and record, JX-8. If you like to fiddle around and get more, JX 10.

Either way, boring as crap without PG800. For me, it's a must.
Old 28th January 2011 | Show parent
  #13
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UpNSmoke's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd look into a Kawai K3. I've owned several JX models and it's essentially the same as the 8P for much less. I love mine!

Old 29th January 2011 | Show parent
  #14
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3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Well I have an AX80, JX-3P and JX-8P. Owned them for quite a while and now it's coming time to sell I've gone round in circles a bit.

JX-3P is special to me still as it has this vibe that I really like, it has character, I don't think I can sell this BUT it's easily the least powerful of all the listed synths. ALL 3 (4) synths are different!

First the 8P/JX10 is the classiest sounding, the smoothest (in a subtle warm almost digital pad way with some analog tone present) however, aside from it's pads, and if you won't use those strings/pads a lot, it's my least favourite of the 3 (i'm counting 8P and 10 together cos the layering is just an extra feature, I can easily layer 2 JX-8P tracks if I wanted, this is about the sound).

I would take 8P over JX10 (and not just because it's more enjoyable ergonomics wise) but because it really does sound a bit more pleasent on like for like pads (and a guy with golden ears who works in the industry told me he also prefered the sound of the 8P while the guy he programmed synths for owned a JX10, the JX10 owner's initials are NR who used the JX10 on his band's 1986 album and and a bit on their 1988 album - don't wanna get to specific here but as I said not just my ears).

JX10 looks great as is nice to own if you want the daddy of the JX range, if you can get it for not much more than 8P then get it - while *I* prefer the 8P because it's more a joy to own, I don't think the audio difference or the pains of JX10 owning would be enough to put you off one way or the other if you didn't have a previous preference. Layers may be nice, but tone/patch management is no joke, it's not fun. You could think of it as a 12 voice JX-8P with cleaner (less 'analog' sounding) output and **** midi if you prefer.

AX80, for me, is hands down the most interesting synth of the bunch. It's the only one with PWM (and you can sorta 'fake' PWM on the JX's but... hmmm). AX80 doesn't sound 'sweet' like the JX's though. Completely different sound! Ignore what you read about it being similar to JX3P that is only on paper.

So, for me JX-3P and AX80 are the best UNLESS you require glossy, classy pads with some nice atmospherics and the best keybed (and overall features like portament/unison etc) of the lot.

Me, I'm more about individual sounds and individuality and the AX80 can sort of sound a bit moogish or a bit p600 or a bit this and a bit that however it really does, when you get to know it, offer more interesting sonic posibilities for today's recording. It sits well in a mix too. It's output is as clean as a whistle (prob cos it has no built in chorus etc) and it's got punchy bass that none of the other 3 can dream of (JX-3P would be the next most punchy).

8P/10 can sound a bit false after a while, not sure what it is about them. Really you have to want THAT sound, but personally I could do much of what the later JX's do with digital and then some, in the mix it would sound 9/10s the same. 3P and AX80 couldn't be done quite so easily with digital, they both have character and attitude.

Really though, they sound so different from each other than the only way to know what you would like is to try them all! I can easily imagine many people not wanting harder/quirky bass or harsh filterage (CEM 3372) of the AX80, or the retro metallic bouncy sheen and ambient filterage (IR3109!) of the JX3P and preferring the mellow/classy/epic pads of the 8/10 (unfortunately, the filters in the 8/10 are one of it's worse aspects, lifeless and ordinary with very weak resonance)

That's probably why I ended up with all 3 in the first place.

AX80 would be the last one I'd sell as it's the most interesting/exciting to me, I love programming it and putting it through outboard as it really carries it's signal well inspite of it's somewhat weak oscillators, it's filter is way more aggressive than JXs and can self oscillate

And I'd probably even sell a polysix before the AX80 (and the polysix has a great tone, if a bit simple) again because AX80 is more unique and less overused compared to the JXs.

I'd look for polysix, AX80 or JX-3P before considering an 8/10 unless, as I said, I wanted smooth DCO pads that are verging on digital in sound, it's less interesting overall though it can do a large variety of sounds inc bass, leads, drones etc but they all sound a bit less than what other synths can do... ahhh really there's no right answer it's all about taste.

EDIT > 1.5 years later - I sold the AX80 so forget what I said above. The JX-3P still gets my vote over time, I couldn't get rid of it and I sold the AX for a nice profit when I needed cash still a cool synth though.
Old 29th January 2011 | Show parent
  #15
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The Hamburglar's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I'd get the Ax80 if you want a synth with personality and the Rolands if you want boring pads.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #16
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3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hamburglar ➑️
I'd get the Ax80 if you want a synth with personality and the Rolands if you want boring pads.

Partly true, depending on taste (and of course the JX's are/were way more overused especially the 8/10) but in all honesty if the OP *really* is after a 'pad machine' then the 8/10 is the obvious choice from the above. It's pads will be softer, smoother, with more harmonically rich (pleasing) tones compared to the others (3P/AX80) who's outputs are a bit more raw and in your face (cut through a mix better than 8/10).

JX8/10 is a good background machine, which is what most pads are about and probably what the OP wants in this case.

AX80 = most interesting if you want it's sonic quirks and more unique/under-used sounds
8/10 = best pads, best overall features and more of an all rounder that does some things great (strings) other things only 'OK' (bass, leads)
3P = combo of above in sound, not as raw as ax not as smooth as 8/10, and has less features than either and no 2nd env for filter acrobatics which could be important for evolving pads.

This is why I like the 3P as is manages to sound a little quirky/vintage (and 'analog') while still being a decent DCO pad machine. The other two excell at one of each of those things but not both, the 3P is in the middle somewhere, doesn't 'excell', which is why it's an underestimated synth (due to it's basic features) but it's overall sound and variety is great (imo). It has my favourite filter of the 3(4) (same as Jupiter 8) and you can mod it to sound a bit more aggressive (res tweaks). Envs are faster than 8P, not sure if they are as fast as AX80 or slower though. 8/10 envs are fairly slow, not a problem for pads.

8P can produce some epic pads and sounds if you program it right but it will never set your music alight like a moog or SH101 etc. I like it for controlling piano VSTs as it's the most piano like keybed of my synths (inc the SY77 which is more clattery) 8P also has smooth/nice aftertouch (when you clean it off and get it working which is worth it).

I'd say think of the 8/10 as almost Digital pad machines with a touch more warmth and organic-ness than a digital, but a D-50 (or even a JD990/software etc) may be a good substitute for it (in a mix) and can do a lot more besides, IF the OP is not set on analog for the sake of it.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #17
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The AX80 for a sound that isn't the now long in the tooth Roland DCO sound. I really want one. The AX60 is another great synth!

And the K3, while the most basic of them all, does sound great. I just got one for free, and it sounds great.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Derp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
One thing that I don't think has been mentioned in this thread is that the AX80 has some faulty soldering inside of it so that when it gives out, half the membranes won't work. It's an easy fix if you're handy with a soldering iron and patient as hell (at least so I'm told) but just throwing that out there. I had one years ago that suffered this problem, and I ended up giving it to a friend of mine because I just couldn't get any use out of it. Just ordered a new one on eBay, so we'll see if this works out any better this time around knowing what I know now.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #19
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Derp's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acid Hazard ➑️
I just got one for free, and...
I hate you.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #20
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dougt's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
JX-3P. IR3109 filters and the polyphonic step sequencer is a blast and has an external clock input.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #21
Deleted 4d80fd1
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel ➑️
for everything else.. Akai AX-80 smokes the rest.
yep. otherwise I'd take the JX3P
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp ➑️
One thing that I don't think has been mentioned in this thread is that the AX80 has some faulty soldering inside of it so that when it gives out, half the membranes won't work. It's an easy fix if you're handy with a soldering iron and patient as hell (at least so I'm told) but just throwing that out there. .
Mine did this.. a friend and I fixed it. But it somehow ****ed up the left half of the display.. oh well .. it was worth it.

Also, my date knob is all ****ed up and drifty.. so I just stacked a bunch of old Atari arcade tokens on it with scotch tape holding it together.. . works like a champ.
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #23
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
this is a tuff thread because I love all of these synths. Except I have never really used the JX-10. At that point of "clean analog" .. I'd rather use a D-50 or JD-800/990 personally..
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Yeah don't give your AX80s away just cos of the common button/solder flaw. It IS an easy fix (took me about 20 minutes, mostly unscrewing) when I bought mine. Just use some cable in place of the stiff solder pins that connect the last board, to give it some flex, job done!

AX80 is quite rare too, gives you some different sounds in your recordings and looks great lit up, under-rated, not the best pads machine though. Does some great bass and weird space effects, kinda bassy like the polysix (actually it can sound more bassy until you put the P6 in unison mode, but then P6 is kind of overpowering). The (limited) velocity on the AX80 helps to get more control of the bass lines/filtering vs the polysix.

BACK TO PADS!

If the guy wants a pads machine, then JX8P/10 it has to be from those (or as mentioned later Digitals with some warmth like the D-50), though the 3P through some effects can do pads too (and of course AX80 is flexible enough to do pads, they are just a bit more vintage/harsh than the smoother 8P but for many that's a good thing )
Old 31st January 2011 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I'd like to add that the AX-80 has at least 5 amazing presets. Which is really good as far as presets go... out of 32.
Old 14th February 2011 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
****, this is totally embarrassing as I completely forgot about this thread. I ended up passing on the JX-8P/Super JX, but got a JX-3P for $56! haha!

I'm quite pissed off that I passed on the AX-80, as the more demos I hear of it, the more I want it...

I also decided that I didn't want a pad machine (hence passing on the 8/10), and want something a bit dirtier.
Old 14th February 2011 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eple ➑️
****, this is totally embarrassing as I completely forgot about this thread. I ended up passing on the JX-8P/Super JX, but got a JX-3P for $56! haha!

I'm quite pissed off that I passed on the AX-80, as the more demos I hear of it, the more I want it...

I also decided that I didn't want a pad machine (hence passing on the 8/10), and want something a bit dirtier.
Congrats on the 3P, one of my favorites. It's more edgy/vintage sounding than the 8P etc. For 'dirty' (squelchy, aggressive, bitey) the AX80 would be more suited but 3P is a great compromise between the 2 extremes, which is why I like it. 3P can sound sweet (in a good way) like AX80 can't so if you do pick up an AX80 in future the 3P would still have a place in your setup imo. And of course the 3P can do 'pads', and fits nicely in the mix with a bit of HPF to not swamp things, and some effects (Delay/verb). IT can't 'evolve' as nicely as the 8P which can do some crazy tricks with it's filters over time (thanks to it's 2nd ENV that 3P lacks), but it's a more pure/pleasing tone in many cases.
Old 14th February 2011
  #28
Gear Nut
 
wild modulation's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eple ➑️
So here's the dilema, all of these synths are in the same price range (minus the JX-3P, but I'll get into this later), and I'm at a bit of a loss on which one to choose.

Specs wise, the Super JX is definitely the beast in this line-up, but what looks good on paper is not always the case (as I've read about on here - mad midi, no sysex unless I modded it). I know the JX-8P is a good all around performer, and I can play this unit without problem before buying. Lastly is the Akai, which I've never played - it sounds, interesting (?) from the youtube demos that I've seen.

Anyways I'm looking for a pad machine, and they're all hovering around the $400 mark. What would you choose?


(I found the JX-3P in the basement of a music store, and it won't power on. I'm planning to pick this thing up for peanuts, fix, and sell).
had them all what you have forgotten is the mks 30
a jx3p rack with velocity and i think after touch settings, can recieved midi and the programmer at the same time
Old 14th February 2011 | Show parent
  #29
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blinky909's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp ➑️
I hate you.
me too. hate.

fuuck
Old 15th February 2011 | Show parent
  #30
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by wild modulation ➑️
had them all what you have forgotten is the mks 30
a jx3p rack with velocity and i think after touch settings, can recieved midi and the programmer at the same time
I don't like dealing with shipping when it comes tot his type of stuff, so I only look at what's available locally. If an MKS-30 had shown up, I would've jumped on it. Although, I'm not complaining about a cheap JX-3P either at this point....Just lusting after an AX-80 now...
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