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Roland Jupiter-4 Roll Call
Old 5th November 2020 | Show parent
  #241
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🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by adg21 View Post
That’s a very low serial Jupiter you got there. Last 4 digits of serial is factory number. I’m guessing around number 500 or less
Late 600’s
Old 5th November 2020 | Show parent
  #242
Gear Nut
 
What is mine? certainly not the first ever (???)


The S/N is 730001. Image URL is https://ibb.co/NgqBTPs, in case the image does not show up

Button colors are maroon, green, gold, white. Not the CR-78 type colors that are usually pictured.

I thought it might be the first of a particular batch, but everyone is posting higher numbers...
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #243
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest_wyvern View Post
What is mine? certainly not the first ever (???)


The S/N is 730001. Image URL is https://ibb.co/NgqBTPs, in case the image does not show up

Button colors are maroon, green, gold, white. Not the CR-78 type colors that are usually pictured.

I thought it might be the first of a particular batch, but everyone is posting higher numbers...
Interesting. Care to share a picture of the buttons or the top panel, and maybe capture the side panel as well? Those button colours are more associated with the drum machines from the AceTone era (eg. FR-8L) -- especially the maroon and dark green, though those drum machine buttons are physically bigger than the CR-78/JP-4 ones (as I found this out the hard way thinking I could use them as a cheap source for the CR-78 button caps).

Your serial number decodes to August 1978 which is basically the start of the Jupiter-4 production. It's been my experience that Roland regular production models start with serial numbers like xx00100 with the under-100 models reserved for prototypes and demo units. What's really interesting is that it has a factory 117V power supply and the 'Ontario Hydro' certification sticker is the correct one from late 70s -- the series 10 special inspection designation indicates a field inspection -- meaning someone imported the unit and *then* called Ontario Hydro to specially come and certify the unit. My guess is this was Roland Canada's demo or tester machine to check if anything extra was needed to pass CSA/Ontario Hydro certification. Yours wouldn't have been the first off the line but it very well might have been the first one in Canada and possibly North America.

That's a very cool machine. Did you buy it in Ontario? It would be very interesting to see the innards -- it probably has the original Rev A BA662 filter voice cards and the memory battery on the main board.

Last edited by Rob Ocelot; 6th November 2020 at 02:01 AM..
Old 6th November 2020
  #244
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
As a point of comparison, here's a picture of the only known JP-4 prototype, though there may be an earlier one with the name "PO-44 Space Bird" (the original name for the JP-4). You can just make out the maroon, green, white and gold buttons (similar to what you've described):



Also worth noting are the tolex sides and the SH-5 style grey colour scheme. The bender section is different too.


I've got pictures of a prototype CR-78 that has two extra 'Rock' presets (Rock 5 and 6) and the same maroon/green/white button caps. I love seeing stuff like this!
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #245
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autoy's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest_wyvern View Post
What is mine? certainly not the first ever (???)


The S/N is 730001. Image URL is https://ibb.co/NgqBTPs, in case the image does not show up

Button colors are maroon, green, gold, white. Not the CR-78 type colors that are usually pictured.

I thought it might be the first of a particular batch, but everyone is posting higher numbers...
Oh yes, we need detailed pictures of this. Could be historically significative.
Old 6th November 2020
  #246
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Are there any modern synths that can get close to the Jupiter 4 sound?
Old 6th November 2020
  #247
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
If anyone would know about this particular Roland unit it's my local Roland guru Jim Nelson. Jim was head tech at Roland Canada for quite a few years (he's retired now). He basically cut his teeth fixing Jupiter-8's.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #248
Gear Nut
 
Sure, it has the normal wood sides and coloring.

I don't know about the BA662 right now because I don't want to remove the voice cards, they are stacked vertically so it's really hard to see

https://ibb.co/gjvBY4j
https://ibb.co/c8Tx9VH

Another quirk is, there are holes in the back for the individual voice tuning, but no knobs. I have to open up the machine and tune the trimmers, here:

https://ibb.co/x8DB2yQ

Would be great to know the story behind this one, perhaps all floor demo were "0001". I suspect if it were the real #001 it would have a Japanese serial plate.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #249
Gear Nut
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by placebo62 View Post
Are there any modern synths that can get close to the Jupiter 4 sound?
I suspect the Vermona Perfourmer, too bad it is not a real polysynth, and you have to make the same patch 4x.

Otherwise I have the same question. Actually I would be glad to know a modern 'conventional poly' that sounds like the Perfourmer....
Old 6th November 2020
  #250
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest_wyvern View Post
Another quirk is, there are holes in the back for the individual voice tuning, but no knobs. I have to open up the machine and tune the trimmers, here:

https://ibb.co/x8DB2yQ
It looks like the PCB with the trimmers is mounted the wrong way. If rotated 180 degrees the trimmers may line up with the holes on the rear panel.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #251
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roland4387's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I’ve got #750232 , but have no idea about the details of its guts.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #252
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pounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quick question. I recently had mine serviced. Very basic stuff but got the power section in better shape. Got it home and it was behaving weirdly. I opened it up and re-seated the voice cards and then it was perfect again. I won’t be moving it much at all so this should rarely come up. Now that it’s back at home base with the cards reseated and working fine could I expect it to be fairly reliable? Obviously that would be great, but this seems like a bit of a more temperamental synth compared to others like the JP8 next to it. Curious what folks who have had these for a long time think. I love it and want to do anything I can to keep it in tip top shape, reliable, and all around fully functional.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #253
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pounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ohh, here’s a pic of my baby.
Attached Thumbnails
Roland Jupiter-4 Roll Call-fa63b839-7b86-40ac-89bd-a0c187605d25.jpg  
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #254
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest_wyvern View Post
Sure, it has the normal wood sides and coloring.

I don't know about the BA662 right now because I don't want to remove the voice cards, they are stacked vertically so it's really hard to see

https://ibb.co/gjvBY4j
https://ibb.co/c8Tx9VH

Another quirk is, there are holes in the back for the individual voice tuning, but no knobs. I have to open up the machine and tune the trimmers, here:

https://ibb.co/x8DB2yQ

Would be great to know the story behind this one, perhaps all floor demo were "0001". I suspect if it were the real #001 it would have a Japanese serial plate.
Thanks for posting those pictures.

I'm pretty sure you have a preproduction model.

"The Jupiter-4 Compuphonic" on the top right of the case is a different size and in a different position than my JP-4. The bezel on your bender is white, or has a white plate on top of it. Tuning trimmers on the inside definitely indicates a preproduction unit -- is there a hole (or a hole covered by a plate) on the back panel?

You also have what looks to be Rev D voice cards, which are BA662 filters but not the earliest board version (in fact, this is the board version used by the ProMars). That's a bit puzzling:



As far as I'm aware the serial numbers are shared between all regions -- all were made in Japan so there's only one set of serial numbers. Certain blocks of serial numbers may have been intended for different regions but each serial number is unique.

This may actually be a preproduction Japanese unit that was later sent to North America for final testing and certification before the rollout. 117V may not be entirely unusual as some limited areas of Japan use 120V (mostly military bases, but interestingly a lot of Roland equipment from the late 70s like the SH-2 used military-spec components. Hmmm). I always suspected the user-accessible tuning trimmers were a last-minute addition which is supported by your pictures.

The other possibility (and it's an intriguing one) is that your unit was a test unit for design changes. While it's not out of the ordinary for a low serial number unit to have a later revision board (especially if early units went back in for repairs and were updated before going back to the customer) it *is* unusual for what looks to be a prototype/preproduction unit having later boards. This wouldn't preclude the unit having internal tuning trimmers -- in fact, if it was a test-bench unit it would have all kinds of interesting stuff from different build eras of the Jupiter-4 (different buttons, logo/faceplate changes, battery in a different place than most models, later voice boards, power supply upgrades). Kind of a Frankenstein unit, in a way.

Last edited by Rob Ocelot; 6th November 2020 at 05:50 AM..
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #255
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maisonvague's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest_wyvern View Post
What is mine? certainly not the first ever (???)
Congratulations! That is one unique Jupiter-4!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
I'm pretty sure you have a preproduction model.
Me, too. It was likely sent from Roland Japan to Roland Canada where it became the in house test unit. The late revision/mismatched voice cards would also support this theory.

I also suspect it actually is the first pre-production unit off the assembly line!!
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #256
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
It was likely sent from Roland Japan to Roland Canada where it became the in house test unit. The late revision/mismatched voice cards would also support this theory.

I also suspect it actually is the first pre-production unit off the assembly line!!
That's what I'm thinking. It either finished it's job in Japan and was sent to North America where it stayed or all test/certification units have an xx000001 designation and this was always the 117V one (implying there are equivalent 100V and 220V ones). It's definitely an interesting insight into internal Roland practices in that era.

Further evidence this is a test unit:

If you look closely at the voice cards you can see that these were hand populated one-offs -- some of those transistors are soldered in 'high' and were not pulled through hole with the excess leads clipped like an assembly line board (they still hand assembled but tend to look neater and more professional). If you were checking to see if certain components needed to have longer leads and then lie on their sides to have a lower profile when installed or check if there were heat or E-M interference issues with certain components sitting close together you would install them this way. You'd also not want to clip the leads if you were going to possibly use it elsewhere. Voice card 'D' also looks to have had it's trimmers swapped out at one point.

Any new hardware changes from the main office in Japan would be communicated in a service bulletin and tested on a real unit in the other regions to confirm there were no last minute issues at different line voltages/frequencies or create E-M interference issues with TV and radio signals. Major design changes would also likely need electrical certification (Ontario Hydro at the time was a provincial government entity) hence the unusual one-off field inspection sticker (I would also not be entirely surprised to see multiple stickers on top of one another with reference number on each of them). Given how heavy a Jupiter-4 is it's not unreasonable to assume they kept the unit in their workshop and called Ontario Hydro to send a field technician to do the certification. I would bet dollars to donuts that Jim Nelson was pretty familiar with this particular unit.

Another interesting point that I always found odd but actually makes some sense in light of seeing this unit is that Roland Canada used to stock Jupiter-4 parts long after the synth was out of production, especially for rare things like the latching button assemblies (and they are unique to the JP-4 and the CR-68/78). Canada has stricter electrical and radio interference standards than the USA so any testing for North America would be done here rather than the US. It makes sense there would be more spare parts at the testing facility in Canada.

As for how this unit got out into the wild... who knows? When an office/workshop closes because of workplace consolodation a lot of times they don't want to lug all the equipment to the new facility. Some of the valuable stuff like test equipment would go but older stuff would either get thrown in the dumpster or given to employees to take home. It then sits in a basement or garage until the missus demands you clean them up and next thing you know it's out on the front curb or you're having a garage sale.

This kind of thing happens more often than you'd think.

*This is how friends of mine in California would find Atari 2600 prototype cartridges at garage sales and thrift stores.

*This is how a guy walking to a college class in NYC bought a historically significant early Velvet Underground acetate.

*This is likely how I ended up with a one off prototype ARP analog mixer.

Last edited by Rob Ocelot; 6th November 2020 at 01:45 PM..
Old 6th November 2020
  #257
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🎧 5 years
Just wanted to say 'thanks' for all these recent posts - it's really illuminating.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #258
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maisonvague's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
Further evidence this is a test unit...
The pre-Roland era buttons. Same colors as my Ace Tone Rhythm Ace.
Attached Thumbnails
Roland Jupiter-4 Roll Call-img_1014.jpg   Roland Jupiter-4 Roll Call-img_1013.jpg   Roland Jupiter-4 Roll Call-img_1015.jpg  
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #259
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maisonvague's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
I would bet dollars to donuts that Jim Nelson was pretty familiar with this particular unit.
Could you contact him and ask? I'm really curious about this.
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #260
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by maisonvague View Post
The pre-Roland era buttons. Same colors as my Ace Tone Rhythm Ace.
We have similar tastes (I think we established this years ago, didn't we?). I've got an FR-8L too.

As another point of comparison here's a CR-78 prototype/tester from the same era as this Jupiter-4. Same pre-Roland AceTone era button colours (esp. the Latin beats in maroon). Note the busier Tempo knob, extra two Rock presets, shifted Latin beats and no Boogie or Enka:

Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #261
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest_wyvern View Post
Sure, it has the normal wood sides and coloring.

I don't know about the BA662 right now because I don't want to remove the voice cards, they are stacked vertically so it's really hard to see

https://ibb.co/gjvBY4j
https://ibb.co/c8Tx9VH

Another quirk is, there are holes in the back for the individual voice tuning, but no knobs. I have to open up the machine and tune the trimmers, here:

https://ibb.co/x8DB2yQ

Would be great to know the story behind this one, perhaps all floor demo were "0001". I suspect if it were the real #001 it would have a Japanese serial plate.

Your early Jup-4 looks exactly like the ones pictured in these two Roland adverts that were published in the nov '78 and april '79 issues of Contemporary keyboard:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OOSm-WfaMd...nov78p55ck.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nmXalGH-J_...r79p4243ck.jpg
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #262
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Rob Ocelot's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikael488 View Post
Your early Jup-4 looks exactly like the ones pictured in these two Roland adverts that were published in the nov '78 and april '79 issues of Contemporary keyboard:
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OOSm-WfaMd...nov78p55ck.jpg
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nmXalGH-J_...r79p4243ck.jpg
Nice catch!

One of those JP-4's has the mounts for the music stand and one looks like @ forest_wyvern 's unit (no stand mounts).

We might actually be able to identify these internal Roland units by their unique woodgrain paper pattern wrappings as not every end piece started in the same place on the paper. Almost like a fingerprint.

The April '79 picture is certainly clear enough to see the pattern.

Last edited by Rob Ocelot; 7th November 2020 at 04:38 AM..
Old 6th November 2020 | Show parent
  #263
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Polymooger's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by adg21 View Post
Nov 78 #377 . Mine’s Sep 81 5,050 (I think). There can’t have been much more than 5,500 as production stopped around Dec 81
5261, October 81 checking in.
Old 16th November 2020 | Show parent
  #264
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maisonvague's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ocelot View Post
I've got an FR-8L too.
Of course you have an FR-8L!

Quote:
As another point of comparison here's a CR-78 prototype/tester from the same era as this Jupiter-4. Same pre-Roland AceTone era button colours (esp. the Latin beats in maroon).
Ah, yes, AceTone Maroon. An instantly recognizable tint for the vintage Roland connoisseur.

They should add it to color sheets— you know, like Peach Melba.

Imagine saying to your interior decorator "I'd like this room to be painted Latin Beats Maroon."
Old 17th November 2020 | Show parent
  #265
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by placebo62 View Post
Are there any modern synths that can get close to the Jupiter 4 sound?
Dreadbox Abyss.
Old 19th November 2020 | Show parent
  #266
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pounce's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Question for technically inclined JP4 owners.

I love mine, but it’s temperamental. Occasionally it looses its mind and reseating the cards makes it happy again. The tech I brought it to right after purchasing it said that was a problem for him as well. It would work for some stretch of time then go nuts. Reseating the cards always fixes it, it is otherwise stable.

Is there anything that can be done with those pins and connectors to make the connection more reliable? I bet if I got that connection to stay solidly intact I’d have a very stable synth. This seems fixable. I’d welcome any input.
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