Roland Boutique JP08, JX03 & JU06 synthesisers

Roland Boutique Series (JP-08)

From £229

Immediately causing a stir when the news of their release leaked back in September 2015, the Roland Boutique Series (JP-08) justified the buzz when they hit stores. We weren’t surprised. Official virtual analogue emulations of three classic Roland analogue synths were always going to be popular.

The JX-03 is modelled on the JX-3P, one of the more affordable vintage Roland polysynths on today’s second-hand market. It’s a solid all-rounder, but the others in the range might tempt you away. The JU-06 is based on the iconic Juno-106 and, like its inspiration, excels at pads and basslines. The more expensive JP-08 (£299) is probably the pick of the bunch. Based on the Jupiter-8, it’s a pretty close replica of the undisputed heavyweight champion of Roland’s back catalogue.

All three units employ ACB (Analog Circuit Behaviour) technology for an authentic sound. Do they sound exactly the same as the originals? Like any emulation, maybe not quite, but they’re definitely close enough to pass for the real thing and (more importantly) they sound great. A lot of blind A/B tests suggest that most people prefer ACB models of Roland classics to recordings of the real thing.

Supposedly a limited edition run but still widely available, we’ll be interested to see if any more models are added to the Boutique range. How about an Alpha Juno or a Jupiter-6 next?

18th January, 2016


  • Wow, 2 oscillators, 4 waveforms, filter, lfo to modulate it. It’s no wonder electronic music hasn’t really advanced in the last decade as people are still getting boners for things we’ve all seen/heard before. New synths are just tools for muso-posers to show off with, posh handbags for guys/gals who don’t leave their bedrooms. All you really need if you want hardware to make music is a £100, 20 year old Roland W-30 and a good idea.
    This ain’t a dig at Attack.

  • wow, the original really is a lot better sounding. Much richer and thicker sounding. The update is somehow ‘skimmed’.

  • @Duncan

    Ridiculous isn’t it. I went into a music shop the other day and all the guitars still only had six strings! Retrograde madness

  • @Nathan

    Not a fair comparison at all. Synths are based on technology that is constantly changing. And due to Moore’s Law, the technology is constantly getting cheaper. These two things dictate that synths should be evolving a lot more than they seem to be. What is new and unique here?

  • @ Duncan

    Plenty of unique synth design out there. That’s mostly what the eurorack format is about. Also, what would you consider “unique”? 99.999999% of soft synths are based on hardware. The only truly novel synthesis in software comes from stuff like MAX/MSP, PD, Kyma, etc.. Do you think the Roland W-30 was some sort of revolutionary design at the time? I’m old enough to remember and it wasn’t. I say the more synths the merrier.


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