Roland Boutique Series (JP-08)
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?