Synth Site: Roland: Jupiter 4: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Curtis chips are not silly, are analogue and are not DCOs. They are superior componants than any thing Roland fitted in their synths until, eh, Curtis chips. I suspect that the 4 is a Curtis chip or SSM user somrwhere along the way. In fact, Jupiter 8 components are really Curtis chip clones in most ways, that's why the sound like Curtis chip synths! I wish people would get this ridiculas notion out of their minds that Roland created and disgarded some wonder chip. They most certainly didn't. The 4 is the worst of the Jupiters by miles, but still sounds quite warm. No, not warmer than the 8 or 6, but still nice. The tuning is horrible to say the least. Power supply problems, of course. I have mended loads of these. They are nasty and expensive to work on. Sound creation is limited and 1 osc per voice. Very heavy . Certainly not to be gigged. They look great. This is not a professional synth by any means. Still nice to play. Great slow LFO for filter sweeps. No detuning or cross mod. Buy, but don't pay too much or expect too much. Enjoy what it can do. Don't break off those underslung switches. Many do!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-27-2003 at 14:06
Tim Gadd a hobbyist user from Tasmania writes:
How could you not love the Jupiter 4? It has morew personality than any synth I've ever played, including modular Moogs and whatnot. That's not to say it's BETTER than a Moog - it's certainly not - but it's ENDEARING. I call mine 'Christine' because she reminds me of the old car in the Stephen King book that is possessed.

The J4 weighs a ton, is all metal and wood (except for the knobs and sliders and switches, of which there are over 40); mine doesn't like being woken up suddenly, and you might as well go make a coffee while she gets herself in tune. She has buttons for presets and user patches under the KB, which is also where the arpeggiator and various other buttons live. CAUTION - if you play this synth standing up, you will bump them with your legs, and suddenly find yourself playing a 'trombone' in the middle of a filtered swept arp pattern. The plus side of this is that there is a vast flat area on the top of the thing on which you can sit your dinner and about 10 cans of beer. Clearly this would not have been a sensible place to put the buttons, because it would mess up the aesthetic proprotions of that big black area of tin with "jupiter 4 - compuphonic" written on it in groovy 70's space-age font. I mean, how could you not want a synth that has <a href=> this </a> on it?

(Sorry if that link doesn't work. Don't know if you can put HTML in these reviews)

Ok, sensibly... This is a very early poly analog synth - and I mean, it's 100% analog; no Curtis chips or DCO's or anything silly like that. It can sound warm, bright, cold, and IMO very cool indeed, even if it doesn't have the real buzzsaw quality that you could get out of some synths of the era. It's strengths are undoubtedly it's arpeggiator - it just sounds beautiful - and it's amazing LFO. Get a nice pattern going, get the LFO blaring away in overdrive, add the 'hold' function, some portamento, and it can sound like all hell's broken loose. It also has a nice 3 position sub-oscillator, and an octave down switch which together can give it some pretty deep bottom end.

It has a few drawbacks (other than weighing about 40 pounds). The arpeggiator could do with some range control (it has up, down, up/down, and random, but it will just play the length of the KB - or at least the length of the KB above the lowest note you use), and the user patches can't be tweaked once you've stored them - so you'll probably find yourself using patch-sheets if you want to fiddle with your sounds while playing live (now THAT's retro!). However it's a loveable monster of a thing, and the arpeggiator can just sound beautiful. As soon as I got mine, my usual synth went into semoi-retirement while I played with the Jupiter. I don't know if it's a classic or not. I don't care. I like it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-27-2003 at 12:08
polysikhs a part-time user from austria writes:
the most beautiful sounding synth i have ever played period. there are almost no machines available that are in really perfect condition technicalwise, so you will almost shurely have to fix something, but whatever it is, DO IT !!! i own a moog prodigy, a juno 106, a polysix, an sh 2000 and the jupiter 4, and i have them all midified except the sh 2000 and the prodigy. the pure oscillator, whithout any fx and shit sounds simply fatter than anything i´ve come across so far. i love it. whith the restauration and midification it cost me 650 euro which is alot i know, but now it is the bomb. i would sell my car before parting with it. combined with the polysix there is nothing more i could wish for. that is, except maybe an arp odyssey...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-23-2002 at 14:40
LEE SIMEONE a professional user from England writes:
Its an amazing synthesizer beats up any of the arp's and does strings and basses better then a polymoog. Better then all this digital crap around.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-01-2002 at 01:10
Chris L a professional user from London writes:
A synth which you would generally describe as being alright. It sounds nice and is easy to program. However, to start saying that it's better than a jp6/8 is a bit silly. Sonically it is in no way as thick or powerful. It lacks many of its big sibling's features and is amusingly prone to tuning problems. It weighs a ton and is also amusingly prone to lifting and moving damage. You can only store a few memories and even those don't always work, especially if you store your synths in a draughty room! Not a big Jupiter and not the sonic monster which some have suggested. Just a good 'ol analogue dinosaur and everything that stands for.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-02-2002 at 13:37
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