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Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter Synthesizer Module

March 22nd, 2012 by Fitz, Music Synths, Gear, & Tips, 0 Comments

Roland MKS-80

For a few years I owned a Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter module. It was a fine synthesizer but I really never warmed up to it and finally took these pictures for EBay where I sold it.

The unit is often described as a “Jupiter 8 in a box”, but I can’t say it really sounds like one. The MKS-80 has far more in common with the MKS-50, and possesses a beefier low end and decidedly decidedly different filter sound than the J8. A lot this has to do with the lowpass filter lacking a 12db mode. I’m a huge fan of the the 12db sound and generally wind up using it over the more common 24db sound.

The MKS-80 also responds to velocity and aftertouch, and fantastically, both these responses can be changed with convenient sliders right on the front. No fishing for horrible velocity curves in menus! It really makes a big difference and I wish more manufacturers would take this approach.

Aside from the filter sound I mentioned above I think the real reason I parted with my Super Jupiter module was because it was a module. There’s something about having to mess around with midi cables and controllers that I don’t like. I like a synth that has a keyboard built it. Play this unit, it makes that sound. Simple. After amassing a hoard of midi-controlled synth modules I sold them all and can’t say I really miss ‘em.

However, the sale of this particular MKS-80 has a sad ending. The unit was purchased by a German fellow who received it so crushed by the delivery serviced that they actually managed to bend the whole front solid metal faceplate (which is no easy feat, that thing is tough). Ugh! What a waste! At least it was insured.

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