The Boutique series can be a bit of a mixed bag but Roland are sticking with it and have revitalised the JU-06 into a more interesting and comprehensive sound module they are calling the JU-06A.
This is the first time I noticed that Roland actually call them “sound modules” and that’s exactly what they are. They contain the sounds from vintage Roland synthesizers with some ability to edit and tweak them. They are not trying to be original, they just want to give you a small box full of awesome memories and classic tunes.
This time around the JU-06A takes on the Juno-60 polyphonic analogue synthesizer along with the Juno-106 that the original Boutique focused on. It has the continuous high-pass filter of the 106, the envelope-controllable pulse-width-modulation of the 60, and the unique filter behaviour of both, instantly switchable from the front panel. And it’s the front panel where you see the most dramatic change. Gone are the two space stealing ribbon strips as more room is made for controls you’ll actually use. Because Boutiques are really very small. The new front panel looks so much better than the previous version – it looks like a Juno, in miniature.
The JU-06A has the arpeggiator from the Juno-60 and throws in a chord memory and sequencer with external clocking.
The controls give you an authentic synthesizer experience with controls over the DCOs, LFO, high and low pass filters, envelope and chorus effect.
Roland is still pushing the K-25 keyboard which is quite possibly the worst keyboard I have ever played and doesn’t do the Boutique like any favours. But the reworking of the JU-06A is superb, the inclusion of the Juno-60 is fabulous and provided you have small fingers then it’s an awesome way to get your hands on some classic Roland sounds.
The JU-06A will be released in September for $399.
- JU-06A page.