How can you possibly replace the awesome Jove filter? System80 believe they’ve added some improvements in the 860 MK2 – the nerve of some people!
The System80 Jove filter is easily my favourite Eurorack filter. It’s based around the multimode filter of the classic Roland Jupiter-6 synthesizer and it’s a thing of beauty. The sound is so creamy and smooth that is oozes through your rack like an analogue volcano spewing treacle wrapped in a blanket. It also looks stunning. The panel design is flamboyant and elegant, managing to reflect both the sound and the lineage. Jove is a classy filter inside and out.
Why on earth would anyone want to mess with such a beautiful module? Well, there are perhaps a couple of ways in could be… erm… improved? The 860 MK2 has a proper two-channel input mixer. On the Jove the second input felt like an afterthought and with no attenuation on the first input it wasn’t easy getting 2 inputs to sit right. Otherwise, the feature set is the same with 2 CV inputs, one unipolar and one bipolar, plus CV input on the resonance. The 4 filter modes remain although now the mode selection is remembered if you turn it off and on again. They’ve also added a steel back panel which I guess helps keep the spiders out.
System80 say that the Jove and 860 MK2 are sonically identical although they also mention how it has a quad OTA filter core rather than the dual LM13700 OTA found in the Jove so it will be interesting to see if that’s brought any variation in character. The original Roland used a quad OTA and so if there’s any change it will be to make it more authentic. However, System80 know what they’re doing and I have every confidence that the 860 MK2 is every bit the filter that Jove is.
They’ve taken the size down to 10HP from the Joves 14HP and sadly dropped the more flamboyant lines of the former. While it still absolutely looks “Roland” I really love the look of Jove and it stands out very proudly in my rack (and will continue to do so). 14HP is a bit luxurious I guess but space around the cutoff knob shouldn’t be under-appreciated.
The 860 MK2 is available now for $260 and replaces both the 860 MK1 and Jove (RIP).