Roland Juno-106 KIWI-106!




UPDATE 7-Feb-2014: It's been a full THIRTY YEARS since getting this still-perfect Juno-106, my first-ever synthesizer, and now it has undergone a complete overhaul and system upgrade! Synth technician and Juno expert Syntegrator spent almost a whole year cleaning & restoring the entire synth (documenting the whole process with dozens of tech videos; the first one of the series can be seen HERE). Once that was done, with the help of partner company Kiwitechnics, this technical wizard installed the most impressive conjoined hardware & software mod I have ever seen: the KIWI-106 upgrade, turning this solid 4-star vintage plaything into a bona-fide 5-star world-crusher. The embedded video shows a fun sound demo of the Kiwi unit along with its brand new software interface.

Other than this ultra-modification on the inside (and a little aluminum Kiwi badge of honor towards the edge of the base), my Juno is cosmetically flawless and indistinguishable from stock. Thanks to my brother unearthing it from his closet, I've even got the original cassette tape which has all the factory presets on it!

Back when my Dad spent a fortune on this thing for me (the only time he ever bought me anything this expensive; Christmases were usually $100-$200 toy-fests but in 1984 he got a big bonus!), I had originally wanted the JX-3P. But this board was cheaper and had twice as many sounds, so we were convinced it was the wiser investment. However, it lacked some key functionalities like random LFO, sync/unison oscillator control, and a step sequencer, but thanks to the Kiwi card this Juno can do all of that and just tons and tons more. This Juno isn't just a museum-quality showcase item any more; it's a serious production tool that can now hold its own with very powerful modern synthesizers.

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Copyright � 2005 David C. Lovelace