Roland Boutique JU-06A Synth Offers Classic Juno Sound In A Compact Form

Roland today introduced the latest in its line of compact Boutique synthesizers, the Boutique JU-06A Synthesizer.

Roland calls the JU-06A “a nostalgic homage to Roland’s famed synths of the 1980s”. It builds on its Roland Boutique JU-06 predecessor with improved sequencer, interface, trigger in, arpeggiator and more.

The Boutique JU-06A combines the vintage sounds and function of the Juno 6, 60 and 106. As a result, you can control the high-pass filter of the 106 and the envelope-controllable pulse-width-modulation of the 60 directly from the JU-06A’s front panel.

Here’s the official intro video:

The JU-06A features chord memory, an onboard sequencer, and the JUNO-60’s arpeggio in an instrument compact enough to fit inside a backpack.

The JU-06A offers both USB audio/MIDI and full-sized MIDI jacks, giving you the ability to play and synchronize with nearly any other piece of gear in your set-up. The JU-06A can easily connect to a master keyboard, DAW, K-25m Keyboard Unit, or a DK-01 Boutique Dock.


Pricing and Availability

The Roland JU-06A is expected to be available in the U.S. in September 2019 for $399.99.

26 thoughts on “Roland Boutique JU-06A Synth Offers Classic Juno Sound In A Compact Form

    1. Analog. Digital. Both can sound absolutely brilliant or absolutely awful. The notion that an instrument is somehow inferior because it uses digital sound generation is elitism at its worst.

        1. Quite true. The JU-06A is built on the same platform as the other digital boutique synths. That means everything has to fit in a single ESC2 ASIC, limiting it to 4 voices. Moving beyond that would require a new main board design.

          1. I think that hardware digital synth should not reproduce analog behavior, and go to new grounds. Analog should sound analog. VAs, now that we have plugins is not something I’m really interested in anymore. Uhe latest softsynth, for example, make expensive VA obsolete in my studio. But I agree with you, analog, digital, it’s all good. I love the Pro 2. It’s proudly digital and analog.

            Having said that, it could be of interest to keep one or two historical hardware VAs around for their specific sound. Just saying. It’s open really. Just do what you want ultimately haha.

            1. I really like the Roland Boutiques. I don’t like the K25m minikeys. Of all the minikeys I have, these are the worst. It’s good to see they’re updating some of them too.

              As a post noted below – they’re fun for their own sake. Like any other instrument; play it, master it, have fun.

      1. The whacky thing is that there was a time when advertising something was digital made it desirable because it was considered futuristic or modern.

  1. I’ve had great fun making music with my Boutiques, and this looks like it will continue the fun. Why bog yourself down fussing over how the sound was made “back then” versus how it is made now? The Juno-60 was the first synth I got to spend time on back in 1982 – I’m looking forward to playing with the JU-06A all these years later.

    Sitting at home comparing schematics is a path of sadness and regret.

    The point is to make music; get out, play live, have fun, be kind.

  2. Leaving out those 2 notes poly is kinda a stupid, if you want to make a clone of something… and there is really no excuse in 2019 hardware wise…compared to 1982, when Juno-60 were released.

  3. The only boutique I own is the D-05, as it’s the only one I feel it gives everything the original had and more. I mean, come on? A Juno-60 clone with four note polyphony?

    1. Exactly temno. The D-05 has 16 Voice Polyphony. Why could’t Roland do 6 note polyphony for the JU-06 and the JU-06A ? We all love the 106/60 and want to see it live far into the future… 4 note polyphony is crippling and not an honest testament to the original 106/60 potential and versatility.

  4. I wonder about that four-voice thing as well. What part of the rest of their total synth lineup would suffer in unit sales if they’d been a bit more serious here? Besides, the Boutiques aren’t built for touring, not with all the mini-jacks. They’re built to sit in your home rig and have a longer life. Four voices is okay for enhanced mono-type synths, but not a Juno. I’d be far more likely to buy a slightly beefed-up SIX-voice Juno-1 w/velocity than a budget module that’s trying *not* to hit that next higher mark. The list of features that got cut (and why) would be an interesting read.

    1. I agree whole-heartedly with you S-Trigger. My 106 with 6 note polyphony is incredible. I simply can not do what I do with 4 note polyphony. I got the JU-06 as a “backup” in case my 106 ever died – and the difference is apples & oranges when comparing the two.

  5. Well I was pretty excited at the headline, at last it’ll have six voices and sysex parameter change compatibility with the original so I can use my old sequences!

    Nope and nope.

    I guess it’s good that they’ve updated and put the JU-06 back into production with some minor tweaks and a new price point (wasn’t it $299 before?!?). And I’m sure the arpeggiator is lovely.

    If anyone is listening at Roland (they aren’t) it’s simple. Clone the Juno-106. JU-06 almost did this but is missing 2 voices, which are really necessary. Add sysex compatibility with the original, keep the CC control as well. Add support for full keyboard microtonality via MTS messages, and support for MPE. And go ahead and have the sequencer, but clone the one from the JX-3P which was 6 voice polyphonic 128 steps and was really easy to program. Do this and sell it for $499.

    1. This is not unlike walking into a Kia dealership and complaining that the cars aren’t enough like BMW’s. They are different markets.

      I do understand when one feels torn between two price-points/feature sets, but you’ll have to do what we all do: make the choice to buy or pass.

      Then get back to making music! That’s the fun part.

  6. The 4 voice polyphony is a limitation of the processor used in these. The Sonic State video for the new Jupiters talks about the engine developed for those new synths being done to break out of that 4 voice modeling bottle neck.

    1. ” limitation of the processor used in these” < They need to get back to the drawing board…i^m sure people would spend those 20 € extra for a newer processor with 2 extra voices…

  7. oh my god, Roland,. what the *#^@ is wrong with you!?!?!
    Abandon this ACB/VA crap and start reproducing your amazing classic synths properly.
    Analog! The people want analog! You *#@^ing know it, so just do it already!

    1. You crack me up!

      I can only imagine shopping for a washing machine or, god forbid, a car, with you!

      You do realize that companies don’t HAVE to make the thing you want to buy, right?

      It’s OK, there are MANY analogue synths out there today new and old; many more than when I was a kid in the early 80’s and the Juno-60 was “not as cool as a Prophet 5”.

      Just go buy something else and get on with making music! Have fun, enjoy – life is too short to curse out an instrument manufacturer (who is not listening to you anyway).

      [By the way: these synths are FUN – remember having fun, before everything turned into complaining?]

  8. Sure there is still a market for analogue, but there is also a market for digital too. The Reverb sales ratings for 2017 are 50/50 analogue/digital. Perhaps there is a market for fully authentic analogue reproductions of their classic synths but if we keep clamoring for re-runs of the past we turn away from the spirit of innovation that created these in the first place.

  9. The fix for a synth that isn’t analog enough for ya is to buy one of the scads of analogs available in flavors ranging from Volcas to a NOS Moog IIIC. I agree that Roland could probably sell a large number of “real” 106 keyboards on the nostalgia alone, but the features Rabid Bat suggests equals a much higher price that would hurt the target market sales. Being a budget synth to begin with, that list tries to turn it into more of a flagship. Roland has their own version of an answer for the situation: its called Boutiques and the new Fantom. If that doesn’t work, put a little Eurorack between them. Problem solved, aside from, uh oh, that money thing.

  10. Roland drops the ball again. It’s pretty sad when one of the most odious companies in the industry, Behringer, has a better chance of bringing back the Roland classics than Roland does.

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