The Roland JX10 and MKS70 are fantastic 12 voice analogue instruments with a unique sound that is still very much in use today. After 30 years, many VFD displays in Roland instruments are starting to fail, either due to FIP transformer failure, segment connection corrosion or the heater filaments in the Vacuum Florescent Tube reaching end of life. When the heater reaches end of life, the filaments can suddenly break after an instrument has been transported and subjected to vibration or shock.
Losing a 12 voice analogue flagship synthesizer is considered a tragedy by many so this project was started to keep instruments working and delivering their potential.
The end result not only replaces the existing display from a functional perspective, but improves usability when using a Frédéric Vecoven OS upgrade. The pictures on this page show the new enhanced arrangement.
For a good look at how the display functions check out this video…
Check out the new Anniversary Edition firmware containing a 14 segment starburst emulation to enhance the retro styling of the instrument: SuperJX Display Anniversary Edition
A low cost LCD version is available that still presents the same enhanced data as the VFD when running Vecoven OS in the instrument. rather than use a graphic display it uses 40 character by 2 lines to show the information.
The SuperJX window is “hidden until lit” technology and relies on a super bright VFD behind it. The amount of “fog” differs between the two instruments slightly, the JX10 being a little better. LCD and OLED don’t have the required brightness to give a display as stunning as the VFD version but as a low cost option LCD is a great solution.
MKS70 Images by kind permission of Serge Pomorski
Copyright © 2017 Super Synth Projects, Guy Wilkinson