I bought it on the spur of the moment, only realizing afterward how iconic it was (a good thing for me!). Of course, its sounds felt familiar and though it is mostly a preset machine you always have a good time trying the different possible combinations playing with the nice colored controls. Of course, you can easily get tired of some of the instruments such as the guiro, but the good news is you can reduce or even turn off the volume on some of them. I no longer have it, but as a rule, I used to resort to a given rhythm pattern and playing with the fills, all while recording straight to my computer.
The great thing with this pretty lady is that in spite of its age, it can be programmed. Of course, the better is to own a TS-1 Memory Write Switch or the (very hard to find) WS-1, but there are alternate devices such as the CR-78PGM or the Swynx which I’ve never tried. I’ve tried programming a bit with a Roland pedal, but you’ll need a perfect timing to be successful.
I’ve use dit for almost 3 years but not on a regular basis, so in the end I sold it to make more space in my tiny studio.
I’ve also owned a Roland PB-300 – which is very much simpler – and also a Keio Minipops 7 (aka MP 7), even much simpler yet full of character.
Apart from its awesome look, what I like most in this device is its very typical sound, especially the slapping snare. What I liked least was how difficult it can be to sync it, and also the very tiny memory space. Separate outputs would also be welcome. Well, in the end, let’s not be too picky, all that’s also part of the charm of vintage devices like this.