Synth Site: roland: Fantom XR Rack: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.2 out of 5
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Eric a professional user from France writes:
I spend a day in a studio recently playing around with Roland racks, from the JV2080 up to the Fantom XR. I'm not into analyzing D/A converters, connectivity (USB, S/PDF etc) or expansion slots - what drives me is whether what I hear inspires or not. I found the XR to have outstanding keyboard sounds, both accoustic and electric. Other than that, I felt there was not really much new and outstanding - most are contemporized "bread & butter" sounds (tweak your XV5080, and you're there!) that one should edit to one's personal taste. But for that, a 1U rack is a nightmare to operate and US$ 1,300 a LOT of money!

Similarly to Korg's Triton trilogy (Triton - Studio - Extreme), it's just new packaging for the same sound philosophy / concept; I mean, this is the 3rd "Fantom" version in 3 years - how "different" can they really be? I personally prefer evolving sound structures / concepts that Yamaha products have shown over the past 10 years, and new(er) products that inspire immediately (such as Clavia or Access).

As far as Roland is concerned, I stick to my XV5080 for now.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-09-2004 at 05:39
astronomer a part-time user from us writes:
the problem with the xr is size! because of its size it is inconvenient to program. since we're talking about $1200-$1300...since i need to really mangle sounds for my music, its worth the extra $600-$700 it takes to get from the xr to a x6. having hands on and visual access to the fantom feature set is the whole point...and the xr certainly doesn't provide that.

sonically, the xr is as capable as the keyboards, as far as i can tell from my limited exposure.

save your money...with the xr you're 67% the way to the x6!

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-02-2004 at 14:21
Doug a professional user from USA writes:
At first, I struggled with installing the Fantom XR's USB-Midi capability onto my laptop running WinXP. But, after installing Service Pack 2 and re-installing the driver, the Fantom XR was up and running with Nuendo.

The factory sounds are excellent. I love the pianos, brass, bells, and strings.

I also own a Access Virus and an Andromeda A6 as well as many other software synths.

The Fantom XR's menu is very easy to navigate through. I feel that I can work intuitively by using the controls and the little LCD screen.

I love the mastering section in the FX to beef up the frequencies of individual patches or a whole entire performance patch to really beef up certain frequencies of the instrumentation.

I paid $1200 for the Fantom XR and I think I would've paid the $1350 if that's what it came down to. but, do a little bit of searching and you'll find the unit for around $1200 on a website or get in good with the guys down at the Guitar Center.

If my studio were to become destroyed in an earthquake, I would still buy the Fantom XR again over the Motif Rack or the Triton Rack. Because, the Motif rack has no expandability options or a sampler and the Korg Triton Rack is just a dinosaur now. Roland's rackmount offers more than the other digital synth/sampler racks out there. This is not to say that the motif rack doesn't have good sounds. The motif rack definitely has sounds. But, if you're into designing your own patches and manipulating your own samples to create original sounds on a hardware synth with digital capabilities, then the Fantom XR gives you what it's competitors can't.

I am recording the Fantom through it's SPDIF connection into my RME Hammerfall. I am satisfied with the quality of the recordings so far.

The only reason why I give the Fantom 4/5 is because of the technical issues I was having with it and the lack of support references on Roland's site.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-26-2004 at 01:26
Lenti Lenko a professional user from Australia writes:
I checked out the XR yesterday and I love the sounds- they to me sound like the sounds in the latest XV and Fantom units.

However I would have still kept this module in 2 rack spaces like the XV5080.

Basically this module goes the next step from the XV5080 by incorporating full sampling specs. However it's dissapointing Roland didn't allow you to run more than 3 insert fx at once when sequencing/layering like is the case with the Korg Triton series and Yamahs Motif ES series (up to 8 dual insert fx at once!!!!!!!!).

However Rolands sounds are outstanding and this module (when used in conjunction with a computer) is very powerful and flexible!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Sep-18-2004 at 07:55
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