Synth Site: Roland: JV-90 keyboard: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Gary a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I've owned my JV90 for about two years and like it alot. The basses don't rock like my old D50, but the acoustic pianos and drums are pretty good. If you like Rhoads type pianos you need the &quot;sounds of the 60's &amp; 70's&quot; sound card,probibly the best electric piano sounds i've heard from a synth. Also the clavinet sounds are very good and a couple of pretty good B3 sounds on that card, although I use a Hammond XB2 for that duty. I sequence with Cake Walk and have the VE JV1 board installed (some dealers are closing these out, got mine for $100.00).

I like Roland products alot but there manuals are so bad it can take a long time to get the most out of there products.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:07
Giancarlo Lopez a hobbyist user from Guatemala writes:
El teclado Roland tiene unos magnificos sonidos, posee una gama de controles, me gustaria que me mandaran el catalogo, porque lo perdi y no lo puedo utilizar bien a la perfeccion, para utilizar la parte del midi y la expancion de voz.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:07
SCHERPEREEL Jeremy a hobbyist user from France writes:
Le JV90 manque affreusement de polyphonie. C'est pourquoi je vai sme tourner vers un XP80

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:07
Dhiraj Bhattacharya a part time user from U.S.A writes:
Right now, I'm using the JV-90 as my one and only keyboard. I also have a SC-7 MIDI module that plays my MIDI files from a laptop running Cakewalk. The JV-90s ability to split into eight regions was a selling factor for me. I'm the main musician in my band. We do Indian pop/dance/top40: Hindi, Bhangra and the like (for those who know these styles). Being the main musician, I use the JV-90 to play bass, rhythm and leads in splits that change for each song. The form of music we do exacts great brass sounds. JV-90 delivers 100% on that one. The bass sounds are not that great though. I was looking for standard good sounding basses. But all I got were mostly synth-like bass sounds. I don't think bass sounds are sampled. At least it doesn't sound like it to me. If you like synth bass sounds, you'll be happy. The piano sounds sucks big time! I traded in my Yamaha pf-100 digital piano for the JV-90. Losing the Yamaha was a big mistake! The Yamaha sounded just like Yamaha's Acoustic Grand Piano. Same smoothness, depth and beutiful sound. Forget about finding anyting like that on the JV-90. I tried adding the piano board. To me, the expansion board still did NOT come anywhere close to the the sound of the Yamaha PF-100 I was used to. I did sample the grand piano sound on the Session board. That sound was acceptable. I'm happy with my JV-90 on one note though. It's only about 25 pounds! My Yamaha PF-100 was 75 pounds! I had to get help to carry it around. But with the JV-90, even it cased in a SKB 76 hard shell case with wheels, I can carry it by myself. That says a lot for a working musician. The 24 voice polyphony limit is a big problem for me. I'm always having voice dropout problems mainly because I play a lot piano arpeggios. Also, those brass sounds uses up a lot of voices. And I had to combine two bass sounds to get something acceptable. So I'm probably down to actually living with 6 voices or so in reality. Perhaps, adding the voice expansion will help. But mind you, adding that board is simply adding a sound canvas or another JV-90. You don't get another 24 voices added across the keyboard. In other words, when play a particular patch, say piano, you are not playing that with 48 voices. Nobody warned about this! And I wasn't smart enough about voices at that time to figure it out myself. Anyway, you can use the voices on the expansion to help spread out the load in layering and spliting. Also, it will lessen the burden for your sequencer. Being able to program the JV-90 and do synthesizer tweaking is a strong point of the instrument. However, I'm not a synthesizer nerd. I'm purely a musician who likes to take advantage of technology to improve his music. Toward that end, the programming really doesn't help me much. But it's good to know that it's there if I change my mind someday. Overall, the sounds of the JV-90 are very sharp and crystal clear as you'd expect for high sample playback rates. String sounds are another big requirement in Indian pop music. (If you hear a Indian pop song without strings, let me know!). The string sounds of the JV-90 although are OK, are inadequate for my band's needs. They are too soft and not sharp enough. The attack is too slow. For Indian music, we need kick-ass strings! Well, I got around this limitation by adding sax section to the strings patch. This gave it the kick we needed. But again, there goes the polyphony. It would have been great if I got this sound I created using only one waveform. I guess it's high time for a sampler! Although, the JV-90 comes with 64 performances, only 16 are user performances. I only uses performances when I perform because only in performances can you do splits. Well, only 16 user performances are not enough! That's only sixteen songs. And in several songs I switch between multiple performance within the same song. The number of user performances though can be expanded with data cards. I haven't tried that yet. Those cards are not cheap -- $100 to $300! Rather, I download sysexes from CakeWalk when I need to. That's a bit slow though. It takes about 15 seconds to download a temporary performance. And almost a minute to download all user performances (along with user patches). But that's what I'm living with right now. I wish the JV-90 had a good B-3 organ sound. I did try out the Keyboard of the 60's and 70's. The B-3 sounds on that board did sound very good but was not sharp enough to cut though the MIDI drums of my SC-7. Their max volume level does not match the max volume level of other sounds on JV-90 like brasses. So I'd have to reprogram all of my performances again. But I didn't bother and retured the card. Some of the synth leads on this machine are awesome. The pads are great too. wish it had more pads. Great weird sounds, but I don't use them much. There were no good accordion sound which I needed very much. So, I got a accordion wave card which sound great. As far as controlling other sound modules, the JV-90 can transmit over all 16 channels but can communicate to only any eight of the 16 channels at one performance. One problem I ran across with this is that the JV-90 cannot send messages to other modules to turn off the sustain pedal. So, for example, you have a split performance with bass one the left and piano on the right on another module, and you press the sustain pedal to sustain the piano, well guess what, your bass sound will sustain too. Not desirable! You'd have to turn the sustain off for that particular channel on the module you are trying to control. Not an easy thing to do with SC-7 unless perhaps you have certain software. So in conclusion, I'd say that the JV-90 is a great synthesizer -- NOT a great keyboard. To me, a great keyboard has great acoustic sounds starting with piano. To make the JV-90 a great keyboard, I'd have add the voice expansion board ($300). I'd also need some of the sounds from the Strings, Keyboard of 60's and 70's, Session, and World voice expansion boards. But the JV-90 allows only one voice expansion board. Also, getting that many boards would be a serious waste of money (they go for about $300 each) since I only need a few sounds from each. Again, I better get a sampler. The JV-90 would be a great second keyboard, but not the main keyboard. I'd strongly recommend getting the all the how-to documents you can from Roland to make the best out of this keyboard. I did so and it helped me tremendously. Despite the limitation of the JV-90, I've performed with it for two years now with my band as my sole keyboard while my SC-7 played MIDI sequences. No one in the audience ever came up and said to me &quot;Hey, that was a great piano solo, but I kept hearing voice drop-outs!&quot; Rather, we got great reviews whereever we went. I've heard people say that we're the best sounding Indian band in the Washington, D.C. area. And I'm not bragging! So, I'd say the JV-90 served me well. However, for MY satisfaction, I'll move on to something more sophisticated as soon as I can afford it. Sampling capability is going to be a must on my next keyboard (or keyboards). I'm looking seriously at Korg Trinity, AKAI samplers, maybe the XP-80 and the Kurweil stuff. We'll see how it goes. This time I'm taking my time!

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:07
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