Synth Site: Roland: JX-8P Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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j.m. steffers a part-time user from The Netyherlands writes:
First I want to put the juno106/jx8p issue to rest..... It's comparing apples and pears, first: juno106 is a one.osc. synth, jx8p is a two osc. synth! Okay, juno has a lot of buttons and sliders. jx8p has those horrible "deadmeat" kind of membrane buttons, and yes, the presets really, reeeeeally suck big time, but they were the rigeur in the 80's.( to make myself clear, i díd own a juno6, a juno106 ànd a jx8p). Next : if You do not own the programmer or a comparable software editor You'll NEVER use the 8p to aywhere near it's real potential. I have to admit that I really hated that 80's minimalism towards buttons and sliders on synths, it made programming a real rocket science(ánd a serious pain in the nether regions) instead of intuïtive listening and twiddling. As far as the hissing goes... ever heard a mini-moog, or a mini-korg700s start up???....I rest my case!( did own those too..)That's why noisegates are invented...by the way, the hissing can be put to good use in any reverbrating noise, I made "crows in the woods", or crackling ice sort of sounds, with the help of the sync function (and, yès, it DOES self oscillate while sinc-ing, if You own a 8p, try it) I did notice it were primarily professionals that complained in the comments...they are a spoiled bunch with money to spare, semi-pro`s and hobbiïsts do not... All in all I did manage to get about every sound of 80's synth-pop ànd old fashioned analog burps, swooshes, bleeps and strings out of it (Jarre,?, anyone?...)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jun-13-2001 at 04:38
Spheric Harlot a part-time user from Germany writes:
Quick background on other synths I own: a Minimoog, a Roland SH-09, a moog Source, a Yamaha SY77, and a Casio VL-1 :-)

The JX-8P is fairly complex; it is not an easy first synth. Due to the (IMO) atrocious membrane-switch interface, it was entirely useless to me before I got the PG-800 programmer. (I'm a hands-on synth programmer.)

Since I managed to find the programmer, however, this machine has managed to really astound me. The PG-800 works in REAL TIME, with NO audible STEPPING, and a slider or switch for every single parameter. Really, really great for live tweaking.

The diversity of sounds this machine can produce is remarkable: pads, lush basslines, DX-like electric pianos, strange effects...it is even possible to badly overdrive the VCA with careful filter tweaking, resulting in some truly sick distortion, if that's your thing. Variable high pass / low pass filter and chorus give you everything from biting to thin and ethereal to lusciously thick sounds.

The six (!) different keyboard modes make it even more versatile - witness twelve oscillators on a single note...

Cons: - Prone to key sticking (quickly fixed by cleaning the key contacts w/ a Q-Tip and isopropyl alcohol)

- Flimsy build quality (side ends)

- Aftertouch needs to be replaced on many 8P's (fairly easy fix; got a complete aftertouch strip from Roland Germany for about $30)

- Crap interface unless you have a PG-800 or PC editor (which still doesn't keep you from having to perform arcane little song and dance button- pushing routines to save a sound etc.)

- Not so snappy envelopes (don't expect minimoog punchy basses from this machine).

All told (including fixes and programmer), I ended up paying abou $650 for it, but this synth is a really nice addition to my alternative electronic setup above; the live tweaking ability and extra- ordinarily flexible sound make it more than worthwhile to me.

-chris.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jun-01-2001 at 03:27
TeknoWilly a hobbyist user from USA writes:
It just so happens i have my jx-8p hooked through an alesis effects processor which i got for real cheap. Heck both i got for cheap the jx-8p for 150 dollars and the quadraverb for 90. Excellent combo. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but i own only 3 synths and played several others. I love my jx-8p, it has a very nice sound, capable of producing those nice shredding sounds you hear in trance/acid/house etc. Spend some time with your jx-8p if you dont you'll think the same thing as those who dont like them. Sure they have crappy build but they need some love and can easily be fixed, if you dont know how why the heck do you call yourself a pro? When i got mine it was very lose and the sides were practically broken off the internal framing. Fixed. Aftertouch not fixed but i dont really use the aftertouch and there are instructions online on how to do so. FULL MIDI IMPLEMENTATION. i can download some patches for this baby and in less than a second transfer them over to my jx8p or viseversa. the various modes of voice stacking makes this baby a nice trance monster. If your looking for realism your looking in the wrong place. This machine is for the creative, the imaginative, and the ambitious. Get into it. Learn more about it. At first i thought my JX-3P was bland but after learning more about it and getting hard into editing, i love it a lot and will not even lend it to a friend. Sound quality of this machine is very good if your not using the built in effects cause the choruses have an annoying hiss in upper volumes. Get a cheap effects processor and it will sound even better. And if any of you are really a professional you would know why it has a multidirectional pitchbender knob, and no its not big, compare it to the newer korgs, they're about the same size! compare it to the big wheels the k2000 had, its smaller, juts out more but is smaller. Its multidirectional for a reason. Everything on it is for a reason. But theres no reason for the crappy build, its just poor craftsmanship and like i said can easily be fixed and if you really really want to, modify it to make it more structurally sound. Its huge, but oh well, people complain about Huge synths, but not about Huge SUV's (boggles me sometimes) Its all good. The JX-8P is the best synth i have ever owned based on a quality/sounds to price ratio. Plus its unique and its not bland and doesnt sound like any other analog. If you think so your not professional i'm sorry. Doesnt even sound like a juno 106 and its made by the same company. The JX-8P is a one of a kind excellent machine.

TeknoWilly

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-23-2001 at 04:39
Ben Combs a professional user from Belgium writes:
Hello

Ok well here is some more info for people that care. The build on the Jx8p is really really crappy. It's encased in solid plastic which in fact has not enabled the the Jx8p to age gracefully. Most of the ones I have seen always have loose panels and screws missing and alomst always have broken pitch bends. The pitch bend design on this is really weird.It's multi directional. The size is quite big but theres not alot in there. When you listen to the sounds you will not be impressed. Nothing fascinating here. Just your basic synth. I'm not kidding. It's quite boring. You will need an efex processor for one thing plus alot of time to sit down with it. Programming is fairly easy but there are alot better synths with DAC style programming that produce better results.

Closing thoughts: ONLY BUY ONE IF IT IS IN MINT CONDITION AND IS LOWER THAN 175 AmeRican. Anything over 200 and it is a waste. My rating is a 4 if it is to be bought for $150-200 and ZERO if it is between $210 and $5,000,000. For 5 million dollars you can get much better keyboards than the Roland JX-8p.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-21-2001 at 02:28
Philip a part-time user from Dallas, TX USA writes:
I just re-acquired this from a bandmate whom I had sold this to over a year ago as I really missed it. After owning other analogs, digitals, and VA's, I really missed the simplicity, yet flexibility in this synth. Although several my VA has more flexibility and complexity, there is still something about the JX which is more direct, solid, and old-fashioned, which I like. Yes, knobs and sliders and all of that crap would be nice (I'm not shelling out the jack for a PG-800), but it's easy to edit sounds and is one of the most stable, reliable synths I have come across, aside from the aftertouch mechanism not functioning. A very reliable, solid value in the used market if you want those lush Roland textures from the early to mid-80's. I'm glad I was able to correct my earlier mistake of selling this synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-20-2001 at 15:38
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