Synth Site: Roland: SC-880: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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Richard Downings a professional user from USA writes:
6 months of owning this unit, I can say that the SC-880 is the best sound module by far. I recently purchased the Proteus 2000. I thought it sound great. Well, it sounds good. Here's what I discovered between the two in the quiet of my home: The SC-880's Drums, Pianos, Brass, Electric Guitars, most Pads, and Percussive instruments are superior in sampled resolution and audio quality. The Proteus has the edge with analog sounds, Organs, Woodwinds, Acoustic Guitars, and Electric Basses. Both units lack the sonic quality of Fretless and Acoustic Basses. Roland does not publish the sampling rate or the playback rate, but Emu publishes the playback rate only of 48.1k, which explains why the 2000 has a digital out jack. This means nothing if the sampled sound is recorded in a low resolution. According to a Roland Tech, the SC-880's sounds are sampled at 44.1k and played back in 48.1k which explains the better sound quality. Besides, the SC-880 has those great TR drums you can't get in the 2000. For those reading the reviews before buying a sound module, do yourself a favor, auditon the synths without the effects on and you will hear the difference. For those who have the SC-880, get the Proteus 2000 as an alternative synth for quality analog / acoustic sounds. I consider the SC-880 a no nonsense performing and songwriting instrument, and the Proteus a backup and sound effects addition.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jul-01-1999 at 14:21
LBJ Music a professional user from Canada! writes:
Correction to my previous post: JV8080 should read JV2080. Sorry, too many 8080808s in the Roland line.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-04-1999 at 22:51
LBJ Music a professional user from Canada! writes:
This unit replaced my aging Roland SC-55. I have had it for about one month and I have to say it is really impressive. Sure for about $1600 I could get a JV8080, but I don't have that kind of ching-ching. Also, the main reason I went for this unit, besides the 1110+ sound and drum kits, is that all of my songs (Cakewalk 8) use the SC-55 sysex information. The 880 accepts the sysex dumps flawlessly. I can then assign the newer 880 sounds to my liking. The guitars are quite good - I'm a guitarist, the strings and pianos are pleasing, and if I don't like the stock sounds, there are 128 banks for me to tweak and store my own! Not to mention the built-in FULL BLOWN multi FX unit. Not just chorus and reverb kids - everything is in there. For the dollar - $899 CDN, this unit has a lot of bang for the buck. I tried the Alesis DM5 and returned it for two reasons: 1. defective, 2. the 880 drums contain the same if not better drum sounds than the DM5, PLUS I have 1110 sounds to play with. I would recommend this unit.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Apr-04-1999 at 22:48
Thomas McIntosh a part-timer user from USA writes:
I've had my SC-880 for about nine months, and I really like the unit. It is very versitile, and has rather great sound. More of the sounds have been snagged from the 1080/2080 banks, with a few twists. It has MUCH BETTER drum kits (42 in all), and has twice the timbralitity of the 1080 (32 channels vs 16).

The user interface might seem kind of "blah" and uninviting at first, but it is so easy to get around and make changes. I've been producing Acid Jazz, Dance/Club remixes, and R&B, and, I've been tweeking away on my unit. I wish the unit had a couple more outputs, but I've been able to manage thus far.

I'm looking to get a Proteus 2000 (only because of its expandability and polyphony), but I'm gonna keep this SC-880 for my bread and butter unit. I like most of the the sounds. The basses leave much to be desired, but the ep's, acoustic pianos, strings, and sound effects are all cool. I like it; if I could afford it, I would go with an expanded 2080, but this'll do for now.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Mar-23-1999 at 16:57
Richard Whitehouse a part-timer user from Canada writes:
I think the SC-880 is the best Sound Canvas ever made. The user interface is wonderful, the sounds are excellent. You have to put it in context - ok, it's not a Waldorf Wave, it's not a Kurzweil K2500. But it's an excellent GM synth with a great interface.

I can't understand why you put that negative review on the SC-880's main page. I've got nothing against the JV2080, but it's a different animal. Personally, I own many synths and modules. One of the modules I used to own was an SC-55MkII. I think it's a good idea to have at least one GM synth in your collection, and for GM, you can't beat the SC-880. I used to own an XP-80. Then I replaced that with a JV1080. Finally I got rid of both the 1080 and my SC55MkII, and replaced them both with the SC-880.

Ok, the SC-880's not quite as programmable as the 1080, but the Roland sound is there in both of them. And don't forget that out of the box, the 1080 has 8MB Rom ("equivalent to 16" in Roland-speak), whereas the SC-880 has 20MB Rom ("Equivalent to 40MB" in Roland-speak). Sure, you can expand the 1080 or 2080, but then you're talking a lot of money by the time you're finished.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-26-1999 at 22:58
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