Synth Site: Roland: VK-8: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.3 out of 5
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kevin a professional user from usa writes:
updated my new vk8 with 2.0 software...what a difference...it fixed the issues with the leslie, volume and tone controls...much better machine ...it also adds a new amp settings ...thru my my korg G4 rotary sim, it sounds killer... now if it was with a couple of hot 122's, oh nevermind...we can all dream can't we...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Mar-01-2004 at 11:47
Robert Littauer a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I just got mine. I own a Hammond L-111 real-deal tonewheel organ, but wanted something that sounded more like a B-3. The tonewheel emulation is great. Very even sound along the whole register. Killer distortion. If you want that YES/Deep Purple sound, this is the bomb! Many of the review I read blasted the rotary sound. Maybe for some purists, there are things to complain about if they really want to nitpick, but I am selling my tube rotosphere as the built in Leslie if perfect by my standards. The built in piano sounds are ok, but the other non-organ sounds kinda suck. A bit like a bad GM module i.e. MT-32. I didn't buy it for the non-organ sounds anyway, however, since the piano sounds are nice, I dont have to lug my digital piano anywhere. Very handy for gigs. The only thing that will sound and respond exaclty like a B3 is a B3. This comes close enough and, I feel, is perfect for that Rock Organ sound. The key clicks are great, the percussion responds like a real Hammond, and the D-Beam is really cool! Add the natural feel of the waterfall keys and you have the best B3 clone for under 2K on the market. The Hammond XK-2 is a toy compared to this. Don't think about it, just buy it! BTW, my L-111 is for sale. I live in NY. E-mail me if interested. I no longer need it now that I have the VK-8

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-May-25-2003 at 10:03
Andrew Ward a professional user from USA writes:
The Roland VK-8 Is definitly the best fake B3 on the market. True, it is not perfect, but nothing can ever replace the real thing. I'm not sure why anyone would even bother to compare Korg's B3 wannabe. It is not very good. I would rate it below the Nord Electro & the Hammond XK-2. The VK-8 sounds like an organ, it does not have that electronic overtone that is omnipresent in every other fake B3 I've played. It seems that too many of the other boards add on effects that can not be turned off in order to give them more balls or power. They would be much better off with a good base sound. Rolands only issue is the leslie simulation. It is truely lacking, but in my opinion, there still isn't a really good leslie simulation on the market yet.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-May-10-2003 at 13:39
Todd Phipps a professional user from USA writes:
The basic tone and action are quite good, but the Leslie simulation falls far short of the mark. The CX3's simulation is much better (especially on fast) and the Electro's handily beats it in that department (though I can't warm up to the Electro's wierd user interface though, an organ needs *drawbars* not push-buttons and lights!). I owned a VK7 for 3 years and didn't care for it's canned Leslie either, anytime I could get my Leslie to the gig I jumped on it as it vastly improved the tone. With the VK8, Roland took a mediocre simulator and made it even worse - fast (tremolo) on this thing sounds cheesy. Too much frequency modulation and not enough amplitude modulation. However, the basic tone is there so if you have a Leslie or Motion Sound unit the VK8 makes a great little keyboard. I still think the Korg CX3 is a better overall clone despite the lack of a dedicated Leslie output, since most desirable Leslies (122 or 147-type) need an adaptor or preamp to work with newer organs anyway, either to interface with the Roland 11-pin socket or a 1/4" line-out.

I'm nonetheless considering this and a Motion Sound amp instead of the CX3, since I won't need the onboard sim with the Motion Sound. The VK8's a nice unit for the price, too.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Feb-17-2003 at 11:17
Chad Gould a professional user from St. Petersburg writes:
This is a pretty good B3 clone. It's a tough choice between this, the Korg CX3 and the Electro. After playing with all three in the store, I thought all three were good. You'd get the Electro if you need more than a B3; you'd get the CX3 for the best "standard" simulation.

The VK-8 is the best rock and roll B3 clone right now. The standard B3 is not quite bright enough, and the fast Leslie is a little fast. But, as typical for Roland, the effects make up for it. The COSM distortion is top notch and really has balls to it, surprisingly. Guitarists whimper in the presence of this machine. This fit my needs best - I use the B3 primarily for rock-n-roll fill. The CX3 unfortunately has a relatively mediocre distortion.

Other than the above, this machine does loose some notches for editability -- the basics are covered (drawbar, leslie, etc.) -- but no LCD and some cryptic parameter editing for advanced functions, including MIDI etc. Reminds me of the bad old days of single rackmount units. Since this is a B3, not an analog tweaker, I don't care too much. But some will find it painful.

I will give it some props as well for a very good keyboard (feels great playing it, quite responsive for doing fast stiff-fingered staccato.) The D-Beam is fun but I'm not sure if its that useful to me, some will like it.

Overall, a worthy contender and a nice subtle upgrade from the VK-7. If you are in the market for a B3 simulator, this one is definitely worth checking out, especially if doing rock and roll.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Saturday-Feb-08-2003 at 02:11
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