Synth Site: Roland: XV-5080: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Jahrome a part-time user from ebay writes:
The XV 5080 is my number one synth. It is easy to use and compliments my MPC 4000. The New SRX chips are outstanding and can be bought on ebay for less than $230. This unit is by far better than the Triton rack. You will not be disappointed unless you tried to use it as a sampler.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-29-2002 at 22:59
The_Truth a part-time user from London, UK writes:
Mmmmmm, XV5080, this synth seems to be causing much debate on this site, for what it’s worth I thought I'd throw my thoughts on it into the ring.

I produce hip-hop mostly, quite a bit of r&b, and as little UK garage as I can get away with!

I own a PC with a ton of software, cubase sx, reason 2, absynth, fm7 e.t.c Triton Rack, a Proteus 2k with a Mo Phatt expansion board, a Virus B, a Trinity Rack a Yamaha A5000, an ESI 32, SW1k and very soon an MC 909, as well as the aforementioned XV5080 so I can definitely compare it to a few other synths! (Full of myself ain’t

As a sampler, I have to agree with most of the other sentiments expressed so far, its a pain to use, badly organised file structure, long loading times e.t.c. As such I don’t use it much as a sampler, which is a shame, because along with the A5000 and the Triton Rack this unit has got a bunch of absolutely outstanding fx and the few times I have used the sampler the fx have proved to be fcukin superb.

Now that’s out of the way, we can talk about its value as a synth, in this case, for my music and my tastes I think it is, without doubt, outstanding.

I’m quite familiar with Roland synth architecture, having owned both the MC 303 and MC 505 (both used variations on the JV series architecture) in the past, and as this machine again employs a variation on the tried and tested approach I found it very easy to edit and create new sounds with, good filters, excellent modulation possibilities, superb sound quality and as I've stated previously outstanding FX.

On top of this, the unit ships with a superb sound set, there are some absolute standouts in this box and a bunch of patches have already started cropping up on commercial tracks recently (Neptunez anyone?!).

But as always the perceived quality of a soundset is entirely subjective, so anyone, who buys any instrument, should try to hear it some form or another beforehand.

In comparison to the other synths in my collection I think the XV5080 wins hands down in terms of emulating real instruments, I think this is mainly due to the stereo waveforms, d/a converters and fx, regardless, its the best thing in my set-up for this (although the A5000 has a 10 CD sound library that shipped with it which is the bomb), I've never heard the Motif but I'd like too because judging from the posts on this site its superb.

For synth sounds, i.e. moogs, roland, oberheim et al, prepare to programme, out of the box it cant touch a virus, triton rack or even the p2k composer set imho, but obviously with some programming it can definitely coax out some excellent synth sounds.

I definitely think this synth is far better emulating 'real' instruments as opposed to electronic ones, a point proved by the guitar patches, which are already legendary!

Phew! that’s the end, well almost, I'd say if you were looking for a module with superb emulatative, i.e. 'real instrument' sounds then this should be one of the top two on your list to listen, if your want more 'urban' sounds out of the box, then its gonna be Triton, Mo' Phatt.

I would have rated this a five, but as I'd only use the sampler on it if every thing else I had blew up (touch wood) I cant, very good nonetheless and if Roland ever sort out the O/S it might well deserve a 5, till then.......

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Dec-13-2002 at 11:51
SteveK a professional user from NJ writes:
I am doing a lot of different types of production, (Orchestral, Pop, Reggae, Techno, Bump, Ethnic, etc.) and my 5080 always comes through. In fact, besides a borrowed X3, it's all I use. However, I just bought a SCSI CD Rom drive, upgraded the 5080 SIMM memory to 128 (max) and bought a SmartMedia (128 as well). After spending at least 24 hours trying to read the jump-around, scatter-brained manual, I finally loaded some favorite orchestral samples to the SIMM memory and then loaded that to SmartMedia card. Fine. But be careful, you can't play those samples you just loaded to the SmartMedia card, NO! you have to load it back to the SIMM to access the samples after you shut off the unit or clear out the SIMM.

I loaded an orchestral performance with about 110megs of samples. It took at least twenty minutes to save to SmartMedia and then the next day, twenty minutes to load it back from the card to the SIMM. I made a mistake in saving updates of the performance to the card and lost all the samples I previously saved. I had to go back through my CD sample library and load in EVERY sample again to SIMM and then to SmartMedia. It is so time consuming if you make a mistake in the "saving" process. The manual is written so scattered it's hard to find any direct answers. I ended up calling Roland's not-so-easy-to-find tech help number in CA. They helped a little. Pretty much telling me, "Oh, you can't do that."

Having the 5080 as a sample playback unit is a pain in the a$$. But when you finally get it to work, hold your breath, and it will sound tremendous! However, to get to that point takes a lot more time than it should.

It would be easy if you could save and playback samples directly from the SmartMedia Cards.

posted Sunday-Oct-06-2002 at 14:43
jg a part-time user from USA writes:
I heard the 5080 in the store and the new presets sound fantastic. One problem though. Why not 8 srjv expansions like the jv2080. The srjv are popular expansions and I feel that feature would of sold the module alone. Other than that you get the same presets as the other roland modules which are a bit outdated but not too much.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-23-2002 at 13:29
bong a professional user from phil writes:
i'm a proud owner of a XV5080, i used to have a 2080 and sold it to pay for my XV, it was a good choice cause it sounds pretty much the same except it has more banks and features, i just ordered for a triton which i will have my hands on in a couple of days, after trying my friend's triton i discovered that my xv still sounds better but the triton is much user friendly especially in tweaking patches cause i'm very articulate when it comes to producing new sounds for recording. i just wish someday roland will have the good features of korg without compromising professional sounds

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jul-27-2002 at 01:41
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