Synth Site: Roland: JD 800: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.7 out of 5
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rigsby a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Always wanted a Roland JD-800, even since I first played one in a music shop shortly after its launch in 1991. It sounded warm, fat and powerful. Rightly or wrongly, for every synth and keyboard I played after that time, I used the JD as a yard-stick.

Now I have bought a 2nd hand mint example, and I have not changed my mind. The interface is instant and really well-designed. You don't really need a manual (I've found my way around it quite easily), but be warned that the second user manual is massive; there's a lot of hidden MIDI functionality should you need it!

Those who comment on the D/A filters are not wrong; the sound the JD produces has an expansive, deep, shiny quality. In short: it has presence. And in a mix, that's a bonus.

The JD can be both subtle and obvious; whatever you want it to be. That's a great quality of any synth. I concur that we don't want it to try and synthesise acoustic instruments (I have my PC and Korg N5ex to play samples of them anyway!).

It's quite heavy to gig at 15kg, but the build quality is substantial, as you would expect from Roland. The keyboard action is great (but the aftertouch is perhaps not as sensitive as it could be).

64 patches are perhaps a little meagre. But there are ways around this: get a RAM card and double the amount to 128... overwrite the weaker presets... use Sysex from your sequencer...

The synth even makes an impact visually (not an important consideration with music gear); players and non-players alike still say "wow" when they see one!

You can hear the JD on many popular tracks of the 90s, and you can still hear it today.

The JD-800 is alive. It's unique. It commands reverence. And it has been a classic since Day 1.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Sep-17-2002 at 18:03
jinawani a professional user from korea writes:
better than modern VA best roland synth! endless fader&knob are very useful too.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Jun-08-2002 at 03:48
jinwan kim a professional user from korea writes:
best analogue emulation synth. I exchanged virus to jd800,but I didn't have regret it one time.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-31-2002 at 15:22
Steve B a hobbyist user from UK writes:
The JD800 actualy sends out sysex strings from the panel. these are much bigger than MIDI CCs and will easily jam up a sequencer of you get really athletic on the front panel. OTOH, once you have got them recorded, they are absolutely faithful to the original slider motions. you can also thin the data out quite a bit for replay with no real noticeable artifacts in the sound.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-09-2002 at 04:18
daniel a part-time user from USA writes:
Lucked out and found one in mint condition with box and all. This synth sounds really great for a sampled wave based synth, after hearing the Tritons and such for days at music stores, this beauty really stands out. It has a fuller sound than todays mega digital romplers, nice interface and nice feel over all. Definately a classic from roland, as they don't make them like this anymore, for sure. Grab one while you can, they are worth it!


Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-01-2002 at 03:16
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