Roland JD-800 vs. Yamaha SY-99

A forum for comparing two or more synths against each other. Also known as "versus" threads.

Roland JD-800 vs. Yamaha SY-99

Postby scottrod » Fri May 01, 2009 10:46 pm

Considering one of these as a next acquisition to complement the rig.

Don't have a FM synth at all so the SY-99 is attractive, but folks seem to like the JD-800 as a nice synth.

What's the consensus? Do these match up someway in a shootout? Which would you want to use?

Scott in Ohio.
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Re: Roland JD-800 vs. Yamaha SY-99

Postby Pro5 » Sat May 02, 2009 12:31 am

:mrgreen:

get both!
Last edited by Pro5 on Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roland JD-800 vs. Yamaha SY-99

Postby aeon » Sat May 02, 2009 4:24 pm

At one time I owned both of these synths.

The JD-800 is an excellent-sounding synthesizer, with a user interface that makes it fun to program. That said, its engine is not architecturally deep in that it is like having (up to) 4 parallel Juno-style synths. The on-board effects are functional, if basic. You can expand the JD-800 with single waveform cards that each add a few samples, but these are not extensive. Depending on the sounds you want to achieve, these aspects may or may not be a problem. My guess is you would end up programming this machine from scratch to suit your needs because it is so easy and rewarding to do. In some regards, I see the JD-800 as redundant with some of the synthesis engines in your current setup. I replaced my JD-800 with the more-capable JD-990.

The SY99 is also an excellent-sounding synthesizer, but one with a user interface that can often lead to tears. Its engine is certainly deep - well-spec'd 6-op FM and PCM-based S+S, with possibility to mix the two. The onboard effects processors are excellent for the time and still damn good now - the equivalent of two SPX1000s. The SY99 also has an excellent-feeling keybed, and good master keyboard controller capabilities. With optional RAM expansions, you can load your own (short) samples into the SY99, expanding its timbral scope. You might program this synth on your own, especially with the aid of an external editor, but due to its depth and UI, I can also guess you might use a set of preprogrammed patches selected from the plethora available on the 'net. I see the SY99 as a complement to the synthesis engines in your current setup. I traded my SY99 for another synth, but often think about replacing it with a DX7IID or TX802.

I hope this has been of some help.


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Ian
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Re: Roland JD-800 vs. Yamaha SY-99

Postby scottrod » Sat May 02, 2009 4:43 pm

aeon wrote:I hope this has been of some help.


Hell yeah, and many thanks. A SY99 it is. I found one in good condition for about $650 USD, so I guess I'll go for it.

I've never had an FM synth, but I played with a friend's DX7 back in the day and got a grip on it pretty quickly. Although my background is subtractive, I seemed to be able to pretty much visualize what was happening with the waveform interactions. That being said, I may get my arse kicked. We'll see; it'll be fun trying.

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Re: Roland JD-800 vs. Yamaha SY-99

Postby balma » Mon May 04, 2009 7:49 pm

aeon wrote:At one time I owned both of these synths.

The SY99 is also an excellent-sounding synthesizer, but one with a user interface that can often lead to tears. Its engine is certainly deep - well-spec'd 6-op FM and PCM-based S+S, with possibility to mix the two. The onboard effects processors are excellent for the time and still damn good now - the equivalent of two SPX1000s. The SY99 also has an excellent-feeling keybed, and good master keyboard controller capabilities. With optional RAM expansions, you can load your own (short) samples into the SY99, expanding its timbral scope. You might program this synth on your own, especially with the aid of an external editor, but due to its depth and UI, I can also guess you might use a set of preprogrammed patches selected from the plethora available on the 'net. I see the SY99 as a complement to the synthesis engines in your current setup. I traded my SY99 for another synth, but often think about replacing it with a DX7IID or TX802.

I hope this has been of some help.
cheers,
Ian


Agree....
Programming one patch from scratch can take you hours. But is very deep to program, each parameter has a high detailed list of possibilities. (panning one patch is an oddissey)
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