Roland JD800 vs JD990

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Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby corndogssg » Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:01 am

recently I have the chance to pick up a near mint Roland JD 800 without any keyboard problems like the red goo of deathfor 350 bucks which seems like a great deal. I really like synthesizers that are fully hands-on and I don't do well with excessive menu diving. That being said I recently got a kiwi patch editor and I just realized that it works with the JD 990. So I guess what I am asking is if the JD 990 with the patch editor would be just as good as the JD 800? It would definitely save a ton of space. Any thoughts or information would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby Pro5 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:22 pm

The 990 is more powerful and you can get the vintage synth expansion for it (great!)

However a synth is more than it's features/spec sheet and nothing beats sitting at the helm of the glorious JD-800 lit up on a dusky night...

And it sounds great too. Looks wise, JD-800 is like the Lamborghini of synthesizers! I even had a dream once that I was driving it like a supercar?? don't ask!

You should have put this in your other thread?
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby Z » Sat Jul 26, 2014 2:01 pm

$350 for a JD-800 with no red goo is a steal! Buying a new keyboard from Roland is $300.

I love my JD-800, it's usually the 1st synth I mess with when I fire up my gear. I bought a JD-990 around '99 when I was more into rack gear, but the past few years I've only been using keyboard synths.

Like Pro5 said, the 990 is more powerful and has a cleaner sound. The 990's LCD screen is large and programming is not too difficult.

You can use the JD-800's sliders to program the 990, so having both would be an awesome combination.
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby CS_TBL » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:08 am

The waves of the 800 are old'ish, but perfect for synthetic sounds. The 990 has the same waves, with the JV80 waves added (minus the reverse drums). The oscillator sync and ringmod are the icing on the cake.. more differences here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_JD-990

One boo between these two synths is that, while you can control the 990 from the 800's sliders, you can't reach the the JV80 waves, as the jd800 wave dial doesn't go beyond the 800 waves.

Due to a polyphony of 24, both synths are truly meant to play only one part, they aren't likely to be your only synths.
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby Pro5 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:55 am

well regardless of it's downsides, the JD-800 has some of the best/most interesting manuals written by Roland for a synth (usually just a list of features; here an ongoing tutorial and inspiration point). :lol:
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby minime123 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:45 pm

be careful. we have 3 jd800s with the red goo situation going on. we have one in the studio that we have had for many years that had no signs of that problem, but when i went into the studio the other day and played it from its own keyboard (as opposed to via midi), the keys were a tiny bit sticky. i hope this isn't a sign of things to come. i suspect all 800 keyboard will eventually suffer from this problem if they havent been replaced w a new keyboard mechanism.
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby Pro5 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:17 pm

minime123 wrote:be careful. we have 3 jd800s with the red goo situation going on. we have one in the studio that we have had for many years that had no signs of that problem, but when i went into the studio the other day and played it from its own keyboard (as opposed to via midi), the keys were a tiny bit sticky. i hope this isn't a sign of things to come. i suspect all 800 keyboard will eventually suffer from this problem if they havent been replaced w a new keyboard mechanism.
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No problems here because like many nowadays we sort the problem before it happens. You just need to remove the keys as SOON as you get a JD-800 and bathe them upside down in caustic soda (pour into the weight recesses only) for a few days, this eats the red epoxy away to never be a problem and often still retains the weight - if not you can just reglue them.

Having said this, I have a new black epoxy keybed I took from a mint U-20 (not worth much) to fit as it's a bit tighter than my older original.

And FYI this is a very well known problem for years and there's countless threads and sites about it and how to prevent it. It's not something new. However for a potential buyer on ebay etc it would pay to enquire if the keys have been treated/sorted or if it has the black epoxy/new keybed fitted before buying. So long as there's zero problems when you buy it you can strip it down and sort it before it becomes a problem.

On another note - NEVER disconnect the ribbon cable on the end of the keybed contacts (the part with the clear plastic tab and two black pins) it's actually glued together from the factory and WILL rip the conductive material off. It's not meant to be disconnected so god knows why they even made it able to (the service manual even states never to remove that part). If you need to disconnect then remove it from the board underneath. If you have probs after ripping it apart then you'll end up with key velocity or errant note problems.

Having said THAT , if you are a normal user there should be no reason in the world you would ever go in to disconnect the ribbon anyway. :)
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby Swayze » Fri Aug 22, 2014 2:17 am

If you already have the Kiwi patch editor, I'd recommend the 990 with vintage synth expansion. It's a beautiful instrument and my favorite rack synth. It's a versatile powerhouse and perfectly laid out making it fairly easy to edit. I love my JD800 too but it's going up on the bay and craigslist soon cause the 990 is just a superior and more capable synth. That being said, you'd be a happy camper with either JD, both are inspiring instruments.
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Re: Roland JD800 vs JD990

Postby corndogssg » Mon Oct 06, 2014 12:51 pm

I just got a Roland JD 990 in great shape it came with the SR-JV80-04 Vintage synth expansion card and PCM1-04 Grand Piano card too. I need to go to sleep so I can wake up and play it but I feel like a kid on x mass morning and can't go to sleep. I am going to bed. cant wait to wake up, lol
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