help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

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help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

Postby mark.oswald » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:24 pm

I'm doing some eBay shopping for a used rackmount synth module. The controller will be my guitar (graphtech hexaphonic setup with roland gi-20). Any other guitar/synth players out there???

Anyway, my real question... There are quite a number of used XV and JV synths up for auction. The high-end (cost wise) appears to be the XV-5080, but there's also XV-2020, XV-5050, XV-3080, and JV-2080 (etc) models available. Is anyone willing to provide a quick summary of why I might choose one over the other. Do any of them suck and should be avoided, are any of them a particular bargain for the price, whatever.

I started off looking at the XV-2020 as it seemed to be the most recent of that line, and is a super low cost option. It appears that the biggest drawbacks are user interface and lack of onboard programming features. Is that the biggest negative? If it's otherwise similiar to the other models, I may be able to live with that (since I can program patches via PC). Is there anything special (sound wise) about the 5080 that makes it worth a few hundred extra bucks.

As for my musical genre preferences, it's kinda jazzy, loungey, ambient, maybe even world, with the occasional foray into more classic rock or even dance styles.

I really appreciate your help!!

- Mark
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Re: help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

Postby Z » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:42 pm

The XV's are basically repackaged JV's with the ability to accept SRX expansion cards. The JV series will only accept the JV80 expansion boards. The XV-5080 will accept up to 4 JV80 AND 4 SXR expansion boards.

Sonicly, I believe they have the sound engine. The XV probably offers more basic waveforms. The XV also allows user sampling and I think the JV does not. Both series are your basic ROMpler synths catering to all genres of music.
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Re: help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

Postby Yoozer » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:06 pm

mark.oswald wrote:I'm doing some eBay shopping for a used rackmount synth module. The controller will be my guitar (graphtech hexaphonic setup with roland gi-20). Any other guitar/synth players out there???

Anyway, my real question... There are quite a number of used XV and JV synths up for auction. The high-end (cost wise) appears to be the XV-5080, but there's also XV-2020, XV-5050, XV-3080, and JV-2080 (etc) models available. Is anyone willing to provide a quick summary of why I might choose one over the other.


We've got the JV/XP line:
JV1010
JV1080
JV2080
and keyboards (XP30, XP50, XP60, X80). The XP10 doesn't count, the JV80/880/1000 series has 28 voices of polyphony instead of 64 (and 1 patch can contain up to 4 voices).

We've got the XV/SRX line:
SonicCell
XV2020
XV5050
XV3080
XV5080
Fantom XR
and keyboards (XV88, Fantom, Fantom-S, Fantom-X).

All JV modules have 64 voices of polyphony. Of the XV series, the 2020 and 5050 have 64 voices, the rest pushes 128. Of the XV-series, the 5050, 5080, SonicCell and all Fantoms have COSM effects (modeling). Of the XV-series, only the 5080 can be expanded with both the old SR/JV boards and the newer SRX boards.

All JV/XV synthesis is based on stacking up to 4 samples (which reduces polyphony accordingly) - to make things worse, this is for MONO samples. The XV series has support for stereo samples, too, but those eat up twice as many voices - which means that with a very dense patch you can still end up with only 16 notes.

Reason I'd personally get the 5050 is because no matter what USB and your computer can do, a 2-row character display that still allows you to edit anything is going to be superior to a 3 x 7-segment LED, especially on stage.

Is there anything special (sound wise) about the 5080 that makes it worth a few hundred extra bucks.

More spec-wise than soundwise, but if you want to hear the old JV boards at the highest quality, the 5080 is what you need. The XP/JVs are 32khz, the XVs are 44khz.
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Re: help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

Postby Mr. Black » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:22 am

The XV 3080, 5080, internal ROM is 32hkz, 5080 has the ability to load sample's at 44hkz with expandable ram of 128 mb and reads many popular sample libraries.
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Postby crystalmsc » Thu Dec 11, 2008 8:25 am

mark.oswald wrote:user interface and onboard programming features.

Since you are exploring many music styles, the 5080 is the best XV module for this. Specially when installed with some expansion boards, with such amount of waveforms and sounds, a bigger screen supposed to be nicer.
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Re: help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

Postby mark.oswald » Fri Dec 12, 2008 4:18 am

Thanks for all of the input - super helpful!!

I think I'll look for a good deal to come up in the near future on an XV-5080, with an XV-5050 as plan B. Might even be convinced on a 3080 at a bargain price, as I don't really need the built in effects. I'll be running this through a mixer into my guitar rack which includes a new Fractal Audio Axe-FX (awesome effects modules).

Before I pull the trigger, are there any other rack-synths (maybe non-Roland?) that I should be looking into, within that same eBay price range ($400-700)?

- Mark
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Re: help with quick comparison of roland rack synths - xv*, jv*

Postby Stab Frenzy » Fri Dec 12, 2008 5:00 am

mark.oswald wrote:Before I pull the trigger, are there any other rack-synths (maybe non-Roland?) that I should be looking into, within that same eBay price range ($400-700)?

- Mark

I'd check out some of the E-Mu rack synths based on the Proteus 2500. They also offer 128 voices of polyphony, up to four expansion cards per unit and they have some very nice sounding filters. I picked up an XL-7 for AU$300 (about US$200) which is one of these synths with the dance card but also with a built in sequencer and knobby interface. It's got some very usable sounds and I haven't even added any expansion cards.

More info on them here:

http://www.vintagesynth.com/emu/p2500.shtml

In my opinion this series of synths are vastly underrated because E-Mu got bought up by Creative and they stopped making hardware synths. This means people forgot about them and you can pick up some bargains, although most of the expansion cards on ebay are a bit overpriced.
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