Roland JD-800

Roland JD-800 Image

The JD-800 is Roland's answer to half a decade of hard-to-program synthesizers. Covered in sliders that act as dedicated editors just like a classic analog synth, the JD-800 is an extremely programmable and hands-on digital synthesizer. It is also an interesting and great sounding digital synth with incredible flexibility and control. Internal ROM based waveforms are combined to build your sounds. The sounds are based on Roland's D-50, but updated for the nineties with multimode filters - uncommon but welcome at the time.

The JD-800 came in a tough metal case capped off on the sides with large plastic covers. Programming may be a little too flexible for some users, but once you know what you're doing with it, almost any sound you can dream up can be dialed in and stored.

Roland JD-800 Image

It has been used by William Ørbit, Emerson Lake & Palmer, 808 State, Ken Ishii, Astral Projection, Rabbit in the Moon, Depeche Mode, Underworld, Tangerine Dream, LTJ Bukem, Apollo 440, Jean Michel Jarre, ATB, Vangelis, Pet Shop Boys, Faithless, Luke Vibert, Mouse on Mars, Laurent Garnier, MC Hammer, Bushflange, Genesis, and Eat Static.

Lookup Roland JD-800 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland JD-800? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

128 Visitor comments
Roelf Staal
January 29, 2011 @ 5:38 pm
The JD800 is a synthesizer that comes to life with proper editing of the well layed out editing sliders & buttons on its front panel. It is capable of creating solid digital sounds as well as warm analog timbres.
Also suitable for strings, FX and 'space' like sounds.
January 8, 2011 @ 7:49 am
I've been too hasty, the JD800 is staying. I still don't think it's as warm as the D50 and the sounds is a bit overly sterile, but after forcing myself to sit down and actually learn a bit about the programming possibilities, I am getting to like it.
December 24, 2010 @ 2:25 pm
Totally different beast than the D50. JD-800 is pure subtractive & uses 18 bit oversampled waveforms. The JD was my main synth buy this year and I find it to be a mysterious, fascinating synth. If you work with ambient/chillout, soundtrack, experimental, progressive you should check it out. It has wide dynamic range due to the quality of the samples & filters. Spectrum & enhancer effects make it sound hi-fi. Any overt high-end can be removed from the sound with onboard EQ and ASDR settings. Distortion is great & there are varied kinds to mess with. Patches I make on it include modern-industrial tones & unworldly pads that evolve long after hands off the keys. The factory presets [beep] , cant stress this enough, they rely too much on the internal waves. Good to know how they sound but they should not be the basis of a sound. The JD is perfect as a far-out addition to a synth setup or as a soloing/live performance synth. If the D50 is Godzilla then the JD is SpaceGodzilla.
December 23, 2010 @ 9:40 am
Well, the JD arrived yesterday and it's as I feared. Looks great but compared to the D50, it's go no soul, it's just too sterile. I'm going to give it a few weeks and then stick it on ebay.
December 3, 2010 @ 3:35 am
I had a JD800 for a year or two and sold it on as I wasn't impressed (it looks better than it sounds). I've recently bought a Roland D50 which I absolutely love and inspired by this, I've taken a gamble and bought another JD800. I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares to the D50. I'm hoping that with a few more years experience I'll appreciate the JD800 more this time. If it fails to impress again it's going straight back on ebay. The D50 is a keeper.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.31 (906 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 24 voices
  • Oscillators - ROM based digital synthesizer
  • #Instruments - 6 part multitimbral
  • Keyboard - 61 key keyboard with velocity and aftertouch
  • Arpeg/Seq - NO
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1991-93
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.