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.

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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.

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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
March 23, 2011 @ 12:34 pm
The JD800 was used by Robert Miles in his album "Dreamland"
March 21, 2011 @ 9:30 am
If you like M1 or D-50, then you will love this. Good synth.
March 14, 2011 @ 6:13 pm
I just got a JD800 from ebay and I must say its even better than I expected. For one thing, it really reminds me of my old D50 as it has very similar warm filters especially on the saw waves. I had a PG programmer with my D50 and all the sliders on the JD remind me of that too. So I say yea, if you are looking to get a mutitimbral d50 then this is the baby! As for cold and digital sounding, sure, about 20 or 30 of the waves are glassy/digital sounding, but if you dont like them, dont use them! The first 10 or so are pure analog d50 type stuff. Enjoy!
March 8, 2011 @ 1:16 pm
I wasn't really comparing the two by features or quality of FX; I said that I preferred the D50 as to me it sounds warmer and not as harsh. I also said that I was keeping the JD after all. I've downloaded tons of extra soundbanks but I still haven't found anything amazing.
March 3, 2011 @ 12:28 pm
Phil, buying one, then selling, then buying, can you make up your mind?
Give it some time, like a few months (what have you got to lose?) download some extra sounds, try out the editing features step by step, you'll soon discover its true possibilities.
How can one NOT program a JD800? Much less compare it to a D50 with inferior effects?
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  • 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
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