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 a 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.

125 Visitor comments
May 21, 2011 @ 1:03 am
Who's Ken Ishii? Just another DJ, surely. Can we have more examples of musician users please?
May 13, 2011 @ 2:01 pm
No.. its not a D50, its a JD800. That's the whole idea. Even the filter does not sound nearly the same. Don't even try to compare them.
Just got one again after 10 years without one, and wondering why I ever sold it. The appeal here is that its a digital synth but has PLENTY of controls for programming, while still sounding better than most newer ROM based keyboards being released. The keys frequently fail, but repair is fairly easy. Or just only sequence it!
May 3, 2011 @ 12:54 am
If you're wondering about a good example of the straight "JD-800 factory sound", then check out the first "Space Dreams" LP by Mark Jenkins where he is pretty much basing it on at least 75% from what I can recognize via presets; even naming songs after them.
April 14, 2011 @ 12:55 am
It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools.
April 11, 2011 @ 2:27 am
@ anyone comparing JD-series to D-series - Guys I've got to disagree. Comparing the JD series to the D series is like comparing a fillet mignon to a backyard burger...both tasty get the picture right? Don't scare people by making them think they'd be getting anything even close to resembling a D-series quality instrument if they were to buy a JD. The JD was a MAJOR leap forward in sound quality and programability. It's sound was not harsh at all, it was HUGE...although it could do harsh if you wanted it to. And the JD-800, not the 990 so much, was a dream to program with it's sliders
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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