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
June 26, 2011 @ 11:42 pm
I have a mint JD800, its so good it almost doesn't sit well in the mix with any other of my Roland synths - that's how much it stands out. It's a great synth to explore sound creation and that pads are thick and endless. Probably best suited for new age or techno style sounds, mind you the FX certainly add to a sounds depth on this synth. but the on board wave sound quality is very good. It's the best PCM based synth Roland ever made. It shares alot of similarities with the D70, more so than the D50. It is also the best looking synth Roland has ever made. I love it so much I'm getting 2.
June 21, 2011 @ 4:28 am
Some people are judging this synth very harsh, and I think they do so because it looks like it sounds analog. Thta is however not doing justice to this amazing machine.

It's real forte is in the kind hybrid sounds, based on samples of real instruments, but combined with subtractive synthesis to produce something that is obviously synthetic, but reminiscent of real instruments at the same time.

I in particular like those sounds that combine attacks from percussion, piano's or guitar with the sustain of pads created from voices, strings or woodwind.
May 24, 2011 @ 4:21 pm
Ken Ishii composed the theme to the Winter Olympics in Nagano and was nominated for a Japanese Academy Award for one of his movie soundtracks he composed - he's not "just another DJ", surely.
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!
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Rated 4.31 (902 Votes)

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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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