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
SOS says...
September 26, 2012 @ 12:57 pm
"With its large, friendly panel, impressive programming depth and warm sounds, the JD800 might have dominated the market had it been launched a year or two before, but it arrived just as Korg released the similarly-priced 01/WFD workstation and the Wavestation, both of which proved to be more popular. Nonetheless, it's the JD800 that still turns heads in the 21st century." from Sound on Sound - History of Roland. AGREED!
June 7, 2012 @ 5:27 pm
Got one from new. Interface allows you to explore without hindrance. The waves in isolation seem limiting but any doubts are put to bed as it can take that seed and mangle it so wildly. Effects are excellent.
After 15 years, had previous mentioned issues and the repair guy failed to find spares so I had to let it go.
Got a JD990 now but it is not the same and does not invoke the same creative urges the 800 did. It's interface was spot on.

If you get a good one, like exploring and creating sound in a flowing and organic way, I would be amazed if you found yourself disliking it.
May 29, 2012 @ 9:37 am
Always wanted one of these and finally grabbed one on ebay for around $800-900 in 2008. I did find the internal presets pretty dated sounding, but remember it came out in the early 90's so that's expected. I started pushing sliders around, and also used the amazing program MidiQuest to jumble up and edit became a whole new synth and I am super stoked to have one. I have a MS20, SH101, SQ-80, MS2000, JP8000, etc but this Roland is near the top of the list (after the analogs of course!). Really flexible and basically 4 oscillators per voice, how many other synths have that!
Admiral General Aladeen
May 28, 2012 @ 10:29 am
Don't get this synth it's aladeen, get the D-50 instead which is aladeen! :)
May 20, 2012 @ 4:17 pm
Disagree with F A's comments.
The JD800 is a monster synth that produces string pads better than almost any other synth IMO. The Glue on the keys is a known problem as are the sliders doing their own thing. Mine is fine touch wood but I know people who have had these problems
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Rated 4.31 (901 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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