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
January 9, 2014 @ 2:05 pm
The JD800 has absolutely NOTHING to do with the D50. The D50 has 8 bit pcm sounds + very early VA analog section besides the pcm playback. The JD800 is 16/24 BIT troughout and with a bandwith of 44 KHZ. Also the JD800 can multimode filter ALL waves, not just saw/square as on D50. Also they dont sound the same in any way what so ever. The D50 is great in it self, but has nothing in common with the JD. Only thing in common is that they are Roland synths that uses digital models to emulate analog substrative synthesis. You can however say that the JD800 somehow is a supercharged D70.
Kevin T
November 29, 2013 @ 7:33 am
The aftertouch can be changed, it just needs a little soldering and a variable resistor over R27 (front left circuit board), just did mine this week, it is a whole new synth. If the aftertouch has completely gone it is probably a loose connection strip (front left of keyboard).
T. Behr
November 14, 2013 @ 11:17 pm
Thanks for the tip. Ultimately sold it. Had a great sound but kind of lightweight keys. Also, mine had no aftertouch whatsoever. I know that difficult aftertouch is kind of a known issue on this model, but it was completely non-existent on this one.
Tim Please
September 17, 2013 @ 6:32 pm
@Ted Behr turn down the mid range in the common settings mate...mines at -03 or something, it really helps.

p.s amazing synth, I can never sell mine.
Ted Behr
September 4, 2013 @ 9:12 pm
Easy to get inside, but my gawd, did anyone at Roland think to rein in the reso control? Any setting over 40 causes distortion.
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Rated 4.32 (888 Votes)

  • 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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