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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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
von kronos krakuhla
October 1, 2009 @ 3:45 pm
anyone who really think the d-50 is better than the jd-800 is myopic at best. ive played the d-50 but the jd had me frothing at the mouth at some of the tonal envelopes i came up with. wicked filters and the capability to come very close to sounding analogue should keep you occupied for quite some time. the d-50 could not sound that warm i don't care who says it does. definitely one of the best digital synths ever and a pleasure to program.
balticamber
September 29, 2009 @ 9:43 am
The JD-800 seems superior in every way to the D-50. The d-series in general was quite limited for sound sculpting. As for the sound of the D-50: presumably to be compatible with its pcm samples, the D-50 had a kind of 'vocal' quality to its oscillators (not ideal for everything) which had limited waveforms available as compared to, say, a Korg Dw-8000.
zarcon
September 23, 2009 @ 10:19 am
i desire it a lot, actually i looove this thing, used 2 play on it for hours at my local synth-shop back when it was new...great for choirs and glassy and metallic stuff, also great icey pads...ANTHONY ROTHER's backbone unit in his great electro-phase during 1998-2004...one day i'll snatch one for sure...!
JOE
September 22, 2009 @ 6:49 pm
love this synth in so many ways. its got its faults but so what. the sounds are very ninetys dance music in every way. i would definetly say that the roland D50 is the classier choice and has stood the test of time better. their is something about the way the D50 sounds - i dont know what it is but its definetly so much more organic,current and soulfull - it also fits into any musical style with ease. if you cant afford to buy a d50 with voice crystal sound rom and a decent multi effects unit to help make it shine then the jd 800 is the next best thing. Its a strange world as i had a roland d50 in 1992 then sold it to get a jd 800- i had the jd 800 for many a year then sold it - now im back to a roland d50 again! recommended.
JPC
August 26, 2009 @ 10:49 am
Etnica/Pleiadians/Crop Circles were rather fond of this thing; it's all over their early work.
 
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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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