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
tomy
January 1, 2010 @ 6:57 pm
I owned a JD800 from 1994 to 2001. I found the synth very limiting soundvice, it did not do more than the preset PCM-sound-bank permited. OK, it sounded big, strings ok, but that was pretty much it. Not much chance of getting outside the "box" you were cought in. No ring-mod did't help. Reliability was not top of the line either (pitc bender and keys). It also sounds very digital and not like Jupiter synths. On the good side; most things are very immediate to manipulate.
alan
December 5, 2009 @ 9:20 pm
The jd 800 sounds completely digital compared to the d50s sound engine . Even Rolands latest engineers have failed miserably at trying to find the magic potion that made the d50 so great. on the jd 800 you have alot more controll in the form of parameters and sliders.infact if you have lots of time on your hands you can create intreasting waveforms on the jd compared to the d50 , the winning card that the d50 has up her sleeve is her sound. what a lush, analogue, beautifull sound. Roland La synthesis rocks.
sillysoul
December 3, 2009 @ 7:34 pm
i have to throw in my tuppence and say that the d50 is a far superior synth compared to the jd. the jd is a great synth and was very fasionable many year ago in the 90s dance music scene.the jd gave all those dj ego [beep] s cheap plastic sliders to slip and slide up and down all nite kong untill their simple minds were content.the d50 in the other hand is ice cold.
Mark in FL
November 4, 2009 @ 9:59 pm
I have bought and sold many synths over the past 20 years. I bought a pristine JD-800 4 or 5 years ago and love it! It will NEVER be sold. There are times I use it for analog sounding synth leads & stabs over my Oberheim OB-8. The JD-800 has a unique and killer fat sound that even the OB-8 can't always beat (although the Oberheim is awfully sweet for a lot of things that the JD doesn't do too!). I bought a D-50 after I had the JD-800. I re-sold the D-50 a few months after I bought it. I found it gave me nothing the JD-800 didn't already do (and do better). LOVE those knobs & sliders!!! This is a synth!
jimmy
October 22, 2009 @ 6:51 am
the jd 800 is a fine synth. a bit twiddly but if you fiddle around enough you can get some reasonable results. dont know why people hear compare it to the d50 so much. the d50 is in a class of its own with the way that it sounds. to round it up i would say that the jd 800 is a ok synth but it is no d50.
 
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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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