Roland JV-90

Roland JV-90 Image

The JV-90 is an excellent mid-nineties keyboard controller and MIDI synthesizer. It featured a full 76-note semi-weighted keyboard. There are also several sliders above the keyboard with assignable parameters for fast hands-on editing. The sounds of the JV-90 (and JV-80) were the basis for the JV-1080, JV-2080 and XP-80 synths that came later. You'll find basses, synth sounds, pads, leads, strings, percussion, drumkits and more. One additional ROM slot allows you to add an 8MB SR-JV80 expansion board for more great sounds.

Unfortunately, the JV-90 is not a workstation like the XP-80. With only 28 (or 56) voice polyphony and no built-in sequencer, you aren't likely to make this your ONLY synth. But its keyboard feels great and many of its sounds are still useable, making the JV-90 a nice master MIDI keyboard. The JV-80 is basically the same thing as the JV-90 except it has a typical 61-note keyboard and less memory.

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35 Visitor comments
October 26, 2009 @ 2:27 am
Message to Jupiter: any of the sliders of the JV-90 tranmsmit midi data to external devices, I do not know from where you got that. The only slider that can send midi messages is the CC slider beside the volume.

The other 8 slider are to control internal parameters but they have more a cosmetic function rather than a practical one because you can not assing an specific function to an specific slider.

If you are in Performance mode you can control de volume of each part but only the volume in the 8 sliders. Is not that you can change the filters and resonance, pan and volume with each slider, no. Is not possible to do that with the JV-80/90 (I had both).

For me it is some sort of scam. Is like the JD-800... a synth so sofisticated but can not sync the LFO with external midi time clock! Back then Roland was more into sound and cosmetics rather than functionality.
June 12, 2009 @ 4:25 pm
This is a great keyboard controller actually. Very nice keyboard feel,
and can do nice tricks like sending only program changes on a specific channel or control external functions using the embedded (eight) sliders.

Features Roland "controller" keyboards like the A30/33 are really missing... Has only 16 patch memories though.
December 25, 2008 @ 12:09 am
I've had my Roland JV90 since 1994. Mostly it's been a studio animal. Worked wonderfully for several years. A few keys did eventually stop responding correctly (mind you, I wasn't using the keyboard every day - it was collecting dust for a long while, even though I tried to keep a dust cover on it), and there was a button that seemed to stick. Three years ago, Roland did a full cleaning job on it, replaced the keyboard, and the thing has worked like a charm ever since.

Overall, I'm glad I held on my JV-90. Having 76 pressure-sensitive keys is a bonus, and the pitch bender/modulator is easy to use. Lots of pedal and control jacks also make this unit extremely flexible for adding expression to your performance. (Keep in mind that you won't get as smooth of a glide with the filters using the pedal controls or the sliders on the JV-90 as you will with older analog machines.)

Let's just hope that Roland will service my unit again after ten more years...
September 25, 2008 @ 1:02 pm
I got a JV 80 ages ago and started to do some crazy sounds with it, I sold that one and got the JV 90. For my surprise the navigation was different up to the point to make it impossible to create a sound. Another problem was with midi "overflowing" deffect, every time I used Digital Performer the keyboard couldn't hold all that data and played back very slowly. Several years later I met a gilr who had a JV 90 and she told me the problem was the sequencer, I did the experiment using Logic Studio and it worket just fine! I got a second JV-90 off ebay for $100, the guy said the buttons didn't work. I bought it to canibalized it. For my surprise that keyboard was in perfect shape! never used, the LCD was bright clear. I sold mine last week for $500 and kept this one. The sliders are pretty much useless because they do not transmit midi data, there is no way to drive filters and resonance in a show, there is only one asignable CC controller beside the volume slider.
Alan Keye
August 22, 2008 @ 6:59 am
I am surprised that no one has done a review of the Roland JV1000 which came out in 1993 and was the full workstation version of the JV90 and had a powerful onboard sequencer. I have owner a JV1000 since 1993 and it is still going strong. The sequencer is very usable, and the keys still feel great. The look of the unit has not aged over the years. I midi mine up to a Roland JV1080 module and they work well together.
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Rated 3.65 (298 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    ROLAND JV 90
    by LaNauEstudi Valencia

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 28 voices (expandable to 56)
  • Oscillators - Digital Acoustic simulation via 4MB (expandable to 14MB) of ROM
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Filter - Digital filters
  • Effects - 2 effects units with chorus, reverb and delay
  • Memory - 256 Patches (can expand to about 600); 64 Performances
  • Keyboard - 76 semi-weighted keys (responds to velocity and aftertouch)
  • Control - MIDI (8- to 16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1993

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