Hi to the tech board. I have had the pleasure of owning a JD800 for several
months now and am totally obsessed over it. The JD800 is one gorgeous keyboard
Keys I have used extensively for projects in the past included: Korg Microkorg
(went through 2 of these before the tiny keys got to me this year), Korg Karma,
Korg Triton, Yamaha S03 (stolen one night), FM7 softsynth and Sampletank
I have moved on from my band days, and now only have the JD800. It can make up
for all of the prelisted synths, although these days a good VA like Korg's
MS2000b would be essential to have too with a digital. Honestly I like the
stable sound of digital oscillators as well, it's another kind of sound tool,
that gives your monophonic lines a "Synclavier"-like feel.
That brings me to the next point - the JD800 feels alive when you are playing
it. I can't describe it, it simply feels like no other synth I have played.
Sure, first thing I remember about the Korg Karma was it having an excellent
keyboard, but to me and the way I was using my tools back then, it was down to
being a killer preset machine. Whereas the JD800, you start playing on sounds
you normally would shun because they just sound like something from the outer
limits! I got the JD800 to finally own a "true synth". I have no regrets, the
JD800 is a very expressive and touching keyboard. The phaser reminds me of the
phaser from the ARP Quadra.
I really want to get deeper into it but I don't have that much time to practice
synth programming. I was always a preset hound but this board is making me want
to get that aspet of it together. I will be trying out the often mentioned
patches on the internet this week.
When I got it of course it needed some good TLC, it was kinda filthy. Contact
cleaner, compressed air and all that. One of the waveforms for the parts in
multi-mode, #4, was wildly going in and out of tune. Sometimes, some patches
using that waveform would sound horrible because of the detuning. A factory
reset was needed to fix that! Never read about this happening to anyone so I
thought I should mention it.
Next I saw the sliders start changing values on their own, though not full-on
possesed mode. Thanks to all the sources on the net I was able to get it open
and clean the entire thing well. It passed all the diag tests, and the
aftertouch is the only quirk on it now.
Otherwise it plays like a dream, and it probably is, as Roland's newer gear
after the JV and XV stuff IMHO does not have the same charm, uniqueness or power
that Roland gear of the past has. One things for sure, they all are unique and
sound unique. Of the newer stuff I liked the Juno Stage, though I have not
played a Fantom yet. The guys at YouTube in the comments are always going back
and forth on Fantom vs. JD800.
V-Synth is interesting in a way since you can use the sample feature to
literally create your own oscillators and voila its a ROMpler, a JD-8000 with no
sliders lol. We'll see how they respond to the newer competition.