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Why is the Roland System 8 so expensive?
Old 9th July 2019
  #1
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StephenWiley's Avatar
 

Why is the Roland System 8 so expensive?

Anyone know why they are asking $1500 for a MIDI controller with a built-in soft synth. Seems like something along the lines of $749 would be more fair...maybe $999 max. But $1500?

I can't believe people buy it to be honest, though it does sound great.
Old 9th July 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
I’m owning mine for a little while now no regrets. It does a great job emulating and the on board sequence And are so easy and intuitive. I wouldn’t complain of course if it was cheaper but I had no problem on price given what it does and how well it sounds.
Old 9th July 2019
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
Anyone know why they are asking $1500 for a MIDI controller with a built-in soft synth. Seems like something along the lines of $749 would be more fair...maybe $999 max. But $1500?

I can't believe people buy it to be honest, though it does sound great.
its been out for a while, did you just notice?



I think I got mine for around $1250 which seemed a better deal, theres plenty used ones sub $1k. I think mine will be joining them soon, dunno.


Its a great synth, but next to some of my other synths it (and my XA) just feel like slabs of plastic...dunno why such aesthetics affect my willingness to use it but its generally at the bottom of the pecking order.

Other than the behringers I think all synths are priced too high
Old 9th July 2019
  #4
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The system 8 just seems quite excessive in price. I'm not aware of any other 49 key VA's asking $1500. It's a $200 MIDI controller with some software.

I'm sorry, $1500 is just too much. Just my opinion of course. Apparently people are still buying it though. I see why Roland is 99% digital now.
Old 9th July 2019
  #5
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
I think that Roland shot a confetti cannon full of money at Aira tech, and they were banking on first adopters and Roland Cloud subscribers to help them make some money on the deal. Honestly, it’s not really that far off, when you think about what’s out there right now. As much as I like the KingKORG, I think the Aira tech is well beyond it. What’s the alternative? Is there a decent vintage analog emulator in hardware at the moment? I mean, you can get single engine actual analogs for that money, but I can see the value of having three flavored of vintage Roland emulations with a modern synth as well. I hear a lot of “it’s plastic,” but I’ve not really heard of many that have failed. At least not here. I had the 1m for a while, and it seemed solid enough.
Old 9th July 2019
  #6
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
The system 8 just seems quite excessive in price. I'm not aware of any other 49 key VA's asking $1500. It's a $200 MIDI controller with some software.

I'm sorry, $1500 is just too much. Just my opinion of course. Apparently people are still buying it though. I see why Roland is 99% digital now.
Yeah, there’s just software. I think they just put in a $20 thumb drive in it and they say an incantation over it so that it magically runs.
Old 9th July 2019
  #7
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Moonwhistle's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
Anyone know why they are asking $1500 for a MIDI controller with a built-in soft synth. Seems like something along the lines of $749 would be more fair...maybe $999 max. But $1500?

I can't believe people buy it to be honest, though it does sound great.
I wouldn't buy it myself but I see it as a good value package if you're touring and need some Roland sounds.
Old 9th July 2019
  #8
Gear Nut
System-8 in Canada is going for $2100 new. Goodluck finding one used for $1500 and under...

It really is a great synth though. Nothing else on the hardware market does what it does as well as it does. But damn, so pricey.
Old 9th July 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
fiddlestickz's Avatar
System 8 is only $1600 new in Australia so something is wrong with your prices..

*edit well I bought mine for $1680 I just looked at the old reciept..

https://www.storedj.com.au/roland-ai...ut-synthesizer

I'd imagine that price ^ is negotiable for an aging synth..
Old 9th July 2019
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
theJPdude's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
The system 8 just seems quite excessive in price. I'm not aware of any other 49 key VA's asking $1500. It's a $200 MIDI controller with some software.

I'm sorry, $1500 is just too much. Just my opinion of course. Apparently people are still buying it though. I see why Roland is 99% digital now.
Nord Lead 4 is $2299 USD. Nord Lead A1 is $1799 USD.

Resale value on the S8 isn't particularly good. Lately, if you're patient, you can grab one for $875-$950 or so. Definitely a good deal at that price.
Old 9th July 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Ya, it's the 'Canadian Marketing Region' pricing or some B.S.
Old 9th July 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
 

I suppose if it’s completely reasonable what Moog Music can charge for a Minimoog or a One then Roland starts to come across like they’re giving the System 8 away.
Old 9th July 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
Because Roland is a "Slight o' hand", "Shell game" "Give em' the sizzle, their too dumb to know it's not even steak" company....and have been for a LONG TIME.

A broken clock is right twice a day so occasionally they'll throw an SC-02 (Did I get that right? The analog mono?) or a JD-XI (NOT the JD-XA, which is one of the worst con jobs Roland has ever pulled)

But for the most part, I suggest never investing much money on new Roland gear, and if you do, make sure you FULLY understand what it is you are getting...

..oh, and you can look at a product and get a pretty good idea of how long it's built to last for, most of Roland's modern offerings are not meant to last more than a few years.

They get away with it because they are ROLAND...and that name will always carry weight. No matter how little they deserve it.

Roland are the most blatant, but be aware, since the world-wide G.A.S epidemic broke out in the last decade or so (yes, it wasn't just YOU) and the "Pre-Order-Commando" "I pay it...I don't
play it" culture that has formed as a result became prevalent...

...Understand that THIS is now the target market for manufacturers, understand that they assume most sales will be to people who won't really USE the item, the trick is to make sure the NEXT thing comes out before they fully-absorb that what the thing does is NOT what it says on the box, and that "Firmware update" has become code for "We didn't finish it...so f$%k you"

That is a VERY astute question you ask, and you will NOT be given a satisfactory answer to it.

I very much suggest you make each and every bit of gear you buy (In the electronic instrument category mainly, but it happens elsewhere as well) pass the stink-test before you pay a dime for it.

In this day and age, they are trying to get your money as opposed to trying to offer you something of value and charging you a fair amount for something they know is worth it.

Beware
Old 9th July 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviljho View Post
System-8 in Canada is going for $2100 new. Goodluck finding one used for $1500 and under...

It really is a great synth though. Nothing else on the hardware market does what it does as well as it does. But damn, so pricey.
Yeah, no hardware unit does what it does.....but it's NOT HARDWARE.

Do plugins do what it does? I'm sure they do.

Just because it's in a plastic box, doesn't mean it's hardware.

It's a plugin, it comes with its own CPU and a physical interface...but software = software

Is the dedicated CPU and MIDI controller + The Plugin worth $2100? $1500?

YOU be the judge.
Old 9th July 2019
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
Anyone know why they are asking $1500 for a MIDI controller with a built-in soft synth.
For the same reason that musicians keep buying it at full-price: just to p*ss users like terrible dee off.

Howard Jones had one on stage for his tour a few weeks ago. I asked him why, and that's what he told me.
Old 9th July 2019
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post

Other than the behringers I think all synths are priced too high
I agree.

I will soon buy myself an OB6 (because I just really want one) but I am having a hard time swallowing the price. I save and pay cash for everything so, even though I can afford it just fine, getting the checkbook out for that thing has been a real battle for me mentally. Even for a used one! I consider $3k, or even $2k for that matter, really expensive.
Old 9th July 2019
  #17
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Just FYI. Software requires effort/time/money to develop.
Old 9th July 2019
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
The system 8 just seems quite excessive in price. I'm not aware of any other 49 key VA's asking $1500. It's a $200 MIDI controller with some software.

I'm sorry, $1500 is just too much. Just my opinion of course. Apparently people are still buying it though. I see why Roland is 99% digital now.
Im not disagreeing about the expense, I always thought it was priced too high...but theres no way its a $200 midi controller...Ive got $200 midi controllers , as a dedicated controller to four onboard synths its excellent...even the dumb green lights (and I hate green) are genius

I actually played it tonight due to this thread, your fault.
Old 9th July 2019
  #19
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcearl View Post
Its a great synth, but next to some of my other synths it just feel like slabs of plastic...dunno why such aesthetics affect my willingness to use it but its generally at the bottom of the pecking order.
I felt the same when I had mine. It did have a decent sound, but it just felt like such a cheap flimsy plastic build that I didn't want it in my studio sitting next to my other synths that are mostly heavy, sturdy, and well-built. I'm guessing most people don't care about stuff like that, but I do. Having a connection to an instrument is important to me personally on how much I desire to use it, thus it needs to both look and feel great underneath my fingers.
Old 9th July 2019
  #20
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I felt the same when I had mine. It did have a decent sound, but it just felt like such a cheap flimsy plastic build that I didn't want it in my studio sitting next to my other synths that are mostly heavy, sturdy, and well-built. I'm guessing most people don't care about stuff like that, but I do. Having a connection to an instrument is important to me personally on how much I desire to use it, thus it needs to both look and feel great underneath my fingers.
I hope Roland starts filling their keyboard with lead weights to appease you kids.
Old 9th July 2019
  #21
Gear Addict
 
JPogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I hope Roland starts filling their keyboard with lead weights to appease you kids.
I suppose Roland could sell a 10-lb. "passive sound-quality enhancer"* that magnetically attaches to the bottom of the S8 for $100, filled with nothing but a couple lead sheets.


*there actually IS such a device for guitars, to clip to the headstock (nothing more than a weight, to supposedly increase sustain)
Old 9th July 2019
  #22
Gear Addict
 
JPogo's Avatar
1. a 49-key MIDI controller
2. the native engine
3. all those knobs and controls
4. all those damn lights
(5. when it was new, the S8 was the only way to get the Jupiter and Juno plug-ins)

$1500 a bit high? It's about $300 per "synth", $300 for the keyboard and all those knobs. That seems pretty fair -- especially since it has the most knobs of any synth currently in major production -- a pretty remarkable MIDI controller.
Old 9th July 2019
  #23
Gear Guru
 
Yoozer's Avatar
Compared to what the JP8000 cost back in the day it's a steal.

$200 also doesn't get you that many knobs and sliders.

At no point in history have threads like this ever lowered prices, so I'm not sure what the OP's idea is.
Old 9th July 2019
  #24
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerocrossing View Post
I hope Roland starts filling their keyboard with lead weights to appease you kids.
You kids of today don't mind cheap builds evidently, but some of us other kids enjoy a well-built instrument. We 50-somethings are all "kids" evidently.

Last edited by Quantum7; 9th July 2019 at 07:26 AM..
Old 9th July 2019
  #25
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The System-8 is lovely in my opinion. I’m no kid and own a bunch of other synths worth much more.

I actually think the build quality is excellent, especially when you add the aluminum sides. It feels solid and i’ve gigged mine quite a bit. It’s nice to have something a bit lighter to lug around and it definitely feels solid.

It is one of the most immediately satisfying synths I’ve ever programmed and easily one of the best synths I’ve ever had.

It most definitely is hardware. I don’t understand how one might think otherwise. As a point of clarification, to those that feel otherwise, can you explain to me how a Cirklon or Squid isn’t a hardware sequencer?

Not to mention it has superb quality outputs, a great sequencer with CV/gate out, etc.

In terms of other digital hardware there are plenty of offerings that cost more - eg Many of the nord keyboards, all manner of workstations, Solaris, etc.

For someone like me who doesn’t use plugins or a DAW I think it’s excellent.

I wouldn’t have minded if it were cheaper, but name me a Midi controller at any price that has as many knobs and sliders as the System-im8 does.

Yea, I’m a huge fan!
Old 9th July 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 

- It's large-ish with a ton of knobs and lights
- Packs quite a bit of DSP to run state-of-the-art "built-in soft synth" at high quality levels
- Has a fairly solid feature set, on top of neat unique things you won't find elsewhere
- Is not going to sell in big numbers like sub-$500 synths

While I can see how the SYSTEM-8 idea doesn't feel that impressive, it's definitely a significant cut above what you can find for $999 or under, and keeps up with what you can find around its price tag.
Old 9th July 2019
  #27
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drxcm View Post
The System-8 is lovely in my opinion. I’m no kid and own a bunch of other synths worth much more.

I actually think the build quality is excellent, especially when you add the aluminum sides. It feels solid and i’ve gigged mine quite a bit. It’s nice to have something a bit lighter to lug around and it definitely feels solid.

It is one of the most immediately satisfying synths I’ve ever programmed and easily one of the best synths I’ve ever had.

It most definitely is hardware. I don’t understand how one might think otherwise. As a point of clarification, to those that feel otherwise, can you explain to me how a Cirklon or Squid isn’t a hardware sequencer?

Not to mention it has superb quality outputs, a great sequencer with CV/gate out, etc.

In terms of other digital hardware there are plenty of offerings that cost more - eg Many of the nord keyboards, all manner of workstations, Solaris, etc.

For someone like me who doesn’t use plugins or a DAW I think it’s excellent.

I wouldn’t have minded if it were cheaper, but name me a Midi controller at any price that has as many knobs and sliders as the System-im8 does.

Yea, I’m a huge fan!
I do miss the Matrix Green lights though. I have the Roland Cloud at least, so I can still have my favorite sounds. It did sound good.
Old 9th July 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I do miss the Matrix Green lights though. I have the Roland Cloud at least, so I can still have my favorite sounds. It did sound good.
I hated the green lights at first, but have grown to love them
Old 9th July 2019
  #29
Gear Addict
 
Domitable's Avatar
 

Stupid Canadian pricing makes me not able to buy a lot of gear brand new. I'd say 96% of what I own was bought through Craigslist.

When I heard the Pro-2 was being discontinued and people were snatching them up elsewhere in the world for good pricing, I had a look at Canadian retailers.



Then I closed the tab...
Old 9th July 2019
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by StephenWiley View Post
It's a $200 MIDI controller with some software.
Does it have audio outputs? None of my midi controllers have those.
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