JD-800 vs V-Synth
View Poll Results: Which is "the one"
JD-800
8 Votes - 26.67%
V-Synth
14 Votes - 46.67%
Both!
8 Votes - 26.67%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

Old 8th August 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Thread Starter
JD-800 vs V-Synth

?

I see a bit of overlap in these, and in fact if you took the time you could make a fairly decent JD emulation on the V-Synth (inc using all the original waves). V-Synth has a lot of improvements over the JD on a feature/productivity level (Midi Sync on everything inc effects/lfos/arp etc) - it has the ARP that goes out over midi giving any other synth an ARP basically. It has an almost infinite world of sound via sampling and does stuff no other hardware synth does.

Then there's the VA side which isn't bad, not mind blowing but certainly as good as many soft synths - and when in the package of the V-Synth as a whole (so you can use just a little layered with samples, or resample a VA patch and layer that), it has PWM and can sound more analog on the OSC level than the JD-800. It's just as much fun to use as the JD, if not slightly more even with less sliders, because the touchscreen is so fast to use and really taps into the power (while the JD uses menus for effects etc which can be a bit slow sometimes).

Sounds like the V-Synth takes gold easily then?

Not quite... for me.

Filters. While the TB filter on the V-Synth is really cool, the standard one sounds kinda average - certainly compared to the JD-800 which has a beautiful filter sound. And it's in the filters I feel the JD sounds a bit thicker, warmer and even more analog at times. Also the bass end on the JD is thicker and warmer. It seems to react and feel a bit more 'analog' even without a VA engine (and no PWM etc). It also has a wider sound as standard for some reasons, sounds 'bigger' to me.

I see they both have pros and cons yet I love them both - probably the 2 best digital synths Roland ever produced, in fact they are 2 of the best synths they ever made digital or not.

Productivity wise the V-Synth wins, it can be the control centre of everything with all it's midi integration and externally clocked tempo stuff. And it's hardly a slouch on the sound and will give you far more unique/unheard of sounds when you start pushing it (sampling). It's VA side covers a lot of general analog duties from bass to leads and pads (and not just "trance pads" thankfully).

Yet the JD has something special about it's sound, it has authority and clarity, sounds expensive and sounds/feels (if you program it to do so) like a top flight analog synth but with a slightly different sound.

The best choice would be to have both/keep both but I do not like overlap in my gear, are two of the biggest/best flagship digitals Roland made, overkill?

If you could have only one which would it be? why?

The V-Synth in question is the original V2 which is an absolute bargain these days second hand (and very well built) - they can go for around the same price on ebay too.

I definitely feel with both (and an SY77) I have a lot of digital areas covered: FM, Sampling, VA and PCM/Rompler-ish. But am I just hanging on to them both cos they are so sexy and fun to use instead of being a man and letting one of them go? Should I feel guilty having two (edit: 3 inc the SY77!) monster digitals while having no monster analogs?
Old 8th August 2013
  #2
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flat earth's Avatar
 

On paper, the V-Synth is incredible, but i never really warmed to it's sound. You can do some crazy assed stuff, but somehow, it doesn't have that famous musical 'sweet spot' that most Rolands offer. The JD800 however is my favourite Roland synth, which alas falls too often under the shadow of it more powerful brother, the 990. The hands on experience and quality of sound is (for me) enough to put it in my top 5 fav synths.

I'm sure the V-Synth works for alot of people, but I think I would sit for hours, having alot of fun experienting, but ultimately ending up with nothing much I'd actually use in what I do.

So I vote JD800.
Old 8th August 2013
  #3
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_seph's Avatar
 

for me, the D-50 is my favorite sounding Roland synth and when it comes to the JD-800, physically it is very impressive but the JD-990 exists.

i've said this many times but in my opinion the V-Synth is a pinnacle achievement of synth design and it is the synth that Roland was "born" to make.

personally I don't mind overlap. having a V-Synth alongside a JP-8080 and VP-9000 doesn't bother me and I'd still like to pick up a VariOS. somewhat like why many prefer the JD-800 to the superior JD-990, the user interface often leads one to different results. yet unfortunately I do not have unlimited space/money so I'm probably going to let the VP go, not buy a VariOS and also sell my JD-990 as I use Alchemy more for that sort of thing.

if you're also operating with constraints and there is something else that you feel you may get more mileage out of, then sell the JD-800. if not and if you find it inspiring and actually put it to use, then keep it, the overlap between the two isn't really that great.

not to start a fight, but the D-50 > JD-800 ...so a V-Synth w/ the VC1 card thoroughly wins.
Old 8th August 2013
  #4
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projectwoofer's Avatar
 

I wonder why you keep a D-50 when you can have that in your V-Synth? Maybe you should sell that instead?
Old 8th August 2013
  #5
Gear maniac
 
sadgod's Avatar
 

I have a 990, but have always wanted a v. Played with one a few times. I love mangling stuff and the v is a bit more inviting to say the least. The only reason I don't have a v is the $. I like the 990, but if I could pick one, it would be the V.
Old 8th August 2013
  #6
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Muser's Avatar
if you are generally just using the V-synth to get in the JD800 ballpark, I'd stick with the JD. even then there's a rational reason to have a V-Synth as well, as it can cope with a bunch of techniques besides. hell, if I had my way, I'd have 8 D50's running through a Desk.
Old 8th August 2013
  #7
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roginator's Avatar
 

I owned few D50 and about a year ago I sold mine D550 with VFD display ...
also I owned JD 800 and I loved bout of D and JD synths ..

when i heard 990 I replaced JD 800 and never looked back ( + JD 990 have analog expander.. JUST great digital synth)

and when i demoed V synth ... I decided .. D500 will go and ill take V Synth XT v2

so far i didont regret selling D550 or JD 800...

JD990 with vintage expander and V synth XT rack are so far best digital combo i found ... keepers
Old 8th August 2013
  #8
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Thread Starter
thanks for the replies so far - note please let's not turn it into another JD-800 vs 990 debate. YES the 990 is a much better synth, I don't have one so it's not part of the equation. thanks anyway.

As for D-50, it has some things over the V and the JD, but I wouldn't say it completely destroys the JD? Depends on what you are doing, there are MANY things the JD can do that the D-50 can't come close to, but what the D-50 can do it does well and sounds beautiful.

I have a D-50 (my 4th - sold the others) because I found one cheap (cheaper than the VC card) and always like to play around with them.
Old 8th August 2013
  #9
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Muser's Avatar
the only reason I'd use D50's (probably Racks) is because having 8 of those as racks is a better idea than having 8 V-Synth XT racks. but in any case, that would be a rather tall order so it's not really that realistic. I'd still use a V-synth to program them and transfer those patches to the racks. It's just I tend to get the kinds of sounds I need more easily from them and the programmability I have in hand. DX7's are cool too, but I'm less sure about how quickly I could program those.
Old 8th August 2013
  #10
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CJ1973's Avatar
 

Very hard to compare an 800 with 990. One has sliders and a keyboard and the other is a module. Clearly no one here plays live? Lol. Ask Paul Schaeffer about a 800.
I don't own a Vs so i cannot speak for that but I have a d550 and it's just off the hook. I must say a programmer is needed but it's the peak of LA synthesis, that bright/glassy digital sound that just sat so well in a mix!
I would also take into account when comparing 550 and vs, the outputs and how the hardware back then also was so amazing it added to the sound.
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Old 8th August 2013
  #11
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Thread Starter
I'm really not into rack synths these days. I've had them and end up not using them, always prefer keyboards, instruments... like guitars.
Old 8th August 2013
  #12
I love my JD, classic synth, will never part my studio set-up. Lately though, it has taken a back seat after 20 years of ownership. Limited polyphony, no MIDI sync options and limited effects have rendered this beauty into a nice looking fixture compared to Ableton and a plethora of softsynths. It's paid it's dues though and I know how to program it with my eyes closed. I like feeding the JD an external apreggiator from my Nordlead2 or Virus, coupled with some nice external effects, gives this baby a new life.

On the V-synth, I'm surprised no one's mentioned the ability to import your own wav sounds and it's re-sampling feature, very cool IMO. I've seen the original V-synth as low as $800 USD in some cases, but I still can't justify the cost compared to options available today sound-wise. Especially when it comes down to it's limited multi-timbral capabilities. I don't want to hi-jack the thread mentioning other digital powerhouse digital synths, but they are out there.

My vote is for the JD-800, for front panel design, classic multi-mode filters and it continues to retain fairly decent vintage synth status.
Old 8th August 2013
  #13
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Thread Starter
I think I mentioned the sampling in my first post?

I have sampled into the V-synth so far: SY77, D-50, Alpha Juno, Polysix, Casio CZ - and that's just the bread and butter synth stuff. Have sampled both textures and basic waves (to give me a construction kit of emulated synths in the V-Synth). From those basic waves I've created a lot of great sounds that the originals couldn't create. In this way it's a bit like an advanced JD in that you start from your Polysix looped SAW wave (tiny) and run it through the synth engine. On the JD of course you are stuck with what's on board (or on expensive expansion cards - strings being the only decent one anyway)... V-Synth allows you to use anything as an oscillator, and with analog synth samples if you loop them right and play them in legato mode so they don't retrigger - it can sound fairly natural and that's just the basic wave before you use LFOS, COSM and the TVA stuff. It's this power of the V-synth that makes it so good, then on the flip side you have an adequate VA engine included which can be layered with the PCM to create some very unique sounds, then resample the whole patch and add even more stuff. It's definitely worth what *I* paid for it (which was the cheapest I've seen them) in fact I've seen JP-8000s go for more :P

However, none of that takes away from the beautiful, relatively simple yet just deep enough to do great things JD-800 and it's interface it's quality of sound and it's filter. V has a colder sound, JD is warmer but JD can be thick and aggressive sounding when you want it to. JD still has one or two things the V doesn't when it comes to 'per layer' (and being 4 real layers too)
Old 8th August 2013
  #14
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blinky909's Avatar
 

JD-800, the interface, the sound, the feel - it's luxury in every way.
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Old 8th August 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 View Post
I think I mentioned the sampling in my first post?

I have sampled into the V-synth so far: SY77, D-50, Alpha Juno, Polysix, Casio CZ - and that's just the bread and butter synth stuff. Have sampled both textures and basic waves (to give me a construction kit of emulated synths in the V-Synth). From those basic waves I've created a lot of great sounds that the originals couldn't create. In this way it's a bit like an advanced JD in that you start from your Polysix looped SAW wave (tiny) and run it through the synth engine. On the JD of course you are stuck with what's on board (or on expensive expansion cards - strings being the only decent one anyway)... V-Synth allows you to use anything as an oscillator, and with analog synth samples if you loop them right and play them in legato mode so they don't retrigger - it can sound fairly natural and that's just the basic wave before you use LFOS, COSM and the TVA stuff. It's this power of the V-synth that makes it so good, then on the flip side you have an adequate VA engine included which can be layered with the PCM to create some very unique sounds, then resample the whole patch and add even more stuff. It's definitely worth what *I* paid for it (which was the cheapest I've seen them) in fact I've seen JP-8000s go for more :P

However, none of that takes away from the beautiful, relatively simple yet just deep enough to do great things JD-800 and it's interface it's quality of sound and it's filter. V has a colder sound, JD is warmer but JD can be thick and aggressive sounding when you want it to. JD still has one or two things the V doesn't when it comes to 'per layer' (and being 4 real layers too)
Nice, thanks for expanding on the resampling, etc. I have to ponder if it's even worth looking into being that I have so much gear already. Definitely worth looking into a bit more.

Yes, it seems the JD cards are pretty pricey these days, I'm still missing the famed string card! Seems the JD is in a different league IMO, separated by time and technology, hard to compare the two given such differentials. In the end, I'll probably end up with both, lol!
Old 8th August 2013
  #16
Gear addict
 

I have a Roland V Synth XT and love it. I do a lot of soundtrack stuff and although I have tons of software I tend to go to my Korg Kronos for bread and butter sounds and then the VSynth when I need something more abstract or creative. Its so easy to tweak patches and when you edit, you can really get some "out there" audio going. More than almost anything in my studio I think my work would suffer from the absence of the V Synth.

I used to love the pads on the 880 and its a great board however I don't really see what the V Synth couldn't do that the 880 could.
Old 8th August 2013
  #17
Gear addict
I have both and I feel like they are each unique enough to justify having both.

The V-Synth - and VC-1 and VC-2 cards - is probably the most powerful board I own and it can cover a lot of sonic territory. It's a sampler/ROMpler/Virtual Analog/D-50/[Awesome] Vocoder. My only other keyboard that comes close to as much multi-tasking is the K2000, but it's not nearly as fun to play as the mighty V. I will never sell this keyboard. I hated it when it first came out, but with the Ver. 2.0 upgrade it became a whole new and unique instrument - there's nothing else quite like it.

The JD is so tactile, it's easy to spend hours playing with the sliders and knobs tweaking sounds in realtime. I really like this keyboard. I honestly didn't expect to love it, especially since they sell for so cheap and there are so many good VAs; but I now think it's by far the most under-appreciated and best value of the VA classics. Every time I think about selling it, I remember how good it sounds and how fun it is to play. I have a Virus KC and a Q, so it has stiff competition in my studio, but the JD is wonderfully immediate and sounds amazing - especially with the ROM cards. It may not have all of the features of my other VAs; but the others can't touch the classic "Roland" horns, strings and other great Eric Pershing-era signature patches that make my recordings sound better. The JD may spec out as a relatively basic synth, but what it does, it does very well.

Every once in a while Roland gets it right and these are two great examples of how their expertise in synthesizer design didn't end with the Jupiter 8. I don't feel bad keeping them both because they are so different and exceptional. I voted "both", like a true slut.
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Old 8th August 2013
  #18
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m127f's Avatar
 

I have both too.
The architecture is a bit different.
The V-Synth XT is a more powerful synthesis house overall.
BUT the silky filters in the JD have no equal on Earth.
It's probably a combination of its "primitive" audio engine along with the filter or who knows, but I have 20 hw synths and none of them can sound quite like the JD-800.
Its UI is also among the best ever in synth history.



.
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Old 8th August 2013
  #19
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Thread Starter
Thanks everyone. Some interesting points. All going into my noggin.

For those that don't really understand the V-synth, never judge it on online demos or a quick playthrough, it doesn't work that way with this synth more than many. It becomes what you make it and feels like an indispensible tool once it does.

And god damn that JD-800 is so sexy (in sound and looks/interface)... :P - V-synth has a beautiful interface too though, in fact of all the synths I've had (including analogs) they are my favourite two interfaces for rattling off new (more advanced than simple analog) sounds quickly and enjoyably.
Old 9th August 2013
  #20
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umptanum's Avatar
 

I owned a V-Synth first, sold it and eventually got a D-550, sold that and got a JD-800 (didn't sell each to get the next one, just that was how the progression went). Sold a bunch of synths over time, actually.

The JD-800 was the synth I was always looking for but didn't know it. Sure it has its limitations, but as a package it is pretty much THE synth. There's so much joy in there, so much fun to tweak and play with.

I really wanted to like the V-Synth, since on paper it does come across as the ultimate synth, but in practice it just felt so narrow... not in its sound but in its usability. The touch screen was small and required a lot of tab-diving, there wasn't really enough knobs and the tweakability of the PWNs seemed constrained. It just didn't get wild enough and using it seemed like work... I might as well just go back to softsynths.

The JD-800 is just so damn immediate and gratifying. It can easily go from sophisticated and gentle to mean and untamed with a few quick slider tweaks. It's a whorish synth vixen that demands to be touched and twiddled and played with and rewards in kind in that whole evenings get lost to its siren song.

The JD-800 is a classic and I'll keep mine protected and alive as long as possible. If I even feel the need to by a V-Synth again (a thought that does cross my mind from time to time... that is a great synth too) I'm not too worried since they made a bunch of them and they are built strong and tough. It seems like the JD-800s are starting to get tougher and tougher to find in nice shape.
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Old 9th August 2013
  #21
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Thread Starter
yes my JD is in good shape so am not keen on getting rid only to end up having to buy a tatty example if I want it back

As for the V-synth? I honestly find it a breeze to work with considering the depth and what you can do - it's the 'imagination machine' and yes I definitely get much nicer stuff out of it using samples. Even a lowly Alpha Juno brass sample can be turned into a glorious CS-80 vangelis thing once you program the sound starting with that looped sample. Something you can't make an Alpha Juno do on it's own. I just find it really fun to start with those analog synth (or FM) samples then create something even better with them.

The touchscreen is great IMO, I fly around it now - I use the ADSR sliders all the time for all the individual envs in the relevant screen (everything has an ENV!!!).

V-Synth won't suit everybody, certainly, especially if you have nothing to sample into it.. it's not the best VA and it's stock samples aren't amazing (though there's a couple nice strings in the V1 preset wavs). It can sound sound more vintage (as in sampled polysix waves mixed with VA, resampled, layered and tweaked) and more contemporary than the JD-800 (which kinda sounds always like the JD, never really vintage analog, never really cutting/modern). So in actual fact it does have a place right in the middle of the V-Synths range, and as you say it's a joy to use.

thanks

here's an image of my two digital pals together:

Old 9th August 2013
  #22
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playstation's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 View Post

Killer setup!!!

I plan on sliding a V-Synth XT in between these guys for an evil mega tri-synth.

Old 9th August 2013
  #23
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m127f's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by umptanum View Post
It seems like the JD-800s are starting to get tougher and tougher to find in nice shape.
Tell me about it. Took me two effing years of my life!




.
Old 9th August 2013
  #24
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m127f's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 View Post

here's an image

Yup, pretty landscape right there.


.
Old 9th August 2013
  #25
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flat earth's Avatar
 

I agree. JD800 is very easy on the eye.

Heres mine:

Old 9th August 2013
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by flat earth View Post
I agree. JD800 is very easy on the eye.

Heres mine:

That is a tasty pic. I could lose myself in those two synths. ^o^

Sent from my SCH-I535
Old 10th August 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 

I wonder if the keyboard version of v synth is that much easier to use than the rack? I mean, yeah the keys have more controls, but they seem spaced oddly. Maybe a central touch screen and controls that automap works just as well? ...Especially if you already have a keyboard under it.
Old 10th August 2013
  #28
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A site called "Bluesynths" is what motivated me to grab a JD800. They have since disappeared, But for me the JD is so inviting. It beckons you to commence. No guarantees beyond that,, but it get's you to that starting gate inherently by virtue of how it presents itself. maybe this is how people become gear junkies... a V synth or the V rack is on my list too, but I can't see ever parting with this JD800.
Old 10th August 2013
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodeater View Post
I wonder if the keyboard version of v synth is that much easier to use than the rack? I mean, yeah the keys have more controls, but they seem spaced oddly. Maybe a central touch screen and controls that automap works just as well? ...Especially if you already have a keyboard under it.
It is is easier if you are doing programming; the keyboard is the way to go. If you just need a module to trigger or the Vocal Designer, the XT is fine. If you want both of those capabilities get the GT!

Somewhere buried on the net is the JD-800 wav rom. I loaded it into the V-synth. Thats not exactly a replacement, but it just shows you what you can do.

The TB filter sounds more like a Moog than a TB. I don't really like it much. Its not really a highlight of the keyboard.
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Old 11th August 2013
  #30
Gear addict
 
scottrod's Avatar
Had the V-Synth GT, sold it.

Same as Flat Earth, I just couldn't warm up to the sound no matter how hard I tried. Too crunchy, digitized. Even on what should be smooth sounding patches, it sounded 12-bit to my ears.

The JD-800 OTOH has the #2 spot on the rig. Love it. Have most of the cards.

Voted JD-800.
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