Synth Site: Roland: JV-880 Module: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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Danielle Morales a professional user from United States writes:
The JV-880 is a very good module with some very good sounds. I also like how the drums can be detuned through (pitch coarse)to make them sound even more 80s than it already does. I think the JV is from the early 90s. Anyway I am impressed with how it works very well with my 22 year old Yamaha QX3 midi sequencer. I use the echo back function to hear what Im playing as I record/playback the song. I also use a Roland D-50 as the controller and it works great with the JV and QX3. The preset sounds are very useful and more appropriate for natural sounds and some synthesizer sounds.You can also alter the velocity of each sound by going into the TVA VELOCITY section and change it to a positive or negative number to change the velocity percent up or down. Adding expansion cards is also a great feature of the JV, your not limited to the types of sounds you can have. I bought mine from ebay for a few hundred dollars. I couldnt figure out the setup for a while but finally figured it out and now can make good use of the whole keyboard and its sounds. The JV can be found at a great price and is a great addition to the studio without taking up space. If you can find a JV-880, get it and enjoy it!

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Saturday-Apr-04-2009 at 19:22
Anthony Bennett a hobbyist user from usa writes:
Bought one off ebay a while back and was a little hesitant about it since the only module that I've ever owned was a Yamaha EMT-10, but what the heck. I didn't get a manual so I tinkered around with it and got it going (didn't take long). I decided to hook it up to a Yamaha SY55 (pitiful board)that I was about ready to trash. Well to my surprise, the module actually put some spark in the old board. The sounds are clear especially the piano sound that was just "cheesy" on the SY55. I scrolled thru a few patches and everyone played nice and clear with no problem. Can't wait until I get a manual and tap into the full potential of this machine. I think the organs are really nice and the strings aren't bad either. But if you're into a true piano sound, get this module. Over my years of tinkering trying to find a true piano sound, Korg, Alesis, nor Ensoniq has anything that can compare. And trust me, I've had them all and it's a lot cheaper that buying a new board for just one or two sound. I'm not the one who has the patients to try and edit and reprogram a board.

To sum it up, If you don't have one, get one and it won't cost you a lot. I don't think you'll regret it. I'm no pro by any means but I've have to give this a 4.5

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Oct-25-2007 at 08:58
Sašo Podobnik a hobbyist user from Slovenia writes:
In the past fifteen years, the Roland JV-series, together with its offspring, the XP- and the XV-series, has become quite an institution. It took the JV-1080 to really establish Roland as the industry leader but the JV-880 and its keyboard counterpart, the JV-80, were already strong contenders when they were released in 1992. Just about every musician I ever went to see in their studio had one or the other and it sort of made me think I needed one too, even though I don't really like sample playback synths. So I bought a JV-880 and tried hard to integrate it into my set-up but while it proved to be a competent and great-sounding ROMpler, it also turned out to be a pretty weak synth.

Even though I had the JV-880 for several years, yet I could never quite get the hang of the interface. My number one gripe with it was that you had to pay too much attention to the front panel while you were simply trying to programme an honest patch. All too often, I inadvertently selected the wrong combination of tones and irretrievably ruined some of the edits I'd made. I'm sure there are many users that find it quite intuitive, and I'm glad for them, but it was enough of a problem for me to eventually stop using it altogether - and don't even mind the "painting the hall through the letterbox" approach all that much. Even when I managed to avoid any major cock-ups, I wasn't too impressed by what could be achieved by programming it: the Time Variant Filter proved little more than a glorified equaliser and the Time Variant Amplifier was only good for sorting out the attack and release times for individual tones in layered patches.

Luckily for most users, the JV lends itself well to not being programmed at all - in other words, its presets are great if that's what you're looking for, and especially after you flesh it out with the expansion card of your choice (it only accepts one, though it's always funny to go through the user patches after you install a new one with the old settings referencing new samples), you have a very capable, 28-voice polyphonic, 8-part multitimbral bread-and-butter sample playback synth, even by today's project studio standards. There are persistent rumours that it actually sounds better than the later Roland models due to superior D/A converters - the bass is supposed to be thicker and the trebles less aliased - and that its MIDI is tighter because the newer units are alleged to have underpowered CPUs that's can't handle the polyphony; unfortunately, I never had the chance to make any comparisons of that kind. I did use it alongside the Yamaha TG500 for a while, and I felt that Yamaha's twin SPX effect processors alone made a huge difference, yet I also preferred the character of the Yamaha, which was considerably punchier, edgier, and more upfront.

So even though I didn't like it very much (it only made it onto a couple of my tracks - feel free to get in touch if you'd like to hear them), there's no doubt that the JV-880 is very good at what it does. Also, there are a lot of features I found useful and well thought out - four audio outputs configurable as individual or stereo pairs, on-board chorus, reverb and/or delay, 1U rack format, the supremely handy preview button - and the general construction quality is mostly beyond reproach. The only problem I ever had with it was the rotary encoder that doubles as a push button, which had to be replaced due to dust build-up. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised at the resale value these instruments seem to hold: having bought my unit second-hand, I hardly lost any money in almost four years, which is one last testament to the quality and popularity of the JV-880.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Oct-05-2007 at 11:30
gareth from uk writes:
stunning piece of kit for not much money(£50). Sounds very much like the old U20 which can't be bad. Great pianos and strings, not so good pads but what the hell. Korg eat your heart out, this is a classic

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-25-2007 at 12:03
Maxim CRX a hobbyist user from Netherlands writes:
Great peace of gear. Can picked up for very little money. Good clear Piano, the strings are just heavenly and very warm pads. I use it in Patch mode for 1 dedicated sound next to my other gear, so I don't mind that the JV-880 is not capable of doing "split". Very impressive sound quality. Can be expanded with one SR-JV80 expansion board. Also very good Sysex implementation, so with a free downloadable edotitor it's just perfect. I rate it at 5 points, because I had it for € 40,-. For that money it's worth as a "host" for an Expansion board alone :).

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-28-2006 at 15:51
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