Synth Site: Roland: JP-8080: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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TheOutsider a professional user from Japan writes:
After reading another reviewer's post in which preference for the Korg MS2000 is shown, all I can say is to each his own. I had both an MS2000r and an MS2000b. While they were good in their own right, I found them somewhat counter-intuitive most of the time. Maybe it's because my foray into synthesizers started in the mid/late 80s with a Jupiter 6 and Juno 106, but to me I feel much more at home on the JP-8080 than on the Korgs. Different strokes for different folks.

If you've ever used any of Roland's 80s synths, the JP-8080 will more than likely instill a good sense of nostalgia into you. Of course, it offers much more than the synths of that era did, including increased polyphony, more waveforms and modulation options, on-board effects and a vocoder (which honestly I haven't touched yet thanks to picking up a SVC-350). Nevertheless, programming is fairly similar, with almost the same selection of knobs and sliders as the Jupiter and Juno series (and more in the case of the alpha-juno or the JX series).

VA as it may be, it does a damn good job. And honestly, aside from nitpicking purists who claim to have suprahuman hearing abilities which allow them to pick out analog and digital synths from a mix, nobody is going to throw a fit over the JP-8080's sound, because the bottom line is it sounds quite good.

The major drawback of the JP-8080 is its convoluted MIDI routing. Two ins - one labeled as Remote Keyboard In, and the other a standard In, one out, and no Thru but you can configure it to use the Out as a Thru, although in my case it was filtering out pitch bend and modulation data (I probably had something set wrong). Other reviews have gone into this in detail, so I will simply leave my two cents' worth and just say I wish Roland would've gone with the standard In/Out/Thru deal.

How does it sit in a mix? I also use a Novation Nova, a Waldorf Blofeld and Microwave II XT, Oberheim Matrix 1000, Roland Juno-2 and JX-3P, and two x0xb0xes. The JP-8080 fits in nicely. It is not anywhere as 'digital' as the Waldorfs. I have had successful results programming soundalike patches on the JP and the JX & JU.

The final judgment should be your own, but the JP-8080 is anything but a bad synth.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Dec-12-2011 at 00:22
Ben Rodriguez a hobbyist user from United Kingdom writes:
Well I used to own a JP-8080 for 3 years until I happily sold it for an MS-2000B [thankfully]. First of all if you are just a beginner then DO NOT go for the JP-8080 - it can be so frustrating at times. I have noticed that a vast amount of the sliders do not change the sound as you would expect it to be changed and once you have changed a sound then there is no going back. Its kind of like writing a text message and you make a mistake but you don't have a delete button, you with me? The arpeggiator is reasonable but not the best one I have used on a VA before, sure you get about 30 different patterns but before you can hear or use these patterns you NEED to have a few of the sliders and knobs in a certain position otherwise you'll get a load of unexpected crap. The multi effects are just the usual crap...flanger/distortion/etc and when you turn these knobs in real time you get a clicking noise which is extremely annoying - you DO NOT wanna do this live! The Delay/Time/Feedback are ok i guess but the clicking noise comes back when you adjust the time knob - like I said very annoying. The LFO engine is good but the rate knob is crap, I mean when you adjust the tempo of the LFO rate using the rate knob it's extremely sensitive...you go from like 100bpm to 160bpm within the smallest turn. The vocoder on the JP-8080 is no where near as good as the MS2000B's vocoder...and I mean nor where near as good. Sure they both have a 16-band vocoder but there is something about the one on the JP-8080 that I just hate, its like really difficult to configure it all and set it up, etc. You also need to be careful with the vocoder on the 8080 because it can begin to sound like crap very quickly. The price of the 8080 is very expensive for what it offers...the MS2000B gives you much more and makes everything much easier than the 8080. Although come to mention it the 8080 does have 10 note polyphony which is good if you want to create lush complex sounds. The sounds that the 8080 produces can be quite harsh and fat at times but all of the factory presets are shit and most of the complex stored sounds are out of sync with each other. Programming isn't easy either.

Now that I have mentioned a few of the bad points about the 8080, I think I should go over a few of the good points:

Well like I said the synthesizer can sound fat when you have it properly configured but it can begin to sound like crap quickly. The 8080 has loads of sounds to choose from, something like 250 or so and about 40% can be overwritten by the user. The 8080 also has Smart Card capability which can store another loads more sounds if you wanted to do this, the Smart Cards are kind of extinct at the moment though. Like I said before the 8080 has quite a high note polyphony for a VA...10. The look of the 8080 is OK, its a blue metallic color and the surface has been galvanized by the looks of it to give it more strength and protection. There are 45 knobs and sliders which is a high amount and allows you to edit loads of things in real time.

Conclusion:

If you are a very very experienced synthesizer player and you want lush and very complex sounds and your willing to spend a vast amount of cash then you could just opt for the JP-8080. BUT if you want a solid, fat sounding and juicy sounding VA with an excellent vocoder, arpeggiator, step sequencer and a cool retro style look which will cost you half the price of a 8080 then GO FOR THE Korg MS-2000/B. The MS2000 is suitable for ALL user levels and is so much more fun to use than the JP8080.

Thanks for reading my review.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-26-2007 at 06:09
Parker Walker a part-time user from USA writes:
This is one of the two best virtual analogs in existence (the other being the Virus). The JP-8080 is so great because it actually SOUNDS ANALOG. Its filters are bar-none the best out of all the VA's, and better than some actual analog's filters! They are so warm and juicy.

To top off the great sound quality, the 8080 has the SUPERSAW which lives up to all the hype, plus the voice mod and feedback wave.

If you need a solid all-rounder synth, buy the JP-8080!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Mar-14-2007 at 22:16
[A][D][D] a professional user from USA writes:
This is a great synth. I think as far as emulating the Roland classics, this one does the best job. (It's a Roland after all) The string sounds are excellent and very organic. This synth has been used on just about every dance/trance cd in existence, and it really is awesome. I find it compliments the MS2000 well. Where the MS2000 is a little more gritty and lo-fi, the 8080 is warm and juicy. My only wish is that it had more outputs and standard MIDI in/out/thru instead of the stupid remote keyboard in. Oh, well. As a previous reviewer stated, it's true that midi files take up barely any memory, so a single smart card will last you for the life of the unit. For those bitching about not being able to find one, bulk dump to your pc! If you don't know how, you shouldn't be playing synths! But really, excellent sound, excellent set of features, excellent synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-27-2006 at 16:10
Ohm a professional user from Home writes:
Just to set the record straight, the JP8080 can store quite a bit on one 4MB 5v Smartmedia card. In fact, according to the JP8080 manual, it can store the following on one card:

64 x 64 Performances (4,096) 128 x 128 Patches (16,384) 48 RPS Patterns 2 x 4 motion controls 1 System

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jun-22-2004 at 02:37
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