Synth Site: Roland: XV-5080: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.2 out of 5
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Alex Danilov a professional user from Russia writes:
One of the best universal machines, I use it all the time, virtually in every work. Very clean sound, rich timbres. Pros: - high quality of all types of sounds - acoustic, synthetic, etc.; - great expansion possibilities; - ease of use, good display, logical structure; - a lot of patches; - you can use it as a sampler; - and more; Cons: - sometimes stops playing and needs to be restarted (not a big trouble though); - if you have one - you want to have TWO!!! :-D

I have over 40 synths (you can look at the whole list at synthmusic.ru/studio ) but the XV-5080 is my favorite arrangement device, I can do the whole song using only this unit (sometimes I do). The SRX cards are fantastic. I have installed: SRX-11 Complete Piano - one of the best piano sounds among rom players; SRX-01 Dynamic Drums - very good acoustic drums, with some outboard processing you can make it sound almost "live"; SRX-04 Symphonic Strings - rich, wonderful strings (internal strings are also very good) I also had the SRX-05 Supreme Dance - nice collection of synth sounds, but a little hard. I didn't use it much - see my setup. Going to buy the orchestral card. So, to use many cards you need at least two 5080's, but it worths it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-May-30-2009 at 17:13
David LaCava a professional user from USA writes:
My work primarily involves sequencing supporting tracks for my cover band as well as my solo act. Since I evaluate synth hardware based primarily on sound quality rather than bells and whistles I am reviewing the XV on the stock ROM sounds only.

I admit I did not extensively audition this box prior to purchase. A fellow keyboardist recommended it, and when an on line retailer was blowing them out cheap as B stock I sprung for two of them, with the intention of buying all the SRX boards and loading them in.

After the first user preset came screaching through the monitors I wondered if this was Roland's best effort. Turns out the remaining presets were not much better. In a nutshell:

Acoustic pianos-fair, nothing impressive. EP's-Horrible. Organs-Useable, so fair to good. Guitars-Bad, but I hate all sampled guitars. Strings-Excellent. Roland shines here. Synths-Mediocre. Drums-Okay, useable. Plucked instruments - good. Noises- Depends if you find any useful.

Roland dumped an assload of effects on almost every patch in this machine. It's okay if your looking for impressive programming by Roland sound designers, but when your building a project one track at a time most of the patches are too much horsepower and not enough finesse. Or, all icing and no cake. Putting it bluntly, hard to use as stock sounds or completely unuseable. If you strip the junk off patches they become almost acceptable, so I do give Roland some credit.

On a positive note, the sounds are extremely clean with a polished sheen and the unit is dead quiet. No hiss, noise, nothing. Bravo!

My other boards are a Kurzweil K2600XS, K2000VP, Roland Jupiter 4 & 8, Juno 60, VP-330 vocoder, Oberheim Matrix 12 and OB-Xa, Yamaha CP-80 and TX-816 and pair of Emulator II samplers. So I do have other stuff to make a reasonable evaluation.

I would sell both XV boxes before anything else-even the old Emulators!

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Jan-19-2005 at 15:20
Noordhof a professional user from Netherlands writes:
I'm a musician and í'm working a lot with samples, which i made myself. Especially churchorgansamples. They sound fabulous in the XV5080 ! The standard sounds are also very good.

posted Monday-Apr-14-2003 at 15:55
jg a part-time user from us writes:
I thought this rack was nothing but hype until I played one. The same sounds as the previous modules are cleaner with more punch. Roland still have their fierce high end too. A lot of new sounds too. I hear the new waveforms actually came from the roland jd-800 which some people rave over. I also have my sound efx set back which I had on my xp10. The effects are better too.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Mar-21-2003 at 12:41
B BaD A B a professional user from Washington writes:
Positive: The XV5080 has found a home in my studio. Neat nice software piece of gear. The best interface I've seen Roland make to date, nice size screen. Patch searching and acessing even in multimode is top notch. I've got it 5/8 loaded with expansion cards and it's a power house of usability. The samples I got with the unit (Roland had a special with 2 sample sets) sound Excellent. I had no problem getting ram, I bought it at Tech Depot. Negative: Reloading sample on bootup every time is a pain in the butt so I don't use them very often, you can make it autoload but it just takes up boot time. Of course, the transfer speed is HIGHLY dependent on the speed of your SCSI. Version 1.xx will NOT properly talk R-BUS to the VS2480, you must upgrade to 2.x - DO NOT - I REPEAT DO NOT Try to upgrade the OS with Smart Media or you'll have a DEAD OS instrument. The only way to do it is via slug hound midi, but it will work. Take your own risks upgrading it and do not do it if you have a session coming up!! Summary: I love this unit and am very glad I bought it. The best rack roland has ever made! Buy it for the weath of expansions cards, and internal sound quality and you'll have a great tool, buy it for the sampler only and your making a mistake. But having the sample playback is a nice little bonus if that not your main use for it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Feb-14-2003 at 01:37
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