Sound modules – that’s correct. Talking about “synthesizers” is – in this case – too shameful for us. Boutique modules, sound modules, ok. Roland continues its post-Kakehashi marketing job and relaunches most instruments of its “good old days”. Such as the latest reissue version of the JX-8P and JD-800 …
The JX-08 has the big bonus to come complete with its (quasi) PG-800 programmer – as an integral part of the module. Everything ok, as long as you believe sliders the size of toothpicks ought to be user-friendly.
Arpeggiator and sequencer are now also included, which definitely can be seen as a nice addition. Anyhow, those JD-08 miniature sliders are definitely an affront to the outstanding hardware of the original JD-800 from 1991.
True, it is beyond our imagination to work with such Toy’R’Us sound modules in the studio. But different customers have different demands, so we perfectly know there are fans and admirers of the Roland boutique series out there. It’s just not our taste of instrument, that’s for sure.
Most important: The JD-08 sounds by no means like a Roland JD-800. The boutique module surely comes with those famous JD samples. But a sample alone doesn’t make the sound! Frequency range, dynamics and warmth, simply the JD-800 sound character, is definitely of much higher quality.
[ Listen to Rolands new “Millenium” sample. One of the most iconic JD-800 patches, it now appears liveless, boring and somehow cheap on the JD-08. ]
Some more JD-08 sound impressions (FutureMusic):