Jump to content

Sound Quality

Fantom S has an updated rom (finally back in CD-quality!) with a good variety of old and new waveforms. The presets, however, are very lame. Luckily, Roland has made the presets from JV&XV -series synths available for download. They sound very close to original and especially the synth sounds are lot better than stock Fantom S ones. The synth engine and effects represent a noticeable step up in sound quality from the XP-series. With plenty of synthesis options (structures, ring mod, booster, fxm), it's very easy to make up for the bad presets. The synth seems to have a distinct thin and airy character that is hard to shake off, though. The sounds sit well in a mix, so I can't complain, though.


Construction seems very solid in typical Roland fashion. Not quite as bulletproof as the older Rolands, but still very nice. I have no problems taking this out to gigs as I have a good flightcase for it.


General Comments

I would replace this with either another Fantom S or Fantom X depending on s/h prices. I upgraded into this from an XP-50 last year - mainly for the UI. The price I paid included shipping and an SRX-03 expansion, which I later sold. I have been very satisfied with this synth overall - it's very good value for the current s/h price.


I only wish they'd included the full JD rom (I tried to reproduce some of my JD-800 sounds, but couldn't find suitable waveforms) and configured the Patch mode to take advantage of all 3 MFX processors. Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints.


Fantom S is a very good workhorse synth. I think it lacks sonically compared to Motifs, but more than makes up for it with the UI. Tritons are also easy to use, but I didn't like the samples on the original (there are better samples on the expansions, though), so Roland was a natural choice in my situation, as I was already familiar with their design philosophy.

Reviewer's Background

  • Create New...