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Sound Quality

I think my Korg Triton wins out (just slightly) when it comes to overall realism of acoustic samples. This is obviously a very subjective issue but I have A/B'ed both extensively! The Korg also sounds fatter with just 2 oscillators (refer to my Trinity Plus Review regarding this issue). I must say that the JV1080 (and all it's other JV relatives) can produce a very wide range of sounds. I have used it as the only sound source for sequencing with no problems. It works great for dance music (many great dance orientated patches) and new age/ambient music. I must say that the sounds sit very well together in a sequening enviroment. I will now list some of the sounds I like and dislike- Piano's- Acoustic pianos are not very realistic and I don't use them much except for when there is nothing else plugged in (get the session expansion board for a great acoustic piano sound). The electric pianos, clavs and organs are all great but I wish there was at least one authentic sounding fender rhodes and wurlie emulation (guess that's where my Keyboards of the 60's and 70's board come in!). Bell sounds are great. Synthe sounds (both pads, lead and bass) are top notch as are the electric bass sounds. Strings are OK but my Triton and TR Rack strings are much better. The orchestral board has better string sounds (I own this also) but my Korg gear still improves on those as well! Sound effects are great. The stock drum sounds are not that great however (they were OK in 1994). Bye the Bass%Drums board for great acoustic drums and at least one of the dance boards for great dance drum sounds. The session board also hase some nice drums. Orchestral stuff is average for a sample based synthe and I am no fan of the saxes (again Korgs are much better here- the M1 sax sound is still my favourite sampled sax sound!). Guitars (both electric and acoustic) whilst not the most realistic on the planet are extremely playable. I like the onboard effects alot- I have since been spoiled by the Trinity/Triton effects and simply wish that I could have more than one EFX at the same time- I am buying a JV2080 next year for this reason! Their quality if superb and I like the midi synced delays, flangers and phasers! You can adjust effects send levels per part in a performance so this gets around the limitation of only 3 effects for 16 parts to an extent! 6 outputs at the back (ROLAND THIS IS GREAT! OTHER MANUFACTURERS PLEASE TAKE NOTE!). This was one of the reasons I sold my JV1010- no extra outputs. I would even look at buying the new XP30 next year if only it didn't have a pissy single stereo output!!!!! Studio musicians NEED extra outputs on their gear!!!! I like the modulation routings (such as routhing filter cutoff to mod wheel etc). This is indeed a very expressive instrument which a huge programming potential for those who want to dig in and get their hands dirty!

Reliability/Durability

THANKS FOR NOT GIVING US ANOTHER FUCKING EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLY ROLAND! I (and others) HATE THESE TO THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART. As I have said in other reviews, I NO LONGER BUY GEAR WITH EXTERNAL POWER SUPPLIES NO MATTER HOW GOOD THE SOUNDS!!!! The JV's have never failed me and they are well built.

General Comments

If these units were lost or stolen, I would raplace them with JV2080's or whatever Roland brings out next which would still be compatible with my expansion boards. I have been playing since 1980 and I also teach piano and organ privately. I co-own a MIDI based production studio using a PC with Logic Platinum 4, Yamaha 03D Mixer (LOVE IT!), 2 Roland JV-1080's with 7 expansion boards (orchestral, bass%drums, vintage synthes, keyboards of the 60's % 70's, techno, hiphop and session)- soon to get orchestral 11. Roland MDC 1 dance module, Korg Triton, TR Rack, Z1, DW8000, T3, Wavestation AD and SR plus a fair bit of outboard stuff. I love the overall sound of the JV1080 and it is just such a great 'all round' module for those working using a small set up. They compliment my Korg sounds really nicely and I like running the JV's through the Triton's effects for extra character! i wish that the effects were expanded (I will sell one of the JV1080's next year to get a JV2080 for this reason and the fact that I am running out of expansion board room). I can't say I really hate anything about the JV1080- IT IS A CLASSIC SOUND MODULE as far as I am concerned and that is why that have sold (and continue to sell) by the truckload! (I think the JV2080 is overpriced at the moment and that is why I am waiting for it's price to drop when Roland bring out something new-JV3080 perhaps????) I b ought an Alesis S4 plus before I got my 1st JV1080 simply because it was cheaper and offered rougly similar features but overall, the JV leaves it standing in the overall sound quality rating. This is not to say that the Alesis sounded bad at all- it just didn't appeal to me as much as the JV did. The biggest competitors come from the Korg Trinity/Triton instruments which to me sound slightly bigger and cleaner (the JV's no doubt use older DA convertors and lower (44.1k) sampling rates as opposed to the Korgs 48k sampling rates. The JV definetly needs more oscillators to 'fatten' up the sound as opposed to the Korg dual oscillator progams- (this was one of Korg's arguments for keeping the Trinity's polyphony at 32 voices). In the end, nearly everything I wished it had has been remidied in the JV2080- more effects at once, more expansion slots, bigger LCD display and patch search facility). I would love 128 notes of polyphony (wouldn't everyone!!!!). It has not only helped me make music, it has inspired me too many times to mention!!!!!! THAT IS WHY I OWN 2 OF THEM! When they bring out the JV3080 or JV4080 I hope Roland allow us to do sampling (as in the Korg Triton). But none the less, now that JV1080's are very reasonably priced (around $1,500.00 Australian on the street!) get 1 (or more) whilst they are hot. Add a couple of choice expansion boards (my first recommendation is the session board which fixes up most of the JV's weaker stock waveforms) and you have a music production tool that will keep you making great music for years to come! (NO I DON"T WORK FOR ROLAND AND MOST OF MY GEAR IS KORG STUFF) I really mean what I say. GO BUY IT!!!!!!!




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