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Author Topic: Roland JV/XV series sounds versus SC-8820/50  (Read 1659 times)
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Alistair
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« on: November 03, 2013, 04:46:14 PM »

Hey folks,

As I know there's several JV-1080/2080 and XV-5080 users here, I wanted to ask: What do you think of the quality of these modules (including expansion cards), especially when compared to the sound of the SC-8820/50?

I'm not thinking of selling either my SC-8850 or my SCD-70 (8820 + sound card), but I've bought some other sound modules by Korg and E-Mu, and I'm wondering if the JV/XV line is similar to the sound of the SC's, and whether I'll be duplicating sounds or whether I can get related but different sound out of those lines of synths.

Regards,
- Alistair
« Last Edit: November 03, 2013, 04:46:31 PM by Alistair » Logged
shad0wfax
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2013, 08:16:41 PM »

Hi Alistair,

I've had quite a lot of SC and JV/XV models and, IMHO, the key point is: do you need GS/GM2 compatibility or do you intend to use it mainly for music creation/composition? If the latter, then I think that JV/XV synths are clearly better than SC, for at least three main reasons:

1) Flexibility. While SC models are primarily a "box of presets" (yes, with lots of them and quite good sounding in higher-end models), JV/XV models are "true" synths. You can tweak lots of parameters, from waveform selection, synthesis structures, filter and amp envelopes, and a lot more, and save your own patches in the user memory. In the Sound Canvas you can tweak the filter and edit certain parameters, but a JV/XV is far more flexible and powerful in terms of synthesis.

2) Expandability. AFAIK, nearly all (if not all) JV/XV models have expansion slots (SR-JV80 and/or SRX). Those cards are not cheap, but on the other hand there are quite a lot of different models and the sound quality is very good (usually a lot better than the presets). And since thay are very focused in some music genres and/or instrument types, you get what you need and what you are looking for. And of course, you can use the expansion card's waveforms to create new patches (you're not limited to the presets).

3) Sound quality. Although "hi-end" SC modules such as the 88Pro, the 8820 and the 8850 borrow many waveforms from JV/XV synths, for some reason JV and XV models simply sound better (to my ears, at least).

In sum, SC models and JV/XV synths are different kinds of "animals". SC are good if you want lots of sounds "out of the box", compatibility with different standards, or you use them for playing/creating standard midi files, and you don't care/don't want investing time in creating new sounds. JV/XV synths are more "professional" or aimed for the studio. Usually their GM soundmap is very poor, so they're a bad choice for playing midi files.

Nowadays, on the other hand, you can get something like a JV-1080, JV-2080 or JV-1010 for less than, say, a 8820 or a 8850 (or even a 88Pro). From my point of view, the choice is very easy Wink
« Last Edit: November 04, 2013, 08:21:47 PM by shad0wfax » Logged

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Alistair
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2013, 08:32:01 PM »

Thanks David Smiley

Quote
Hi Alistair,

I've had quite a lot of SC and JV/XV models and, IMHO, the key point is: do you need GS/GM2 compatibility or do you intend to use it mainly for music creation/composition? If the latter, then I think that JV/XV synths are clearly better than SC, for at least three main reasons:
I'm wanting something for music creation, although honestly I like the way the 8850 is laid out. It's insanely easy to use and the patches are arranged by variations, so it's easy to use in a MIDI sequencing program. My Korg N1R, for example, is a beast and I love it, but the +1,000 patches are arranged by banks, with no logical order. It's a bit of a nightmare. The Proteus 2000 is the same but even more complicated.

Quote
1) Flexibility. While SC models are primarily a "box of presets" (yes, with lots of them and quite good sounding in higher-end models), JV/XV models are "true" synths. You can tweak lots of parameters, from waveform selection, synthesis structures, filter and amp envelopes, and a lot more, and save your own patches in the user memory. In the Sound Canvas you can tweak the filter and edit certain parameters, but a JV/XV is far more flexible and powerful in terms of synthesis.
box of presets is what I want, I don't have the time or patience to tweak all of that. Maybe someday.

Quote
2) Expandability. AFAIK, nearly all (if not all) JV/XV models have expansion slots (SR-JV80 and/or SRX). Those cards are not cheap, but on the other hand there are quite a lot of different models and the sound quality is very good (usually a lot better than the presets). And since thay are very focused in some music genres and/or instrument types, you get what you need and what you are looking for. And of course, you can use the expansion card's waveforms to create new patches (you're not limited to the presets).
This is one of thsoe blessing and curse things. There is a lot of cards but they are $$$, and plus some modules, e.g. XV-5050, only have 2 slots.. I'd want a 2080 or 5080. And then plus 4 cards, let's say, i'll need over 400 at the minimum. I guess I'll have to sell the SCD-70 and maybe something else..

Quote
3) Sound quality. Although "hi-end" SC modules such as the 88Pro, the 8820 and the 8850 borrow many waveforms from JV/XV synths, for some reason JV and XV models simply sound better (to my ears, at least).
Well, I know the 5080 uses 44.1, 16-bit samples, and I think even the 8850 uses 32KHz.

Quote
In sum, SC models and JV/XV synths are different kinds of "animals". SC are good if you want lots of sounds "out of the box", compatibility with different standards, or you use them for playing/creating standard midi files, and you don't care/don't want investing time in creating new sounds. JV/XV synths are more "professional" or aimed for the studio. Usually their GM soundmap is very poor, so they're a bad choice for playing midi files.
I desire elements from each. I want good sounds and a lot of sounds, an I don't want to have to mess with timbres or patches.
I'd love patches in some sort of order.. at least I think the 5080 allows for a search, or ordering, or something, plus that big screen..

Quote
Nowadays, on the other hand, you can get something like a JV-1080, JV-2080 or JV-1010 for less than, say, a 8820 or a 8850 (or even a 88Pro). From my point of view, the choice is very easy 
 

I'm thinking saving for a 5080 (around 400-450) is probably better value than getting a 2080, especially when considering COSM effects and things like that. Maybe I will have to sell a SC module..
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 11:05:12 AM »

Quote
I'm wanting something for music creation, although honestly I like the way the 8850 is laid out. It's insanely easy to use and the patches are arranged by variations, so it's easy to use in a MIDI sequencing program. My Korg N1R, for example, is a beast and I love it, but the +1,000 patches are arranged by banks, with no logical order. It's a bit of a nightmare. The Proteus 2000 is the same but even more complicated.
The SC models follow the standard GM layout and the organization of pathes is very easy and logical. JV/XV synths have better organization than Korg (I don't know about E-mu) but are not "tied" to GM. However, if you use a software editor this is not a problem (the patches are organized in banks but they can also be sorted by type).
Quote
box of presets is what I want, I don't have the time or patience to tweak all of that. Maybe someday.
You can also use those synths as a "box of presets", although all the synthesis power is there if you want to use it someday Wink
Quote
This is one of thsoe blessing and curse things. There is a lot of cards but they are $$$, and plus some modules, e.g. XV-5050, only have 2 slots.. I'd want a 2080 or 5080. And then plus 4 cards, let's say, i'll need over 400 at the minimum. I guess I'll have to sell the SCD-70 and maybe something else..
Yes, expansion cards are not cheap, but now is not that difficult to get SR-JV cards for less than $100 and SRX for less than $150. But of course if you want to have a 2080 or a 5080 fully loaded, it's a pretty big amount of money... Sad
Quote
Well, I know the 5080 uses 44.1, 16-bit samples, and I think even the 8850 uses 32KHz.
I think it's not (only) the higher quality of samples of better DACs, but also the more complex synthesis structure allows for better sounds, and of course the effects (especially COSM for electric guitars).
Quote
I desire elements from each. I want good sounds and a lot of sounds, an I don't want to have to mess with timbres or patches.
I'd love patches in some sort of order.. at least I think the 5080 allows for a search, or ordering, or something, plus that big screen..
As I've said before, once you use a software editor, you shouldn't need to use the front panel, so no need to be concerned about that.
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Alistair
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 03:45:46 PM »

Hey David,

Thanks for your answers. Sorry for the delay, I've been sick for a month now.. Sad

I've actually been thinking of going for a Fantom XR, funnily enough. The stock sounds seem a lot better than the 5080 and while many people seem to claim a better sound on either the 5080 or the XR (usually 50800, depending who you ask, I would think SPDIF couldn't be too different, plus the Fantom has full 44.1 vs the 5080 which has part 44 and part 32.

Plus, the JV boards are not high quality by today's standards and still go for quite a bit of money.

What do you think? Smiley
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Cloudschatze
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2013, 03:25:37 AM »

Aww, man. This conversation again? Wink

Roland has yet to top the XV-5080, in my humble opinion, and if patches are your thing, being able to load a decade's worth of JV/XV stuff is pretty huge (some of my favorites being the factory presets from the JV-1000, in fact). Feature-wise, you've got the SCSI interface for sample-CD accessibility, 48kHz S/PDIF output, 8-channel digital-out (via R-BUS), word clock input for external synchronization - features that most people could probably care less about, but that make the XV-5080 the most "studio-grade" synth Roland has ever produced.

And it makes a pretty decent GM/GS synth besides. Smiley
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2013, 08:08:10 PM »

I agree with Eric regarding the claim that the XV-5080 is probably the most "professional" and "studio-grade" synth produced by Roland so far. But unless you own a professional recording studio Wink , from my experience (I've had both) and considering that nowadays both models sell for about the same price, I'd choose the Fantom, for a number of reasons:

* The synthesis engine is the same or almost the same (4 elements per patch); they in fact sound simmilar, but in the Fantom you have twice the rom sample memory (128Mb vs 64Mb).
* The Fantom XR has 6 SRX slots, making it the model with more SRX slots ever made by Roland. It has no SR-JV slots but most of the samples are included in SRX cards.
* The Fantom has full sampler features, and not only sample playback. The max memory for sampling is 528 Mb instead of 64Mb, and DIMMs are easier to find than SIMMs. It also means that it has not only S/PDIF output but also input (great if you already own another synth with S/PDIF outputs). No SCSI interface, but you can load samples from the computer or use a PC card (or an adapter for CompactFlash, Secure Digital, etc.).
* USB interface as well as MIDI (you don't need a dedicated midi interface).

As for the cons, I'd point out the tiny screen (it's very hard to use it from the front panel, but on the other hand the editor is great) and "only" two pairs of analog outputs. Also the GM bank of the XV-5080 sounds better, but honestly, who cares? Tongue

Anyway, I prefer the Integra-7, which includes all the XV-5080 presets and waveforms, all the SRX cards, the new superNatural sounds and a 96Khz audio interface. If it only had a S/PDIF input...

PS: Alistair, for the price you should also consider the Yamaha Motif ES Rack. No expandability, but seriously good sounds.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 08:13:06 PM by shad0wfax » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2013, 01:39:36 PM »

Shadow, on the Motif, briefly, you said no expandability:
Quote
The two Modular Synthesis Plug-in System expansion slots let you expand your system with more voices, effects and polyphony
I think it takes PLG cards? Or maybe just voice expansion? Hmm.

OK, Cloudschatze:

Quote
Aww, man. This conversation again?

Roland has yet to top the XV-5080, in my humble opinion, and if patches are your thing, being able to load a decade's worth of JV/XV stuff is pretty huge (some of my favorites being the factory presets from the JV-1000, in fact). Feature-wise, you've got the SCSI interface for sample-CD accessibility, 48kHz S/PDIF output, 8-channel digital-out (via R-BUS), word clock input for external synchronization - features that most people could probably care less about, but that make the XV-5080 the most "studio-grade" synth Roland has ever produced.

And it makes a pretty decent GM/GS synth besides.
Yeah, I know it's been done to death online. But my needs are not that of a pro musician, you know what I use these babies for.

I want patch workhorses, and I can't afford SRX boards as of yet (unless they get overlooked on eBay or something).

My original plan was to buy a JV-2080 and expand it, as I could pay ~60 bucks per JV80 expansion board. With the engine being 32 KHz I figured to save my money and get something better. I got a JV-1080 recently as a 'test', and I really like it, ironically.. Came with the Orch boards and for 8MB boards they're amazing. I can't figure out how to get CC7 and CC10 to work, though.. Is that easier on the 2080 or 5080?

I then went to the 5080, but with the JV boards being 32 KHz, and the 5080 having a partial 32KHz waveform memory (not full 44.1) I figured it was better value to load the XV patches Roland gave away free, in to a Fantom, which is 44.1 only.

I don't even remember the JV-1000.. is that a rack or keyboard?

I don't care about a lot of the features you mention, Cloud, but I do care about loading JV patches, the JV-80 boards. What it boils down to is that people say a lot of the JV/XV native patches are not good and you need to buy expansions. To fully expand a 5080 is a lot of money. The Fantom XR has over 1K stock sounds which are supposedly very good, and Roland made the 5080 set free for Fantom owners a while back (obviously, doesn't sound 100% the same..).
There's also a lot of free patches for Fantom owners, including some JV boards.. And new patches for SRX boards.

If i had money, the 5080 would be my choice, so I could put the Complete Orchestra, ultimate Keys, World collection and Studio SRX, and then the SuperSoundSet, Session, Country and Pop JV80.
(Obviously, that with a 5080 is going to run over 1200! Integra territory..)

Quote
I agree with Eric regarding the claim that the XV-5080 is probably the most "professional" and "studio-grade" synth produced by Roland so far. But unless you own a professional recording studio  , from my experience (I've had both) and considering that nowadays both models sell for about the same price, I'd choose the Fantom, for a number of reasons:

* The synthesis engine is the same or almost the same (4 elements per patch); they in fact sound simmilar, but in the Fantom you have twice the rom sample memory (128Mb vs 64Mb).
* The Fantom XR has 6 SRX slots, making it the model with more SRX slots ever made by Roland. It has no SR-JV slots but most of the samples are included in SRX cards.
* The Fantom has full sampler features, and not only sample playback. The max memory for sampling is 528 Mb instead of 64Mb, and DIMMs are easier to find than SIMMs. It also means that it has not only S/PDIF output but also input (great if you already own another synth with S/PDIF outputs). No SCSI interface, but you can load samples from the computer or use a PC card (or an adapter for CompactFlash, Secure Digital, etc.).
* USB interface as well as MIDI (you don't need a dedicated midi interface).

As for the cons, I'd point out the tiny screen (it's very hard to use it from the front panel, but on the other hand the editor is great) and "only" two pairs of analog outputs. Also the GM bank of the XV-5080 sounds better, but honestly, who cares?

Anyway, I prefer the Integra-7, which includes all the XV-5080 presets and waveforms, all the SRX cards, the new superNatural sounds and a 96Khz audio interface. If it only had a S/PDIF input...

PS: Alistair, for the price you should also consider the Yamaha Motif ES Rack. No expandability, but seriously good sounds.
First off, Shadow, let me apologize to you. I once said in a thread (that I found on Google, Googling the XR) that the 8850 (!) sounded better than the Fantom to me at the time! I opened the JV-1080 yesterday and played with it and honestly, it has better moments than the 8850.

Yeah, I like the 128 MB Rom. The UltimatGrnd (I think?) piano sounds very impressive also, 88 key piano sampled very particularly.

6 SRX doesn't interest me, I can't afford it, may as well go Integra..

I like the Fantom's CF/PC card sample feature! I can load the Roland XV-5080 effectively on a CF card (for 20 bucks), I think!

I like the USB option also, although that isn't a deal breaker for the 5080.

I am a little worried about the screen, I'll try it on the panel and see, if I hate it, I can always trade for a 5080.
On the flipside, I like the form factor compared to the XV.

Obviously I want an Integra, but unless you want to loan me some money, David Smiley

Anyone got any SRX boards they want to sell or loan? Smiley

Just to finish, on price, both can be had for around ~400 bucks if you get a deal. That's way low for such good synths, IMO.. I think I paid 1000+ for a new 8850 back in 2003!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 01:43:46 PM by Alistair » Logged
Cloudschatze
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 07:58:01 PM »

I think you're on the right track. It's all an exercise in doing your own research, and finding something that will satisfy your own unique needs. I wouldn't get too hung-up over 32kHz vs. 44.1kHz samples, whatever the case may be - there's generally enough manipulation/processing/analog-coloration taking place that things still manage to come out sounding nice regardless.

My own bias is funny, in a way, but the reality is that there isn't another piece of gear that could replace the XV-5080 in my setup, nor anything other than a V-Synth XT that could complement it. Smiley


Quote from: Alistair
I got a JV-1080 recently ... can't figure out how to get CC7 and CC10 to work, though.

I wonder if the reception has been turned off for those CCs? I'd check that, or just perform a factory reset, for good measure.
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Alistair
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2013, 01:17:12 AM »

I reset it and all seems to be well- thanks for the advice, Eric Cheesy


I'm not particularly worried about the 32 kHz deal, I love the JV1080's sound right now, but the lure of the Fantom is great.

I'm mainly wondering if the sampling via CF card is going to work anywhere close to what I think it is. Probably not. Smiley

Worst case scenario, I can always flip it and get a 5080, or just use the Fantom for stock sounds.

What's the V-Synth like? Wondered about those too..


Eric/David: Do you guys use any VST or Giga/Kontakt/etc samples integrated into your MIDI rigs?
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shad0wfax
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 06:27:14 PM »

Quote
Shadow, on the Motif, briefly, you said no expandability:
Quote
The two Modular Synthesis Plug-in System expansion slots let you expand your system with more voices, effects and polyphony
I think it takes PLG cards? Or maybe just voice expansion? Hmm.

Yes, Alistair, you're right. I meant "no expandability" in the same sense that SR-JV / SRX cards (new waveforms and patches), because PLG cards are more like synths on a card, with their own synthesis engine, ployphony and effects. In a certain sense, this is even better than only more waveforms and sounds, but on the other hand PLG cards are even harder to find (and usually more expensive) than SRX cards.

Quote
I don't even remember the JV-1000.. is that a rack or keyboard?

It was a hi-end JV synthesizer board in a 76-key package.

Quote
Obviously I want an Integra, but unless you want to loan me some money, David Smiley

Anyone got any SRX boards they want to sell or loan? Smiley

Hehe... Sorry but I sold all my SRX to buy the Integra...

Quote
Eric/David: Do you guys use any VST or Giga/Kontakt/etc samples integrated into your MIDI rigs?

No, my setup is nearly 100% hardware. I've recently purchased a Yamaha MOXF 6 and a 512Mb flash memory card to replace my Motif Rack XS. I have recorded some samples to the flash card and edited some patches, but even when I use samples I prefer to use them through my hardware (MOXF) setup Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 06:02:49 PM »

Heh, just saw this.  Having had an XV-2020 with an Orchestra board and an SC-8850 at the same time, I'll weigh in a little.  Bar none, the XV-2020, especially expanded, was head and shoulders above the SC-8850.  Awesome sounds.  I look at SC-8850 as a workhorse of sorts.  Its high polyphony and the fact that it has 64 available channels means that you can pretty much render anything from scratch on it.  I liked to (when I had the XV) compose out something on the SC-8850 and after I had a rough draft, convert it over to the XV-2020.  The Sound Canvas units seem to be made more for a "wholistic" approach, if that makes sense.  Most of all the patches sound good together out of the box, with minimal tweaking involved.  The XV - not so. 

Also, don't be surprised if you get an XV synth and find some of the defaults to be wonky and/or unusable.  The piano is a good example.  I never liked the XV's piano compared to the SC's.  But then again, the XV had better waveforms - they just weren't as crafted as well as the SC's.  It's as if the sound designers said "well, they're going to just tweak it anyways, who cares?"  That's my take.  I think you'd love an XV synth, and I agree with Eric - there isn't a replacement for an XV-5080.
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2013, 02:41:51 PM »

At the end of the day, all this thing could be as simple as:

* You want something mainly to play midi files, with good quality and compability with different MIDI standards is important: get a SC8850 (or a SC8820, a MU1000/2000, etc.)
* You want a synth to create music and/or adapt midi files, and standards are not quite important: get a XV (or any other synth of a simmilar quality)

Quote
There isn't a replacement for an XV-5080.
Well, at the end of the day it's all about tastes. I currently own an Integra-7 and I used to have both a XV-5080 and a Fantom XR, and I wouldn't trade the Fantom XR for a XV-5080 and I wouldn't trade the Integra-7 for BOTH the Fantom and the XV Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2013, 09:42:56 PM »

Ha!  Forgot about the Integra.  Yeah - that thing's a certified beast.  Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 03:45:29 PM »

I think the SC Series is more for playing midis or to sequence optimised midifiles and the best sounddevice for all Dos GM Games! Smiley
In audioquality, SC8850/20 samples are stored with 32Khz and 4:1 compression!
JV+XV are some samples in 32Khz too, but the most are in 44/48Khz and the lower compression ratio with 2:1.

Regards,Matze
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