Roland brings back the JX-8P and JD-800 synths with the new Boutique JX-08 and JD-08

Roland is exploring both its analogue and digital heritage with its latest pair of Boutique synths - the JX-08 and JD-08 - which emulate the JX-8P and JD-800 respectively.

Released in 1985, the JX-8P was one of Roland’s latest ‘80s analogue synths, and was famed for its warm pads, shimmering chorus and bright textures. The JX-08 gives you all of this and more - new effects and a polyphonic sequencer for starters.

Other additions include extended polyphony, two-part multitimbrality and dual/split modes. You get 32 presets from the original synth plus 100 new ones that are designed for contemporary styles.

Roland JX-08 and JD-08

(Image credit: Roland)

Designing your own sounds should be made easier by the inclusion of all the controls from the PG-800 programmer unit, which was released to complement the original JX-8P. You have 256 slots in which to store these.

Jumping forward a few years, the new JD-08 is based on Roland’s mighty JD-800, a beast of a digital synth from 1991. As it turns 30, the JD-800 is having a bit of a moment: Roland has already emulated it as a Zen-Core Expansion and plugin this year, and only last month, we made it clear that a hardware revival would be a good thing, too.

The JD-08 certainly isn’t a 1:1 recreation, but it does take the JD-800’s four-tone structure, 108 waveforms and two-part multieffects and plonk them in a much smaller instrument. You even get a miniature version of the synth’s huge control panel, with plenty of sliders, buttons and knobs for hands-on tweaking.

Roland JX-08 and JD-08

(Image credit: Roland)

There are enhancements here, too - expanded polyphony, a two-part polyphonic sequencer and other modern niceties.

Both the JX-08 and JD-08 can serve as USB-C audio/MIDI interfaces, with full-size MIDI ports enabling easy connection to other hardware. There’s an external clock input, too.

As with previous Boutiques, these new models can be bus- or battery-powered and have a built-in speaker. They’re also compatible with the optional K-25m 25-note keyboard unit.

The JX-08 and JD-08 will be available in January 2022 priced at $400 each. Find out more on the Roland website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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