Up for sale, a 1985 Roland JX-8P Polyphonic Synthesizer and PG-800 Synthesizer Programmer in exceptional condition and in perfect working order. First released in 1985, the JX-8P delivers six-voice analog polyphonic synthesis, with two oscillators per voice. It represents a sort of middle ground between early analog synthesizers and the digital synths that would soon follow as the ‘80s progressed, both in terms of functionality and design. As with many ‘80s Roland synths, the JX-8P’s oscillators were DCOs (Digitally Controlled Oscillators) which, despite being digitally controlled, create sound through entirely analog means. That combination of analog and digital optimizes both tone and stability.
Featuring a 61-note keyboard with velocity sensitivity and aftertouch; the JX-8P is an exceedingly versatile Roland offering, with 32 individual “Tones” to choose from including three Pianos, an extensive Strings suite, Organs, Basses, Percussion, Brass (both Soft and Stab), Bells, Leads (Res, Square, and Sync), and Toms, among others, including “Soundtrack,” a unique tone used to iconic effect on Twin Peaks by Angelo Badalamenti. The 32 buttons house 64 possible preset slots; two banks of 32 each.
The streamlined design of the JX-8P is augmented by the external PG-800 Synthesizer Programmer (included), offering traditional slider-based parameter control. There are sliders for the two DCOs, with Envelope (1 and 2) controls, as well as LFO, Mixer, VCF, and VCA sculpting capabilities. The PG-800 is also switchable between Manual and Write modes for on-the-fly adjustments or pre-programmed alterations. The PG-800 elevates the JX-8P to a highly functional piece of studio-grade synth technology used by acts like Depeche Mode and Jean-Michel Jarre.
Further onboard controls include a Pitch Bender, with sliders for Volume, After Touch, Edit, Bend Range, and Portamento. Key Mode can be toggled between Poly, Unison, or Solo, and After Touch can be toggled between Vibrato, Brilliance, and Volume. There are Mono and Stereo Outputs, as well as MIDI In/Out/Through ports and a port for an external pedal. The JX-8P also has a Memory Cartridge slot (cartridge not included) for expandable storage.
This synthesizer is in great shape, with just a few small scuffs on the edges of the sleek space gray housing, as well as a few light scratches on the OLED display that have no impact on visibility. The PG-800 Synthesizer Programmer is similarly clean, with all-original sliders actuating smoothly. The original PG-800 silver carrying case and MIDI cable are included.
The JX-8P is complete with a robust SK8 molded hardshell case.