Aug 1

I have been lucky enough today to have received a hands-on, one to one demonstration of Roland’s new flagship Synthesizer, the Roland Jupiter 80 by Drew d’Auriol the Roland Product Specialist based at Nevada Music.

Drew kindly took me through the Jupiter’s structure and explained just how deep this Synth really is. I have to say on looks, I think this is the best looking Synth in the world at present. As soon as you see it, you know it has that “Wow” about it. Roland have also designed specifically for the Jupiter, what is probably the best stand available to hold this beast firmly in place. I do not think even the top of the range Ultimate stands look this good.

Ok so what does it play like? Well for me, I have to say for a 76-note semi-weighted synth keyboard this has the best keyboard action I have ever tried. It is comfortable, has the right amount of bounce back and allows you to play the complete range of dynamics. This is best tested with just a piano sound and I would go so far as to say it is next best thing to a hammer-action keyboard. So with this you really do have the best of both worlds that we are all seeking – a fast keyboard for synth and organ sounds and a keybed that has the dynamics to provide you with the pianistic performance you know you are cabable of.

Sound – well it is a Roland and as those lush sounds pour out you can imediately sense a quality and class about this instrument. Roland have improved slightly on the sound of Fantom G by making greater use of their SuperNatural sounds. It is a shame they are not making more SRX boards for the Fantom G, because these sounds on the Jupiter are simply excellent – come on Roland don’t give up on your Fantom G users.

Build – Again excellent, very roadworthy, solid with a good finish, good size dials and controls, great layout for selecting sounds, layers and splits very quickly and also a very nice touch-sensitive colour screen.

This small article is not intended as a review of the Jupiter 80, just my first hands-on experience with it. There is just so much more to this Synth, that you would need a few weeks with it. Drew added that this is not a workstation, and whilst I wanted to make comparisons with the Korg Kronos similarly priced, I had to agree that they are two completely different keyboards. I think my new dream is to own them both.

Anyway I just wanted to say a big thank you to Drew today for his time, patience and invaluable knowledge of Roland products. Have a listen below – I love the “Lucky Man” solo.

Tony

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