Is The Roland Jupiter 8 The Greatest Polysynth Ever Made?

In this video, Matt Johnson (Jamiroquai) reviews the vintage Roland Jupiter-8.

In the video, he offers an overview of the Jupiter-8, shares his thoughts on its build and sound, and then demonstrates it with a variety of his custom sounds.

Johnson calls the Jupiter-8 ‘the Holy Grail of synths’. But is it the greatest polysynth ever made?

Check out the review and share your thoughts on the Roland Jupiter-8 in the comments!

26 thoughts on “Is The Roland Jupiter 8 The Greatest Polysynth Ever Made?

  1. IMHO, the Jupiter 8 is worth nowhere near what people ask for it on the used market. I would maybe pay $1,000 at the most for one in good condition.

    1. That’s ok. Keep us posted if you find someone who would grant you an irreplaceable iconic instrument in good condition. (or better, pay you to pick it up)

  2. No, its not. Its a middle of the road analog with limited modulation capability and a somewhat tame sound.
    Its nice, but hasn’t earned any superlatives.

    1. I completely agree. As I go and listen to the demos that are up, it really is on another level. Not just the control options, which are amazing, but the way the synth marries with the synth. It’s really a wonderful instrument.

      The classic analogs are amazing and give you a wide range of tones.

      The osmose does that, but lots of physical modeled kinds of sounds and some very unusual textures.

      1. Apples and oranges. Osmose is quite a cool instrument and controller but this comparison is flawed. It would make more sense to compare osmose + a black corporation analog synth or similar with mpe support to a jupiter then. Not to forget, the guy literally says that at the current pricepoint a jupiter 8 isn’t worth buying. I have an mks80 (jupiter 6 more or less), I won’t part with that, and even those (and their controllers) are hilariously expensive now.

        1. I get your point, but really, the Osmose IS a versatile polysynth with an incredibly well-integrated multi-dimensional controller. And “greatest polysynth ever sold” leaves it pretty open.

          However, has the Osmose even shipped yet? If not, then has it even been sold?

  3. So, why Junkie XL sold it? I really like Jupiter 8, but it is completely out of the reach because of high price. What I noticed UDO 6 sound really good compare to Jupiter 8. Also I checked my Jupiter X and it sound really close.

  4. Having played one, I know the hype is more on-target than not, but the “greatest”/”of all time” crap bugs me. Any big analog poly will naturally emit the synth version of a room-filling pipe organ and make eyes widen, but it has its limits, too. The same is true of ROMplers, but I’ve found it far easier to make one behave as a big analog beast than make the latter do pianos and bells. Solution: buy two or more synths & cover all the bases. Simple. There are several software JP-8s and the Jupiter X/m to be had, so the FOMO only goes so deep.

  5. The Jupiter 6 had more features than the 8. So, no it isn’t even close to the best. The Moog One is better, for instance.

  6. Fortunate to have one in perfect condition, with the other contenders, Matrix 12, I don’t have an Udo yet lol, but, I go most often to the OB-8. The reason? Musically useful. The Jupiter 8 is inspiring, def a “big synth” sound, but the subtleties in musically appropriate or “will fit nicely” or “emotionally deep” come up, I’m with my OB-8.

      1. Haha not sure I would go that far codemode, but we think of what’s appropriate for the musical message. The choice must fit, I believe we all know that. I applaud Matt Johnson for making that excellent point in his wonderful performance, really fun to watch. UDO sighting too! Thank you Matt

  7. We tend to confuse heritage with greatness. I was around when the Jupiter 8 appeared on the market and played it but could not afford it. It was awesome, surely back then. Also it had one of the most successful interpretations of the classical Oscillators-Filter-Amplifier-with additional-Envelopes-and-LFO designs that was easy to control with a great sound. As such it was a landmark to which many polysynth built afterwards was benchmarked. Was is a great synth? Surely. Is it the greatest ever? I doubt. I think the greatest is yet to come. And in all honesty, not the instrument demonstrates greatness but its player. Do not forget it was Vangelis that made the CS80 great, not the other way round. I can produce pretty convincing CS80 sounds on a Kingkorg, and the System 8 really emits the great Jupiter 8 sound. But no one will ever claim those two as greatest. Underrated perhaps, but not greatest. But in Matt Johnsons hands, the Jup 8 is where it belongs: some one that can bring the best out of it.

  8. *Psst* *get a used System 8, it’s got a Jupiter 8 in it and it’s way cheaper, smaller and lighter and the audience won’t know* *shhh, don’t tell anyone*

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