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Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer

Item #: 
1500000026637   POS #:112602552
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Product Description:

The SYSTEM-8 delivers a vast palette of sounds inspired by over four decades of legendary Roland synths. Its next-gen Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) engine powers an eight-voice, three-oscillator monster with stunning filters and effects, highly versatile LFOs, and a massive array of high-resolution knobs and sliders to control it all.  Support...  Click To Read More About This Product

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Gear returned in mint condition. If you're looking for a virtually new instrument in possibly less-than-perfect packaging, this is a great value.
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Gear returned in great condition, with only minor signs of use, such as slight scuffs or pick marks. It looks and plays like new and may be considered an equivalent to display units found in retail stores.
  • Includes 45-Day, No-Hassle Returns
  • Includes full manufacturer's warranty
Price: $1,499.99
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The SYSTEM-8 delivers a vast palette of sounds inspired by over four decades of legendary Roland synths. Its next-gen Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) engine powers an eight-voice, three-oscillator monster with stunning filters and effects, highly versatile LFOs, and a massive array of high-resolution knobs and sliders to control it all.  Support for three PLUG-OUT synths means the SYSTEM-8 can host recreations of numerous Roland classics, with JUNO-106 and JUPITER-8 included at purchase. Split and layer synths for unheard of sounds, and tap into the integrated vocoder, arpeggiator, CV/Gate outs, and advanced polyphonic step sequencer to fuel endless creative explorations.

Advanced Sound Engine
Roland’s acclaimed Analog Circuit Behavior approach recreates historic analog sounds with forward-thinking technology. The SYSTEM-8 is equipped with the most advanced ACB engine yet, which offers eight voices of polyphony, three oscillators (including a sub oscillator option), and silky-smooth filters with ultra-detailed resolution. It’s easy to dial up warm pads, fat basses, expressive lead tones, and more, all inspired by the rich sonic character of the legendary SYSTEM series. Reaching beyond the retro vibe, the versatile SYSTEM-8 is also capable of producing crisp, dynamic tones and textures that are ideal for modern sound designers.

PLUG-OUT Expansion
In addition to its impressive internal sound engine, the SYSTEM-8 features three expansion slots for hosting and controlling Roland’s PLUG-OUT software synths. JUPITER-8 and JUNO-106 PLUG-OUTs are included, giving you immediate access to authentic sonic reproductions of these Roland classics. Optional PLUG-OUTs such as the SH-2, SH-101, PROMARS, and others are supported as well. Using the SYSTEM-8’s Performance mode, you can combine the internal synth engine and hosted PLUG-OUTs to create super-synth patches with layered voices, custom splits, and more.

Maximum Sonic Control
With its comprehensive interface, the SYSTEM-8 offers countless ways to shape sounds and discover new ones. The panel is packed with direct-access controls for dynamic sound creation and live performance expression. Many hi-res filter types are available courtesy of the advanced ACB engine, including a powerful side-band filter inherited from Roland’s influential V-Synth. Tons of top-notch effects are on hand for adding character and ambience, from overdrive, distortion, and fuzz to delay, chorus, reverb, and more. And just like the numerous synth parameters, the effects have grab-and-go controls that make it simple to enhance sounds as you play.

Creative Toolbox
Designed to inspire, the SYSTEM-8 is filled with intuitive performance tools to spark your creativity. The 64-step sequencer features a familiar TR-REC style interface and dedicated controls to record, play, and manipulate loop sequences in real time. While building your sequences, you can capture single notes or full chords, as well as all your knob and slider moves. The Arpeggio function is equipped with quick-access knobs for switching patterns and styles as you play, while Chord Memory allows you to trigger polyphonic note stacks with a single key. The SYSTEM-8 even has an advanced vocoder built in, offering another expressive option for delivering unique and memorable synth performances.

USB and CV/Gate
While the SYSTEM-8 excels as a performance instrument, it easily integrates with your production software and external gear. The synth functions as a USB audio/MIDI interface for your DAW, and the 49 full-size keys provide a responsive, great-feeling keyboard for recording MIDI tracks. There’s even a control surface mode for using the SYSTEM-8’s knobs, sliders, and buttons with your soft synths. And with the built-in CV/Gate outputs, you can send note/pitch data from the synth engine and step sequencer to trigger your modular synths and retro gear.


  • Versatile performance synthesizer with advanced ACB technology and 49 full-size keys
  • Internal sound engine delivers classic analog tones and dynamic modern sounds 
  • Hosts up to three PLUG-OUT synths; JUPITER-8 and JUNO-106 PLUG-OUTs included
  • Advanced low-pass, high-pass, and side-band filters with high-resolution controls
  • Massive real-time control with dedicated knobs, sliders and buttons
  • Number of keys: 49
  • Key size: Full
  • Aftertouch / Velocity: Velocity
  • Polyphony (max): 8
  • VCO: 3
  • VCF: 2 (6 types)
  • Envelope Generator (EG): ADSR
  • LFO: 2
  • Mixer: OSC 1,2,3/SUB OSC, W/P Noise
  • Included presets: 64
  • User preset slots: 64
  • Output: ¼ in. L/R
  • Line input: L/R ¼ in.
  • MIDI Connectivity: MIDI In/Out
  • USB Connectivity: B (Audio.MIDI)
  • Headphone out: Yes
  • Other: CV/Gate
Onboard Features
  • Sequencer: 64 step
  • Arpeggiator: Yes
  • Display: OLED oscilloscope
  • Effects: 5 reverb, 6 delay, distortion
  • Pitch bend/Modulation: Both
  • Width: 34.7 in.
  • Height: 4.2 in.
  • Depth: 14.4 in.
  • Weight: 13 lb.
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Customer Reviews
Questions & Answers View All

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
RolandSYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



  • 3 Stars



  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars




of respondents would recommend this to a friend.


No Pros


No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7)

Reviewed by 9 customers

Displaying reviews 1-9

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(11 of 29 customers found this review helpful)



By Hutch38

from NYC

Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

After toying with this thing a month. I just couldn't make myself like it. The sound wasn't as warm as I had hoped and the JUNO wasn't included as I was told. The keys feel very cheap and stiff. It feels like
Vst synth with a $200 midi keyboard. For the money this just isn't there. People will say the Jupiter is a great replica but it sounds no better than the Arturia vst plug in of it.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Impressive entry from Roland

By JRasco

from Lenexa, KS

Verified Buyer


  • ACB engine is very good
  • Built-in effects
  • Cool green lighting
  • Expandability via Plug-Out
  • Full size keys
  • USB Audio-MIDI


  • Currently no way to see saved parameter values
  • No aftertouch
  • Wish it had 61 keys

Best Uses

  • DAW integration
  • Electronic music and vintage recreations
  • Performance instrument
  • Studio use

Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

I have had this for a little while now, and it has been updated to the new version, which adds in the JUNO-106 plug-out and a new filter type in standard SYSTEM-8 mode. I was skeptical about this, as it is analog modeling, as opposed to real analog. I had an SH-201 some years ago and was not really impressed with it. This, however, is what the SH-201 should have been. It sounds WAY better, and while it is not quite analog, it is dangerously close, especially with the new filter type.

I have put together a few sounds with this, and am currently working on recreating some 80s movie soundtracks, such as Beverly Hills Cop. While the Jupiter-8 and JUNO-106 plug-out synths are cool and sound pretty close to the originals, I mostly use the SYSTEM-8 mode, as I know what all the knobs/sliders do in that mode (Jupiter-8 is a little confusing with the envelopes) and the new filter type added with the update gives it a more Jupiter-8 like vibe anyways.

So, bottom line is that while this may not sound quite as good as the DSI or Moog instruments, it also costs literally half as much as the DSI Prophet 6 or OB-6, and it is chump change compared to the Moog voyager, but it can be just about anything and it uses a knob-per-function interface like the old school gear, which I find to be highly intuitive. I never was really high on software instruments, but this is basically a really nice software instrument with a perfectly matched hardware interface, so that works. Plus, if you let it sit for a few minutes, you will get a neat light show across the control panel, so this definitely nails it with the cool factor.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Exactly what I wanted!

By Chris

from RVA

Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

An amazing and versatile synth for the modern age of vintage adoration. As a System-1 owner, I was intrigued by the opportunity to have a more full-featured poly-synth (the system-1 plug-outs are excellent but focus on mono-synths). When I heard it was shipping with a Jupiter-8 plug-out, I was hooked. When I heard that it would also come with a Juno-106 plugout, I was sold. I have a pair of JU-06 and JP-08 boutique units that are now obsolete ;) I've done direct comparisons between the two and they are identical, save for the more features offered on the System-8. I still want a plugout for the JX-3P, as the JX-03 is actually my favorite of the boutiques.

Anyhow, despite the price (you're basically getting a very powerful computer and midi controller with three awesome plugouts), this is the synth of the future and the past concurrently. I own multiple vintage synths (from Moogs to M1s) but this has become my go-to instrument. I can start an awesome sequence on my Moog Mother-32, feed in some pads on my Korg DSS-1, and then use my System-8 to replicate both or add whatever I'd like.

You'll likely encounter some people who say that nothing sounds like analog gear, but the System-8 is an exception. It can be whatever you want it to be. And it's the kind of synth that captures you for hours in end. And compels you to write a review about it...

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


Sounds great, didn't break the bank

By Tension

from Dallas


  • Can emulate other old Roland synthesizers
  • Keyboard controls good for live performance
  • Lightweight
  • Synth engine sounds fantastic


  • Almost entirely plastic

Best Uses

  • Classic subtractive synthesis

Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

The System-8 synthesizer by itself is fantastic and has some features that make it unique compared to other synthesizers such as its side-band filters and digital waveforms. The keyboard controls are good for live performance where other modern keyboards fall short.

The Jupiter 8 and Juno 106 emulations sound incredible, and the synthesizer engine can be switched on the fly. You can also split or layer multiple synthesizer engines simultaneously. This single keyboard can house up to 4 different synthesizer engines which include various 30+ year old synthesizers from Roland's past without the worry of hauling a bunch of old, valuable, and potentially unreliable keyboards around.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(3 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Great synth

By Keith Weeks

from Gainesville florida

Verified Buyer

Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

For everything.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

(2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)


System-1 or Korg Minilogue might be better choices (for now)

By DaveInSanFran

from San Francisco Bay Area


  • Adds step sequencer sadly missing from System 1
  • Lightweight yet solid plastic build (pro/con?)
  • Versatile effects section


  • Analog modeling can't quite get growling bass
  • No matching VSTs (yet) like the System 1
  • Roland slow to port existing System 1 plugouts

Best Uses

    Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

    I was excited to jump forward to the newer, bigger sibling of the System-1. As a hobbyist, I am looking for a single versatile and portable synth on which I can explore music anywhere.

    I liked that the System-1 fit sweetly into an entry-level price point where features and flexibility minimized the impact its limitations. It felt like an affordable combo controller and set of high-end VSTs that didn't require you to sit at your computer/DAW. However, I took advantage of GC's generous return policy and got the System-8.

    I am impressed that the System-8 adds two octaves, more voices, velocity, and additional oscillator controls to the System-1 that allow me to be more expressive. The step synthesizer was conspicuously absent from the System-1, but made up my mind about upgrading to the System-8. The mic input, vocoder and effects section make this synth versatile enough for hobbyists to enjoy as an all-in-one device. As I continue to learn subtractive synthesis, I generally enjoy the ease at which I can craft a large variety of interesting patches.

    Unfortunately, Roland has been very slow to port and release any of their existing Aira plugouts. In that regard, the System-1 remains a far better value. I have a nagging feeling that the System-8 has vast untapped potential, and that the hardware was rushed to market before its software/firmware were finished. Until the Juno-106 plugout is released and the old System-1 plugouts made available for this device, it hardly seems worth its mid-range price. (Perhaps twice the price of it's little brother makes sense, but not 3x right now.)

    As a fan of 70's prog rock, I have a special place in my heart for vintage Moog sounds: growling bass lines to cutting leads. It doesn't seem possible with analog modeling (at least with my entry-level experience) to emulate these sounds. At present, the Korg Minilogue looks better for analog fans.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


    The Best VA Vsts to go

    By Purple Jewls

    from Houston TX


    • 4 unique synths in one unit
    • Great sounds regardless of being digital
    • Tons of midi control


    • Controls don't show input values
    • No aftertouch

    Best Uses

    • DAW vst control
    • Live performance

    Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

    This keyboard is perfect if you have a DAW at the center of your electronic music setup. Midi control of all the vsts is seamless and easy and is much much more straight to the point than the komplete kontrol. It really feels like a keyboard from the future the way it interfaces with the vsts while at the same time being able to receive them as synth engines. Most importantly tho, it sounds very good. The system 8 synth engine sounds like a cross of analog and digital and pulls it off musically a lot better than the system 1. The included Jupiter 8 plugout synth engine is also very very nice, having this smoothness and totally different sound from the system 8 engine. The Juno 106 plugout could be better but at the same time, I'm not a big juno 106 fan. Onboard fx are fantastic and really help the synth sound great when used stand alone as no pedals etc are needed to get really huge reverb/chorus/delay sounds. Overall very satisfied, key action feels good too. No aftertouch is a bummer but with a sustain pedal hooked up you can just reach for the knobs to get the same effect also without having to put so much wear on the keys

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No


    By Kristina

    from undisclosed

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

    This thing is a beast! Buttons, dials and sliders galore. So many options and sounds fantastic. The plug out feature is fantastic, I find myself using the Jupiter-8 and Juno-106 plug outs constantly. Definitely a fantastic synth.


    My Favorite Synth out of many.

    By Roy

    from Arlington, VA

    About Me Professional Musician


    • Easy to Use
    • Realistic Sound
    • Responsive / Good Action
    • Touch Sensitive Keys


      Best Uses

      • Concerts
      • Electronic Music
      • MIDI

      Comments about Roland SYSTEM-8 Plug-Out Synthesizer:

      I am a synth addict and I will proudly say that I paid retail for the System-8 and feel that I would do it again in a heartbeat. I believe this is one of the best synths I've ever played. How anyone could give it less than 5 stars is beyond my comprehension. It's ease of use, 96khz sounds, analog modelling and plug-out system puts it in a class by itself. Other synths I own and love: Nord Lead 3, Virus TI 2, JP-8080, Korg Z1, Novation Ultranova, Korg Minilogue, Microkorg and others. If you are into electronica or any electronic genre this is the one.

      Displaying reviews 1-9

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