What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Forum for the JD-XA.

What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby horisonten » 14:58, 24 April 2017

Here below is the ROLAND’S CORPORATE SLOGANS taken from their own website. Trust me I love Roland products, but I can't keep to wonder what happened to the second one of the slogans? Where did it all go wrong?

- Inspire the Enjoyment of Creativity
- Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST
- Cooperative Enthusiasm for All Stakeholders

The underlying spirit of Roland’s unique corporate activities is embodied in the three slogans above. The basic spirit has not changed since the company’s founding.


I understand that other products are of more importance than the JD-XA since they bring in more money. I can even accept the extremely slow firmware update interval on the JD-XA.

But why can't there at least be some kind of dialogue between Roland and their customers? I mean... Is that to much to ask? Why can't even one official rep from Roland reach out to us and tell us what is happening? I would be fine with the answer "you'll have to wait at least one year before we have an firmware update". I could live with that. But at the moment it is like speaking to a wall. People say that Roland reps are here, reading, considering. But why is it impossible to reach out to us, even if it is just through one of your social media channels?

You don't have to be the biggest, you don't even have to be the best. But some kind of dialogue Roland... Is that to much to ask? Let your loyal customers know whats going on! Please...
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby zombietactics » 18:00, 24 April 2017

Roland makes some great instruments, which unfortunately almost all suffer from some kind of face-palm worthy omissions or design decisions.

I cannot for the life of me understand why the JD-XA makes it impossible to assign LFO modulation to pitch, controlled by aftertouch, for the digital parts. Seriously? (You can do it on the analog parts, so it's not like they are unfamiliar with the concept).

4-octave keyboards on "flagship" instrument like the JD-XA and System-8 ... really?

No aftertouch at all on the System-8 ... not on the keyboard itself, and zero possibility of assigning it via MIDI?

Behringer does a better job overall (except for the 4-octave keyboard part) ... that's embarrassing.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby glynbo » 18:58, 24 April 2017

Hi all,

I am afraid I have to aggree, had my JD-XA for 14 months and I still feal no love for it!!

it just does not excite me, it makes some great sounds, just listen to Cello`s, Jdoo`s ect. efforts but I just can not get into it.

Have listened to JD-XI demos/videos and that gets my attention more, and seems to have more functionality?

As you say, not a lot from Roland in the update front and newer cheaper synths coming out that offer a lot.

I know its got a lot inside it (maybe too much) and must be great for live/gigging musicians but in my home set up it still has no real place. I hope Roland make some sort of announcement soon as to any future updates so that we can all make full use of it immense power.

Cheers,
Glyn.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby horisonten » 13:46, 25 April 2017

Just to clarify. This was not intended as a thread to bash on products per se. I just want to understand why it seems totally impossible to have a working dialogue with the customers through their channels. Roland retailers seems to have no clue about what is going on in the headquarters. It seems like Roland as an organisation would need to open up their corporate hierarchy. It is 2017 and isn't that standard procedur already for big commercial companies? Why are we allowing Roland to keep their doors shut? I mean, we have the money they want, shouldn't that give us the power to make demands?
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby zombietactics » 19:50, 25 April 2017

The "best" company would not be putting out "flagship" instruments with 4-octave keyboards, or leaving critical features like after-touch off of the System-8, or making it impossible to have LFOs respond to after-touch to modulate pitch, in the digital section of the JD-XA ... the list goes on a bit, so I won't belabor the point.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby horisonten » 08:50, 26 April 2017

I guess that some things just comes down to taste. I, for one, am very pleased with 4 octaves. But I believe something most of us can agree on is the annoyance that the lack of communication creates. It adds salt to our deeply wounded egos.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby WhatThe » 11:49, 26 April 2017

I'd rather enjoy my instrument for what it is rather than what it isn't!

I have Moogs, I have DSI's and Novations....they all have their slight flaws, if I spent my energy worrying about the "what ifs" I'd have no studio time.

Just enjoy what you have and make some music.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby horisonten » 10:38, 28 April 2017

Yeah sure, but as stated this post is about the lack of communication and engagement with their customers. Do you think the communication they offer today is acceptabel?
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby WhatThe » 11:02, 28 April 2017

I've always got a response from them within 24hrs, I'm not sure what more is required.

In my experience , I've never had an issue.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby rsaintjohn » 19:54, 28 April 2017

horisonten wrote:Yeah sure, but as stated this post is about the lack of communication and engagement with their customers. Do you think the communication they offer today is acceptabel?


I can't speak to the perception as a JD-XA user, I don't have one. But I have a System-8, an Xi, products from the AIRA and Boutique lines, a Cloud account, and some vintage gear. My experience is that the AIRA, Roland US, UK, Canada and Australia groups are exceptionally well-engaged. When I contact Support through Backstage, I almost always get a response with 1-2 days. A number of them are active on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), making sure their outreach goes to the greatest number of users. I'm active and helpful out there as well, and I've been proactively contacted by about a half-dozen of them for feedback.

Roland's doors are not shut. They've gotten better over the few years about direct engagement, documentation and useful tutorial videos. Are they as active in this forum and other browser-based synth forums? No, but like many of the manufacturers (Korg and Novation come to mind), they've decided to focus their limited resources where the action is: social media. But I'm still pretty confident that all the feedback here, good and bad, is seen and/or gets relayed to them. My primary retailer (Sweetwater) seems to have a great line of communication with them. My local retailer (Guitar Center) does not, nor do they seem to have any idea of what's going on in the electronic music space at all. Roland seems well-engaged with the websites and press that have the most reach.

Having said all that, I'm not saying you're wrong. Especially from the POV of someone who might primarily be a JD-XA user. I think it is fair to say that the System-8 and other AIRA products get more attention that the XA does. In my opinion, I think they took a lot of lessons learned about the XA marketing, design, feature set, support and so on, and applied them to the System 8. Some of it may simply come down to the fact that they're different divisions (engineering and marketing). I don't know for a fact that the S8 has sold better than the XA, but I suspect it has. I don't know if they've given up on the JD-XA; I don't think so, but I think they probably put as much effort into it as can be justified by its sales, which is true for any product.

Even AIRA and Boutique are not immune, in my opinion. The Boutique A-01 and the AIRA Effects modules probably could have done much better last year, but for a number of reasons, they didn't. I suspect that in terms of product mix and marketing, we're on the verge of seeing some changes on the horizon, based on what worked and what didn't over the past few years.

But, again, in my opinion, communications and engagement is not the problem. It's gotten much better over the past few years. But with resources being what they are, they're always going to be focused on where they can reach the largest number of users, and probably focused on which products are selling the best.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby JDBoy » 07:29, 8 May 2017

No the System 8 hasn't sold more than JD-XA, for a start JD-XA was out a lot earlier (over a year?) so of course has a lead, also if you check pricespy and other ranking sites the JD-XA has always shown as more popular (in search and customer engagement) than system 8

https://pricespy.co.uk/category.php?k=660&o=lokal_rank

Some websites may have S8 higher in sales ranks than XA (now) but due to the lead the XA has sold more overall and I can't see S8 sustaining sales like the XA did as people really DO want real analog, and unique/powerful instruments when paying over a grand for hardware. Only a very small subset of people will actually cough up >£1000 for a pure software (VA) instrument in hardware in 2017, that's a fact, don't believe any hype you read to the contrary.

Of course with the price hikes on the XA now putting it at a higher price again, it'll drop a bit but as you can see in the above chart, XA is at 34 (it was quite often in the top ten for a good 8-10 months) and System 8 is down in the 50s somewhere (and has been lower). I think both synths have massive image problems, customer perception, one because it's a weird synth with features not so easy to convey to the general consumer/musician (The XA) and the other because it's a pretty nerfed (for VA) 'no man's' synth that doesn't really excite in any new, sound design way while also offering pretty weak, though probably some of the best vs other VAs, impersonations of real analog (System 8). Anyone who claims digital can nail analog , esp real VCO with good filters like vintage synths, POLYSIX etc, are living in a dream world, it can't, it doesn't and I doubt it ever will (in our life time). And a lot of people know this to be true, so view the S8 as a compromise they are unwilling to pay such a high price for. At around £600? half the price? Yeah, it would be a fine musical instrument delivering nice sound, but it aint no analog and that's a fact.

And JD-XA was a very interesting machine, those who 'get it' love it, but overall sure Roland can and should do better in future if they want to get their image back on track and have high synth sales of quality items, and yeah I vote for 5 octaves in any future flagship, I'll never buy another 4 octave poly no matter how good it is.
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby rsaintjohn » 18:17, 8 May 2017

JDBoy wrote:No the System 8 hasn't sold more than JD-XA...


Good thing I didn't say that. I said I suspect it the S8 is selling better than the XA did. If you have some proof that the XA sold more units in its first 6 months of release than the S8 has, by all means provide it. That doesn't match what I've been told by one retailer, but that's only anecdotal.

But this thread isn't a pi**ing match between the two. The OP and others feel that, because of their XA experience, there isn't enough support from Roland. I'm pointing out that Roland's sales and technical support seems to have gotten much better, and that there are places where that support is more available. The documentation, updates, support and lines of communication between Roland and System 8 users has been fantastic, with the exception of a certain "Cloudiness" on the issue of future plug-outs. ;)

Some here don't feel that support for the XA has been at that level, and I'm just offering an on-topic reply. All I can see from your reply is that you feel the XA doesn't have enough keys, but that you're certain that the XA is more popular, better, and better selling synth than the System-8.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: What about "Be the BEST Rather Than the BIGGEST"?

Postby Duplobaustein » 19:52, 8 May 2017

I followed the XA and it's users since it came out and also think they could have done much more to bring the XA forward. Maybe that even affected the sales.
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