Roland Fantom G8 any experience

Posted by: JFP

Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/08/13 06:22 AM

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the Fantom G series of Roland and the quality of the AP sounds and EP sounds + organ in particular.

1) I know the standard AP isn't super natural, but apart from that, is it a good grand piano sound that can be played dynamically and doesn't sound too short looped & layered ?

2) The Fantom can be expanded with the ARX SN EP board. Anyone knows if this is a good board and on par with the SN EP's that can be found on later Roland gear like the RD700NX , Integra7 , Jupiter and FP-80 ?

3) Are the Organs based on ToneWheel emulation , like on the RD-NX / FP-80 , or are they pure sample based. If sample based ; any good ? Can the faders be used as drawbar controls ?

4) Since there's an SN AP expansion board for the RD700GX series , that is presumably a ARX board (?) ; will it also work in the Fantom ? Or will Roland 'ever' bring out a SN AP expansion for the Fantom G series ? I read somewhere that Roland probably wasn't going to , but perhaps a Fantom owner has more info on that.

Any info on this board is appreciated. Could buy one now that there are quite good second hand offers and wonder if the Fantom should be skipped , or if it's worth the consideration. It seems it was developed in the better times of Roland (pre-crisis) and has a very good feature set and build-quality. I also would like to use it for live performance and like lots of HQ controls, but if the sound is too dated that will be a drawback and probably a deal-breaker.

Example : almost new Fantom G7 (AT) to get for less than a Jupiter-50 (no AT). Are the Jupiters that much better or will a Fantom with SN EP board eat the Jupiter for lunch ?
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/08/13 09:22 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the Fantom G series of Roland

Owned a G6

and the quality of the AP sounds and EP sounds + organ in particular.

AP and EP sounds are good

1) I know the standard AP isn't super natural, but apart from that, is it a good grand piano sound that can be played dynamically and doesn't sound too short looped & layered ?

Yes

2) The Fantom can be expanded with the ARX SN EP board. Anyone knows if this is a good board and on par with the SN EP's that can be found on later Roland gear like the RD700NX , Integra7 , Jupiter and FP-80 ?

Don't know visit rolandclan

3) Are the Organs based on ToneWheel emulation , like on the RD-NX / FP-80 ,

No

or are they pure sample based. If sample based ; any good ?

Good but typical

Can the faders be used as drawbar controls ?

No

4) Since there's an SN AP expansion board for the RD700GX series , that is presumably a ARX board (?) ; will it also work in the Fantom ?

No

Or will Roland 'ever' bring out a SN AP expansion for the Fantom G series ? I read somewhere that Roland probably wasn't going to , but perhaps a Fantom owner has more info on that.

Any info on this board is appreciated. Could buy one now that there are quite good second hand offers and wonder if the Fantom should be skipped , or if it's worth the consideration. It seems it was developed in the better times of Roland (pre-crisis)

It was the cause of rolands crisis

and has a very good feature set and build-quality. I also would like to use it for live performance and like lots of HQ controls,

It has excellent controls

but if the sound is too dated that will be a drawback and probably a deal-breaker.

Very heavy

Example : almost new Fantom G7 (AT) to get for less than a Jupiter-50 (no AT). Are the Jupiters that much better or will a Fantom with SN EP board eat the Jupiter for lunch ?

Jupiter is much better sound wise. I currently own the integra.

Posted by: JFP

Re: Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/08/13 11:55 AM

Seems the Integra-7 and/or Jupiter is a better deal ? JP50 problem is the lack of Aftertouch, which was standard on all Fantom's. I like to use that. I know the JP80 has it , but that one is out of my budget and the fantom I can currently get cheap, so if it's still a great board - very tempting. Also it seems to have a great audio interface integrated; sort of an all-in-one solution. if Roland had ever announced an AP SN board for the G series, it would be a no brainer.

By the way I noticed that the Piano Designer settings on Jupiter and Integra are much simpler than on the Roland HP, FP and RD series. Don't know if this means the SN AP on these boards is a stripped down version compared to the other piano's , or the exact same engine , just with a little less parameters to customize.

Note: funny ; a full-blown synth has much less parameters to tweak your sound than the same presets on a home piano model.
Posted by: emenelton

Re: Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/08/13 06:20 PM

Remember it's an extremely heavy and bulky G8 and has no sn sounds. It's EP on board are pretty good and it has other good sounds as well. It is a reasonable statement to say that none of it's sounds are as good as Roland's current SN offerings.

It is considered a disappointing let-down by the fandom x owners who mistakenly migrated to it.

The guy from the Roots uses a G7 on Jimmy Fallon.
Posted by: maduro

Re: Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/10/13 03:46 AM

I own a lot of roland products including the Fantom G
and I will be honest with you I am very disapointed by the Acoustic pianos.

That being said the action is not horrible.
and I believe with some tweaking the Acousitc piano could probably be better.
like with most fantoms the sound from left to right gets way to bright.

The biggerst sore point with owning a fantom is the lack of expandability
no serious third party sounds

There is an Italian company that makes piano sounds for the roland G that from the demo sound good I have not bought them yet but the price is low enough to make it worth my while to shop it
piano sounds for fantom

I do have the ARX piano board expansion and and happy with it.
very usable and flexible


I think it sucks that I still would need an expansion like the integra to make my piano sound natural.
Roland has the srx board the complete piano which was a great sounding expansion. why would they not bring that into their Fantom.

I give up I am going with the Korg Kronos

However I will keep my Roland it is great for pop and dance music not that I do much of that. and yes it is very bulky and heavy. I am a pretty strong guy but lugging this beast around is too much of a chore.
I always try to opt for light for gigs.
studio logic and a module is the way to go for me for gigging


If I were to do it over again
I would buy the Kronos.
Roland just let Fantom owners down.
I think they owed it to the fantom owners to at least
make the programming architecture privy to third party software developers so that it wasnt like pulling teeth to make third party software.
Posted by: Dr Popper

Re: Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/10/13 05:36 AM

Originally Posted By: JFP
I was wondering if anyone had any experience with the Fantom G series of Roland and the quality of the AP sounds and EP sounds + organ in particular.




Yes I have had a G8 previously .... Ended up giving it away. You wouldn't buy one if AP/EP and organs were your focus. It had great pads and synths typical of a Roland and some interesting stuff in the sequencer. But it failed miserably in the market as it had a lot of bugs and roland didn't support it very well if at all.
You would be better off with a I-7
Posted by: JFP

Re: Roland Fantom G8 any experience - 05/10/13 06:16 AM

Thank you all.

So in short Fantom is not a good choice if you're interested in good AP / EP / Organ sounds, apart from the other synths stuff.

As a controller board it seems great though. Plenty of I/O , controls, Aftertouch etc. Perhaps a good general MIDI controller for softsynths ?

Pity Roland never brought out more ARX boards , like a SN A-piano expansion. Why they did that for the RD700GX and NOT for the Fantom owners is a mystery to me. Not a nice way to tread your premium (and premium paying) customers.

Anyway, I'll move on and let the "G" offers for what it is.