This is my review after 3 months of use.
I really liked the idea of a synth capable to host synths like Jupiter-8, Juno-106, JX-3P and other Roland's monophonic synths.
Never owned one of them, so I can't say how these
PLUG-OUTS are close to the originals, but they sound very good.
Building quality is good. Someone criticized the plastic case and the green lights...
Yes, it's plastic and it's lightweight, but I find that's a nice looking plastic.
The control panel is amazing, knobs and faders are pleasant to feel and the green lights can be dimmed.
The onboard effects are good, maybe not the best sounding if compared with those of Behringer Deepmind or Korg Prologue, but they do their job and diving in the menu a good set of parameters allows to further refine the effects, especially delays and reverbs.
The strong point of the synth is the native System-8's engine, with a standard subtractive architecture and a noticeable set of 24 waveforms for the two main oscillators, including 14 FM waveforms, plus a third oscillator acting as a sub-oscillator.
The COLOR parameter of each oscillator allows to further shape each waveforms and can be modulated by several modulation sources.
Cross modulation, Sync and Ring modulation are available as well.
Talking about modulations, I can't avoid to mention the single LFO.
Compared to other synthesizers in the same price range, where at least 2 LFO's are available, the presence of a single LFO might be rather questionable.
I've considered this carefully before buying, and the option to record knobs motions in the step sequencer
seemed to me a valid compromise solution.
Nevertheless, you would expect a single fully functional LFO and I found out soon that's not the case...
Apart the inability to separately modulate the pitch of each oscillator, or at least switch off the modulation on one of them, the LFO behaviour is very unusual and it's something that you wouldn't expect on a synth.
The System-8's LFO has 6 waveforms (sine, triangle, saw, square, sample&hold and random) and it's available as source modulator for PITCH, FILTER, AMP and COLOR.
While all the six LFO's waveforms are usable for PITCH, FILTER and AMP modulations, only what would seem a sine or a triangular shape is "available" for COLOR modulations.
Whatever action you take on the LFO waveforms knob,
the result is forcibly the same single wave shape.
The same happens with the other waveforms in VARIATION 2 and VARIATION 3 of the LFO, where only one out of six works.
Needless to say how useful would be to use a Square wave LFO, or a Saw, a Sample&Hold or a Random, to modulate FM oscillators.
As well with the other two VARIATION's waveforms, that would be extremely useful with FM oscillators.
I would say that's is clearly a bug of the System-8 LFO, since on its little brother System-1M and System-1 VST, as some users reported, all the six LFO waveforms are instead available for oscillator's COLOR modulations.
It's really baffling to me.
Still talking about modulations, also using oscillator 3 as source modulation for osc1 or osc2 COLOR produce a strange effect, a clear dissonance every four key pressed.
This has been reported as an intended behaviour, since it mimics old analog synths behaviour.
But, again, this behaviour it's not the same on the software version, the System-8 VST, where the same modulation
doesn't produce the same effects and is way more usable.
In conclusion, I must report another issue when external MIDI sync is enabled, in order to use the System-8 with a DAW external sequencer.
Enabling TEMPO SYNC for rhythmic effect using DELAYS onboard effects, some bizarre changes in pitch of delayed notes are clearly audible,
and the display on System-8 shows an unstable BPM value.
I find it extremely annoying and after all possible tests, USB MIDI, MIDI cables, DAW settings, I gave up and manually match the tempo between the DAW and the synth.
Since I described known issues that many users reported on many places on the Web since the end of 2016
(but unfortunately I discovered them after the purchase),
it's really disappointing to still find the same issues 4 years later.
The System-8 is a good syntesizer, without these issues would be a GREAT synth.