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Rating and Reviews: Roland SP-404SX Sampler

With the SP404SX's built-in mic, battery power, and SD card storage, you can sample anywhere, anytime -- then sweeten your sounds with 29 DSP effects.

User Ratings
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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Love this thing. Use it everyday" submitted November 10, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Classically trained for 10 yrs. Make electronica for fun. Gig/get paid for fun. Use this with ableton and APC40.
Music Style: electronic
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Sound: Sound is great! What ever sample you put in, it will spit out exactly. Only takes WAVs so the quality is high, but so is the file size. My 404-sx came with a 1GB card so space isn't really an issue. FX are amazing as well. Feature: So many features!! Great FX which are easy to use. Other features, such as pattern creation, are good but difficult to use. (Creating Patterns takes 17 steps which makes it impractical to do on the fly.) Love that its battery powered! Makes gigging so much easier. The one thing thats weird is that the in/outputs are RCA... Which means i had to go out and buy some more cables that i didn't already have. Ease of Use: Putting the samples in and assigning them to pads is a breeze. Very very easy with the included software. The manual is easy to read and straight forward. Some of the functions/features require too many steps to be done during live performance. But over all i was playing with my own samples in about 15 minutes after buying it. The message screen can be quite cryptic but after a while of using it, you just start to memorize what they mean. Plus there is a guide in the manual that explains them all. (The other day i let my 8 yr old cousin play with it. He was having a blast switching between banks and even applying some FX.) Quality: This thing is rock solid. Love the material of the body, the pads are great, the buttons are great, and the knobs are solid as well. Very very well made and sturdy. Its big enough be comfortable to use with 2 hands but small enough to fit in a book bag along side my laptop. You will not be disappointed by the build of this thing. Value: Not really sure considering the fact that this is the only sampler I've used/bought. But that being said, I DO believe its worth every penny. I use it everyday and it always holds up to my expectations. And because the build of such great quality, I'd say I'll be using it for much longer. Zzounds.com let me make payments which was a life-saver. But still, $500 can be a lot for some people. Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed it yet but if the manual and the emails i get from roland are any indication, I'll bet their support is of great quality. The Wow Factor: After watching some youtube reviews of the product i started looking around. Decided to get it off zzounds.com because of their financing options. (4 smaller payments). Use it every day. My DJ/musician friends are always jealous and want to play with it too. Overall: Giving it a 8/10 because: Pros: Meets my musical needs/expectations For the most part, very easy to use VERY sturdy build Battery powered (Too often i show up to gigs and there's no outlets left. With only 6 AA batteries this thing runs for a while.) Cons: Can only use 1 effect at a time. Its $500 (Even though its worth it, its still a little pricey) Some function use is very convoluted. Message screen can be a little cryptic. RCA input/output. Kind of odd... ***8/10 means that a 10/10 would be perfect. Considering that, an 8/10 is pretty damn good.
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"Good choice for live band requirements." submitted July 25, 2011

By a customer from jci.com
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Sound
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Musical Background: Hobbyist
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Sound: The Roland is able to accurately represent the sound quality of your sample. Feature: Sounds editing features are good. Good user manual. RCA inputs / outputs seem a little outdated but nothing a few adapters can't fix. I wish it had USB interface. The software is useful but again, seems a little dated. Looks like the application was developed by a summer intern. 2011 and we can't get USB interface and drag and drop function or a text field to see our patches? For almost 500 bucks I think Roland should have stepped up here. The amount of sound editing features makes up for the 1990's PC interface. I wish it had a 'jingle' mode where you could hit the button and allow the sample to play 1 time. It does allow this by hitting 2 buttons. (hold sample trigger then tap the 'hold' button.) Ease of Use: The sheer amount of buttons / options made me nervous but I was able to get up and running instantly. A quick scan of the useful manual led me to discover all the options. Quality: Mine is pretty new but it seems pretty well built. These samplers haven't changed too much over the years and they seem to have a good reputation so I'm hoping for the best. A hard protective case would probably be a good investment for this device. Value: I personally think Roland products have a premium price. I am not loyal to the brand and will often shop around for similar products but in many cases Roland seems like the right choice. In this case there were limited options available. This unit doesn't have the limitations on sample length and banks that the other devices do. Manufacturer Support: I've never had to call Roland support for anything. The Wow Factor: I'll bet they could make this device smaller but that would have an impact on how useful the large trigger buttons are. It's still small enough it could work with limited real estate. I 'attached' it to the second tier of a 2 tier keyboard stand. The interactive blue / red light is simple but sexy. I only found one other sampler product out there with SD card capability... really??! Maybe some of those modern digital turntables have the ability but that didn't fit my needs. Overall: I expect another revision of this device is coming soon, however, I think the 404sx however will be in my gear for a long time. I can see why the same sampler structure has been used for so many years. The button layouts make sense for it's intended purpose. There are plenty of banks for samples. The storage capacity is HUGE with the SD card option. The lighting is useful on stage. Sure, you may have to dig through your old collection of RCA patch cables and may have a little extra noise to contend with by introducing additional adapters to the signal path.
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"sp-404sx" submitted October 28, 2009

By a customer from yahoo.com
Overall
Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: active musician/recording engineer
Music Style: reghgaton
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Sound: well beign my first sampler i love it. Feature: great features and they are all easy to use Ease of Use: very easy understaning the manual is a little bit hard but once you get it its a blast Quality: yes its made very well and it looks very well and everything about it i done very wel. Value: yeah its worth every penny Manufacturer Support: yes they have roland us. the website you could get support there and if you want to talk to a represetative you could just call there help number and someone is always there to take tha call and help.. The Wow Factor: yes it looks very apealing to the eye the look of the new sp-404sx it grat ... Overall: well along time untill they come up with something better.
7 of 13 people (53.85%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Man like i said this thing is awsome!!!!!" submitted September 5, 2011

By a customer from aol.com
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Features
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Value
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Dj
Music Style: R & B
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Sound: The sound on this thing is awsome Feature: The features are tight Ease of Use: I gave it an eight because i'm still learning to use it Quality: Very Very good Manufacturer Support: Haven't needed the support yet
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