Seems the 8820 and the digital D70 are highly evaluated. I think I'm gonna skip the 88 pro (I wished to get it so much before) as u guys recommended and grab a D70 instead.
BUT what about the 8850? 8820 should sound great but unlike 8850, some of its samples are mono according to the WIKI. This is the very reason 8820 is not listed as my first choice. Any other thing people normally complain about on 8850 besides it's lack of digital output? Really in need of informs to help me make a clearly smarter choice.
I mean, if you can get an insanely cheap 88Pro, get it, if for no other reason than to resell it. But for the price, get an 8820/50/D70. They are better modules with a better GM map. Let's face it, drumkits are important, they are in almost every single GM piece of music ever. The ED series default kit blows the 88Pro default kit out of the water. QuestStudios' and my site's "Sierra Soundtrack CD's" use it on almost every single recording from 1999 onwards, to enhance original the MT-32 or SC-55 kit.
I have both 8820/50, and I think the 8820 has better sound. The mono samples are not an issue. I like the stereo pianos on the 8850, but the realism of the pianos is better on the 8820. Also, the clarinet is way better on the 8820. There are some isolated examples beyond that, but those are the most important.
The digital output is somewhat important. I feel you get much clearer, crisper sound. The 8820/50's are tight sounding synths, they are not as overly reverby as the 55 in particular is. They have a very classy, punchy sound. I think the digital output goes with this, others may disagree. I have used both extensively. I only use the D70 (8820)'s output any more, although I use my 8850 as an interface, because it has the LCD screen, because I'm spoiled. 😉
Sweet. I pulled the trigger on an SC-D70 and hopefully should arrive this week.
Although one thing I did find out after the fact was apparently the only way to switch sound maps is via MIDI. I was a little surprised there is no other way via the physical interface; especially since the SC-D70 has far more buttons and knobs than the 8820. Yet, the 8820's one button is for changing sound maps. 😒
Congrats! You should enjoy it.
Yeah, sound map issue may be a bit annoying. Do you have a MIDI sequencer? If so, it should be very easy. See pages 34 and so in the manual.
EDIT: I spent the last hour looking for a SysEx string or something but came up short. I did find that the program I used to use, the XG/GS Utilities, are now free and apparently have a map selection option for the 8820. See this page:
(After installing, use the XG/GS Reset function to hopefully restart the synth in your desired map mode.)
I also found this SysEx on his site, which may do it (see attachment).