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Roland FANTOM EX Synths: New Flagships with JX-3P Expansion


Roland Fantom EX  · 

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Roland

The EX Upgrade now comes preloaded in the new flagship Roland FANTOM 6 EX, FANTOM 7 EX and FANTOM 8 EX synthesizers – including the JX-3P ACB Expansion!

Roland FANTOM EX Synthesizers

Roland’s top-of-the-line FANTOM 6, 7 and 8 workstation synthesizers came out in 2019. Built around ZEN-Core synthesis, they also featured SuperNATURAL and V-Piano technologies and were billed as Roland’s flagship synths. 

Roland Fantom EX
EX marks the spot

Last year November saw Roland rolling out the EX Upgrade, a significant (and paid) firmware booster that added a number of new features to the instruments, including Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB), a wavetable synthesizer, new ZEN-Core-powered model expansions, and more. 

For those who ponied up the $199, this added significant firepower to the FANTOM 6/7/8, bolstering an already impressively specced series of machines.

Fully Loaded

Now the company has announced that the EX Upgrade (plus any previous upgrades like multisampling and 2022’s Virtual Tone Wheel Organ) now comes standard in the new FANTOM 6 EX, FANTOM 7 EX and FANTOM 8 EX synthesizers. 

  • Roland Fantom EX effects
  • Roland Fantom EX with n/zyme

The new EX instruments feature 10 sound expansion titles from the original upgrade, including JUPITER-8, SH-101 and JX-3P ACB Expansions; n/zyme, JD-800, JUNO-106, JUPITER-8, JX-8P and SH-101 Model Expansions; the German Concert V-Piano Expansion 01 and the SuperNATURAL Acoustic Piano 3 Expansion. 

JX-3P ACB Expansion

New for 2024 is the JX-3P ACB Expansion. Similar to the plugin version but retuned for the FANTOM EX, this adds the classic ‘80s poly to the FANTOM workflow. This means that not only can you play it as a single tone but you can layer it with ZEN-Core or Multi-Sample tones. (You cannot use it V-PIANO or another ACB Expansion, unfortunately.)

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Roland Fantom EX JX-3P
JX-3P Expansion

Hardware: Same As It Ever Was

Aside from the presence of the new EX logo, the new FANTOM EX hardware is exactly the same as the original FANTOM models. The FANTOM 8 EX features 88 hammer-action keys while the 61-note FANTOM 6 EX and 76-note FANTOM 7 EX sport semi-weighted synth action. Connectivity is also the same, with XLR combo connectors and eight 1/4-inch outputs for routing sounds to external destinations. There’s also MIDI I/O plus dual CV/Gate outputs.

Are The New FANTOM EX Synthesizers For You?

Given that the new FANTOM EX synths are the same as the original FANTOMs, just with all of the upgrades pre-loaded, who are these for? Well, clearly not owners of the originals. They’re for those who have yet to get a FANTOM. Having all of the sound engines and expansions together makes it a pretty attractive package, in my opinion.

This is also a message that Roland still stands behind the FANTOM line and considers it its flagship synthesizer. Prospective customers don’t have to worry about dropping a significant amount of money on one only to find it no longer supported.

Also, I have to say that the JX-3P Expansion sounds really good in the FANTOM. I’ve had an original FANTOM 6 loaded with the EX Upgrade and JX-3P Expansion in my studio for a week now and I’m really enjoying it. I don’t know if just the JX-3P Expansion is enough to justify a premium purchase like this but when put together with all of the other things the FANTOM EX can do, it’s the icing on the cake.

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Roland FANTOM EX Synthesizers: Price And Availability

The FANTOM EX series is available now here at Thomann shop*. Prices are as follows:

  • Fantom 6 EX: $3199.99
  • Fantom 7 EX: $3699.99
  • Fantom 8 EX: $4199.99

The JX-3P Expansion comes as a free download for FANTOM EX owners and those with the EX Upgrade installed in their original FANTOM units. It’s available on Roland Cloud. (Roland has said it will roll out a few hours after this announcement – check your Roland Cloud for more.)

Of course, current owners can still expand their instruments with the EX Upgrade via the Roland Cloud.

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  • Roland Fantom EX: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX effects: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX with n/zyme: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX with JX-3P Expansion: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 6: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 6: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 6: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 7: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 7: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 7: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 8: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 8: Roland
  • Roland Fantom EX 8: Roland
Roland Fantom EX lead

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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