Roland MC-8 Micro-Composer

Vintage Roland MC-8 Sequencer Archive

Low Serial Number “Blue Meanie” MC8

MC8s rarely come up for sale, so I generally take note when they do. Recently an oddly-colored one appeared on eBay- instead of the usual brown top, it had a blue top. Also, the serial number on this one was 600000. It’s definitely earlier than my other MC8, which is serial number 680904. Since the bidding was very slow up until the last day, I decided to place a bid myself just to make sure it sold for a decent amount. Well, probably mostly due to the fact that it was missing the crucial cable that links the sequencer to the interface, it ended up selling for chump change, and I won it (if only inadvertently) for $224.50! I definitely don’t need TWO of these things, but what the heck. I received the unit the other day, and I’m convinced that the blue paint job is factory, though I’ve never seen another like it. It has the full 16k memory (additional memory could be purchased as an expensive daughter board). Also, it has a two-prong power cable instead of  three prongs. There may be other differences lurking inside. I don’t know what serial number these started at, or how the numbering scheme worked, but given that only a few hundred of them were ever made, I’m sort of fantasizing that maybe 600000 could mean this was the first one off the line…? Who knows… If you own an MC8, please leave a comment here with the serial number and memory capacity, and also of course whether you have a blue one like this.

I fired it up using the cable from my other MC8, and it appears to be working OK. I’m not really sure what sort of use I’ll get from this one other than as a collector’s item, so I suspect I’ll probably have a cable fashioned for it and eventually put it back up for sale. We’ll see. It’s too bad this came up only after Ralph passed, or I’d probably have had it shipped directly to him, since he hadn’t owned an MC8 in decades.

June 19, 2013 Posted by | Images, Uncategorized | Leave a comment