Roland SP-404SX vs SP-404A Review – Which Is Better?

This post was updated on: March 5th 2024

If you loiter around a live circuit, you will encounter a music player beating on a device with a Roland brand logo.

It can be a Roland SP 404A vs 404SX. Both of them can create equally awesome, mind-blowing sounds.

However, they have a similar appearance with dark colors, a screen displaying red numbers, and an equal number of buttons.

These similarities may fool you sometimes in the event you want to tell them apart.

What exactly is the difference between SP 404SX vs SP 404A?

Roland SP 404SX vs SP 404A - The Similarities

Because the SP 404A is a newer and advanced version of the SP 404SX, it has nearly all the features and abilities the older tool has.

Some of the basic features are:

  • Both of them let you trigger audio samples anytime and anywhere as long as there are battery power and a built-in mic.
  • Both of the tools allow files to be transferred to a computer.
  • They both use Vinyl Sim.
  • Both have 29 DSP (Digital Signal Processor) effects, including unique voice effects, filter, subsonic, delay, and looper, and more.

Roland SP 404A vs SP 404SX - The Differences

In terms of the price you have to spend to own one, the SP 404A is more expensive since it offers more advanced features as mentioned below.

Last update on 2024-03-04 at 17:41 UTC - 4/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About product dimensions, the figures for the 404SX are 10 x 3 x 7 inches, whereas that of SP 404A is 14 x 10 x 7 inches.

sp 404a vs sp 404sx

Also, the SP 404SX only weighs 1.5 pounds while the SP 404A weighs 2.6 pounds.

This means the latter unit is bigger than the former when size is mentioned.

Regarding the type of battery used, the 404SX requires 4C batteries while AC or six AA batteries power the 404A.

About the first released date, SP 404SX’s available date is June 4, 2010, whereas that of SP 404A is August 10, 2017.

We can infer that the SP 404A is much more modern and is the later version of these two devices.

Roland SP 404SX tends to receive more favorable reviews than its later version.

It can be explained by the fact that it is more reasonably priced.

You could say that the Roland SP 404SX earns more popularity compared to the other sampler since it has more than 200 reviews on e-commerce sites.

Roland SP-404SX Review

In SP 404A vs sp 404SX comparison, the 404SX is a top choice for customers among the audio samplers with the same price range.

Since it was first introduced to the public, it has taken an exciting leap forward compared to other previous Roland’s performance sampler versions.

Besides the fun, fast and hands-on features of the previous model, the new one offers improved sound quality thanks to pure 16-bit linear sampling, better DSP effects, FX switching, a more adjustable pattern sequencer, and better data management experience with SD-card compatibility.

roland sp 404a vs 404sx

It has become a popular and impressive choice of musicians, live-sound engineers, DJs, producers, and those triggering jingles.

This tool contains a Sub Pad, three control knobs, and twelve trigger pads that allow fast repeat triggering.

It also offers Seamless effects for smooth performance and Pattern sequencer with quantized mode.

There is also a 1GB SD card included, which allows the storage to be expanded to even 32GB.

Roland SP-404SX Linear Wave Sampler with DSP Effects
  • Sample anytime, anywhere with the built-in mic and battery power
  • 29 DSP effects, including filter, delay, unique voice effects, subsonic, and looper

Last update on 2024-03-04 at 17:41 UTC - 4/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Excellent sound effects
  • Ease of loading samples onto the SD cards
  • Curious MIDI operation
  • Easy to use
  • Powerful


  • Hard-to-craft seamless loops on this box

Who Should Choose SP 404SX?

The 404SX does allow you to play loops, but the appeal of this machine is its weaknesses. You need to punch in and out of loops when recording them.

You can also adjust the starting and endpoints after recording them. However, it is not very intuitive.

Some artifacts are introduced when you speed up or slow down samples; it's a fluttering sound - the raw charm of this machine.

So, buy this one if you want to make spontaneous Madlib/Dilla Donuts style beats and avoid it when you are searching for a solution for backing tracks running.

Roland SP-404A Review

The Roland's SP-404A Wave Sampler extends AIRA TR-8 Rhythm Performer sounds to create a more impressive combination of percussive synthesis and sample.

The fast, fun, and closely-involved approach of the SP-series samplers perfectly fits the unique rhythmic effects and step-sequencer of the AIRA TR-8.

The SP-404A is equipped with all the features and functions that the SP-404SX have including the 29 DSP effects, 16-bit linear sampling, smooth FX switching as well as twelve performance pads.

sp-404a vs sp-404sx

Besides, an SD card includes a new library of sounds curated by sample-industry leader Loop masters.

Whether controlled by TR-8 or used alone, the SP 404A still adds an inspiring and intuitive touch to AIRA instruments for musicians and music players.

Roland SP-404A Rhythmic Effects Linear Wave Sampler
  • Sample anytime, anywhere with the built-in mic and battery power
  • Can be triggered from the 16-step sequencer in the TR-8 Rhythm Performer (TR-8 system version 1.50 or later required)

Last update on 2024-03-04 at 17:41 UTC - 4/ Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • So much fun with a range of equipment
  • Versatile
  • Reliable quality
  • Reasonable price


  • Loose headphone port a bit

Who Should Choose SP 404A? 

As always, Roland delivers with the best, most efficient workflow products on the market. This new model of the SP is great but not a whole lot different than the SX.

However, if you want to have a better experience of using samplers on stage and in the studio, which means having easier access and greater control of sounds without relying on a computer, the 404A is recommended.


Can I use them with my guitar?

You can conveniently connect the SP-404  to your guitar through the mic jack in the RCA or the front.

In case there is not available mixing, based on EQ it and sample the guitar,  you are easy to add desired effects with the resample capacity.

Do I need to use a speaker?

You could connect to the speakers with the RCA, or you need to know what the PA system's connections are, and depending on the setup, you might need an amp.

The necessary cables don't come with it.

Does it come with a utility disc?


The Roland SP 404SX unit purchased through an Amazon Vendor came with a basic utility disc.

However, do not assume all vendors selling this package include the disc.

You had better inquire of the vendor before purchasing if you want to have a disc.

Or you can check Roland's website for the software they may offer relating to this sampler.

In Conclusion

As mentioned above in this article about SP 404SX vs SP 404A comparison, although the SP 404A is more modern and has more sound effects, customers still like the older version way more since its price sounds more reasonable.

Thank you for reading. I hope this article can help you make a satisfying purchasing decision.

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