This weekend I received one of the first serial machines of the "miami" by acidlab.
Yes there is a bit of difference between old and new machine but its all good. The 808 can gracefully retire now
A / B sound comparison (starting with the 808) http://www.sendspace.com/file/pe6pkz
individual sound comparison:
Bassdrum : the miami bassdrum rules, there is no other word. The frequency is a tiny bit lower than on my 808 and it has a crazy long decay. Miami wins.
Snaredrum : my 808 Snare has a higher basic pitch and more noise (due to the internal TM 4 pot setting which also affects the toms) . Different sound on both machines result but both are authentic.
Toms : my 808 toms have a slightly shorter sound (especially set to conga) and more "room noise" added (again due to TM 4). The Miami conga sound is a bit too long for me in this comparison, so advantage to 808.
Rimshot : slightly lower pitch frequency and more body on my 808 (less piercing attack) - I prefer the 808 here
Clap: my 808 clap has more attack, lower frequency, less decay. The parameters attack/decay are set by internal pot TM 3 - its possible to tweak between clicky attack with no decay and endless noise) - I adjusted my 808 to my preference, miami has the "roland standard sound"
Maracas: the miami "shaker" sounds like a "scratch", not very smooth (could be due to pot settings) - clear advantage for 808 here
Cymbals : lower basic frequency and longer decay on my 808, no important difference for me
Open HH : higher basic frequency on my 808 and slightly smoother sound (probably due to a high pass filter setting) - the miami could bring a better result in a recording mix cause usually the high frequency of the 808 HH cause problems in the mastering
the comparison has been done in a "microscopic/ clean" a/b sound check. I believe it will be practically impossible to tell the machines apart in a live setup or a mixdown.
acidlab decided to build a machine as close as possible to the original 808 that is why they left out a few chances to add typical "tonal mods" that could have enhanced the machine even more, but the reason is understandable: the budget was set to keep the price as low as possible with maximum authenticity, and different "extra wishes" by different users arise. I'll send mine back for some mods later (if they should progress into this field) but my verdict for the machine is - THEY HIT THE NAIL!