Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

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Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby monolith » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:41 am

If anyone wants to contribute any opinions I'd love to hear it. :)

Ok, so i've been saving for this Mono/Poly, and as a lover of messed up sounds I'm blown away by it's sync and X-mod abilities. But the actual 'normal' sounds it has doesnt really stand out to me.
Anyway, I can get an sh-101 with mod grip for the same price, and i must admit i've always wanted one since i borrowed one from the school science lab back in the day.
Having had the chance to play it again I was floored by it's sound (I guess it's what i thought my sh-2 would sound like) and i found the sequencer immediately inspiring.
(having said that, my CSQ-600 just arrived in the mail!)
The crazy sounds on the mono/poly are very alluring but i dont think i'll end up utilising it much in my music. Plus it's not in the greatest condition and it seems like it could cost more to maintain, with all those pots and all..
So having read over this i'd say im pretty sold on the sh-101 but i'd like to know of anything else i should consider, or am overlooking. Or just any $0.02 's that anyone has.
Sorry if this is one of those annoying threads, but i respect the opinions of all you VSE cats and as a relative synth noob, I'd like to make the right decision.
Thanks! =)
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Synthacon » Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:09 pm

The fact that you have a Juno 6 and an SH2 in your set up would seem to me that while you like the deeper programming potential of the Mono/Poly, you don't like the sound.

I would hesitate before you add more Roland to your setup, the Juno and SH that you already have will more than cover the 101.

Keep the Mono/Poly, it is a great synth, just live with it longer.

From a maintance point of view, I have always found pots easier to maintain than sliders. There is a chip or 2 in the Korg that is a pain to find if needed.

Maybe think about picking up a desktop Evolver or Pulse if you are determined to sell the Korg? Just to give you more options in your sound libray than just Roland.
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Z » Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:24 pm

I've owned a Red SH-101 for about 15 years. I've never been crazy about its sounds. I really dig using its sequencer to trigger other synths such as my SH-2. I acquired a MonoPoly about a month ago. I have not had much time to delve into deep programming with Xmod or sync, I am blown away with the thick bass sounds it can make with 4 oscillators (2 @ 16' & 2 @ 8').

I agree with Synthacon. Keep the MP-4 becasue you'll be able to get sounds from it not possible with your Rolands.
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby OriginalJambo » Thu Aug 07, 2008 12:32 am

I've never played an SH-101 but looking at your current setup I think it would bring much less to the table the Mono/Poly has already, unless you really need something you can jump around on stage with.

Just think about it - the Mono/Poly is way more versatile and with 4 VCOs you can really pile on the pounds for thick bass sounds. If you want softer, more vanilla analogue sounds just keep the the X-mod and Sync off.

And if you are finding the bass to be a little lacking just set up a triangle sub oscillator and mix it a little higher than the other oscillators set to square/saw/PWM waveforms. That'll really get you some kick ass bass.

To be honest I find it a bit of a insult to the Mono/Poly that a red/blue SH-101 with a grip can actually be worth more!
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby monolith » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:37 am

I thank you gents kindly for your input,
I dont know if i was clear enough in my original post, i dont own a mono/poly yet but i'm choosing between it and the sh-101.
Anyway, I took great heed of what you guys said and am going with the mono/poly. I got a little caught up with the nostalgia of the sh-101. :oops:
However i've managed to convince the cat selling the 101 to hold onto it a month for me, (he doesnt need the money by any stretch of the imagination!) so in the end it looks like i'll have both.
Mind you, this requires a steady diet of Mi-Goreng for a few weeks. But i did that for 3 years so i should be fine. (ah! MSG!)

So thanks again. :thumbright:

Synthacon: In another thread you referred to an SSM chip in relation to the mono/poly, would this be the chip you say is hard to source? Is it worth chasing one up now so any future problems are ready to be dealt with?
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Synthacon » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:48 pm

You can buy chips, in readiness for any failures, although you sometimes never need them. I used to keep several hard to find chips laying around when I had some of my more rare gear "just in case".

The SSM chips in the Mono/Poly are the 2044 VCF and 2033 VCO. The 2033 is getting very hard to find now, the 2044 comes up better.

As with most synths, its only when they die does the hunt start, and you can find stuff, it just comes down to what you are willing to pay.

Don't let me put you off, the Mono/Poly is a great synth.
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby tom Cadillac » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:36 am

I had a sh101, but never really liked it and don,t feel it's so special - just been used a lot. I'v still got a Mono/poly and while i agree it's hard to find a place for, its still a glorious and unique synth. Once you get into the glitchy poly function with the 4 oscillators firing on different notes, seemingly at random you'll be hooked. I'm not sure on this but I have the idea that parts are easy to find because there's so many dead poly 6s arround, with similar bits i guess...
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Synthacon » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:11 am

tom Cadillac wrote: I'm not sure on this but I have the idea that parts are easy to find because there's so many dead poly 6s arround, with similar bits i guess...


Apart from the SSM VCF, 2044, they use a fair few different parts from each other. Whilst they have similar looks and similar tone, due to the same VCF, they are different inside in most respects.

The VCO's in the Mono/Poly which are SSM 2033, are rather tricky to find these days.
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Pilot352 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:19 am

I bought my Mono/Poly brand new somewhere in the early 80's. Just when it first came out. It doesn't move around much and I only use it about once a month. It's been a stable work horse. If you're concerned about the voice chip dieing, don't! It's very rare in this synth. Can it happen? Yes. But I wouldn't worry about it. You made a great choice with the M/P 4. =D> =D>

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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Computer Controlled » Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:46 pm

I have both, and there's a place for both synths. I refer to my M/P as The Pig =o] I think you'll fine having both synths a great pleasure =o]
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby synthesizerist » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:37 pm

I've never owned an SH-101, so I can't comment, but the Mono/Poly could quite possibly be my favorite synth. Having said that, I don't go to it for any "normal" sounds. 8) And that's probaby why it's not my most used synth, but it is indeed a beautiful and unique creature. And I've never had a problem with it either. I honestly couldn't ever see selling it personally.
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Z » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:19 pm

This video does not go in depth of each synths' sounds, but will give you an idea of their differences. I actually made this video last week to help another VSE member with controlling his 101 from a 303.
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby monolith » Thu Aug 28, 2008 1:43 am

Cheers for the replies and thanks for the link, Z.
It turns out the Mono/poly had some really crackly pots so the guy selling it opened up and found a few of the capacitors had leaked. So its currently getting them all replaced. It will be a few weeks before its ready, so i bought the sh-101 and will be able to save for the mono/poly in the meantime. I'm really enjoying the sh-101, I personally find its sound more inspiring than my sh-2.
One thing though, the issue of the caps with the mono/poly... could this be the beginning of the end for it? I'd hate to get it and have the ssm chips fail not far down the line...
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Re: Mono/Poly Vs Sh-101

Postby Computer Controlled » Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:56 am

M/Ps are usually pretty solid. I'm sure it was due for a recapping anyway. I should probably recap mine...

The 101 is such a useful synth. Perfect for live use as well with that triggerable sequencer.
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