Roland SH-1000

Roland SH-1000 Image

The SH-1000, introduced in 1973, was the first instrument produced by Roland, and probably one of the first compact affordable keyboard synthesizers in all of Japan. It was designed to complement a home organ. Above its keyboard is a wooden sheet music stand. Organ-style colored preset selector tabs are located below the keyboard. All the extra parameter controls are located to the left of the keyboard.

The SH-1000 is a monophonic analog synth with a single oscillator feeding a lowpass filter, an ADSR envelope, and two LFOs. It features 10 Preset sounds, but they are pretty weak. Fortunately you can create your own sounds for some really great mono-synth bass, lead, percussion and FX sounds. Basic square, ramp and pulse-width waveforms are available from the oscillator and the LFOs have sine, square and sample+hold. It has a terrific ‘Growl’ and ‘Wow’ effect for a pretty scary analog sound. It also features white noise, pink noise, portamento, octave transposition and a Random Note Generator. Although there is no user memory, unique sounds can still be quickly recreated or discovered thanks to its simple interface.

It’s a dinosaur! But it’s also a classic piece of Roland history. It has been used by Vangelis, Human League, Blondie, The Band, and Jethro Tull. A little later in 1973 the SH-2000 was released with more Preset sounds (up to 30) but far less flexibility, controls and features. This may have been because the SH-1000 was a little confusing to its target demographic at the time. But today’s synthesists will love the unique sound and nostalgia of Japan’s first compact synthesizer!

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54 Visitor comments
rhys cau
September 4, 2011 @ 6:13 am
i had a similar problem with the whole no sound thing with my sh-1000
turns out it was a contact issue with one of the preset toggles, the contact had eroded in a way which kept that preset selected but did not produce sound. and inhibited the sound production full stop because a preset was "selected" if you follow me. had the contact replaced in 30 mins, no trouble anymore. hope i have helped!
don t
May 7, 2011 @ 2:32 pm
@sour synth user: I have an SH-2000, similar beast. It may be worth it to unplug/plug back in all the connectors and individual cards. I'm in the middle of doing a necessary re-cap, so the SH-1000 is probably due for it also. Check for bad solder joints when you have the thing apart. Another thing to look for: My SH-2000 just happens to have a Moog filter! Well, the copy of the Moog that Roland got in trouble for anyway. I understand that a few SH-1000's were built with one as well.
soured synth user
May 5, 2011 @ 5:18 pm
I love this keyboard when it works. Its totally expressive and relevant. My problem is, it only works for three weeks every TWO years! Oh, when it works its so, so beautiful. When It doesn't, I stare at it with anger. It powers up, has output, but isn't producing any tone. Any fixes or ideas? Tips from any previous owners?
April 30, 2011 @ 5:38 pm
After watching the video's, I'm desperate in getting this wonderful synth ..
keyboard jeff
January 10, 2011 @ 9:17 am
you have to check the automatic gainsay Roland SH-1000 demo. then you will understand why I'm so sure that this is a FANTASTIC synth! It's super cheap, you can make preset combinations with it and it has 3 LFO's (vibrato, tremolo and growl)!
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO (square, ramp and pulse-width)
  • LFO - 2 LFOs (sine, square, sample+hold)
  • Filter - 1 VCF w/ frequency and cutoff sliders (lowpass)
  • VCA - 1 ADSR envelope gen
  • Memory - 10 presets
  • Keyboard - 37 keys
  • Control - CV / Gate
  • Date Produced - 1973 - 1981

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