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!

Lookup Roland SH-1000 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland SH-1000? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

54 Visitor comments
dj tricks
February 27, 2012 @ 7:45 pm
Upadate....the sound of my upgraded SH-1000

close your eyes, can this synth really make these sounds? (SH 1000 Just AWESOME)
December 30, 2011 @ 12:04 am
I'm selling mine if anyone is interested. Everything works except for the delay. Nothing that cant be fixed. Circuits need a bit of cleaning too.
December 26, 2011 @ 10:22 am
One of the best simple vintage synths. Looks like generic preset but can do a lot more!
Very raw 70' sound. It can combine several waveforms (but no detunable - it uses frequency divider). Fantastic filter with "grainy" resonance, 2 lfo's, random pitch mode, good sounding portamento - this synth gives you real ability to control the timbre. VERY powerfull basslines. Sounds cool in high registers too!
There are no factory cv/gate inputs and that's probably reason why it's not popular.
As other synths from "gold Roland period" - always good sounding!
dj tricks
December 18, 2011 @ 7:42 pm
I finally got Sh-1000 and glad that I did the only thing is you would have to upgrade to midi.This wonderful synth kept me up for hours,it's possible to get fat 303 and 101 sounds but what a waste unless your playing live and because this is vintage & weighs a ton,you're not taking it any where,plus you can't save your settings unless you write your config on paper,which is find,because within seconds,after you let this beauty beast warm up for 1hour,then 10 hrs later pure REAL analog fat bass lines,silky watery grooves,forget the presets,maybe the bass guitar is good.
Ivan Sindjin
December 14, 2011 @ 11:51 am
I love this synth. Definitely a different beast to the SH-2000. I'm looking to buy one if anybody is looking to sell... Long shot but worth a try I guess.
Post Comment!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.89 (331 Votes)

  • 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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.