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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55 Visitor comments
February 10, 2013 @ 7:54 pm
I remember seeing one of these advertised for £20. Was hoping it was a minimoog! Still regret not buying it for that price but it seemed a lot of money for an SH1000 in 1994 :)
Tim Wright
February 10, 2013 @ 8:18 am
Hi guys just need a bit of professional advice....does anyone know which/where i could get replacement capacitors for my sh 1000 and is it something you could do yourself if your average with a soldering iron ?

thanks Tim
October 8, 2012 @ 4:58 am
I have a Roland SH-1000 for sale. The last time I used it, about 11 years ago it was working. I sold my amps years ago so can no longer test it. It is missing the colour tab on the "Tuba" but the switch is still operable.
I got it in about 1997 (I think) becuase I saw it and wanted it. Never had a use for it really... Anyway it is sold as seen, near Canterbury Kent UK.
I will send photos of it if you email me on jimashleydown @ (I have added spaces in the email address in a vain hope to avoid spam).
Sensible offers considered.
July 13, 2012 @ 8:01 pm
I sold the SH1000 mentioned below on mar 30 2012...I can't figure out how to remove the post, so please disregard the "for sale" offer. thanks
DJ Rock Well
April 24, 2012 @ 12:37 pm
Can anyone point me towards a video showing how I can tune the Octave spread across the keys? I gather it means going inside
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.89 (332 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

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