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
Kevin
March 17, 2013 @ 11:07 am
love this synth!! never really use the presets as they sound a bit too cheese, using the manual footages and ASDR functioning, along with some dirrrty oscillating, does the trick... sounds great through pedals.

Only thing i'm missing is that handsome original case; if i could only get my hands on one...
Paul FitzZaland
March 11, 2013 @ 4:52 pm
I'm restoring my SH-1000. If anyone has tab switches or slider potentiometers for the SH-1000 please let me know.

Paul@PaulFitzZaland.com

Thanks!
Paul FitzZaland
March 11, 2013 @ 4:49 pm
Someone just gave me an ol' SH-1000 in less than ideal condition. One wood end panel is missing, two or three switch tabs are broken-off, and several knobs look like they've been chewed on by a doberman. Worst of all the front panel is badly corroded and the envelope and filter sliders were rusted into place. I was scared to plug it in but surprisingly it powered-on and almost everything including the filter still works. (They obviously used high quality components in it's construction.) Sadly the decay, sustain, and release controls no longer function. Still sounds great though!
tom
February 15, 2013 @ 10:51 am
I've had a couple of these over the years, but have never really fallen in love with them. A bit too thin and hollow sounding compared to later SH's and it felt like this character was always present no matter what the settings were. A great piece of synth history though, and while not excactly good looking, it has lots of quirky charm. I would probably buy one again if the price was right.
bumbaclart
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 :)
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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