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!

Check Roland SH-1000 Prices on eBay

The link above will take you to a 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.

52 Visitor comments
April 18, 2013 @ 5:39 pm
I have one in good condition, beautiful instrument but no case
Pulse Emitter
April 17, 2013 @ 3:06 am
my friend had one of these in his house growing up, it had belonged to his older brother. we had a lot of fun with it! really juicy analog tones. the preset sounds on the colorful flippers are pretty humorous. i remember we assigned sample and hold to pitch and put the tuba sound on, ran it through a distortion and it sounded so bad ass! like a bass guitar metal riff.

we originally thought the synth was broken but then figured out that you had to turn it on and let it warm up for a few minutes before it would make any sound at all!
Mike McKay
April 11, 2013 @ 8:18 am
hi I have a sh1000 in full working order ,it has is original case with music stand, I used to hook it up to a Roland DEP 5 processor for even greater sounds .Still have that as well
its minus its hold button so if anyone has a spare ?
Sadly does not get used now ,but a friend checked it out last week as I don't have amps and speakers now . But I remember how better they sound at volume up rather than very low volume.
Cant decide to keep or let go ,its a piece of synth
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.

Post Comment!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.89 (328 Votes)

  • 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

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.