Roland SH-2000

Roland SH-2000 Image

The SH-2000, introduced in 1973, is Roland’s second synthesizer and is essentially a limited version of the SH-1000. Like the 1000, it is a single-oscillator monophonic analog Preset synthesizer designed to sit atop a home organ. It’s got a great old analog sound but its lack of edit-ability and connectivity compared to the SH-1000 is what ultimately holds it back from being really great. (Perhaps Roland wanted to simplify it for the target demographic at the time - churches and casual home organists.)

Below its 37-note keyboard are several colorful tab switches which are used to select any one of its 30 Preset sounds. They range from the usual to the unusual: Tuba, Trombone, French Horn, Trumpet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Oboe, Flute, Clarinet, Cello, Violin, Bass Guitar, Hawaiian Guitar, Banjo, Fuzz Guitar I, Fuzz Guitar II; Piano, Harpsichord, Accordion, Vibraphone, Xylophone; Singing Voice, Song Whistle, Popcorn, Space Reed, Planet, Frog Man, Funny Cat, Growl Wow and Wind.

Roland SH-2000 Image

Left of the keyboard are the only editable controllers available on the SH-2000. They include the filter’s cutoff, resonance and modulation sliders, LFO modulation rate, portamento, vibrato, pitch bend, volume and master tuning. The filter and LFO are severely limited and there are no ADSR envelope controls. However, the cool ‘Growl’ and ‘Wow’ effects and the Random Note Generator from the SH-1000 are here, which is nice. Amazingly, this 1973 synth has aftertouch, called the ‘Touch Effect’ which can be assigned to modulate the volume, Vibrato, pitch, ‘Wow’ and ‘Growl’ effects. A few other drawbacks to the SH-2000 is the total lack of CV/Gate for external communication and no user memory.

The SH-2000 is great for squeaky effects and growling bass notes. However the SH-1000 offers much more flexibility and a better sounding filter. The SH-2000 is used by Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim, Mighty Dub Kats), 808 State, Blondie, Human League, Mike Oldfield, and Jethro Tull.

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12 Visitor comments
March 17, 2013 @ 2:38 pm
The SH-2000 was used for a lot of the melody sounds in Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to "Midnight Express" (1978).
January 20, 2013 @ 2:33 pm
It is a beast, but you really can hear, if it has the moog filter or the roland filter. We have had four of them within the last 30 years, but only the last one we could get, was the real one. Listen to our sound demo on our tastronauten site (tasten and then Roland SH2000 below the german description). It does not matter, if you use virtual synthesizers, but if you feed your mix with such an old beast, it will start to live.
July 16, 2012 @ 4:21 am
Had this keyboard for a couple of years now. It's sturdy (except the flip switches in front - too exposed) and it sounds just great - especially for leads, making full use of the after-touch.
This is a board to be played - if you are looking for something to create weird sounds with, this is not really for you - but get it anyway since it sounds so good.
bill krom
April 2, 2012 @ 12:26 pm
This synth is what it is, a old school preset with pure anolog sound. Nothing fancy but worth having for great sound effects and leads. built to last! the aftertouch is very expressive. underrated! works well with other synths.
December 21, 2011 @ 3:49 am
I think this is a very good mono-synth and its very usable if you are a musician. If you dont have the skills to play, you probably hate this synth too. But... Its good for Electro, Folk and Oldschool Progressive music. I have used this synth many times and it never gets me down. The synth is good because its melodic mono-synth and because the different melodic old fashioned presets. Its nos bass-monster but for leads and melodies its a damn good synth. Buy this synth if you have brains and if you like good music. Two stars out of five is pretty much a LIE. Mike Oldfield used this on tours.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.25 (506 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.
  • Demos & Media
  • YouTube Thumbnail
    Roland SH-2000 demo
    by hamsterdunce

    Manual - Roland has made manuals for most of their products available as free PDF downloads.

  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - Monophonic
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO
  • LFO - 1 LFO with Modulation amount only
  • Filter - Cutoff, resonance, modulation amount
  • VCA - Master Volume
  • Arpeg/Seq - Random Note Generator
  • Keyboard - 37 keys (w/ aftertouch)
  • Memory - 30 Preset sounds
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1973 -1981
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Review updated January 2011

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