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
November 21, 2011 @ 5:33 pm
Mine constantly went out of tune and it became a hassle retuning every couple of days which is not just a matter of turning a tuning knob. The synth has to be opened up. Im not sure if all of them are like that. The sounds when shoved through various effects/Eq can be Ok but really nothing special.

ultimately though its the lack of connectivity to anything that was the deciding factor for me to sell it. The VSE rating for this synth is accurate.

its a collector item. Not really a usable synth imo
July 1, 2011 @ 4:44 pm
Hello don t!

Any chance I can contact you somehow? Looking for advice on my sh2000 service.

don t
May 7, 2011 @ 2:51 pm
I just picked one of these up. I'm in the middle of rebuilding it. The synth is built like a tank, almost literally.

The filter/VCA/Noise generator board and the VCO board are two vertical daughterboards located just behind the keyboard. They unplug easily for servicing. Interestingly enough, my particular SH-2000 has the cloned Moog VCF, and it sounds just as you would expect.

A weird factoid from the service manual: The synth is tuned to 2V/Oct!
April 26, 2011 @ 2:55 pm
recently purchased this for a fair price. notes are way out of tune. cant figure a way to fix it. i dont wanna open up the inside!
February 28, 2009 @ 8:55 pm
Roland actually still stock the flippers, I just replaced a whole bunch of mine for about $2 AUS each.
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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