Roland U-20 / U-220

Roland U-20 Image

The U-20 is nothing special. It is a digital synthesizer that uses ROM samples of pianos, brass, strings, bass, drums, etc. However it is built for professional use and is truly a quality instrument, even though its sounds may seem like dated-eighties synth pop cheese. It's got nice piano sounds, but they're not the real thing.

The U-20 features 6 part multitimbrality with a 7th drum part, plus 2 direct outputs and 2 stereo outputs. The 30 note polyphony helps if you take advantage of this synths multitimbrality for creating entire performances and ensembles. Digital reverb, chorus and delay effects liven up your sounds. Editing is simple, but there are no filters. With several performance features, the U-20 has a full 61 note keyboard with velocity and aftertouch. There's an on-board arpeggiator, a chord-memory feature and the U-20 accepts Roland SNU-110 sound library cards. It has been used by Prodigy and Astral Projection.

Roland U-220 Image

The Roland U-220 (pictured above) is simply a rack-mount version of the U-20. It has all the same sounds and features packaged in a compact single-space sound module.

Lookup Roland U-20 / U-220 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay 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.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Roland U-20 / U-220? 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.

63 Visitor comments
September 5, 2013 @ 5:50 pm
raj, I believe I read something about the factory reset condition of this / u110 units. when resetting the channels are assigned from midi channel 2, which would cause silence as in your case perhaps?
July 26, 2013 @ 7:51 pm
My good old U20 from 1991! Buttons useless... totally clogged but I don't use them. Just a Reason 7 controller with a Yamaha UX16 MIDI interface on Windows 8. Cheers. And thanks for the tip about cleaning contacts-- I might do that one day ;)
May 14, 2013 @ 3:45 pm
contacts need to be cleaned. i had two of them with the same problem. i cleaned them and vwalla working again.
March 9, 2013 @ 5:38 pm
@ Raj, check
February 14, 2013 @ 4:27 pm
I fired up my trusty old u220 recently - I think this is still a great sounding module. The drums are great - there are some great strings and horns as well as synth sounds. It is not intended to be a programmer's dream - it was (is) a great sounding go to synth.
They go for very little money on ebay. I don't think that it's a proper comparison against a D-50 or JD-800 - completely different instruments.
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  • 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 - 30 voices
  • Oscillators - 4MB ROM samples
  • Multitimbral - 6 parts + 1 drum part
  • Filter - None
  • Effects - Reverb, Delay, Chorus; arpeggiator
  • Memory - 64 patches, expandable to 128 with external RAM card
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (w/ velocity & aftertouch)
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1989
  • Resources & Credits
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