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

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63 Visitor comments
January 12, 2009 @ 5:57 am
Played briefly and was impressed. Nice sounds and looks. Strange name.
Mike VB
January 8, 2009 @ 5:16 am
I had exactly the same problem with mine and it has been in the loft for several years in its case. I have thought about having it fixed for a while - do you know how much it would cost?
January 3, 2009 @ 11:31 pm
Good useful sounds if used right, I've had three now but every one has had the same problem, the keyboard goes faulty and is expensive or very time consuming to fix, seems to be an issue with them. Shame as it was a good pro looking players instrument. Almost as good looking as the M1.
December 28, 2008 @ 1:41 am
The U-20 was my first commercial keyboard, It has some cool sounds but nothing special, the choir is good, the sax is good but is a little acoustic, one of the organ is good, one string is good, The problem is that this keyboard only comes with less than 100 sounds in internal memoy, and memory cards are very hard to find.
December 18, 2008 @ 8:56 am
Bought my U20 back in 1990. Still have it. I really like the piano sound and the piano sounds on the expansion card. Sure, they are not "real' painaos. But for there day, it was darm close. One of the keys is broken on mine, but it is still nice. It's in the upper register, so it's not that much of an issue. I also have a XV-5080, Fantom XR, and a Fantom G7. However, there are some of the sounds on the U20 that I like better than the "updated" versions on my other gear. I won't part with my U20.
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Rated 3.46 (374 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.
  • 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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