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.

Related forum topics


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
April 1, 2012 @ 7:49 pm
I had a perfectly working U20 until I had the battery changed. Now when it powers up, the display shows garbage to the right of the 1 -11 instead of the start-up display.
January 3, 2012 @ 5:04 pm
@ Stirium... I found one of these for advertised Send me an Email, and I'll send you to the link.
December 6, 2011 @ 2:14 am
The U220 is a great bread&butter machine.Incredible inpiration machine an affordable price.A Must from the 90,s
October 11, 2011 @ 2:33 pm
I'm about to cry now. My beautiful synth has loose springs and I'm doing my best to save this AWESOME PIECE OF INSTRUMENT. The warmth can be found in the JP8-sounds (e.g. brass). The harmonic lead is one of the better sounds I've ever heard. Furthermore, the waterfallkeys are way better then it's successors. I'm hoping to find a synth with simular keys. Anyone?
Downsides: it's almost impossible to change the sound ("yeah, it's wavetable, dumb*ss", I know) and, even I can't deny: the pianosound is really bad (though better with a bit of shaping).
dave tutt
July 6, 2011 @ 3:02 pm
Interesting synth but not exactly great in its sounds. Some are fine though. I have one in for repair and it seems that the keyboard (rather like the EP-3/5/7 piano's) is not particularly good especially when filled with orange juice and left for 3 years! In addition the synth sound module dies which, given the lack of support from Roland and the expense of parts from almost anywhere else means this is not a good second hand buy and is likely to be in this instance at least a scrap instrument. Shame really.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.