Worst Roland Synth EVER!

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OriginalJambo
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Post by OriginalJambo » Wed May 14, 2008 1:27 am

Wow - I really had no idea that so many people here dislike the SH-201 with such vigour. I agree the original price Roland set might have been a tad optimistic, but is it really that bad a synth?

Anyway, I think most of Roland's gear, in my experience anyway, is pretty solid. However I've noticed they don't tend to take risks with their products and rarely offer anything totally unique or ground breaking. There are exceptions of course (the D-50 and V-Synth spring to mind), but I find KORG's constant innovation and philosophy of quirky designs much more appealing.

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Post by supermel74 » Wed May 14, 2008 1:42 am

I just picked up an MC-303 real cheap. Got it yesterday. I haven't started trying to program the sequencer yet so I can't comment on that, maybe later tonight. So far I will say that it's not half as bad as people say it is. Some of the sounds aren't bad at all(some of the drums are excellent) and the build quality is superb. Also, if Korg makes a next generation of Electribes, I suggest they use the kind of step keys that Roland used on the MC-303/505 instead of those little rubber buttons.
Last edited by supermel74 on Wed May 14, 2008 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed May 14, 2008 1:52 am

It's funny that so many people are saying Roland never does anything innovative and the MC-303 sucks.

Are you forgetting the MC-303 was the first to put a synth, drum machine and sequencer into a portable box? The Electribes, Monomachine, Yamaha RS-7000, E-Mu Command Stations, all of them are just refined versions of what Roland started with the MC-303. So they didn't get the concept perfect first try, is that such a big surprise?

Think about things in their context before you bash them. I agree with whoever said this was a pointless thread, it's even worse than the "I think Roland should reissue the Jupiter-8/TB-303/SH-101" rubbish that normally clogs up this forum.

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Post by Leeroy Jenkins » Wed May 14, 2008 3:12 am

My vote goes to the JP8. Just a horrible interface with obnoxiously coloured silk screening, cheapo sliders that were just begging to get broken off or to lose the slider caps, that ridiculous pad button for modulation, and just the overall sound.. thin and buzzy, not even in the same league as the American polys like the Memorymoog, OB series, or Prophet-5.

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Post by mute » Wed May 14, 2008 3:52 am

Leeroy Jenkins wrote:My vote goes to the JP8. Just a horrible interface with obnoxiously coloured silk screening,
the JP8, Juno 106, and JX-3P designs kick some serious a*s. i love their look (and sound). i'd take a mono/poly over all 3 of them tho.

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Post by OMNI26 » Wed May 14, 2008 4:05 am

I owned an SH-201 for a total of one week. That was long enough for me to thoroughly test it, and I must agree that it is c**p. I bought it cheap, and was luckily able to get all my money back on it when I re-sold it.

Anyway, not sure if it's the worst Roland synth, but it must be close. First of all, it's got a massively oversized case that could probably have been 1/3rd of its current size. Sound-wise, it just doesn't cut it.....someone on this thread very accurately said that you can spend hours with it and think you are getting somewhere, but you never arrive there. No depth to the sound, and I just got the sense that I was playing with a freebie softsynth via a lousy controller the whole time I owned it. On top of everything else, it was ugly, and there was no getting around that.

Regarding other bad Rolands......I have NEVER cared for the Roland ROMplers (XP-series, JV-series, etc.). They are some of the most boring instruments I have ever run accross. Just very sterile and uninspiring to me, even though the samples could be described as high quality (which doesn't neccessarly make 'em pleasing to the ear!).

People have also mentioned the JX-1 being a bad one, and I would agree with that as well. Looking back, the D-5 / 10 / 20 weren't so hot, but I remember REALLY wanting a D-5 when they were released in the very early 90's, as it would have been all I could afford at the time.

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Post by Johnny Lenin » Wed May 14, 2008 4:13 am

I can't say I really hated the SH201. I think the build quality is super cheap in every way possible, and the presets pretty much suck. On the other hand, the interface is well laid-out and immediate, making it a lot of fun to mess around with and it's not too difficult to get it to sound reasonably okay. The reverb and delay are pretty good. If it was $100 less, I think it would be an amazing value as a learner synth, given the immediacy and the full-sized keyboard. I'll never own one again but, as with many other Roland [and Korg] products, it is what it is.

I worked at a bike shop for many years, and I remember all the hate the guys who rode $6000 Trek Madone carbon fibre bikes with Dura Ace would pour on the lowly Specialized Allez Sport with its low-tech alu frame and Tiagra components. "Not raceable," they'd say; a boneshaker on 150 km rides; too heavy for sprints. Yeah... well, the Allez cost less than $1000 and wasn't actually meant to be raced.

Not everyone who wants polyphony and knobs has $2,000 to spend on a Prophet 08 or plans to gig. And, to be frank, a lot of guys will use the SH201 as a stepping stone to a pro board when they [rather quickly] reach its limits and realize that this is the kind of instrument they want to play enough to make a significant investment. That makes it a good board, IMO.

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Post by crystalmsc » Wed May 14, 2008 5:56 am

to me it's the CM-32L:
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also, while I like the sound of the D-110 and U-220, the interface sucks big time.
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Post by Neonlights84 » Wed May 14, 2008 6:35 am

tyrannosaurus mark wrote:sh-201

I had a play on one of these in a shop the other week and it sounded just awful
That's becuase it is. What's funny is they claim its the same as the JP8000...haha no, its not. I'm not sure if its the worst thing roland ever made, but i do know its a joke compared to the JP80x0.

Also, i know the mc-303 isnt the greatest thing in the world, but i had one for a spell and it never struck me as a total piece of garbage. I think it gets trashed way too hard on here. I mean for 125 bucks you can get drums, sequencing and some synth sounds, and it paved the way for other essential studio pieces like my EMX.
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Post by BlackGnosis » Wed May 14, 2008 9:43 am

Neonlights84 wrote:
tyrannosaurus mark wrote:sh-201

I had a play on one of these in a shop the other week and it sounded just awful
That's becuase it is. What's funny is they claim its the same as the JP8000...haha no, its not. I'm not sure if its the worst thing roland ever made, but i do know its a joke compared to the JP80x0.

Also, i know the mc-303 isnt the greatest thing in the world, but i had one for a spell and it never struck me as a total piece of garbage. I think it gets trashed way too hard on here. I mean for 125 bucks you can get drums, sequencing and some synth sounds, and it paved the way for other essential studio pieces like my EMX.
Good point, is it still in your studio?
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Ashe37 wrote:I find it funny that you're a guitar pedal snob and yet don't own a single analog synth.

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Post by synapsecollapse » Wed May 14, 2008 12:08 pm

nobody else has said it, so ill mention the sh32 as well as put in another card for the sh201

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Post by Alex E » Wed May 14, 2008 2:03 pm

I tried the SH-201, it wasn't that bad...

But I still don't udnerstand why anybody would buy one, because a
JP-80x0 can be had for the same price or at least a little bit more!
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Post by hinotori » Wed May 14, 2008 3:33 pm

i would have to say that the juno 106 in my studio is the worst roland synth ever made because i love it so much but one voice has died :( i wish things like the 106 lived forever .

other than that 106s in general may well be the greatest synth ever made :) if youre into the roland sound. but damn i wish it had another EG like the AX60 but then it just wouldnt be a 106 .

btw . great music can be made on s**t kit . remember how cheap the 303 was when people picked them up and invented acid house . if the internet was around then we could scour the old chat forums and read how much people hated the 303 as an accompaniment to their bon-tempi solos . hahaha . not sure if its worth dissing the 303 now, but its a nice try to reduce its market value . so ill chip in . its s**t !!! now please sell me one cheap ;)

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Post by madtheory » Wed May 14, 2008 6:50 pm

So overall, Roland are a great company who've made mostly either classic or very respectable instruments, and the odd turkey. That's pretty impressive!

BTW, I like the U220. The interface is fine- it doesn't really need one ;)

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Post by Johnny Lenin » Wed May 14, 2008 7:43 pm

madtheory wrote:So overall, Roland are a great company who've made mostly either classic or very respectable instruments, and the odd turkey. That's pretty impressive!
The truth is that you could say that about just about any synth or musical instrument company that's been in business for almost 50 years [or 30 years, or whatever]. h**l, you could say the same thing about Korg, Yamaha, even Moog. And if you look at the synths that most of us use -- at least the keyboard and module synths -- I'd say the majority of VSE'ers have at least one Roland in their rig. These range from benchmark classics like the Jupiter-8 to workhorses like the JP-8000.

Even the worst Roland, whether it's the JX-1, SH-201 or MC-303, has its uses and niches. And that could be said for Korg and Yamaha as well.

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