Roland Boutique SH-01A


SH-101 sliders 40mm
SH-01A sliders 30mm


my SH 101 cost £150.

at the time, that felt about right : it’s a very simple, but hugely usable synth. Would I pay £1000 or whatever they are now s/h ? would I hell. Same as I was never going to pay £2500 for a 909.

I don’t think at £339 this is overpriced at all : like Daren says ,when you’ve actually got the thing in a mix ( or are blasting it
out at a gig ) no-one is going to be able to tell the difference. And it’s polyphonic. And has patch memories. And sequencer memories. Despite the small size, I was extremely impressed by the build quality of the TR09 - hell, I bet the SH-01A will actually feel built than my OG SH, with it’s plastic case & sliders you can bend if you push hard left or right.

We’re in a lucky place right now. I was fortunate enough to grab one of the few remaining Korg MS20-M kits : it’s superb, much better than the scuffed up old MS-20 I sold for £200 15 years ago. And yes, the £800 I spent on that ( pre-built, with SQ-1 sequencer ) felt like value for money. More much value for money than buying another old scuffed-up MS20 at twice that cost.


The logic behind ACB is actually really solid IMO. Rather than sourcing expensive analog components, tooling out new factories etc, you can invest some R&D time (which you would have invested with analog anyway) and then churn out the same hardware with a different chip and faceplate. Big drop in manufacturing cost.


But the MS20-M was a faithful analogue recreation of the original ??? Surely if you feel that way about your Korg then you would feel the same if Roland have gone down a similar route. I just think they could have but didn’t. It’s not that I don’t think these ACB units won’t sound good I just don’t they even bothered to try anything else


Doesn’t the kit track V/octave? That alone would be worth £800


I think Roland is all in on the digital, all the R&D has been done and the chips are there… Just design new enclosures and hire more coders, much cheaper and way bigger profit margins.


hey, just noticed that this one has the behringer logo on it! (ok, ok, read about it on GS)

so they are going to do it? Furthermore, is Uli on a personal vendetta towards Roland? That’s the second Roland announcement he’s trolled this year…


I honestly wouldn’t have given a hoot either way. If Korg had spent all their R&D on digitally recreating their old analogue synths & they sounded faithful to the originals then that’d do for me.

Roland is sticking with ACB because they’ve invested a lot in it - & to be fair their faith is vindicated, it sounds great.


yes - it’ll do Hz/volt & 1v/Oct

and has lfo control for PWM… & both filter versions on a switch. It’s great.


I’m just disappointed that, this year, they didn’t release any turn tables that have old gear logos on them for 808 day.


That’s great but the Korg reissues do kind of prove Roland could have tried the same with just as much success. And universally I think they would have appealed to both sides of the fence if they had have been made analogue.

Like you say yourself, you don’t care which way they were made. As seems to be the case with a lot of people. Meaning they would have been interested either way.

The choice to make these digital has distanced a lot the analogue/vintage enthusiasts. And while this may be self-inflicted due to their own preferences, I don’t think the choice to make them analogue would have had the opposite effect of distancing digital enthusiasts.


Yes I agree.
It’s VA with new clothes.
Which in these glorious days of analogue renaissance, is nothing more than old hat.
Does it sound good? Yes, maybe to some.
Am I surprised it sounds good? No
Would I have been surprised if they recreated a great sounding modern analogue version ??
Yes. Yes I would


Without wishing to ruffle any feathers I think everyone has a right to an opinion, and as I mentioned some good points have been made on both sides, the fact is though these are ACB, and there are plenty of analogue synths out there both old and new to choose from (including new Roland analogue) so I just don’t get why it is such a problem.

I am very into analogue too, and if these had been analogue then I’d be the last to complain, but there are plenty of shit sounding analogue synths out there, so I don’t see analogue as a benchmark of quality, take a look at the Drumbrute, people were saying oh its has 808 and 909 style sounds, but really it sounds nothing like them.


I’ve wanted a SH-101 for a very long time thanks to my love for Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada, so the SH-01A looks great to me. I previously wanted a Juno for a long time as well, and the JU-06 scratched that itch, so I feel the SH-01A will be just as sufficient.

That said, if Behringer releases a full size analog SH-101 then I would likely go with that.



However it’s the long history of unobtainium that surrounds 808s and 909s paired with the prospect of what could have been and then subsequently wasn’t that has made these instruments so controversial.


My decision comes down to comfortability of play(size/space) + (most likely) analog vs poly

we’ll have to see the sound comparison. But, right now, my heart leans towards Behringer’s trolling <3

Edit: most likely Behringer being on the hunt for clone creation led to Roland having to add more features to their Boutique offerings. So, either way, THANKS BEHRINGER!


And you would be right to go with that over these. I would really love to see Behringer do some Roland clones. Now they… would be controversial. That Model D sounds great.


For lack of a truly analog alternative (1. let’s see, Behringer? 2. original SH101 too expensive) this might be the first boutique synth i’m keen on buying.

particularly the polyphony makes it four times as interesting.


Yeah, that Model D clone really does sound great, so I feel they could pull off the SH-101 as well. I don’t care about analog vs ACB (the JU-06 sounds great to me), but that extra 10mm on the SH-101 faders could make a big difference.


im also a big time fan of the 101 sound, but my main problem with the boutiques in particular is the UI in regards to these tiny little faders…

dunno if its already been mentioned - but a 360 degree knob is always 360 degrees… however 3 inches of fader throw is much much different than 1 inch of fader throw

i played with the JP08 in a store and it was frankly bullshit trying to dial in any kind of detailed sound edits or whatever with the front panel… i suppose you can get around that now with CC control, but still its pretty wack to deal with on its own

unfortunately being a massive roland fanboy puts me at a disadvantage in trying to resist these little things…

as always, i will probably wait until the used prices hit around 200 and then grab all the ones I want… and I suppose at the end of the day, its a good thing to have all these options