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Roland sh 101
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Author Roland sh 101
CoreInside
Good? Bad? Overrated? Underrated?
DiscoDevil
Good, overrated.
Ranxerox
Some prefer the MC202 for its more powerful sequencer. But whatever people may say, it cannot be denied that messing around on the 101's arpeggiator while tweaking the filter is always guaranteed to raise a smile.
rowsbywoof
They're overrated, sure, but they're also pretty damn fun and on the more affordable side of the Roland classics. More expensive than they should be, but a heck of a lot less expensive than some of the other Roland name-drops.

I still have mine in a nice little gig bag sitting in my closet. I can't bring myself to part with it, because every time I think of selling it I take it out and play with it and have a blast with it again. Maybe if they start bringing in silly money :p, but even then, I love how immediate and wonderfully simple the little guy is.

I'd go with good/overrated, as well, but that doesn't mean I don't think it deserved all of the praise it got in the past wink
CF3
Good. Somewhat overrated, but definitely overpriced. They should be half of the current market value IMO. But, it's got "that" sound if you need it.
Astrolabe23
Overpriced? Yes. Overrated? No, not in my opinion. I love mine and it's one of the last things I would ever get rid of. With that said, I only paid $200 for mine 25 years ago when people were dumping them for workstations and general midi sound modules. If I had to replace mine at current prices it would be a hard sell. There is a lot of great inexpensive gear out now days. I would probably go for two or three other synths for the same price as a single 101.
Corbeau
I parted with mine about 6 years ago, for too low of a price imo considering what was available at the time...still kick myself for that every time I see one come up in pics or videos very frustrating

I'd say they've really gotten overpriced though recently. Comparable modern synths go for a bit more than half of the prices I see for SH-101s. Of course, they don't have that particular sound or sexy look that many love. Plus I thought the 101's interface was incredibly well done. Just so fun to use.

Honestly I'd get another one if I could. Maybe someday.
Jason Brock
It has a unique voice, lots of character. I really like that type of sound. I think part of the magic is not just the filter and oscillator (people love to analyze waveforms on a scope and compare shapes) - but instead it's how it transitions between notes. I don't know any other way to describe it except it is very fluid, liquidy, or bouncy.

Recently I picked up a Future Retro XS, and I can hear plenty of 101-type mojo going on inside this thing too (plus it was way cheaper than a 101, and has more features). Cwejman stuff has the same vibe as well I think.
Kaput
Classic, rather than overrated. Strong filter, great synth to play with. Prices are only gonna go up, unfortunately. The MC-202 is a good option for those wanting something a little cheaper, but they're becoming a classic too. No noise source on the 202, though.
PrimateSynthesis
One of things that makes SH-101 simple and fun is that the LFO is synchronized to the arpeggio/sequencer clock. The problem is that goes out the window if you clock or sequence it externally.
SPIKE the Percussionist
good noiz weapon.

not overrated...it is...what it is.
HOTFACE
Overpriced now definitely, but true classic.

First synthesiser I bought, £60 in May 1992, sold it a month later for £100 to buy a JX3P because it had midi.
Captain Sternn
Underrated. I'm surprised Roland hasn't rolled out a reissue.
anselmi
I got mine 2 years ago after a 20-years waiting...initially because of the lack of money and then because I believed that I need a more complex synth...but after I got this complex synths (nord modular, eurorack, buchla 200e) I started to realize how great this simple synth is and got a red one.

this is one of the few synths that always sounds great, regardless the setting it managed to deliver a very well balanced tone that fits in the mix like a glove

I got mine modded with filter FM, triangle oscillator, LFO reset, and the tubbutec kit that adds MIDI, another LFO and expand the sequencer and arpeggiator options. Now it´s a real beast and couldn´t love it more
Michael O.
Not overrated or even overpriced imo- it's a standard, like the synth equivalent of a u87i or Urei compressors. It is valued as it is not solely because of some collectable/fetish quality but because it is a useful and somewhat unique tool.

There are modern equivalents in terms of basic functionality and features, but I've never heard a modern synth that sounds quite like a 101. As for old stuff, the cmu-810 and mc202 are nearly identical to the 101, and the sh09 and system 100m circuits are very similar but subjectively a bit more raw and wooly.
CoreInside
Does anyone else own more than one of these? I just bought two more. They are so much fun to play with. 3 and an 808 together seems great for making acid trax.
Infinity Curve
PrimateSynthesis wrote:
One of things that makes SH-101 simple and fun is that the LFO is synchronized to the arpeggio/sequencer clock. The problem is that goes out the window if you clock or sequence it externally.


The sample and hold will still clock off the external sync

Love my 101, even though it doesn't get enough play these days. Only vintage keys I kept when I got rid of it all. Just so immediate and fun to play with. You really have to try to make it sound bad. That being said, I doubt I would pay what they go for these days.
computer controlled
Far from overrated, but def over priced. But it's a classic, and that sequencer is one of a kind. Though the Keystep can do pretty much the same thing.
Annwn
Overrated in the same way a Strat, LP or Tele is. The only people who claim as such are people wanting to take their creative incompetencies/frustrations out on an inanimate object.
Helmey
The SH-101 is simple perfection. It deserves all the fanboy love it gets and has more mojo in its small [blue] plastic shell than a stack of Matrixbrutes. It still has one of my favorite filters in synth-land.

IMO a Roland classic no different than the 808 and 909.
PISS.EXE
Protip, the Deep Bass Nine is really a rack SH101 even though it claims to be a TB303 clone.
rean1mator
Had one many years ago and sold it, kinda regret it with how much they are going for now. I dont't think I had an appreciation for "that" sound when I owned it. I own an Atlantis which I love as it fills a very specific sound need in my eurorack rig. There's an interesting youtube video by Sunshine Jones I think is his name, where he gives a very serious monologue about his love for the 101 and his new love for the Atlantis which he bought to replace it in his live rig.
CalvaryBand
It really is a great synth; portable form-factor, useful sequencer/arp, sounds superb, has a decent keybed and is generally reliable.
The Goob
It's an excellent synth and not overrated or overpriced in my opinion. Sure, they cost a lot less in the '90s, but they're still worth it for how useful they are. I use mine on everything.

It fits into any mix and works equally well in sample based music (industrial, d&b), electronic (techno, acid, electro, idm), pop, and more organic styles (funk, dub, rock).

It is intuitive/fast to program, and has a fun, useful sequencer that accepts external triggers. Integrates well into CV or midi based setups (with Kenton box or similar), and runs on batteries. You can even strap it on if you want to look like a dork razz

It's plastic, but is very durable and has a good keybed. The only common reliability issue is the power button which sometimes needs to be replaced, but that's a pretty easy repair.

It is great for musicians who are into making songs. People who are more into sound design might be disappointed with it due to the single oscillator and limited modulation capabilities, but the oscillator sounds amazing, the filter has "that sound", and the envelope is one of the best ever. There are plenty of other synths for making crazy sounds anyway, and the 101's simplicity is a big part of what makes it so useful.

I am guessing OP knows all of this since he owns 3 hihi
Birth_Chord
I kind of what one... Been searching for them quite frequently but also talk myself out... I was going to get a Dreadbox Erebus V3 and Nyx V2, which is a super nice comobo, but the SH-101 really does have "that" sound.

Would its filter fit in nicely with the OB-6? Can't really find any videos of them together.

Cheers.
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