Roland SH-01A Boutique Series Desktop Synthesizer

Roland's SH-101 synth is back -- and it's polyphonic now! Create chugging basses and bright, edgy leads with this Boutique series version of an '80s classic.

The SH-01A is a meticulous reproduction of the iconic Roland SH-101, one of the most popular classic synthesizers of all time. Roland's Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology reproduces the SH-101's legendary sounds by faithfully recreating the actual behavior of the original analog circuits, right down to the fine details and odd quirks that have endeared the synth to musicians and producers for decades. The SH-01A builds on the great sounds and creative immediacy of the original, now in the popular Roland Boutique format -- offering exciting new polyphonic capabilities, inspiring new performance features, and a level of authenticity that could only come from Roland.

Beauty Through Simplicity

The now-legendary SH-101 was a seemingly simple monophonic synthesizer launched in 1982. Unlike more complex synthesizers available at the time, the SH-101 quickly became popular for its characteristic tone and simple one-VCO > one-VCF > one-VCA > one-LFO structure. A legion of artists found it quick to program and adept at bright edgy tones and exciting sound effects. Its bass sounds are universally revered, and somehow any sound it produces always just fits perfectly in a mix.

More than thirty years later, the SH-101's hallmark sounds continue to be sought after by electronic artists the world over. It's a staple of vintage synth collectors and well-equipped, world-class studios, and now returns as the inspiration for the SH-01A.

A is for Authentic

Original SH-101s are read more becoming increasingly rare, making them ever more expensive on the used market. Because of this, many have resorted to sample packs, hardware knockoffs, or software plug-ins loosely inspired by the SH-101. The SH-01A accurately recreates what makes the original so special, and the interface, while more compact, is 100% authentic.

The sound is vibrant and alive thanks to our proprietary Analog Circuit Behavior (ACB) technology. We use ACB to carefully recreate all the details and quirks of the original hardware by modeling each analog circuit, right down to the component level. Face-to-face consultation with the original designers and relentless research beyond the original schematics provides meticulously recreated oscillator, filter, and envelope behavior--a perfect foundation to build upon for a new generation of "101" fans.

An Inspired, Iconic Sequencer Revisited

One of the most creative features of the original SH-101 was its 100-note step sequencer. Press Load, add sequential notes with legato and rests, and press Play. Easy. Designed to inspire through simplicity, the SH-101 sequencer has been the source of countless bass lines and lead melodies on legendary dance tracks. But the limitation of playing one sequence back at a time has been resolved with the SH-01A. Now you can save and access 64 sequence patterns, perfect for any performance situation. Recall any pattern at any time, and use the iconic sequencer to control your modular rig, hardware synthesizers, and software plugins via CV/Gate, MIDI, and USB. Let the SH-01A be the heart of your electronic instrument setup, on stage or in the studio.

Did You Say Polyphonic?

The SH-101 found its power in a huge single-oscillator voice for a wide variety of sounds. The SH-01A now has four huge voices, allowing for more modes to expand upon the original's sound palette. On top of the classic Mono mode, you can stack the four voices in Unison mode to add some punch to your bass and lead lines. Chord mode layers any four notes, and can be shifted up and down in semi-tone intervals. Poly mode allows for four notes to be played simultaneously, making the famous monosynth now capable of pads and chords.

Portable. Performer.

The simple design of the SH-101 made patch creation immediate, with sounds quickly forming under the movement of each key and slider. But that inspiring sound could vanish as quickly as it appeared due to its lack of patch memory. The SH-01A adds 64 writeable patches that can serve as presets for different tracks or quick starting points for experimenting with new sound designs, making inspiration only a button press away.

The SH-01A takes the original SH-101's portability and stage prowess to a whole new level. It's small enough to take just about anywhere, yet ruggedly built with sturdy knobs, metal-shaft sliders, and solid silver buttons like the original. It has several tilt options for easy viewing in various live and studio scenarios, and can serve as a low-latency, portable audio interface. In addition, it has a built-in speaker, and even runs on batteries. With all this power and flexibility, you may be most surprised by the SH-01A's affordable price, which puts the iconic SH-101 mojo within reach of just about anyone.


- Sounds of the classic SH-101 synthesizer via ACB tech, including bass, lead, noise, and sound effects
- New Unison, Chord, and four-voice Polyphonic modes expand on the original's iconic sound palette
- Built-in sequencer with 64 patterns available to save and recall
- Easy performance arpeggiator with three playback modes, note hold, and three-way transpose switch
- CV/Gate output for controlling modular or vintage gear
- Multiple sync options including internal and external MIDI, MIDI via USB, LFO clock, and trigger input
- 64 writeable preset patches for increased performance capabilities
- Selectable advanced LFO with new waveforms and extended range of clock rate
- Sends and receives MIDI control change messages via traditional MIDI jacks or USB
- High-quality construction with metal front panel
- Highly portable for mobile music making
- Battery-operated (4 x AA) or USB powered
- Compatible with optional Roland Boutique accessories
- Available in limited-edition red and blue colors like the original SH-101
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- - Sound Generator Section
- Maximum Polyphony: 4 voices

- - User Memory
- Sound Patch: 64
- Sequencer Pattern: 64

- - Controllers
- VOLUME knob
- Ribbon controllers C1, C2

- LFO section:
- RATE indicator and slider
- WAVE FORM select knob
- VCO section:
- MOD depth slider
- RANGE select knob
- PULSE WIDTH slider
- LFO/MAN/ENV select switch

- SOURCE MIXER section:
- PULSE level slider
- SAW level slider
- SUB OSC level slider
- SUB OSC select slider
- NOISE level slider

- VCF section:
- FREQ: cutoff frequency slider
- RES: resonance slider
- ENV: envelope depth slider
- MOD: modulation depth slider
- KYBD: key follow slider

- VCA section:
- ENV/GATE select switch

- ENV section:
- GATE+TRIG/GATE/LFO select switch
- A: attack time slider
- D: decay time slider
- S: sustain level slider
- R: release time slider

- Controller section:
- TRANSPOSE switch (L/M/H)
- VCO BENDER sens slider
- VCF BENDER sens slider
- LFO MOD slider
- PORTAMENTO select switch (AUTO/OFF/ON)
- PORTAMENTO time knob

- MENU switch and indicator

- 1/LOAD switch and indicator
- 2/PLAY switch and indicator
- 3/DOWN switch and indicator
- 4/U&D switch and indicator
- 5/UP switch and indicator
- 6/HOLD switch and indicator
- 7/KEY TRANSPOSE switch and indicator
- 8 switch and indicator

- Power switch

- - Step Sequencer
- 100 steps
- 4 notes (Polyphonic)

- - Arpeggio
- 1 OCT/2 OCT

- -Display
- 7 segments, 4 characters (LED)

- - Connectors
- CV OUT jack: mono miniature phone type
- GATE OUT jack: mono miniature phone type
- EXT CLK IN jack: mono miniature phone type
- PHONES jack: stereo miniature phone type
- OUTPUT jack: stereo miniature phone type
- MIX IN jack: stereo miniature phone type
- MIDI (IN, OUT) connectors
- USB port: Micro-B type (Audio, MIDI)
- - Power Supply
- Rechargeable Ni-MH battery (AA, HR6) x 4
- Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4
- USB bus power

- - Current Draw
- 500 mA (USB bus power)

- - Expected battery life under continuous use
- Rechargeable Ni-MH battery: Approx. 6 hours
- * This can vary depending on the specifications of the batteries, capacity of the batteries, and the conditions of use.

- - Dimensions
- 300 (W) x 128 (D) x 46 (H) mm
- 11-13/16 (W) x 5-1/16 (D) x 1-13/16 (H) inches

- - Weight (including batteries)
- 965 g
- 2 lbs 3 oz

- - Accessories
- Owner's Manual
- Alkaline battery (AA, LR6) x 4

- - Options (sold separately)
- Keyboard Unit: K-25m
- Boutique Dock: DK-01\0x0A\0x0A
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Base Item
Shipping Weight: 3.25 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 3 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SH-01A
Shipping Weight: 3.25 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 3 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): SH-01A

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 323-890-3700

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 5 out of 5 stars. (1 ratings)
Submitted February 22, 2018 by Matthew Elder in Parkersburg, WV


Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
Love this little guy I had the original sh_101 and I am blown away by the sound in this sh-01A awesome awesome awesome now go get one

Musical Background:

Electronic/sic-fi acid techno psytrances
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