Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

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AK
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Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by AK » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:45 pm

I've been after a decent analogue monosynth for a while and have recently seen some that I'm considering. Here are the items and the asking price, I'm undecided as to what to go for so any help on that would be cool, I'm specifically looking for an analogue monosynth for bass sounds.

Grey Roland SH-101 - mint, price £450 ( happens to be local so I could easily pick it up )

Roland SH09 - Don't know a great deal about this - asking price £350

Roland SH-2 seems to be quite a rare thing and I like the specs - asking price £550 but I have seen another for £500 as well

Roland JX-3P £300, not so sure about this as a bass synth - at least from what I read?

Roland Juno 106 £400. I always wanted a Juno for some reason, obviously it has midi but I'm not sure to be honest about this.

I've had the SH-101 before so know what to expect from that but I'm really intrigued by the SH-2 and it's specs although I've never heard one really. The SH-09 seems rather simple and perhaps I might wish I'd had got something else?

I have an old Super Bass Station which features a midi-cv converter, I've never used it though so don't know how reliable it is. Anyone? The actual midi on the thing has notes dropping out and all sorts of timing glitches, whether thats an indication that the converter will do the same is not something I'd know about.

I'm possibly torn between the 101 and the 2, I haven't heard a bad word said about either really so how could I decide. The 2 is more money but I'm wondering whether it's actually like a 101 but with the ability to detune an oscillator, vintage synth says it has a sine wave too, something I don't see a lot of on analogue synths. It seems quite rare so I'm not sure I'd be expecting many people to have one or to have used one. I read on Gearslutz that it's phenomenal for bass which has got me salivating...

What to do?

oblioblioblio
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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by oblioblioblio » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:06 pm

SH2 is made from all individual parts whereas the SH101 is from where Roland moved into using premade chips which are all no longer easily available. So in the long run the SH2 would work out cheaper. Most people say that audio circuits made form discrete parts sound better. And you're still going to get the skills of Roland engineers, but the circuits will be made from individual components rather than certain parts of the synth loaded into a little chip.

SH2 is 2 oscillators as well I believe.

AK
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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by AK » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:56 am

The 101 is tempting me because I could actually pick it up tomorrow ( if he would sell tomorrow ) I have contacted the guy and it's still there, with the SH-2, I'd also have to fork out shipping costs as it is in Scotland ( I think ) so I'd be looking at £500 to £550 and then however much it would cost for shipping/P&P and insurance. No idea about that as yet. The 101 is in mint nick, doesn't come with the mod grip but I'm not fussed about that. I hear what you're saying about parts etc - but touch wood, I hope it wouldn't come to that.

The SH-2 is appealing though, mainly because I have never used one and the specs seem to fit the bill of what I'm looking for ( as does the 101 to be fair ) I'm wondering if I could use the 101 live as well though. I'm thinking I could use the on-board sequencer to create bass riiffs and clock it via the Novations Midi/CV converter triggered by midi via the Machinedrum. Is such a thing possible, I'm not really clear how these converters work. I guess I'd have to look that up. But presumably I could clock it somehow as I wouldn't want to simply be sampling it. No seq/arp on the SH-2 so that would require external sequencing, I'm not sure again just how the converter works with this.

In fact, I should probably look that up in a sec.

I guess I'm going to be happy with either, I'm an impatient guy though so if I know the 101 is on my doorstep, I'm tempted, very tempted.

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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by Phase Ghost » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:15 am

You know what my answer is gonna be.

steevio
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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by steevio » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:07 am

AK wrote: I hear what you're saying about parts etc - but touch wood, I hope it wouldn't come to that.
dont count on it bro.

oblio speaks the truth, discrete parts can always be replaced.

my two 101s have lots of issues, i wouldnt dare take them out live now ( i have done in the past tho ), way too delicate a machine at this age.

but wonderful for bass.

dont see why bass station midi / CV conversion should be unreliable, ive had a couple of them before and they worked fine.

AK
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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by AK » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:30 am

I'm up early this morning as I couldn't sleep for thinking about getting the 101. I think I might go with that as I could test drive it too, the guy said he is open to reasonable offers so I've gave hime one and said I could take it off his hands today. I'll hang on to see if I get a reply.

I'd like both to be honest, might be a bit overkill that though but those SH-2's seem the business. If it weren't for the fact that there's other stuff I want too, I'd probably get it but I'm also looking at a few other things at the moment.

[edit] both the SH-2's were in the London area if someone else is interested. ( Gumtree )

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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by marcneyen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:37 am

I own a sh-2, can only recommend it.
When I bought it a couple of years ago it came down to the 101 or the -2, chose the 2 mostly because of the additional sinewave (which sounds excellent btw) and I always thought of the 101 sounding harsher and not so warm as the sh-2 which I still think is the case (I've never owned a 101 so take my opinion with a grain of salt).

Correct me if I'm wrong but looking at the 101 specs the sh-2 has 1 more oscillator too (sub, osc 1 and osc 2 while 101 has only sub and osc).
It's a beast as far as bass goes for certain styles, does a very good job at leads and pads too. The envelope is good, can be pretty snappy if intended to.
What I really like is the option to detune the second oscillator (fine tune or up to any interval), also the option to assign pitchbend wheel to only one of the oscillators. It's possible to create some nice 2-note harmonies with it if you're creative, something the 101 can't offer if it's only got the 1 VCO +sub.

Never had an issue with reliability so far, been pretty stable with tuning after maybe a couple of minutes of warm up.
A friend bought one back then at the same time and it was impeccable too, so much for possible consistency of other units.
If you have any other specific questions about it feel free to ask me, can point you to some examples where I used it too.

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Re: Potential synth purchases. Would like some advice

Post by steevio » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:50 am

having a detunable second VCO is a massive bonus, thats what would swing it for me.

and dont write off the Juno 106, that seems like a good price, i sold one 10 years ago for £400, its plug and play, polyphonic, and has patch memories but probably wont sound quite as sweet as the SH-2.

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