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A good sh-101 clone

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A good sh-101 clone

Postby pancake_lizard » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:40 am

I’m looking at sh 101 clones and I’ve narrowed them down to 2 that I think are cool

The Roland sh 01a boutique

And the behringer ms 1

I’ve been reading a lot of people saying that the Roland boutiques are toys and not real instruments and that the behringer ms 1 is the real deal but after more research I uncovered that while the behringer ms 1 is bigger and looks more true to form the Roland sh 01a actually has the actual 100 step sequencer that the original sh 101 had while the behringer only has an actual 32 step sequencer.

Apart from that the Roland is about 100 dollars more and doesn’t come with a keyboard which makes me wonder how it can function without one however it is a lot smaller and runs on batteries which I like. I was wondering what opinions people here might have if they use one or the other.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby Eddy Deegan » Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:53 am

Note: I've moved this to the Keyboards & Synthesis forum.

Here is a comparison of the original SH-101 against the Behringer clone by a source I trust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JBFoXgtHvE

Here are a number of comparisons of the original SH-101 against the SH-01A
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... +vs+sh-101

Nobody can answer this question for you. You need to make your own decision.

If it was me, I'd be thinking that the Roland is a digital emulation, the Behringer is analogue. The Roland has no keys, the Behringer does.

I've got mixed feelings about Behringer as a company but having watched a couple of the videos linked above, as a synth man, if I liked the original SH-101 and wanted to pick one of the two I'd go with the Behringer. Fortunately I don't like the original SH-101 much so it's not a choice I have to make ;)

My preference may or may not be right for you. In my case, when it comes to whether an on-board step sequencer has 32 or 100 steps I don't care one bit because both are very limited in the real world and in all likelihood will be driven from an external sequencer anyway which makes that aspect moot.

It's all about how it sounds. Pick the one you like most.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby BillB » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:44 am

Hmmm, not just the sound. The SH-01a extends the original in many ways, but they may or may not be useful to you.

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/roland-sh-01a

If nothing else, read the pros and cons at the end of the review. The 4-note poly mode, poly sequencer etc take it places the original and MS cannot go. It also has Patch memories. All of which you may find either very useful, or a crime against what an analogue monosynth is meant to be.

Do you want something as close to the original in concept and function as possible, or something that allows you more sonic flexibility?

As to lack of keyboard, the SH-01a would have to be regarded as a USB + MIDI ‘expander’ box.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby Arpangel » Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:51 am

Are you basing your choice around having played an original? What do you like about it?
My opinion is that the Behringer will be the best experience, for a start it’s an analogue synth, and the form factor is a big thing, plus, having heard other Behringer vintage style synths, they get very close indeed, so my vote goes for the Behringer.
The original SH101 has a very, very sweet filter, and a really beautiful delicate sound, that’s why originals are still very much sought after, if money is not a concern.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby pancake_lizard » Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:28 pm

I have never played an original 101 but I do own some of the other Roland boutique models and I am very happy with them I don’t mind that they are small and I think that they do a good job of replicating the older synths quite well.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby The Elf » Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:19 am

I'd vote for the Behringer also.

So far the Behringer recreations, although not perfect, are close enough for most purposes.

I've had a couple of the Boutique range and, aside from them being digital recreations, I've been frustrated by their form, size and limitations.

But be sure you like the sound of the 101, as there are other options that, IMHO, are at least as good, if not better. I was never a fan of the 101, preferring the earlier SH-09. Put a 101 up against something like Behringer's Neutron and, although lacking a keyboard, for me the Neutron wins hands down.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby Dave B » Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:11 am

+1 for the Behringer for the reasons stated above.

But ... just to be contrary ... if I were after something like a 101, I'd be slightly more tempted to look at the Roland System-1/M as it will do that 101 sound but (especially the module version) has a few more tricks up its sleeve. In the last couple of years I have almost pulled the trigger a few times on this.

Just my 2c ..... ymmv

:)
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby Arpangel » Mon Jul 27, 2020 9:40 am

It depends what sort of music you’re going to make with a 101, there are certain sounds that just can’t be replicated as well on anything else, not sure about the Behringer though.
I remember when I sold my original, I missed it greatly, and there were no options to replace it with, so I didn’t bother, and I still miss those lovely sounds.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby BigRedX » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:09 pm

As someone who owned an SH101 in 1983 when it was a new instrument, back then there were only two reasons why you had one:

1. Because you couldn't afford a mono-synth with two oscillators and two envelope generators.

2. You wanted to use it with the modulation grip and wear it on a strap as a budget keytar.

Having bought mine for reason number 2, I wasn't very impressed. It was heavier than any guitar I had ever owned and twice as unwieldy. Plus it didn't matter how "cool" I thought it looked on stage it still sounded weedy. As sound as I had the cash it was replaced with a Yamaha KX5 and a Casio CZ synth.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby desmond » Mon Jul 27, 2020 12:15 pm

I feel the same way about them - they were a cheap, simple, budget mono synth, the kind of thing you got because you couldn't afford a poly, or a Minimoog or ProOne, and anything modern (digital + MIDI)...

I've never seen the fuss, but fashion has made them trendy and thus desirable (and thus raised the price to ludicrous levels).

I still internally normalise to 90s prices. An SH-101 to me should be worth up to £150 tops. (Jupiter 8 - about £1000, Minimoog, about £350, Pro One, £200, DX100, about £70 etc...). Current prices are mostly a result of fetishism, rather than musical value for the most part, imo...
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby The Elf » Mon Jul 27, 2020 1:05 pm

To be honest, quite a few of these 'revered' machines were the ones we could *afford* back then, as opposed to the ones we *wanted*.

In addition to the single oscillator monosynths, quite how the single oscillator Juno range, which needed chorus to prop them up, became such objects of desire still amuses me! :lol:
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jul 28, 2020 8:04 am

The Elf wrote:To be honest, quite a few of these 'revered' machines were the ones we could *afford* back then, as opposed to the ones we *wanted*.

In addition to the single oscillator monosynths, quite how the single oscillator Juno range, which needed chorus to prop them up, became such objects of desire still amuses me! :lol:

I bought my 101 because it sounded like nothing else, no other reason, and one of my favourite musicians used one, and I loved the sounds he made with it.
I also fell in love with my Juno 6, I was given it in exchange for a cheap pair of hi-fi speakers, I could tell it was special from the moment I switched it on, I used to set up the arpeggiator and fall asleep at night listening to it, another synth I wish I’d never sold.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby nathanscribe » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:03 am

I think the Behringer is a pretty good version of the 101. It sounds right, it handles about the same, it has a similar build quality... maybe those rounded corners and stumpy looking panel give it a less classic look, but it's compact and cheap and does the things.

It won't hold value like an original, but you can probably chuck it about a bit and not worry as much.

I never got excited about the 101, but I own the Behringer and have had an original side by side and although I'd personally always enjoy a vintage item more for being old and wonky, the B is fine.

The issue I have with the Roland boutiques is less the sounds per se than the small controls, rubbish micro USB power connector, minijacks, and lack of multiple audio outs except over those awful proprietary USB drivers that just render the things obsolete as soon as your system updates past where Roland can be bothered to keep supporting. But they're built well and I can see how they're good for a small desktop space.

Horses for courses.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby Arpangel » Tue Jul 28, 2020 9:28 am

"A boutique (French: [butik]) is "a small store that sells stylish clothing, jewelry, magnets or other usually luxury goods".

The term boutique and also designer refer (with some differences) to both goods and services which are containing some element that is claimed to justify an extremely high price."

I’m looking forward to the Roland Boutique fashion collection, and also some pretty stylish magnets by all accounts, the bit about extremely high prices certainly applies to some "boutique" products in this business.
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Re: A good sh-101 clone

Postby The Elf » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:48 am

Arpangel wrote:
The Elf wrote:To be honest, quite a few of these 'revered' machines were the ones we could *afford* back then, as opposed to the ones we *wanted*.

In addition to the single oscillator monosynths, quite how the single oscillator Juno range, which needed chorus to prop them up, became such objects of desire still amuses me! :lol:
I bought my 101 because it sounded like nothing else
The MC-202 sounded identical. We used to use four MC-202s and two SH-101s.
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