MATRIXSYNTH: Roland SH-3A Monophonoic Analog Synthesiser

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Roland SH-3A Monophonoic Analog Synthesiser

via this auction

"In good used condition. Used very little in the last 20 years, and not likely to be used at all in the next 20, so I'd rather have the space and know it's being used.

It's a quirky machine, great for sound effects with two routeable LFOs and a sample and hold generator. It may be a 70's monosynth but don't expect any fat Moog noises - it's single oscillator with mixable pitches and waveforms in a very basic additive synthesis / drawbar type arrangement, and one ADSR envelope switchable to the VCF and VCA (although both have switchable preset alternative envelopes). It does make some cool noises though, and has one or two useful eccentricities that aren't on other synths, like the "glide" button that produces a pre-set bend up to the played note.

All of the knobs and switches are present and working. The case and catches are fine apart from a little rust on the catches. The wire music stand that would have fitted in the case lid is missing.

Known faults: some of the pots are crackly but have improved with use during testing. The ADSR amount control to the filter is particulary scratchy though and may need attention. All the keys trigger OK except the top E - it works, but not as reliably as all the others. The mains switch works fine but the indicator LED doesn't. So, nothing major and useable as it is, but it would benefit from a service."

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