Roland SH-1 Analog Synthesizer in Japan

Roland SH-1 Synthesizer
Roland SH-1 Synthesizer

Today I just found a cosmetically mint condition 1978 Roland SH-1 Analog Synthesizer at a remote used audio and music shop here in Nagano-city, Japan. It was tucked away on the bottom shelf inside the original hard shell Roland case. This is the same shop where I found my Korg Poly-61, Roland Juno 106, and Roland Juno 6 Synthesizers over the past couple of years. I usually frequent this shop about once or twice a month.

I tested the SH-1 for about 30 minutes and didn’t find one single problem with it. I was amazed at how stable it was. It really looked new and likely was kept in a closet for quite a few years. It was definitely well taken care of. The used shop was selling it for $400. I asked if I could use the store clerk’s computer behind the counter to quickly check some info. I actually checked Ebay to see what they had been selling for lately. I noticed a couple recently sold for $800 and $1000 in excellent shape. I told the guy I would buy it but sounded a bit reluctant mainly because I didn’t know if I needed another synth and also the fact that I knew very little about the synth. He might have mistook that for me thinking it was expensive.

I previously bought a synth from the same store a few weeks prior and so he knocked the price down to $310 for being a good customer. Geez, I couldn’t believe it. Of course I grabbed it and it’s been a lot of fun playing with it after getting home today. It’s really a nice synth and a fun story that I often encounter here in Japan. I have no idea what the Roland SH-1 is worth though, but I feel I got it for a good price and I’ve heard they are very hard to find in some parts of the world. I had never seen or played one before until now. I’ve originally been looking for a Roland SH-101, but I suppose this will do for now. The Roland SH-1 came with the original case and a photocopy of the Japanese manual. On the outside it really looks almost brand new. I read the Roaldn SH-1 was used by Vince Clarke and Depeche Mode. Amazing!

Until I get a video of my own up here is a great video of someone showing the capabilities of this synth. He does quite a few different things with it and I found it interesting to watch. It actually helps me in programming the Roland SH-1 myself as I can see how he sets the sliders.


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