My Poor Roland SH-201

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My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby nb2000260 » 23:25, 27 April 2011

Roland has fully discontinued all parts and support for the SH 201. This means if your 201 experiences problems chances are it will be enormously difficult to fix any of the defects. Below is what happened to my synth. I've taken it to a Roland authorized service center they replaced the motherboard and it still did not solve the problems at hand.
when I tried playing my SH-201 I realised that my button is not working any more; I can only go up the 3 octaves, but not down any more. Meaning I´m stuck in Octave +3.
Afterwards I realised that I can not the tempo in any more.

Therefor I startet the 201-Editor (software) and loaded an older set into the 201.
But this didn´s help either. Still I can only go up the octaves, but not down any more.

So I tried a factory-reset;
holding the and the button while powering up.
But the 201 did start as if I hadn´t pressed the buttons, meaning regular.
No blinking and button appeared.
When powered up and buttons do work as intended (changing from user to preset patches); so these buttons do work, but not in combination during start-up.
So factory Reset does not work either.

So it looks as though my SH-201 is down and out for good. They finally got the motherboard in and it didn't fix the problem. Roland has successfully discontinued all parts and support for SH-201 keyboards which means I now have a beautifully useless faulty piece of plastic taking up room the studio. Its a real shame because I really loved that keyboard. I treated it well and then it stopped working correctly. It may be useful to someone out there who is either good at fixing these types of things or would like a back up board for parts. If interested shoot me an email at:

On a side note: Thanks Roland for being slow and relatively unhelpful in this situation.
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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby PauloF » 12:49, 28 April 2011

Hi Nick,
I`ve sent you an email
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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby Re-Member » 05:42, 29 April 2011

It sounds like you got ripped off by whoever "repaired" it. Since the SH-201 is a digital synthesizer, if there was a problem with the circuit board, the entire synthesizer would not turn on. Since it still powers on, there's no reason to replace the circuit board. The problem you describe is due to dirty contacts within the buttons that touch the circuit board, which is common in digital electronic devices. Dust works its way into the small cracks under the buttons and moisture from your finger clots it up a bit and blocks the connection. I recommend taking it back to the repair shop, telling them the problem was not the actual circuit board and suggest that the contacts for those specific buttons need to be cleaned. You shouldn't have had to pay for any replacement parts, so ask for refund based on the price difference for cleaning the contacts.
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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby ewanh » 14:41, 12 May 2013

Sorry you've e erienced bad service from Roland. They've always been awesome for me. If you're still stuck and need a replacement, I am selling one.
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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby canefire » 20:45, 14 May 2013

@ ewanh how much are you selling yours for?

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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby abcastro » 18:12, 2 March 2015

My tech discovered that it was the white interconnecting cable from the switches to the main board.
He got all but 1 button working by cleaning and reattaching it. I have to get him to try again, as 1 of the oscillator buttons still does not work. It appears to be a design defect.
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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby Synthtron » 19:06, 2 March 2015

I was curious did you buy the SH-201 new or used?
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Re: My Poor Roland SH-201

Postby abcastro » 23:04, 11 March 2015

I bought mine new. It still has a problem with the OSC 5th switch which does not work.
My tech was able to disconnect and reconnect the white ribbon cable and that fixed most of the connection problems. i am going to have him check it again. I'd like to get it working reliably. It's a nice synth to teach basic subtractive synthesis on when it works right.
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