Looks like Roland is adding the old keytar to its Boutique line up – Re-issue of of the SH-101 in the pipes?


Well, not sure if we will ever see the famous keytar re-emerge on stage but it sure looks like Roland is well on its way to bring the classic SH-101 back into it line up of Boutique synths. First spotted in a video published on Instagram Story by Nick de Friez it is quite clear from what the blurry video captures that something that looks like a Boutique version of the SH-101 is in the pipes – now under the name SH-010. As can be seen in the video a machine in blue, with sliders, a handful of knobs and buttons is it possible that it can be anything else than this – the classic Roland monosynth, the SH-101:

Looking at the imagery all knobs and sliders are exactly where they should be in relation to the original. With the source being Berlin based Roland specialist Nick de Friez, we can be quite certain that the material is legit.

As with previous Boutique releases the users of Roland´s SYSTEM 1 have had access to digital versions of the machines, in the form of Plug out add on’s, prior to the release of the Boutique versions, like with the TB-03 and TR-09. So it is quite reasonable to assume a similar go-to-market approach in the case of the SH-010. The benefit of this approach is that the new SH-010 will have refreshed circuitry, however it is of course possible that Roland will produce an all analog model, but that seems more unlikely given the previous releases.

Screengrab via Gearnews

So it may make sense for Roland, although the company has already made different versions of the SH-101, like the AIRA in 2014 plus the virtual VST version found in the Roland Cloud, to pick the SH-101 as the next classic synth to get the Boutique reissue treatment. So far the company has revamped the Jupiter-8, Juno-106, JX-3P, TR-909 and TB-303 as part of the series of compact modules, and the SH-101 is one of the few vintage Roland models left on the list.

A key question though is whether the new version of the SH-101 will come with any new features or contemporary updates that will spice up the crave for adding this to your arsenal of music production gear – perhaps an effects section?

However, releasing a new SH-101 would go against recent developments in the Boutique series. The latest model to be announced, the SE-02, is a real analog synth that kicks off the new “Boutique Designer Series”, which sees the company collaborate with smaller companies on brand new synth designs.

On the re-issue trend – when will it end? As for Roland adding the SH-101 would more or less conclude their classic legacy. So leaving you with a final food for thought though – do we really need more re-issued vintage gear?

KORG is doing it alongside Roland, but we also have players like Behringer who teases an ever growing line up of vintage clones, and although hardware is always hardware we believe quite a number of musicians will be content with the already vast library of software clones existing out there. Perhaps it is time to be a bit more creative and push the envelope, and not just more of the same.