$40,000 Holland SM2000 Modular Synthesizer Offers ‘Aerospace Quality’

The Holland Synthesizer Model SM2000 is a $40,000 3U monophonic modular synthesizer that they say is an ‘aerospace quality musical instrument’.

The system uses a backplane that carries control voltages, triggers and audio signals to and from the various modules, however all patching can be overridden from the front panel. All jacks are Switchcraft 1/4″ for ruggedness. The SM2000 is designed to be a standalone system, but being modular in nature allows for a high degree of customi

Why is the Model SM2000 $40,000? They note:

There are many factors that contribute to this. Up until recently, all of our projects were “One of a Kind”, which means all of the development costs are rolled into the first unit. Secondly, all of our products are hand made, and built to rigorous aerospace quality guidelines, which is reflected in our product reliability. When you are not using mass production, costs go up dramatically. And lastly, we use very expensive components. We select each component to be the absolute best performing component, based on sound quality and reliability, without regard to price.

This is one of the reasons we have audibly superior products. Let me use our SM2000 synthesizer modules as a concrete example.

All of our modules have front panels that are machined, powder coated, engraved and filled with colored ink. Other manufacturers might pay $3.00 for a front panel where one of ours costs us $300.00. After 10 years of wear, ours still look the same. We also use brass collet knobs, Bourns pots, and Switchcraft jacks. Our competitors might pay 49 cents for a pot and knob, where our cost is $11.00. Multiply that by a hundred, and you see what happens.

The Model SM2000 system contains the following modules:

  • SM2014 Triple Voltage Controlled Oscillator/ Mixer Module. Each oscillator has six waveform outputs that can be mixed together. A fourth mixer combines the outputs of the three oscillators and an external signal source. Adjustable PWM and linear modulation. Coarse and fine tuning on each oscillator and a master tune for all 3 tracking together.
  • SM2051 Noise generator featuring white, pink, red and infrared sources.
  • SM2032 Multimode Voltage Controlled Filter. Has 8 outputs. Low Pass, High Pass, Band Pass and Band Reject (Notch). Each configuration has a 12dB and 24dB per octave mode. Four overlapping ranges with adjustable damping and manual frequency control.
  • SM2048A Dual Envelope Generator. Two independant envelope generators tied to the same trigger. Time at each stage adjustable from 1 millisecond to 18 seconds. Level attenuators for each output. 5 overlapping time ranges, and manual trigger. LEDs track stages through envelope. Generates true linear envelopes.
  • SM2022 Dual Log Voltage Controlled Amplifiers. Produces log output with linear input. Unheard of 118 dB dynamic range. Input and output level controls and CV attenuators. Manual offset controls for ease of setup and maximizing dynamic range.
  • SM2041 MIDI to CV and Trigger Interface.
  • SM2046 Control Voltage Processor. Takes in a control voltage and produces a copy and an inverted copy. Allows user to control offset, gain and slew rate. Also has two outputs for adjustable, attenuated versions of the outputs.
  • SM2063 Multiples, Voltage sources and Attenuators. Has 3 four point multiples, 4 adjustable DC voltage sources and 2 adjustable attenuators.
  • SM2012 Low Frequency Oscillator. Oscillator has two selectable ranges, high for modulation, and low for filters and amplitude modulation. Output waveforms are sine, triangle, square, pulse, positive ramp and negative ramp. Also has controls for tuning and fine tuning, pulse width, PWM attenuator, and two output level controls.
  • SM2035 Fixed Filter Bank. This module has 12 resonant filters spaced musically at about half octaves. Each filter has 10dB of boost and cut. The highest and lowest filters are shelving type.
  • SM2061 Buss Access, Power Monitor and Headphone Amplifier. Includes 4 volume controls for the audio output busses, and output jacks. Also includes jacks for the 4 trigger outputs and 4 control voltage outputs. Headpone output with level control. Power keyswitch and LED power indicators for each voltage.

Note: The Holland SM2000 Modular Synthesizer is a 3U modular synth, but differs from most Eurorack, synths in a variety of ways, including power connectors, depth and jack sizes. See the Holland Synth site for details.

via matrixsynth

54 thoughts on “$40,000 Holland SM2000 Modular Synthesizer Offers ‘Aerospace Quality’

  1. If only they’d spend a fraction of their income on their webpage, it would already do much good for them.
    Meanwhile I wonder if the price has something to do with Holland. Pot costs!

    1. Some world class musicians have been using Holland FM7000 rackmount mixers on the road and in studios for over 25 years. Flawless.

  2. What the [email protected] does the aerospace industry have to do with music or synthesisers?

    I’d be more worried about sound and flexibility! 40k for a mono, I’d rather a gold moog voyager for 10k and a world trip for the remaining 30k

    This is full blown wank factor for full blown… Well…

  3. at least in the US, AS9100 (Aerospace quality) revolves around cleanliness of workspace, ESD protections, and quality control. This should add little to nothing to manufacturing costs. It’s purely advertising.

  4. Sounds to me like a typical MOTM build. Let’s see, 11 modules at average $300 each is $3300 in parts. Add some labor costs, and you get to…

  5. Im never perportionally impressed when it come to expensive modular rigs. After 5k or so I stop hearing the price to sound correlation.

  6. I can get an engraved and filled panel from Schaeffer for not much. Bourns pots come in a lot of varieties so of course you can get an $11 one and I am sure it will be great. Good luck to them. Hopefully the units will sound great but I don’t want them to end up like the aircraft manufacturers in the UK who ended up making kettles and pans after WWII because they had expertise in manufacturing precision aluminium parts and nothing to make………

    My SH101 and Axxe are still going strong from new and that is more than 30 years. How good do you have to make something?

  7. Sounds almost on spec with a MFOS Ultimate/Expander with a couple of other MFOS modules tagged on
    You do have to build it yourself, but will probably only spend £500 +.
    It will be “true aerospace quality” as the circuits are guaranteed to work in space.

  8. Designed for the super wealthy, who are just searching for ways to blow money. There are $1000 hamburgers, $100,000 watches, and now they can have this $40,000 mono modular.

    The rest of us laugh and shake our heads in disgust because we can see so clearly how foolish and meaningless the luxury market is. When you can have everything, you appreciate nothing.

  9. This is a shoutout to the builder of this. Im making techno nobody outside of lucerne swizerland knows me. Im a producer who would really like to make money with music, because thats the only thing i like to do really. Atm i made the leutenant in the swiss army, to get money to spend a year only to make music. So if your modular is really worth 40000, send me one, if i am able to earn 40000 in two years with the help of this or sooner, ill pay it to you happily, if not ill send it back. Should be no problem as it is built to aerospae quality. Hit me up. Youll find me here or over soundcloud somehow (;

  10. Spending 40 large in my mind is fun. You could build a modern SEM-8 with preset storage and whatever controller(s) you wanted. Add a Koma Komplex sequencer, any drum machine you could dream of, a nicer than nice nothing-under-$250 effects pedal board (or a svelt 60hp eurorack effects box) and an iPad or similar simple/portable multitrack to record to. Maybe a second iPad for sample playback/multi-timbral whatever digital synth duties. Quality cases for all of it.

    Then, you could book an around the world ticket and a series of nice hotel rooms with great views within which to record your new record.

    You could then take it to a nice room to mix it, get it mastered and make a couple thousand CDs and 500 LPs. Probably with a few bucks left over to promote the thing a bit.

    Or that’s I might blow $40k on music gear.

  11. How much was the Moog System 55 re-issue? $35,000? http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/System55LTD

    And the Keith Emerson copy?

    Hate = ignorance.

    Walter Holland is a world renowned, musician, artist and aerospace engineer who builds the highest quality products PERIOD. If you don’t understand someone’s extraordinary abilities or understand the value of a world class product then why don’t you just STFU !!!

  12. How many of you smart-a**es have ever recorded your own music on your own designed and hand built recording desk? I’d wager not a single one of you.

    I dare any of you to produce a product like this:


    Walter Holland probably has more brains and talent in his pinky than all of you put together. Apparently, his high quality products are simply pearls before swine for 99% of you.

    1. lol, he is obviously smart enough to promote his emperor’s new clothes for an obscene amount of money to you.
      Spacecraft quality my ass, who needs to make saw waves at 5g in a backwards looping? you?

    2. I have made a passive mixer and used that, if that helps. I have also made my own modular and made music on that. I have designed and built my own micro controller controlled sequencer including writing the software. I understand good engineering but I also understand un-nessessarily expensive engineering. While wishing the company the best of luck, I would say this is over engineered.

      As I said earlier I have synths that are over 30 years old and still working fine. I see no aerospace ergonomics here. No exotic patch sockets. From first glance it appears to have plastic knobs so there is no tactile feeling of quality whenever you use the instrument. Try moving a control in a Rolls Royce and you will see what I mean. These control are also designed for a long life.

  13. Since clicking on your username on the comment above goes straight to a Walter Holland music video, Occam’s Razor suggest that this is simply a sock-puppet comment.

    1. Well now Curious,

      Read the remarks on the youtube video link I provided … I played keyboards on the track as well as many of Walter’s other albums for the past 3 decades.

  14. I’ve been using this synthesizer for the past few weeks to create a variety of music.

    For my needs as a composer and musician, I am overjoyed to find a world-class electronic musical instrument that transcends comparison to all the synthesizers that I own or have owned in the past.

    The exceptional build quality and accuracy capture every nuance resulting in audiophile sound and musicality that creates a new peak for synthesizer based music. Electronic music will never be the same…

    Thank you for your gift to the music world Walter Holland!!

    Christy Coobatis

  15. “Electronic music will never be the same…”

    Care to expand on this a little?

    I guess the cost of living in the Netherlands is pretty high huh?

    1. So Rick, apparently you don’t know who Christy Coobatis is nor do you understand the creator ot the SM2000 syth is none other than Walter Holland who lives in so. Calif.

      The Netherlands? Rick, you’re a twit.

      1. Wow really? THE Walther holland? You have to be kidding me. And Christy Cobalts too? She’s one of my favorites. I should have known the statement “Electronic music will never be the same” was in fact, the truest thing ever said and not poorly placed hyperbole.

        Ever thought of working in PR Steve?

      2. Looked him up; among his other incredible accomplishments (such as doing the music for “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling”), he also apparently taught electronic music at UC Irvine, along with none other than (you guessed it) Walter Holland.

        What, did you guys come up with this scam over a beer?

        1. Sincerest thank you for the recognition! I wrote the commentary on the synth after using it for about a month. Was so happy to see the finished product and use it after knowing first hand the work on the technology over the past 30 years. It truly is an incredible piece of machinery and electronics engineering.

          Correct on our relationship! I met Walter Holland when we were both professors at UC Irvine back in about 85. He was teaching Music Synthesis and Color Theory and i was heading the Electronic Music Program.

          Walter was friends with Bob Moog and an established Electronic Music Composer for decades.

          i would be happy to communicate with anyone directly about the synth as based on the comments it looks to be an exclusive item that very likely will not hit Guitar Center, Sweetwater or Craigslist.

          Christy Coobatis
          [email protected]

  16. Never heard of Walter Holland, Steven Leonard, or Christy Coobatis. Are they all the same person?

    $40K would buy quite an impressive pile of Eurorack modules, some of which are also built by experienced engineers with uncompromising standards but are somehow being sold at much more reasonable prices.

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