Behringer MS-101 – The Affordable Roland SH-101 You’ve Been Waiting For?

The Behringer MS-101 – an affordable SH-101 clone?

On 808 Day, Behringer is trolling Roland with a teaser image of a Behringer MS-101.

The Behringer MS-101 appears to be a clone of the classic Roland SH-101. Behringer has not made any official announcement about the MS-101 at this time, so details on specifications, pricing and availability are to come.

No word on what the ‘MS’ in the name stands for, or who voted down ‘BS-101’.

Check it out and let us know what you think!


94 thoughts on “Behringer MS-101 – The Affordable Roland SH-101 You’ve Been Waiting For?

      1. People have tendency to repeat history, but they don’t have to.

        Even when making clones of old products, people with a vision CAN make improvements.

        For example, Roland made theirs polyphonic while at it. With unison and all.

        Now, lets hear the price.

            1. Don’t understand how people can still see the analog / digital debate as a question of vanity. They are simply good at different things.

        1. Once you go digital adding features doesn’t add any cost. The Roland boutiques, for better or worse, are just a VST with an expensive controller.

          There’s nothing wrong with a one VCO all-analog machine. SH-101 can make some great sounds/sequences. Arguably a better acid machine than the TB-303.

          1. Who wants more cost?!?

            I want more value!

            By extension of that VST-“logic”, If it sounds the same as the digital counter part, your analog synths are all just VST’s in even more expensive boxes.
            (This VST nonsense is another topic, and I don’t understand that logic at all)

          2. “VST in a box”

            So? Price out a good VST, then buy or build a dedicated midi controller that allows real time manipulation. Then try to use all that without a computer or a DAW…

            yea, for sub $400 these things are frickin bargain.

            And the size… so perfect… a complete mobile techno setup in a suitcase. How can anyone complain about this?!!

            1. Mwah, a bargain is overdone. Roland could host this VA within their cloud if they wish. And let the users control it with an app if they wanted, be it either for OSX, Windows, Android or iOS.

            1. Oh come on. Cost in time to develop features, sure. But then when you mass produce the product, no additional costly hardware is required to implement the new features.

              There, that’s what debug meant. Why must people be difficult?

          3. Trying to sort out how someone with a username of ‘debug’ could feel ok saying something like:

            “Once you go digital adding features doesn’t add any cost”

  1. Midas Sound?

    After hearing the Moog clone I’m really interested to hear this one as well. Hopefully more info soon and another A-B comparison video, if only to read the comments. They’re always way more entertaining than the videos. 😀

      1. Yeah, Behringers are losers for teasing whats likely an analogue copy of an analogue synth. Should have done what Roland did today and announced a digital copy of it, mounted on a chip inside a tiny box. I know which one I’d be buying.

        1. I’ve been collecting synths for a long time and there are several out there that I’d love to have and play but just simply can’t afford. Well, not if I want to pay the mortgage, feed the kids and keep the lights on. Having genuinely affordable good-quality copies of those instruments on the market is a very good thing. It’s kind of like violin players who would really love to have a Stradivarius but are lucky if they can afford a Yamaha. If someone makes a really good violin that emulates the sound and performance of a Stradivarius at a fraction of the price then that benefits everyone.

          Roland and Moog have had several deaconess to re-produce some of their classic instruments for the musicians that have been craving them. Moog decided to make theirs astronomically expensive and Roland decide to go virtual (with really really ugly green pinstripes) . If Behringer can come in and make affordable, analogue instruments that emulate the classics then more power to ’em.

      2. The SE-02 is goddamn amazing. I just got one and couldn’t stop playing it for hours. All this other boutique stuff is basically just very good VST in a box but that SE-02 is no joke. It’s a 3-osc BEAST that is totally getting buried in all of this other noise. They could have marketed it way better than they did.

    1. what a strange usage of the quote.
      also its “greeks bearing gifts” in reference of the trojan horse and i have no idea what you are referring to.

      1. I am fully aware of the origin and etymology of the phrase as originally written by Virgil and still feel the sentiment applies. I don’t think its fundamentally wrong to expect better of Music Corp in general. We expect better of other manufacturers too.
        They have the technology the resources, associated companies and expertise to deliver a whole lot more with innovation, originality and integrity.

        1. yeah, google is my friend aswell. also etymology refers to words not phrases.(lol)

          fact: there is a market for analog iconic synth clones.
          fact: this was mostly ignored by the big players, sans korg only recently.
          fact: most patents, trademarks, trade dress have expired so its fair play. if not its a courts matter not an ethical one.

          opinion: marketing has taken on a different form in the age of social media. using a 808 day to actually put down roland for keep making toy copies of their revered products is actually an awesome move and has redirected the hype entirely. with advertising 0 cost. that is called genious.

          opinion: uli is giving the market what they want, at a revolutionary price.
          all of the sudden gearslutz is filled with ethical concers and chinstroking about fairness of it all. if the gear had an additional 0 they would be praising it.
          it was really disappointing to finally see the elitism on display.

          opinion: what is really sad though is that roland is milking the brand with these cheap facsimiles, and yet when behringer comes out with the genuine articles, you people are up in arms.

          if roland had real analog reissues, and behringer had their knockoffs and untercut them, i´d give you a point. but as it is, i really cant help but laugh at you all. and pity you aswell.

  2. Five Euros says this is a fake. A cheeky image to ride on the back of Roland’s 808 day announcements.

    Nothing to see here, move along

    1. Its quite obviously real. Doesn’t mean it’ll ever go into production, or theres any electronics inside it, but its not photoshopped. Thats at the very least is a mock up of the form factor of a SH-101 clone by Behringer.

    1. Thank you very much! I was going to say the same!

      I don’t know why people loose their minds about that when BS2 is out there with killer features!

      Bass Station 2 is a future classic

  3. It is genuinely ironic that Roland make little toys of their iconic synths and Behringer make the real thing!

    Love the look of the ‘MS-101’ go Behringer!

  4. behringer has some cheek gotta say. expert trolling.
    way to steal the 8.08. thunder and actually put roland to shame with their own iconic synth.

    this is hilarious. if true i am getting that behringer version for sure.
    for sure i said.

  5. Uli Behringer announced roundabout 20 products from 5 different development teams.

    I think we have seen three so far…
    Can’t wait to see what the other 17 will be.

    Go Uli, Go!!!

  6. Behringer is taking advantage of the reputation and popularity of classic instruments such as Roland’s SH-101 and the Minimoog Model D to sell cheap copies. It’s the same time-honored business model employed by the manufacturers of Ray-Ban knock-offs.

    Behringer is a repeat offender; the company has a history of being sued by major manufacturers (Mackie and Roland) for copying their designs and innovations.

    So why do they do it? Because it is cheap and relatively low risk to copy and release someone else’s popular product at a sharp discount. More significantly, they don’t have to make a name for themselves because they’re riding on the reputation of someone else’s work.

    Whether or not Moog and Roland take legal action, these instruments are intellectual property theft. The MS-101 seems to duplicate Roland’s mechanical design and the look and feel of the original. If the Model D is anything to go by, it probably includes copied electronics, too.

    The Midas engineers in the UK should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Midas isn’t working on the clones, they were only employed for the Deepmind. They probably chuck a bunch of interns on these low budget dealies.

    2. That’s a lot of words which amount to you basically saying you have no idea how Copyright and Patent laws work or any actual knowledge of Behringer previous lawsuits outside of the headlines.

      1. Copying somebody else’s work and passing it off as your own is dishonest. To throw up the straw man argument that patents have expired or that Behringer has added an extra knob or two doesn’t change reality — it’s a knock-off.

        Roland sued Behringer for mimicking the trade dress of their guitar pedals, while Mackie sued for trademark, trade dress, patent and copyright infringement. There is a certain irony in the fact that you seem oblivious to the notion of trademark protection while pontificating about my ignorance of patent and copyright law, Michael. 🙂

        1. Your argument was about the legalities of these clones, not the moralities which is a ridiculous thing to argue about a synthesizer and as such there’s no ignorance on my end. Yeah Roland and Mackie sued Behringer but Behringer didn’t lose either case. They won the Mackie suit and settled out of cour with Roland which isn’t an admission of guilt despite people trying to paint it as such.

          You can argue about how unethical you think Behringer is or whatever, but the fact is what they are doing is not illegal and many people including myself are grateful for companies like Behringer producing instruments that were previously out of most people’s reaches.

          1. Because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s right.

            Nor is it valid to justify Behringer’s knock-offs on the basis that they bring affordable versions of someone else’s work to the masses.

            1. Hey Frodo, go draw a picture of an electric guitar that doesn’t resemble any other guitar ever made. Then draw a drum kit that looks like no other drum kit. Then make both of them sound completely different to every other guitar and drum kit on the market. How many non-branded versions of the Les Paul guitar are out there? Who’s whinging about them? Not the people who cant afford a real Les Paul. And not the people who really want to own a real buy Les Paul, because they’ve got the real deal. And thats because Les Paul aren’t making a virtual version of their guitar on a chip, in a tiny plastic box. They still make the actual guitar. Same as always. So Roland have this coming. Good luck to Behringer.

            2. Dude I’m a guitar player. Guitars and all the gear that accompanies it are the most cloned and copied pieces of music equipment on the market. I’ll gladly buy a offhand Chinese made Les Paul over the overpriced crap Gibson peddles nowadays.

              Go cry your smug argument about companies making affordable gear somewhere else. Moog have no justification to charge such a ridiculous amount for their MiniMoog nor does Roland have any reason they couldn’t make a proper SH 101 clone instead of their VST in a box. This is on them leaving a void in the market that they themselves made.

              1. Michael, stop the attacks. I’m tired of being called smug or being accused of not understanding copyright and patent law simply because you disagree with my perspective.

                1. Well if your tired of being called “Smug” then don’t bash the idea of companies making affordable synths for people with limited budgets based on your weird morals because that comes off as incredibly pretentious. You don’t get to suddenly play victim after your the one that started the brand bashing in the first place.

                  1. Yeah, nothing is quite as pretentious as arguing that people should do their own damn work and make a living creating something new. 🙂

                2. If you don’t like being “attacked” for your perspective, perhaps you shouldn’t share it on a public forum. Especially when your “perspective” includes an attack on both a company and the individual engineers.

  7. Well I think market competition is good. If Roland won’t reissue a real analog SH like many people want, a good clone is welcome. It drives down used prices and make it easier for some to get. The D sounds pretty great. I’m not a behringer fan, but I will say the couple utility pieces of theirs I have, I have never had issues. I’ve yet to buy a behringer synth, but may jump on this and the hinted upcoming OB clones. Somebody has to give the people what they want and if it’s going to be Uli then more power to him.

  8. I’d probably be more interested in anything Behringer puts out if they didn’t parasitically have a case printed out for most popular synths and just decide to re-engineer them after another manufacturer rereleases their own product.

    Of course Behringer isn’t going to give us anything new or costs R&D… we wouldn’t roll our eyes as hard if they at least bothered to do something transformative like the DM.

  9. When I was young we regarded those cheapo Roland synths as pure shi… . I am not having one no matter how cheap it’s priced. I may have the Behringer D because I miss my old mini. The main manufacturers in my time was Moog, Oberheim and ARP. The only acceptable japanese manufacturer was Yamaha, then Korg – then Roland. Roland reputation didn’t gain real ground until the D50 (with a few hounorable exeptions: The Jupiter 8 and the System 700). I think the reason for this was the fact that the other synths were more musical in the hands of keyboardists.

  10. It would be far more interesting to read about companies pushing the boundaries of sound design and performance instead of releasing clones? The only thing that sounds like the original machine is the original. All clones, remakes, etc. fail when compared to the original, by far. Like it’s not even close. Every side by side comparison comes off like children wearing dad’s suit and tie.
    Most of the classics are attainable if you really want them, anything under $2000 is attainable don’t care how poor you are. These companies have got to realize: LISTEN! mini boxes/half sizes, mini keys, volca, micro “boutique”, all look ridiculous – in person and even more so in a live setting (you know, like a computer does). Stop making mini you fucking idiots! The only boutique synth is original. Roland boutique is poor taste across the board.
    Roland synths of yesteryear absolutely kill, these days however Roland is so completely lost it’s not funny (Roland please quit and let people with vision, integrity, and class reboot the name).

    1. There are plenty of instruments “pushing the boundaries of sound design and performance” on the market. And it’s always been like this. But you dont want to buy them. That’s why manufacturers are forced to reincarnate old proven hits or produce cheap massmarket bullshit.
      Remember Andromeda, V-Synth, Neuron, Solaris, Linnstrument, Roli Seabords? They all are pushing the boundaries and have enormous difficulties to be sold when new. Due to their price, basically.
      So, be happy to use what the market offers…

  11. Roland had plenty of chances to do proper reissues.
    Lots of people (myself included) really want classic Roland gear that still sounds great without paying high ebay prices and needing a tech to keep vintage gear running.

    Guitar companies like Fender understand this and do reissues of all their classics.

    Roland was headed in the right direction with the boutique series but really dropped the ball with the ACB technology. I really tried to like it but cant find the tones/vibes Im looking for.

    The SE-02 sounds excellent, but that was because of Studio Electronics.

    Hoping Behringer gets it right. Just like all the different types of Strats out there by companies I see it as fair game. May the best sounding instruments survive.

    1. Dude I feel like the hype man for the SE-02, but it is the real deal. I just got one and it is shocking me. But yeah, that’s all Studio Electronics’ doing.

  12. Behringer is the modern day robin hood, stealing from the rich, to give to us poor and needy musicians. Three cheers for Uli hip hip.

    1. Not so! Behringer is not stealing or giving away anything. He is seeing a demand and filling it. Hopefully, selling clones of classics will allow them the financial freedom to innovate in the future.

      (Oh no! Too much alliteration!)

  13. Poor Roland is getting slapped around a lot, but people who are serious should really check out the SE-02. It has slipped under the radar with all the other “ACB” boutiques, but it is the real deal. It seriously put my Microbrute out of business instantly. The market is definitely saturated with analog monosynths to infinity, but if you are in the market for a very small but super, super great sounding one, the Roland SE-02 is pure class. It sounds as good as anything I’ve heard. They totally under-marketed that thing.

    1. Amen brother. It is a hilarious twist of fate that our synth hopes now have to be with Behringer. But the Minimoog Clone is just so damn good an spot on, they know what they`re doing. I hope they wreck the whole market. I somehow never liked Behringer, until i heard Uli speak at the Deepmind Launch. That guy is awesome!

      The Roland SH-01A is a pathetic money grab, recycled code, recycled DSP. It sounds lame. It is tiny. Fanboys will still buy it, that is exactly the problem.

  14. what the ‘MS’ in the name stands for

    uh, isn’t that obvious.
    It is MS-101 only because upside down it reads LOL-SW. It is direct trolling to Roland SH-01A.

  15. I already have a keytar: a 707. I know the synth is the focus but you didn’t have to cut off her head.

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