Behringer MS-5 (Roland SH-5 Copy) Now Shipping

Behringer today announced that its MS5 synthesizer – an unofficial copy of the Roland Sh-5 – is now shipping.

The Behringer MS-5 is an analog synthesizer, that they say features “a faithful reproduction of the original ‘SH-5’ circuit”. The synth voice features 2 VCOs, Multi-Mode VCF, VCA, 2 LFOs, 2 Envelopes and a Ring Modulator.

The MS-5 follows the same format as its earlier Behringer Poly D, so it’s smaller than the original SH-5 and has a keyboard with fewer notes as a result. But for many, the design changes from the original will make the Behringer copy a lot more convenient, especially the fact that the control panel folds flat, making it much more compact to move and store.

The Behringer MS-5 also makes its PCB trim pots directly accessible from the back panel, a huge improvement over some of its previously analog designs, which force you to disassemble the instrument to access tuning trim pots.


  • 37 semi-weighted full-size keys featuring velocity functionality
  • Copies original “SH-5” circuitry with matched transistors and JFETs
  • Analog signal path
  • 2 VCOs with 4 switchable waveshapes and variable pulse widths
  • Multi-mode 24 dB diode filters with resonance
  • Additional band-pass filter with resonance
  • Ring modulator with LFO control and external input
  • Signal mixer with multiple destinations
  • Soft and hard synchronization for VCO 2
  • 2 analog LFOs with saw, triangle, square and sine waveforms
  • Sample & hold circuitry with adjustable delay time
  • Noise generator with white and pink noise for expanded waveform generation
  • 71 controls give you direct and real-time access to important parameters
  • Front panel can be laid flat or tilted in multiple angles for easy access of controls
  • External audio input for processing external sound sources
  • Stereo outputs featuring servo-balanced stages for highest signal integrity
  • 2 pedal inputs for controlling filter cutoff and oscillator pitch
  • CV/Gate in and out for connecting to external equipment
  • MIDI support, with MIDI channel and Voice Priority selection

Pricing and Availability:

The Behringer MS-5 is priced at $599 USD, and they say it is shipping now from the factory. Note that it can take a month or more from when the company ships instruments from its factory for them to become available at its retailers.

Check out the official Behringer MS-5 intro video above, and then share your thoughts on the synth in the comments!

32 thoughts on “Behringer MS-5 (Roland SH-5 Copy) Now Shipping

  1. This is like watching a company copy vintage cars from the 1970s. “Look! We’ve faithfully cloned the Renault 12! Rejoice!” (Americans, substitute “AMC Pacer”). I am tingling with manually tuned monophonic excitement.

    1. (Americans substitute “AMC Pacer)

      I agree the Moog SubPhatty was an expensive cash-in that was nothing like the thing people expected.

      If you think the SH-5 was the Renault 12 of synths, it just goes to show how degenerate the commentariat on this shit is.

    2. I would only buy a brand new car if it was a clone of something from the 90s or older…
      ..I wish a “Behringer” for the automotive world would come around.

      1. Agreed. My friend Mazda top line SUV screen failed just outside warranty and he was quoted $7k total to replace it, 1/6 of the car value. So yes, revive 90s or older car design.

  2. Even skeptics have to admint that Behringer’s knockoff designs have been getting better and better with each new synth that they make. The MS-5 really highlights this.

    If you compare it to the Behringer D or the Poly D, the earlier designs both have frankly ugly panels that do a shoddy job of copying the original, cheap looking controls and a lot of strange design decisions.

    Looking at the MS-5, it has an attractive front panel, it keeps all the good features of the Poly D, and it has a lot of smart design improvements. Looks like a great synth for the money.

    They should revisit some of their earlier designs and do MKII versions, incorporating what they’ve learned after making so many synths.

    Where’s the VCS3 clone, though? That’s the synth that I’m really interested in!

    1. “Even skeptics have to admint that Behringer’s knockoff designs have been getting better and better with each new synth that they make. ”

      Behringer’s knockoffs are great synths to people that have no experience with great synths.

      1. The greatest experience you are talking about is getting massively ripped off buying musical contraptions made in China with similar mass production machinery and 1 year warranty.

      1. correct. they are holes for the original, and any additional trimmer necessary to calibrate it without opening it up. another benefit.

        I’m saving my third Flip-Top position for a Kobol monosynth. the Expander was delicious.

  3. Making second envelope an ADSR, adding LFO to panning, and adding an arpeggiator would have gone a long way.

  4. I am literally worried about leaving computer aside, waiting for Thomann’s page to update with MS-5 for order or preorder. I have been waiting for this synth to come for so long. I have Roland’s 505 module, which more resembles third filter in my JD-XA than what I heard from SH-5’s demos – it is great, but it is also its own thing. I have also 512, coupled with 521 module. To top that, I also bought G-Storm’s SH-5 clone, which is kind of even better than the original! But that never extinguished my desire for this clone. I love self contained instruments and this one finally can (will see, when it arrives) be THE ONE.

    Because diode ladder filters are my favourite VCF design, when sequenced from Live, and if velocity gives me possibility that I imagine, this one unit might take place of: desired SH-5 and also 101 and 303 clones.


  5. A few follow up observations after a second time through:
    – Not sure about using the trimmer settings as “customization”; certainly there’ll be the factory settings on these as delivered. I guess if you mucked around with them just to see, maybe there’d be a small number of changes that could arguably be used for something unique that you probably would not use every day,
    – Too bad they did not demo the difference between Weak and Strong sync modes, or what ring mod does when tuning the VCOs to something other than octaves; likewise the sample and hold lag setting with different waveforms, and the signal matrix routings. Maybe for another video, rather than getting down in the weeds the first time out, along with more focus on the pedal inputs and left-hand controls.
    – The envelopes sound waay snappier than what I recall from my long-gone SH-5! That’s already an improvement, and hopefully the keyboard will have a better feel than that godawful clackety thing on the original. Heard a little velocity modulation going on there, nice.
    – To comment on a comment, the second EG as AR never hurt the ARP Odyssey or 2600; I wonder if anyone ever did an EG as ADSR which had a switch option to disable the decay and sustain stages?

    1. – some folks like to crank up the filter cutoff to offset their deteriorated hearing. having the trimmer on the back instead of inside is a benefit..
      – interestingly, the SH-5 used a D taper pot for ADSR timing. usually an A type is used in old analog monosynths. the D taper would have a snappier feel to it than an A in this circuit due to an increased resolution on the fast timing end of the resistive element.
      – also, Behringer would probably not have any of these D taper devices in their platform device inventory. – as not other previous monosynth used them. previously, in monopoly, they used a larger (16mm vs 9mm) rotary pot to facilitate the Monopoly’s ADSR intensity center detent function. *and* they’re 2meg pot/sliders, which they doubly have never used, instead they wired up a dual ganged 1meg A log taper.

      I suspect the snappiness here could come from the smaller Attack timing range of 5 seconds similar to the ARP style timing, instead of Moog’s 10secs ranges.

    1. Sorry, too bad. I already have the free MS-5 copy. Uli just dropped it off at my door a few minutes ago. Of course I said thank you, but I did yell, “Where’s the Oberheim Two-Voice Clone” as he was getting back into his Maserati.

  6. I put my order in at Sweetwater when this synth was just a twinkle in the eyes of Behringer, and was told I was second in line. Now I see it’s only 600, might have to get 2.

  7. Pretty embarrassing for Roland that Behringer gets to brink back old analog classics in a decent format whilst Roland itself keeps putting out miniature digital toys that no one wants.

    1. “Roland itself keeps putting out miniature digital toys that no one wants”

      How to say you’ve been disconnected from social media for the last 5 years without saying it.

  8. Behringer said that it’s SH-01 knockoff was “a faithful reproduction” and now they are worthless because it wasn’t and the company has announced, but not shipped a mkII version.

    They did the same thing with their “faithful reproduction” of the Roland 808. Then they released a mkII version and now all the early buyers have worthless boxes.

    Then they said “Oops, we did it again!” with their 2600 knockoff and released the real “faithful reproduction” 6 months later with the circuits fixed and a real reverb and a higher price.

    Only suckers would believe anything the company says about making “faithful reproductions”!

    1. People have too much invested in the ‘ vintage mojo’ of old synths. The fact is, the remaining originals are now rare, expensive, frail and most people have never seen or played one. If Roland had bothered to reissue the SH-5, they would be using the same technologies as Behringer, for at least twice the cost. This, and the Wasp Deluxe, are putting these sounds back in the hands of musicians, instead of museum cases. Self-appointed gatekeepers can moan and criticise all they like, these versions are going to keep happening, and if that lowers the perceived value of their investments, too bad.

      1. Fanboys are always whining about ‘Self-appointed gatekeepers’, like there’s somebody that’s keeping you from buying these cheap knockoffs!

        Nobody’s keeping anybody from buying these things, it’s just that anybody that’s not drinking the Kool-Aid sees the Behringer knockoffs for what they are, cheap copies of synths that are notable now mainly for being old and rare.

        I’m glad that these options are available, but if you think that these synths are a huge bargain, or that Behringer is doing anybody a favor, you’re definitely sipping the Kool-Aid! Modern synth designs sound great and run circles around these copies. And have real MIDI support and patch memory!

    1. No, or least not on the one I had. “Sludgy” was how I thought of them. It was one of the first things I noticed in the demo, it sounded much improved on that score.

  9. They’re hiring better designers, but it’s still a bit naff to combine a Minimoog-style tilt-up panel and those spun silver Moog-style knobs on a “Roland” knockoff. They’ve got a factory making whatever they want so why not go all the way and knock off the SH-5 knobs too? It ends up looking like neither a Roland nor a Moog, and it has that bog standard Behringer font in most places too.

    I agree with other commenters who imply that Roland is asleep at the wheel and allowing whatever rights they may have had to their classic designs to become terribly diluted.

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