Roland U-20

Roland U-20

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U-20, Digital Synth from Roland.

8 user reviews
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Roland U-20 tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Roland
  • Model: U-20
  • Category: Digital Synths
  • Added in our database on: 04/09/2004

U-20 HOMEPAGE (Patches, Tones, Utilities, Info, DIY's and Reference Materials)

  • Type: Synth/ keyboard/
  • Synthesis Type: Digital with 4? MB of ROM
  • Polyphony:
    • Max: 30
    • Typical in use: 12-16
  • Multi-timbral (number of parts): 7
  • Oscillators per Voice :
    • Min : 1
    • Max : 4?
  • Controllers : Usual Roland
  • Effects : 
    • Number of FX units : 2 rev/chorus
    • Number of different effects :
  • Drum Section : 
    • Number of Drum Kits : 1
    • Number of Drum sounds :
  • Keyboard : 
    • Number of Keys : 61?
    • Can send on 1 simultaneous MIDI channels
    • Responds to : velocity, after-touch
    • Sounds can be split by : velocity, keyboard
  • Memory : 
    • Patches : 128
    • Performances :
  • Inputs and Outputs : 
    • Number of Audio Outs (excluding Phones) : 2
    • Number of Audio Ins :
    • Number of MIDI Outs (excluding Thru) : 1
    • Number of MIDI Ins : 1
  • Upgrade Options : Can simultaneously take two PCM sample cards, which provide extra timbres. Can also take a RAM card to double the number of sound patches to 128.

Comments about the sounds : 
Excellent piano. Drum set is incomplete without the "Latin/F.X" PCM card


Roland U-20 user reviews

Average Score:3.7( 3.7/5 based on 8 reviews )
 3 reviews38 %
 2 reviews25 %
 1 user review13 %
 1 user review13 %
Audience: Value For Money :

Mr_Mojo_Risin's review"A Great Controller Keyboard/Synth"

Roland U-20
Some very realistic Piano sounds with the default Patches. Can also create some great Sound FX. Wide selection of accessory PCM Cards to add new sounds

PROS: Excellent PCM samples. Nothing beats the SN-U110-12 Saxophone & Trombone PCM Card.

CONS: Cryptic interface and the WORST Owner's Manual I have EVER read. Poor aftertouch response

I have been using the same U-20 in my studio since 1990. I also took it on the road for about 125 live gigs over a five year period and it held up without the need for any repairs other than replacing the internal battery. I kept it housed in a padded carry case when transporting and I keep it covered while in the studio to prevent dust accumulation, one of the U-20's worst enemies. The C1 and C2 sliders provide a useful way to quickly step through menu selections, send Control Changes internally and also send Control Changes to external MIDI devices. I was lucky to purchase one of the later production models which has the v3.03 ROM IC. It improves MIDI and keyboard lag-time response, a problem noticed with the older v2.00 ROM's. The U-20's technology is almost 25 years old and obviously can't compete with the whizbang features on the synths of today, but it's still a workhorse and will always have a spot in my studio

I recently acquired a second U-20 on eBay for $50. It was sold as "broken". The fix was to replace the battery and reload the Factory Patches. Gotta love eBay :^)

sonic75's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Very good (for the time)"

Roland U-20
I give a personal opinion in relation to the time of the keyboard and not a current opinion ... because apart from a few sounds still usable (sheets / piano / bass), the U-20 is completely overwhelmed.
64 factory patches + 64 card RAM, with 128 stamps.

Typical characteristics of 80/90 years, chorus reverb and delay effects are good.


How to work with this rompleur is quite different synthesizers of the time, you can "remodel" the sounds but can not create them from A to Z. The way to access the editing functions is not more logical but we made it. For example, to access the PCM cards must go through several menus and sub menus, simply by pressing the "card" button is not enough ...


The sonorities are excellent, were very successful samples (I always speak in terms of its time).
The best are:

Very good effects too.


A very solid and reliable machine with good sound, the only downside is the key contacts that oxidize quickly, too bad.

Chtoine's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Roland U-20
I no longer use this keyboard for its characteristics since my PC version of Cubase.


The use as a master keyboard.


Sampled sounds which were very well made at the time.


The uses for over 15 years. Never failed.

Zeknas's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)" Sounds of the 90s!"

Roland U-20
It's actually a reader sample. We can complter those Intgr in the machine with cards insrer the rear of the unit.
Connection ok: 2 Stereo pairs of outputs, one with the effects, a direct effects, MIDI In, Through and Out
6-way multi-timbral + Battery
5 octave keyboard with after touch (which silent rare in this price range the era)


Sounds to change (not ditables) on the small screen. With a little practice, you arrive empty accder what one seeks.
I well exploit the era since my Atari 1040 ST. Some samples are trs polyphony and applicants must pay attention to number of channels used for some dumb because if too much polyphony request.
There is software to edit but I've never used.


The sounds are well on Roland trs typs but some are really good trs: acoustic piano, some low fat and ground of course!
The presets are usable in that state (these are the samples I RPET).


I do not regret buying this machine I possde more ... although it does serve me much anymore.
It's been two times that I do rpar keyboard and media programming buttons, a disease seems to be rcurrente.
Buy Now? If low prices and good state, why not?

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Other names: u 20, u20

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