Superlative Intros SB01 Analog Synth, Battery-Powered SH-101 Tribute (Now On Kickstarter)

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Superlative SB01 Synth is based on the SH-101 circuits but expanded with a dual sequencer, internal rechargeable battery, and built into a super slim case

The SH-101 is not a rarity in 2019. Either one decides for a vintage device or for one of the many replicas. From analog to digital replicas, everything is available. Roland has some emulations at the start (SH-01A, SH-101 Plugout …), Din Sync a DIY version called GILBERT or the super affordable replica MS-1 from Behringer. Superlative showed on the Superbooth 19, that you can revive this legendary monosynth in a new sexy design, with features that fit for 2019.

It has now taken 5 months but now all the information about the SB01 is finally available and you can pre-order it on Kickstarter very soon. According to the developer, the idea was to design an instrument that puts classic sound in modern package and adds a number of essential upgrades. Plus, it is the world’s thinnest and first rechargeable analog Synthesizer with up to 16 hours of battery life.

Playsuperlative SB01

A good side note: the developer is an absolute expert in SH-101 repairs in the US and knows all the circuits perfectly.

SB-01, The SH-101 Replica But Thought Further

Behringer is currently showing with his MS-1 (former MS-101) a cheap and good reproduction of the Roland MS-101. However, the simple cloning of known vintage devices is nothing innovative. Superlative, on the other hand, did not simply copy the SH-101, but further developed and redesigned it. So that it becomes a tribute and not a clone. This step is missing at B.

The SB-1 is based on the schematics of the Roland SH-101, more precisely: 1 VCO, 1 VCF, 1 VCA, 1 ENV, and 1 LFO. Unfortunately, the circuit of the SB-01 was not extended with FM. Until here it is an SH-101 replica, from now on it will be different. Started with the sequencer, who has little to do with the original. It’s a dual sequencer and arpeggiator with up to 256 steps per sequence. One is for the internal engine, one can be used for external devices. It offers also:

  • 2 banks x 32 patterns of memory locations
  • sequence chaining models (jump/chain/modulo)
  • sequencer play directions and live editing
  • arpeggiator modes (up/down/u&d/random)
  • key transpose latching and hold modes

SB01 sequencer

Spacebee SB01 Is Super Thin & Re-Chargeable

A big difference to its competition from China is its super thin sexy designed case that is machined out of a single block of aluminum. Also different is the keyboard, which has no white / black keys layout but is also made of a different material. SB-01 offers a full-size soft and tactile keybed that feels like no other synth keys on the market (my opinion).

Another innovation is the battery operation of the SB01, which is also the first analog synthesizer that can do this. It includes a rechargeable battery with up to 16-hour of battery life. Plus, the battery is user-replaceable to ensure an instrument that lasts many years into the future. Good decision.

SB01 design

Long-Lasting & Repairable

According to the developer, each tactile and electronic element was custom developed for optimal performance, using the highest quality components. From the individual component selection to the overall metal construction, every aspect of the SB01 was designed to be long-lasting and repairable.

360° Bender Joystick, Keytar & Full I/O

Besides the new design, the Superlative SB01 also offers a 360-degree joystick for pitch bend, filter, and vibrato called performance bender. Not to be missed is the well-known Keytar grip known from the Roland SH-101, which has also been revised with a new 3-axis accelerometer control.

It also has all the connections that a musician with hardware gear needs in 2019: MIDI In/Out on minijacks, pedal input, CV inputs for pitch (1v/octave), gate, trigger and mod CV input for the VCO/VCF, CV output for pitch (1v/oct), gate and trigger.

Also to mention is: the SB01 has a USB-C port (very nice) and the firmware will be open-source.

SB01 Keytar

Superlative SB01 Features

  • VCO (Replica of the 3340 oscillator) with square & sawtooth, sub-oscillator (1 & 2 octave down), range (16′, 8′, 4′, 2′), PWM (50% ~ 0%), tune (+/- 50 cent)
  • VCF (replica 4-pole OTA filter) with cutoff (10hz ~ 20kHz), resonance and key follow (0 ~ 100%)
  • VCA (gate and envelope modes)
  • ENV (discrete rc analog envelope with attack time (1.5 m ~ 4s), decay time (2ms ~ 10s), sustain level (0~ 100%) and release time (2ms ~ 10s)
  • LFO/Modulator with triangle, square, random or noise (rate o.1 hz ~ 30hz)
  • Keyboard: 32 key / 2.5 octave, F-scale, full size low-profile keyboard action, portamento with automatic mode (0-5s), octave transposition (L/M/H)
  • Sequencer/Controller
    • dual sequencer and arpeggiator
    • bi-color LED layer indication
    • 256 steps per sequence
    • 2 banks x 32 pattern memory locations
    • sequence chaining models (jump/chain/modulo)
    • arpeggiator modes (up/down/u&d/random)
    • sequencer play directions and live editing
    • key transpose latching and hold modes

Other Features

  • TRS MIDI In/Out
  • USB MIDI In/Out
  • MIDI clock in/out
  • charge status indicator
  • 360° bender joystick
  • 3-axis accelerometer modulation
  • external CV modulation
  • open-sourced firmware
  • accessories
  • keytar performance grip
  • shoulder carry case
  • dimensions: W 491mm /19.3″, L 249mm/9.8″, D 24mm/1.0″
  • weight: 2.5 Kg /5.6 LB

First Look Made On Superbooth 2019

Superlative SB01 is available now for pre-order for $899 USD (Super Early Bee) $949 USD (Early Bee) or $999 USD. Shipping starts June 2020.The pre-order will be limited to 200 “Early Bee” units.

More information here:



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