Synth Site: Roland: SA-09 (Saturn 09): User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.4 out of 5
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Pieter a professional user from Belgium writes:
Truly weird instrument this is. It's an analog synth, but it lacks the control over any parameter you would expect on a even the most basic of analog synthesizers. No filter controls at all. You can choose between a slow or fats decay rate on the amplitude envelope, that's about it. Because of the limited keyboard range, you can also switch between octaves. There's a chorus effect (sounds prety good) and vibrato (a fixed LFO-setting). You can choose between 4 wave forms that are clearly ment to recreate a cheesy kind of Farfisa-like sound. With the four sliders (representing the first four drawbars on a traditional drawbar organ), this can be mixed into a very 80's kind of synth-organ sound. The best sound produced by this instrument may be the "accent"-labeled sound. It's a percussive "pacman"-ish bleep, that may be usefull in some retro dance stuff. I used the SA-09 in a production one time in combination with an analog vocoder (as a synth source signal). This worked surprisingly well. Paid 50 € for it 6 or 7 years ago in a local music store where it was priced 100 € second hand. I think I did a very good deal considering the hype around vintage analog stuff these days.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-12-2006 at 15:49
Robert from England writes:
I bought the SA-09 for £150 about 20 years ago. I wanted a keyboard. They all seemed to have lots of resources but produce aweful sounds. The SA-09 was the opposite. Dead simple. Limited sounds but produced the only tolerable organ organ sound and you had so much control. Pity about the short keyboard. Now my daughter is wanting a digital piano and frankly both Roland and Yamaha presed organ sounds today are disgusting in contrast to the SA-09. I love it and would use it as an organ in church.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Sep-12-2004 at 15:13
Mike Hump a part-time user from Toronto writes:
Someone mentioned crappy sound...but i think that's the point. It's a combo organ, not a synth. It's great for making that cheesy 60's Vox Contentinal and Farfisa organ sounds. Also, it has percussion like a Hammond B3. Only real down side is it's keyboard is a bit short...could use another octave.

Watch out for crushed knobs and/or dirty volume pots. It sounds great but wasn't built so tough.

The 4 tone selectors control the fundamental drawbar sound - nukmber one is a rounded square wave, what you'd use to make a B3 sound. And the others are all rather buzzy pulse waves...more like the Vox and Farf sounds.

I played one of these for years in a band that relied on that vintage sound. If anybody knows where i can find one, email me! I'll double your $75 bucks CDN no problem! :)

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-08-2003 at 11:26
Jackson a part-time user from USA writes:
I've had my Saturn for over 20 years and have enjoyed the pads.. The stereo chorus is SUPER warm. Plus you can play ALL notes at once.. It's a true "organ" in that regard.. completely polyphonic.

I even found a cool glitch in the SA-09. On mine, if you play notes while moving the Chorus/Vibrato switch SLOWLY between Chorus and Vibrato, you might be able to find a sweet spot where both Chorus and Vibrato filters are mucking with the sound. The result is a REALLY WEIRD .. space sound effect.. like you'd expect to hear as the soundtrack for an original Star Trek planet surface or something. Adjust the vibrato speed and the chorus mode (I or II) to adjust the effect!! I wish the switch could be set to that position. I've considered tape, in some instances.

ANYWAY.. I love my old SA-09. The Accent function is fun .. experiment with sustain, etc. I just wish I could find a use for the Gate Out. Seems pretty useless on a MIDI setup. And the only other problem I have is that the pots and switches are getting a little noisy. But I can live with that... It has been well worth the $300 I paid for it over two decades ago. :-)


Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-18-2003 at 13:52
LDT from everywhere writes:
The sounds are "crap" if you don't take the time to muck with the drawbars... which is the whole point.

If you run it into any effect box or filter system you can have lots of fun. Great bass sounds, and nice Phillip Glass type flute sounds.

I love my little Saturn.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Aug-17-2003 at 05:50
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