Synth Site: Roland: U-20 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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Tony Evans a professional user from USA writes:
Really nice sounds but a clumsy interface and even clumsier sound architecture

Very limited programming options - no filter, coarse envelope adjustment

Dense chords tend to cause note lag, but that's not so noticeable if it's used as a MIDI module

Built-in effects are fairly good

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:13
Ed Averill a part time user from USA writes:
Good sounds, very limited multitimbral capabilities. And the keyboard is _very_ dust-sensitive, I've had mine cleaned twice in the past year to fix &quot;dead keys&quot; and I don't even tour this puppy! If you own one, or get one, keep it covered. Almost no editing, no filters, but a fair sample-playback unit.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Cass Pawlowski a professional user from Detroit, MI USA writes:
Everything you will read in the other reviews is true. I've had my U-20 for six or more years, and have loved every minute of it.

The sounds are great, in fact I've fooled more than one bride with my trumpet voluntary.

Unfortunately, the U-20 is not GM compatible; you can set up the keyboard to accept similar messages, but it's not the same. Small problem.

Yes, the keyboard design leaves a little to be desired. I replaced the rubber keypads a few years ago, and the service tech said he was quite impressed with the overall cleanliness of my board. I take very good care of it, even though I play it out on one-nighters.

Right now, I need to have the pads re-done. I think the $150 is worth it to keep this great-sounding machine up and going. If you are thinking of acquiring a U-20, double-check the keyboard action. It is the only place I've had trouble with any keyboards I've owned. Without a good keybed, you are only buyin a super-sized sound module. Lastly, I have owned other Roland, Alesis, Yamaha and Kurzweil gear. For as much as I swear and complain about the user operating system, it gets me where I'm going. Don't let it get in your way of good keyboarding.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
David Waugh a professional user from Canada/Korea writes:
Great sounds (esp. piano &amp; dist. organ) but someone should be shot at Roland for the poor construction quality of the keys. The keys break VERY easily, and the rubber pads they trigger beneath rip and get affected by small amounts of dust. This makes the unit a risky choice for taking on the road. Too bad, cause the sounds are great. Best plan is to mate one with an A-30/33, a much more solid keyboard.

The onboard sounds are clearly the grandparents of the GM/Sound Canvas set, too...

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
Trae Weiss a professional user from USA writes:
This synth sounds surprisingly good after all these years. The one drawback to

it is the cryptic front panel. But it makes a great starter synth. Personally,

I wouldn't buy it unless it came with a couple of add-on cards and the user's

manual. If you want more info on this synth, check out my website at

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Aug-06-1998 at 00:12
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