Updates: April 2017
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Roland SPV-355

Roland SVP-355 P/V (Pitch-to-Voltage) Synthesizer

Features and Specifications:

Dual-voltage controller oscillators
Selectable input source with filtering and level attenuation
Portamento with foot switch control
Three selectable waveforms: Pulse, Square and Sawtooth with three selectable ranges: 4’ , 8’ (unison pitch) and 16’
Offset tuning for VCO #2 with foot switch control to select from two pitch presets
Audio mixer to blend VCO #1, VCO #2 and Sub-Octave outputs
Envelope generator with attack, decay, and sustain
Voltage-controlled filter with resonance, pitch tracking, and variable envelope generator or envelope follow control.
Voltage-controlled amplifier with selectable envelope generator or envelope follow control
Hold pedal input
Variable foot pedal control over filter cutoff of VCO output
CV outputs for Pitch (control voltage), Gate and Envelope Follower
CV inputs for Pitch (control voltage) and Gate
Effects Send
Dimensions: 482 (W) x 92 (H) x 350 (D) mm
Power Consumption: 13 watts
Weight: 5.7 kg

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Roland Rack. Click to enlarge.

Introduction to the Roland SPV-355:

The SPV-355 is the forgotten brother to the much more familiar Roland GR-300 guitar synthesizer. Look inside the GR-300 owner’s manual on page 10, and you will see a reference to the Roland SPV-355 Synthesizer. The manual reads:

"When a solo type synthesizer sound is desired, try the Roland P/V Synthesizer SPV-355. Use the NORMAL OUTPUT on the Guitar controller, or use the GUITAR OUTPUT from the GR-300." - Roland GR-300 Manual

I was very curious to check out the SPV-355. Does it share the same fantastic tracking as the G-300? How does it compare to other Roland guitar and MIDI synthesizers? Does it have the same analog tone as the GR-300?

In short, the SPV-355 falls short on tracking when compared to the GR-300. A look through the service notes revealed a tracking system much more like the GR-700 than the acclaimed GR-300. The tradeoff here is that the SPV-355 offers three different waveforms, for a much more flexible sound. The synthesizer section is very much a classic analog synthesizer, and the SPV-355 has rear panel control voltage inputs, allowing it to also work as a stand-alone analog synthesizer expansion module. In addition, there are CV outputs as well, so that the SPV-355 can be used to drive any standard 1 volt/octave analog synthesizer.

Roland SPV-355 Block Diagram (click to view on a new page).

Links to more information:

Download the SPV-355 Guitar Pre-Amp Owner's Manual (pdf).

Sound-On-Sound article on the Roland SVP-355

SPV-355 Review


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Schematics - Repairs - Service Bulletins:

There are no known service bulletins from Roland addressing any SPV-355 problems.

Download the SPV-355 Service Manual Schematics (pdf).