At last! Behringer ships the MS-5, a "faithful reproduction" of the Roland SH-5

We've grown accustomed to the lengthy delays between Behringer synth announcements and their actual releases, and once got so bored while waiting that we wrote this very long feature on what stage all Behringer's current product announcements are at.

To be fair on Behringer, chip shortages have affected a lot of companies, not just the big B. And to be double fair, Behringer has made an awful lot of announcements. The MS-5, was first pitched way back in July 2021 but the big news is that it is actually shipping. Right now. And for just $599. 


(Image credit: Behringer)

Sometimes Behringer doesn't outwardly admit what classic synth its latest clone is based on, but the company is not holding back with the MS-5, stating from the off that it is, "a faithful reproduction of the original SH-5 circuit", the SH-5 being the Roland analogue synth, originally released in 1975.  

The MS-5 one of the oldest designs in Behringer's lineup of vintage synth copies

As Behringer states in the launch video above, that makes it one of the oldest designs in its lineup of vintage synth copies, but that doesn't mean it lacks punch and features. There are two oscillators, each with four waveforms, and a multimode 24dB diode filter (with high, low and band-pass options).

Part of the original machine's in-your-face sound was imparted by its ring modulator and additional band-pass filter, and both of these are present and correct, plus there are the two LFOs and envelopes for flexible modulation options.

There's also the useful switchable signal routing path, mixer, and S&H circuit from the original but it's not all '1975'. Around the back, there's a complement of MIDI connections, audio in, CV/Gate in and out, plus a set of pedal connectors. 


(Image credit: Behringer)

Underneath the angled front panel, there's also a set of PCB Trimmer controls for "you sonic geek meisters" to tweak down to component level – a neat touch as is that angled front panel, similar to that on the Poly D, and capable of four positions (three angled plus flat).

There's also a set of PCB Trimmer controls for "you sonic geek meisters" to tweak down to component level

Behringer cites that part of the reason for the MS-5's long inception was a lengthy beta testing phase which they actually announced over a year ago, and this was to ensure that the MS-5 sounds as close to the original Roland as possible. 

We'll be checking the results out in a review ASAP, but you can grab the synth now for that $599 from Andertons in the UK and get more information from the Behringer website here

We've also added an interesting video on Behringer's take on the original SH-5 below, made before the company started work on its own version. 

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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