Roland may well be known for extraordinary keyboards more than anything else, but they have a long history in making digital effects processors too. Roland’s early tape delay devices such as the Roland RE-210 from the early 1970s (and the follow up products) are now so highly valued that they rarely come up for sale. Roland were never content and always innovated, so when digital processing came along, they were right there at the forefront, starting with the Roland SDE-2000 digital delay in 1981. In the same year they released one of their most highly regarded effects, the Roland SDD-320 Dimension D Chorus.
Over the years Roland produced some great digital effects, including the Roland SRV-2000 digital reverb. The SRV-2000 is an early grainy sounding reverb with so much character, it sounds fantastic on snares, but is most famous for being used by Slash for that guitar sound on Sweet Child of Mine. Roland tried to capture some of the big studio reverb market by introducing the Roland R880 reverb, a high end reverb that had minimal success. It was difficult to knock the big guns out of the studio space as many other manufactures found. After that Roland went back to what they do best, a more affordable range of digital processors, the Roland SRV-330 dimensional digital reverb which is truly excellent and underrated.
The SDE-330 dimensional space delay was next and the rarest of them all, the SDX-330 dimensional expander which was a modulation effects box. It is said that the chorus effects on the SDX are superior to even the Roland Dimension D. They rarely ever come up for sale and are grabbed very quickly when they do. Their final product, the Roland SRV-3030 should have been an absolute winner, but sadly Roland took a step backwards and it is dull and boring unit. Sadly too is the fact it is often mistaken for the SRV-330 and vice versa, but they are two very different units.