The Roland SRV-2000 is one of those classic old Japanese reverbs that while not perfect, is certainly perfect in some situations, and in particular for snare!
Yes it is grainy at times, perhaps a little too bright and the reverb tails are not the smoothest, but it these characteristics that give the Roland SRV-2000 it's mojo and a place in your studio.
The Roland SRV-2000 adopts the 16 bit linear A/D/A conversion system and 28 bit parallel arithmetic, allowing dynamic range of 90dB and total harmonic distortion of under 0.03%. This can present various reverb effects such as a natural and a non-linear reverb.
The 3 band digital parametric equalizer is built in, changing the frequency characteristic of the reverberation. The Room Simulate Button allows natural reverberations. The memory capacity that can retain up to 32 different reverb settings. MIDI Program Change message sent from an external device can recall the reverb settings of the Roland SRV-2000’s memory.
On the rear panel, there are various useful jacks provided, such as the Effect On/Off Jack, the Preset Up/Down Jack, and the Inﬁnite Jack that can make inﬁnitely long reverberation time, etc.
When the Roland SRV-2000 is set to reverb mode, it works as a usual reverb machine. The Roland SRV-2000 provides three basic types of reverberations: Room, Hall and Plate.
Room is a sharp, expansive and rich reverberation with high reverb density. Hall is a deeper reverberation with low reverb density. Plate is a bright and metallic reverb which is ideal for percussive sounds. When plate is selected, two plate type reverberations are provided, A and B, with B being a stronger reverb effect than A.
Non-Linear reverb is the reverb which is cut at the set gate time, therefore ideal for percussive sound such as snare drum. In the past, to obtain the same kind of effect, compressor or noise gate has been used. But now, the Roland SRV-2000 makes it much easier.
The Roland SRV-2000 features a 3 band digital parametric equalizer where the signal is filtered before going to the digital reverberation processor section. This equalizer section filters the reverb and non-linear reverbs changing their frequency characteristics separately. The equalizer section has no effect on the direct sound.
The memory function of the Roland SRV-2000 allows you to write the reverb setting you have made into memory. All the parameters used in the the Reverb, Non-Linear Mode and for Equalizing are remembered.
Quantization: 16 Bit Linear
Sampling Frequency: Unknown
Frequency Response: 30Hz-10kHz
Dynamic Range: 90dB
THD: Below 0.03%
Power Consumption: 37 watts
Dimensions: 482mm x 47mm x 362mm
Non Linear Reverb
Large Hall Reverb
Small Hall Reverb
So, over the years I’ve had a plethora of Reverbs and to this day, I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to 19 inch rack effects. I own a couple of these SRV 2k’s and for what they seem to be selling for now, is a ridiculous price for a lot of tech !
When these came out in 84, Yamaha released the Rev 7 as an alternative, and I own 4 of those too. The SRV is more than just a reverb and as such, you can utilise its “test: function to operate as a Digital Delay. The Reverb itself is really warm, and I love it for Vocal and softness.
It is equally suited for woodwind and acoustic instruments but can also be quite snappy for gated (non-linear) effects on drums, but I have to say, I do prefer the Rev 7 for percussion reverbs. Like all vintage outboard gear, its a little noisy but not any worse than other gear from the same era.
If you buy one, you will definitely need to change the internal battery and be warned…. SRV’s can go into spasm if the battery is completely dead. A great feature is re-loading the factory reverb patches if the unit loses its memory, by holding “Reverb/Non-Linear & Write” buttons while powering up. Unfortunately, this will only load the first 16/32 programs, but better than nothing.
Came across this unit at a flea market yesterday. Did not know what I was in store for. This unit just goes places I never expected to. The sound is amazing, lush, deep, bright..anything you want it to be. Turning up the mid band EQ really makes this come to life. Such a fantastic vibe to it. LOVE IT! Downsides? None really, except its heavy as a horse but who cares, it sounds great!
Like most people at the time, I was torn between this unit and a Yamaha REV-7. I sat there comparing features with the brochures and the eventual purchase was postponed many times. When I later actually heard both units, I was so relieved that I did not buy the REV-7 which to my ears had a terrible brittle sound to it.
I eventually bought my Roland SRV-2000 when the DEP-5 was released and therefore the SRV-2000 was greatly discounted. I always thought that this unit was far superior than the DEP line of effects. I was starved for reverberation in my little closet studio for so long that this was a total coup. Literally *everything* I played and recorded instantly sounded so much more appealing and I loved tweaking all those parameters, even though the presets were programmed very well.
Later I discovered the hidden features on how to turn it into a delay unit as well. I remember working in a larger studio which had a Lexicon 480L as their main reverb. I had brought my SRV-2000 in as an auxiliary unit and left it there for a few days.
One of the engineers actually preferred it over the Lexicon because he thought it sounded ‘more natural’! If it wasn’t for the fact that everything is being done in the box now, the SRV-2000 would still be my go-to box for everything reverb, even though by now I own a bunch of larger effects boxes, including a 480L.
This old Roland Reverb is absolutely brilliant on snares. With it’s grainy reverb tails being very well suited to the task, and this graininess can work well on brass too I find. They tend to get really hot in use, so space above it in your rack is advised.