Roland S-550 Sampler

I wanted the S-50 when they first came out. The monitor, tablet and mouse features were the bees knees at the time. I ended up getting the S-330 first, then this S-550, and then even later I stumbled on a S-50. By the time I bought the S-50, it was sort of old hat. I think I got it for the sake of finally owning one. I rarely use the S-550 or S-330 anymore.

All three units share the same 12-bit samples.

The monitor output is a damn cool feature and I wish other keyboards included this for editing.

Specs? We don’t need no stinking Specs….
Polyphony – 16 voices
Sampler – 12-bit, 30kHz, variable
Multitimbral – 4-parts, 4 outputs
Memory – 1500kb, 46 seconds total sample time
Filter – Hi-pass, Low-pass digital filters

Acquired: 1998

2 comments to Roland S-550 Sampler

  • Murdock Scott  says:

    I was dying for one of these back in the day. I started on Akai samplers ( S612 and then S700 ) and had big plans to move up to this guy… But fate intervened while I was working for music stores and I ended up getting an Ensoniq eps (then an EPS-16 and then ASR-10) due to spiffs and discounts from Ensoniq. I believe it was part of their strategy to make sure sales people used and understood their products. I wish I had resisted and gotten an S-550 instead. Software based samplers have gutted my desire for classic samplers however so I doubt I will ever own one. Oh, I forgot to mention that at one point I got fed up with Ensoniqs build quality and tendency to crash that I bought a cheap used FZ-1 to use. It was a tank. It felt like I owned a cold war soviet sampler! hehe.

  • Seven Graylands  says:

    There was a flyer that came out around the same time as the S-50 which showed the keyboard connected to a monitor and mouse. That was it for me. I was hooked. I REALLY wanted one after that. I got the S-330 and used that (with monitor) for years. Loved it. I tracked down a S-550 a few years later and even stumbled on the S-50 (which I bought but didn’t really use because the sample sets were kind of hard to migrate around). I sold the S-50 but still have the others, but I haven’t used them for years.

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