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Roland TB-03

Bass Line Synthesizer

  • Realistic recreation of the legendary TB-303 bassline synths
  • Sound, character and panel of the original TB-303
  • Direct control of many parameters such as: cutoff, resonance, envelope mod, Decay, Accent
  • New possibilities that did not exist in the original TB-303: 4-digit LED display, overdrive, delay effects, MIDI, "fine tempo control"
  • Additional options for creating patterns, programmable via the classic Pitch, Time and Step Write Modes
  • Uninterrupted play even when you switch between the "write" and "play" mode
  • CV / Gate outputs to drive old vintage analog equipment and Modular Synthesizer
  • Trigger input for controlling the internal sequencer
  • User interface of metal
  • Works with 4 x AA batteries or via USB Power
  • 24 bit / 96 kHz stereo in / out USB audio interface
  • Control data can be sent and received via MIDI and USB
  • Built-in mini speaker
  • Compatible with optional Roland K-25 m Keyboard Unit
  • Dimensions (W x D x H): 308 x 130 x 52 mm
  • Weight: (incl. Batteries, without Boutique Dock): 940 g

Further information

Design Desktop
Polyphony 1
Sound Generation Modeling
MIDI interface 1x In, 1x Out
Storage Medium Internal
USB-port Yes
Effects Yes
Arpeggiator Yes
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display Yes

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15 customer ratings:
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4.6 / 5.0
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11 written ratings Read all reviews
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It works as a 303

24.03.2017
I couldn't afford the 2-3k it costs for an authentic Roland TB-303, so I settled for this instead. It has identical functionality and interface, so there's nothing amiss there. I personally like how it can be propped-up so that it faces the user more directly, which is handy in studios where there's little desk space and this gets place further away.

I have noticed though that it's not an identical copy of the TB-303 when it comes to sound. Listening to online comparisons there is a noticeable difference, one of which concerns the "accent" feature. Read up on that online if this concerns you, but for the difference in cost I certainly feel the TB-03 is worth it.
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Total
handling
features
sound
quality

D ception !!!

10.11.2016
I bought the TB-03 from Thomann after a month of waiting. So I was very excited to test it.

As soon as unpacking, we see that the manufacture is very good, metal case, free knobs, plastic support well thought out to tilt the gear on 2 levels, but ... the sound?

I already have a TT 303, a rather powerful clone that without being a point-to-point copy of the TB 303 at the sound level (it is at the visual level!), Has its own grain, and we have fun playing above.

The TB 03 reproduces rather well the look and the modes of programming of the 303 but the sound is not there.
On bass lines not slid, it is very correct, but as soon as we add slide, we are very far from what produced the original TB 303, or the TT 303, even even the best plugins VST, For the creator of the original model !!!!

The sound is quite mechanical, does not have the same grain. The modulation of the slides does not produce the same result as on the analo ... I tested well the same pattern playing with all the knobs, built-in distortion, delay, but no, my TT 303 groove a thousand times
Better ... while I planned to resell it if the TB 03 met my expectations.

An important point: while we find a pattern generator, and that the programming has been greatly simplified, with functions of copying paste super practical patterns, an arpeggiator, etc ... on the TT 303, the functions of the 'Ancestor 303 was reproduced on the TB 03 in a way too dogmatic for my taste.

=> The new Step mode barely improves the original TB 303 prog
=> No random pattern generator, which on kind of gear is a real plus for creativity.
=> No copying paste from one pattern to another ...

In the:
. The distortion and the integrated delay are not too bad .. and it is more practical of a pedal ...
. There is no breath.
. The connection is complete: midi in / or, trigger in, VC, as on the original to connect the analo ... alim via micro USB connector as on a smartphone

Conclusion: the concept seemed promising, but the sound is not there. Whatever Roland says, we do not find the feeling of a true analog TB. Maybe new firmware versions will change that, but this is pure speculation. I do not want to wait for a hypothetical improvement ... really shame.

Now a buyer with no such equipment, why not. The TB 03 is paradoxically cheaper than the TT 303, the copy ....
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€369 £324.62
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Roland TB-03 Bass Line
Roland TB-03 Bass Line
Rank #597 in Sound Modules (Expanders)
Read review · Read conclusion
Test Report
Roland TB-03 Bass Line
Roland TB-03 Bass Line
Rank #597 in Sound Modules (Expanders)
Read review · Read conclusion
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