Sorry, I don't know the SH-5... I purchased the SH-7 half a year ago. It was my first step into analog soundmaking and... man... I can't tell you how much I like it! It took only a few minutes to make it let out the first cute bleeps and squeals, 1 hour to let it kick-ass my tx81z (which I used as a bass-machine before), and 2 days later it roared like a baby-godzilla and sang like an angel... well, hehehe, you may have realized that I fell in love with it. Okay, enough with that emotional stuff... here (some of) the facts: 3 VCO's, 2 of them (VCO 2 and 3) do the "big 4": sine, sawtooth, square and pulse, VCO 3 ins syncable to VCO 2. The 3rd (VCO 1) only consists of a 5-band mixer section of square waves in 5 octaves, which sound more "clean" than the other squarewaves. And finally there comes basic white and pink noise and a ringmodulator. One LFO (sine, square and ramp down) and sample-and-hold (ramp up/down, ramp up and random). Cool feature here: An "output lag" slider, good for bird- and radio-wave-sounds! More stuff: Autobend (a basic pitch envelope with 2 polarities), "dual mode" (VCO3 becomes independent, well... call it 2-polyphony...) external signal input for filter modulation (switch between that and ringmod), highpass filter (no resonance, but cool for "thinning" sounds), and the usual low-pass filter. Modulation capabilites are very rich, the envelopes have a very wide range, from "zap!" to "eeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww....". If you trigger the SH-7 through the sample-and-hold-section, you can build really nice "pseudo-sequences" when modulating through LFO and playing with the sync-switch. There are a few "con's" too: -The (only one) LFO is a little too short in range for my taste, I would prefer it more slowly at the lower end. -If setting the filter to "key track", the SH-7 begins to produce a low, but unpleasant level of white noise (maybe just my unit?). <shrugs> -pulse modulation range is too short (you can't make it "vanish") Final remarks: Excellent synth, but rare and expensive to buy (mine was about 780$). Sounds: Everything possible from deep-bass-stomach-tickles (oomph! oomph!), grungy/distorted roars (ouch, check this out, Trent Reznor...) and didgeridoo-overtone-experiments up to really beautiful, warm leads (well I shed some tears...), squeaky funnies (hey, listen, the "rockford"-theme!) and crystal-clear gurgles (hmmm... Jarre? Tangerine Dream?). Poor for: TB-303 sounds (!) and acoustic instruments like brass, flutes and strings. If you like Ambient, Kraftwerk/Electro or Industrial/EBM, this machine will carry you to heaven (or hell, if you prefer...hehehe)! Human League used it for "Being Boiled", I think .... Technoheadz: Only a 303 grunts like a 303... Sorry, I'm getting emotional again... ;)
Tip: Visit the "virtual synth museum" for a good review on this device.