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Most Versatile / Value for Money Polyphonic Analog Synth ?
Old 24th January 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
CarlRoda's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Most Versatile / Value for Money Polyphonic Analog Synth ?

Hi there!

Last week i open a new thread about which synth i should buy to find out that classic house sounds from the 80's , 90's...

After all that opinions and the prices of the vintage analog synths overpriced, and maybe not need to be old vintage, here is my question now...

Which is the most versatile / value for money polyphonic analog synth?

I was looking after a Juno 60 which i think it is too expensive in the days now IMO, so at this point maybe there is another synth modern or old for a better value for money ?

I'm searching in the second hand market and some of what i was looking for are the mentioned Juno 60 / 106 - Alpha Juno 1 / 2 - Dave Smith Prophet 08 / Mopho 4x...

My budget it is around 1000€

THANKS IN ADVANCED !
Old 24th January 2013
  #2
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
most versatile and value for money no doubt are the Dave Smith synths - Tetra, Prophet 08 and Mopho x4.

Most other analogue in the price range have some sort of limitations but some prefer their sound anyway.

Older stuff that is good value might be the Roland Jx3p or Jx8p, Alpha Junos...Korg DW6/8000...Prophet 600 (not so versatile)....Matrix 1000....Junos can be a bit overpriced now days for a slightly limited sound...
Old 24th January 2013
  #3
Lives for gear
 
AnalogGuy's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Well, for me the most versatile and the cheapest polyanalog is definitely:

Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter

- 8 Voice polyphony
- 2 VCO per voice
- Velocity & Aftertouch!!!
- Bi-timbral: Layer 2 different sounds together (very WIDE pads) or use them as completely separated synth engines (four voices each) with individual midi channel and output!
- Sync, Cross-modulation, unison, partial unison, detune (specific parameter for layers)... not yet even talking about the things you can do with velocity...
- Fantastic midi implementation and live control via hard or soft controller.
- Balanced XLR outputs


And all of these features packed into very compact 2U rack unit!

The only negative thing is that the original hardware controller (MPG-80) costs even more than the synth itself. I bought MKS-80 for only 900 euros, not long time ago.
Old 24th January 2013
  #4
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Why not buy a DW8000 AND a JX3p/JX8p or an AX80. Lots of fun to be had then
Old 24th January 2013
  #5
Gear Guru
 
SWAN808's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
unfortunately the prices of the mks80 seem to have gone beyond what I feel they are worth now days...
Old 24th January 2013
  #6
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shadowfac's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think the Oberheim Matrix 6/6R/1000 are a great value for money, if you're willing to put up with a software editor.

Also put a vote for the Ensoniq ESQ-1. It's not fully analog, but can sound like one. You could buy an ESQ-1 and a Matrix 6R/1000 for less than half of what a Prophet 08 rack costs, and have twice the polyphony and a possibly wider sonic range.
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Carey M's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Fender Chroma Polaris can be found around 1000€

Some pros:
- 6 voices with two VCOs / voice
- Can do splits and layers, also 8 part multitimbral over MIDI, dynamic voice allocation
- Velocity and polyphonic aftertouch over MIDI, nice semi-weighted velocity sensitive keyboard
- Sync & Ring mod
- You can automate most anything with MIDI CC
- Sounds pretty kick-ass:


And some cons:
- Only one mono output
- 8 voices would've been better
- No proper stack-all-voices-for-humongous-unison-mode
- No multimode filter
- Many functions under one multi-function slider
- It's vintage, so it may need tech attention at some point

Out of modern analogues, Prophet 08 rack is probably your best bet. Or a Tetra, if you can handle the editing via software. I'm not a fan of their sound, but many are.

- CM


edit: oh, I missed the "classic house sounds from the 80's , 90's" bit... Get a Roland heh
Old 24th January 2013 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Head
 
CarlRoda's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogGuy ➑️
Well, for me the most versatile and the cheapest polyanalog is definitely:

Roland MKS-80 Super Jupiter

- 8 Voice polyphony
- 2 VCO per voice
- Velocity & Aftertouch!!!
- Bi-timbral: Layer 2 different sounds together (very WIDE pads) or use them as completely separated synth engines (four voices each) with individual midi channel and output!
- Sync, Cross-modulation, unison, partial unison, detune (specific parameter for layers)... not yet even talking about the things you can do with velocity...
- Fantastic midi implementation and live control via hard or soft controller.
- Balanced XLR outputs


And all of these features packed into very compact 2U rack unit!

The only negative thing is that the original hardware controller (MPG-80) costs even more than the synth itself. I bought MKS-80 for only 900 euros, not long time ago.

I didn't thought about this one it looks really interesting and i think you can find a good deal around... searching the net...
Old 24th January 2013
  #9
Here for the gear
 
JillSaphic's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Oberheim Matrix 6
Oberheim Matrix 6r
or
*Oberheiim Matrix 1000* with OB-6000 Editor/Librarian is what I use. heh
Old 24th January 2013
  #10
Lives for gear
 
was silents's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
For around $1300 (1000 euro) and going for a classic house sound I'd get a Juno 60 and install the Minerva Mod. That's if tone is crucial.

Overall at around $1300 I'd go for the Prophet 08. No vintage issues.

The MKS-80 is cool but probably not easily obtainable at your price point.

I have an MKS70 which has a very different tone but is capable for the $. Those can be had with programmer for $1000 US ($650 w/o programmer).

I agree that Martix's are versatile for the money too but I never liked programming them and the quality of tone is subjective.

Depends on more variables and priorities than are in your original post. Tone, knobs, env speed, osc per voice, modulation routing, etc.
Old 25th January 2013
  #11
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
I bought a Vermona Perfourmer for $900 recently on ebay. I'm pretty happy with it. But you'd also need a keyboard if you don't already have one.

I know it's stupidly obvious advice to play any synth / instrument before you buy, but I would give it doubly to someone in the market for a DSI synth. I was seriously "jonesing" for the Prophet 08 for the better part of a year. The clips on YouTube only confirmed my desire. I finally drove up to Sweetwater to try one out, cash in hand (or wallet). I played on it for several hours, desperately wanting to love it and left with... the Nord Lead 2X. (This is in no way a suggestion that you should get a Nord. I understand that you want a true analog.)

There is just something very weird about the basic DSI timbre that I just could not get into regardless of how I manipulated the sound.
Old 25th January 2013
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 5 years
Do you want old or new, what is your max budget again, module or keyboard, need CV's or sub Osc's, need memory to hold patches, how meany voices minimum, how many keys, need onboard effects, VCO or DCO, ect...?
Old 25th January 2013
  #13
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Gotta go with the Akai AX-80.. sounds more "90s" house..
Old 25th January 2013
  #14
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
I much prefer my Alpha Juno 2 to the AX80 I had. AX80 had some uses but in overall design/features it let me down. And they are rare and usually cost more than Alpha Junos. If you wanted something comparable (dual osc etc) then JX-3P! The sound just had it vs the AX80 (btw I did REALLY like the AX80, but I don't let emotion get in the way of my streamlining of my setup and everything I brought to the JX-3P failed to usurp it in sound and usability for me and my music).

AX80 has a great spec, 8 poly, Dual DCO + sub, and a lovely design. Did some great basses (one of the best synths I've had for that, giving my previous SH-101s a run for their money on certain sounds) but for everything else? It's not great for strings or glossy pads, it sounds gritty, bitty, bitey and sometimes overly 'thin' when NOT doing bass. Leads are no good as there are some quirks in the LFO, keybed response and no portamento etc. Found it a very 'mechanical' sounding synth, very on/off. Good for sequencer lines, weird ambient tones and bass but not ear pleasing or flexible like the Juno 2 and not as robust or versatile as the JX-3P!

I'd advise Alpha Juno 2 and/or JX-3P (with the overall usability nod to the Alpha Juno for it's keyboard, Portamento, Solo(Chord) mode, LCD etc), and the vintage sound nod to the JX-3P which sounds a lot more expensive than it is (when you program it right )

Had 8P, AX80, DW8000, Juno 6 etc... all the usual cheap suspects and none of them felt l like the 'full package' in sound or features like the 3P and Juno 2 do. The others had flaws in the sound or usability that meant I let them go without remorse. Just my take on it, as always your tastes and the music you are making will factor in.

This is sub Β£450 price bracket of course. I'm not gonna mention the prophets etc as they cost way more.
Old 26th January 2013 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Guru
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro5 ➑️
Just my take on it, as always your tastes and the music you are making will factor in.
True, .. that's why I find it interesting how you and I have very similar tastes and experience with synths.. . yet we must be at different stages.

For instance, I used to love the JX-3P.. I go back to it and I just don't click with it anymore. JD-800, I got to the point where I just couldn't bare to look at that thing anymore (main synth for about 4 years).. and gladly replaced it with a D-550.

As for what "music" you're making. When I saw "90's" I just had to think AX-80. If it just said "80's".. I wouldn't have suggested it. Seriously.. take one of those bass sounds you like on it.. create a HUGE chord with chord memory (might require a long pinky or a stick in your mouth).. and you got instant Dave Angel. Very 90's.
Old 26th January 2013
  #16
Gear Nut
 
Xtinct's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
If I'm looking to get me a nice versitile poly synth, personally, id go for a used DSI prophet 08.
If I could get it under 1k this year, id say hey, why not.
Old 26th January 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Stevism's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
if you have an ipad (or would consider buying a cheap used one to use as a controller), then this might help you choose a jx-8p, or one of the other synths that Rainer made layouts for

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...check-out.html
Old 26th January 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Performer for $900, absolute bargain.
I love the sound of the Vermona.
Old 27th January 2013 | Show parent
  #19
Lives for gear
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by djugel ➑️
For instance, I used to love the JX-3P.. I go back to it and I just don't click with it anymore. JD-800, I got to the point where I just couldn't bare to look at that thing anymore (main synth for about 4 years).. and gladly replaced it with a D-550.
Well i really love the sound of the D-50 but I programmed it (rather 3 of them over the years) to death, I used up it's sonic identity in my music to the point it was saturating it. I find the JD is far more 'subtle' in my denser mixes, mixes more readily and is at least 10x more versatile (and sounds somewhat less 'vintage' which in my case is needed for digital now). True it doesn't have quite as creamy or 'lively' sound, nothing sounds like the D-50 but the JD would last me more years than the D-50 at this point in MY music (It just fits better with aggressive guitars and/or analog bass lines etc - i do a mix of electronic and more rock stuff). D-50 was better for me with generally softer, slower more poppy stuff... it's response is slow vs the JD. You can get some cutting bass from the JD that I never got from the D-50, the '50 always sounded rounded and warm and soft. Lovely in it's own way.

JX-3P is a marmite synth you either love it or hate it, it's not my 'main' synth by any means and I view it as a 'sound engine' rather than a player's instrument. The SY77 is probably the all rounder, very versatile. But those 3 each fill a role for me, and the 3P is excellent for when i need a proper bit of vintage synth layered with digital/software and slots straight in (Polysix is a bit more 'characterful' and not as versatile in that respect). If i could afford a 'better' dual osc polysynth (and no, the 8p/10 are NOT that synth, no way they sound nothing like 3P and are way down my list of synths now) then I'd replace it perhaps (am thinking Jupiter 6/8 here - which atm is unlikely to happen!). Even then I'd miss that certain metalic/cutting sound that the 3P has - again very useful for holding it's own with overdriven guitars! usage!

I didn't see '90s' ref specifically so was just talking about synths v synths in general, sorry. 90s for me would still be JD/Alpha juno if you are talking a certain type of music and the first half of the 90s I guess. As a whole I don't find the AX80 worth it's asking price now, unless I want to go back to having a room full of synths at once (which I did - had 15 at once I think at the peak, with 9 of them set up ready to play - OVERKILL - AX80 one of them with a specific but tiny use, outgunned by more playable and versatile synths I had).

All very subjective, so many factors have to come into play sound being only one of them, esp if you have only a couple of synths or want to streamline.

They all make cool noises at the end of the day and you can record songs using them
Old 31st January 2013
  #20
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
For $1000, buy 2 'underrated' synths for maximum versatility!

Top Ten Most Underrated Synths - Attack Magazine
Old 31st January 2013
  #21
SEED78
Guest
not all analogue, but:

Β£200 or under
An1x
DX11
DW8000
CZ1
TX802
TG77


Β£300ish
Alpha Juno 2
ESQ1
JP8000
SuperNova 2 rack
DX7IIFD

more expensive but real good
PolySix
Prophet 08 desktop
SY99
Juno 60
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by was silents ➑️
I agree that Matrix's are versatile for the money too but I never liked programming them and the quality of tone is subjective.
This is so true, for my 2cents, I like the tone, for traditional polysynth duties the oscs and filter are fine, the thing does CRAZY harsh and weird stuff too. I got some lovely vintage-y Eurythmics tones out of it too, like the string sound from Sweet Dreams. I'm not a real time tweaker really, more a player and so use the Matrix for it's strong points, I have plenty of other stuff to tweak.

Please understand one important thing, the JX's and Juno's all have chorus on board to biggen up the sound, when I ran the Matrix through my humble Boss ME50's chorus and a slight bass boost EQ, it suddenly sounded alot more expensive! It takes effects really well. People really praise synths that are naturally warm but if you know what you're doing EQ wise what's the biggy?

Programming was pretty painless using the Matrix2001 editor, I made a bank of gnarly sounds for every occasion and then use it as a custom preset board with a lovely keybed.

If you're used to computer editors then go for it
Old 31st January 2013 | Show parent
  #23
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pinkerton's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowfac ➑️
I think the Oberheim Matrix 6/6R/1000 are a great value for money, if you're willing to put up with a software editor.

Also put a vote for the Ensoniq ESQ-1. It's not fully analog, but can sound like one. You could buy an ESQ-1 and a Matrix 6R/1000 for less than half of what a Prophet 08 rack costs, and have twice the polyphony and a possibly wider sonic range.
+1 on the ensoniq esq. not proper analog but cheap and incredibly versatile. 4 lfos, dude. Not many synths have that going for them. It does great pads. Also may open up new tones for you as a mono due to its hybrid structure. I can't see getting one as a loss for anybody unless you're just not into the sound or something.
Old 31st January 2013
  #24
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
No mentions of the Elektron Analog 4? Not as good?
Old 31st January 2013
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Stevism's Avatar
 
6 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
probably because it's not "technically" polyphonic...at least not yet

more like 4 separate monos playing together nicely
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