Alesis Ion - User review - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Alesis Ion
4.5 4.5 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

8-voice virtual analog with character

19th January 2019

Alesis Ion by lucasasdelli

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Alesis Ion

Very fast FPGA logic, with very low aliasing
Three oscillators with 3 variable waveforms
Dual multimode filter, with several emulations (4-pole Moog Ladder, 2-pole Oberheim, 4-pole ARP, 4-pole Jupiter-8 and more)
Noise, S&H, Arpeggiator
Lots of LED indicators, e.g. "in tune" OSC tuning kobs
All rotating controls are endless potentiometers, not encoders
By changing program, old notes are leaved with old timbre
Stylish and very compact size
Two illuminated modulation wheels plus pitch bend one

Very ****ty keyboard (Fatar TP7, full plastic)
4 octaves only
Unusable effects
No aftertouch (it does receive both channel- and poly-aftertouch)
Detailed display is flat with the case, and unreadable by seated player
Frequent damage of output FET muting transistors (easy and quick to repair)

I find the Ion a sort of swiss knife in most occasions; controls on panel give quick access to all main parameters, without digging in menus. The sound has a good character and the dual filtering allow creation of complex sounds.

I've replaced the horrible keyboard with an excellent Fatar TP9/S with aftertouch; the cables are straight compatible: it needs to make the right holes in the base, and to add a MIDI analog encoder to route aftertouch in MIDI in.
The modified instrument becomes a very pleasant one; the new keyboard protrudes on front of about 8mm and the instrument weight increases of about 1,5kg.

  • 2
7th June 2021

Alesis Ion by grillnstuff_

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Alesis Ion

Fantastic synthesizer from Alesis. This is definitely a steal (depending if you pay less that $600, which I surly did). Nails Oberheim, Prophet and some Moog-esque sounds with the three oscillator configuration as well as the "fm" option next to oscillator 1 to get that distinct detuned polyphonic flavour. I got mine with the main output transistors zapped but I plan on replacing them since I also love working on electronics. The only downside to having the transistors bust is that the effects cant be used, but they aren't very good anyways from what ive heard. I almost gave the "features" a 3 but opted for a 4 because there are just so many well laid out menus and little charming bits, like the ability to name your presets and easily copy and paste them in the user section (The Deepmind series doesn't even have this!). Dont forget, the Ion has TWO MOD WHEELS! The reason I didn't give ease of use a 5 is because the buttons are not good. They feel like little Lego studs and mine are quite old (probably older than me!), so I have to press REALLY HARD sometimes. I really like this synthesizer and i'll never sell mine even when I have the 'big brother' Andromeda.

Attached Thumbnails
Alesis Ion-20201218_195352.jpg   Alesis Ion-img_20210304_224246_425.jpg  

Similar Threads

Thread / Review Starter Comments / Views Last Post
replies: 64 views: 15528
Avatar for Don Solaris
Don Solaris 25th September 2015
replies: 9484 views: 871900
Avatar for A_C
A_C 6 days ago