JD 800 and the JD 990 together are wonderful. The 990 over all sounds better than the 800 but the 800 as interface for the 990 is pure joy
Two more favorites: Yamaha CS-60 and the Korg Z1
Absolutely loving my Prophet Rev2 which was the first polysynth I’ve ever owned. Just ordered the 16 voice expansion for it (originally bought it with 8 to see if that was enough). Still thinking about adding something with wavetable capability (Novation Peak, Waldorf, etc) but will probably play with the wavetable synth in Logic 10 once it comes out before I decide how important that feature is to my palette and how much time I want to spend on it.
listening to that demo. holy crap.
This is my current debate. Should I get the 8 voice to start and potentially expand later or just go for the 16 to start. I’ve seen a few 8 voices go for $1300 which makes the purchase easier to move forward with. I’ll be curious to hear about your experiences installing the expansion.
Still thinking about adding something with wavetable capability (Novation Peak, Waldorf, etc)
Have you checked out the Nord Wave at all? Looks interesting as well. Peak looks nice too, but personally only interested in units with keyboards built-in.
Honestly, 8 voices is already enjoyable. In fact, it’s the fact that this is such an eminently playable synth (I hate synth-action keyboards and I actually really like this one!) that made me want to upgrade - some of the beautiful sounds you can get with long release times and two-handed chords really demand 16 voices or the note-stealing is really audible. So yes, if you’re after huge sounds and you don’t have the time or process to heavily multitrack or write right-hand and left-hand parts separately, or if you do complex pieces where the release is a factor in the sound, then you’ll really find 16 voices useful. Could I get by with 8? Yes. Do I want to have to? No, not when it sounds sooooo good.
I’ll let you know how the process goes to upgrade when I get the card in hand - should be a week or two away.
My 1,2,3 Oberheim Xpander, Roland JX-8P and lately this Technics SX-WSA1 for something kind of VA and completely different…
If I list all the polysynths I owned and then sold on I may get upset, so I’ll keep it short. I use 3 physical and 1 virtual, these days -
Nord Lead mk1 with voice expansion.
Omnisphere in the computer if I can’t find what I’m looking for or I’m in a hurry… I made a track recently with one track Omnisphere OB sound and one OB-6 and no-one can tell which is which… I just don’t enjoy being at the computer screen. I got back into hardware synths to get away from the screen.
What do you think of this one? It’s been on my radar for awhile and, in my mind, it seems like one of the more interesting polysynths out there.
Prophet 12 and Haken Continuum are all I need as far as hardware polysynths go.
Prophet 12 is MPE compliant? Damn this synth…
It absolutely is. It has a great balance between sophistication and simplicity. Almost everything is WYSIWYG, with the exception of a 7 ‘wire’ modulation matrix… occasionally you might want more but I need limits. The 2 filters are lovely and smooth sounding and the various custom oscillators are very musical, the two tuned noise ones especially useful for attack chiffs. Plus there is 2 operator FM! I’ve only had it a month or so so I’m still honeymooning but I think it is a really nice contrast/compliment to traditional subtractive analogue. The designer isn’t trying to please everyone, either. He knows what he wants to make and it certainly fills a void, there isn’t really anything quite like it.
Nevermind. No more GAS till the Percussa SSP is shipped.
the Technics SX-WSA1 is my #3 as well. Such a unique synth and I love the performance controls with the X-Y and vector balls (perfect controller for a Wavestation)
my #2 is Korg’s Z1. like these other two, it’s such a misunderstood and under appreciated synth. really the only downside is its sluggish menus. this is the last interesting synth that Korg produced.
and my #1 is Roland’s V-Synth, just brilliant. To me this is the ultimate Roland synth and the height of years of synth/sampler evolution, brilliant UI and then the ability to turn it into a D-50 is just all icing.
No it’s not. I use them together but separately. Anyway the Continuum can do all the synthesis the P12 can, just without analog filters. Though their CS80 patch sounds absolutely amazing.
The Roland HS-60 is a great Juno alternative. It’s literally a 106, but with an uglier paint job and, inexplicably, speakers. They can usually be found for much cheaper than most Junos, though this is changing now that the “secret is out.”
The Casio CZ series is pretty funky. I own a CZ-5000, and playing around with its weird phase distortion synthesis (like FM, but not) is super fun. I find it’s best for super warm pads – this being one of the best examples I’ve heard.
Beyond that, the Akai AX60 is an interesting, lesser-known poly.
My favorite is probably a toss-up between the Juno 60, Prophet 5, and Korg Polysix. Mmmmm.
i have a yamaha cs-50 that i love.
To quote Ron Post, “All I need is my trusty Ensoniq.” Just sold my 1993 VFXsd, but I kept the SD-1 I bought in 2009. Best keyboard feel of any synth I’ve ever played. Sound engine is good enough; I mostly use it as a controller.
I really want to buy a DX7. Can someone convince me this is a good / bad idea?
On the digital front thoroughly enjoying the versatility of the Nord Modular G2 that was able to aquire a few years ago - damn that thing is flexible! Usually trying to offset the sterile nature of the sound with adding some analog fx and or tape at the end of the signal chain.
Had a brief stint with a the Blofeld Desktop for a few years, it’s quite lush sounding, bright as hell though. Love that multi-mode! If only it had more separate output possibilities, you have to basically mix everything in the box quite well before it hits the stereo out, but great for layers and layers if you’re into that sort of thing.
Honorable mention to the OP1, of course.
Haven’t had the good fortune of owning a “coloured” poly yet, though quite keen on a Juno60/polySix. But boy oh boy are those things overpriced these days…
Cue the GAS indeed…