Ion discontinued

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killedaway
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Post by killedaway » Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:03 pm

veer chasm wrote:I don't get the knock on it's keyboard action/feel, it plays great. Got mine on a trade recently. Best one I've made.
i've got my Ion and Fantom about 5 feet apart. the keys on my Fantom are heavier and thicker, giving them a much more substantial feel.

i think the problem is two-fold: the keys are shorter (about 1/4") than those of most any other "standard size" keybed. for me, this isn't that big of a deal (i have medium-length fingers), but others complain that the result is a cramped or unnatural feel. they're also thinner, and -- depending on which competitor you're comparing to -- considerably lighter weight, even for synth-action. this gives them a flimsy feel. both of these factors are surprising, as the QS synths have a heavier grade keybed and Alesis went to such great lengths to make pretty much every other aspect of the Ion heavy-duty and strong, from the knobs, buttons and wheels on the front panel to the hefty steel chassis itself.

not counting my mini-keys, the only item in my studio with lower-quality keys is my Oxygen 8, but only just barely.

now, having said all that, i think the action itself on the Ion is great; the keys come down and up fast and i've never had one go bad or otherwise fail to respond. but then, i'm not a keyboard player for the most part. still, during my hundreds of hours of noodling, i've never found much to complain about.
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Post by OriginalJambo » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:49 am

Even though I ranted and raved about how great the ION was when I initially had it, after selling it (to fund the purchase of the Octave CAT no less!) I can say that I don't really miss it much. Since then I've played plenty of other keyboards that I just gelled with in ways I didn't with the ION.

I think what I miss about it most is the cool formant filters and vocal effects you could get out of it and the bass sounds were pretty damn good. However I never found it great for pads, strings and the overall sound was kind of mushy to my ears - not very defined or cutting. It almost had no edge to it at all unless you pushed some values to the extremes.

Also as Bitexion said without EQ it just didn't sound great or even sit in mixes how I wanted it to. Finally the weak arpeggiator, angle of LCD screen and the action bothered me to boot. Beyond all this I cannot fault the ION however, and if you like the sound then it's a killer synth. Very flexible, fully featured, solidly built and affordable.

In the end I sold it over my other boards for the CAT simply because I didn't bond with it. I bought it around the save time as my ESQ-1, and the Ensoniq just sounded...well...better to my ears and I've found it to slip into mixes with ease.

Regardless of our opinions we can all agree it's a shame that it's come to this.
Last edited by OriginalJambo on Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by tunedLow » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:17 am

I'm not trying to start any s**t, just making an observation - I'm sure that every in this thread that mourns the discontinuation genuinely liked the ion, but did anyone else get the impression that the overall sentiment about the ion was negative (at least on the various fanboy forums), and now that it's gone it's praised? Meanwhile, some company releases a new synth that fits what many were asking for gets hate mail as soon as it's announced.

Again, not trying to start a flame war, this is just my take from skimming posts about this synth vs. other new makes that have recently been released.

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Post by killedaway » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:36 am

tunedLow wrote:Again, not trying to start a flame war, this is just my take from skimming posts about this synth vs. other new makes that have recently been released.
i don't think the two are at all related, but i also made this same observation. in regards to the Ion, you could almost draw an analogy to a recently deceased celebrity or politician, perhaps even one who drew a bit of ire during their career. it's common that some people aren't moved to say anything until something tumultuous occurs. in fact, it's a bit like a reverse user review: if the internet has taught us anything (*shudder!*), it's that the people who speak the loudest are usually finding fault with whatever it is that's being discussed and are more emotionally motivated to "rally the troops" than one who finds nothing to complain about. oftentimes when a product or service is discontinued, i find that lots of people who were quiet supporters pop up to finally profess their devotion.

to be fair though, i recognize most Ion owners/supporters (who are also frequent posters) that are chiming in on this thread, so i don't think it's really a conspiracy or even coincidence. consider this thread a wake: when a guy dies, usually the people who didn't like him don't show up!

(except the crazy ex-wife)
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Post by tunedLow » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:02 am

killedaway wrote:it's that the people who speak the loudest are usually finding fault with whatever it is that's being discussed and are more emotionally motivated to "rally the troops" than one who finds nothing to complain about. oftentimes when a product or service is discontinued, i find that lots of people who were quiet supporters pop up to finally profess their devotion.
Yeah, that's a good point. People often post their love for synth when they first get it (myself included), and leave it at that. The bashing on new releases does grate though. I'm sad the ion is discontinued only because I want the whole industry to succeed. I don't know whether the Ion was a success for the company or not. I know product runs only last so long, but more synths means more choices, more competition, etc. Which is especially cool for a niche market like this.

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Post by felis » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:16 am

tunedLow wrote: .... People often post their love for synth when they first get it (myself included), and leave it at that. ....


The 'honeymoon' phase.

What's cool though is when someone's had a synth for 5, 10, or 20 years and still can't keep their hands off it. :lol:

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:09 am

tunedLow wrote:I'm not trying to start any s**t, just making an observation - I'm sure that every in this thread that mourns the discontinuation genuinely liked the ion, but did anyone else get the impression that the overall sentiment about the ion was negative (at least on the various fanboy forums), and now that it's gone it's praised? Meanwhile, some company releases a new synth that fits what many were asking for gets hate mail as soon as it's announced.

Again, not trying to start a flame war, this is just my take from skimming posts about this synth vs. other new makes that have recently been released.
That's what I was talking about when I started this thread.

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Post by tunedLow » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:36 am

I've got a gift for missing the obvious!

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Post by Stab Frenzy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:44 am

Nah, I think I've got a gift for talking round in a circle but never actually saying what I mean.

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Post by kogmachine » Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:38 am

felis wrote:What's cool though is when someone's had a synth for 5, 10, or 20 years and still can't keep their hands off it. :lol:
I probably will with my Ion. We've been through a lot together, and although my Ion is resting under a towel on the top tier of my Apex stand... disconnected, I still like it much more than my Fusion. I'll probably like it more than my Q+, once (if ever) I get it. And once I get my Virus TI, even still, I think I'll like it better. It's iffy how much I'll love the Ion after I get a hold of an A6.

I'd like to mod my Ion with a better keybed though. I do have a QS6.1 too, and I agree with many of you that the action is nowhere near as good as the QS series. The knobs are too sensitive yes... the arp is crappy yes... I don't care. I love it despite it's flaws.
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Post by jim777 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:03 pm

I really use my ION as a lead synth, sort of a cheap VA minimoog type of thing. I don't really play chords on it, or need it for pads or drums. I can do that on my other keyboards. I like the various Wakeman type lead sounds it gets, and it's very simple to use and tweak, has tons of knobs for all the good stuff, and is solidly built and pretty damn cheap as well (and it came with a gig bag :lol: ) I'm more surprised that they killed it than saddened by it, but I got mine so I'm good basically. Hopefully they'll replace it, and not simply cut it and be done with it.

There's a market for mono analog synths, and Alesis obviously has analog synth making chops, so hopefully they'll do something for that market. An Alesis analog mono would likely be a very cool little box :D
even Siberia goes through the motions....

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Post by ronP » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:10 pm

jim777 wrote: There's a market for mono analog synths, and Alesis obviously has analog synth making chops, so hopefully they'll do something for that market. An Alesis analog mono would likely be a very cool little box :D
.


:)

ALESIS . . . Monocron!

:)


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Post by meatballfulton » Fri Feb 29, 2008 6:00 pm

tunedLow wrote:did anyone else get the impression that the overall sentiment about the ion was negative (at least on the various fanboy forums), and now that it's gone it's praised?
This has been going on for years. I've been watching a DX7 revival lately and the M1 can't be far behind. Those two were the posterboys for reviled synths...digital, knobless and used on endless cheesy pop recordings.

I'm sure lots of people liked the idea of the Ion but when it came to laying down real money they went with something else...otherwise Alesis would keep building them, eh?
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Post by Huppo » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:18 pm

meatballfulton wrote:I'm sure lots of people liked the idea of the Ion but when it came to laying down real money they went with something else...otherwise Alesis would keep building them, eh?
Elsewhere in this thread someone (JL?) mentioned that it seemed odd to have a similar synth engine in two very different packages at different price points. It was pointed out that it's not all that weird, but in this case I think there's something very odd about it.

I had a Micron (which I liked but traded to someone for something else) and would be tempted to replace it with an Ion except the Ion, a higher priced and supposedly more fully featured synth, actually lacked some of the things the cheaper Micron had! I don't recall exactly what the differences were, but I believe the Micron had a better effects section and the Ion lacked the drum maps and sequencer things the Micron had. Maybe some of that was at work in the (apparently) poor sales of the Ion. It would have made more sense to put all the extra features into the pricier synth, no? As it was done it just kind of made the price differential seem more arbitrary.

I played an Ion a few times in a music shop after I was already familiar with the Micron. I recognized the similarity in structure and liked the quicker access to basic parameters (and the three proper control wheels), but there was still plenty of digging that needed to be done to get to the more esoteric tweakables, rendering the greater number of control knobs useless. I also found the fascia to be..well..too big. The knobs and buttons seemed too far apart or something, I dunno. I would probably still pick one up if I found it in good shape at a decent price. I wonder what, if anything, the discontinuation of the Ion will do to its price and availability used.
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Post by redchapterjubilee » Fri Feb 29, 2008 9:05 pm

Huppo wrote:I wonder what, if anything, the discontinuation of the Ion will do to its price and availability used.
I think we've seen a preview of this last year when Alesis stopped filling orders on the Ion for awhile. The used prices hovered around $525 or more, especially once word got out that Alesis were backordered on them. Those prices drifted back down to the low $400's once backorders were being filled. I think we'll start to see them trading hands for closer to $500 again. What I wonder is if we'll see a cheaper sell-off on remaining stock like we saw on all the ModFX stuff.
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