What was the worst synthesizer you've ever owned?

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Phollop Willing PA
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What was the worst synthesizer you've ever owned?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:02 pm

Thought I'd try this tact. We've all had great deals, wonderful experiences but really, what synth ended up being a nightmare? Just curious...
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by Hybrid88 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:24 pm

Can't say from experience, but I reckon the worst synth is one you pay way too much for and get very little use from. Even the '80's Casios can sound pretty good in the right hands but don't expect long jeopardy, use and dispose as far as some synths go. I think that's part of the reason why people like the Jupiter's and Prophets, 2600's etc, because you can make so many timbre's from them. Also the reason why romplers get boring after a few years. It's all about the programability for me, sound is all pretty good once you get above a certain price range.


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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by Raiven » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:49 pm

The Akai Ax60 comes to mind immediately.

If your using the analogy of the poster before me, then my list includes The Prophet 08, V-Synth, ImpOscar, and Minimonsta.
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by braincandy » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:01 pm

I haven't had any "nightmare" synths, but I guess I would say that 2 instruments stand out for their operational issues.

Ensoniq EPS: sent to Ensoniq twice for calibration issues and spent another $150 at Audio Electronics in Dallas with no satisfactory fixes. When it worked, it was fine, but I was never able to sort out the bugs during the time I had it.

Juno-106: I won it off eBay last fall and was excited about having my first non-menu driven synth in years, but a week into it, the outputs were noisy, the volume slider was crackly and intermittent, and I noticed hints of resonance in sounds where there was non resonance programmed into the patch. It had a faulty filter chip. Luckily, I was able to return it to the seller as part of the agreement in the auction. The 106 has its detractors, but I really had fun with it before the issues popped up. I've since replaced it with a Juno-60.
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by rhino » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:19 pm

fast answer: none.
i've enjoyed every synth i've owned, and regret every one i've sold.
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by wiss » Fri Mar 20, 2009 11:49 pm

There has been a few I did not like for my own personal reasons, but I could never say this was the "WORSE" one...

if it has knobs and globs of sliders, I'm already in love....

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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by wickfut » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:08 am

Korg Poly 800 - a £10 casio badged as a Pro synth
My old stuff from yonks ago (1999-2001)...
click me for lofi music player
click me for main page

Somebody somewhere in the UK must have a decent condition, none modded tb303 to flog me ?

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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by novielo » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:20 am

nightmare, so far none. but quickly bored was with the stylophone... the only way i had fun is by running it thru a bass synth guitar pedal. take it, sample it and throw it as far as you can.
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by soundxplorer » Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:40 am

My biggest mistake was my very first purchase: Alesis Quadrasynth Plus. I wound up doing a lot with it, and I wouldn't really say it was "bad". But it turned out to be bad for me because it didn't have resonant filters. That was the "sound" I was after when I decided to buy a synth, but I didn't understand the basics of subtractive synthesis. A few years later I bought a Roland Juno-60 at a pawn shop and realized that a resonant filter is key to getting the sounds I liked.

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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by JMP » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:01 am

Korg Micro Preset. It wasn't a nightmare... just s**t.


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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by Automatic Gainsay » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:30 am

Moog Opus 3.
Partially my own fault, as I intended it for live performance... but it was just wretched for live performance for me.
I also hated the sliders... but I think they had been damaged. It was just a very strangely arcane interface.
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by CJ the noisemaker » Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:21 am

For just a week (yes, a week), I owned a Yamaha TX81-Z. The synth was only for 50 bucks and I had the money at the time. I main issue was that it has no knobs, I had limited control over the instrument. So I sold it for $5.00 at a yard sale.
Guess it was a waste huh? #-o
Being that you can do so many things with it [the synthesizer]... you can make sounds bigger than life.
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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by CZ Rider » Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:02 am

A Nightmare? That's easy...the Yamaha CS-80! :cry:
I purchased one brand new in 1979. They cost more than 5 grand US in 1979 dollars, or about 15 grand in today's money. Anyhow I get it home from the authorized Yamaha dealer, and I notice one of the 16 oscillators is almost a semitone out of tune. I called them up and was told I was due one free tune up, that should have been done before I received it. They called it an alignment. So after a week I took it back, they kept it for a few days.
To make a long story short, it never worked right again, ever. And every time I took it back to them, they broke it a little more. It was the poly aftertouch they wiped out by tuning without static protection. Authorized Yamaha technicians my a*s!
It would take me more than 20 years before I owned or touched another Japanese synthesizer. All Moog, Arp, Oberheim, Sequential for me, and to this day I fix my own synthesizers. I will never let a "Tech" touch one of my boards again. :)
How's that for a nightmare?

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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by Christopher Winkels » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:21 pm

Tough one....

None of them were truly dreadful. But I have to say the Matrix-6R had the worst "expectation to outcome" ratio of any synth I've owned. I never did manage to get a large number of good sounding, expressive patches out of that thing - something I can't say for the other synths I've owned.

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Re: What was the worst synthesizer you ever owned?

Post by bluedad » Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:31 pm

Roland mt-32

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