Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

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Walter Ego
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Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Walter Ego » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:49 pm

For the Holidays...

We like top ten lists. How about a bottom ten? What is that synth that if someone gave it to you, you would leave it on the street? How about ten of them?

I checked the forum archives...unless I'm mistaken, it doesn't look like anyone has done a worst synth list in a few years.

For clarity, DON'T include run-of-the-mill ROMplers (unless they're hilariously badly engineered), but DO include strange home keyboards and experiments. How about some genuinely awful analog synths--yes, they do exist. This is also not about finnicky or temperamental synths that are great but have fatal flaws; this is about all around mediocrity and crappiness.

I don't even have a suggestion--this is more out of curiosity than anything else.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by tim gueguen » Mon Nov 25, 2013 8:11 pm

My smartass answer to questions like this is always "The broken one." People make all sorts of interesting music with c**p gear. And context also counts. The Davolisint is limited and crude, but it was pretty much the cheapest thing going in the early '70s for musicians who wanted a synth and didn't have the money for an ARP or Moog.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by nvining » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:26 pm

A random sampling of the worst keyboard and synthesizer instruments on Vancouver Craigslist this morning:

- The Wurlitzer Funmaker Grandma Organ (and its ilk; various Lowreys, Allans, Baldwins, etc., none of which are actually cool)
- "Casio SA65 Electronic Portable Piano Organ $40 Takes"
- The Korg i30 Interactive Music Workstation
- "Microkorg Synthesizer Needs Repair $400"
- Bontempi Keyboard (basically, a reed and blower organ)
- "Do-it-yourself Leslie Kit $500 OBO" (the owner has taken one of the styrofoam integrated Leslie drums out of, say, the Wurlitzer Funmaker Grandma organ, possibly with a hacksaw, and put it on Craigslist)
- Panasonic Keyboard SX-KC211
- The Korg X5 interactive music workstation (which might actually be okay, I dunno)
- "CS60 sold, futon is still available"
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by synthroom » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:33 pm

Not sure I've run across the worst synth of al time, but there are certainly a lot that I have no interest in even turning on. Nvining's list is a great start at that list.
Fairlight IIx (Mid-Life Crisis - cheaper than a Corvette!)
Roland JP-8, D-50, S-50, S-550(2x), S-760(2x), JX-3P, JD-800
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by bochelli » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:58 pm

tim gueguen wrote:My smartass answer to questions like this is always "The broken one." People make all sorts of interesting music with c**p gear. And context also counts. The Davolisint is limited and crude, but it was pretty much the cheapest thing going in the early '70s for musicians who wanted a synth and didn't have the money for an ARP or Moog.
I have a davolisint in perfect order with user book and case i think they are ok, some prog rock bands use one or did , looking at its shape i wonder from where did korg invent the looks of the ms range ???
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by commodorejohn » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:20 pm

nvining wrote:- The Korg X5 interactive music workstation (which might actually be okay, I dunno)
It is, actually - it's basically a keyboard version of the 05/RW module. Not a world-shattering classic, but a decent little AI² ROMpler with some nice sounds. "Workstation" probably isn't the right word for it, though, since it doesn't have a sequencer.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Z » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:07 pm

Roland JX-1 and the stupid-a*s advert that went with it
Kawai PH50

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Alphacode » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:19 pm

Look at this Polish Funk band from the 70's /early 80's the famous Polish Key player J.Skrzek is using the Davonlist amongst moogs and other expensive synths , must be worth something to have it around in such company :)


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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:22 pm

Z wrote:Roland JX-1 and the stupid-a*s advert that went with it
Was that the one featuring the perm-and-spandex guy with buckles to set off airport metal detectors with?

I hate things like Roland D-50, Yamaha YS-100/200, Korg M1, Casio CZ101, or Siel Cruise (or Mono, or Opera) but this probably couldn´t count.

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Psy_Free » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:24 pm

This thread will descend into one massive fight.
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by tamla » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:24 pm

Kawai KC10 (Spectra) / XS-1 below the PH50 / PHm
Akai SG01k
Yamaha DX9
Evolution EVS1


Really like Siel synths, just parted with my Orchestra and I loved it.
Last edited by tamla on Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Aaron2 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:31 pm

What about all of those shitty combo organs from the '60s? Do they count? (I'm excluding, of course, the magnificent Vox Continental and other high-end machines.)

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by synthRodriguez » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:34 pm

Worst ever? No question:

Monotrons DUO/DELAY
SH-32
MicroKORG
AX-80
RS-09
MT-68 / SK-1 / VL-1
ER-1 mk II
DR-110 / DR-220A
SR-120

lol: :mrgreen:

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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by griffin avid » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:47 pm

Bontempi Keyboard (basically, a reed and blower organ)

Awesome! I was going to post and describe a synth that had, like 6 categories of sound and they sounded the same.
A nasal cheesy horn sound.
It was a dull tan color- as drab as its sound. The worst ever. I spray painted it silver, glued some doo-dads on it and and used it in a video as a prop. But I couldn't remember the company name- that's it!
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Re: Bottom Ten Worst Synths of All Time

Post by Darkseid » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:54 pm

I don't think anybody will agree but the roland Gaia is the most disliked synth I have ever owned and would certainly be bottom of my worst 10 synths.

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