Synths that didn't impress you

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CfNorENa
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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by CfNorENa » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:52 am

For me it was the Yamaha CS-15, which I know is pretty popular here on VSE. It definitely has a lot going for it: great functionality (nearly two separate monosynths in a single box), multimode filters, classic look (and this one really IS built like a tank), very good value-for-money. But I just could not get inspired by it. I found the underlying tone to be really plain and, for lack of a better word, boring.

@nathanscribe: I can understand where you're coming from on the P5. It doesn't often blow you out of the water. But I have found it to be very musical. It's quite flexible (it does everything well, and somethings extremely well), and it sits nicely in mixes (or, just to cover my bases: I find that it tends to sit nicely in *my* mixes)...

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:22 am

Considering all the raving over the ESQ-1 I was very underwhelmed when I had one to repair and played around with it a bit. On paper it seemed like it would be good, a polyphonic version of the digital side of the Evolver which I was really into at the time. Playing it though made me realise how limited it was, I'd be trying to tweak a parameter to where I wanted it and I'd run out of fader before I got close to where I wanted to go. It's just a really tame and vanilla synth, I don't understand why people go nuts over it.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by monolith » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:05 am

Stab Frenzy wrote:Considering all the raving over the ESQ-1 I was very underwhelmed when I had one to repair and played around with it a bit. On paper it seemed like it would be good, a polyphonic version of the digital side of the Evolver which I was really into at the time. Playing it though made me realise how limited it was, I'd be trying to tweak a parameter to where I wanted it and I'd run out of fader before I got close to where I wanted to go. It's just a really tame and vanilla synth, I don't understand why people go nuts over it.
Same with me, I really couldn't get into the ESQ1.

Do you find your Ultranova does the digital side of the evolver nicely? I got a Mininova last June on a whim and then was pleasantly surprised at how deep it is. It excels at digital weirdness and warped VHS kind of sounds I think.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Stab Frenzy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:36 am

Yeah the digital stuff is really good, the filter isn't quite there compared to the DSI stuff (not that the DSI filters are amazing anyway) but the oscs are really good. No filter FM though, which bums me out.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Percivale » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:08 am

A good point. It would also depend at which "stage of career" one is with synthesizers when assessing them.
max badwan wrote:At the time of release, I found the Juno series relatively pedestrian, but I like them now.
I remember the Akai AX 80 didn't blow my socks off, but looking back, I may have been a synth snob.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Rezisehtnys » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:05 am

Poly-800, enough said. :P

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:51 am

My first ARP Odyssey, in 1994. I simply couldn´t warm up to it, and all the time I was wondering why I didn´t like it -- "hey, Klaus Schulze used it to great effect, it must be great!". Sold it in 2000. It was a Mk. 2 (2813). Never missed it.

The Mk. 1 is a totally different thing, though.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by nathanscribe » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:13 am

CfNorENa wrote:@nathanscribe: I can understand where you're coming from on the P5. It doesn't often blow you out of the water. But I have found it to be very musical. It's quite flexible (it does everything well, and somethings extremely well), and it sits nicely in mixes (or, just to cover my bases: I find that it tends to sit nicely in *my* mixes)...
Yeah, I think some synths have become classics for being just those things - reliable, sit well in a mix, reasonably flexible - and therefore being used on lots and lots of everyone's favourite records. And then all the stuff that drives collectability and 2nd-hand prices comes along and makes a mess of everything :lol:

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by ranzee » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:14 am

When I first purchased a synth - I got a Roland XP-10, and at the time I loved it, with the Roland GS Sound Canvas and MIDI - it was a hoot. Looking back now, it is a Rompler and it really had bugger all ability.

I think to know a synth is good or not depends on your level of experience with them. Today I wouldn't purchase a Roland XP-10. My recent purchases are synths like Moog Slim Phatty and Novation Bass Station 2.

To answer the OP's topic - I really don't have a synth that doesn't impress me (because the XP-10 impressed me when I purchased it). All my synths impress (or impressed) me (at some stage in their life).

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:49 pm

Stab Frenzy wrote:Considering all the raving over the ESQ-1 I was very underwhelmed, I don't understand why people go nuts over it.
For me it was the whole package and of course I encountered it when it was first released (1986?).

-- Song based sequencer onboard with FSK to sync with a tape recorder (after I played the factory demo song I was sold)

-- Incredible UI for a knobless synth, huge easy to read display

-- A great mix of factory sounds for the time

-- With a cartridge, 120 patches on board was more than anything else at the time, also the carts needed no battery

-- A really thick manual written in English rather than Rolandese...your joy with expectations may be found well. :roll:

-- Fantastic MIDI implementation for the time (still pretty good today).

By the time I had saved my pennies the SQ80 was out which was even better (disk drive, poly AT, more waveforms) and that was my main squeeze for over 15 years.

To modern ears an ESQ-1 is not going to blow you away. Which is why I bought a Motif ES in 2005 and sold my SQ80.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by supermel74 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:54 pm

The Akai Rhythm Wolf. It looked cool but the sound lacked presence.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by meatballfulton » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:56 pm

supermel74 wrote:The Akai Rhythm Wolf. It looked cool but the sound lacked presence.
:agree: :agree: :agree: :agree: :agree:
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Jabberwalky » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:57 pm

Alesis Ion. Also looks great on paper, and has the interface, but just didn't click with me. Knobs felt clumsy, and slow. UI was sort of weird. Keys were s**t. Mod wheels were also slow and rubbery. Just not my thing.

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by gcoudert » Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:23 pm

I forgot to mention the Alpha Junos in my original post. Hated them. And that Roland D70 I owned for a while, which was just a glorified U20. Yuck. Great master keyboard though. I also hated the Korg EX-800 (Poly-800 in a desktop box) that I picked up for £20 at a car boot sale.
GC

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Re: Synths that didn't impress you

Post by Solderman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:48 pm

Most ROMplers(kinda liked the Roland JV/XP expansions though)
MicroKorg
Waldorf Q
Ion, Micron/MiniAk
AN1X
ElectroComp EML-101
SH-7, MKS-80
Evolver, Prophet 8 & 12
SCI Six-Trak
Future Retro XS
Oberheim OB-Mx
I am no longer in pursuit of vintage synths. The generally absurd inflation from demand versus practical use and maintenance costs is no longer viable. The internet has suffocated and vanquished yet another wonderful hobby. Too bad.
--Solderman no more.

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