Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
gr4nf
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Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by gr4nf » Mon May 25, 2009 10:39 pm

I'm looking buy my first synthesizer, and am quite strapped for cash. Vying for something under $600. I've done quite a bit with my big Kurzweil keys, but i can only get actual synth leads and pads out of that when i run it through Logic as a MIDI controller, which works alright, but my sound library is stubby at best, and editing sound live with it is h**l, and real-time control of timbre impossible. Would like something with good bass power, polyphonic, no question, and with plenty of expressive controllers, like ribbons and pitch/mod wheels. I really do love Kurzweil, but from what I've seen, most of their stuff is quite out of my price range. Suggestions? I know full well that something meeting all these specs may not exist, but who knows?

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by Joey » Tue May 26, 2009 4:59 am

check out the Alesis Ion or Roland JP8000
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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by gr4nf » Tue May 26, 2009 10:50 pm

The ion looks like it might not offer quite as much control, but the jp-8000, with the ribbon (which i tried at a local shop and loved), looks really cool. Thanks for the help! More would be welcome.

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by garranimal » Tue May 26, 2009 11:49 pm

Korg Prophecy has a small ribbon touch surface and sound great. There's one on ebay for $500.

The downside is the case and many parts are plastic so they feel kinda cheap. But hey, under $500.

I can vouch for the JP8000 they ARE pretty cool and have tons of real-time edit knobs and sliders. Can't go wrong there either.

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by space6oy » Wed May 27, 2009 12:11 am

you have tons of options. if you're up for an oldie, any of the roland junos, JX-3P or 8P with their PG controllers, akai AX-60 or 80... tons of nice hands-on polys go for under $600. that's a very nice amount to be starting out w/.

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by killanator » Wed May 27, 2009 5:16 am

Im extremely happy with my ms2000, im sure you could pick up the keyboard version for around 500. If your fine with just 4 voices of polyphony, its fantastic!

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by Stab Frenzy » Wed May 27, 2009 6:34 am

gr4nf wrote:The ion looks like it might not offer quite as much control, but the jp-8000, with the ribbon (which i tried at a local shop and loved), looks really cool. Thanks for the help! More would be welcome.
The Ion does have a pitch wheel and two mod wheels though, which are assignable. I prefer the sound of the Ion to the JP-8000 as well, but that's just me.

The Yamaha AN1-X has a ribbon too, check that out. The Novation X-Station also has a lot of controls including an X-Y pad, you might be able to get one in your price range.

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by iProg » Wed May 27, 2009 7:49 am

Roland JP-8000!

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by gr4nf » Thu May 28, 2009 1:18 am

I've looked at the MS200 and it looks BEAUTIFUL, but 4 voice polyphony is something of a downside for pads. :( I really do like what i've seen of the earlier roland stuff, and some of the junos look great. Is there anything that works like the ms2000 but has better polyphony? The vocoder I don't really need, but then, who knows what'll happen? I'll keep shopping.

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by Joey » Thu May 28, 2009 4:21 am

the Ion and the jp8000 once again...
No one cares, no one sympathizes,
so you just stay home and play synthesizers.

http://wearereplicants.com

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by Analogue Crazy » Thu May 28, 2009 10:23 pm

I will also reccomend the JP-8000. I much prefer the Ion and Micron sound but the JP-8000 does offer lots of control and is a great performance Synth. For the money it's a great buy, iv had 2 of em and they have been my main live Synth for 2 years, before i got my A6.
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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by gr4nf » Fri May 29, 2009 11:08 pm

Well, i'm basically down to the MS2000 and the JP-8000 at this point. The question i would like to ask is this: As more of a pianist than a keyboardist (thusfar, at least), my initial reaction to 4 voice polyphony is quite severe, as such a limitation on the Piano or similar instrument would be incapacitating, but is it as bad for playing a synth? Does the polyphony interfere as much with synth play style as it would with that of the piano?

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by killanator » Sat May 30, 2009 2:02 am

Well in your case, I would go with as much polyphony as possible. It is somewhat limiting when playing huge pads and stuff. So I would go with the jp in your case. That way, you will be able to use all but 2 of your fingers.

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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by braincandy » Sat May 30, 2009 2:04 am

Don't think of these synths the same way you think about piano-playing and polyphony won't be as big of an issue.
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Re: Looking to buy my first synthesizer, trying for under 600...

Post by tweakeasy » Sat May 30, 2009 4:28 pm

Piano player = more polyphony. You'll be bummed if you get the MS2000 and feel limited.

+1 JP-8000. Better option for you IMO. They also seem to have higher demand/slightly better resale value than the MS2000's from what I've seen if you decide it's not for you.

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