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Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:33 am
by magnawolf
I've been reading up a lot on synths recently and this site has been a huge help. I own a Microkorg and it's great for the price. However now that my love for synths has been sparked, I want a full size one. I was wondering if there are any good but cheap synths that have a lot of physical knobs/sliders/switches on them to manipulate the sound instead of doing it on an LED/LCD screen. I've been looking mostly at the Roland Juno 106, which is pretty much perfect except I was hoping maybe there were some lesser known gems that go for a bit cheaper. If not, then I'll probably end up getting a 106.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 1:43 pm
by Z
Define "cheap".

If a Juno 106 is in your price range ($500-$600), you might also consider:

Akai AX60 (I'm selling one at the moment for $650)

Roland alpha Juno 1 or 2 with PG-300 programmer
Roland JX-3P with PG-200
Rolannd JX-8P with PG-800

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:21 pm
by Stab Frenzy
Or if you don't need polyphony there's the minibrute and dark energy too, or you can put together a doepfer DIY synth for fairly cheap. It's not that DIY really, all you need to do is put it in a case and add knobs and jack sockets, the electronics are already built and tested.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:42 pm
by madmarkmagee
If you don't have a lot of money beware of failing VCF/VCA chips on the 106s. Only buy a 106 that has had it's six replaced with clones. Used gaias are cheap and knobby. MS2000 as well(though same engine as microkorg) Though can't recommend as i've never used ethier.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:44 pm
by madmarkmagee
Most used VAs really ...

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:00 pm
by Hair
If you can find anything that's compatible with the KiwiTechnics Patch Editor on the cheap, that's another option (though used VAs will get you knobs/sliders for cheaper, similar sounds to the MicroKorg though.. Novation has a lot of cool ones)

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:13 pm
by c-level
ion? sh201? jp/jd if you can find one? those would be the more reliable VA's

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:14 pm
by Ned Bouhalassa
+1 for the MiniBrute. I love mine.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:54 pm
by rhino
Welcome to the board!

Not that cheap, but Korg Polysix might suite you - all knobs/switches - no menus.

Shameless self-promotion: Go the "gear for sale" on this board and look at my JX3p+PG-200+new case.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:45 pm
by Rick N Boogie
I think we need a definition of a budget here. What some consider cheap, others may find expensive. Uing the $1000 mark as a limit, there are several awsome choices for analog or virtual analog synths, that have plenty of hands on control. A DSI MoPho kb is a great choice for an analog monosynth, and has a great arpeggiator and 16x4 step sequencer. There's a new Moog coming out soon that should be in the same price range, tons-o-knobs. An older Virus, A B, or C with kb should be same price range, and more crazy features than I could list. What's the actual budget?

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:48 pm
by condit79
I'd say go for a Mopho keyboard used (i got mine for $500) or if you have to have a juno, get the 6 as it'll be cheaper and more reliable than the 106 AND it'll sound much better, plus it has an arpeggiator. I picked one up recently for $325, for example. Other good cheap synths are Alesis ION, Jp8000, Arturia Minibrute (it's the closest thing to my modular for the sonic capabilities), and as people stated, moog is launching a new synth and rumors state that korg may as well. I'd say honestly wait till after NAMM because either you'll find something you want or other people will and the used market will probably be flooded with stuff to buy if the new stuff is either too expensive or not as interesting to you.

The main reason to get a juno is for those classic house basslines, chord memory stabs, etc. That is until you have some gear that outputs CV and THEN it's a bit different. I have my Juno 6 paired with a Moog cp251 unit that has an lfo, mixer, sample and hold, etc and I use that to mess with the arp clock and filter cutoff and it really opens things up.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:02 am
by themilford
For the money I cannot recommend more highly the Akai AX-60.

It's a great single-oscilator, VCO synths with most of the bells and whistles including: A great arpeggiator, 5 LFO pattern/waves and 3 destinations, noise, VCF/VCO MOD, Keyboard split (bitimberal)... amongst other features... and knobs and sliders for every parameter.

Image

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:38 am
by synthparts
If you're in the US, I will have an AX60 for sale soon and also a Juno-6 if you want the Juno-60 sound but don't care about patch memory...

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:08 am
by Stab Frenzy
Rick N Boogie wrote:I think we need a definition of a budget here. What some consider cheap, others may find expensive. Uing the $1000 mark as a limit, there are several awsome choices for analog or virtual analog synths, that have plenty of hands on control. A DSI MoPho kb is a great choice for an analog monosynth, and has a great arpeggiator and 16x4 step sequencer. There's a new Moog coming out soon that should be in the same price range, tons-o-knobs. An older Virus, A B, or C with kb should be same price range, and more crazy features than I could list. What's the actual budget?
The OP said cheaper than a Juno 106.

Re: Cheap Synths With A Lot of Knobs/Sliders/Switches

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:17 am
by Don T
There's also the Moog Rogue, the Realistic MG-1, the ARP Axxe, and the Roland SH-09. All vintage mono synths, and all can be had for about the same price or cheaper than a working Juno-106.