Polysynth Recommendations

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.
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velocity boy
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Polysynth Recommendations

Post by velocity boy » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:25 pm

Hello,

I'm wondering everyone's opinion on different polysynths. I used to own a Juno 6, and I found it quite plain and boring, and used it mostly for standard string sounds.

Currently I own a Minimoog Old School, a Roland rs-09, a DSI Tempest, and most recently, a Korg monopoly.

I actually love my roland rs09. It was my first ever synth and I think it has a lot of character. That said, it's very limited. Also, my new Monopoly is great too, but I'm not finding it too useful as a polysynth.

I'm looking for something like the tone of the rare Korg PS3100. I'm starting to fall in love with Korgy sounds. However, that's wayy outside my price range. I was thinking of purchasing a DSI Mopho and using that to either control my DSI tempest to play polyphonic chords, or to polysync it.

What are your thoughts? A natural answer is a Korg Polysix, but I played with one a few weeks ago and was unimpressed. I basically want a unique vintage sounding polyphonic without breaking bank. Preferably analog.

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ppg_wavecomputer
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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by ppg_wavecomputer » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:39 pm

velocity boy wrote:[...] I basically want a unique vintage sounding polyphonic without breaking bank.
Don´t we all?

Honestly, those cheapo polysynths from the early 1980s (P6, Juno 6/60/106, Siel Kiwi/Opera...) were nothing but compromises, aimed at people who wanted something simplistic to create "synthesizer" patches with and who couldn´t (or weren´t prepared to) afford a "proper" polyphonic synthesiser like a Prophet, an Oberheim or a Jupiter. Most of these machines won´t blow me away these days (the only exception being the JX-3P but I tend to guess this is not your cup of tea), and frankly, I don´t get it why people lust after something like a Juno 60 -- hey, this is nothing but a primitive organ with a little bit of filtering and less voices (hate me, I´m a heretic!). I thought it sucked when I was 12 -- now I´m nearly thirty years older (not wiser though), and I still believe they suck.

I´d recommend against buying one of these -- save your money instead, get yourself one of the big boys like the 3100 (if it has to be "vintage") if this is what your heart is beating for -- or try out one of the new Prophet 12s... maybe the key to your question lies right there.

Stephen
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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by philip » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:21 am

Korg Trident is your choice, P6 won't give you that 3100-3300 tone, Trident will.

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by space6oy » Thu Jun 06, 2013 5:39 am

ppg_wavecomputer wrote:(hate me, I´m a heretic!)
i don't hate you, just think it's funny hearing from someone who thinks the juno 60 sucks. :lol:

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by edfunction » Thu Jun 06, 2013 12:03 pm

I think the cheaper options are generally 80's models. some of the relatively cheap options that are also interesting (to me at least)

Oberheim matrix6
Roland jx 3p/8p
Roland d50
Ensoniq sq80/esq1
Waldorf microwave

Late 70's stuff is probably more what you're after but expect to pay a lot Trident, cs series. Jupiter 4 might work but they are getting pretty pricey also these days.

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by shaft9000 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:25 pm

velocity boy wrote: What are your thoughts? A natural answer is a Korg Polysix, but I played with one a few weeks ago and was unimpressed. I basically want a unique vintage sounding polyphonic without breaking bank. Preferably analog.
cheapest is to get really good at using tape sims, distortion and degrading effects to their utmost, with digital synth like blofeld, alesis ion or VST poly (OP-X, diva) etc


but this is VSE

ON TIGHT BUDGET you go hybrid (dw8000, evolverpoly, microwave etc)
or
settle for something weird and limited yet still awesome for a few things - korg lambda/delta, yamaha SK, farfisa etc - these can be very hit or miss. usually the japanese ones have fewer problems

or just pony up the cash for the goods and quit wondering. ;)
the cheapest 'big classic poly sound' w/ 2vco/voice and knobby is the Prophet-600(and cheapest for a reason), followed by 4/6 voice OB-Xa and Jupiter 6. Jupiter 4 and CS-50 are also worth a gander.
From there you either luck out -best found via dogged persistence - or you simply bite the bullet and pay near market value.

and remember, whatever of these you buy is probably going to need at least a few hundred $ in TLC within 5 years, probably sooner, and possibly closer to $1000+ if chips and PSUs are failing.
these are analog polys you're after...ALL of them are quirky and almost guaranteed to be less than 100% reliable/perfect.
2600.solus.modcan a.eurorack.cs60.JP8.Juno6.A6.sunsyn.volcakeys.jd990.tb303.x0xb0x.revolution.
999.m1am1.RY30.svc350.memotron

shaft9000.muffwiggler.com <- singles & mixtape
shaft9000.bandcamp.com <- spacemusic album
youtube.com/shaft9000 <- various synth demos and studies

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by meatballfulton » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:13 pm

I'm in agreement with most of the comments. The only interesting vintage analog polysynths are the ones that cost a fortune then and still do today.

I prefer modern analogs because I want MIDI, velocity, aftertouch and patch memory. My advice is go with DSI unless you have money to burn. Why anyone would spend as much for a used Juno as a used P08 is beyond me.

Question: anyone with hands-on experience with the S.E. Omega?

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by synthparts » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:34 am

meatballfulton wrote:I'm in agreement with most of the comments. The only interesting vintage analog polysynths are the ones that cost a fortune then and still do today.

I prefer modern analogs because I want MIDI, velocity, aftertouch and patch memory.
I would suggest a Roland MKS-80 then. They are great sounding, versatile, reliable, 8-voice, 16-VCO analog that can still be had for $2000 or so. You should also check out the Chroma Polaris which meets your criteria and is still reasonably priced for a 6-voice dual-VCO-per-voice multi-timbral polysynth...
Vintage Synth Parts - http://www.synthparts.com

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by meatballfulton » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:26 pm

To the OP:

Considering that you have a $3K Moog and a $2K Tempest, I would expect you to budget $2-4K for a polysynth which gets you into the PolyEvolver, Prophet 08, Prophet 12, SE Omega/CODE new as well as many vintage pieces like the MKS80/Jup6 mentioned above and some OBs and P5s.
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.

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lazerface
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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by lazerface » Mon Jun 10, 2013 5:24 pm

dont want to use the tempest as a 6 voice poly synth module? That's what i do..

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winningatlife
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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by winningatlife » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:57 am

Chroma Polaris. So underrated.
Some keys I have: Yamaha CS20M, ARP Axxe, Chroma Polaris, Roland Juno 60, Vermona DRMMKII, Roland R8, Sequential Circuits Pro-One, x0xbox, Terratec MB 33 II Superbass, Kurzweil SP88.

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Re: Polysynth Recommendations

Post by SWAN » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:30 am

chroma polaris, mks80 rack or Prophet 600 best lower end choices with Oberheim Matrix 6/1000 close behind...

Then you have the DSI stuff - Mopho x4, tetra and Prophet 08

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