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Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:26 am
by lockah
I'm looking to trade/sell my DSI Mopho Keyboard and hoping that the value/price will be enough for me to grab one of the few remaining analogue polys, but I'm looking for some tips on what to keep my eyes peeled for.

I'm now 2 albums deep and known basically for my chords/melodies, yet I've never owned a polysynth. I usually use Arturia Minimoog & Korg Polysix VSTs for that.

I'm completely aghast at the prices of Junos now (easily £1k+ for some models on ebay). Jx3P (nice) and Poly 800 (meh) have also seemingly gone up 50-100% in value over the last couple of years.

For around the £350 mark is there any hope?

The Akai AX analogue polys look pretty cool and may be the last remaining dinosaurs of this type with keys that I could possibly afford. Aside from that, what should I be looking for? I guess some basic pointers on what to avoid (Cheetah reliability?) Oberheim Matrixes worth a look? (might be a bit of a tight squeeze on the budget...)

Also, if anyone wants to trade something for my Mopho keyboard - very clean and never gigged - let me know.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:58 am
by DamsVdb
I never used any of those synth but the Akai Ax seems nice to me. It has auto-tuning fonction what does it mean? Like micro-tuning function?

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 12:10 pm
by monolith
It means when you switch it on, or if it sounds out of tune you can hit auto tune and it will put the oscillators back in tune.

I recommend an alpha Juno, however I've only used it with the pg-300 so it might not be as fun if you don't have one. You could use a behringer bcr-2000 with it though or maybe there's a software editor, I'm not sure.

It sounds really good just as good as, and arguably more versatile than my Juno-6.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:11 pm
by madtheory
What don't you like about the Mopho?

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:39 pm
by meatballfulton
Studio/recording use only?

Must it have knobs?

Must it be programmable without a computer?

etc.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:31 pm
by commodorejohn
Last I saw the JX-10 was still sitting at non-crazy prices (although the PG-800 tends to go for a bit, and you really want one.) It's a very capable machine with a gorgeous sound.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:49 pm
by lockah
madtheory wrote:What don't you like about the Mopho?
If i'm being ultra picky, a few of the functions don't have knobs, but for the most part it is a good looking, good fun to play monosynth that is really well put together and I really like it.

I was intending to use it for live gigs but it's not the most compact of synths. I ended up buying a Microbrute as something I can throw in a backpack, and dial in basses and leads within seconds in a live setting. To be honest, the Micro's just far more fun to muck about with, and I don't think I've used the Mopho once at home since buying the Micro (although I've also been doing very little studio work since I've been busy promoting my 2nd album).

I was going to keep it to polychain with a Tetra, but my funds are so limited that swapping the Mopho is my only real option right now, since it is a piece of gear that goes for around £300-£400 in the UK right now it would seem.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:59 pm
by lockah
meatballfulton wrote:Studio/recording use only?

Must it have knobs?

Must it be programmable without a computer?

etc.
pretty much only needed for studio/recording. knobs not a must, but would prefer something that could be used with a vst or ipad app for midi cc if not.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:01 pm
by lockah
commodorejohn wrote:Last I saw the JX-10 was still sitting at non-crazy prices (although the PG-800 tends to go for a bit, and you really want one.) It's a very capable machine with a gorgeous sound.
thanks but I had a look on ebay and the only models were over £1k! a little out of my budget right now.

if it's of any interest, I noticed there's an EPROM upgrade to allow midi cc and some other features, priced at €40

http://www.vecoven.com/superjx/superjx.html

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:17 pm
by lockah
monolith wrote:It means when you switch it on, or if it sounds out of tune you can hit auto tune and it will put the oscillators back in tune.

I recommend an alpha Juno, however I've only used it with the pg-300 so it might not be as fun if you don't have one. You could use a behringer bcr-2000 with it though or maybe there's a software editor, I'm not sure.

It sounds really good just as good as, and arguably more versatile than my Juno-6.
I think we may have nailed all the criteria with Alpha Juno, I'm just taking a little bit of convincing with the stock demos. A little thin and 'digital' sounding compared to regular Junos and Jx3Ps, but they definitely seem more versatile.

Looks like there's a huge amount of choice to control too. PG-300, or the fake ones that the netherlands company made (name escapes me). Also this overlay for a bcr-2000 http://www.synthgraphics.com/Alpha-Juno-Programmer.html and a vst editor http://www.au300.de/ - awesome!

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:49 pm
by commodorejohn
I wasn't thrilled with the Alpha Juno when I tried it, but I didn't have a chance to really dig into it, and with the criteria of "decent features at non-insane prices" it's probably a pretty solid contender.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2015 4:20 pm
by lockah
commodorejohn wrote:I wasn't thrilled with the Alpha Juno when I tried it, but I didn't have a chance to really dig into it, and with the criteria of "decent features at non-insane prices" it's probably a pretty solid contender.
thanks for the feedback. yeah, I think i'll just keep my eyes peeled for a cheap one in good condition. here in the UK it seems like some are going for well under £200 which seems like a fantastic deal.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/ipg-800 ... 79981?mt=8 this is also a neat looking solution to free up the laptop while recording i guess

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:31 am
by nathanscribe
The JX-3p is really easy to program without the PG-200 controller. It's less tweakable while playing without one, but given that changing a parameter is a button push and a slider wiggle, it's not that bad. Depends how you want to use it.

If you're looking for something tweakable, don't bother with the Matrix 6. Pain in the cheeks. Sounds great, but making patches on it is like writing a novel on a calculator. And it doesn't like sysex much, so real time changes from controllers are troublesome.

Other stuff that comes to mind include the Korg Poly-61 (never tried one, mind), Crumar Bit 99 (apart from the pokey buttonpushing, they're capable of some interesting stuff, and having velocity control over PW is nice - I liked the keyboard too), and if you decide you don't *really* need analogue but still fancy something synthy, how about a Casio CZ? Or if you fancy some digital waves and analogue filters, the DW-8000 is a lovely bit of kit. Still regret selling mine, though it never really sat with my other kit. Matter of taste.

Don't overlook VA stuff either, there are some decent models around for not much. Nord, Novation, etc.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:12 am
by commodorejohn
The DW-8000 is all kinds of great, but its ability to stand in for J. Random Analog Polysynth is a bit limited, simply because the "analog" samples (saw and square-equivalent) are lacking a noticeable portion of the high end of their equivalents on a full analog.

Re: Last remaining good value analogue poly synths?

Posted: Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:30 am
by synthparts
The Chroma Polaris and Prophet-600 are still the best deals in analog poly synths.