calaverasgrande wrote:it has been brought up in other threads, but I think it bears repeating. The old saw that it is 'just too expensive does not really hold true anymore. that may be the case if you expect a fully recallable digitally controlled analog poly. But lets look at some similar musical gear. I'd posit that the mixing consoles of the 80's and 90's were also gigantic outlays of cash for many musicians at the time. The reason they were so expensive was that each channel is on it's own PCB. With discrete components such as individual transistors, inductors and capacitors. Even the ones with opamps had discrete op amps (API 2520 and Yamaha's rip offs).
All of the boards are connected by ribbon cables that terminate at a master module with routing and metering.
That whole menagerie of boards and buss cables was usually encased in a wood and metal enclosure that weighed quite a bit on its own.
Ther result was often huge sounding, but expensive and heavy.
In the last 30 years manufacturers like Allen & Heath, Mackie etc have reduced this to SMT components on a single PCB, mounted in a simple monocoque chassis with little to no extraneous material to add weight or cost. So instead of a purchase so large it requires financing. Today you can buy a 16 channel mixer with a portion of one paycheck.
Ditto for poly analog. Even if they only use chips for audio amps and power supply, they can still save a lot in cost, manufacturing and size with SMT. The single PCB approach does make repair more difficult. But it really cuts the price down. Not just because there are less boards. But also because card edge connectors, and methods to secure cards in a frame add a lot to the cost.
And then there is the control side of it. I really have a hard time considering this to be the huge cost it is made out to be. There are many examples of arduino based projects that are spun up by individuals, on their own, in spare time that are doing as much or more than you could expect a polysynth microprocessor to do.
Especially if all you expect is keyscanning and midi it should be almost off the shelf.
Frankly I think it is just a matter of time.
But even the microkorg costs 400 to 570 us dollars (depending on where you live)
A hunk of nineties technology in a flimsy case with Surface Mount components?
How are we going to get this magic cheap poly synth?
I reckon the best way of looking at this is to look at DSI. Look at the mopho, vs its companions the Mopho X 4 and the Prophet 08. If a base station costs me say 500 bucks then the 4 voice version will probably cost a 1100 bucks and the 8 voice version will cost 1600 or something...
That is if there is even a demand for a 4 + polysynth. Think about the target demographic for MS-20 etc. A great deal of them aren't keyboardists, which means they haven't got a need for anything other then chords/leads...