King Of The Mono Synths 2013 - RESULT

Your votes have been counted      04/12/13
King Of The Mono Synths 2013 - RESULT


We've a number of polls running for our Gear of the Year roundup, but this one is a bit special, as we titled it - King of the Mono Synths and now the vote has been closed, the numbers totted up we have the results as voted by you:

We've been blessed with a bumper year  - Arturia MicroBrute, a couple from Korg with Volca Bass and MS20 Mini, Novation Bass Station 2, the Moog Sub Phatty and others.

If you thought there was a clear winner, think again, the vote was incredibly tight for the top Monosynth of 2013. We'd like to thank all of you who took the time to vote and comment, and of course the boys and girls who work hard to make this stuff for us to play with.

We're going to give you the top three - so lets get to it.

Third Place:

Korg MS20 Mini

A bold move by Korg to re-release a synth thirty years old. The design challenges faced to source components and figure out how to re-manufacture something pure analogue must have been considerable. The result has been praised by many with an extremely close facsimile.

We reviewed the MS20 Mini as soon as it became available:

"nothing sounds like an MS20 apart from this and the original."




More From: GEAR OF THE YEAR 2013
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23 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
Benedict Johnson    Said...

I love count-down reveal :)

But a few surprises to be had!

Certainly wasn't expecting a certain Arturia synth to garner such high regard by the Sonic Community. Perhaps this particular piece is due for reassessment..

04-Dec-13 05:49 PM


pocari sweat    Said...

Interesting results. The microbrute deserves to win, but the sub phatty and the bass station 2 should have been swapped over for real world usefulness and freshness. the moog name obviously carries a lot of weight, even if theres so much goin on under the hood that you need to get in with button combos to really get to the engine room.

04-Dec-13 06:31 PM


Todd Stanton    Said...

Sweet....I bought a winner. The microbrute is so much fun!

04-Dec-13 06:42 PM


E03    Said...

The Micro-brute is AMAZING!! The way it bridges the gap between midi, usb & cv is just a dream.

Controlling and sending cv to other analog / digital kit and the ability to use parts of a modular through the units filter is so experimental, can see a lot of use for creativity. I've even had a 303 control and track the Micro, but unable to record this into the onboard sequencer, only control from the MC-4 output.

Couple of gripes - seems like the top section is not digitally controllable, only from cv. If u have a digital cv recorder of some sort, or a midi to cv converter, this is the only way to automate - apart from cutoff from m-wheel. The next level down tho i think is midi linked (Env, Lfo, & seq)!!. Recording seq changes & clocked mods is so much fun:)

Also seems like the firmware doesn't allow midi file transfer at the moment, or i could be doing something wrong, will try again soon.

The audio-in is to die for and the inclusion of midi din in was god-send. This locks to anything and devisions of midi-clock can be sent out of the cv & Lfo to other synths.

For the price and feature list of this thing i'm not surprised it won. Poly wise its a race between the DSI P12 and the Elektron Analogkeys - look forward to those results.

04-Dec-13 07:53 PM


Ned Bouhalassa    Said...

Too bad the Pulse 2 was left out. Amazing synth.

05-Dec-13 10:07 AM


SUBTRACTIVE NOBODY    Said...

Hazzah! The microBrute is so freaking cool. The first time I saw it, I was a bit saddened by the little keys. But then getting to know a bit more about it, there is nothing that I could care less about. There is no doubt- This is the monosynth King of twenty-thirteen! Salut Frederic Brun et famille Arturia!

05-Dec-13 10:56 AM


Nick B    Said...

Pulse 2 was not left out, it just didn't get enough votes... I am in the process of reviewing it and I can agree, it is a great synth

05-Dec-13 11:49 AM


GTRman    Said...

Small keys for brainless children, your typical Sonic State audience. Arturia surely did not win for there service. "buy at your own risk". Who in their right mind today would purchase a single OSC analog synth with child size keys. Sorry for the satire but I just do not get it. Arturia really knows how to suck them in. Congratulations.

05-Dec-13 12:36 PM


Brainless Child    Said...

I have had particularly good interaction with Arturia's customer service. MicroBrute Wins!

05-Dec-13 07:37 PM


Randolph Knackstedt    Said...

It's a sin the Boomstar's didn't make the top 4, especially since the Bassstation did. WTF?

05-Dec-13 10:19 PM


Dr.Filterstein    Said...

i'm sure most of the idiots who vote for Microbrute never played it or they want only cheap toys.i play it at a music store and wasn't impressed.The filter is the worst Filter of all synths on the market.the difference between Microbrute-filter und Steinparker-filter is like night and day.only 1 lfo and adsr is not enough and there are some issues and bugs.At the end of the day this toy is too expensive for a simple toy. Bassstation II is the real winner.

06-Dec-13 01:12 PM


Another Brainless Childless    Said...

@GTRman Never mind friend. At least youvhave your megahits and world renowned synth reviewing prowess to fall back on. Don't you?

PS Microbrute really is a great little synth for the price!

06-Dec-13 05:10 PM


blox electrix    Said...

So what started out as a nice vote topic is turned into a bickering round again & who is it that is provoking ? Yup, the two guys who always do. To call people idiots just shows your own stupidity. Honestly, i fail to see how the microbrute won this though when there was a buchla in the room ! It shows nievety from people because the arturia synth hasn't been here long enough for a full judgement to be made. I disagree with the findings of this vote & maybe it should be renamed 'King of the budget analogue monosynths' I cant afford the buchla either but i do see it is far superior to any of the others in the list, hands down. if i had the cash it would be the buchla in my room but since i don't have it, the microbrute it is then & i'll be happy with it too because at £250 it offers loads of cool features. I will wait though until arturia sort out any bugs because their track record is very poor where customer service is concerned.Remember the Minibrute arriving with loose bits rattling around inside & instead of offering a replacement they showed users how to glue it back together ! Yeah, wit & see first.

07-Dec-13 07:29 AM


Kingofsynth    Said...

Bang for the buck winner, Bass Station II. Quality winner, Sub Phatty. But Micro Brute, give me a break. One Osc. , small keys, horrible service and quality. Not in my book.

08-Dec-13 02:28 PM


H33    Said...

What was the top 15 from this contest?

09-Dec-13 05:05 AM


Elliott Hampton    Said...

for all of my fellow hobbyists out there this is a great year for us! MS20! Mini & micro brute ! KORG VOLCA !!! Maybe all of the sourgrapes pros out there need to rediscover the affordable joys available in this Newage of analog synths

09-Dec-13 11:56 AM


DingDong    Said...

Hey Elliott, when you become a successful musician and one of these cheap China crap boxes goes bad on you when your on stage you will see how great they can really be. These are built like toys for bedroom musicians to play with & when it come to serious work they will not hold up. You get what you pay for here. Save your money (do people remember how to do that) and buy yourself a good quality made instrument that will last you 20+ years. You will be a winner in the long run.

10-Dec-13 07:58 AM


selercs    Said...

In terms of sound, ease of use and useful features, Microbrute wins. For sound actually, I like the Korg MS-20 a bit better (not by a whole lot). MS20's patch capability is amazing...however the engineers should have designed some sort of internal memory for it with virtual microprocessor controlled patching instead of the old cabling...OR have a 'patchguide' interface that can allow you to store screen maps of patch chord points and source and destinations that the musician can manually fill on the real patch bay every time.

Anyways, the 3 winners are all good and I am glad!

10-Dec-13 09:24 AM


champ    Said...

Voting with your wallet shouldn't have counted.

The Microbrute sound is just awful cheap imo. Sure it has a mini patch bay but is it about the sound and build quality or just the amount of features and cheap prices? The MS20 is also build to be cheap and should for that reason alone be downgraded.

From all the mono synths that came out this year the Moog Sub Phatty clearly is the winner. Even the Novation Bass station 2 blows Korg out of the game compared in build and sound quality and such a great synth to play with.

Anyway thats just my opinion. Go get whatever you prefer. :)

11-Dec-13 10:55 AM


Matthew Tanner    Said...

Love the way mono synths get people so worked up. Good on you everyone for your heated opinions! (I am not being sarcastic).

14-Dec-13 12:51 AM


I'm not Jimmy Savile    Said...

Minibrute is a worthy winner, I think the Bass Station is under rated though as was the first. I have the Sub Phatty too but I think I'm going to buy a second Bass Station because it is the most versatile out of the lot imho, and it sounds great. I guess it depands what kind of music you make. If it is contemp dance music then it has to be the Bass Station and the Pulse. I love the Moog and it is a solid synth and does some crazy basses that need hardly any processing, but the Pulse sounds more contemp and the bass station does some amazing leads as well. You can't go wrong with any of them, although I tried out the MS20 and it was too noisey for me, some ppl like it that way, but not for me.

14-Dec-13 04:22 PM


dont believe the hype    Said...

Arturia sucks.your toy synth sucks.should have come last .must have had behind the scenes sex with the judge lol

14-Dec-13 10:18 PM


Marc the Darc    Said...

I find this result endlessly amusing considering the amount of MS-20-fanboys that started flaming me, when i said on the MicroBrute video that it would quite possibly be the most important synth of 2013. At that point i wasn't even bashing the MS-20 for its complete lack of quality.

But flamewars aside, there's no synth anywhere near this pricebracket that can claim to not awake some manner of distaste in some1. I in particular loathe minikeys. But if you look closely at all the MicroBrutes competition price/item wise, you should soon realise that despite the minikeys, everything else has even greater shortcomings. And nothing comes close in sound or features before nearing double the price.

Now a lot of new synths in 2013 have done something important for end-users, none-the-least Korg (though my loathing for their lack of built- and sound quality is even greater than that for minikeys) have gone far to show the world the virtues of reviving old technology and packaging some of that in useful toy-form at low cost. And for the rest i thank the heavens that there's no built in speaker in the MS-20 mini!

All this adds up to the MicroBrute being the diamond at the top of the pyramid, that'll bring us ever better and cheaper analogue gear. Think closely at what other analogue gear you can get for a MicroBrutes price now? Come back in a year and see what the same money will buy you then. And then thank the new cheap synths of 2013, starting with MicroBrute.

19-Jan-14 06:55 PM


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