Best Polysynth of 2013 Vote - RESULTS

Our readers have spoken      13/12/13
Best Polysynth of 2013 Vote - RESULTS


A good year for synths all around (see our MonoSynths vote result), we've had a number of polys this year. from the flagship Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 12 to the humble Korg Volca Keys.

The vote was not as keenly contended as the Monosynth vote, with a clear winner as you'll see. 
Here's the top three rundown.

Third Place:

NordLead 4

Introduced at Musikmesse this year, its a continuation of the NordLead legacy which started back in 1995 when it was a new kind of VA with the trademark wood and pebble pitch and mod wheels. With the NordLead 4, there's a new sound engine, new filter types and True Voice Unison. Nord's distinctive livery and sound makes it a popular choice for live performers the world over. Available as a rack version too.

15.98% of the vote

£1549/$2299




More From: GEAR OF THE YEAR 2013
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18 Comments...  Post a comment    original story
OnImpulse    Said...

You should review the Prophet 12, if possible. ;-)

13-Dec-13 05:23 PM


champ    Said...

Hmm. Wouldn't have been my top 3. For me personally the p12 didn't do me much after watching some demo's. Maybe if it were fully analog but than again maybe not. I like the lead 4 (probably getting a rack version when the prizes have come down a bit) To bad the Analog Keys didn't get as much votes but I guess since nobody has one its hard to judge. That synth looks like it has all the cool stuff and some more. Plus if the theater vid was real then boy ow boy what a sound. Blew me away. :)

14-Dec-13 04:49 AM


Scott Wozniak    Said...

It's hard to get a feel for a synth by watching other people play it on YouTube. Get to a store and try it for yourself. Also, you say maybe you'd like the Prophet 12 "if it were fully analog" but then say you like the Nord which is fully digital. Makes no sense. The Prophet 12 is a monster and fully deserving of its top spot.

14-Dec-13 09:01 AM


Guatr    Said...

Recently I had the opportunity to play a P12 above a King Korg, and at least to my ears and trying to eliminate any pro-analog bias, the KingKorg sounds more pleasing. There is something about DSI new stuff that just sounds rough, I like the creamier sound that some digital synths have. That said, I just say the video and audio for the second place, sounds quite good!

14-Dec-13 01:32 PM


eXode    Said...

Here are two really nice demos of the Prophet 12 (to my taste at least):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wvzRCFI4kg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEd7DWb1tEI

14-Dec-13 02:32 PM


Peter K.    Said...

I definitely plan on getting a P12 in the new year. For the analog lovers out there, don't discount the awesome combination of a Mopho X4 paired with a Tetra. It's a really great little package.

14-Dec-13 04:45 PM


Peter K.    Said...

Wow, eXode, really nice demos. Thanks for posting the links.

14-Dec-13 05:06 PM


Dr.Filterstein    Said...

The curtis-filter in prophet 12 didn't impress me. The bass disappears if you turned up the resonance. King Korg sounds very nice. I wish Korg would release a smaller version with 49 keys and without the tube under 800 euro.

14-Dec-13 06:24 PM


Raul    Said...

I love my Prophet 12.. it is unique in its sound. the modulation possibilities are awesome. after I was considering for a long time what to get first I ordered the p12. but I'm also looking forward to get a full analog synth in addition to this beautiful instrument.

14-Dec-13 11:47 PM


eXode    Said...

@ Dr.Filterstein: It's normal behavior for most 4-pole low pass filters. The Moog ladder does it, the diode ladder does it, cascaded OTA does it, all by design. Some incorporate a gain compensation stage to prevent it but my point is that curtis is hardly the only one.

15-Dec-13 03:37 AM


Peter K.    Said...

The only filter I can think of that does not do that is the digital filter in the Kawai K5000, and the Nord Modular G2 has an option to disable gain compensation as well. However, with the Kawai, it's REALLY easy to blow up your speakers or your ears b/c of that exact characteristic.

BTW, I'm not referring to its excellent Formant Filter, I mean the standard DCF.

15-Dec-13 12:16 PM


E03    Said...

I love the sound of the Prophet, that slightly crunchy analog fatness but in a good way sound, with quality modern components is just a wonder to play. Digital osc's on this synth are not a problem if they sound this good & for complexity within sound shaping are an awesome feature.

I wonder how cool the module will be compared, better price for a start but same engine - nice:).

I think though that the Elektron Analogkeys might be just as good if not better but in a different way, more programmy - perfect for EDM, as imo the P12 is more of an ambient spacey machine.

Both excellent choices for poly synths.

16-Dec-13 06:17 AM


GTRman    Said...

It is about time a quality American made, great sounding synth won something at Sonicstate. I was starting to think Sonicstate was all about crappy, cheap China made toys. Congratulations Dave, you deserve it. I love my Prophet 08 and I am saving up to upgrade to the 12.

16-Dec-13 07:56 AM


Clamidia    Said...

Nord are really expensive synths.Will they ever fetch out a cheaper rack. There is a market for budget synths. I don't think there sound is anything special, but they are well specified audio wise. Synths are synths and the difference becomes microspic, but there design is good ,but v expensive.

19-Dec-13 04:06 PM


wobulator    Said...

prophet 12 was an error , cant be a success , DSP oscillators are definitely not analogic ... why crown this sh..t ???

20-Dec-13 07:31 AM


Bjarne    Said...

Congrats to Olivier at Mutable Instruments - the Ambika is truly awesome!

21-Dec-13 05:44 AM


RyanA4    Said...

Congrats to MI and Olivier.

I'm amazed by my Ambika every time I turn it on. It produces some of the best sounding and the most USABLE patches on any modern poly synth.

Also a P12 owner and to all those unimpressed with the awful demos (or with what you heard on Gearslutz about the filters and are repeating here): just sit down and make your own patch. One time. In about 5 minutes you'll realize that a deeper and more powerful flagship synth has never been so simple and intuitive.

It had the soul of a Prophet VS with the muscle of the Prophets that came before it- while existing all unto itself and being totally unique.

21-Dec-13 07:04 AM


selercs    Said...

sound leaves me wanting more. Sounds like a digital synth routed to an analog filterbox (which is what this is).

I miss the FAT and crunchy sound of the Prophet 08, Tetra and the Mopho X4.

26-Jan-14 02:23 PM


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