Synth Site: Moog: Polymoog Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 2.9 out of 5
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Glen Stegner a professional user from USA writes:
I have always been curious as a fan of drummer Bill Bruford's late 70s fusion albums, what synth Dave Stewart used to play to get those phatt brass stabs and pads. I always thought either a CS-80 or a rev1 Prophet 5. But the first Bruford album came out in '77 so it couldn't have been a Prophet. So I figured a CS-80 just like Eddie Jobson used with Bruford in the band UK around the same time.

But after pulling out the cover to 'Feels Good To Me' ('77) I read the credits only to discover it was a Polymoog!! I always thought from the reviews that this was a very weedy-sounding synth, but I guess it was capable of some very inspiring sounds. On most of these Bruford albums Stewart probably used the Brass preset with a little tweaking, and therefore probably had the filter wide open. Apparently, the instrument was fully polyphonic in its Preset and Direct modes, but if you attempted to program your own patches, the single programmable filter meant that the synth couldn't shape the frequency characteristics of any new notes if previous notes were still depressed. As a result, the Polymoog often sounded more like enhanced string ensembles such as the Korg PE1000 and ARP Omni than like later generations of polysynths (those last couple of sentences quoted directly from the SOS article).

But anyway, that's not a bad sound on those old Bruford albums for a supposed weedy synth with octave-divide technology. Made me think it was a Prophet or CS-80 for the longest time.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-19-2004 at 15:41
Marathon Man a hobbyist user from Bradford UK writes:
I have both the Polymoog synth and Polymoog keyboard. I am happy with them. All old synth's breakdown if they're not looked after. They're fine left alone, rather than being chucked around on tour. They may not be a top end synth, but they have plenty of character, pretty heavy aswell. If you're 6 footer like me you can just about carry one under the arm. They look better in the flesh compared to modern keyboards. They produce eerie strings which I associate with them. The professional user responding to Carlos's enjoyment by slagging him off for enjoying his Polymoog is quite sad. By the way, I am a 2h 20min marathon runner who probably is the only Polymoog owner who is not a fat middle-age man. Don't you just love these know it all pro's, eh Carlos. As long as you enjoy playing the Polymoog who cares. Right I'm going to organise a 'Moog showdown' at my local music store. It gonna be a good laugh. Seriously, Okay the presets limit the keyboard, but it's worth having for time saving and Vox Humana. The synth version has six preset's less, but you can create your own sound with the spare preset. Great dark droning sounds on both versions.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-08-2003 at 17:43
Carlos a part-time user from Canada writes:
About Zen's comments on the use of my "broken-down" Polymoog instead of the Korg 01/W, I have some news for him: The Korg is long gone, without any tears. I have immersed myself into getting to know the Polymoog and I find it extremely satisfying, even while not fully repaired yet. I have found the core of the strings sound, and it's amazing. I've already done a recording with the machine and it comes out with more presence and fidelity than the "multisound" imitations of the 01/W. Some friends and I put together a "Moog Showdown" at a local music store. Available were an LMC Mini, Musonics Mini, Voyager, Taurus II and this Polymoog. Everybody was impressed with the Poly's sound and it changed their former "thin sound" opinion. So Zen, get yourself a Polymoog, buddy.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-May-23-2003 at 18:50
Carlos a part-time user from Canada writes:
I just got my Polymoog, s/n 3174. To sum in a few words: Goodbye Korg 01/W pro, welcome home Polymoog!!

Mine does need repairs, but even with all its problems this beautiful instrument sounds REAL and GREAT.

Whoever said that this instrument is "worthless junk", "too thin", "not a Minimoog", why everybody always wants a Mini out of any Moog instrument??

The Polymoog is definitely NOT a Mini. However I compared it with a Mini at two oscillators and the Poly has that subharmonic bass that the Mini is credited for. The Polymoog was made to be played as ensemble; the filter is true Moog and it sounds great even with its positioning (after the VCA).

This Polymoog has so many routings that it's possible to run it in quad (probably this was its original intention). You can access the Moog filter directly from a port at rear. The Polymoog can drive a Minimoog easily and when played polyphonically the last note gets tracked down from the mono synth. Goodbye Midi, hello again CV gates!

The strings sound so far a bit accordionish, but I have to take into consideration that mine needs some repairs (the low pass filter is causing static). However I tried it out on the Band Pass Filter position, added all VARs for preset 1 (strings), balanced the keyboard, added a bit of VCF (the Polymoog has 5 different master volume controls) and added a TC Electronic SFC Chorus... The result: The sweetest strings I've ever heard!!

Which means that this big baby may need some external fx processing... but looking into perspective, all the current plastic digital keyboard junk comes with built-in effects that attempt to "fatten up" the thinny-weeny (indeed!) original sounds??? The Polymoog has REAL ANALOG oscillators, and adding a good external chorus really makes a beauty that sounds crystal clear and with real sound presence.

The keys of this instrument seem to me of the highest quality, nice touch and semi-weighted, which makes it a pleasure to play. Compared to the Mini I use, this Polymoog has a much better keyboard.

The sample & hold included is really awesome. If you want to play the s&h intro to Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression Part II, this is the instrument to nail it down while you scream "Welcome Back My Friends..."

In sum: I find my Polymoog really rewarding. I'm not planning to tour with it so it'll be babied at the home studio, and restored to specs.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-14-2002 at 03:55
LEE SIMEONE a hobbyist user from England writes:
This was giving to me after I put a wanted add in a music magazine for polymoog. When I got it i was amazed as it was in perfect working order and looked like new. I know alot of you have said that its not reliable but i must say that it has never let me down. Its beautiful and sounds are amazing great if u like making your own sounds and also worth getting is a flight case with wheels! its 85 pounds in weight!, its a very important machine ignore what the guy said about it being worthless junk in the late 70's, it was then that Gary Numan got famous and it was all down to the polymoog sound!. Ask Gary himself about them..

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Oct-08-2002 at 01:11
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