Relatively inexpensive hardware poly?

Hi y’all.
I’m looking at adding a poly to my setup, while keeping it cheap. Have been considering the Minilogue for a long time after using it in a friend’s studio and loving the ease and fun factor… but having owned the Monologue for a while now, I’m starting to feel that the tone on that thing is a bit… aggressive… for my style of music… wondering if the Minilogue would be the way to go then, considering that.

I’ve been working mostly with Absynth 5 and loving it. Sure some of it sounds TOO glossy and overdone, but there’s a lot of power in that thing and I get the lush, deep and warm pads/chords/strings I want. Love the randomization too, actually. I know there’s no cheap replacement for that, but I’m only mentioning it as it may give an idea as to what tonal qualities I’m into. i love the potential for weirdness it offers. I’ve got a couple of pedals so effects aren’t a big concern, but wondering what people could recommend. Maybe the Volca FM, maybe one of the boutique Roland tings, maybe Reface DX, maybe some boutique indie thing i’ve never heard of? i’ve heard nice stuff out of the volca on youtube demos and all, but not sure it’s more than a couple-trick pony and only shines with loads of pedal fx behind it. For a bit over €100 can’t really beat it i guess…

anyway, caffeine-fueled rambles over… all thoughts welcome. :slight_smile: i guess some might say if it ain’t broke why fix it (re absynth) but i’m trying to create otb just for fun and the challenge, as i’ve been itb for most of my career.

thanks in advance :slight_smile:

If you can live with the matrix style editing and slippery knobs I’d say that a Waldorf Blofeld gives most bang for the buck. I recently saw one go second hand for as low as 160€, but usually they’re more like 250-300€. For that price you get a synth that’s capable of very cold and bright digital sounds but also emulates warm vintagey analog style sounds very well. Can’t go wrong with a Blofeld.


ah yeah good call. i know some die-hard fans of it. will look into that as an option! :slight_smile:

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Reface CS
Nord lead 2 (very cheap on ebay)
Deepmind 6


didn’t even think to consider the nord. thanks! Kinda leaning to the JU-06 though. thanks so much!



Alpha Juno, all sweet spot. :wink:


I would suggest to clarify, which sound character you need in the first place.

As a rule of thumb most affordable poly-synths are definitely less versatile compared to equally priced mono-synths. All the more it’s important that the synth just does what you expect out of the box. To start from Absynth and then look to hardware is very challenging. Even a complex digital synth like the Virus TI2 wouldn’t be a match for many sound creation options of the Absynth.

Now, what do you need? Warm pad sounds, crispy Waldorf wavetable sounds, clean FM-like sounds, analogue-but-dirty sounds?

As others already pointed out … the Blofeld could be a very versatile instrument for small budget. But I wouldn’t recommend to expect true Prophet, OB-X, Jupiter 8, or Juno 106 sounds … :wink:

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good shout… somewhere between warm pads, clean fm… with enough tweakability to get utter weirdness out of it if i want to just hit record in the DAW and slice n dice stuff later. :slight_smile:

above reply was for you… upon listening to some demos here i’m thinking the boutique little juno might be the quick fix (and something i should prob just have anyway) :slight_smile:

The Blofeld could be a good choice over the ACB synths from Roland, if tweakability is important, which I would translate as versatile sound design options. But it could also be understood as beeing as easy as possible to work with, by having an one knob per function interface. Then the Blofeld wouldn’t be my first choice :wink:

Just check out the specs for Blofeld: … 3 OSC, 2 filters, 4 envelopes, 3 LFOs. Warm pads from the Blofeld are no problem and there are some clean FM sound options too, not like on DX-7 like instruments, but very versatile, because all wavetables and modulation sources can be put to work.


alright i’ll look into testing the blofeld. thanks for your time :slight_smile: all good thoughts/points/tips to consider!

Inexpensive is :wink: relative?


yeah far out of my range at the moment :slight_smile:
that’s almost the cost of releasing my next record… eventually have to spend money on that to validate the purchases with knobs on em :wink:

p6 (the 1st device from the same company that make micromonsta).
blofeld (multitimbral too)
nord 2x
ipad/iphone with 100’s of apps
sh01a / ju-06 / other boutiques.
rm1x groove box , quite cheap and has a good sequencer.
jv 1080 module , lots and lots of older digital romplers/modules.
lots of options

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thanks! i think i’ve got it down to JU-06 but gonna play with the Nord 2/2x and Blofeld first. that micromonsta sounds lovely though… not so into the interface but hmmmmmm.

thanks y’all! very much appreciated. i know it’s a rather broad question, but this was a huge help.

I’ve got one for sale on this forum! Check it out :wink:

Having owned a Blofeld/Microq and still rock the others, my opinion here is:
The JU06 is nice, but compared to a Nord Rack 2 or Blofeld… well unless you want that specific limited sound palette, would definitely choose the Nord 1st, and Blofeld 2nd. For the same price as a JU06, you could possibly pick up a Virus A / B rack, which would be up there with the Nord.

Also depends on what kind of sounds you want though.
For weirdness, the Blofeld
For multiple outs, multitimbral and chords, plucks etc, Nord.
For simple vintagey tones and nice bass, the JU06.
For all rounder, Virus.

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If 4-note poly is enough, the System-1 / 1m is really effective and for about the same price as one of the 4-note-poly Boutiques you’ll get a wider range of sounds (the oscillators have quite a lot of possible waveforms, including FM options now) and a built-in delay and reverb.


There comes the System-8 to my mind. After the recent update of the firmware this is a very interesting machine, combining vintage virtual analogue sound with quite some options to go weird and cracy. Maybe second hand is in your price range?