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5 of the best synths to buy in 2020

The synthesizer boom hits overdrive once again with big hitters from Korg, Sequential, Moog and a new upstart in the field

  • Gavin Herlihy
  • 23 March 2020

1
Korg ARP 2600 FS

This reissue includes both filters from the original’s various revisions, a new arpegiattor and sequencer and midi/USB connectivity, neither of which were invented in 1971. Does it sound like the original? Wrong question. Is it a more stable device with modern touches? Definitely.

£3,300, www.korg.com

2
Sequential Pro3

Dave Smith updates his ‘Pro’ series with another paraphonic synth on steroids. It has two VCOs and a Wavetable oscillator with 32 sets of 16 wavetables, three filters, extensive LFOs and sequencing capabilities. It may look intimidating in fact it’s the most intuitive modern Dave Smith synth yet.

£1,459/£1,960,sequential.com

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3
ASM Hydrasynth

The Hydrasynth has a knack for futuristic sounds and is riding the crest of the wavetable revival trend due to its attractive price-point, ease of use and breadth of wavetable capabilities. The new desktop version has a keypad that functions as a keyboard.

£799, www.ashunsoundmachines.com

Korg Wavestate
4

A compact update to the classic Wavestation with 1000+ times the capacity. If you want real-world sounds like brass or strings made via subtractive synthesis on hardware kit, this is it. Good for preset hunters who like to tweak, it has parameter lock-style sequencing for deep, evolving sequences.

£644, www.korg.com

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5
Moog Subsequent 25

For many, the Sub Phatty was an entry point into Moog’s world. Now the company has updated it with the Subsequent 25, a small, budget Moog with two-note paraphony and an updated sound engine. The most vital knobs are on the top deck so you’ll need its software to access the deeper functions.

£812, www.moogmusic.com

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