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Best String Synth in 2019? Or go for the vintage real deal?
Old 3rd May 2019
  #1
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Quantum7's Avatar
Best String Synth in 2019? Or go for the vintage real deal?

I have some future tracks that I really would love to have that vintage string synth sound on, and am wondering what others here may choose to look at for string synth duties. I get tempted to spend a hefty sum of money and take the plunge for an ARP Quadra or the like, but still get nervous about buying ancient gear. Arturia's software offering of the Solina sounds fantastic, but I really want to go the hardware route. The only new synth I can think of would be Waldorf's Streichfett, but am still not quite sure it would give me that authentic vintage string sound I'm after. I would appreciate any thoughts you all may have on the matter. Thanks!
Old 3rd May 2019
  #2
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String synths will be back. No doubt. It's about time!

None of them have been available for nearly 40 years (!)

IMHO, no VST come close. So far the best one might be the Arturia V, but soon we'll be getting not only Behringer's but other companies as well, who'll surely dust off their golden synths

Roland: RS 202 and 505, RS 09
Korg: Trident, Delta, PE 1000 & PE 2000
Crumar: Multiman S (Orchestrator)
Yamaha: SK30

And there're a lot of classic ones that were from companies no longer active, like

Arp Solina, Eminent, Elka Rhapsody, Logan String Melody, Siel Cruise, Farfisa Synthorchestra, etc

You can't go wrong with any of them, and a good phaser and delay of your taste

Old 3rd May 2019
  #3
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The only modern divide-down stringer is the Behringer VC340. The only factory midi divide-down stringer is the VC340. The other new stringers on the market are digital recreations-- the Streichfett and the VP-03.

I've got a VC340 on order.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #4
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William Salmela has a recent video comparing a bunch of vintage string synths (and a Streichfett):



See which one you like the sound of best.

Personal favourite: the Korg Trident Mk I.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #5
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hmmm yummy

the question may be 5 years too early .. as written above there are no new except the VP, in the vintage it is relatively clear what is good (including matter of taste)
and VST is more of an eye .. great looking gui ..
Streichfett is a bread spread .. vegan ..


Old 3rd May 2019
  #6
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC3 View Post
William Salmela has a recent video comparing a bunch of vintage string synths (and a Streichfett):



See which one you like the sound of best.

Personal favourite: the Korg Trident Mk I.
Great video! The Solina and the Trident are my favs. I wonder how dependable an old Solina would be these days.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #7
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Are there any hardware chorus units available that mimic the chorus on the Solina?
Old 3rd May 2019
  #8
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I've owned a Solina, Crumar Multiman, Crumar Performer, Logan String Melody and Roland RS-09. I'd rank those in that order (person preference). If buying new no question I'd go for the VC340 or wait for the Solina rerelease (2 years away I'd imagine though). If buying used, the Crumars sound great and aren't usually expensive. Problem being A LOT out there are broken or need maintenance. The Waldorf doesn't sound "real" enough for me, but it's not bad. In software, this is still the most convincing to me: https://www.gforcesoftware.com/products/vsm
Old 3rd May 2019
  #9
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breakmixer's Avatar
 

found this...
Old 3rd May 2019
  #10
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by donato View Post
I've owned a Solina, Crumar Multiman, Crumar Performer, Logan String Melody and Roland RS-09. I'd rank those in that order (person preference). If buying new no question I'd go for the VC340 or wait for the Solina rerelease (2 years away I'd imagine though). If buying used, the Crumars sound great and aren't usually expensive. Problem being A LOT out there are broken or need maintenance. The Waldorf doesn't sound "real" enough for me, but it's not bad. In software, this is still the most convincing to me: https://www.gforcesoftware.com/products/vsm
I had planned on eventually getting the upcoming VC340, but too my ears it is more of a vocoder than a string machine, but I guess I'll have to wait until there are more string machine specific demos for it. A new Solina re-release? I sure hope that happens.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #11
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I had a Streichfett, didn't like it at all. Thin and harsh sounding (Waldorf sound... it's an acquired taste, but not mine).
There's talk of Behringer cloning the Solina, which would be an instant buy for me.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaroff View Post
I had a Streichfett, didn't like it at all. Thin and harsh sounding (Waldorf sound... it's an acquired taste, but not mine).
There's talk of Behringer cloning the Solina, which would be an instant buy for me.
Same here

Never liked the Streichfett
I'd buy the Behringer Solina in a heartbeat!

Old 3rd May 2019
  #13
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draig's Avatar
 

I have a pre-order in for the VC-340, but have not touched one in person yet
Old 3rd May 2019
  #14
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Quantum7's Avatar
The prices on Solinas are not too insane, but most are just in horrible cosmetic shape. I still do not understand how people treat expensive equipment like ****. My uncle has 3 synths that are over 30 years old in his studio currently, and they all look brand new. He even toured a few years with 2 of them. Anyway, the Solina doesn't have MIDI, and I'm spoiled and absolutely NEED my MIDI!!!
Old 3rd May 2019
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
Are there any hardware chorus units available that mimic the chorus on the Solina?
If you can find an Elkorus that’s what you want.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gringo Starr View Post
If you can find an Elkorus that’s what you want.
Checked some out on YT and they sound pretty good....of course ZERO available on Evil-bay or Reverb.com. D'oh!
Old 3rd May 2019
  #17
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Quantum7's Avatar
Cool video
Old 3rd May 2019
  #18
vlz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanC3 View Post
William Salmela has a recent video comparing a bunch of vintage string synths (and a Streichfett):



See which one you like the sound of best.

Personal favourite: the Korg Trident Mk I.
Absolutely! The Trident sounds absolutely fantastic. The 505 is also a wonder.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #19
vlz
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Check out this review
Old 3rd May 2019
  #20
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plasmasynth's Avatar
Y'all need to stop buying up strings synths so I can get a full collection.

Buy the VC340 and Arturia's collection and leave the rest of the hardware to me
Old 3rd May 2019
  #21
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SoundReverend's Avatar
Omnisphere? Has some nice string sounds...
Old 3rd May 2019
  #22
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look that you get a logan, not so hyped .. the problem is no matter whether eminent solina or logan stringmelody .. those were European products .. possibly less often in the States
the rs09 is reasonably affordable .. but if you are reasonable then just wait for the vc340 ..
Old 3rd May 2019
  #23
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donato's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
Checked some out on YT and they sound pretty good....of course ZERO available on Evil-bay or Reverb.com. D'oh!
They never come available.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #24
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Quantum7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by donato View Post
They never come available.
I found a Solina for a very reasonable price, but it is all beat-to-heck. I wonder how difficult it would be to cosmetically restore one to nice condition. MIDI retrofit costs about $400 plus having it installed.

Korg Trident would be my second pick, but they are even more money....of course you get a whole lot more. I'm guessing MIDI would be around $400 for the Trident also.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I found a Solina for a very reasonable price, but it is all beat-to-heck. I wonder how difficult it would be to cosmetically restore one to nice condition. MIDI retrofit costs about $400 plus having it installed.

Korg Trident would be my second pick, but they are even more money....of course you get a whole lot more. I'm guessing MIDI would be around $400 for the Trident also.
Most of the Solinas look worse than they are because the "wood" is just fiberboard if memory serves correct. I'd be more concerned about the internals. Also the early ones are much more desirable to many. A Solina "expert" could tell you more than that, but that's the little I know.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
Are there any hardware chorus units available that mimic the chorus on the Solina?
If I had a Solina to my left, and The River to my right, which way would I turn?!

Is the Triko quite different from the Solina chorus?
Old 3rd May 2019
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PuggaMahone View Post
If I had a Solina to my left, and The River to my right, which way would I turn?!

Is the Triko quite different from the Solina chorus?
The River chorus is very nice, but it seems like the Solina's chorus is quite different. I'll try messing with The River's chorus some more though.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
I have some future tracks that I really would love to have that vintage string synth sound on, and am wondering what others here may choose to look at for string synth duties. I get tempted to spend a hefty sum of money and take the plunge for an ARP Quadra or the like, but still get nervous about buying ancient gear. Arturia's software offering of the Solina sounds fantastic, but I really want to go the hardware route. The only new synth I can think of would be Waldorf's Streichfett, but am still not quite sure it would give me that authentic vintage string sound I'm after. I would appreciate any thoughts you all may have on the matter. Thanks!
ill start with saying that Sttreichfett sounds very digital and unconvincing. especially its top end, and its emulation of analog fx. i so dislike other arturias emulations that i didn't even bother with their solina.

other modern options are Behringer VP340, which i am not sure what to think of yet. from the demos the ensemble section does not sound as good/organic as the original. think difference is in BBDs: originals had high bandwidth 15V Reticons and then MN300x series. and VP340 has low voltage (9V) and low headroom smt coolaudio clones of MN320x serie, which also have smaller bandwidth, on both ends of the spectrum. analog BBD ensemble, how its built, how its voiced, is what makes or breaks a string machine.

ARP Quadra is one of the most expensive due to extreme rarity and being a synthesizer/mono/strings sandwich. also hard to keep in shape. if going with vintage i'd stay within few famous 70s stringers that cost a fraction of it, and sound phenomenal and fwiw have much greater track record: crumar multiman, eminent solina, logan, arp omni, elka rhapsody, rs202 etc.

i still use my solina, and have the elkorus which i sometimes use on synths and other sources. it uses identical BBDs as the Eminents from early and mid 70s. its advantage is you have direct access to all three bbd lines panning and volume, eq to darken the sound, as well as speed and depth for both LFOs. you can make it do dimension d, simple chorus, complex whatever.

yet at the same time its a disadvantage if you want exact sound of another stringer. the sound is there, but you need to put in some effort to set the speeds, depths, and polarity correct to get in the ballpark. the ratio btwn the lfo speeds is paramount to getting accurate ensemble behaviour from another machine. which is not always easy. as demonstrated on that Logan with Elkorus example.

Last edited by clusterchord; 4th May 2019 at 11:28 AM..
Old 4th May 2019
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum7 View Post
The River chorus is very nice, but it seems like the Solina's chorus is quite different. I'll try messing with The River's chorus some more though.
EDIT: Nevermind I guess the Triko was a good suggestion after all!
Old 4th May 2019
  #30
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Lot's of very cool vstis around, imo. Not interesting if you're looking for a hands on real thing, of course... but production wise...
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