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Recommend me some vintage polyanalog synths similar in price/feature to the Andromeda
Old 18th November 2009
  #1
Recommend me some vintage polyanalog synths similar in price/feature to the Andromeda

So I've had about 3 unsuccessful attempts at purchasing a used alesis andromeda a6 on e-Bay recently and I want to start looking at some other used units. What other polyanalog synths should i look at that are of a similar quality?

I'm watching an Oberheim 12 video right now and i'm really impressed but from waht i've read, the alesis has the same filters as well as similar moog filters. is this true?

my only significant requirement is that i would like a synth with enough keys on it. like around 60. my weighted key digital piano controller (kawai mp-5) doesnt support aftertouch so i would like a synth with enough keys on it until i can get another controller
Old 18th November 2009
  #2
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no vintage poly is similar to the features of the Andromeda.
The Andy set out with a mission to trump them all on features.
That said, I think the Roland Jupiter-6 is very nice, and with the Europa upgrade it comes the closest on features (at least, on MIDI implementation).
I can speak from personal experience on this one; I haven't had a chance to try a lot of the other vintage uber-polys folks tend to mention.
Old 18th November 2009
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
I'm watching an Oberheim 12 video right now and i'm really impressed but from waht i've read, the alesis has the same filters as well as similar moog filters. is this true?
The Matrix 12 has very different filters to the 'Oberheim' filters on the Alesis. The latter's are based on the early discrete SEM Oberheim filter, the Matrix uses Curtis filters with 15 (?) different filter types.
Old 18th November 2009
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveman View Post
The Matrix 12 has very different filters to the 'Oberheim' filters on the Alesis. The latter's are based on the early discrete SEM Oberheim filter, the Matrix uses Curtis filters with 15 (?) different filter types.
thanks. i didnt realize that this unit wasn't from the 80s line made by tom oberheim. they seem to sell for very cheap used. i just read that they didnt do well with the public. is there any reasons for this?
Old 19th November 2009
  #5
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Westlaker's Avatar
A very inexpensive way to approach the Andromeda (or Matrix 12), at least in terms of polyphony and programming depth, would be with the Roland JX-10. It is a DCO synth, but it gives you 24 DCOs and 12 voice polyphony (in "whole" mode; in "dual" mode, with two "tones" layered together, you get 6 voices); it also boasts a 76-note keyboard that responds to velocity and aftertouch. The JX-10 can usually be found for around $300; even with the essential PG-800 programmer, which also goes for around $300, you're still talking about a pretty deep analog polysynth for well under $1K.
Old 19th November 2009
  #6
this might help

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...oly-synth.html

here's the suggestions i got

  • akai ax-80 - 6 voices, 6 vcos, noise, good alternative
  • alesis andromeda - pricey
  • dsi prophet 8 - very tempting but i wouldn't pay more than $1k for it
  • dsi tetra and bcr2000 - only 4 voices and im not crazy about the bcr2000
  • oberheim matrix-1000 - no controller
  • oberheim xpander - pricey
  • roland jupiter-6 - pricey and no stereo although not a huge deal
  • roland mks-30 (jx-3p) and pg-200 - 6 voices and 2 dcos but no independent noise
  • roland mks-50 (alpha juno) and pg-300 - 6 voices and 3 dcos
  • roland mks-70 (jx-10) and pg-800 - 12 voices and 2 dcos but no independent noise
  • roland mks-80 (refined jupiter 8) and mpg-80 - perfect but controller is way too expensive
  • sequencial circuits prophet 600 - 6 voices and 2 vcos but no noise or stereo although not a huge deal
  • virus, waldorf q, ensoniq esq-1, ensoniq sq-8 and novatation nova - trying to stay away from digital
Old 19th November 2009
  #7
Gear Nut
 

The oberheim Matrix 12 and Xpander are the only vintage VCO analog polys that will get you near the depth of programming that the andromeda has. You might be able to pick up an Xpander for the price of a used andromeda but expect to pay $3-$4k for a matrix 12.
Old 19th November 2009
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by alehoe View Post
  • roland mks-80 (refined jupiter 8) and mpg-80 - perfect but controller is way too expensive
dear why does the myth of the MKS80 still remain? It's a Jupiter 6 in a rack case with bass boot eq. Actually I find the MKS80 nowadays very pricey for what it is considering you can get a whole Jupiter 6 if you look around.

Sorry I really hate it when it's referred as a Jupiter 8.

Anyway yea I agree with the Matrix 12, just wow!
Old 19th November 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lain2097 View Post
Sorry I really hate it when it's referred as a Jupiter 8.
well that's what vintage synth explorer said, sorry

but wouldn't it be awesome if everything that website said was true? specially the estimated values heh
Old 19th November 2009
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
So I've had about 3 unsuccessful attempts at purchasing a used alesis andromeda a6 on e-Bay recently

there's one for sale on [Analog Heaven] mailing list. not mine, of course. i hope he doesn't mind me re-posting his classified..

Michael <[email protected]>

> Alesis Andromeda - perfect condition - $2,150. Local pickup in
> Chicago, or you pay for pro packaging, split paypal fees (or send a
> certified check), and cover full shipping costs. I'll knock $50 off
> for a local.




PS Matrix 12 is a nice and very powerful synth. however, if you are or were set on Andromeda, in short, there is nothing out there new or old that will actually replace it. on features, or exact sound character. of not, i'd second Matrix12 or Xpander recommendation, however i feel they are a bit overpriced right now for what they offer. id never pay 3.5k+ for a M12, and i had one on offer. Xpander also rose in price recently. if it is less or equal $2k, id go for it.


Jupiter6 and MKS80 are even more different sound than A6. and far from xpanders or andromedas flexibility, if that is what you re looking for.
Old 19th November 2009
  #11
Gear Head
 

I love my Xpander to death, and would recommend it to anyone. However, they are around 25 years old so unless you find one in ultra mint condition or one that has been recently serviced, you will probably need to replace some parts or circuits sooner rather than later. Finding those voice chips or curtis ones can be pretty difficult.
With that in mind, the Andromeda with its built in effects, arpeggiator and so on will be ready-to-go. Andromeda equals instant joy. Matrix12/Xpander equals deep love once you get your mind into it
Old 19th November 2009
  #12
Oli
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Oli's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
thanks. i didnt realize that this unit wasn't from the 80s line made by tom oberheim. they seem to sell for very cheap used. i just read that they didnt do well with the public. is there any reasons for this?
You're not thinking of the Viscount 'Oberheim' OB-12 are you? This is very different from a Matrix-12. They both carry the Oberheim name. The OB-12 is interesting in its own way, but not what you're looking for here.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that although the A6 was designed to have some features based on vintage synths (sunch as the filters), the implementation is different. The A6 seems to shine in its own way, rather than being a new vintage synth.
Old 19th November 2009
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveman View Post
The Matrix 12 has very different filters to the 'Oberheim' filters on the Alesis. The latter's are based on the early discrete SEM Oberheim filter, the Matrix uses Curtis filters with 15 (?) different filter types.
Dude, he is talking about Oberheim OB-12.

Not Matrix 12.


Old 19th November 2009
  #14
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Spectral Climax's Avatar
 

ALESIS ION!!!

Its not vintage, but it has almost the same features with an A6 and you can make it sound very convincing!!!! Its VA engine is better than a Virus IMO.
Old 19th November 2009
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by clusterchord View Post
there's one for sale on [Analog Heaven] mailing list. not mine, of course. i hope he doesn't mind me re-posting his classified..

Michael <[email protected]>

> Alesis Andromeda - perfect condition - $2,150. Local pickup in
> Chicago, or you pay for pro packaging, split paypal fees (or send a
> certified check), and cover full shipping costs. I'll knock $50 off
> for a local.
Hey thank you so much for this. I contacted the guy and he has a local sale pending but he thinks it might fall through. It's a very early unit. It was made in 2001. This unit should be fine then, right? I've read about the batch that had tuning problems in the middle part of the decade. I haven't read about any problems with early units. He said he never had a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Solaris View Post
Dude, he is talking about Oberheim OB-12.

Not Matrix 12.


yes that. its a va right? it sounds cool but it isnt really what im looking for
Old 20th November 2009
  #16
Gear Head
 

Sorry, but the OB 12 is one of the worst synths ever made, it looks good but it sounds really ugly. Don't touch it!!

What about an Studio Electronics Omega 4 ? I know, it's an expensive synth, but one of the best poly synths on the planet.
Old 20th November 2009
  #17
I will say continue on your attempt to purchase an Andy, you will eventually find one. There is just nothing quite like it. If I had to replace my Andy it would definitly be with an Omega Synth by Studio Electronics. Like misnomer said, it's one of the best poly synths on the planet, aside from the Andy, IMO. heh
Old 20th November 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
Hey thank you so much for this. I contacted the guy and he has a local sale pending but he thinks it might fall through. It's a very early unit. It was made in 2001. This unit should be fine then, right? I've read about the batch that had tuning problems in the middle part of the decade. I haven't read about any problems with early units. He said he never had a problem
you're welcome..


only a part of 2007 was bad IIRC. mine is 2003, no issues with tuning. my frineds 2004.. same thing. i think youll be fine with 2001. just dont pay extra bcs its an "old batch" or something. just regular going rate for used Andromedas.

good luck.
Old 20th November 2009
  #19
Oli
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Oli's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by misnomer View Post
Sorry, but the OB 12 is one of the worst synths ever made, it looks good but it sounds really ugly. Don't touch it!
I don't agree with that. It is quirky, but can do some fantastic stuff. I love it for live tweaking with ambient tunes. The character and controls work really well. It is quirky though. For example, the FM gets right nasty if pushed too far. Right up to that point, it can sound great, though.

edit - I'm not recommending it for the OP at all. It's a different sort of synth.
Old 20th November 2009
  #20
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

One of the major distictions of the Andromeda is that it has TWO resonant filters per voice and they can be routed in series or in parallel, and they can each be controlled by completely different modulation inputs. Very few analog polysynths have this kind of filtering power and flexibility. The only ones that I know of that have dual filters per voice are the Rhodes Chroma and the Matrix12/Xpander. While the Matrix12/Xpander sounds great and is very flexible, it's filter mod inputs are 'linked', meaning you can't apply different types of modulation to the two different filters (example, you can't sweep filter "A" down with an envelope while modulating filter "B" with a random S/H step signal). Which leaves the Chroma, which has more versatile filter routing and modulation than the Oberheims. But it's difficult to program, temperamental, can be a service hog, and it's hard to find.

One other remote possibility would be a Waldorf Q+, which has dual analog filters per voice with variable serial/parallel filter routing. But good luck finding one of those, too.

Other very good polysynths have been mentioned here but they don't have any of these dual filter capabilities, and to me that's a big difference.

I own both a Chroma and an Xpander and I love both, but if I were in your position I'd keep looking for an A6.
Old 20th November 2009
  #21
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If you really want an Andromeda, don't settle for somethng else. The right one will come along in time.
Old 20th November 2009
  #22
Gear Addict
 

The Oberheim Xpander and Matrix 12 only have one filter per voice, but 15 filter types for that one filter. And modulation isn't linked at all for anything on it. There are a few filter modes where you will have the different poles configured differently, like 1 pole lowpass and 2 pole bandpass, but it is not two filters, so the cutoff ad all controls are the same because it is the same filter. I think that's what may have confused you DP.

The andromeda is great, the Xpander and Matrix 12 are great. For depth of modulation you can't beat either.
Old 20th November 2009
  #23
thanks guys.

it looks like both of my potential sales are falling through to earlier buyers. let me know if you see any for sale around
Old 20th November 2009
  #24
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmo View Post
The Oberheim Xpander and Matrix 12 only have one filter per voice, but 15 filter types for that one filter. And modulation isn't linked at all for anything on it. There are a few filter modes where you will have the different poles configured differently, like 1 pole lowpass and 2 pole bandpass, but it is not two filters, so the cutoff ad all controls are the same because it is the same filter. I think that's what may have confused you DP.

The andromeda is great, the Xpander and Matrix 12 are great. For depth of modulation you can't beat either.

Although the nomenclature in the manual and the editing display refers to all the various filter modes as one complex filter, many of them are effectively two filters in parallel, such as dual bandpass and LP + BP. You can think of them as either one complex filter or a pair of filters controlled by the same mod signals, but the difference is really just semantics. In any case, we agree, in the more complex filter types with multiple filter bands, you can't modulate the different filter bands separately, as you could with an Andromeda or a Chroma.
Old 21st November 2009
  #25
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NWSooner's Avatar
 

If you're willing to buy new (around $3k) Alesis makes batches about every 6 months and they sell out right away. I preordered mine from Sweetwater about a year and a half ago and received a brand new one a few months later, so you could find someplace to preorder and wait for the next batch.

If you're looking to save money by buying used that's not going to work obviously. I'd set up eBay alerts and a Google alert and watch Craigslist. That method worked for finding my MKS-80 and MPG-80, you just have to be patient.
Old 21st November 2009
  #26
Gear Nut
 
funk5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NWSooner View Post
If you're willing to buy new (around $3k) Alesis makes batches about every 6 months and they sell out right away.
Yes everyone is taking pre-orders at $3,000. But -- Nova Musik (novamusik.com) is only asking $2,500 for a pre-order on a brand new Andromeda. That's a pretty nice deal, so big ups to Nova. As a side note music123 says it's availability is November 30th, so I'm guessing this might be the time frame to expect the next batch?
Old 21st November 2009
  #27
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NWSooner's Avatar
 

Wow, that's a great deal. I've bought from Nova Musik before (SE-1X, Machinedrum, MBase 11) and they're great. I don't think they were doing pre-orders of the Andromeda at the time that I ordered mine but if they were I'm kicking myself for the rest of the weekend. :P
Old 24th November 2009
  #28
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tropics View Post
thanks. i didnt realize that this unit wasn't from the 80s line made by tom oberheim. they seem to sell for very cheap used. i just read that they didnt do well with the public. is there any reasons for this?
The big complaint about the OB12s were really only that the public expected a new Oberheim, and the Oberheim is an OB in name ONLY. They were a joint venture with Viscount, an Italian organ company. While not "true" Oberheims, they are still very worthy synths and are increasingly hard to find, and are going up in value.

That's NOT to say it's not a worthy synth. I've had two of them and would buy another in a heartbeat. They are very complex in their own right and do many things it's counterparts (the Nords and Viruses) can't do. Besides, they're wicked cool to look at, and built like a tank.
When Oberheim discontinued them, I remember GC and SA clearing them out for $499, and I WISH I'd bought up as many as I could back then, because they're worth almost double now!
One valid complaint about them were that the factory sounds SUCK, which they do. but, this synth is built to be tweaked, and you're losing out if you don't tweak with your synths and make your own sounds. The 12 had a very complex architecture capable of making some truly impressive sounds...and yes, I've made some outstanding "real" OB re-creations on this, you just have to know what you're doing.
While purists to Oberheim contributed to the failure of this synth, I should mention that the entire OBerheim/Viscount line were all very worthy instruments and very well made, excellent sounding instruments. I had an Eclipse piano, and I would rate it higher than a Yamaha P150, and I currently own an MC3000 controller, arguably the best controller ever produced.
If you can get your hands on an OB12, good for you! Hopefully you can get it for under $850US, which seems around the going rate these days.
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