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John Bowen Solaris Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 23rd April 2011
  #151
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Count me in as one of the preorders waiting for delivery in about 6 weeks. When I first saw it at NAMM awhile back, my first thought was "who would want a VA for that much money in this day and age?" Until I played it.....there is a lot to be said for the internal 96K signal path, you can definitely hear and feel the sound quality. My best advice is to actually play one if you get the chance, and decide for yourself.
Old 23rd April 2011
  #152
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

Stick 16 mulitmode analog filters on the output and I might get interested for the price, or halve the price and add multi-timbral options
Old 23rd April 2011
  #153
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NWSooner's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
Stick 16 mulitmode analog filters on the output and I might get interested for the price, or halve the price and add multi-timbral options
Q+ and Virus are already on the market.

Fine, the Q+ filters aren't multimode, but then that price wouldn't be realistic if they were. I can't think of anything other than the A6 that came anywhere near that price with those features.
Old 23rd April 2011
  #154
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valis's Avatar
Solaris has a wide variety of filters, but certainly not 16 in parallel. Sounds like he wants a different synth
Old 24th April 2011
  #155
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CoolColJ's Avatar
 

16x 1 Multimode analog filters.......

1 for each voice


Quote:
Pre-orders for the remaining units from our first production run are open again! Price for Solaris remains at $3999.00 or 3590 Euros (includes 19% VAT; adjust VAT per your country) in Euros (plus any shipping costs).

Pricing is weird

$3999USD = 2,744.30 Euro
$3590 Euros = $5,231.35USD


Buy in the US and ship it me thinks!
Old 24th April 2011
  #156
Not sure a rack would make sense, considering all those knobs and screens, but I'd consider one a few years down the road for around $2500.
Old 25th April 2011
  #157
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valis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolColJ View Post
16x 1 Multimode analog filters.......

1 for each voice





Pricing is weird

$3999USD = 2,744.30 Euro
$3590 Euros = $5,231.35USD


Buy in the US and ship it me thinks!
I understood what you meant, voice cards are typically in parallel (not one after another). However given the variety of filters available in the Solaris I'm not sure the lack of 16 polyphonic analog filters is going to break the sonic possibilities....you just want a different synth.

And the pricing probably isn't in step with the falling US dollar, the last time I recall pricing being updated was a few months back. While I'm sure the sales will be honored at the advertised price, if you think JB should make more off his US sales feel free to email him heh
Old 25th April 2011
  #158
Deleted 46dc28f
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iksrazal View Post
Not sure a rack would make sense, considering all those knobs and screens, but I'd consider one a few years down the road for around $2500.
Same here.
Old 29th April 2011
  #159
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Any news on what german store will have the exclusive distribution rights?

Please note that it is no longer possible to take direct pre-orders from customers residing in Germany or Austria, due to an exclusive agreement.

Peter.
Old 29th April 2011
  #160
Old 29th April 2011
  #161
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by memristor View Post
Thanks for the link.

Too bad it's all in german, I can't seem to order anything from these guys?

Peter.
Old 29th April 2011
  #162
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I assume they only sell to resellers

google shopping brings up these ( when you search from within Germany ) :

John Bowen Synth Design - Solaris Performance Synthesizer : Virtuell analoge Synthesizer

John Bowen Solaris Synthesizer

John Bowen Solaris

John Bowen Synth Design Solaris Synthesizer - AudioPalace


they have a price tag but it is not in stock and theres no info if/when it will be available
except on the last link they claim its ready to ship within 2-5 days

maybe write to emc and ask ? theres a contact form on their site
Old 29th April 2011
  #163
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by memristor View Post
I assume they only sell to resellers

google shopping brings up these ( when you search from within Germany ) :

John Bowen Synth Design - Solaris Performance Synthesizer : Virtuell analoge Synthesizer

John Bowen Solaris Synthesizer

John Bowen Solaris

John Bowen Synth Design Solaris Synthesizer - AudioPalace


they have a price tag but it is not in stock and theres no info if/when it will be available
except on the last link they claim its ready to ship within 2-5 days

maybe write to emc and ask ? theres a contact form on their site
Already wrote to EMC, it seems only germans can order from them!
So much for a united Europa.

Peter.
Old 29th April 2011
  #164
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valis's Avatar
If you check John's forums or prepurchase page he lists 2 countries (germany and austria) that the distributor has an exclusive agreement for so he can't sell directly to those countries. Also his current preorder customers have more info than the public does on how things are progressing and that includes information on fulfillment for the distributor too. I'm not sure I can give all of the info out here but suffice it to say the distributor is basically in the current production run and so I would expect them to be able ship not too long after you start seeing reports of people receiving their preorders.
Old 29th April 2011
  #165
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by valis View Post
If you check John's forums or prepurchase page he lists 2 countries (germany and austria) that the distributor has an exclusive agreement for so he can't sell directly to those countries. Also his current preorder customers have more info than the public does on how things are progressing and that includes information on fulfillment for the distributor too. I'm not sure I can give all of the info out here but suffice it to say the distributor is basically in the current production run and so I would expect them to be able ship not too long after you start seeing reports of people receiving their preorders.
Yes, I received a mail from John saying that a certain german shop will be able to order the synth from EMC!! heh Should be available by june.

Peter.
Old 1st May 2011
  #166
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Did anyone already receive theirs? Or got the chance to play one? A little review maybe?

From the videos I heard the sound is quite digital, nothing wrong with that, I also like my Microwave XT, TX802 and Evolver. I just want to know if it's really worth it if you already have some digital synths.

I didn't really hear really 'warm' sounds yet, something I did hear in the demo videos of Radikal Accelerator. Is it capable of those sounds too?

I think it's going to be hard deciding between the Solaris and the Accelerator!

Peter.
Old 4th May 2011
  #167
Gear Head
Here's a brief review of sorts from a blog by Carl Lofgren:
Category: 1 - Plughugger - the music tech review blog
Old 4th May 2011
  #168
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pschelfh View Post
I didn't really hear really 'warm' sounds yet, something I did hear in the demo videos of Radikal Accelerator. Is it capable of those sounds too?
I think it's going to be hard deciding between the Solaris and the Accelerator!
Peter.
I think the Accelerator sounds quite good! And the two synths are really meant for different users - the Accelerator takes more of a 'gigging musician' approach, plus it's quite a bit cheaper (2000 Euros I think?). No question - Joerg Schaff has done a fantastic job with the sounds in there!
Old 4th May 2011
  #169
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
This may seem like an odd question... but does this synth get into the Hartmann Neuron territory?
-Andrews
No. There's no component analysis or resynthesis as done in the Neuron.
Old 4th May 2011
  #170
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Pschelfh's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbowen View Post
Here's a brief review of sorts from a blog by Carl Lofgren:
Category: 1 - Plughugger - the music tech review blog
Thanks John, nice to read (and hear some other sound examples)!

Peter.
Old 4th May 2011
  #171
Gear Head
Having read through this entire thread now, I have some comments to make.

It seems that the focus of criticism is around the price mostly, followed by the digital sounding nature of the synth, and the absence of MultiTimbre mode.

I don't understand the negativity about the price, as if I'm trying to 'cheat' people by charging so much, or whatever. The unit costs what it costs. It's pretty obvious - if something is too expensive, one just doesn't buy it. I'd like to have an Audi, for example, but there's no way I could ever afford one, so...but I don't criticize Audi for making it too expensive; I just have to look for something else.

My guess regarding the 'digital vs. analog' debate here is that the Solaris is not going to satisfy most of those who are looking for the 'old analog sound'. Yes, there are emulative models of older analog designs in there, but it's more than just modeling that gives a synth it's character. The signal paths, the little bits of circuitry that affect things in the old gear...all of that goes into part of the character of the old analog units, and I haven't heard anything on the market that really does analog well that is not analog. The Virus, the Nord, these both have a following for the sound they make, but they are very, VERY far from sounding truly analog.

Note that this didn't stop them from being used to make a lot of music!

And so it is with the Solaris. I hope people will find it a useful tool to help create the soundscapes they hear in their minds. The Solaris will present some new opportunities to try out ideas that haven't been available before on a digital synth, and that is exciting to me...to see what creative types will do with it. (The area of treating samples is one that I obviously haven't focused on much, but I think will be quite interesting, in that you can fully mess with the frequency modulation and sample rate reduction of a sample). There's also the fact that you have 4 External Audio Inputs, and can process these using any of the synth parameters, among many other things.

Yes, there's no MultiMode yet. It is planned, but time and resources dictate that this waits until a future OS. There's still several other features I'd like to add, but the whole project has taken much longer than anyone anticipated, and the delays have already generated quite a bit of negativity themselves, generally by people who have no idea of the circumstances.

I feel incredibly honored by all those who have put so much faith in me - and who have shown so much patience while we all wait for the Solaris to be finished. To the extent that I haven't provided adequate demos for some of you, or the proper kind of marketing that you'd like to see, or whatever...I'm sorry, but my primary duty has been to all of my pre-order customers, and I've tried to keep them updated and informed as to what was going on as best I could. For much of this time, I have been waiting for things as much as anyone else has!

Once everyone has their units, I'm sure you will see a variety of comments, both positive and negative. My hope is that the Solaris will be able to join the 'family' of synthesizers that people like to use and keep, and that it provides some inspiration over the long term as we develop and mature it in the future.

Sincerely,
John Bowen
Old 5th May 2011
  #172
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Thank you for taking the time to read the entire thread and comment John. Entirely unnecessary, but gives those who wish to know just a small glimpse of the kind of time and attention you have offered to those of your preorder customers.
Old 5th May 2011
  #173
Gear Addict
 

I for one put my money where my mouth was a few years back; I'm still happy with my decision.
The process has both exceeded my expectations and tested my patience in terms of the time it has taken to complete. I based my decision on the original description of the synth, John's reputation and the option to getmy money back; frankly it seemed like a no brainer. Since then the synth's capabilities has grown significantly incorporating ideas that I helped to shape in conversations with John. We were polled and there was quite a few opinions on several dozen aspects of the design ( including multitimbralism).
IIRC most of us wanted something that gave us new sonic territories to explore not emulations of gear we already owned.To that extent the Solaris has exceeded my wildest imaginations.
Now that we're in the final moments of our wait I'd like to thank John publicly for all your efforts. You kept everyone in the loop even when it wasn't to your benefit. Your integrity was beyond reproach. I look forward to recieving Solaris #8; no one should expect to hear from me for several months after that as I'll be total absorbed in the world's coolest digital synth.....RJ
Old 5th May 2011
  #174
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wild modulation's Avatar
 

Quote:
I don't understand the negativity about the price, as if I'm trying to 'cheat' people by charging so much, or whatever. The unit costs what it costs. It's pretty obvious - if something is too expensive, one just doesn't buy it. I'd like to have an Audi, for example, but there's no way I could ever afford one, so...but I don't criticize Audi for making it too expensive; I just have to look for something else.
This exactly, I see it across many forums and particularly about
products from small companies.

Its really simple, if you dont like the feature set or price DONT BUY IT.

I would bet JB is loosing money if his hours on this project at a professional
rate were added up.

I know, when i do eventually get one,
its going to allow me to explore
sounds like never before.
Old 5th May 2011
  #175
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When they stop making them we'll all want one!
Old 5th May 2011
  #176
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seen-da-sizer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
When they stop making them we'll all want one!
Agree, history repeats itself:
  • Jomox Sunsyn: Not much interest when available, now hugely desirable.
  • Hartmann Neuron: Didn't sell and company went down. Now impossible to find one.
  • Quasimidi: Had trouble selling the Polymorph. Fast forward: The last one sold this week on ebay for $1600! (That is a lot more than I paid for mine new, and it is not even analog or vintage).
  • Creamware: Had trouble selling their ASBs, and SonicCore inherited quite some unsold stock. Now discontinued and the prices are on the rise.
  • Roland JP-8000: When new, people looked down on it. Now it is the standard for "Super Saw".

And there are lot more examples that this happened. I hope the Solaris is here to stay for a while!

<sarcasm>I wish the Moog would stop producing the Voyager, so that people finally would appreciate that awesome synth</sarcasm> heh

Looking what an Access Virus TI2 Keyboard costs, the Solaris' pricing is IMO spot on! Still, I wouldn't buy one in its current state. Too many times in the past I waited for an update that never came. Multi-Mode is a must.
Old 5th May 2011
  #177
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seen-da-sizer View Post
Multi-Mode is a must.
you know, in the stage of the specification of the solaris, years ago, multi mode was discussed. people who were involved in the discussions, mostly users who prepaid for the synth, decided quite clearly that multimode is not a priority for the solaris.
most probably because if somebody can and wants to afford a solaris, he doesn't want it to play a zillion of instruments at the same time (multimode) but he strives for a rather sophisticated mono-mode instrument with high-end sound quality and a good user interface. it was agreed that the CPU power should be used for sound quality instead of multi-mode.

so while it seems "a must" for you, this might not be the case for the dozens of people on the preorder list who actually comitted to buy a solaris and really paid for it already.
Old 5th May 2011
  #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidgit View Post
most probably because if somebody can and wants to afford a solaris, he doesn't want it to play a zillion of instruments at the same time (multimode) but he strives for a rather sophisticated mono-mode instrument with high-end sound quality and a good user interface. it was agreed that the CPU power should be used for sound quality instead of multi-mode.
Doesn't take more CPU to do multitimbral than not. It's "just" giving one voice a different set of parameters from the others.

With that said if i were considering buying a Solaris multitimbral operation would be quite low on the list of important features. Nice to have but far from a dealbreaker. Back in the days when you had no tape recorder or a really expensive one i can see the need for it but nowadays tracks are free so you can just record them. Not a biggie in my opinion. Maybe because it has been such a major PITA on all multitimbral synths i have tried far.There's always that.
Old 5th May 2011
  #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fidgit View Post
it was agreed that the CPU power should be used for sound quality instead of multi-mode.
EXACTLY. And it is the sound quality that is the most important aspect of the Solaris, otherwise a Virus would be more than adequate for multitimbral use. But with regard to features, John has always been true to his word with regard to coming through, that has been one of the advantages of being a preorder customer. We have had a great deal of input into certain aspects of the design, because we were there while it was happening. I have a great deal of confidence that if John says multimode will be implemented, it will be.
Old 16th January 2012
  #180
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TonStrom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jupiter8 View Post
Doesn't take more CPU to do multitimbral than not. It's "just" giving one voice a different set of parameters from the others.

With that said if i were considering buying a Solaris multitimbral operation would be quite low on the list of important features. Nice to have but far from a dealbreaker. Back in the days when you had no tape recorder or a really expensive one i can see the need for it but nowadays tracks are free so you can just record them. Not a biggie in my opinion. Maybe because it has been such a major PITA on all multitimbral synths i have tried far.There's always that.

hmm, maybe i'll change my mind on that too as i changed my mind from analog conservative too being a virus ti2 owner BUT:

if i pay THAT much for a digital synth, then multimode should be a must as i buy it
TO PRODUCE AND WORK WITH IT IN THE STUDIO (at least this clientel should be kept in mind too IMHO

that's one of the big reasons i went for VIRUS: multimode, TI, easy multimode store system.

i am neither hans zimmer who can afford any synth he wants to have nor am i an amateur who wants to fiddle around with one - great - sound.
i spent a lot of cash, don't want too many synths in my studio but those i have i want to work with with more than one sounds if possible.

is this too economic thinking ?
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