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Old 20th November 2009
Lives for gear
Oli's Avatar

I would consider what kind of pads you are looking for. I think the Wavestation is still very good in it's own way, though I don't think it is a replacement for an XT or Q, and not as easy to program. I'm not sure if Korg's Legacy set is available for demo, though the Wavestation module in that should give you a fair idea. It's not exactly the same as the hardware, though close enough. I think the sound is a little brighter. Wavestation is also a fraction of the price of others you listed, so if that is the type of synth you are after, it may be a better option.

I think some people into wavetables also look to Ensoniq's kit. I think they can sound good for pads, but to me, not so much the really outlandish wavetable sounds. Filter on the SQ-80 can sound nice though. Mostly I think the Ensoniq gear is not as deep or flexible as Waldorf's, and to me sounds more dated. I think the depth of the Waldorf kit allows it to stay fresh. I've not owned an Ensoniq synth though. They do tend to be cheap also (not the Fizmo so much), so may be worth looking at if you like what they do.