I wonder if you could help me out?
1- What is the MOST you could spend?
My budget is minimal and by minimal I mean Poly 800, Yamaha 4-op minimal. I can save up a bit more than that, to Poly 61, Yamaha DX7 level. Even if I had more money I wouldn't like to make a big investment because I'm just a beginner...
3- What type of music are you going to make?
Electro (I'm a shitty Gerald Donald wannabe) and cold synth-pop (I'm also a Human League wannabe, the Human League that made Being Boiled). I'm also fooling around and trying to do a slow version of that sound - a bit like mid-70's Tangerine Dream, but cold and futuristic instead of trippy and full of elven woods if that makes any sense.
4- Is a Keyboard a priority or would a rack do?
A rack would do as I already have a keyboard and I sequence most everything anyway. I'm also not a player so I can't take advantage of good keys.
5- Are you prepared for repair bills? If not then DO NOT buy a Vintage unit.
As I said my budget is minimal. I am willing to learn how to use a soldering iron but that's about it.
7- Are there more features than you need, if so this is GOOD!!!
As for features, I have a Yamaha DX21 and I love how there's envelopes for everything, even a pitch envelope. I also particularly like that you can stack two sounds. So more than one EG and some limited multitimbrality are two features I've come to like. I think a fast LFO that can drastically alter the timbre of the patch is a plus too. I don't know about other features; I'm sure there's plenty of cool stuff out there!
12- Have you already got this type of synth in your set up? Do you need another?
I've got a Yamaha DX21, a Volca Bass, a couple of Monotrons and a bunch of softsynths. I use Renoise to make the drum tracks using samples. I like all the gear I've got but I think the DX21 is really awesome and I have lots of fun making patches for it (I don't think FM is that hard nor the interface that cumbersome, it's just not that obvious to know what it's going to sound like beforehand... what IS a pain though is if you decide to change the algorithm and you have to switch the two modulators' settings around, or a modulator becomes a carrier but you want to copy its settings over to another operator.)
14- Get to know what gear you have already, you will then know EXACTLY what you are missing/in need of!
I love the complex, strange, sounds of the DX21 and the strong tone of the Volca, but, on the one hand, I find the complexity of the DX21 is often limited to slow, evolving sounds (not always, though), and on the other, the Volca is perhaps a bit specific although as I said I like it. It's a pretty dry sounding setup, too, I wonder if I'm getting the cold and spare sound right of if I'm just making things too brittle. That said I should learn how to mix and use effects...
I'm curious about your recommendations!