The top three string synths for me are as follows;Roland RS-505
- Beautiful sounds across the board. It really does excel at what it does and that is thick, fizzy and bright string sounds. The addition of a synth section is also very hand for use on its own or to back up the strings. It goes without saying that the quad BBD ensemble circuit is to die for, I haven't heard anything quite like it, setting 3 is almost in flanging territory. The addition of external in, multiple audio outs etc. make this keyboard an incredible all round stringer and synth. The build quality is also very very good.Korg Polysix
- Although not an obvious first choice as it is more often seen as a general "classic subtractive" polysynth, the ensemble effect on the polysix turns just about every sound programmed into a creamy 70's string tone. Some of the most dynamic and colourful string sound I have used came from the polysix. When you then think of everything else you get with the polysix, it can appear to be a very full and enticing package. The only thing that bugs me about the polysix is the envelopes. They seem so uncontrollably jumpy and non-linear, the slightest tweak to the attack control can make a huge difference meaning they can take some fiddling to get the right type of envelope for string sounds.Moog Opus 3
- Absolutely Love / Hate this keyboard. I have quite the attachment to mine as i rebuilt it from a shameful wreck. To start with, the Organ sounds are great and I really like the feel of the modulation on the Opus, The brass is a nice classic tone that is unique and apposing to the famous oberheim/prophet sound. The brass section also features an authentic ladder filter that can self oscillate into wild screaming sounds. The organ sounds can be fed into the filter for classic bass or lead sounds. Now onto the strings, whilst the strings on every opus seem to be slightly weak, they are very colourful and sweet. Unfortunately, the filter incorporated into the string section is weak and quite frankly S**T, useful for maybe lifting what low frequencies are present or dulling the strings slightly. The ensemble/chorus on the Opus is one of my favourite circuits on any stringer. It sounds so rough, twinkly, fizzy and thick! The only problem with it is this, the circuit uses SAD512d's and maybe due to bad circuit design or just general age of the chips, they do not last long. I have had my Opus 3 or 4 years and in that time, I have had to replace 2 chips and the third started acting up last week
To make matters worse, they are hard to find and bloody expensive when you do find them. Nonetheless, I regard the Opus as one of the best stringers and feel it really has something special in the way it feels, looks and sounds.
Taking all into consideration, I would personally bite the bullet and shell out for an RS-505 or VP-330
Replicants are like any other machine, they're either a benefit or a hazard. If they're a benefit, its not my problem.