Favorite Stringer?

A forum for discussing the pros & cons of buying a particular synth and for advice on buying synthesizers.

Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby ppg_wavecomputer » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:58 am

nathanscribe wrote:
garranimal wrote:The most superb to my ears is the Roland VP-330 and RS-505 quad-bbd ensembles. So thick and juicy, full of life and character.

- Roland RS-202: meh.


Which is interesting because the 101 and 202 also have quad BBD ensembles. The 101 has no control whatsoever over it, the 202 has a little. Not sure how the 330/505 compare, though.


Completely different beasts, no similarities at all.

I think the Roland RS-202 is one of the nicest-sounding stringers out there.

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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby syntheticsolutions » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:48 pm

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

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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby tomorrowstops » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:17 pm

Yeah, I'm definitely intrigued by all the kind words regarding the 505. Hmmm...might be worth saving the dough and taking the time to find the right deal...
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby synthparts » Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:25 am

Korg Lambda is probably my favorite of all the ones I've had. The 3 oscs which can be detuned really set it apart from other stringers...
I also like the SK30 and SK50D a lot for it's combo of CS series style analog monosynth (with expressive aftertouch) and polysynth plus strings and organ...
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby plikestechno » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:15 am

Ah, the Lambda. Would have been fun to try. I'll never forget missing out on one locally for $75 by 10 minutes.

Of the ones I own, I love my ARP Solina SE-IV the best. It literally sounds like crispy magic, just so alive, and the CV/Gate outputs are great when using it with effects or other gear in the studio.

I have a Crumar Multiman-S which is sufficient for me for the crappier, grittier, Italian sound.

I also have a Juno 60 which in many ways is basically one step up from a stringer.

Of ones I sold I did not like the RS-09 or RS-202. Very firm, unexciting sound to me. I had an Elka Rhapsody 490 once that was just too basic and boring.

Would still love to try out a RS-505, SS30, Logan String Melody or Hohner String Performer or any of the Korg PS series but I'm only interested in buying them locally and not for crazy money so I'll probably never own them. But you never know... I've had the chances to buy Polymoogs locally over time but can never sit down with one that completely works.
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby yorgatron » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:56 pm

let's see, I had an Elka Rhapsody 490, but I sold it because the power switch & fuse holder were wonky, and I didn't want to deal with fixing it. nice & compact though, and typically pretty cheap.

Yamaha SK-30 strings were lame, but you could adjust the poly synth sound to beef it up pretty good. sold it because it was just too freakin' huge.

still have the Moog Opus 3, but not for the strings.

Arp Omni 1 on the way, I suspect this will become my main stringer, although I'm sure it will take some work.

my Hohner String Performer needs work (maybe more than I'm capable of, or willing to pay for) but I like it because the case matches my other Hohner, a Clavinet/Pianet Duo.
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby robotunes » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:55 pm

rs-505. swoon.

never could get a bad sound out of it. when i get more space again, this will be the first thing i go for.

i do love the logan. just not as versatile as the roland.
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby bhrama » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:42 pm

I've owned a RS505, and a Solina and both are wonderful boards. However, I currently own the VP330 and it really has quite a different sound due to the choral section. In addition if you were to add actual singing to the vocoder section...well. :shocked:

That being said I dearly miss the RS505: synth+bass+strings! ka-pow
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby garranimal » Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:23 am

On a whim today I made a quick demo of 3 great stringers side by side. I also ran the dry Solina signal through the JH Triple Chorus in for good measure. It IS surprising how different these beasts are from each other.
Watch on youtube.com
http://youtu.be/lgzkHM7j59Y
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby wiss » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:16 am

tomorrowstops wrote:Yeah, I'm definitely intrigued by all the kind words regarding the 505. Hmmm...might be worth saving the dough and taking the time to find the right deal...


I have owned several of them(RS-505), the most I paid was $350 and the least I paid was $45.

I would suggest a Roland MSE-1(rackmount and digital) the usually sell for around a $100. It could tie you over until you can find a real stringer for a price you are comfortable paying.
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby tomorrowstops » Thu Feb 13, 2014 11:25 pm

garranimal wrote:On a whim today I made a quick demo of 3 great stringers side by side. I also ran the dry Solina signal through the JH Triple Chorus in for good measure. It IS surprising how different these beasts are from each other.
Watch on youtube.com
http://youtu.be/lgzkHM7j59Y


uuuuuuuuuuuuuugggggggggghhhhh

Layer all three of those and you got yourself an excuse for a strings only record. Logan as the basses, Solina as the mids, and the VP330 as the highs.

Goddamn.
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby Pro5 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:57 am

Crumar Performer - obviously NOT for spec but because it is THE early 80s duran duran sound used on the first 3 albums often brought in at the final chorus to pad out the song - did well for them no? :)

Sound wise i find it just works well under analog synths and has this wistful moody but uplifting feel - weird!

I've got one here in fact (says 'gone' but a lot aint gone they are in storage lol)
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby tomorrowstops » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:15 pm

yorgatron wrote:Arp Omni 1 on the way, I suspect this will become my main stringer, although I'm sure it will take some work.


How is the Omni? I just bought one that needs work I can't wait to get it up and running!

Watch on youtube.com
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Re: Favorite Stringer?

Postby shaft9000 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:41 pm

Farfisa...they have a je ne sais quois like nothing else

the Soundmaker or the Polychrome....of course, played in d-minor(the saddest of all keyboards :) )
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