The Top 30

 

VERY GOOD

Novation Ultranova. Do not argue. It is number one.

Roland Fantom XR. It's the fattest Roland of all Roland. It's as lush as fuck and can be coerced into strange realms.

Roland XV5080. Equal to the Fantom, just a bit harder to use.

Korg Radias. A bit too distinct in its tonality, but it goes places.

Yamaha TG77. Not an easy instrument, but the greatest FM sound.

Roland System 8. Every legendary Roland Keyboard available in any colour as long as it's black.

Waldorf Blofeld. Confident, tricky and versatile.

Roland MKS80. It's the tuba of analogue. A brick shit house.

Alesis Ion. The Big American.

 

PRETTY GOOD

Korg MS2000. Does 'old gear' better than most old gear.

Roland V-Synth. Awfully clever but actually a little limited in the noises it makes.

Access Virus TI. Somehow the whole is less than its parts. I mean it's got lots of tricks... that somehow don't go far.

Novation Supernova. Doesn't compare to its younger sister. But does compare to any mythical analogue beast.

Arturia Origin. You want old? Here's old and lots of it.

Roland J8080. The best of the Ye Olde Rolande. On the verge of dullness/analogue warmth.

Yamaha AN1x. Every inch a Yamaha CS sound.

Alesis Micron. Every inch that American sound, but controlling it is very difficult.

EMu UltraProteus. Admire its complexity at the price of madness.

Yamaha FS1r. A difficult and shrill truant, I have yet to tame it.

Korg MS20. The most distinctive of the Korgs, and therefore limited.

Roland Juno 6. Unpretentious. It sounds exactly like itself.

Kawai S100F. Seems really wonderful until you manage to get much the same sound on a few other boxes.

Roland SH32. A completely agreeable little chap with lots of variety. A bit tight on the knobbery.

 

KIND OF ANNOYING IN SOME WAYS

Roland System 1m. The faux analogue-ness, such as 8 memories, is tedious. Also, GREEN LIGHTS. Sounds nice mind you.

Roland Boutique JP08. More a matter of visual art than sonic joy. As was the Jupiter 8.

Ensoniq Mr. Rack. It hates you. It does its own thing.

Volcas. More of workout than a instrument.

Yamaha TX81z. Cheap, nasty and hissy.

AKAI S612. It was the best thing ever in 1980 something. Now it's a one trick box.

Technics WSA1R. What a mess.

Dave Smith Mopho. Well named, horrible, goodbye.

Moog Voyager. SOLD. Boring. There. I said it.

It was either this or a red car and I think I chose wisely.