Synth module recommendations

I have a sequencer that i use for some of my more "difficult" compositions (think Zappa "Jazz From Hell" although i'm not comparing myself to him), and while it's great for executing what i have written, the sounds are shall we say- godawful.

So i'm looking for a synth module that i can MIDI to the sequencer and get some usable sounds. I'm mostly concerned with orchestral string sounds, in fact if there's something that does only that, it would be fine. However, i'm not opposed to something with woodwinds as well.
Not looking to break the bank, looking to spend around $500 or less.
I don't need to fool anyone into thinking they're listening to a Stradivarius, just want sounds that are good quality, and not laughable like the ones i have now.
Any recommendations?
Thanks in advance.


Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
The orchestral tones/patches from Korg are exceptional...I have a Karma, and I'm really hard pressed to not believe there's a real string section playing sometimes.. I've owned other keyboards from eMU, Yamaha, Novation, a bunch of German synths, ect, but the Korgs have the tones....They are to keys what Les Pauls are to me as guitars


Platinum Supporting Member
The orchestral tones/patches from Korg are exceptional...
I must agree with Rod. The Korg patches are top shelf.

I'm in a similar boat as the OP. I've got an Axon 100 MK II guitar synth that has some really great features, but the tones in it leave a lot to be desired. I also have a Roland GR-33, which has much better tones than the Axon, but it doesn't offer the same degree of control. None of the tones/patches in either unit come close to sounding as could as the tones I get out of my old Korg N5EX keyboard.

Problem is, I'm a lousy keyboard player, which is why I got into guitar synths. What I'd like to find is a 1-space rackmount synth module that I could drive with the Axon. Does anyone know if Korg makes anything along those lines other than the older offerings I see on eBay, or who else might offer something that sounds as good?


Senior Member
No idea what they cost used on ebay today, but the Korg 01W/R and Yamaha VL-70 have me covered and worth the price of admission when new 10 years ago.


Silver Supporting Member
Older synth modules that were made after they got good but before they become collector items are the great gear buys of today, imo.


I'm a Roland man myself.

The JV-1010 and 1080 modules are my favorites. More awesome patches than I will ever use in a lifetime - and some of the grand piano patches that come with the expansion boards are truly sublime.

You can usually find one or the other living on the Bay for the nice price, i.e., well under five bills.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom