Synth Site: Dave Smith Instruments: Poly Evolver: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.4 out of 5
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Gerhard a part-time user from Berlin/Germany writes:
I own the PEK since 8 month and I am very pleased with it. The encoders are flimsy but they do their work and I had so much trouble with scratching potis in the past that I like them. The rest of the PEK is a dream for me. It looks beautiful in my eyes and offers me a sound esthetic I never got from one single piece of equipment. Not as analog as the name Dave Smith promises but the sounds are ... individual, have personality and the whole machine is so incredible versatile! I for myself use it more as an replacement of my old PPG than a substitute of an vintage analog synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-07-2011 at 10:52
MW a part-time user from California writes:
Here's the story: In the same day I purchased a Poly Evolver, a Prophet 08, and a Virus TI. The Poly and the Prophet stayed and the Virus didn't. Why? Because within 5 minutes of hooking everything up it was obvious how much FATTER the Poly and the Prophet 08 were.

The Virus, though loaded with features, just didn't stack up sound-wise. Admittedly, it had interesting patches, but compared to the Poly and the Prophet the sound was thin and nasal. I'm not some analog snob. I was really anticipating having all three of these beasts making music together. Sadly, the Virus sound just wasn't in the same class.

The four-oscillator sound of the Poly is extremely fat. The phrase "morbidly obese" would apply here. And the sounds you can coax out of it are varied and satisfying. Unbelievable, speaker shattering basses. Hissing, spitting, grinding leads. And some of the sweetest, most atmospheric pads you can imagine. Take a sweet, analog-ish patch and give the Tuned Feedback or Output Hack knob a twist and quickly transform it into something very frightening indeed.

In fact, of all the synths I've owned, the Poly takes probably the fewest number of knob tweaks to take a sound into a completely different direction. Inspiring. Be prepared to lose hours, days, perhaps even months of your life to tweaking patches on this synth. Very, very satisfying.

The only downside is that if your patches lend themselves to polyphony, you may begin to lust uncontrollably after the Poly Rack to bump up your voice count.

No doubt about it, this synth is in a class by itself. Thank you, Dave Smith.

.... Now ask me about the Prophet 08. Heh-heh.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-12-2008 at 14:05
mike a hobbyist user from Detroit writes:
WOW! that is the one word I use to describe this synth. It does the old pro-5 sounds great but with 10000000x more modulation routes (well its a lot) Ive owned many modern and vintage synths over the past 4 years and I sold all my gear. Why, this keyboard does all I want. Its better to be a pro at one board than so so with 10 boards. I have never really made a complete piece of music this I got this board. Why? It just inspires me the way no other boards have. this thing gives off a vibe I can connect with.

for the very few people that dog the Evolver's, you will be better off with your S&S sound modules. that way you can get your instant gratification. But to those who see making your own sounds as part of the art, this board will bring happiness into your music/sound sculpting lives.

Other than using my GF's Alesis Fusion, this is my ONLY synth. Ill be taking this on my honeymoon.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Feb-10-2008 at 23:20
teflonsoul a professional user from USA writes:
I am a collector, and this synth is definitely in my permanent collection, along side a whole host of unique, groundbreaking and legendary synths. This instrument is an instant classic. First of all, what it is not: It is not a substitute for a nuevo-analog, (nord, access, etc.). It is not an old analog emulator. It is capable of those types of sounds, but if that's what you're looking for, you will be disappointed with the PEK. This is an entirely new class of synth that combines parts of all, and sounds like none. Anyone who thinks the PEK is "thin" sounding has not spent enough time with it. This is absolutely in the same class as some the fattest, widest, and strangest sounding synths I've ever heard. The PEK has countless ways to mangle and fatten the sound, including a digital delay, :output hack:, tunable distortion, overload, fuzz, filters, detuning and more. Some think using these things is cheating, and that a synth should stand simply on the merits of its oscillators and filters. To me all that matters is what sounds I can get out of it, and MY GOD what this thing can do. Just to give some perspective: I bought mine after seeing the legendary Bernie Worrell play one in concert. As a major synth geek, I had to go back stage to find out what ungodly synth he had played on a few songs. It cut through the mix so clearly, and sounded so phenominally fat and nasty, that I had to know what he was playing. To think that this thing stood out over Bernie's formidable rack of other amazing instruments give you an idea of what this can sound like. It is not perfect - even the PEK with its countless knobs can be a little touchy to update values (I like the rotaries on the Nord Lead 3 MUCH better - the PEK's are rather disappointing for the price, and admittedly the nord rotaries set a high bar). The presets are a nice tour through the synth's capabilities (esp. the step-sequencer features), but to truly see the thing shine, you have to start twiddling the knobs. It is truly a mind-blowing synth.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Friday-Aug-03-2007 at 18:09
JT a professional user from USA writes:
I agree with a previuos writer that the PEK sounds thin and lame. I was hoping it would sound as good as a vintage synth/ but not even close. You would think the creator of the Prophet would make a synth that sounds amazing but......trully the sound is like digital junk. Same thing with the Voyager/ looks and feels top shelf but sounds like junk. How could DR Moog create that lemon? I could not get one useable sound out of the Voyager/ not one. $3000 paper weight.Also PEK is tempremental like the original Prophets but with out the payback in sound. D Smith at least got the constant break down part right.Honestly the Andromeda is the only new analoge synth that in my opinion inspires like the classics.Jupiter Juno, Moog< Ober ect.The one I tried served up incredible analog richness with only minor tweaking/ it has like zillions of knobs. Seems like Alesis is better than anyone out there when it comes to not only visionary new analog sounds but also retro timbres that I lust for. I know where my money is going. I would not BS anyone out there//// I know sound. JT

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Apr-25-2007 at 21:27
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