Sonic LAB: Dreadbox Hades Reissue Review

It truly is a bass synthesizer   23-Jan-23

It's no secret that we've enjoyed the synthesizers from Greek synth makers Dreadbox. Their instruments have a certain something that makes them stand apart. We confess that Hades was somewhat eclipsed by Erebus which we reviewed when it was released.

Hades was a simpler more focussed instrument made for bass. A Bass Synthesizer no less!

With a single analog oscillator with Saw and Square/PWM waves with Sub1 (Square -1 oct) and Sub2 (Square -2 oct) going into their unique 3 pole resonant filter, it's basic, but what it does it does well.

There's also an OTA drive circuit post filter which can take it from polite to really rather rude. 

Also a simple triangle wave LFO which has a wide range from slow, slow to audio rates for some talking filter and other high frequency modulations - the patch bay gives is CV, VCF, PWM and VCA as destinations.

Simple ADS (Attack/Decay/Sustain) or  ARS (Attack/Sustain/Release) for the Filter, and an Attack/Release for the VCA top off the control.

There a nice wide PWM which can go through zero in both directions for double speed mod, glide control, switchable legato mode and omni/MIDI Channel tops off the control.

Hades is a reissue of the original 2016 unit and as such does not have the additional features of the later DIY kit (Tri and Square waves LFO) Osc Sync, OSC out patch points, so it is a relatively simple instrument, but it has that Dreadbox "thing" which makes it very appealing as an instrument. 

It comes in a desktop box with a USB (large) power input, which for some reason is located on the side of the case, but the unit can be removed, the USB board taken off and mounted in 42HP in a case (header cable included)

Yes I would have liked to see a couple more patch points, CV control of the LFO, as well as a way to CV control depth and a square wave for the LFO too. But essentially it sounds good, the drive really drives, and the filter can really scream and boy does it have low end.

Plus it's priced at roughly £100 less than the Erebus reissue and if you are buying in Euros it's a bargain at €282 +TAX)

Like many other Dreadbox instruments, it has something about it that really appeals.

Available now.


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