Synth Site: Technics: Technics WSA1: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.9 out of 5
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Rich a hobbyist user from Canada writes:
I love the WSA1 and recently re-introduced myself to it after a year or two away from synth music. Evolving pads are its strongest point, but there are some great drum sounds (crash cymbals excepted), and it has a wonderful raw sound which makes for much realism. It takes some getting used to, but despite its complexity, it's remarkably easy to program once you're familiar with the architecture. I am putting together a new web site dedicated to this synth (as of May 2002), with patches and articles... I have gotten Technics (well, Panasonic actually) to reproduce the manuals as PDF files on their web site too. This should help out those who are buying used without a manual.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-May-20-2002 at 19:34
Clifford Marshall a part-time user from Curacao, Netherland Antilles writes:
I have WSA 1 (not a WSA-R) for more than 4 years and I have to say that it is heavy duty. I want to buy another but I can't find where to buy one. A problem i s that the drum kits are very poor. I use a Carnival (Emu) module for the rhitm parts.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-23-2001 at 12:44
JB from UK writes:
I forgot to mention, I sent the WSA1R back, it's multi-timbral mode was awful if you wanted to edit synth programs on-the-fly when remaining in multi-timbral mode with an external sequencer running.

The audio also stutters when altering parameters with the alpha-dial when receiving MIDI sequence data.

Although I like the synthesis engine the operating system was far from complete and the inability to edit programs whilst playing without audio glitching seriously limited its usefulness to me.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-29-2001 at 09:41
Ludovic ROUX a part-time user from France writes:
I've got mine since 1999 and I still find programming capabilities. Due to its synthesis with samples and resonnators, you can be sure that your sounds are YOUR sounds !

Modelling is quite hard to understand, and there's nothing in the user manual to deal with it. In fact, this synth can sound great, but you generally make thin and cheap patches if you don't have precises idea at the beginning.

Controllers are great : wheels are fully assignable, keyboard is really excellent (I've sold my Fatar 'cause I prefer playing on the WSA) with easy-to-use aftertouch and great velocity response (fully adjustable).

BUT why didn't Technics use a 48 kHz sampling technology and good D/A converters ? It's, on my advice, a stupid choice since because of it the overall sounding quality is far under what it should be. My JD-800 and Wavestation sound very better. If you play vibraphones or pure waves and let them die, you clearly hear awful aliasing (bird singing). I tried to pass throught all modules (filters, resonnators, etc.) but there's nothing to do. On low level waves, you have noises. Don't know if the optional (where to find it ?) S/PDIF output solves this problem.

Nevertheless, I bring my WSA in all my gigs (gospel piano backing, funk keyboards, jazz big band) and when I work at home, it's part of all my projects. I just used to let my other synths play specific sounds.

Great machine for organs, keys in general, sound design, covers, demos and MIDI control !

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-29-2001 at 04:31
JB a professional user from UK writes:
Just got a s/h WSA1R, quirky but good, from what I've found out so far the way to get fuller sounds out of this is to link the resonators within a sound, transforms it from a thin sounding expander to a beefy synth.

Although the drivers are ROM samples it's all about the physical modelling resonators. The filters are OK, especially the 24dB ones, can't complain about having 4 layers per voice, each layer having its own Driver, Resonator, Filter, Amp and Digital effects. Having three DSP effects processors bolted onto the end (with OK MIDI controller modulation) is pretty handy too.

Alex T - the bottom end is very full on my machine, use the sine wave as a driver and it has all the bass you'll ever need.

The effects processors have their good points, unfortunately the overdrive is not one of them! Very nice reverbs/gated reverbs and phaser/flangers.

The big screen GUI is nice but inconsistant, parameter and value inc/dec buttons are differently assigned for various screens.

Value for money can not be questioned with this synth if bought s/h nowadays.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Sep-13-2001 at 11:35
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