The Best Synthesizers Under $1000 (2023 Ultimate Guide)

As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means that if you click on certain links on this site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Looking for the best synthesizers under $1000 in 2023? Check out our ultimate guide to find the perfect synth for your music production needs. We review the top 6 models, compare their features, sound quality, and performance. Whether you want a digital, analog, or hybrid synth, we have you covered. Read on to discover the best synthesizers under $1000 in 2023.

1. Roland JUNO-DS61          

VERSATILE SYNTHESIZER

Read more

2. Moog Grandmother

VINTAGE ANALOG POWER

Read more

3. Behringer DeepMind 12

POLYPHONIC POWERHOUSE

Read more

4. Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V

HYBRID CUSTOMIZABILITY

Read more

5. Moog Subsequent 25         

COMPACT MOOG POWER

Read more

6. Roland JD-XI 37               

ANALOG-DIGITAL CROSSOVER

Read more

 

1. Roland JUNO-DS61

VERSATILE SYNTHESIZER

Over 1200 patches, 30 drum kits.Easy-to-use synthesizer with intuitive controls.
Portable and powerful synthesizer.Fun and creative musical partner.
Picture by Roland

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • If you’re in the market for a synthesizer that can do it all, look no further than the Roland JUNO-DS61. This incredible instrument is widely regarded as one of the best synthesizers available for under $1000. Here are four reasons why this versatile piece of equipment stands out from the crowd:

    First and foremost, the JUNO-DS61 boasts an extensive selection of sounds. With over 1200 patches, 30 drum kits, and 64 performances, this synth covers a vast range of musical styles and genres. Whether you’re after the rich tones of a grand piano, the swirling sounds of an organ, or the futuristic vibes of a synthesizer, this instrument has got you covered. For even more sonic possibilities, you can download and load new sounds from the Axial sound library site thanks to the wave expansion slot.

    In addition to its impressive sound range, the JUNO-DS61 is incredibly user-friendly. Its simple and intuitive interface features knobs, sliders, and pads that allow you to easily manipulate and control your sounds in real-time. With the help of the graphic LCD display, navigating menus and adjusting settings is a breeze. The Phrase Pads further enhance the user experience, enabling you to trigger audio files or drum patterns for added creativity and flexibility.

    Not only is the JUNO-DS61 packed with features, but it’s also incredibly portable and powerful. Weighing in at just 5.3kg (11 lbs. 12 oz.), this synth is lightweight and easy to transport, making it the perfect companion for musicians on the go. Additionally, it offers a battery option, giving you the freedom to play and perform without being tethered to an electrical outlet. Despite its compact size, the JUNO-DS61 boasts a 61-key keyboard with velocity sensitivity, a 128-voice polyphony, and a built-in audio interface that allows for seamless recording and playback on your computer.

    Finally, the JUNO-DS61 is not just a sound machine but also a creative partner. Its pattern sequencer empowers you to compose your own songs, while the vocal effects enable you to enhance your voice with reverb, distortion, or auto-pitch. Further exploration of its features reveals the ability to layer and split sounds, as well as assign different sounds to different parts of the keyboard, providing an expressive playing experience that enhances your musical journey.

    Whether you’re in the studio or performing on stage, the Roland JUNO-DS61 is equipped to handle any musical situation. Offering versatility, ease of use, and affordability, this synthesizer truly delivers exceptional sound quality. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to own an instrument that will elevate your music to new heights.

CONS

  • The Roland JUNO-DS61 is a versatile and portable synthesizer with a wide range of sounds, effects, and features. It’s praised as one of the best synthesizers under $1000 available in 2023. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider when purchasing this instrument:

    1. The keyboard action lacks expressiveness. The JUNO-DS61 features 61 synth-type touch-sensitive keys suitable for synth sounds but not ideal for piano or other acoustic instruments. The keys have a light and plasticky feel, providing limited resistance and feedback. If you desire a more expressive and natural keyboard experience, the JUNO-DS88 with 88 weighted hammer-action keys may be a better choice.

    2. The sound quality is not high-end. While the JUNO-DS61 offers 1200+ presets and a wave expansion slot, some sounds lack detail or realism, sounding thin or dated compared to similar-priced synthesizers. The effects are basic with limited depth and character. For a more professional and modern sound quality, consider synthesizers with advanced sound engines and effects like the Yamaha MODX6 or the Korg Krome EX 61.

2. Moog Grandmother

VINTAGE ANALOG POWER

32-note velocity-sensitive keyboard.Two analog oscillators with versatility.
Classic Moog filter with versatility.Built-in spring reverb, sequencer.
Picture by Moog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

PROS

    • If you are in the market for a synthesizer that seamlessly combines the timeless Moog sound with the adaptability of a semi-modular design, the Moog Grandmother is definitely worth considering. Not only does this keyboard-based synth fall within the affordable price range of under $1000, but it also boasts several impressive features that make it truly stand out from the competition. Let’s delve into the reasons why the Moog Grandmother is regarded as one of the best synthesizers in its price range:

      First and foremost, the Moog Grandmother comes equipped with a remarkable 32-note, velocity-sensitive keyboard that is not only highly responsive but also incredibly expressive. In addition to this, the keyboard features an array of useful functions such as pitch and modulation wheels, octave and sequencer buttons, and a glide knob that enables smooth portamento effects.

      Furthermore, the Moog Grandmother is armed with two analog oscillators, each offering four waveforms and boasting functionalities like hard sync, linear FM, and pulse-width modulation. This impressive feature allows the oscillators to produce an extensive range of tones, spanning from thick, resonant basses and captivating leads to metallic, bell-like sounds and atmospheric drones.

      Moreover, the Moog Grandmother is equipped with the iconic Moog ladder filter that offers the option to switch between low-pass and high-pass modes. The filter also includes a dedicated resonance knob and an envelope generator, allowing for the creation of self-oscillating, screaming sounds or dynamic effects through modulation by the LFO or external sources.

      Adding even more value to this remarkable synthesizer is the inclusion of a built-in spring reverb that contributes warmth and depth to the overall sound. Additionally, the Moog Grandmother offers a 256-step sequencer and arpeggiator, both of which can be synchronized to external MIDI or analog clock signals. The sequencer can store up to three patterns and can be effortlessly transposed on the fly.

      What sets the Moog Grandmother apart from its competitors is the presence of 35 patch points, which afford users the ability to rewire the internal signal path or connect the synthesizer to other modular devices. With the included patch cables, intricate and complex patches can be created, or alternatively, the Grandmother can be utilized as a controller for your Eurorack system.

      In conclusion, the Moog Grandmother undoubtedly offers an exceptional synthesis experience. With its affordable price tag, top-notch features, and the ability to integrate seamlessly into modular setups, the Moog Grandmother is truly a versatile and powerful synthesizer that provides unbeatable value for money.

CONS

  • The Moog Grandmother is a semi-modular analog synthesizer with a timeless Moog sound and vintage design. It ranks among the finest synthesizers for less than $1000 in 2023, but there are drawbacks worth considering before purchasing. Here are two cons of the Moog Grandmother:

    1. Limited polyphony. As a monophonic synthesizer, the Moog Grandmother can only play one note at a time. This can restrict your creative possibilities and make it challenging to play chords, pads, or intricate melodies. To generate polyphonic sounds, you’ll require an external MIDI keyboard or sequencer, or employ multiple tracks in a DAW.

    2. Bulky and heavy. The Moog Grandmother is not a portable synthesizer, weighing 16.8 pounds and measuring 23 x 14.2 x 5.5 inches. It also necessitates an external power supply and lacks a built-in speaker. Thus, it can be inconvenient to transport or utilize in cramped spaces. If you seek a compact and lightweight synthesizer, the Moog Grandmother may not be ideal.

3. Behringer DeepMind 12

POLYPHONIC POWERHOUSE

12-voice analog polyphonic synth.Powerful modulation matrix with versatility.
User-friendly interface with dedicated controls.Sturdy, lightweight, and versatile.
Picture by Behringer

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

PROS

  • The Behringer DeepMind 12 is a highly recommended synthesizer for those seeking a versatile and affordable instrument. Priced under $1000, it proves to be excellent value for money thanks to its numerous features and exceptional sound quality.

    First and foremost, the DeepMind 12 offers a rich and warm analog sound that will impress even the most discerning audiophiles. This is achieved through its two digitally controlled oscillators per voice, allowing for a wide array of sonic possibilities. Additionally, the switchable 12/24dB/oct VCF (Voltage-Controlled Filter) ensures a precise and powerful sound shaping experience. The true bypass digital effects section further enhances the potential for creating diverse and captivating soundscapes.

    The powerful modulation matrix is another standout feature of the DeepMind 12. With eight slots and over 130 sources and destinations, virtually any parameter within the synth can be modulated. This includes not only the sound effects, but also elements such as LFOs, envelopes, aftertouch, and velocity. Such a comprehensive range of modulation options guarantees a level of creativity that is unmatched in this price range.

    The user-friendly interface of the DeepMind 12 greatly contributes to its ease of use. A large LCD screen, coupled with dedicated controls for most parameters, ensures efficient sound editing and tweaking. Thanks to the free app available for iOS and Android devices, users can access even deeper editing functions, further expanding the synth’s capabilities and customization possibilities.

    Despite its numerous features, the DeepMind 12 remains lightweight yet sturdy due to its metal case and wooden side panels. The inclusion of a 49-note velocity and aftertouch-sensitive keyboard, pitch and modulation wheels, octave up/down switches, and polyphonic portamento allows for expressive and nuanced playing experiences.

    In conclusion, the Behringer DeepMind 12 is an exceptional synth that combines affordability with exceptional sound quality and versatility. It is the perfect instrument for those who are enthusiastic about exploring the vast possibilities of analog synthesis without straining their finances. Its range of features, user-friendly interface, and excellent build quality make it a standout choice within its price range. If you are in search of a synthesizer under $1000 that offers an impressive array of capabilities, the DeepMind 12 should be at the top of your list.

CONS

  • The Behringer DeepMind 12 is a reasonably priced 12-voice analog polyphonic synthesizer with a plethora of features and sounds. However, it does have a couple of drawbacks to consider before purchasing:

    1. Fan noise is an issue with the DeepMind 12 due to the two internal fans used for circuitry cooling. These fans generate audible noise which can be bothersome, especially in a studio environment or at lower volumes. Some users have found ways to reduce the fan noise, such as altering the power supply or adjusting the fan speed, but this can potentially void the warranty or damage the synthesizer.

    2. The modulation options on the DeepMind 12 are relatively limited compared to other synthesizers in its price range. Although it features a modulation matrix for assigning sources and destinations, certain parameters like filter resonance, oscillator shape, and effects cannot be modulated. Additionally, some modulation sources, such as the noise generator and aftertouch, are shared between voices, preventing individual voice modulation.

    While the DeepMind 12 has its drawbacks, it also boasts advantages such as its warm and rich sound, extensive effects section, and user-friendly interface. Ultimately, your personal preferences and requirements will dictate if the DeepMind 12 is the right synthesizer for you.

4. Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V

HYBRID CUSTOMIZABILITY

3 oscillators, 4 voice modes.Flexible and controlled sound shaping.
Four voice modes: Poly, Mono, Unison, Chord.Dual effects add depth, dimension.
Picture by Korg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

PROS

  • If you’re in the market for a versatile and powerful synthesizer without breaking the bank, look no further than the Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V. This analog synth offers a multitude of features and sounds that make it truly stand out among its competitors. Here, we delve into the four most significant advantages of the Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V:

    Firstly, it boasts three oscillators per voice, one of which is a digital oscillator capable of producing FM and wavetable synthesis. This versatility opens up a vast array of sonic possibilities, ranging from classic analog tones to cutting-edge digital timbres. Additionally, Korg provides an SDK (software development kit) that allows you to design and implement your own custom oscillators and effects.

    Secondly, the Korg Prologue features a filter with drive and adjustable gain compensation. This enables you to shape the sound with unparalleled flexibility and control. By tweaking the parameters, you can traverse the spectrum from smooth and warm to aggressive and distorted. The gain compensation ensures consistent volume levels regardless of the filter settings.

    The third noteworthy advantage lies in its four voice modes: Poly, Mono, Unison, and Chord. These modes permit you to allocate and play the eight voices in unique ways, resulting in an assortment of captivating effects and textures. For instance, Poly mode is ideal for lush pads, Mono mode for fat basses, Unison mode for thick leads, and Chord mode for harmonious layers.

    Lastly, the Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V hosts a dual effects section, comprising a modulation effect and a delay/reverb effect. From a plethora of options, including chorus, flanger, phaser, ensemble, tape echo, and hall reverb, you can select the perfect effect to add depth, dimension, and ambience, enhancing the overall character and mood of your sound.

    These are merely a few of the many advantages the Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V synthesizer has to offer. Other features to explore and enjoy include the arpeggiator, the split/layer/crossfade functions, the 500 program locations, and the sleek design. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of this marvelous synthesizer, be sure to browse through the numerous online reviews and demos available. The Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V undoubtedly stands as one of the finest synthesizers priced under $1000 in 2023.

CONS

  • The Korg Prologue 49-Key 8V is a powerful and versatile synth with a wide range of sounds and features. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider before purchasing:

    Firstly, it lacks aftertouch and a built-in sequencer. Without aftertouch, you won’t be able to modulate sound by applying pressure to the keys, which may limit expressiveness and creativity. Additionally, the absence of a sequencer means you’ll need an external sequencer or a DAW to record and playback your own patterns.

    Secondly, the Prologue has limited user oscillator and effect slots. Although you can create your own oscillators and effects using the software development kit, you’re limited to only one user oscillator and one user effect per voice. This restricts your ability to experiment with various combinations or use multiple custom oscillators/effects simultaneously.

    Consider these factors when deciding if the Korg Prologue is the right synth for you.

5. Moog Subsequent 25

COMPACT MOOG POWER

Classic Moog sound with versatility.Simple and intuitive interface.
Paraphonic mode allows complex sounds.Versatile connectivity, inputs/outputs expandability.
Picture by Moog

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

PROS

  • If you are in the market for a top-notch analog synthesizer that won’t break the bank, look no further than the Moog Subsequent 25. Priced under $1000, this compact and powerful monophonic synth is packed with impressive sonic possibilities and features. Let’s take a closer look at some of the advantages the Moog Subsequent 25 brings to the table.

    First and foremost, this synthesizer boasts the classic Moog sound that has become renowned in the music industry. The Subsequent 25 inherits the same sought-after dual-oscillator design, sub-oscillator, mixer, filter, and multidrive circuit from the Subsequent 37, which is based on the legendary Minimoog Model D. The result is a rich, warm, and fat sound that offers an extensive range of timbres and modulation options.

    In addition to its exceptional sound, the Subsequent 25 sports a straightforward and user-friendly interface. While it has fewer knobs and buttons compared to its sibling, the Subsequent 37, it retains most of the functionality and hidden parameters. You’ll have no trouble accessing the essential controls needed to shape your sound, such as waveform, pitch, filter, envelope, and LFO. The keyboard is highly responsive with velocity sensitivity, and the pitch and mod wheels are both smooth and sturdy.

    What sets the Subsequent 25 apart is its paraphonic mode, enabling you to play two notes simultaneously using one oscillator per note. This opens up a plethora of possibilities for creating complex and captivating sounds, including intervals, chords, and harmonies. Additionally, the filter envelope can act as a modulation source for the second oscillator, resulting in dynamic cross-modulation effects.

    Furthermore, the Subsequent 25 offers versatile connectivity options. It features multiple inputs and outputs that allow seamless integration with other gear, expanding your sonic palette. Whether you want to process external sounds through the filter and multidrive using the external audio input or control the pitch, filter, and volume with external voltage sources via the CV inputs, this synthesizer has got you covered. Moreover, you can connect with other MIDI devices using the MIDI input and output or hook it up to your computer through the USB port to utilize the free editor/librarian software.

    All in all, the Moog Subsequent 25 is an excellent choice for anyone seeking an affordable and portable analog synth without compromising on the iconic Moog sound and quality. You can find it listed as one of the best synthesizers under $1000 on our website. Don’t miss out on acquiring this exceptional instrument that guarantees outstanding sound exploration and creativity.

CONS

  • The Moog Subsequent 25 is a powerful and versatile analog synthesizer that offers many sonic possibilities at a reasonable price. However, it has some drawbacks to consider before purchasing.
  • Firstly, it has limited modulation options, with only one LFO and two envelopes. Compared to synthesizers in the same price range like the Korg Minilogue XD or Arturia MicroFreak, the Subsequent 25 has fewer modulation sources and destinations, limiting its complexity.
  • Secondly, it lacks an arpeggiator or sequencer, which are common on modern synthesizers for creating rhythmic patterns and melodies. To use these features, you would need to connect to an external device. While the Subsequent 25 has strengths like excellent sound quality, an intuitive interface, and a compact size, it’s essential to evaluate your needs before making a decision. If you desire a straightfoorward analog synth with a classic Moog sound, the Subsequent 25 may be suitable. However, if you prioritize additional modulation options and features, explore other options.

6. Roland JD-XI 37

ANALOG-DIGITAL CROSSOVER

Analog monosynth section with filter.SuperNATURAL technology delivers realistic sounds.
Built-in 16-step pattern sequencer.Vocoder with robotic voice effects.
Picture by Roland

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

PROS

  • If you are in search of a versatile and powerful synthesizer that falls under the $1000 budget, look no further than the Roland JD-XI 37. This compact and interactive synth combines various features such as an analog engine, digital sounds, a sequencer, and a vocoder into one single package. Numerous pros make the Roland JD-XI 37 a top contender:

    Firstly, it boasts a true analog monosynth section that is capable of producing warm and rich sounds, thanks to its dedicated filter, envelope, and LFO. Additionally, you can even utilize the analog filter to process external audio signals, expanding its possibilities.

    Secondly, the JD-XI 37 incorporates two digital synth parts that utilize Roland’s SuperNATURAL technology, resulting in realistic and expressive sounds. With over 1200 presets to choose from, including pianos, strings, brass, drums, and more, there is an exceptional variety to ensure you never run out of sonic options.

    Next, this synthesizer includes a built-in 16-step pattern sequencer that enables you to create loops and songs spontaneously. Whether in real-time or step mode, you can effortlessly record notes, drum hits, and parameter changes. Furthermore, you have the ability to chain up to eight patterns together for even longer sequences.

    Lastly, the JD-XI 37 incorporates a gooseneck microphone and a vocoder section, which allows you to transform your voice into robotic and futuristic effects. Moreover, the AutoPitch function can be employed to correct your pitch or generate harmonies.

    The Roland JD-XI 37 is a synthesizer that offers exceptional value for its price tag. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced player, this instrument provides a vast array of sonic possibilities to explore. For more information, visit the official website of the Roland JD-XI 37 or read some user reviews on Amazon.

CONS

  • The Roland JD-Xi is a powerful and versatile synthesizer that offers great features within its price range. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider before purchasing.
  • Firstly, the mini keyboard and pitch/mod wheels may not be comfortable or expressive for playing, as they are smaller and less sturdy than standard-sized alternatives. Connecting an external MIDI keyboard defeats the purpose of portability.
  • Secondly, the menu system and editing interface are not user-friendly or intuitive, with hidden parameters and functions in menus and submenus. The small LCD screen, unresponsive knobs and buttons, and confusing multiple functions are frustrating. Nevertheless, the JD-Xi delivers value for money, but choose wisely considering these pros and cons.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top