8 polyphony on an analog synth. tons of fun unison stuff to mess with. you can go mono and get acid out of this thing too, with a bit of patience. I love that you can make it reset any given patch to a basic sawtooth setting for building your own from scratch. gated sequencer w/ TONS of assignable destinations means a very robust sonic palette to work with. the 3rd (assignable) env leaves you with plenty of ways to get creative. obviously this is lacking many of the fun features and wavetable sounds of the PEK, but in return you get an analog signal path and a slightly different sound in the filter overall (and LOTS of oscillators). modulation options everywhere! awesome! being able to layer patches means alot of flexibility, too. The other review here complaining about the LFO is misleading. The reason the LFO speed slows down is because it moves from the maximum free lfo speed to quantized increments for BPM syncing purposes. I don't find this to be a problem in a live setting at all. I've also had zero problems w/ the OS. oh, did we mention yet that this is a $1500 analog poly? there's not really any competition in this price range out here that isn't a VA. Get a polysix,juno,p600 if you want, but you will not get 1/10th of the sounds this can make.
no monophonic output, i.e., plugging into L out will not sum L+R (this is probably not a biggy for most). no audio input. this is a bummer. i might get chided for this, but doesn't do deep bassline stuff particularly well, imo. this might be a limitation of the curtis chip, or just a unique character trait in exchange for that sizzly metallic sort of sound, but trust me, buy this thing if you're looking for polyphony for leads and awesome pads primarily. you can get great bass sounds, but i'm just saying, don't buy this particularly for that function in your studio. now admittedly this is coming from someone who's owned a voyager/ms20/sh-09, and those are pretty much bass machines, but with all that said, you definitely can make do with proper programming and maybe some compression. don't let the presets fool you, as they are primarily very "sheen-y" often utilitizing all voices in mega-detune unison mode w/ cutoff all the way open, so you get alot of same-y UBERBUZZ sounds. there's a few really good examples of the capabilities of this thing, but overall they can be a bit underwhelming. give it a chance though, and for the love of dave, PROGRAM SOMETHING YOURSELF before passing judgement! at first i was really disappointed, hoping this would be the end-all be-all, but i think w/ some time it will grow on me quite a bit because of it's unique-yet-flexible sound palette. it will produce "analog sounds of the 80s" very well, and w/ a little delay can be absolutely enchanting. you can coax Boards of Canada style pads with Osc slop and modulation. it's scary cool for leads and arpeggios, too. add delay! finally, i really wish DSI would embrace something to indicate the position of at least a few of the knobs w/o having to check the LCD screen. it's not really a big deal, but gets tedious. i suppose that's why you get the patch editor! small price to pay for lot of modulation options, too.
to summarize: this thing rules. it will be a great complement to studios with other analog gear in them. partners GREAT w/ moog stuff. i'm getting a Future Retro XS and Revolution to partner with it, and think this will be an optimal setup. it has a few qualities to it that make it better for some applications than others, but this can be said about every good synth. if you are looking for polyphony and VAs don't cut it for you, get this! i think it rivals the Virus TI very well. Prophet 5 meets the evolver line.