This thing is a blast. It's a mini sound FX monster. It's basically like having the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet in a box the size of a large smart phone. It's also quite amazing just how much variation you can get, given the minimal controls. Build quality is also surprisingly good. The creaky plastic case and wiggly knobs I expected before purchase are both pleasantly absent.
As far as the audible output hiss, yes, it is definitely there, but I don't see it as a negative at all. It adds a nice dirty, grungy quality to the sound that somehow "fits" this little guy. It also add a lot of character to the delay feedback in its own right. In fact, having grown up listening to LPs and cassettes, I find the hiss brings back good memories of my youth. I also see the multi-octave ribbon as a plus, considering this box's obvious dedication to bizarre sound fx. It allows really beautiful and dramatic cascading note effects that really fit the character of this particular memeber of the Monotron series.
The only real complaint I can level at this device is that the built-in speaker is not up to the task. Low notes are nearly inaudible and the speaker buzzes and distorts when you get to wild with the delay feedback. Not a huge deal, as I plan to run this through my mixer and powered monitors 90% of the time, and a good set of phones or buds takes care of the issue for on-the-go use.
As in the past, dealing with Sweetwater was a pleasure. Excellent communication via phone and email, fast shipping, and even a handful of candy in the shipping box. You can't go wrong with Sweetwater. Thanks, guys!
Now of Korg would only grant my wish for a Monotribe Plus with two oscillators, a dedicated S&H section, and two 16 step tracks for the synth section...Ah, well...