Best Polyphonic Synth Under 1000 in 2023

A synthesizer can be an excellent method to develop your distinctive sound. Choosing the correct instrument is essential whether you want to start playing music or are a band member. Our research team tested 26 different models to identify the top synthesizers available. Our editor chose the Novation MiniNova, which has a small, portable form factor but a significant melodic punch. We also ranked additional models at various prices to ensure everyone could choose the best model. Our team spent numerous hours looking for the best polyphonic synth under 1000.

In order to determine whether you can detect a difference in sound between analog and digital devices, we first looked at both of them. The keyboard, sequencers, connection, effects, and polyphony are among the features examined regarding their implications on overall performance. We have investigated if the model has intuitive programming and how user-friendly the layout and menus are. For all, having a tool with numerous functionalities is useless if changing the settings necessitates hours of menu trawling. Our research findings are displayed as an overview table with thorough product reviews. We’ve also provided a buying guide to help you with your final selection.

Best Polyphonic Synth Under 1000

Buying Guide For Best Polyphonic Synth Under 1000

The perfect synth may completely change your ability to create a distinctive sound, whether you’re trying to learn how to play or wish to perform live. Choosing the best model for you might be challenging, given the many options available. To assist you in making your choice, we have provided a buying guide with points to consider, features to look for, and typical queries.

What to anticipate from a $1000 or less synthesizer

In the recent past, purchasing a synthesizer for less than $1,000 didn’t get the buyer many features. Right now, regarding sound and functionality, you can get much more for your money. Even with the best vintage synth under $1,000, finding something exceptional on the used market will be difficult. With any of the synthesizers on our list, you can get fantastic sounds and a tonne of functionality for much less money. Things to take into account when selecting a synthesizer Choosing the best synth for your needs can be overwhelming with so many available. To help you reduce your selections and locate the right instrument, we’ll look at some of the features you should consider.

Analog vs. digital

It would be best if you first decided whether you want an analog or digital synth when you decide to take the plunge and get your first hardware synthesizer. The sounds you wish to create are at the heart of your decision.

input/output for MIDI

The vast 5-pin MIDI connections are found on the back of many synthesizers, and some of them also feature USB ports that may be used to send MIDI notes and messages from a computer. Several MIDI ports or a MIDI through the port will be beneficial if you have a lot of hardware because MIDI is required to maintain all the instruments playing simultaneously.


To connect to an editor and store patches or sequences, most current synthesizers feature a USB connector for MIDI (as demonstrated above). The computer serves as the primary production hub in modern studios, where most project management is done. The conventional 14″ audio jack, which has a single output for mono synths and two stereo outputs for polyphonic synths, continues to be the norm for audio hookups. A 14″ audio input jack on some synthesizers lets the user process other sound sources through the synthesizer. So this is an excellent alternative if you’ve ever wondered what your guitar sounds like via a filter.

Weight and size

Each portable synthesizer on our list is simple to carry to a show or the studio. A more manageable keyboard with 49 keys or fewer is a good option if you intend to perform live. A soft gig bag is cheaper for synthesizers, but buying a hard case will better protect your purchase.

Comparison Table:

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Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer 

Novation MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer

This might be our top pick for a keyboard synth under $1,000 if you want a smaller instrument. As Novation’s response to the hugely popular Korg MicroKORG, the MiniNova Analog Modeling Synthesizer was created. But Novation went further and produced an extremely portable, incredibly adaptable synthesizer. The MiniNova delivers a superb playing experience with a clean interface if you can tolerate using the thinner keys. The filter cut-off knob is more prominent and ready for adjustment, and rubber-illuminated buttons can be assigned to preset sequences.

The Novation MiniNova is the younger sibling of the recently discontinued Novation Ultranova, but it lacks an inbuilt audio interface. You receive a 3-octave tiny keyboard powered by either the provided power supply or a USB connector. The futuristic blue hue, lighted pitch, and mod wheels are designed for use in clubs with low lighting. There is room for 256 onboard sounds, a straightforward genre-based user interface, and easy access to the sound patches. Patch creation can need some menu sleuthing, but if you can access a computer, the free editor program streamlines the procedure.

Elektron Digitone 8-voice Digital Synth

Elektron Digitone 8-voice Digital Synth

Our top choice is the Elektron Digitone 8-voice Digital Synth due to its unmatched freedom for sound design, the motivating sequencer, and the exceptional build quality. Swedish company Elektron is renowned for its thoughtful designs and attention to detail. The Digitone, a digital synthesizer that employs a four-part Frequency Modulation or FM synthesis engine, is no exception. This is the sound module version; a keyboard version, which was just published, is now also offered but is somewhat more expensive. You may need a midi keyboard to operate this Digitone model.

FM synthesis was the exclusive domain of devoted synth geeks with academic degrees. Older FM synths had strong sound engines that were challenging to program, such as the Yamaha DX-7. Nevertheless, the Digitone eliminates all these issues thanks to a clear OLED color display and a user-friendly menu with many controls. Due to its ability to produce various sounds, this polyphonic synth is the best sub-$1000 option on our list. This instrument can be programmed to sound like anything you can think of, including a piano, bells, drums, and ancient analog synthesizers.

Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer – Creation Edition

Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer - Creation Edition

For customers who have a smaller studio or require a portable instrument for concerts, the Arturia MicroBrute Analog Synthesizer – Creation Edition might be the most excellent analog synth under $1,000. A single multi-wave VCO that enables waveform mixing, a helpful step sequencer, a Steiner-Parker analog filter, and the Brute Factor knob to impart gritty distortion to your patches are all combined in this tiny powerhouse. A tiny modular matrix is offered to add extra modulation and establish connections with other equipment that use Eurorack-compatible CV.

Be aware of the monophonic synthesizer’s straightforward interface. The signal patch is entirely analog and may be manipulated to provide rhythm and interest by shaping the waves and the entire patch. It has 24 highly playable keys, is available on a small form factor, and can be brought to a gig in a bag. For producers who have never bought a true analog synth, this entry point offers all this functionality at a very reasonable price.

Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth

Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth

The finest performance synth under $1,000 on our list may be the Korg Minilogue 4-Voice Polyphonic Analog Synth. This analog synthesizer features four-note polyphony and digital storage for rapid patch switching in the studio or live. A convenient 16-step sequencer and an arpeggiator mode with side chaining are available for playing intricate and rhythmic pieces. The patches are simple to change and prevent menu hopping; the most crucial functions have a dedicated button or knob. Although this instrument is well-built and lightweight, the silver metal chassis looks stunning.

The Minilogue offers a wide variety of waveforms, features a small OLED screen that offers plenty of feedback, and displays the waveform of each note as you play, much like a miniature oscilloscope. The sound palette can be significantly expanded by shaping the waveforms to produce more intricate shapes. This is an excellent tool for sound creation because the knob movements may be captured into a motion sequence to create movement. The Minilogue features a 200-patch and sequence storage capacity and a 100% analog signal line with digital control.

Yamaha REFACE CS Portable Analog Modeling Synthesizer

Yamaha REFACE CS Portable Analog Modeling Synthesizer

The most excellent hardware synth under $1,000 on our list might be the Yamaha REFACE CS Portable Analog Modeling Synthesizer. This synthesizer contains a built-in effects section, 37 tiny keys, 8 polyphonic notes, and a virtual analog sound engine. Yamaha inspired this instrument from earlier models like the underappreciated AN1x and the CS1x. The REFACE CS, however, differs from those other highly respected 90s models in that it is easier to program and has a smaller form factor. Several different waveforms are available, and the sound can be adjusted using the sliders. The supersaw sawtooth sounds will appeal to enthusiasts of virtual analog, and the pulse width modulation adds a lot of depth.

Each oscillator includes three sliders: Type, Texture, and Mod. By adjusting these, you can change the sound, and by balancing these sliders, you can shift the tone. Despite being a virtual analog synth, the REFACE CS contains an FM oscillator, providing a more versatile sound design tool than many other synths in the same price range. The sounds are sent through a chorus/flanger, distortion, or phaser/delay effect after passing through a low-pass filter section.


Finally, we’ve found some fantastic synths for under $1,000, from the fully analog Korg Minilogue, which has four-voice polyphony and an easy-to-use sequencer, to the Arturia Microbrute, which is not only excellent value but also gives you the freedom to mix waveforms and create new ones.

The Novation MiniNova, our editor’s choice as the best synth under $1,000, stands out as the clear winner. This fantastic model comes with a free sound editor and has excellent potential for sound design. The MiniNova is perfect for gigging or playing at home because it contains 256 onboard sounds and easy-to-find sound patches despite its small size.

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