5 Popular Synths That Keep Going Down in Price

Recently here on Reverb, we posted a piece about the continued rise in prices on '80s Roland Juno synthesizers. While watching things move on the vintage market is always intriguing, a look through the depths of sales history data here on Reverb can also reveal a lot of interesting trends within the more contemporary synth industry.

This week, we're looking at five modern synth and drum machines where used prices are sliding in the opposite direction of those Junos, creating some particularly good deals for the budget-minded producers and synthists of the world.

All five of these synths have gone down in price over the past year or so, often as the result of some new version or update or other industry forces. They all remain excellent options in their own right, though, and are worthy considerations for anyone looking to buy their first synth or expand their current rig.

Pro-tip: To land the absolute best deals on any of these models, try adding them to your Reverb Feed. You can even set your own price limit and be notified as soon as a new listing pops up that matches your budget.

Korg Minilogue

Prices reflect monthly average for sales of item in used condition. Prices exclude shipping and tax/VAT/GST.

If you pay attention to the synth industry at all, chances are you've heard of or played with a Korg Minilogue. Launched at NAMM 2016, the Minilogue was at the time the synth many folks were asking for: an approachable, analog polysynth with more heft than something like a Volca, but without the price tag of a pro-level option from Moog or Dave Smith/Sequential Circuits. The synth was a hit and has since topped the list of bestsellers here on Reverb.

Korg followed up on the Minilogue with the monophonic Monologue and heavier-hitting Prologue, but for our purposes today, it's the launch of the Minilogue XD this past year that matters most. This model is a direct upgrade to the original Minilogue, adding more effects, a nifty "digital multi-engine" oscillator, and an expanded sequencer, among other upgrades.

As expected, the launch of this step-up Minilogue has prompted some Minilogue owners to sell their originals to buy an XD. The amount of used inventory has gone up, and prices on first-gen Minilogues have gone down more and more. For a while, average used prices were hovering around $400 to $425 USD. Today, if you use your Feed and keep an eye out, you can nab one for closer to $350, with some selling for even less than that.

From Reverb Reviews
  • Chad J.

    Incredibly powerful synth

    Verified Purchase

    This thing is just laughable for the money. It can do sooo much (in fact, there are many things it can do that much more expensive synths can't do!), and it sounds phenomenal. The wave shape knob alone is an incredibly powerful sound-shaping tool, but when combined with all the other features (sync…Read More ››

Roland TR-8 Rhythm Performer

Prices reflect monthly average for sales of item in used condition. Prices exclude shipping and tax/VAT/GST.

The Roland TR-8 drum machine has followed a similar path to that of the Minilogue with a newer, more expansive version getting released and, therefore, lessening the demand for the original.

In this case, the TR-8S, which was announced in March of 2018, added a load of features that people had asked of the original TR-8, including expanded connectivity options, more stock sounds, and—most important of all—the ability to load your own samples.

While clearly the TR-8S is a more capable and feature-rich instrument, the first generation TR-8 still remains an extremely engaging unit and an excellent choice if the classic sounds of the '80s Roland TR-808 and -909 are what you're after. There's also something to be said for the relative simplicity of the original: An uncluttered layout means an uncluttered workflow, making the older TR-8 an excellent option for straightforward beatmaking in a classic Roland framework.

This time last year, the TR-8 was selling for around $350 used. Today, they are going for closer to $200, which is a great deal for this drum machine by any measure.

From Reverb Reviews
  • Cooper T.

    Modern design, classic beats.

    Verified Purchase

    The Roland TR-8 has taken production and DJing to new heights. Although this is a digital drum machine, you get the sound and feel of its analog ancestors, the Roland TR-808 and TR-909, with modern amenities. It's like buying a 1985 BMW m3 e30 with sat nav, heated seats, and a brand new inline 6 cyl…Read More ››

Arturia MicroBrute

Prices reflect monthly average for sales of item in used condition. Prices exclude shipping and tax/VAT/GST.

The Arturia MicroBrute is a notch or two down from the Minilogue as far as functionality, but it sounds decent and is small enough that you can easily tuck it away in a dorm room desk drawer or backpack. For most, it makes a dandy intro-to-synth option and provides a comfortable training ground before moving up into something more elaborate.

While Arturia has put out a lot of cool, affordable synths lately—including the spiritually ambitious MicroFreak—unlike our first two examples, there haven't been any specific updated versions of this diminutive synth since its launch in 2014, apart from a few limited-edition color runs. Prices have gone down, though, and today, you can nab a used Micro for as low as $150 if you keep your eyes out (and Reverb Feed primed).

As to why this model has gone down in price even without a direct replacement, it probably comes down to how many people have bought these over the years and then resold them into the wild when buying something more elaborate, thus creating a glut of used inventory.

Plus, compared to 2014 when it first came out, there are now a ton of competing beginner analog synths on the market, creating more competition that didn't exist five years ago.

From Reverb Reviews
  • Gregory J.

    First Synth...Probably Not My Last

    Verified Purchase

    This is my first "hardware" synth after tinkering with a few software synths on my iPad. I have to say, it's tons of fun. I'm enjoying taking my "virtual" learning into a more tactile and responsive feel and get some good (and more really crappy) sounds. The direct manipulation of each knob, switch, and slider is getting me to be more intuitive with the interface. Read More ››

Behringer DeepMind Series

Prices reflect monthly average for sales of item in used condition. Prices exclude shipping and tax/VAT/GST.

Over the past few years, cheap gear monolith Behringer has entered the synth game in a big way, most notably releasing a series of clones of classic synths like the Minimoog Model D and SH-101, as well as a ton of promissory prototype images of other clone models that are bound to come out sooner or later. Their first real foray into the synth market came in the form of the DeepMind, which is available as a 12- or 6-voice keyboard as well as a 12-voice desktop module.

While largely inspired by the Juno-106, the DeepMind is its own thing, and while some reviewers haven't been crazy about the menu-screen-heavy interface, there's a lot going on with this synthesizer. Each voice has two DCOs and LFOs, along with an extensive modulation matrix, four digital effect engines, a sequencer, built-in WiFi, and all sorts of other mass-produced bells and whistles.

Over the past six months or so, prices on all three DeepMinds have dipped significantly. When it launched, the DeepMind 12 keyboard carried a $999 price tag, and can now be snagged for about half that on Reverb.

The reason for the drop in price on these models is actually relatively straightforward: Behringer lowered the price on new units this past fall, which, obviously enough, ripples into the used market.

Behringer talks a lot about the pride they take in making affordable instruments for real musicians, and for all their many controversies, the brand and its parent company Music Tribes are, if nothing else, a story of economies of scale. It seems like the success of all their synth models, combined with a recent move to a larger, more automated factory in China, is just making their synth margins better and pricing more pliable, which allows for these aggressive price cuts to continue in perpetuity and not just as temporary special deals.

There's also probably some element of increased competition from similarly priced models becoming more available at play here, but regardless of the exact forces, at under $500 used, a DeepMind 12 is a heck of a lot of synth for the price.

From Reverb Reviews
  • Paul L.

    The sounds are huge, and the possibilities and limitless!

    Verified Purchase

    This is a truly great analog synth and I collect vintage analog! It has a ton of presets that cover a whole range of synth history, but the real joy is in crafting your own sounds. Yes, there are a ton of knobs and sliders on the front that you can get great and immediate results from, but inside th…(sync…Read More ››

Moog Grandmother

Prices reflect monthly average for sales of item in used condition. Prices exclude shipping and tax/VAT/GST.

Just last month, Moog announced the release of the new Matriarch, a paraphonic 4-voicer that has the whole synthosphere aglow with anticipation. The Matriarch is, in most ways, an expanded version of the Grandmother that came out last year and quickly racked up points as one of the most well-received monosynths of the modern age.

While it lacks the full power of the newer model, the Grandmother is still a marvelous instrument with a lot of flexibility and more quintessential Moog tonal character than anything else in this price range. If you want that Moog sound with a hearty dose of modern modularity, this is your synthesizer.

As this model is only a year old, used prices have stayed relatively steady for the most part. With the launch of the Matriarch though, we're starting to see more used listings at lower prices, presumably from folks selling their Grandmothers to help finance its paraphonic counterpart.

Moog also temporarily lowered prices on new Grandmothers last month, which should have a ripple effect into the used strata as well. Prices haven't come down as much as some of the other synths mentioned above, but we're just now seeing these in the $600 range for the first time, and anticipate more slides from here.

From Reverb Reviews
  • Jacob V.

    Incredible Synth

    Verified Purchase

    I sat watching and reading reviews for months before finally "springing" for this synth. I have never regretted waiting so long to purchase something in my life. Every day since I have had the Moog Grandmother I have played and experimented with it for at least 5 or 6 hours. The sound is incredible …Read More ››

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