Behringer gained its reputation by building synthesizer clones at a very competitive price, and the Poly D is probably the best example of that. Just one look and you know this is a Moog Minimoog Model D clone, at least on the exterior. But does it sound really good? After all this is mostly what matters when buying this synth. Does it mimic a Moog? How close does it get? Do the filters sound the same? The answers is: Yes, very close. This synth sounds glorious, very analog, and very Moog like, of course there are subtle differences which can be heard if you test both units side by side, but the overall sound of the Behringer Poly D can easily be mistaken for a Moog when played in a band or mixed with other instruments.
The Minimoog Model D reissue sells for well over $4,000, and the Behringer Poly D sells for just under $700 at the time of this writing. That is a huge difference, one that honestly cannot be justified unlike you are really stuck on the Moog brand. Synthesizer technology has become so advanced, and manufacturers have access to a wider variety of sound chips, and what seemed special back in the day, no longer is. In a way it is unfortunate, and Behringer can be guilty of erasing that uniqueness but at the same time we would all like to own a Moog Minimoog wouldn't we. This could be a lengthy debate and both sides would make a good point, at the end we are where we are and Behringer is not going away anytime soon, so let us enjoy their products and play their beautiful instruments.
The Poly D is a very nice instrument to play and twisting knobs is great fun and rewarding, it can sound very fat and the filter is expressive. The step sequencer is very comprehensive and has many features and options such as glide and ratchets between notes.
The Poly D is 4 voice polyphonic (or paraphonic if you prefer), it has three ways of play, monophonic, unison, and polyphonic. Unison can sound really fat with four slightly detuned oscillators, polyphonic is interesting, if you play four notes then each note will use one oscillator, if you play two notes then each note will use two oscillators, play three notes it uses one oscillator each.
We do like the Poly D, it is well built, plays nice and sounds great, our only gripe is that you cannot save patches, and this probably to lend homage to the Minimoog Model D, however this limitation gets old and the synth becomes more like a fun knob turning instrument and less like a musician's instruments. Not only does saving patches records your settings for tomorrow or six months later, it also allows you to share your patches with other people in the synth community. Most synths nowadays allow exporting and importing patches, if saving patches was a feature this synth would have received a higher rating, however we simply cannot ignore this essential feature in today's synth market while there are other synths that do have this option and sounds just as nice.
SYNTHREV RATING: RECOMMENDED AND INEXPENSIVE
- Great sounding instrument
- Comprehensive sequencer
- Excellent build quality
- Cannot save patches
- Limited to four voice polyphony
- One LFO