Why would one want a Nord Lead 3 as opposed to a Nord Lead 2 or 2X?
October 6, 2011 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Why would one want a Nord Lead 3 as opposed to a Nord Lead 2 or 2X? I know that the original Nord Lead was completely outmoded by the 2 but since I don't currently know anyone who knows synths, I'm not sure if the 2x and 3 are improvements over the 2 and in what ways.

If you guys know the answer or could point me to a forum or resource that might, I would love that. In fact, I'd love to know of good sites to talk about synthesizer programming in general as it's been about a billion years since I've done it and I'm sure I'll have as many questions once I get my hands on one.

posted by telomere to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would highly recommend reading the relevant Sound On Sound reviews:
Nord Lead 3
Nord Lead 2X

Basically, the Lead 2X is a slightly souped-up, reworked version of the Lead 2, for which original components were becoming hard to source. The Lead 3 is a new synth which has a different sound and interface.

Incidentally, I've always been curious about the Nord Wave synth, though never got my paws on one. AFAIK, it's well worth looking into.
posted by Magnakai at 9:50 AM on October 6, 2011

Sorry, that should read was a new synth. It was released 10 years ago, and apparently discontinued in 2007.
posted by Magnakai at 9:51 AM on October 6, 2011

Thanks, Magnakai! That's all very useful information-- I had never heard of Sound On Sound before and it looks like a good site for reviews. Unfortunately, the forums don't really seem that useful for someone in my position so if you know of any that might suit, I'd love to know.

Now that I've skimmed the reviews, I feel as though I can probably live with a 2 for a while until I decide whether or not I'm serious enough about playing to warrant spending the money on a 2x or 3.

I found a used 2 online for $650 but am reluctant to pull the trigger as the seller wrote this: "The casing around the wire is slightly torn, however the inside wires are perfectly insulated. In fact, this happens to most Nord Leads". I'm not sure if that's a potential issue or not and if it is how easy it would be to fix.

Also (and I feel a bit silly asking this) when buying on Craigslist (something I've never done before) is it ok to try to negotiate the price? At what point in the transaction do you do that? Initially via email or in person? How much of a discount can you ask for without seeming like a jerk in this specific case?
posted by telomere at 10:12 AM on October 6, 2011

I initially considered the Nord Lead but ultimately opted for the Nord Wave instead... The quality and warmth of the sound is incredible. Can sound very organic if desired.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:55 AM on October 6, 2011

Nord Lead 2x vs. 3 is one of those "coke vs. pepsi" arguments that comes up a lot in synth discussions. I used to be very active on the vintage synth explorer forums a few years back and you should check it out if you haven't already. Here's one of probably many threads relevant to your interests.
posted by modernserf at 12:58 PM on October 6, 2011

It seems like the main difference is the extra FM synth capability. If you don't know the difference between FM synthesis and Analog synthesis that probably won't mean much, but you can make different sorts of sounds with FM synthesis than you can with subtractive synthesis.
posted by empath at 3:27 PM on October 6, 2011

Also, if you're just getting into synth programming, you can save yourself a LOT of money by getting a decent soft synth like FM-8 or Sylenth.

There are free demos online for most of them and you can experiment to your hearts content making new sounds.

Subtractive synthesis is subtractive synthesis pretty much, and if you figure out how to design sounds on a decent soft synth, it shouldn't be too hard to recreate them on a Nord and vice versa.
posted by empath at 3:29 PM on October 6, 2011

The original Nord Lead was a classic synth in it's own right, I had one when they came out. I found it extremely cold at the time because I was comparing it to my other synth, the Arp Odyssey, but in retrospect it had real personality compared to many of its' contemporary virtual analog synths.

The only thing that 'outmoded' it would be the Nord Modular, which I would definitely recommend you check out unless you need a full keyboard for performance (G2s are still very expensive).
posted by tremspeed at 11:12 PM on October 7, 2011

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