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We've seen countless hardware synths over the past 40 years - and the market for them is currently booming - but only a few instruments can claim true classic status. These synths made a historical impact, changing the way future instruments would be designed and, most importantly, inspiring the musicians who played them.
These are the synths we're celebrating here, as we count down the 10 best synths of all time. You will, of course, have your own ideas of what we should have included (or omitted), and your opinions are now less valid than our own. It pained us to leave some of classics out, and we debated long and hard over some of the inclusions.
Still, it can't be denied that each and every one of these synths has made an indelible mark on the music industry. You'll note that a good number of them were designed and built by individuals, working with limited means, but with unlimited imaginations. All of them have a character that is unique to that instrument. Some are classy, some quirky and all of them still worth a look. Maybe more so now that the industry is awash in mass-produced, assembly line instruments.
If you own one of these instruments, then you can count yourself among those insightful enough to recognise a Very Good Thing when you saw one. If not, there's always eBay.
With that, let the countdown begin.