Minimal marvel or beige and boring? Vongon's Replay is likely to divide synth-heads with its unique aesthetic

vongon replay
(Image credit: Vongon)

Vongon, a Californian manufacturer best known for making effects pedals like the Polyphrase and Paragraphs, has announced the release of its first synth.

Replay is a polyphonic virtual analogue synth that's said to be inspired by the Roland Juno and Korg Polysix. Nothing particularly revolutionary there, but the most striking feature of this synth is its minimalist design. 

Bedecked in a beige aluminium housing with an all-beige keyboard and barely legible text, it looks a little more like a prototype than a finished product. However you feel about it, it's certainly an eye-catching and distinctive aesthetic that reminds us of the virally popular Nopia, launched last year.

Replay is equipped with a six-voice virtual analogue sound engine offering four oscillator waveforms and seven LFO waveforms that Vongon says is capable of producing everything from "rich pads and vibrant leads to snappy arpeggios and deep sub-bass tones". There's a multi-mode arpeggiator on board, but no sequencer.


(Image credit: Vongon)

The instrument's 2½-octave keyboard uses Cherry MX keys typically found in mechanical computer keyboards. The top panel hosts a set of 22 controls comprised of a number of Rogan knobs, faders and switches; the synth can also be controlled via a web interface where you can manage presets, access deeper parameter levels and update the firmware.

As for connectivity, you'll find balanced line-level 1/4" audio ins and outs along with 3.5mm and USB MIDI. 

While its sleek and stripped-back design has its charms, Replay's modest spec sheet doesn't quite justify its price tag of $899, which could fetch you a whole lot more elsewhere in terms of power and functionality. It does sound great, though; take a listen in the video below.

Find out more on Vongon's website.


(Image credit: Vongon)
Matt Mullen
Tech Editor

I'm the Tech Editor for MusicRadar, working across everything from artist interviews to product news to tech tutorials. I love electronic music and I'm endlessly fascinated by the tools we use to make it. When I'm not behind my laptop keyboard, you'll find me behind a MIDI keyboard, carefully crafting the beginnings of another project that I'll ultimately abandon to the creative graveyard that is my overstuffed hard drive.

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