Dubreq Stylophone S2 Review

This is part 2 of Marc Doty’s review of the Dubreq Stylophone S2. As noted in the video, Doty is reviewing a prototype of the S2, so some features may change. 

The Stylophone S2 is an analog synthesizer that can be played using a touch interface, like the original Stylophone.

If you haven’t seen it already, see the previous Stylophone S2 video for the start of this review.

Doty notes:

Here is a preview of some of the sound and functionality of the Dubreq Stylophone S2. A full demo, wherein all functionality and sound is demonstrated is forthcoming.

The device in this demo is a prototype, and not all of the functionality is functional yet. In addition to this, the S2 has a stylish interface which doesn’t indicate exactly what each setting is. The manual had not been written at the time of my receipt of this device, so functionality is not all specifically outlined. But again, a full demonstration of the functionality of the S2 will occur in the future. Thanks!

via AutomaticGainsay

16 thoughts on “Dubreq Stylophone S2 Review

  1. I’m still not seeing anything that really wows me with this thing. There’s nothing unique or dazzling about the sounds it makes, and the program interface doesn’t look very intuitive.

  2. if a used one comes up for less than 200 on ebay, i might be interested… maybe…

    but they want the same price as what i paid for my minibrute, a synth which utterly and completely obliterates that little stylophone in all respects

  3. I think there is a lot of character in the sound, much more than any crazy soft synth.

    Why are people making a big deal about the price?! I think because it’s a Sylophone people assume it must be cheap however it’s a Stylophone only in name. This is a full blown analog mono synth and people on this forum of all foruma are blasting it!?

      1. Remember the S2 has Two oscillators the Mini Brute has one although a very flexible one.
        The Korg MS20 mini is only a little more pricey with two oscillators and much more flexibility true however Korg is a large corporation specializing in prefessional synths. If Arturia were to make a two oscillator Mini Brute it would be even more expensive that the MS20 Mini.

    1. You can’t just make an analog synth and expect everyone to like it. There’s a target market you need to go pursue. On the face of it, the S2 doesn’t seem to offer a lot that’s new sonically, and it’s entering a market that’s seeing a renaissance in affordable and well-spec’d analog gear. It is undeniably unique in terms of portability and fun factor, and it’s backed by the Stylophone brand, which exudes “fun, portable and accessible”. But this is also where the S2 falters – it’s too pricey to be accessible in the same way the classic was, this is an expensive bit of kit that needs to be cared for. And it’s no more accessible than certain other recently launched analogs that may offer greater versatility and a more obvious integration into a home studio. If the S2 was half the price, the accessibility factor would be there, you could have fun with it without worrying too much that it might get damaged, and it wouldn’t be competing head-to-head with more serious stuido gear. Of course, if Dubreq actually intended it to go up against hardware in this price category, perhaps basing the design on the Stylophone wasn’t the best way to create the perception they wanted.

    2. for me it’s because it’s so tiny. it looks like a Casio. with gimicky flashing lights. if it had a more ‘serious’ look people might take it more seriously and then respect the price. the misconception of the device is what Doty is trying to get across but it really is about customer expectations and the physical design not meeting them.

      1. Yet if say Trent Reznor or some other well respected musician were to tout the S2 I’m sure some of you would come to respect it.

  4. I like the graphics on top of the knobs; they let you know where the min/max of the settings are. Cool device – I’d like one.

  5. I mean this kindly as a 350s owner et al, but honest to god Dubreq, given how you have cheapened the Stylophone over the years, why didn’t you go for a simplified S2 at a Monotribe price first to rebuild the brand?

    The other massive problem you have is that everyone thinks they already know what the S2 sounds like – a buzzy ‘organ’ not a fully fledged analogue synth. Out on the road with it like Novation perhaps?

    1. Remember the one show is a prototype. Also it should be noted again that this is two oscillators, a two oscillator Monotribe would cost about what the S2 costs.

      1. Point duly taken. I am rooting for you despite my observations/reservations 😉 Maybe all will be better answered when we see it on stage..

        PS; A little challenge for you
        If you can get David Bowie to use it on his ‘secret’ upcoming dates…… then I’ll definitely buy one..! 🙂

  6. As the owner of a number of analogs the S2 might not be make the list soon but again what people are forgetting is that a musical instrument and every true instrument has it’s own sound. Analog synths in particular do and that sound is a little different with each synth, it’s not just about “features”.

  7. I’m beta-testing the S2, and the version that I have has got a few very handy functions that are not obvious from these demos. Firstly, you can set it to reset the LFO on each new note, allowing it to be used as an envelope generator. Secondly, the filters (it has both low and high-pass filters) can be used in tandem to create band-pass effects. And I have made several suggestions to Dubreq to increase the range of sounds and the playability of the S2. Some of these may be implemented in the production version. And yes – I DID pay for mine!

    Simon “Butterfingers” Beck
    Organ, Wurlitzer piano and Stylophone
    The Skanx

Leave a Reply