The Dubreq Stylophone S2 – “If You Don’t Want This, There Is Something Wrong With You!”

Remember when we covered the introduction of the new Dubreq Stylophone S2, and everybody thought it was kind of expensive for a Stylophone?

Marc Doty, known to some as the rock star of synth education for his series of in-depth videos, got his hands on a Stylophone S2 prototype and is impressed.

“If you don’t want this,” he says, “There is something wrong with you.”

Check out the video and let us know if you agree!


  • The Stylophone S2 features the traditional Stylophone metal keyboard, but 3 octaves long and playable with an included wire-free stylus or by finger touch.
  • Portable (308mm X 120mm X 26mm and less than 1kg/2lbs in weight).
  • +/- 2 octave shifter
  • All analogue signal path
  • British style 12dB/octave state-variable filter
  • Dual all-transistor voltage controlled oscillators
  • Sub-oscillators for ‘super-fat’ bass
  • Eight waveform LFO with a 14 octave range
  • An auxiliary-input to use the filter and envelope-generator for other instruments
  • 1/4? output jack socket
  • Internal speaker and headphone socket
  • CV and Trigger input sockets.

The Stylophone S2 is priced at £299 UKP or $479 USD. More details are to come, via the Stylophone 2 site.

via reader Mutantmoments

33 thoughts on “The Dubreq Stylophone S2 – “If You Don’t Want This, There Is Something Wrong With You!”

  1. It’s not that we don’t want one. If you read the previous posts on the S2, it’s pretty clear that we just don’t want one for $479.

  2. I’m trying to figure out why I WOULD want one. A stylus as a musical input device has to be one of the worst ideas ever. What do you do after the damn thing rolls into a crack on stage and disappears into the fires of Mordor? Look at how he has to awkwardly pick at the controls and saddle the stylus to use the knobs. LAME

    1. Stylophones are actually really fun to play, minus the limited octaves (on a traditional version). But the price of the S2 takes the fun factor out of it.

    2. You can actually play it with your finger, too. I tried one out and it really sounds quite amazing. Placement of the knobs is a little weird, but it is playable and very awesome sounding. Worth the price? – debatable. But if you play it you cannot be angry at it.

    1. I have about $5k of synth gear sitting on the desk in front of me, and I still think this device is overpriced. Explain that, if you can get over your compulsive need to make snide remarks about other readers of this blog.

      Personally, I’d prefer just the synth with MIDI and CV in, or a metal touch strip with a MIDI out. The touch interface is OK but the attraction of the original Stylophone was that it was cheap and fun. This reminds me of companies demanding high prices for modern versions of cars like the Mini and fiat 500, whereas the originals were meant to be affordable to as many as possible.

  3. Sounds ok but that pointy thing you need to change the oscillator looks super annoying and a gig nightmare if you lost it. If Korg came out with a plastic one for 80 bucks maybe I’d think about it…

  4. I’d love one… but for $500 I could get a MiniBrute, or that Waldorf Rocket, or a few of the Atomo synths, or a Shruthi and a MeeBlip… There are many much better synths in this price range. $199 and I’d probably get it.

    1. The stylus interface seems very cool to me. If you listen, the playing sounds as different on the stylus as a keyboard does from a theremin.

      This won’t be for mainstream buyers, but kudos to Dubreq for doing something daring.

  5. For the cost of this thing you’re approaching Minibrute or MS-20 money. I’d much rather spend the extra £150 and get a proper synth.

    Stylophones are fun, but they’re fun because they’re cheap, cheesy sounding and insanely moddable. This thing costs more than a kidney, and I wouldn’t want to start hacking away knowing that if it breaks it’s not gonna cost me £10 for a new one

  6. I just don’t find the sounds this thing makes very interesting, I think i’ve heard them same thing out of every analog synth demo ever. I don’t need to spend 500 much less 2000 dollars for a crackly saw noise.

  7. so basically that guy is saying “if you dont agree with what i say, something is wrong with you”

    seems pretty conceited and stupid to say the least, but its also an extremely common outlook in general… so its not really surprising to hear it

    journalists love that shit though.. controversy, sensationalism, etc

  8. I must say that the filter with resonance is somewhat underwhelming.
    I think MS20 mini is a goer, as for this, there must be aomething wrong with me.

    Btw, does Mr Doty do these synth-mercials for the love of it, or is there something else at play?

  9. THese guys are well paid to hype up every new synht that comes out. Its just a stylophone, very limited interface, slidy up and down, tinny sound, over priced, basically shit…… etc etc ,but in 20 years it’ll be hailed as a classic and will cost $1000 on ebay

    1. This is just nonsense. Everyone knows that in 20 years we’ll be ruled by giant ants and we’ll have no time to worry about synths.

    1. Marc Doty I’ve heard of. You not so much. At least we now know the denizens of Synthtopia are happy to buy cheap plastic crap but a hand made synth with a whole host of features just isn’t on their radar.

  10. It’s been said before but there really is far more you can get for that sort of money these days.

    Plus this guy doesn’t even seem to know anything about the machine, he spends most of the video guessing it’s features. A well designed user interface means you don’t even need an instruction manual.

    When I watched this I was actually wondering if it was an April fool’s joke.

  11. I completely understand the confusion in regard to the S2.

    1. The unit in this video is a prototype. I received it at NAMM, where it was used in demonstrations. At the time of my receipt, there was no manual. I was given an indication of what the controlling buttons were called, but no indication of the level of their functionality, or the specific settings. As such, I could only guess what was happening in regard to their multiple settings. If this had not been a prototype, I would have been more confident in my assumptions… but since the device is not “set in stone” in this iteration, I couldn’t be absolutely sure that what I was hearing was what was specifically functionally going to be true for production models. It is my desire for accuracy which led to my reticence. Still, that which was done with the device should indicate a great deal of what you should want to know about it.

    2. Everyone has different needs and different tastes, and they assign different values to those in regard to money. I am an analog synth collector and enthusiast. The enthusiasm you see in this video, and the next one, is not feigned. I am excited because this is an analog synth that is portable, battery-operated, functionally rich, FUN to play, and to my ears, great sounding. If you don’t care about those things, and want something different for your money, that’s awesome. But to me, it’s worth the money to have an analog synth I can carry anywhere, play anywhere, effect such diverse sounds, have fun with the novelty of the touch-keyboard, enjoy the aesthetic beauty of, and effing play some synth. You cannot find this combination of factors in other current analog synths. That’s why I’d buy it for the price. I’m also a big fan of the MiniBrute… but this is different from the MiniBrute. It has different sounds, does different things, and is an ENTIRELY different performance experience. If you’re just buying synths for price and features… you’re buying synths for the wrong reasons.

    3. I am not paid for the demonstrations I do. If I’m excited about something, it’s because something is exciting. I understand that a lot of people don’t know who I am or what I’ve done… but your questions will easily be answered with any amount of research at all. I am sometimes contacted by synth manufacturers, but more often, I contact them. I demonstrate synths because I love analog synths. If you’re wondering why I am enthusiastic about all of the synths I demo, you might also wonder why I don’t demo every analog synth. 😉

    4. There is a vast difference between “this device isn’t for me, and as such, I wouldn’t pay that amount for it,” and “this device isn’t worth the money.” 😀

    1. Here’s the thing.

      “an analog synth that is portable, battery-operated, functionally rich, FUN to play, and to my ears, great sounding. If you don’t care about those things, and want something different for your money, that’s awesome.”

      I do care about those things. I’ve been looking exactly for those things. I’ve literally been wishing for a better Stylophone for years. For around $200.

      “You cannot find this combination of factors in other current analog synths. That’s why I’d buy it for the price.”

      You’re right. You can’t find that elsewhere, so it should say something when the majority of people still say it’s way overpriced, even people like me who actually do want one, can afford it, but won’t be buying it.

  12. It does look fun and, being a long time Stylophone advocate, I’d place my order today if only I could spare the cash. Sadly though, my prognosis for this product is of long term rare and cult status. I can easily see Dubreq pumping too much money into developing and producing this thing and then it absolutely tanking when it hits the streets because it’s so niche and relatively expensive on a newly crowded small analogue mono synth market. My advice to anyone who has the spare moolah, is to invest in one of these right now. If the company goes to the wall the thousand or so early adopters who actually receive their Stylophone S2 will have a highly coveted, rare and collectible item that will exponentially multiply in value.
    Just my two penneth.

  13. There must of been something wrong with me because I bought one. The thing looked like it was stored for years. The foil pads were dark and dull and the machined aluminum end caps were scratched. To top it off the filter didn’t work at all. I contacted them and he told me to check the cutoff knob. If it was down no sound would be heard. Well this was not my first synth and I know about the filter cutoff. Next he tried to tell me I might have an old version of the manual and emailed me the same one. At this point he just brushed me off and said they would take it back to inspect, but I would have to pay the shipping. They would fix if it was broken and reimburse me for shipping.I decided to get my money back instead. Great right not really. He never sent my money back. I had to get paypal to extract my money from him. Anyone notice the post on here from Ben Jarvis? That’s him the owner of dubreq. He won’t spend his cash on one, so neither should anyone else.

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