Nord Leads

Hey guys,
I made a post a few days ago looking for suggestions on a lead synth. I decided I like the Nords, and I’m trying to shootout the Lead A1 and Lead 4 (or even 1,2,3). I’ve heard the A1 is more analog sounding and it seems there are some people that don’t like the lead 4. I’m looking for a bright synth for leads and supersaw type sounds to contrast my obxa and slim phatty. Posts I’ve seen online are just vague to me and can’t find a direct comparison video. I’m wondering if anyone has an idea which one would be better suited for me. Again, thank you guys so much for the help!! :pray:

Also before you say virus ti, my roommate has one already and I’m looking for something different

I’m just dropping in to confuse you further: There is the Nord Wave. It integrates samples into the 2/2x VA engine, and has built-in effects.


Or just go for either 2 or 2x. They are both great and the filter opens more than on the new ones. I believe they are the best VAs out there…

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Would love to try it out, i have 2x, great synth

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I have a NL3 and a Wave.

One thing to watch out for, is that features have been removed in some cases, on the newer hardware.

E.g. the arpeggiator didn’t make it from NL3 to Wave. The keyboard after-touch didn’t make it to the NL4.

The delays and reverbs on the Wave are disappointing. You only get a relatively few settings on both.

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get a 1 or a 2. cheaper and sounds better.


If I remember correctly, the A1 has better built-in FX, but the NL4 has a deeper sound engine.

As other have said you may be happier with a NL2 + a nice FX box (zoom CDR-70 if you want a cheap but powerful unit for instance).


…nord lead 2xl rack…20 voices…4 multitimbral parts…gives u a massive bassline, some nice backing chords AND the LEAD synth at once…for way under 500 bux with endless storage room for pre settings…perfect company for an ot and it’s midi capabilities…sound is raw sonic bliss and cuts through any mix, shakes the room and needs no fx make up in first place…


For lead work, reckon you can’t go wrong with any of them. My choices were the Nord rack 2 and Nord modular G1 kB. Though the 3, 4 and A1 have some additional abilities, the 1/2/2x IS the classic Nord sound.

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I had the 2x and it’s very powerfull and nice sounding. I used with Yamaha SPX2000 for FX and it was insane. Actually the Nord Rack 2x cost 400€ (+ shipping) from France.

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another vote here for version 1 or 2 (X) ! not just for lead sounds. just great synths !

Well I guess it seems the first models are the favorite. Anyone really have a favorite between the 2 and 2x?

I currently have a NL4, and have owned various Nord Leads since the first one in 1995. I would be happy with any one of them, maybe except the A1, since it seems a little bit too limited for me.

They all sound great though.

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I love the sound of the 2, I just want to be sure there is no difference in sound between the 2 and 2x. Because I would definitely want the extra voices and storage of the 2x.

it’s definitely something people have mentioned over the years, the 2 versus 2X difference. personally, I did hear a difference between the two. enough that I sold the 2X. but, this was over a decade ago, so I can’t elaborate too much… I believe they upgraded to better DAC’s in the 2X so the general belief is that it sounds a bit less raw, and more polished.

here’s a no BS review and some demos of the 2X:
same for the Nord 1:
and finally, the Nord 3:

the bad news is that guy (Jexus) makes ANY synth sound great. so good luck!

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I remember when as a kid I could never afford the Clavia Nord Lead 1 in my local music store. Many years later I found a good second hand Nord Wave which for me is one of the most pleasurable synths to program. It’s got a great screen for patch naming and and some decent effects which were missing on my Nord Rack 2X. To bad there is no arpeggiator on the Wave or it would be perfect.

I think the A1 is indeed a bit limited, but the NL4 is cool except for the missing screen for patch naming. Personally I feel this is an important feature in the creative process of sound design.


Love my 4

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Wow well my decision has become harder lol. Plus I’m still not sure if I’d rathet have a jp8000 virus or wait for the kyra. Thanks for the help, you’re right about them all sounding great in those videos!