Worth Upgrading From a Model D to Manther?


Hey all,

I hate to make another “synth vs synth” thread, but I’m really torn on this one. Been programming a Behrinher Model D with my Digitakt for the last year, and it’s served me well as a monophonic/moogy synth. Sounds absolutely fantastic, and I throw it on everything.

With that in mind, I’m considering selling it to buy a Malekko Manther. The price difference is negligible, but the Manther just seems more versatile, and like it can get more “out there” (both in terms of programming and for sheer sound). It can also do the basic bread and butter mono stuff, of course. Is there any recent I shouldn’t make the switch?


Depends on what type of sounds you want? I am a fool for wave folders which the Manther has a pretty good one … other than that, I have no idea. IMO, the search for the perfect synth can be a tiring and if you are productive with one, keep it. Also, they are both affordable so why not get both?


I hate to reply to another synth vs synth thread with
Keep them all!!!


It depends, do you think you will miss the moog sound?


The Model D is a Moog, the Manther is a Roland (but with a few Elektron-lite touches to an otherwise barebones step sequencer). It’s not an upgrade, it’s a side-grade.

Short answer: Malekko aren’t Elektron. The synth seems cheap and weird, even though the oscillator and filter sound more or less as promised. Malekko’s interface design is not great, the firmware and UI feel awkward compared to other options in the price range. (Their insistance on using LEDs on sliders, for example, makes precise programming on the Varigate, Voltage Block, and now Manther range of products more or less impossible).

Still… I’ve hung on to it because despite some implementation issues there’s something going on there. It sounds fantastic, really really exceptional at times, and the delay is a total classic. YMMV.


I’ve always thought Moogs and the Roland SH-101 sounded pretty similar, but maybe I’m wrong about that. Not so much apples and oranges as oranges and tangerines.


Do you find yourself using the onboard sequencer much, or do you tend to control it with your other gear? I’ve heard some really interesting stuff come out of the Manther in demos, so even if I end up step sequencing it with my Digitakt all the time it still might be interesting, just in terms of how it sounds.


The Manther has practically zero MIDI implementation so it kind of doesn’t matter. It syncs to clock—unreliably, I’ve heard—and that’s it.

The step sequencer is pretty brutal.

I spent an afternoon sequencing it from my A4, but for some batshit reason the (digital) sub oscillator doesn’t track the 1v/8 input… It only tracks the internal sequencer.

Sigh, I’d probably avoid this thing, actually. The Behringer Crave uses the same SEM or SSM or CEM chips—whatever the fuck the acronym they’re called—for a third of the price.


They are a bit different, mainly in the Filters. Both are great though, cant go wrong with the classic Roland or Moog sound.


Moog Sirin perhaps?


Thanks for all the feedback. Bummer that the Manther seems to have problems with executing what seems to be a great concept. Hopefully they can work out some kinks with a newer model.

Speaking of Behringer, I did consider keeping the Model D and simply adding a Neutron or MS-101. Both of those seem capable of getting weird and wooly like the Manther for super cheap. Don’t know much about the Crave.


so I paired my digitakt with a Hypersynth Xenophone because the midi implementation is phenomenal ( the filter on that thing just sounds lovely) it’s 3 oscillators, two subs, four ring modulators, with a 100% analog signal path, one multimode VCF(ten types of filtering), sequencer, arp, mod matrix, and built in effects. )

If you want something more moog-ish with a great midi implementation and cool sequencer with p-locks, consider the SE-02.

I have and love both.


Just before my stuff got packed off for shipping I had manther and dfam working really well together, the sounds complemented one another. I like the manther workflow it’s great for improvising.


Id say Neutron for weird and wooly, the patchbay will get you there and will help get more out of the Model D. MS-101 for the Roland sound, I have not tried the keybed on the MS-101 but if its the same as the ones they use for their Deepmind then its ok, id still say there are better keybeds out there.

Model D+Neutron = A lot of patching options, Model D+MS-101 = keyboard and arp for your Model D.


TBH I would like the MS-101 better if it were rackable like the other options. Similar to a lot of people I play/sequence my synths with a Keystep and Digitakt, and would prefer not to have a bunch of keybeds cluttering up my workspace. Going patch crazy also sounds like an intriguing plus for the Neutron, but then again that might be a Pandora’s box I don’t want to open. Knowing me that would probably derail my productivity in favor of making alien fart noises all day.

So now I’m looking at the Neutron, MS-101, and a Manther. As usual I’ve come out of Elektronauts with more possibilities than when I started :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Agree, I have a keyboard synth myself so I just use that to control everything. I wouldnt do it but maybe if you wait a bit Behringer might release a desktop version like they did with Deepmind.

If you already have a keyboard controller id say ditch the MS-101 off the list. They are not mini keys so its kinda large, I wouldnt get one already having something else as my keyboard controller since I dont have that much space to work with. If I had a large “synth room” then sure.


This is the part of the story I keep returning to because I think it’s something to be remembered. If I had a fantastic sounding synth that I’d used on everything, I’d want to keep playing it too.

As far as augmenting it with something else goes, you could ditch the keystep and get a Bass Station II. Plenty of wool and wilderness and an analog signal path. It responds to MIDI very quickly so you could sequence it from the Digitakt as a duophonic drum machine. Play the Model D through its filters. And it swings.