The First 20 Synthesizer in Silver Is Stunning And A Wonder To Behold

There's some synths that cause you to stop what you're doing and just listen. Then there's the 20 Design Synth that will have you drooling before you've heard it. Here's the first silver 20 ever made.

As luck would have it, we published our article covering the 6 most expensive synthesizers currently in production just before we discovered the the 20 was being made to order. It is expensive at a sweet €20,000 EUR(!) but if that's causing you any pain, please look at the pictures. Scroll down and look at the pictures. Beautiful, isn't it?

Axel Hartmann (of Waldorf Micro Wave and Moog Little Phatty fame) and Stephan Bernsee are the two responsible for this magnificent creation. They spared no expense (literally) when it came to how the 20 synth looks and feels. The user interface is both simple and beautiful. They  describe how the faceplate was made: "we re-used the basic Frontpanel-PCB layout and setup of the Studiologic Sledge synthesizer. For a better feel, we use pots with a full metal stem instead of the standard pots with plastic stems. Also, we redesigned the push buttons and invested into a tailor made plastic injection-mold. We also replace the standard TP 9 keybed with a high end TP 8 keybed, specially molded for this synthesizer in all black."

Yesterday, the 20 Design Synth crew finished work on the first silver 20. And my goodness, it looks stunning! And they sent out thanks to many who've helped them realise a synthesizer dream:

"I am really proud of how this machine is sitting in front of my camera lens right in this moment. Together with our genius mechanical engineer, Stephan Gries, we could overcome all the obstacles, that a project like this has in stock. I have to thank him a lot, but also all the people, that helped on the way - the company, that milled the massive casing out of the raw aluminium, the Waldorf people, and especially Stephan Stenzel, who let me have their soundengine, Hermann Gier and his team at SPL, for designing their highend op-amp especially for the 20, and last but not least, my friends from Studiologic around Marco Ragni, down in Recanati / Italy, for modifying the frontpanel of their sledge synthesizer, so it feels right for a high-end machine like this - and producing this special all back TP8 keybed for the 20. This beauty will make its way over to the US tomorrow - and I wish it a good journey, and its future owner a lot of delighted moments with it!"

The first ever silver 20 Synthesizer.

If you have €20K burning a hole in your pocket and want a synth that looks stunning, you know what to do... 

Interested in the spec? Here's all the features we could find:


all black high-end Fatar TP8 61 keys keybed with aftertouch

35 pots with aluminium caps

3 x 7 positions rotary switches with aluminium caps

1 rotary encoder + push function with aluminium cap

2 x 16 digits backlit liquid crystal display (black typo on white background)

aluminium Pitch and Mod Wheels 

Up to 999 programmable sounds

Fast and efficient sound selection via numeric keypad 


  • 2 fast LFOs per voice with adjustable Speed and Depth
  • 1 extra modulation routing for Mod Wheel, with adjustable Speed and Depth

     - LFO Shape: Sawtooth, Rectangular, Triangle, Sine, Sample & Hold, Ramp

     - Modulation Destinations: OSC 1, (+) OSC 2, (+) OSC 3, PWM / Wave / FM, Volume, Filter Cutoff 


  • 24 voices polyphony - Monophonic mode with single or multiple trigger
  • 3 Oscillators per voice

     - Range from 64' to 1' with Semitone ant Detune controls

     - Shapes: Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine, Pulse (with Pulse Width Modulation)

     - OSC 1 with 66 Original PPG Wavetables + Sample Player (60MB internal memory)

  • FM - Frequency Modulation of Sine and Triangle - Oscillator Hard sync (OSC 2 to OSC 3)
  • Noise Generator - White and Pink noise
  • Mixer with Volume and On/Off switch for each Oscillator and Noise


  • Split or Layer mode / programmable split point for each program 


  • 1 Multi Mode Filter per voice

     - 24 / 12dB

     - Lowpass

     - Highpass

     - Bandpass

     - Resonance up to Self-Oscillation and beyond - adjustable Key Track and Drive

  • 2 fast Envelopes per voice (Filter-Amplifier) with Amount and Velocity control (Filter+Ampli)


  • Powerful Arpeggiator - Latch mode - syncable to MIDI Clock

     - Direction Up, Down, Alternate - Range up to 10 octaves


  • 2 simultaneous Effects

     - Effect 1: Chorus / Phaser / Flanger

     - Effect 2: Reverb / Delay / Reverb+Delay


  • Master Volume Control
  • Power Switch
  • Expression pedal input
  • Sustain Pedal input


SPL analogue audio outputs & headphone amplifier

     - Discrete high voltage SUPRA op-amps

     - Operating voltage: 120V Rail (+/-60V)

Line Outputs

     - XLR & Stereo Jack connectors, electronically balanced

     - Frequency Range: 4Hz to 480kHz (-3dB)

     - CMR: -82dBu (at 1kHz, 0dBu input level and unity gain)

     - Noise: Unweighted -101.87 dB; A-weighted -104.76dB; CCIR: -96.1dB

     - Dynamic Range: 134.37dB 

 Headphone Output

     - 6,3-mm TRS connector 

     - Alps RK27 „Big Blue“ Volume Control

     - Pin wiring: Tip = Left, Ring = Right, Sleeve = GND

     - Impedance: 5 ohm

     - Attenuation Factor: 180@40 Ohm

     - Frequency Range: 10Hz to ›480kHz ( -3dB)

     - Crosstalk at 1kHz: -106dB 

     - Noise: Unweighted -101.12dBu; A-weighted -103.98dBu, CCIR -95.02dBu

Dynamic Range: 133.62dB 


  • USB connector for MIDI IN/ OUT, Firmware Update, Samples Loading (with Spectre)

     - uses standard USB MIDI driver provided by host computer OS

     - Windows ME minimum, Windows XP or newer recommended

     - Mac OS X 10.2 minimum, Mac OS X 10.3 or newer recommended

  • Built in power supply


  • Solid Case with generous padding
  • Power Cord
  • Printed User Manual in English and German
  • 20 Spectre Software (on USB stick)
Silver 20 Synth. The view from above. 


Synthesis 101
The Filter
by Bob Moog Foundation

"Rounik is the Executive Editor for Ask.Audio & macProVideo. He's built a crack team of professional musicians and writers to create one of the most visited online resources for news, review, tutorials and interviews for modern musician and producer. As an Apple Certified Trainer for Logic Pro Rounik has taught teachers, professional..." Read More


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