The substantial reduction of controls on the Subsequent 25 in comparison to the Subsequent 37 concerned me at first if I’m honest. For all intents are purposes, the Subsequent 25 looks like a far simpler synthesiser. In truth, however, Moog have succeeded in transferring the beating heart of the Subsequent 37 into its cutting-edge anatomy.
Assuming everything survived the surgery would be a mistake, however. Lock, stock and barrel it is not, the main casualties being aftertouch, the second LFO, the arpeggiator and the sequencer.
A decent chunk of what was formerly located on the front panel of the Subsequent 37 is now concealed behind abstruse button sequences and keyboard presses.
While this may be an issue for some, it’s apparent that Moog have studied attentively which parameters are important and which may be used less.
The Subsequent 25 could easily have felt like a second-string Subsequent 37, and yet this isn;’t the case. To me, it mostly feels like an extremely streamlined design which offers extra power under the hood for those that wish to find it.
Whilst with the Subsequent 37, one may feel they are paying for features they may never use, the Subsequent 25 offers you a truly remarkable synth which may be used only from its front panel, without the need to ever access any of the hidden features.
A good example of this is the the two‐note paraphonic mode; this is something I’ll be unlikely to use every day, and so feels much more like a bonus for when the time is right.
Sonically, the Subsequent 25 is exactly what you’d expect - the smooth analogue basses and Boards Of Canada‐style ’70s leads which fall effortlessly out. The Subsequent 25 is in its element when doing classic sounds, and the simpler front panel design demonstrates this flawlessly.
What I find most remarkable about the Subsequent 25 is you’d be hard-pushed to get a bad sound from it. A lot of the time, it feels like one gigantic sound‐design sweet spot.
Ultimately, it boils down to choice. The Sub Phatty’s days appear to be numbered. The Subsequent 25 is the successor. Therefore, you’re left with the Subsequent 25 and the Subsequent 37. Price and size will inevitably play a role in your decision, along with those few extra features and whether you can live with the hidden parameters system, which isn’t half as bad as it may seem at first.
I would certainly recommend the Subsequent 25 to beginners and experienced synthesists alike and I look forward to many an hour playing with this synth powerhouse.