Gear of the Year 2015 – Best Hardware Instrument: Moog Sub 37

It’s the big one, our final award – our standout piece of music technology this year, the best hardware instrument, is the Moog Sub 37, here’s why…

Best Hardware Instrument – Moog Sub 37

Price £1,249
Contact Source Distribution


With the resurgence in music production hardware over the last three years we have promoted Best Hardware Instrument to our final, ultimate award slot. We like to think of it as the equivalent of Best Film in our ceremony, announced to a slightly weary crowd of liggers and B-listers, all eager to get on with the free buffet and drinks that follow. So without further ado…

Like the Best Software Instrument category before it, Best Hardware was toughly contested, with the likes of the Nord Stage 2 worth a mention, maintaining the Swedish company’s grand reputation for providing ultimate sounds in an ultimate package for both players and producers alike. Also in there and worthy of praise was Korg’s ARP Odyssey, a mini version of an absolute classic that won our hearts back in February.

Both of these probably would have picked up awards in any other year, but such was 2015, the year when hardware returned with a vengeance, it was left to the first ever hardware synth ‘brand’ to pick up the Best Hardware gong. Moog’s Sub 37 is the clear winner and this is, we believe, down to a few reasons.

There’s the name, of course, but right from its unveiling (believe it or not, at the NAMM show before last) the Sub 37 was all about the sound. It’s a ‘paraphonic’ synth, which is not quite duophonic but where two notes can be played at the same time and share some of the same architecture.

It basically means ‘fat and interesting’. Notes whizz around, sounds have movement but they are all underpinned by that smooth and (where necessary) deep Moog goodness that we all know and love.

The Sub 37 also has a varied sound: one minute it will be offering you the perfect backbone bass to any genre, the next it will be cutting through your speakers with an ominous lead screech, but it’s always interesting and easy to program. You can choose to treat the control options on any level: dive in deep or simply tweak, it’s all there.


Reviewer Andy Jones said: “With a machine like the 37, you interact to your heart’s content, just dialling, connecting unusual sources and destinations and, more importantly than anything, learning.

OK, the sound is more important, but luckily this beast oozes quality at every turn, following solid analogue formulae at one instance and then bizarre twisting snake sonics the next. Beware, you will lose a day or two of your life just playing. And make sure you record everything, as you will come up with wonderful music.”

Read the full review of the Moog Sub 37 here

Source Distribution’s Howard Jones accepts the award from our editor Andy Jones

Be sure to read the complete list of winners in the current issue of MusicTech Magazine and check back tomorrow for another winner…