Clavia Nord Lead 2
Clavia Nord Lead 2

Nord Lead 2, Analog Modeling Synth from Clavia in the Nord Lead series.

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All user reviews for the Clavia Nord Lead 2

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Average Score:4.9( 4.9/5 based on 7 reviews )
 6 reviews86 %
 1 user review14 %
Value For Money : Correct
Not satisfied with those reviews?

MGR/ShackMan's review"Nord Lead 2"

Clavia Nord Lead 2
It has the bright red Nord body, 49 keys, and only weighs in at around 11 pounds. I already own a Nord Stage 88C (which I think is probably the finest stage piano on the market) and a Yamaha W7 (for fun with MIDI). I've been playing keyboards for 17 years now, and playing bass for around 10. I'm currently working on a new album with my band Shutterdown after a tour with my previous band. I've also been a professional classical and theatrical accompanist for 9 years. Also note that this is not the Nord Lead 2X, but the ORIGINAL Nord Lead 2.

This one is on indefinite borrow from a friend since he just bought a new Access Virus, which I'm sure he'll be reviewing on here at some point. So I paid nothing to fill my double stand with red Nords.

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I will sing the praises of the pitch bend and modulation wheel setup Nord has going on until the day I die, most likely. Nobody else has anything so comfortable, and certainly one that allows you to use both at the same time while hitting buttons as well. I like how well laid-out everything is and I appreciate the way Nord makes it very easy to start using subtractive synthesis. Everything you need is covered in some form or other here, from LFO's, to dual osciallators, filters, etc. Even a fine-tune pitch adjustment knob. I was also surprised that you could split the keyboard. For a synthesizer, that's usually considered a non-essential feature, but one that I enjoy and make use of nonetheless. I'm also very much impressed by the sound of it, and I'd readily ask anyone to do a blind test with a Dave Smith or even a real analog board, perhaps something by Bob Moog, just to see which one was thought to be the better-sounding keyboard. While the Nord Lead can't ALWAYS compete with analog boards like the Moog, it still makes a pretty impressive effort with it's virtual analog system. I have very little complain about. The board also has plenty of outputs, including 4 1/4' assignable outputs, MIDI In/Out, a PCMCIA slot for storage, and slots for control and sustain pedals as well as headphones.

I WOULD, however, like to say that the Nord Lead 2X has improved upon the Nord Lead 2's filters a good deal by upping the ante to a 24-bit/96kHz converter for much higher quality digital audio. The Nord Lead 2's filters are starting to feel a little older with some newer, higher-quality technology coming out lately, but they still hold their own quite nicely. I would also appreciate either a third oscillator or the ability to control the amplifier and filter settings for each oscillator individually. I have every knob and dial I could ever ask for otherwise, but I'd like to be able to divide the amp and filter sections to be dedicated to each oscillator.

Don't drop it. Don't bump it around. It's a very expensive synthesizer, so take care of it as such. That said, it's managed to come out fine through a few scrapes and a fall, so I'm going to rate it A-OK for now. Just take care of it and it'll take care of you, like I say with all the instruments I've owned.

It's getting a little bit older, but it's still a very formidable and great sounding synthesizer. The Nord Lead 2X is an even better version of this as well, but it still doesn't have individual amp/filter channels like Roland's GAIA does, although the Roland doesn't come anywhere near this board when it comes to tone. In that department, it's only matched by Dave Smith, Access, or other very high end keyboards. It's truly worth every penny of the $1,500 asking price.

This review was originally published on

moosers's review

Clavia Nord Lead 2
The Clavia Nord Lead 2 is a modern day synth designed to emulate vintage synth sounds, dubbed a &quot;virtual analog&quot; synth. It has a unique pitch shifting stick and a wheel to go along with it. It has all sorts of 1/4 inch inputs and outputs as well as MIDI connections. The Nord Lead 2 is polyphonic, and can be set to be monophonic.


The configuration of the Clavia Nord Lead 2 is pretty in depth, and it has a ton of parameters. Because of this, it takes a little while to figure out what everything does, as this synth is extremely versatile. It is easy to get your basic synth sounds, but there is a great deal of control available to get all sorts of different sounds. The manual is pretty complete and is definitely helpful to have when learning this instrument.


The sounds on the Clavia Nord Lead 2 is great for all types of music, but I use it mostly in rock, pop and electronic music. The analog synth emulation on this keyboard is outstanding, and you can really get a wide array of different sounds, all of which are realistic and effective. The keyboard itself has a good feel and it is overall easy to play. I love using the Clavia Nord Lead 2 for all types of lead synths, pad synths, and bass synths.


I've been using the Clavia Nord Lead 2 for around two years and to me it is one of the best keyboards out there for getting analog synth sounds. It is convenient to have a ton of different synth sounds that you can store digitally and free yourself from the pitfalls of analog gear. The price of the Clavia Nord Lead 2 is set right as it is a high quality piece of gear with great sound quality and a ton of versatilely. All the sounds are realistic and they work great in a wide array of situations and applications. Overall, I highly recommend the Clavia Nord Lead 2 to all who are interested in getting a ton of analog synth sounds in one keyboard.
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Clavia Nord Lead 2
The only things that I are missing from this synth that slightly annoy me are a MIDI THRU port and storage for additinal sounds and percussion kits. It took far too long to track down a reasonably priced PCMCIA card for additional storage.

Price paid: $950 USD


The user interface is a breeze to use. Possibly the best thing about the synth. It may not have as many features as some newer VA synths, but pretty well all of the parameters are there right in front of you on knobs and buttons.


The sounds that can be created are very nice. Fantastic especially for pads and raspy electro sounds. I also enjoy creating unique electronic percussion sounds. It can create some nice bass sounds, but the bass overall is not as deep and smooth as most analogue synths. Good for all styles of music from minimal techno to trance to pop music.


Nice build quality. Metal case, wooden pitch stick and stone mod wheel. Highly reliable.

I have owned quite a number of synths and the Nordlead 2 does most of what I want a synth to do. Add a sampler and a nice analogue bass synth and you're off!

Originally posted on
Posted by: Unknown ( 6-, 2003)
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Clavia Nord Lead 2
There are not any on-board effects.


Couldn't be easier. 4 part multi-timbral and no effects. Very few hidden menus, all of which do not affect the sound creation side of the synth. Easiest I have used so far, by far.

The only reason I give this a 9 is because recently I have noticed a slight hum coming from the power adapter inside. I have owned it for years and it travelled to Japan from Australia with me. The box it travelled in took a real beating too. The nord is still ticking, or should i say screaming.


In a word amazing! I love the sound of this thing. The sound more than makes up for the lack of effects. I have created some mind blowing patches, hard, gritty, raw, nasty. I only use the NL2 for harder edged sounds. Although it is quite capable of creating beatiful sweeping pads, I use other synths for that.


I do love this thing, but to give it a 10 compared to the current crop of synths would be a bit out of wack. I only use the NL2 for heavy grinding sounds, and for those sounds, I would give it a 10 for sure.

Originally posted on
Posted by: Unknown ( 5-, 2003)

Dgé's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Clavia Nord Lead 2
The keyboard is a worthy one but Bontempi strength to play I like it my only regret is the lack of aftertouch.
October 4 keyboard
pitch, modulation, Morphing
The polyphony is not great but sufficient trs.


Trs simple, you turn the knobs!
The manual is clear
All is well.


Sounds are powerful trs, is a synth that the sauce (requires sound engineers in your group!)
We say a real vintage synth sounds for notament prophet.
Now hammond and clavinet are raffistolls, only approximations but nothing compared to raliste biensur true, however it is an opportunity to have an original sound for the instruments.
The expresssion is excellent I love the pitch bend wheel in wood and stone.
The sounds I prfere are: Lead (the keyboard is well named!) Low, some consistent ground trs (play chords 2 or 3 notes suffice for ?!?!?! big sound) makes her sound much more fabulous, go try it !!!!!!


2 years
I do not like the lack of aftertouch and the PCMCIA card needed!!
Maybe that day I will buy the rather Nordlead 3 that the two sounds remains as big as his great ERRF.

Negraval's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Clavia Nord Lead 2
Synth 4. octaves, 4 virtual analog parts
pitch (original but functional) Modulation assignable pedal (great and indispensable if we do not want to play that with one hand)
midi in / out (missing through) 4 sories sustain pedal and analog modulation
99 prog base extension on PCMCIA card (no floppy drives, zip or USB .... shame!)
polyphonic 10 channels (just a little)
But lots of extras filters, with two oscillators, two LFO etc ... well supplied with all pots (it's like really analog)


If we used a synth so, otherwise it's a synth .... have to learn.
Yes, while potentiometers
A fair bit, especially for MIDI


A gogo techno sounds to me was the best at the time
It has fishing, careful speakers especially in the bass, big sound.
Effects: there is none, if you want to add in the plan is behind a multi-effects (reverb, delay etc ...) and off ......
The touch keyboard is okay.
Sounds very typical, we like it or not is a matter of taste. But the editing possibilities are enormous, he's great live!


I have one for 3 years and I still discovered every day ... not about to part with it.
Only drawback: extension of its banks only on PCMCIA cards, otherwise, we must work with the South. A small floppy disk, zip, or better to host or USB would have been welcome.
Value for money: correct
I have many others: korg, roland etc ... but this one is the only pseudo analog and it is very typical.
I trade it well ..... against a nordlead3 but not another.

Max13's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Clavia Nord Lead 2
4 multitimbral synth parts, polyphonic 16 channels (I think ...), such a function interface = 1bouton (analog acne?).
4 output jacks on 6.35, duo MIDI (in, out) and thru? Clavia has no foul. PCMCIA very practical and even essential if you're not a fan of MIDI dump.
No effect either (re) hlas!, But hey, better than not at all moldy!
2 osc, gnrateur 1 FM, 2 LFO (with no time limit as on my old Bass Station), 2 ADSR (amplitude and filter) an AR assignable.
5 types of filters (PB, PH, notch ...).


The heart of the chicken was 2.5 years that I use and it surprises me again and again! (Yes I assure you) very simple and intuitive (not surprisingly given the number of buttons).
The filters are excellent, but the resonance is monstrous! station to the speakers.
The possibilities of expression through the VLOC are terrible if only one holding his head above. Morph function allows a lot of DLIR.
There's no secret everybody uses it!


I make techno and other "music transcendantoire rhythmic effect" that require an analog sound, and this synth is perfect: the modlisation is bluffing, we believe it!.
the sheets are trs convincing, but the bass sounds and leads, hb adpote (still if we take the time to look for yourself eh, remains a pasque presets presets! ).


And it will remain a rference, Would there have been front and APRS Clavia.
I bought this synth secondhand 7500frf 2 years ago and a half, so I would not hesitate c'tait again. Also I could then compare with the Supernova I found that more powerful (16 parts multitimbral, Corsican polyphony of 64 voices, effects galore ...), less convincing, with sounds More Cheap, like PCM.