I was reluctant to give this synth a 10 in every category, because to some people that might imply that it can't possibly be improved, but *anything* can be improved, and I just wouldn't feel right about giving it anything less than the best scores in all categories.
This is where Firebird really shines, IMHO, because you can have the greatest-sounding synth in the world, but if it's a chore to use, then, well. . . you won't be using it much! This thing is a joy to work with. The controls are presented in a logical, fashionable, and usable way. Call it German engineering. ;-) It must be understood, however, that simplicity of design does *not* imply lack of functionality or a dearth of features. Read on.
Although it *can* be used as a virtual analog synth, Firebird sounds refreshingly digital. The filters are simply outstanding, and there are plenty to choose from. The user has the option of selecting low, average, high, or ultra quality, which is great when you want to have several instances of Firebird active and don't have the fastest CPU in the world. I use the low or medium setting and then switch to high before bouncing tracks or rendering the song. Did I mention that it sounds fantastic? It does. ;-)
A very nice arpeggiator, a good LFO that's routable to any one of several places, many quality effects, glide mode (1 key or 2), and the ability to apply "modifiers" to the oscillators (which incredibly enhances the amount of sounds you can create).
The manual is basic, but well-written and easy to read.
You'll want to make your own, but the ones that are included are excellent and show you what's possible. (Well, *hint* at what's possible, anyway.)
Marcus provides very good support to his customers.
VALUE FOR MONEY:
It's *so* very well worth the price. For far less than 100 dollars, this is an unbelievable deal.
The latest version of Firebird+ is 100% stable. It's also very quick to load and totally "glitch-free."
I've tried the great majority of VSTi synths and this is my favorite of them all. I end up using it time and time again because it's a pleasure to use and it sounds great.