March 23, 2018
Analog Synthesizers / From £500-£1000 / Keyboard / Korg / Over £2000 Don’t tell the partner eek! / Vintage

Korg Polysix Analog Synthesizer

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The Polysix was one of the first analog polysynths that was sold at an affordable price… Until it came out you had to sell your house to buy one! It was Korg’s answer to the Prophet 5 and a similar spec’d Roland Juno 6. Build wise it has a chipboard base and end cheeks, but a very solid metal chassis for the rest and the top sits on hinges which makes opening for maintenance and repairs a bit easier.

These units do suffer from a hard-soldered battery that will leak if it has not been changed, this will wreak the board it sits on in most cases a replacement board will only restore the synth back to life.

Luckily there is a great website that does upgrades for both the board where the battery is located (part number KLM-367) and the power supply which can get hot. The upgrade can be viewed here on the Kiwitechnics website. (Opens a new tab) – note I have not done this yet to my broken Polysix that I bought on eBay for a mere £280, but I might as it adds a massive amount of new features too like a proper midi implementation, please also see the link above for a full list of features.

The sound of the Polysix is a warm generated from genuine analog oscillators a bit softer sounding than other synths, it has a built-in chorus which sounds fab, it does strings brassy sounds great bass sounds and a very cool arpeggiator which is somewhat improved with the Kiwisix upgrade.

It has 6 voices of Polyphony that can be played in unison just like the Korg Monopoly. Other effects are phaser and ensemble. It has a full 61 note keyboard, with a chord memory feature. Originally you could store up to 32 patches, with an upgrade you store up to 1000, how spoilt are we today!!

 

 

FINAL WORD:

The Korg Polysix has its faults, but if you can get one and repair it you will snag a bargain, if not be prepared to pay £1200 – £1500 in full working order and maybe more if the Kiwisix upgrade is onboard! Wonderful analog synthessier we rate it a true classic…

 

SOUND DEMOS

 

SPECIFICATIONS

 

Year Produced

1981

Keyboard/Number of keys

61

Sound Generation

Analog synthesis

Maximum Polyphony

6 voices

Programs/Presets

Can store up to 32 different TONES, and up to a thousand after an upgrade

Oscillators

One true analog VCO per voice: sawtooth, Pulse Width, PWM and a sub-oscillator per voice…Nice!

FILTER

Cutoff, Resonance, Low-pass, self-oscillates at a high resonance. ADSR envelope on the VCF (filter).

LFO

One LFO that is assignable to the VCA, VCF or VCO

VCA

VCA uses the filter’s ADSR envelope or alternatively a simple gate on-off

EFFECTS

Chorus, Ensemble and phaser

Sequencer/Arpeggiator

Arpeggiator up/down, latch, FULL, by octave improved with an upgrade that also adds a sequencer.

Common Faults

Check battery fault, leakage can destroy the board. Also, the end cheeks can get wrecked as chipboard really falls apart with humidity and damp, solid wood replacements are the way to go.

Other

Controllable by MIDI, CV input on the filter cutoff, chord memory

SAMPLES

 

ROYALTY FREE EFFECTS

 

USEFUL LINKS

 

DOCUMENTATION

Download Korg Polysix User Manual pdf

Download Korg Polysix Schematics pdf

IMAGES FROM

66Khz studios.

 

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