Korg DW8000 opinions please

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Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby newsynthfixx » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:49 pm

There is a Korg DW-8000 as a fixer upper near me, that needs some TLC and cannot believe the low prices that a mint condition DW goes for, Any Love for this synth out there?
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby nathanscribe » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:36 pm

Not sure about repairs, but it sounds good (decent waveforms, solid filters) and isn't particularly hard to program despite the push-button/data-slider interface. The arpeggiator's OK, it has MIDI, velocity should work (but aftertouch will probably have died by now), and there are some quirky nice things like auto-bend and a delay built-in (also good for chorus and flange).

They are cheap and good, IMO.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby HideawayStudio » Mon Jul 02, 2012 8:38 pm

newsynthfixx wrote:There is a Korg DW-8000 as a fixer upper near me, that needs some TLC and cannot believe the low prices that a mint condition DW goes for, Any Love for this synth out there?


Well it looks cheaper than it sounds....

I had a DW-8000 for a while - also as a fixer upper. In my case it needed a really deep clean, the PSU repairing and the tactile switches on the front panel where completely shot.

They do have a following...

They are nice sounding synths. They are not strictly analog or DCO based but in fact use 8 bit DACs to generate single cycle waveforms which in turn are shaped with analog filters. I suppose strictly this defines it as a wavetable synth but in this case it's a hybrid which makes it much more interesting like the uWave.

This gives the DW a similar sound to the Ensoniqs ESQ and I suppose the Roland D-50 with the whole aliased waveform into filters thing. It's quite capable of making some great warm pads and textures with PWM as well as some typical korg bass timbres.

That said, I didn't keep the DW for very long. It wasn't sufficiently characterful to justify the space it took up and I already have a sea of synths that do a great job in the pad/string department - the Matrix 1000, Super JX and D-50 to name a few.

Then there is the user interface - which drove me to near madness. I'm not a fan of those old "select the parameter number and tweak with the one data slider" type user interfaces.

It's such a shame so many synth manufacturers in that era decided that costing down the user interface to a little display and a couple of sliders was ok in a time when preset memory was becoming very popular.

Thankfully at least Roland had the good sense to release programmers with many of their later control surface'less offerings.

They are not always that cheap either - the rackmount version is particularly sought after and commands real money.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby gs » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:11 am

This was my first synth purchased new in Jan. 1986 and I held onto it for over 20 years. About a year ago I decided I needed a good hybrid synth with analog filters back in my setup, for beefier brass and warmer strings to layer up with my all-digital synths, but I wanted a rack version. Instead of hunting down the more expensive and sought-after EX-8000, I settled on a Kawai K3M I got for $150 and wasn't disappointed. It doesn't have as fat-sounding of a unison mode, but for standard polyphonic analog brass and strings, it compared nicely with the Korg and even reminded me of the Roland JX8P/JX10/MKS-70 sound.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby Silverfish » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:15 am

I love my Korg DW-8000. It was my first synth (not a good first synth, but it was stupid cheap), and as I've gotten more familiar with other synths, I recognize what characteristics make it unique. Some say it's got a dark sound. It can sound very analog (thank you, filter), or it can sound very digital. Many of the waveforms have lots of high-frequency content, so it can sound almost glassy. The interface is meh, but a BCR2000 fixes that. The keyboard isn't that great, but it does have a cool arpeggiator. If it's going to be your only synth, I'd say maybe not a good choice, but in addition to other synths, it definitely holds a place in the studio.

What kind of repairs does it need? Often the tact switches need replaced, and the battery goes bad.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby Bitexion » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:34 am

Have a look at this demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzpBVJHE264

Then this one, the DW-8000 is basically an upgraded DW-6000, so it can make mostly the same sounds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOoF7TeEj-o

This guy always makes me want the synths he demonstrates.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby newsynthfixx » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:27 am

Thanks for the replies guys, The DW needs the edit/volume sliders cleaning out , a couple of black keys need new springs and the tact switches replacing (got loads of those here already).

I really want to try something different sounding as the kit I`ve picked up ex-rental/fleabay for fixing up has ended up being Roland stuff ( not dissing Roland but there can be too much of a good thing........)
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby rschnier » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:18 pm

Silverfish wrote:What kind of repairs does it need? Often the tact switches need replaced, and the battery goes bad.

The keyboard on mine started to go flakey after about 2 years, so I took the synth apart and put the boards in a rackmount case. Still have to work on the front panel (but now I have more time to do stuff like that...heh) :geek:

I've always loved the synth itself; can get phasey/delay sounds out of it that I can't get from my other synths.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby rhino » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:17 pm

IMHO: Good enought that every synth=head should own one - if only for those '80's sounds.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby FX23 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:50 pm

do you have a picture of your home made dw8000 rack mount id love to see it!
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby rschnier » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:32 pm

On the homemade "EX-8000":

I recently semi-retired and will be posting a bunch of pics after I've gotten my studio back up and running after a 20-year hiatus (strategically accumulating equipment in the meantime). At the moment it's a bunch of boards half-mounted with no front panel. It's worth noting though, that no electronic modifications are needed -- just unplug the keyboard from the main boards. I also have a "real" EX-8000 and opened it up after I bought it, just to compare...and indeed, the boards are exactly the same, including the sockets where the keyboard would have otherwise plugged in.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby newsynthfixx » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:38 pm

Err..Having asked for opinons i will get this board on saturday...

A) Because it is not another Roland ( of which i am blessed with a decent selection)
B) Get one because every synth head should have one (Thankyou Rhino)
C) Bitexion you picked the demos that demoed the synth ( and pointed me to 97tf stuff) Thankyou.

And finally whilst searching for service tips and I cannot be bothered to rack the synth, maybe a focal point for the living room DW8000 Fireplace

Thankyou one and all

Dave
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby Bitexion » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:47 pm

I'm sure you'll be happy with it. Sounds like a cool synth, and it's always neat to have in-built delay and chorus.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby walkathon » Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:48 pm

If the DW-8000 falls through, don't forget the DSS-1. Covers same ground yet a whole lot more, and eternally underrated.
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Re: Korg DW8000 opinions please

Postby Pro5 » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:25 am

I liked a lot of the sound my (now sold) DW-8000 put out, I thought the filters had something going on that appealed to me :) Analog filters and quite cutting/aggressive when pushed. The synth had some very nice features but wasn't in the greatest body, looked poorly designed esp sat next to a stunning over-engineered beauty like the D-50 :)

I'd say it's a synth, if cheap or can't get something more analog, that's worth owning to try for yourself. I enjoyed my time with it and used it on some tracks. Keybed was clunky (typewriter action). Sometimes i'd say it compared to a Jupiter 6 in the tone of sound it put out (esp when using lfo on the filter) - sounds mad I know a JP6 vs DW-8000? well there you have it, have heard many JP6 demos and they usually put me in mind of a cross between the JX-3P and the DW-8000 (maybe a little AX-80) from the synths I've had. Not sure if that's a vote for the cheap synths or a mark against the super expensive JP-6 but just an opinion.

Short version, if cheap buy it it's not a bad sounding synth but in the end after an initial 'win' in my internal shoot out against my JX-3P, the 3P eventually won on overall tone - lovely synth the 3P :)
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