Talk me out of getting a Polysix

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Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:54 am

So I'm looking at a few potentially good deals on a Polysix, because after a few months with my MS-20 Mini, I really like the idea of a hands-on, everything-on-the-panel analog poly (my JX-10 is almost there, but every time I have to get down into the parameters the PG-800 can't edit, I find myself cursing the nitwits who designed its interface - especially whatever idiot thought that making the alpha dial go slower the faster you turn it was a good idea,) and the Polysix sounds like a nice package. Thing is, I probably shouldn't be spending the money on one right now, and...I dunno, for some reason the demos I listened to aren't really grabbing me the way they were the last time I listened to them. I'm not sure why. Still, I remember having wanted a Polysix quite badly, and my deal-senses are firing pretty hard on this, which makes it difficult to resist.

So...help me out here, guys. Tell me why I shouldn't get one. Tell me that there's a better solution for an affordable, truly hands-on analog poly that I should hold out for...?
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby monolith » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:51 pm

I went to buy one the other day, but after an hour of playing it I couldnt get past the fact that to my ears, the ssm filter just makes it sound cheap - its nasty, but not an exciting way like an MS20's filter.
I think it sounds ok - not amazing - but once I added resonance and any movement to the cutoff it sounds shitty. I also didn't dig the mod wheel/modulation routings, it just seems limited, though I think i'm a bit spoilt having had a mono/poly for 4 years.

I'd take a juno 6/60 over a polysix any day. The only thing that I loved on the p6 was the chord memory.

Disclaimer: This is just like, my opinion man... 8-)
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby tomorrowstops » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:08 pm

Interesting. I've had the Juno 6 myself, and was less than thrilled about it. I haven't put my hands on a Polysix yet. I realize its a simple beast much like its Roland counterpart, but its got a VCO (instead of a DCO), a killer effects section, AND midi. The demo I hang my decision on is yet again one of analogaudio1's:
Watch on youtube.com


Aside from all that, DON'T just buy one because you remember wanting one a while back. Better to sit back, make/listen to some music and let natural inspiration for 'I want that' to come back into play.

What are these deals you're finding anyways? Can you share with a fellow Polysix hunter? :D
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby fh991586 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:34 pm

I had one for over a year, just because of GAS. Well, it was a good price, slightly below the local market, so I figured why not? Used it a little, but didnt get the rewarding feeling I expected, so I quickly put it aside. When I sold it, the girl trying it out almost made me say "Forget it, I'll keep it!" because she really pushed it more than I did, so I discovered new sound & possibilities. But since she was already here and very interested by the synth, I thought I'd be shallow to stop the sale... At least, I got assured that it went to a good home, and even some gigs!

So if you think you have a good deal on a fully working one, I'd say go for it. Try it, and get messy with it! ou can always sell it back later. But if you're not absolutely sure it's in great shape, or you are tight on the money, then leave it...
-Roland JX3P+PG200, D50+PG1000, Juno 6+106, MKS50/70, JP8080, U220, MVS1, MDC1, MSE1, RS09, TR-707
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:24 pm

tomorrowstops wrote:Aside from all that, DON'T just buy one because you remember wanting one a while back. Better to sit back, make/listen to some music and let natural inspiration for 'I want that' to come back into play.

Yeah...on the other hand, listening to Retrosound and Jexus's demos kinda reminded me of why I want one...heh, go figure.

What are these deals you're finding anyways? Can you share with a fellow Polysix hunter? :D

Understand that my definition of "deal" tends to lean toward "LOW PRICE! MAY POSSIBLY BE FIXABLE!" when my GAS kicks in, but here you go:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/171221594746 - has battery leakage causing erratic behavior, but otherwise looks to be in nice shape
http://www.ebay.com/itm/331110290176 - unknown condition, slightly battered, but has a MIDI kit
http://www.ebay.com/itm/390752781794 - working with issues, has some kind of mod for "xenharmonic control" (microtuning?)
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby rhino » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:54 pm

Cool old synth - overpriced right now.
How are your diagnostic and repair skills? Battery shit aside, these things are strange birds: the componets are highly interactive - a failure here can manifest as a problem there.
Check for (before buying)
1) battery leakage and idiot repairs. Any jumpers on the mainboard should be short, straight and clean. Bird's nest is a red flag!
2) key contacts worn out. Carbon cantacts can be renewed, but be wary of cracks and tears in the rubber.
3) eratic pots and buttons
4) dead voices
5) chorus/ensemble problems
"A thing may seem impossible...until it's done."
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby Dr. Phibes » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:17 pm

Cheap sounding filter my hairy arse :grumbles:

Downsides according to me:

  • Limited functionality.
  • Crappy keybed with dead keys popping up when it's too cold/warm.
  • The BBD chips used in the effects section add a lot of noise to the signal
  • Korg tried to remedy this by adding a post effects amplitude-controlled LPF. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite open up all the way when it should which is likely why some consider the polysix's sound somewhat muffled and lacking in high end bite. Personally, I feel it gives the synth an ethereal quality that I like.
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby 8bit9bot » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:35 pm

here's the easiest way i think...

is there a "dream synth" you want... i doubt the polysix is the "top of your list" dream synth - so... instead of getting the polysix put that same amount of money aside to save up for the synth you actually want

this happened to me w/ junos and a prophet 600 - the whole time i really wanted a p5 but i compromised... i realized later i should have just been saving

for me... the polysix seems cool but i wouldn't want it BEFORE a prophet 5 - maybe you really want a p5, obx, or jup8 or something... get that first then decide if you still want the polysix
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby tomorrowstops » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:18 pm

commodorejohn wrote:
tomorrowstops wrote:Aside from all that, DON'T just buy one because you remember wanting one a while back. Better to sit back, make/listen to some music and let natural inspiration for 'I want that' to come back into play.

Yeah...on the other hand, listening to Retrosound and Jexus's demos kinda reminded me of why I want one...heh, go figure.

What are these deals you're finding anyways? Can you share with a fellow Polysix hunter? :D

Understand that my definition of "deal" tends to lean toward "LOW PRICE! MAY POSSIBLY BE FIXABLE!" when my GAS kicks in, but here you go:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/171221594746 - has battery leakage causing erratic behavior, but otherwise looks to be in nice shape
http://www.ebay.com/itm/331110290176 - unknown condition, slightly battered, but has a MIDI kit
http://www.ebay.com/itm/390752781794 - working with issues, has some kind of mod for "xenharmonic control" (microtuning?)


Yeah man, I just bid on that first one. Thought I had it, but some mofo out bid me in the last second. Was that you? :D Personally, I want a broken one for around $300, $400 tops.

The other two are on my watchlist as well. That Maryland one is riot. No knobs, broken switches, sliced power cable, clearly came out of a dumpster. No pictures of the inside. Come to think of it, no one takes pictures of the insides of these damn things. Its broken, you know its because of battery explosion, SHOW me what it looks like! I'm still tempted to buy it though...if you can bring a synth like that back to life yourself, that's a keeper!

The mod on that last one seems intriguing. Hmmmm...
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:48 pm

Heh, no, I was going to drop in a bid, but the most I can afford to blow right now is a little under $300, which it passed just as I was hitting "place bid." $450 for a broken keyboard, though, man. That's too much for even my impulses.

The second one I'm mostly watching because of the MIDI kit - if it can be made to work, that would be a sweet bonus, especially for a sequencer-oriented person like myself...but then, it is pretty damn battered.
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby Steve Jones » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:26 pm

I have never cared for the Polysix, too many reliability issues and not fantastic sounding to my ears. I would prefer a Juno 106 with the new Kiwi CPU board and all of the new functionality that it adds, but as others have said, that's just one person's opinion, a lot of people really like the Polysix.
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:45 pm

The Junos strike my fancy as well, but the 6/60 fetch crazy money now and the 106 is climbing up to meet them...even the HS-60 is getting up there now that everybody is openly advertising it as being the home version of the 106.
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby Steve Jones » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:50 pm

commodorejohn wrote:The Junos strike my fancy as well, but the 6/60 fetch crazy money now and the 106 is climbing up to meet them...even the HS-60 is getting up there now that everybody is openly advertising it as being the home version of the 106.


They are getting expensive, and by the time you replace the 106's 80017A chips they can get very expensive. Is the Polysix still going fairly cheaply?
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby commodorejohn » Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:06 am

Depends - I've seen them listed for up to Juno prices, but I've also seen 'em in the $600 range as well. These "as-is" ones are hovering around $150-300.

Actually saw a Juno-6 go for $300+ a couple weeks ago, though - just wish to hell it'd been this week, when I could have nabbed it myself!
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Re: Talk me out of getting a Polysix

Postby CfNorENa » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:25 am

I think you should save up a bit more (and possibly sell one or two pieces) and aim for a dual VCO polysynth. If you haven't had the pleasure of playing one, I can tell you that it really does make a difference. Nor do you need to go into the stratosphere to get that sound. The Prophet 600, for example, delivers a huge amount of that classic, big, "American" sound -- and at a price well below the next lowest price point (Jupiter 6 and OB-8), not to mention the Prophet 5. Just a thought...
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