Kawai SX-210

Kawai SX-210 Image

The Kawai SX-210 (also manufactured under the name of Teisco) was widely ignored when released back in 1983 and is actually quite an underrated synthesizer. The SX-210 uses DCOs (1 per voice) with traditional analog VCF (filter) and VCA envelope generators. It features 8-voice polyphony, a 4-voice mode using 2 DCO per voice, and a monophonic unison lead mode (8 stacked oscillators!!). The SX-210 certainly stacks up well against the more popular Roland Juno-60 and Korg Polysix synths.

Program changes are entered using a global "Increment" wheel sort of like those used on the Roland Alpha Juno series. Fortunately its implementation is much better on the SX-210 - just hit a parameter switch and adjust the dial to the desired value or effect. The downside is there are only 32 memory patches. The oscillator section offers 3 waveforms, a sub-osc and PWM control plus a noise generator. The low pass VCF (filter) has its own ADSR envelope generator. There's also a high pass filter. The LFO can modulate both DCO, VCF and VCA, all at the same time! It is also one of the only synths to feature both glissando and portamento.

Kawai SX-210 Image

The SX-210 is pretty rare, only a few thousand may have been made. This rarity and its capable sound quality make it a great find, but it won't replace the Roland Juno or Korg Poly synths.

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20 Visitor comments
sergio
September 30, 2010 @ 2:24 pm
I had some electronics guys that work on synths, and they told me the board was corroded so that they were unable to fix it, but for some reason I do not believe them. I took another synth in, that works partially except for 2 buttons, and they told me that it too was corroded, but besides the buttons everything works.

As for my Sx-210, it turns on, all the keys work and I can get sound out of it but nothing that sounds right. Where can I get a replacement board, or should I just junk it?
Dano
September 20, 2010 @ 6:35 am
Sergio, I had the same problem..take it to a repair shop, get a circuit diagram for it (http://www.transanalog.com/manuals/Kawai) and let them find out what is wrong and order the bad parts from http://www.vintageplanet.nl/
sergio
September 8, 2010 @ 9:38 pm
i just got one today. i cant get any of the patches to work all im getting is weird space noises, like wah wahs that dont really correlate with the pitch. well relatively they do. if i hit low keys itll be low , high keys high. but im definitely not getting any real sounds.

HELP ME.
Jupiter
November 17, 2008 @ 5:06 pm
Same SSM2044 filter chips as on the Korg Polysix and Trident. Not as fat as the Korgs but still very warm and unique sounding synthesizer !

Beware of battery leakage.
ger
November 11, 2008 @ 4:26 pm
great synth even though a little cumbersome to use. Sounds are very, very warm analog.
 
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  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 voices
  • Oscillators - 8 DCOs; 1 per voice; 3 waveforms
  • LFO - 1 LFO with 3 waveforms + reverse mode
  • Filter - VCF Lowpass filter with ADSR; HiPass filter
  • VCA - 1 VCA with ADSR
  • Effects - Stereo Ensemble (Chorus)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Memory - 32 patches (Cassette interface for dumping/loading patches)
  • Control - None
  • Date Produced - 1983
  • Resources & Credits
  • Image and info from The Kawai SX-210 Page. Additional images from

    Reviewed November 2007.

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