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
Guru
July 10, 2011 @ 1:38 pm
Teisco's "answer" for the Juno 60 and Polysix. I have mine since 1985 or so. Battery is Nicad. which is probably now leaking in every single SX210 on the planet ;) If you have, replace it now ! Recovering is very complicated once it cause its damage... I had mine leaking about 10 years ago, and recreated the entire section on the computer board using point-to-point wiring.

Overall a very unique synthesizer, not as fat sounding as Polysix (although using the same SSM2044 oscillator chips), but still has its unique analog vibe to it. Will recap it some day.
lyrxst
June 17, 2011 @ 10:17 pm
I have a SX-210 in mint shape with a Calzone road case. It was my first synth which I used very little because of quickly moving on to MIDI units when they emerged. Everything is functional, I have the data tape, manual and the battery was replaced and there is no battery leakage. I'm trying to determine a value and see if anyone is interested.
Markellos
June 1, 2011 @ 5:55 am
Hi, i desperately need the memory dump audio file for the SX210.
My 210 is damaged and it can't be repaired without the presets...
Plz help!
jos.
February 21, 2011 @ 6:50 am
I Have This Synthesizer, Its A Beauty! The Most Amazing Piece Of Kit To Use, Highly Reccomend Synth Enthuasiasts To Buy Buy buy!!
rogerrabbit
February 19, 2011 @ 8:01 am
is it possible to add MIDI or CV/GATE control to SX-210?
 
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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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