Korg Delta

Korg Delta Image

Korg's Delta is an analog semi-poly synth/string machine, basically a slimmed down version of the Korg Trident. Though limited in the range of sounds compared with other synths of the same genre, the sheer quality of the sound from this little beastie really does make it something of a marvel. It can be found used for cheap and is worth it for the retro synth strings and fat bass synth tones.

The synth is split into two sections, Strings and Synth, for which there are separate audio outputs along with a combined output for headphones or mixing. Each section has its own controls. The String section has two pitch sliders (16' and 8') along with two tone controls (Bass and Treble) and variable Attack and Release controls to modify the sound. The Synth section has four pitch sliders (16', 8', 4' and 2'). There is also a white noise generator along with a very effective 24dB/oct low pass filter (high pass and band pass options are included too) and full ADSR controls. The synth has no memory storage or MIDI, however it does has voltage control and gate ins and outs.

The string sounds are very basic but with its separate outputs and when mixed together with the polysynth you do get that classic 'layered' sound which is useful enough on this synth; and it's fully polyphonic, so you wont be running out of notes! There is a handy joystick to the left of the 49-note keyboard for pitch bending and modulation capabilities. The construction is solid and heavy partly due to the implementation of a wooden base but also because it was designed for heavy usage on the road. Added bonuses: noise modulation, stereo out (strings/synth split), and the ability to combine synth and strings or turn off oscillators in the mixer section. It has been used by the Human League, Bitch Cassidy, Flock of Seagulls, Ladytron, Zensor and Broadcast.

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41 Visitor comments
May 30, 2012 @ 10:34 am
Also used by Indochine and Nova.
May 8, 2012 @ 3:09 pm
I have just come upon korg delta dl-50. I have absolutely no knowledge of synthesizers or keybords.
Steve Coscia
March 31, 2012 @ 5:26 pm
I bought a new Delta DL-50 in 1980, it endured heavy road and studio work for about five years. It is a very versatile and robust keyboard. Eventually, I asked a technician to wire in a switchable modulation knob and a modulation intensity potentiometer for the synth output. The custom wiring added even more versatility.
September 19, 2011 @ 8:47 pm
Jolly good to see VSE bump up the rating from one pathetic star to a wholesome and more accurate 3 stars... I'm assuming they finally got around to actually playing the little champ! Heeheee. After a spell on the mend (synth section capacitor) My Delta is enjoying a lot of playing time these days... Particularly nice to trigger my Juno 60 arpeggiator with it or run my KR-55B in through the VCF in jack. I also own a Korg Lambda which in a way is its alter ego.
April 14, 2011 @ 3:41 am
i bought one second hand for £290 but it needed the filter capacitors replaced (a common problem). It is a good synth not a great one. The Filter is warm and can oscillate, but the osc waveforms are basically additive squares (like an organ). The string section is ok, but its not an eminent, even with FX. The joystick can add useful modulations.
The only hookup to external control (without a retrofit) is a clock based gate which gives synched chopping. There is no cv pitch control. The juno 6 is a far better synth within the price range, but the Delta has its charms.
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VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 3.92 (516 Votes)

  • 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 - Full polyphony (49 notes)
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO with white noise generator
  • LFO - 1 LFO: fixed sine waveform
  • Filter - 1 VCF: 24dB/oct LPF, HPF and BPF (with Cut off, resonance and env mod amount controls)
  • VCA - 1x AR for Strings section, 1x ADSR for Synth section
  • Keyboard - 49 keys
  • Memory - None
  • Control - CV and trigger (In/Out)
  • Date Produced - 1979 - 1984
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Korg Product Brochure.

    Thanks to Ian Johnson for providing some commentary.

    Additional information provided by Carl Saff and Lee Matthews.

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