Korg DS-8

Korg DS-8 Image

The DS-8 is Korg's contender among synths like the Roland D-50 and Yamaha DX7. It is a digital FM synthesizer with 4-operators per voice, 8 voices of polyphony and 8 parts multitimbrality. It's good for percussive, strange effect noises and such because its sound (similar to the DX7) is so unique. It has some digital effects such as chorus, flange, delay and analog-like controls for modulators, envelopes and the LFO. A joystick provides control of modulation and pitch bending. It also has a performance section for quick edits on the fly using (3) real-time sliders to control timbre, EG1 and EG2. A nice alternative to the common DX-7.

Lookup Korg DS-8 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg DS-8? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

66 Visitor comments
June 29, 2014 @ 6:46 pm
"According to cx5m.net, the DX-8 and 707 use the same FM chip set as the Yamaha DX9 and CX5M MSX computer"

Looking in the DS-8 service manual I see the YM2164 in the partlist. This is the chip I also see in the service manual for my Yamaha DX100.
See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YM2164

The DX9 is also a 4-op FM synth, but can't be compared. I don't know what chip it uses, but the FM parameters are more like a DX7 with 2 missing operators. For example its has the 4x rate/level EG rather than the AR-D1R-D2R-D1L-RR envelope that I know from the CX5M/DX100/FB01/TX81Z. DS-8: ADSR
April 16, 2014 @ 11:24 pm
Criminally underrated synth. Much more tweak able and expressive than other FMs.
It's a pad factory due to its beautiful, lush sound.

I'm going on record here saying that since modern digital synths are pretty much indistinguishable from analogue, people are going to start missing the "soulful" or "vintage" sounds of digital synths mighty soon. The ds-8 (and others like it) is only going to go up in price as the years go by. Invest now while they're in the sub 200$ range.

Even if FM isn't your thing, it works very well as a master midi keyboard and will find its way into any studio.
Analogue Crazy
April 4, 2014 @ 5:33 am
*Not only is there some real time control, the parameters and menues are well laid out and use Analogue terminology (Osc 1 + 2 as opposed to 'Operators' being one instance). Awesome Synth, highly recommended!
Analogue Crazy
April 4, 2014 @ 5:29 am
Owned mine for 2 months now and have to say that i agree with the positive opinions on this Synth. On the surface it does sound like one of Yamaha's 4 op DX Synths, but the multi-effects and interface give the DS8 a feel all of its own. Sound wise, this thing really impresses; Pad sounds are warm, atmospheric and not lacking in character. Programming is also really easy, not is there some real time control; but the parameters are well laid out and use Analogue terminology. If you see one of these in good condition, buy it immediately! They are somewhat rare and a real hidden gem.
March 26, 2014 @ 7:50 pm
According to cx5m.net, the DX-8 and 707 use the same FM chip set as the Yamaha DX9 and CX5M MSX computer.
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.94 (451 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 - 8 voices (4 FM-operators per voice)
  • Oscillators - 2 oscillators
  • LFO - 1 LFO: saw / triangle / square / sample & hold
  • Filter - None
  • VCA - 4 DCA (1 per operator)
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity & aftertouch
  • Memory - 100 user, 10 multi patches, external card slot
  • Effects - 1 unit effect (delay, chorus, flanger, double)
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Control - MIDI (8-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1987

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.