Korg DSS-1

Korg DSS-1 Image

A wonderful early digital synthesizer. With eight notes of polyphony, two oscillators per voice, a noise source, two multi-stage envelopes, a resonant filter and auto-bend, the DSS-1 has much in common with Korg's previous flagship DW-8000. But it went much further, boasting twin digital delays, oscillator sync, an improved unison mode, a lush analog VCF switchable between 12 and 24dB, and more. Whereas the DW-8000 got its raw material from 16 stored digital waves, the DSS1's oscillators take their source from sampling, additive synthesis, or even hand-drawn waveforms!

It actually had a warm sound and was great for creating pads and textures, as well as deep basses and drones. The synthesis method is based on altering various waveform samples via 2 data sliders. It can sample and then treat the samples as its waveforms - that includes all filtering and envelopes.

Korg DSM-1 Image

The DSM-1 (1987) was the expanded rackmount version.

It was used by Jean Michel Jarre, Joe Zawinul, Michael Cretu of Enigma, Mark Jenkins, Hiro Kawahara, Paul Nagle, Shriekback, and Steve Winwood.

Lookup Korg DSS-1 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 DSS-1? 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.

89 Visitor comments
November 10, 2012 @ 11:05 pm
Just thought this post might be useful to some. I'm located in the midwest which makes it difficult to find a dependable vintage synth technician. I just had my DSS-1 serviced by Mike Metz from Thesis Audio in Kansas and he is an incredible technician. If you're a midwest musician look no further than him for your service. Reasonable prices and incredible skill set! Also, the floppy drive is incredibly easy to replace on your own just get one off of ebay for $60 follow the instructions and you're good to go.
November 10, 2012 @ 12:59 am
I don't care who you are, that's funny right there!
Alrik Jurgen
October 28, 2012 @ 7:09 pm
@Alim You are totally not factual when you state it is digital with a analogue filter tacked on. Apart from the oscillators and digital delays the signal path of a dss1 is pure analogue.
I'm a synth service engineer and have the schematics for all Korg synths and let me tell you the facts: Filter=analogue,filter envelopes=analogue,amp enevelopes=analog,lfo=analogue...I could go on. These are the facts.
James Hughson
October 28, 2012 @ 2:07 pm
DSS-1 is a synthesizer which happens to have the ability to use a combination of samples, additive synthesis or drawn waveforms as it's oscillators. The 'osc's' can then be passed through a true analog filter which is 24db or 12db resonant and then ontoenvelope generators for filters and amp and then into twin digital delay lines / modulation sources.
@gabos get your facts straight-It is not a true analog poly synth and I don't think it want's to be; It has it's own unique sound that can pull off analog, but also makes unique unworldly sounds that cannot be replicated by anything else.
October 28, 2012 @ 11:47 am
@gabos > obviously you are trying to sell one of these. This is NOT an analog synth don't be stupid. It's DIGITAL with an analog filter tacked on (like the DW-8000). A nice, good, great synth (to some, perhaps) but no way does it compare to a Jupiter 8? get real. This holds no challenge to true analog synths sound, even simpler ones like Polysix with genuine analog stages all the way.
Post Comment!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.56 (961 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
  • Oscillators - 16 - 2 oscillators per voice
  • Sampler - 256k
  • Memory - 5 sec sampling
  • Synthesis - 128 Sine waveforms you re-shape using 2 sliders
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity and aftertouch
  • Filter - Lowpass 2 or 4 pole + envelope
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - DSS-1: 1986, DSM-1: 1987
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to Glen Stegner for providing info.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.