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
Mike Beever
May 27, 2010 @ 5:26 am
I bought a DSS-1 in 1987 after looking for the biggest sounding synth around. I was still using it 15 years later-nothing really comes close to those 8 part unison bass parts.

A real Gem!!
May 23, 2010 @ 3:22 pm
Vangelis used the DSM1 late 80´s to early 90´s.
But where is the pic or text that says that Jarre used the DSS1?
Joe Bloggs
May 16, 2010 @ 10:10 am
One of the most underated synths of all time.
April 8, 2010 @ 9:37 am
Read the raving comments about the DW- / EX-8000 and think of the unlimited oscillator possibilities you have here. This is one big, fat and creamy digital-analog-meltdown. Probably the most underrated synthesizer ever.
March 22, 2010 @ 8:25 pm
One of the few Korgs (including the DW-8000) that I ever really liked, or owned.
It was a sort of black PPG (which I was never able to afford!) I loved the waveform draw function, the results of which I would record and sample back into the DSS...loadsa fun!
It would have been nice to see a few controller knobs on the panel...but ¨sleek¨ was in at that time, unfortunately.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.56 (966 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.