Korg PolySix

Korg PolySix Image

The PolySix was a milestone because, along with the Roland Juno 6 which appeared almost simultaneously, in 1981 the PolySix was the first opportunity ordinary mortals had to get their hands on a proper programmable polysynth. Up until then, you had to be loaded to afford a Prophet 5, Oberheim OB-Xa, or Roland Jupiter 8.

At first glance it looks like a scaled-down Mono/Poly, but really it's not! In fact it had a lot of great new features such as 32 memory patches, 6 voices of polyphony, cassette backup of memory, even programmable modulation effects and Chorus, Phase, Ensemble!

The Polysix has warm-sounding real analog oscillators, softer and brassy-er sounding than the Juno. Engage the built-in Chorus on a simple single-oscillator sawtooth patch and you were pretty darned close to that expensive Prophet sound. But the big ace in the Polysix's hand was the Ensemble effect. Instant Mellotron-like strings.

Like the Mono/Poly the voices can be played in Unison for a 6-oscillator lead sound that was so big, it was often too big! The advanced arpeggiator can memorize and sequence chords across the keyboard. The PolySix has now been recreated in software as part of the Korg Legacy software bundle! The PolySix has been used by Eat Static, Geoff Downes, Astral Projection, Jimi Tenor, Global Communications, Kitaro, Robert Rich, Keith Emerson and Tears for Fears.

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89 Visitor comments
October 25, 2008 @ 4:41 pm
Polysix is a great machine though the weak digital buttons memory system and the battery leakage issue. I love handle its knobs and find nice weird sounds.
September 17, 2008 @ 7:53 pm
Love this synth, bought one damaged and in need of repair (not quite like the seller said), got it fixed up and it lives again!

I found a page where you can dump via tape input some excellent pre-made patches (not the ones that came with it from the factory), some very cool useable sounds: http://www.acc.umu.se/~amber/Poly6/stuff/dump.wav
It's from the poly6 mailing list page, simple to do, just play the d/loaded wav file from your computer into the tape input and voila (instructions available on page) http://www.acc.umu.se/~amber/Poly6/

September 14, 2008 @ 4:38 pm
...a great synth, but for me not much better than the Juno 6......
For years I thought that the polysix is the greatest in the cathegory , and when I finally bougt one I realized that its quite the same sound, ok.no the same but really close...., to the juno six.......
but anyway it looks great and it sounds great as welll.........
Analogue Crazy
September 5, 2008 @ 8:46 am
One of the finest budget VCO polysynth. For the money you can't get much better than a Polysix.
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.62 (1511 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 - 6 Voices
  • Oscillators - 1 VCO per voice (saw, PW, PWM) + 1 sub-oscillator per voice
  • LFO - 1 LFO assignable to VCA,VCF or VCO
  • Filter - Low-pass only, self-oscillates at high resonance. ADSR envelope for VCF (filter).
  • VCA - VCA uses filter's ADSR envelope or simple gate on-off
  • Effects - Chorus, phaser, ensemble
  • Memory - 32 patches
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator (Up, Down, Up/Down, Latch; Full, 2-oct, 1-oct; rate 0.2 to 20 Hz)
  • Control - Chord memory, Arpeggiator sync in, CV input for filter cutoff.
  • Date Produced - 1981

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