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
December 14, 2011 @ 4:38 am
This is a very usefull synth! Question: does anyone know if I can connect a modern expression pedal (for example a KORG XVP-10) and use it to modulate the VCF while playing with both hands?
December 13, 2011 @ 5:58 pm
Great instrument, I repaired mine last week after being broken because of battery leakage. I bought it in 1982 and even now virtual analogue synths can't beat this beast.
October 15, 2011 @ 4:52 pm
This was the first synth I ever saw. I remember back in the early 80s, our school music teacher's husband ran the local music shop. I stopped in with some friends and he demonstrated it for us. We were amazed. I never forgot the name. I was talking to my teenage son about it yesterday and decided to see what I could find out about it. I remember it being bigger. LOL I was probably 13 years old. Same age he is now.
mshzr 0083
September 17, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

It might be it's battery that died. I just checked out a Polysix for sale today, and the guy told me about their old alkalyne batteries and how they simply dried up after some years, he had it replaced with a lythium one.

Oddily he didn't mention the same thing happening to his Mono/Poly, or perhaps he did but i was drooling over it and didn't pay attention... Too bad he wouldn't sell that one. I got the impression he would more easily part with his kidney than with his Mono/Poly.
August 15, 2011 @ 3:08 pm
I have one of these. But it stopped working. I don't have the skills to fix this myself (if it's even possible). Does anybody know people in Belgium (or neighboring country) who might be able to?
All I can say is there seems to be nothing visibly wrong. No burned out parts :)
thanks in advance.
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Rated 4.62 (1509 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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