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
July 13, 2012 @ 6:41 pm
I finally got my hands on one of these, & luckily (oddly?) the battery's already been replaced & almost all of the ICs have been socketed. Aside from a few dings in the "wood" sides, it's in near-mint condition. The sound... a refreshing change, but neither better nor worse, than the Junos (have a 2 & 6, had a 106 before), just different. I mean despite some comments here, having a p6 didn't instantly make me want to sell off my Junos. They get along just fine. Wish it had portamento and noise though, but with KiwiTech pulling more & more rabbits out of their hats, well... wait & see.
July 10, 2012 @ 6:37 am
Hey George, if you see this I just did a comprehensive rebuild of a Polysix. Have a significant amount of documentation etc that I would be happy to share to you, including some of the effective repairs etc.
July 4, 2012 @ 1:27 am
Hi george, did you solve the problem of no sound? If so, what was the issue?
June 29, 2012 @ 6:39 am
Korg has recenlty launch a rack extension version of the PolySix for Propellerhead's Reason 6.5, for around €40.
June 4, 2012 @ 12:10 am
Hi All,
Just purchased an ASIS condition, Korg Polysix. I'm a newbe but have electronics background and hope to repair with help. Problem is no audio output. I've checked the battery for leakage and none and will replace with a lithium. Anyone who can point me to a website with diagnostics info would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Rated 4.63 (1508 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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