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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88 Visitor comments
Dirk
May 9, 2013 @ 8:32 am
I got one too a month ago. Hooked it up to my Yamaha E1010 and it sounds very full and warm. Memory board had been replaced before, so battery leakage is solved forever. Very good optical condition, and after a fix by myself the keyboard is also triggering properly again. Very glad I bought it.
MikeG
April 6, 2013 @ 12:24 pm
I have a Poly 6 that I have not used for 10 years and the sounds are now gone. I have been told that the battery died. No need to say I am clueless; I already know that. Any idea what this synth is worth in this condition? Please email me if you do - Thanks! Phidippides140@aol.com
Tom
February 13, 2013 @ 6:53 pm
One of my absolute favourites. A lovely, smooth, liquid like sound I never will be without - love it. The Juno 6 - 60 - 106 sounds drier and punchier in my ears, so I have always felt that they compliment each other nicely. Too bad about the battery leakage problem....
Maxwell1981
December 25, 2012 @ 10:17 pm
Hey, this band called Polysics uses this synth too! They're NAMED after the thing!
EzyLab
December 11, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
One of my favourites! Maybe because it was one of my first synths. Very easy to tweak nice sounds from. Sounds different to (and better) than the Juno 60 which I also own. Solid metal construction of that era. Lost one in a fire and replaced it. The rotating pots are better than sliders in my opinion. Harder to read on the fly in practice but less likely to collect dust. Very underrated in my opinion.
Get one if you can
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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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