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
January 25, 2009 @ 3:52 pm
@ Platform-1.co.uk: Check out http://www.oldcrows.net/~oldcrow/synth/korg/polysix/repair.html for how to fix the battery issue. I just bought a P6 with the original battery intact, but I replaced it as soon as possible. It's very easy if you have some experience with soldering.

I'm considering getting a MIDI retrofit kit for it too, but they're pretty expensive.
January 13, 2009 @ 8:09 am
Wonderful synth with overlapping trailing envelope appegios producing a 'liquid glass' like texture. Unfortunately mine has cease to work fully due to the leaky battery syndrome. I intend to fix it, it has worked fully until only 2 years ago. Midi would be nice but 6ch is complex.
January 12, 2009 @ 10:53 pm
I played it in early 80's. Juno 6 and 60 was much better to me. This did have wood and a good price.
November 29, 2008 @ 6:55 pm
This synth made it ok to sell the Juno. ;P
Very ballsy, sweaty little synth- loads of character.
Somewhat limited but always a pleasure to play.
Very excited about the new KLM pcbs rumors I've been hearing.
Why is it two of the best analog polys are so plagued???
October 27, 2008 @ 9:31 pm
This synth created the sound used by most keyboardists in the Power Metal Genre. Jens Johansson used a polysix to make his famous lead that has been copied by so many. I would love to own one.
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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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