Korg Poly-61

Korg Poly-61M Image

The Korg Poly-61 was released in 1982 as the successor to the Polysix. It was somewhat of a step up from the Polysix, as it has 2 DCOs for better reliability. It also retained the arpeggiator of the Polysix. The Poly-61 can provide cool gritty basses or trippy analog sounds and fx.

Korg Poly-61M Image

Also added is the familiar Korg joystick, which can be used to modulate the VCO or the VCF. However, its filter only has 7 steps of resonance and is not as fat as the Polysix's filter. It also uses the same method of programming the Poly-800 and Yamaha DX-7 use, so it's not a very useful synth for real-time-tweaking junkies. The first Poly-61s didn't have MIDI, but the Poly-61M released in 1984 corrects this. Overall, the Poly-61 is still a decent synth, and it can be acquired for practically nothing! It has been used by FM Static and The Faint.

Lookup Korg Poly-61 Prices

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

Related forum topics


Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg Poly-61? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

90 Visitor comments
June 18, 2014 @ 10:20 pm
One of the best combinations: a Poly 61 and an EHX Deluxe Electric Mistress. The epic flange that is achieved with just the initial setting when the synth is turned on is awesome. Beyond that, the possibilities are endless. Highly recommend this pair.
Tim Cracknell
April 18, 2014 @ 9:37 am
It plays very much like it's successor the Poly 800. The Poly 61 was also used by Ray Parker Jnr for the main synth lead on "Ghostbusters"
February 13, 2014 @ 1:46 pm
I played a Poly 61-M and a DX-7 'back in the day' often on the same recordings, and they weren't at all similar. The Poly 61-M was not an FM synth -- it wasn't difficult to program and I used my own programs almost exclusively. I used it for leads, pads, that sort of thing and the DX-7 more for the FM pianos, or special effects like bells. It was not entirely trustworthy, I often performed shows with the screws removed so I could get under the hood if needed. Also the MIDI implementation was not good, so, if memory serves, it could only be assigned one channel in a sequence.
February 5, 2014 @ 7:08 pm
Teh Poly is NOTHING like a DX7!
It does not sound like one or play like one.
I have a DX and it has a better keybed by far, and is actually more user friendly since it has a tiny screen that shows patch names and params.
The Poly 61 and poly 800 simply have a numerical display.

On the plus side even the factory patches are better than any DX patch. I can get funky on the Korgs, but my DX sticks with 'lately bass' and a few buzz saw patches that work well with an ANALOG filter on them.
I know it is not a popular synth, but this review is absurd.
December 30, 2013 @ 9:55 pm
@Jim You are talking UTTER rubbish & I seriously doubt that you have ever heard a 61

Any mentions of any of the DX range should be ignored (removed) as this is ANALOG not digital and sounds completely different and has a radically different way of programming sounds. DX FM uses sine waves as sound source/modulator.

Poly 61 has digitally controlled (analog) oscillators and analog filterS (one per note)

Whoever owns this site should moderate it and remove all the CR@P about DX
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 4.37 (1080 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 - DCO1:sawtooth, pulse, and square; DCO-2: sawtooth, square
  • LFO - 1 LFO can modulate the DCOs or the Filter
  • Filter - 1 lowpass filter w/ ADSR
  • Memory - 64 patches
  • VCA - ADSR
  • Keyboard - 61 keys
  • Arpeg/Seq - Arpeggiator with external sync
  • Effects - Chorus
  • Control - MIDI (on later Poly-61M models)
  • Date Produced - 1982 - 1986
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.