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.

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92 Visitor comments
Barry Norgaard
June 12, 2012 @ 3:59 pm
I have a Poly 61 and the battery leaked and destroyed the main board. KLM 475B. Anyone have one? If not, I'll be selling for parts which really makes me sick. 515-953-8086
May 22, 2012 @ 12:12 pm
The filter on this one uses discrete components and NOT SSM chips as reported elsewhere. Only the envelopes use SSM. This gives the poly-61 it's own unique version of the classic KORG filter. Filter controls can easily be brought to the front panel. Search "filter mod". The older version seems to have the key contact issue. There were two different keyboard designs, one with brass contact points and one with that carbon looking coating. The brass ones corrode. Most will need buttons replaced as well. These can be found on the webs. A good budget synth. Also,there is no chorus on any version ;)
April 14, 2012 @ 6:24 am
the poly 61 is the most underrated analog of all.it is nothing like a dx7 to say this is digital and sharp, well the reviewer as obviously never heard one ! believe me this is as warm as toast.i have just done a side by side comparison with a jx3p (which i am now selling)and the poly 61 is sonically in another league ! as for the lack of midi,whats the big deal you don't need midi to write a good tune !this now sits side by side with my moog prodigy and its like sitting in front of a lovely log fire on a cold winters evening !!! if you get the chance to buy a good poly 61 grab it and run.
February 27, 2012 @ 7:02 am
The Second poly 61 is now fully working twas the battery corroded all over the digi board (clean up with alcohol then MEK to kill the acid ). A few corroded connectors (replaced) New off board battery (lithium with a diode) Lucky no PCB tracks rotted through but a couple will need reinforcing or wire from point to point incase they go in future. All it needs now is a new case as the woodwork ( covered chipboard) has had it
all blown and chunks missing. Anybody got a chassis spare?
February 10, 2012 @ 10:49 pm
I can't believe that the Poly 61 is known for it's bleep and buzz sounds. This gem is so freakin phat. Here is a demo I did of a Synthesized Violin patch

VSE Rating

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User Rating

Rated 4.37 (1083 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
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