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. It has a very dirty sharp sound much like the Yamaha DX7. This is good if you are into the lo-fi sound of electronica. 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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89 Visitor comments
Chris
July 6, 2009 @ 12:13 pm
To korg6512:

Ooops. I wrote that first paragraph, THEN found the schematic . . . duh. Anyhow, that service manual out to help. There's no space in "Ko rg" as shown, don't know why that got in there, in the link.
Chris
July 6, 2009 @ 12:12 pm
To korg6512:

I don't know, because I've not looked at the schematics, but in that era, most electronics used battery-bacekd RAM, as Flash hadn't been invented, and EEPROM had limited writecycles.

To anyone who had a Poly61 . . . and needs to replace a battery. There's a tech manual posted at http://www.dompselaar.org/Korg/Poly61/Korg_Poly-61_Service_Manual.pdf

The service manual lists a battery partcode 52000900, description "3/170DK (3.6v 170 MAH) KLM-509" so there's a battery in there. I'll bet it looks like this: http://www.zbattery.com/3-6V-170mAh-NiCad-Cordless-Phone-Battery_6

This is what I find when I search for 3/170 batteries . . . a cordless phone battery. Verify it, and then grab one at your local electronics store, and your good old Poly61 should remember presets again (and not load ROM defaults!)

I had to do something similar with my old Yamaha DX-100, as well as some ham radio gear I have.
ronson
June 16, 2009 @ 1:42 pm
http://www.e-jo.de/
yes it is possible to add some nice knobs...........
korg6512
June 10, 2009 @ 9:32 pm
For some reason the write button on mine doesn't work. After i write a new sound, then turn the synth off, the patch is reverted back to normal. Any help would be appreciated. Even so this is an amazing synth. Great for stabbing leads, pads, and growling basslines.
youknowjuno
May 30, 2009 @ 5:03 am
This is one of the most underrated synths out there. sure the level of control isn't brilliant but little features like the chord hold facility when used in conjunction with the arpeggiator gets some great results. I actually did get mine for nothing but - yep you've guessed it - I had to get the keys fixed first. Grab one if you get the chance.
 
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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 - 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

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