Korg X3

Korg X3 Image

The nineties update to the legendary M1. Launched in 1993, it expanded on what made the M1 such a great machine and featured a range of solid, entirely usable sounds. The Strings and Basses are exceptionally good, although truly analog sounding sweeps and pads are not what this machine was about. The X3 (and subsequent X-series models that came after it) was designed as a middle-weight workstation, with the warmer and more powerful 01/W series taking the reins as Korg's premiere ROMpler workstation of the early nineties.

The X3 is based around 6 MB of 16-bit multi-samples, with basses, guitars, strings, drums, pads and much more. You can even add more PCM sounds to the synth, but additional PCM cards are expensive and/or hard to find.

Korg X3R Image

Korg X3R

Detailed editing and a flexible sequencer make this machine more than capable of running a MIDI rig if you are averse to PC based sequencing. If you can live without large touch sensitive screens or resonant filters, then you will find the X3 packs more punch than you may imagine. A rewarding synth to own, even 10 years down the line. What it lacks in instant hands-on tweak-ability and cutting edge sounds, it makes up for in the ultimately usable range of sounds. It has been used by Vangelis.

Lookup Korg X3 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 X3? 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.

47 Visitor comments
April 15, 2009 @ 8:19 am
The X3 was my first "professional" synth / workstation, I got it when I was 14-15 years old around 1993-1994 I think. I remember being really impressed by the "smoky" sax Combi patch, the pads and the basses. The piano (preset) [beep] ed pretty bad. The sequencer was also really useful in putting down song ideas.

You can totally hear the fretless pick bass preset from the X3 (well, it's from Triton, but the basic sound character is there) on Justin Timberlake's "Rock Your Body"!! The VERY EASILY recognized drum sounds can also be heard on a lot of the tracks The Neptunes produced.
March 19, 2009 @ 10:29 am
Can I say that this is a digital synth that has an analog thickness in some of the patches. I have this in my setup and have been using it since the late 90's. Too bad the some keys are dead. The newer KORGs got lots of fantasy sounds. But this is the workhorse.
January 23, 2009 @ 12:49 pm
I got my X3 back in '94. I was 16 years old and it was my first synth. I still own it today and wouldn't let it go for anything.
The X3 uses Ai2 synthesis and it can do everything a M1 and 01W can do and more.
To this day I'm still tweaking the factory patches (usually just adding effects) and using it in my tracks.
The internal effects are very good as well.
There are a lot of patches out there for the X3 as well.

Listening to newer Korg synths like the Trinity, Triton and Karma I can hear the "X3 sound" in their patches.

Korg also had a X2 which had more keys, 2 more outputs as well as a better internal piano sample.
Korg also made an X1 which was a 88 weighted key version.
December 22, 2008 @ 1:41 pm
If it's similar to the X5 it does have resonant filter.
It's just called colour and its a parameter for it self, and not next to the freq cut off in the DCF.

I also have a N1R and both make nice resonant filter sweeps.:o)

Br Jens
November 26, 2008 @ 8:30 am
Here it's my very first synth! I love the hammond, rhodes and strings sounds. The sequencer is fine to play live and the action of the keys is top 10! It's been 15 years with me and it last like the first day!
VSE Rating

It’s Good

User Rating

Rated 3.7 (281 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 - 32 voices (16-part multitimbral)
  • Oscillators - 32 Osc: 6MB PCM waveforms
  • Effects - 47 Digital multi-effects: reverb, delay, overdrive, EQ, chorus, rotary speaker, and more.
  • LFO - None
  • Filter - Digital Lowpass Filter, velocity sensitive (non-resonant)
  • VCA - Digital Amplifier with 4-stage ADSR envelope generators
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with Velocity, Aftertouch, Multi, Layer, Split modes
  • Sequencer - 16-Track, 10,000 Notes, 9 Songs.
  • Memory - 200 user programs, 200 user combis
  • Control - MIDI In / Out / Through (16-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1993
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from Thomas Kolb and

    Thanks to Phil Young for providing info.

    Reviewed December 2007.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.