Korg X5D

Korg X5D Image

The X5D is an entry level keyboard from Korg. It basically offers Korg's acclaimed Ai2 sound engine (from the 01/w series) packed into a small, lightweight, affordable package! Being an entry-level keyboard, the usual luxuries such as aftertouch and an internal power supply have been omitted, and it lacks an arpeggiator or a sequencer, however it more than makes up for this in sound.

In addition to its General MIDI sound set, the X5D comes loaded with two banks of preset sounds that can be loaded alternately, however you can overwrite the preset sounds and store up to one hundred program sounds and one hundred combination sounds of your own. The preset sounds vary widely, from complex pads and SFX sounds, to pianos, organs and orchestral instruments. Some of these sound dated in this day and age, the piano sound is a little on the thin side to say the least, but the string, pad and organ sounds can still hold their own against much newer keyboards! Korg have even included some classic voices from their iconic M1 workstation. The famous 'Universe' and 'M1 Piano' sounds are present in the X5D.

Editing the sounds can at first be a bit like performing keyhole surgery. The tiny two-line screen means that a lot of the words are abbreviated, and a lot of scrolling and menu diving is required to edit the sounds. However, it is a relatively short learning curve. Once you have created some program sounds, you can combine up to eight of them in combi mode. This allows you to create really thick sounds and textures, but is also useful for creating keyboard splits and velocity switched setups.

Korg X5DR Image

The X5D is available in module form as the X5DR.

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Are you looking to buy or sell a Korg X5D? 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.

26 Visitor comments
March 23, 2013 @ 5:20 pm
This was the "synth" i ever owned. I use the word synth very loosely. Sample playback board is more apt.
No resonant filter. What was Korg thinking? This machine absolutely excels at strings and pads. Big sound. But sequencing with it is rubbish, because those big sounds rely on the 2 fx units, and when taken away...oops, its back to sounding thin and lifeless. Ideal if yr only using one sound at a time and have other synths for other parts, but then yr better off with the ns5r module. This was never a real synth. Editing WAS limited. But man, some of those big full presets were just awesome.
February 6, 2013 @ 12:54 pm
I'm a proud owner and user of four 05R/W, and recently I bought the X5DR.
These little beasts are awesome, especially for Pads!!!, atmos!!! and moving sounds!!!.
I want more. Maybe a dozen. hi hi hi
Frank Carvalho
December 21, 2012 @ 9:35 am
I've used the half-rack unit for 17 years, and I still think it's a great unit. Limited? No! The only thing I am really missing is a true resonant filter, although one of the effects is actually capable of producing a monophonic resonant filter. But the unit is highly programmable, capable of a lot of variation of sound, and it remains a core unit in my setup. I have been able to program a very rich and wide piano combi which is much, much better than any preset, so I also know that it is capable of good piano sound. Use the X5 Editor. It makes life a whole lot easier.
December 3, 2012 @ 8:53 am
The 01/WFd is way better
September 9, 2012 @ 6:05 am
Hi! I use my Korg X5D together with my Yamaha SY35 for creating film scores, video game music and personal compositions, but if you ask me - it's a great live keyboard as well!
Please note: Some of the specifications (in the chart) are not correct! The X5D does feature the aftertouch function, like it's written in the text on the left side. Furthermore, there are actually 200 preset patches and 200 combinations (instead of only 100).
Take a closer look at the owner's manual!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.67 (209 Votes)

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  • 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 - 64 voices
  • Multitimbral - 16 parts
  • Oscillators - 2
  • Waveforms - 430 multisounds, 215 drum sounds
  • Filter - VDF low pass for every oscillator. No resonant filter.
  • Effects - 2 independent digital multi-effects processors, 47 effects each.
  • Arpeg/Seq - None
  • Keyboard - 61 keys with velocity (no after touch)
  • Memory - 8 MB: 128 General MIDI patches, 100 Program patches, 100 Combi patches
  • Control - MIDI in/out/thru
  • Date Produced - 1995

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