Cheetah MS-6

Cheetah MS-6 Image

Towards the end of the eighties, the British company Cheetah released their finest, the MS6. It's a 6-voice polyphonic/multitimbral analog synthesizer in a single-unit rack module. It has two digitally controlled oscillators per voice (12 DCOs) to provide better stability, and they sound surprisingly warm and musical. It's got the same sound chips (CEM 3396) as the Oberheim Matrix 6/6R and Matrix 1000 but the MS6 is multitimbral! Get creative with layering patches for ensembles or Trance heaven! Hidden within this little unit are some wonderful string, bass, lead, voice and percussion sounds!

The MS6 is a full-featured analog synth with 12 oscillators with PWM, noise and sync. There are 6 analog 24dB/oct filters which are warm and resonant! Programming from the front panel is possible but quite a bit tedious, so use of an editor is definitely recommended, such as Unisyn or the Knobby. The MS6 has been used by OMD and Rick Wakeman.

Lookup Cheetah MS-6 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 Cheetah MS-6? 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.

20 Visitor comments
August 13, 2012 @ 8:44 am
Thanks for the information Chris, you have probably saved an MS6 from a terrible fate!
August 12, 2012 @ 5:55 pm
@mark: The MS-6 is mono, so there's no need to take it apart to check! There is a modification that turns the MS-6 into six monophonic synthesisers by using each voice as a separate synth and adding an individual output for them. It's not a modification for the faint of heart though.
August 6, 2012 @ 4:58 pm
Does anyone know if the audio output is stereo, i.e. TRS jack socket? I have only just taken delivery of my MS6 and on hooking it up with a 'Y' lead to two mono mixer channels, I only get one channel of sound. Cannot find anything on this and I am loath to take it apart!
January 10, 2012 @ 10:17 am
thanks for the tips. Yep you were right it was stuck in calibration mode due to the faulty voice chip. Got it repaired and now its working like charm. I'd forgotten how amazing the MS6 sounds!
July 28, 2011 @ 10:00 am
@ Ian.

It just means that your no. 6 voice chip (CEM 3396) has gone bad. Your options are:

1) Buy a new voice chip and replace it (it will need soldering in).

2) Try just removing the faulty voice chip and not replacing it (snip it off at the top of the 'legs' so you can use the stumps if you ever want to solder in a new chip). I'm fairly certain that the calibration will then complete.

3) Remove the OS chip and leave for 24 hours or so, then replace. One of my MS6's froze up once and after I did that it came back to life. Try this first!!!...

Good luck!
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 3.85 (278 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 - 12 DCOs (2 per voice) with pwm, noise, sync
  • LFO - Yes
  • Filter - six 24 dB/octave resonant low-pass
  • VCA - 12 velocity and pressure sensitive envelopes
  • Keyboard - None
  • Memory - 320 ROM sounds, 96 RAM sounds, 64 user
  • Control - MIDI (6-parts)
  • Date Produced - 1988
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to Alessandro for supplying this information.

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.