Korg Minipops 120
The 120 is part of the early drum machine range that Korg released during the 1970s. The Minipops 120 was made available during 1976 and featured six drum sounds along with 16 different patterns. This fully analog drum machine was widely considered to be one of the most advanced entries in their Mini Pops line-up back when it was first released, although it has obviously been far surpassed since then.
Korg actually released two variations of the 120, with one featuring a wood case while the other is a tolex covered case. The front panel of the Minipops 120 features a power switch that also doubles as a volume control along with a balance knob right next to it. Next to these, you'll find the Fade Out/In button, which is used to gradually decrease the volume and fade out the rhythm if depressed while a rhythm is playing. Users have a choice between a "long" fade-out time of about 12 seconds or a "short" fade-out time of about six seconds. The middle of the front panel is home to the "Tempo" knob, which can be turned clockwise for a quicker tempo or counterclockwise to slow things down. The bottom of the front panel is dedicated to the rhythm selector buttons. It is possible to press two or more of these buttons at the same time if you desire to mix rhythms. Finally, on the right side of the front panel, there are knobs to adjust the rhythms to your liking. On the back of the 120 there are outputs for guitar amplifier and hi-fi, as well as Start/Stop, Fade Out/In, and Manual jacks for plugging in a footswitch.
As impressive as it was for its time the Minipops 120 has a lot of limitations when compared to the drum machines that have been released since its arrival. In addition to a lack of any user presets this drum machine also does not offer any type of option to save any of the settings that you can change. The Minipops 120 was the last of the line made by Korg before they brought out the more advanced KR-55 a few years later. Despite its limitations, the Minipops 120 still has a nice sound to it although much rougher than the drum machines made by Korg later on. Although a nice instrument for collectors, the age of the Minipops 120 means it would be difficult to repair if users run into any issues.