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Korg Poly 61 - what's it worth? Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 26th December 2010
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Korg Poly 61 - what's it worth?

Hello

I have the option of buying one of these in my local area, listed at £250.00 in excellent condition. Would you say this is a realistic price considering its the non-midi version?
Thanks in advance
Jez
Old 26th December 2010
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Ericdestler's Avatar
 

poly 61

This little synth is very underrated. Very warm and punchy DCO with SSMs inside, stable and usable. It has a common problem of non working keys, you should check that first. For non-midi version i'd say £200 is fair. For 80 euros extra you can buy excellent midi for it :CHD ELEKTROSERVIS
Old 26th December 2010
  #3
Gear Head
 

some love it, some hate it. it was my first synth and got me into analogue gear. it has a nice, gritty sound but the abilities are limited. Chord memory & the modjoystick are a plus. i gave it to a friend some years after i got it and currently use a poly800 i found for 10 bucks for those little chord sounds i liked the 61 for.
250 pounds is in my opinion way too much. save a little and spend the money on a matrix6 instead..
if you find one for 100-150 then go for it though.

oh and the key contacts are really a pain in the ass. i had to clean my contacts every half year and they would still not work properly.
Old 26th December 2010
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I picked up the poly 61m (midi version) for 150-175$ on ebay about a year ago (I forget the exact price). I think it's extremely underrated mostly because of the lack of knobs. The chord memory and arpeggiato are great and I like that the mod wheel syncs to the filter cutoff or osc pitch so even though you don't have the cutoff knob you can still get some nice modulation going. It's sometimes a little bright but if you add chorus you're in business.
Old 26th December 2010
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
Ericdestler's Avatar
 

Korg Poly61

Yes, very limited synth in terms of sound and editing but the sound is great in general! I do love its character must say. 250 pounds for non-midi version is bit pricey, i agree
Old 27th December 2010
  #6
restpause
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I had one and I sold it because it couldn't make very many varieties of sounds although the sounds were nice.
Old 27th December 2010
  #7
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skyshooter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCDE View Post
some love it, some hate it. it was my first synth and got me into analogue gear. it has a nice, gritty sound but the abilities are limited. Chord memory & the modjoystick are a plus. i gave it to a friend some years after i got it and currently use a poly800 i found for 10 bucks for those little chord sounds i liked the 61 for.
250 pounds is in my opinion way too much. save a little and spend the money on a matrix6 instead..
if you find one for 100-150 then go for it though.

oh and the key contacts are really a pain in the ass. i had to clean my contacts every half year and they would still not work properly.
Gotta agree with MCDE. Prices here in the USA vary between $100-250 for a decent working one. I would not pay more than $125.00 myself. Poly800? I have one too! I paid $60.00 back in the late 80's at a pawn shop. Matrix 6 makes a better buy for not too much more money, or an Akai AX60 maybe.

I don't use the Poly800 much anymore, nor did I use the Poly 61 after I got one, sold it quickly thereafter. Decent sounds, just didn't fit our bands style at the time.
Old 27th December 2010
  #8
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flat's Avatar
Seeing as Juno 6's seem to be going for £350 these days, I'd say its actually a good price. (although neither are worth more the £200 imo)

If you get it and don't like it, I'm pretty sure you could easily sell it on and at least break even.

I think what puts people off the Poly 61, is the horrible mid 80s parameter control design, which is poo poo.
Old 27th December 2010
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I had to replace the tact switches on mine, bit of a job. With bad switches it's a pain in the neck and you can inadvertently overwrite your sounds.

It's a good synth, a bit limited but makes up for that with character. No CEM filters here!

I'd say it's ripe for a CPU upgrade like the JP4 one. The analogue side of it is great, it just needs a bit more resolution and features on the digital side.
Old 27th December 2010
  #10
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acreil's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
I'd say it's ripe for a CPU upgrade like the JP4 one. The analogue side of it is great, it just needs a bit more resolution and features on the digital side.
Not gonna happen. Much of the control is super primitive- just a set of 3 or 4 switches. The SSM comment is misleading too; I think the only SSM chips are envelope generators (though this is a huge advantage over synths with software generated modulation).
Old 28th December 2010
  #11
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$250 is too much for a P61. Very limited programming does not lend itself to many sounds. IE the filter resonance is only three bit IE seven discrete values which is way too limiting.

For that $$$ you're better off getting a Juno 60.
Old 28th December 2010
  #12
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Pale Pyramid's Avatar
check that battery ! same as all Korgs of this era . They like to spit corrosive acid like the H.R Giger's Aliens .
Old 28th December 2010
  #13
restpause
Guest
you can honestly get much more out of a VSTi for the same price. and i used to have a poly 61 for about half a year. i customized it to get some more sounds out of it which was cool, but even after that it got boring.

money is best spent elsewhere especially since it's not getting any younger.
Old 28th December 2010
  #14
Here for the gear
 

appreciate the advice lads, thanks. I've tried to knock him down but he was having none of it. I think he's hoping someone will buy it for a high price tag just because of its 'retro' status. I think I'm gonna hold out and try and get the Matrix 6/6r.
Old 28th December 2010
  #15
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Space Station's Avatar
This is a great sounding 6 voice, twin DCO(VCO?*) analogue. Also has a nice arpeggiator, Korg OTA filters and SSM 2056 Hardware envelopes...hugely underrated. MIDI is easily retrofitted too..if a non M version.

*"The poly 61 DCO has a peculiarity in that it is a VCO by the signal generation method, while the digital circuitry serves only to trigger it and to ensure digital precision stability. So, stable it is, and, in difference to other DCO synths, sounds more analog, more generic, and more VCO like than all its competitors, including Roland Junos."
Old 28th December 2010
  #16
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omegaomega's Avatar
 

Mine has quite a few keys not working on the keyboard.
I cleaned the contacts a couple of times and they seemed to work better, but not perfect. After a few days they went back to not working again.
Anyone has any idea how I can fix them?
Someone mentioned this is a common problem

Thanks slutz
Old 29th December 2010
  #17
Lives for gear
 

there's a conductive paint you can get to paint onto the little carbon discs under the grey rubber key-contact gubbins... I'm told this works wonders on Korg keyboards of this era, all of which have the same basic failure mode. I haven't tried it myself but I have two poly-61's with bad keyboards, so I probably should at this point...
Old 31st December 2010
  #18
Here for the gear
 

If you're game, you could modify it. I'll send you schematics!

YouTube - Modified Korg Poly-61Synthesizer

Modified Korg Poly-61 - a set on Flickr
Old 1st January 2011
  #19
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Acid Hazard's Avatar
Great work!
Old 24th March 2015
  #20
Gear Addict
 
ignorantape's Avatar
 

Wow, I think people are crazy. $800 for a poly 61 seems crack territory to me.

Korg Poly-61 Vintage Synth | Keyboards & Pianos | Gumtree Australia Darebin Area - Thornbury | 1074306833
Old 24th March 2015
  #21
Lives for gear
 

I always loved the poly 61 when it was new. Still tempted to pick a 61M up again one day. Great sounds ... if you like what it does just program them in and then call them up to use them - obviously not a knob twidlers synth, but that's the only reason you can still pick them up comparatively cheaply IMHO. In the memory of my mind from the 80's I'd be as happy as with a Juno for the sound, but not the knobs.
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