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ARP Synthesizers Odyssey FS Rev.1
4.25 4.25 out of 5, based on 1 Review

Korg's Reissue of the classic Arp Odyssey in Rev 1 livery ("white face").


22nd January 2021

ARP Synthesizers Odyssey FS Rev.1 by rpmedia

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
ARP Synthesizers Odyssey FS Rev.1

I never had the original, but have always wanted one having seen bands such as Ultravox using them in my youth and trying them in stores back then.

I went for the Rev 1 as I like the science equipment look it has - which goes with the sound! - and the easy to read colour scheme. I got the FSQ version which has the free sequencer and is not built in the USA.

The sound is really great. It has a ragged raspy feel to it but can also be smooth, while having a powerful bass end. The selection of filter versions is very helpful in this regard, as is the drive switch for added grit. I can't compare with the original, but sounds analogue and vintage to me.

There are a lot of options on the spaced layout - it is very big for a mono synth - with ring mod, sync and Sample & Hold opening up a lot of sonic possibilities, while paraphonic duophony adds some interesting sounds, particularly in combination with sync and ring mod. This can make all kinds of bleeps, squawks and badoings!

Some don't like the PPC controls (which weren't on the original Rev 1 but came on the Rev 2 and 3), but they are part of the Odyssey experience to me, and learning to use them is fun.

Some missed opportunities in Korg's reissue - no DIN MIDI out, no switch to enable mono/legato mode (you have to patch the back) and no free running LFO switch - these would have been great to include, as currently when patched for mono legato the LFO cannot be used. Velocity and or aftertouch would have been good too. USB MIDI is included and is bi-directional.

Was disappointed with the keyboard quality when it first arrived, particularly given the price of the synth. However, I have got used to it with time and it doesn't bother me now. Still it is shame to put such cheap feeling keys on a quite a pricey mono synth.

My first one quickly developed a fault with the PPC controller - became too hard to actually engage the modulation - and so was replaced. My second one has been trouble free.

A worthy reissue of a classic synth, if somewhat pricey.

 

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