Synth Site: Korg: DW8000 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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a few corrections here:

build quality is fine. the keyboard sucks but the rest is decent. Not DX7 bulletproof but good enough.

filter is 24 db/oct, and does self oscillate (very well actually)

and the LFO can't be applied to the VCA.

and the biggest mistake: the sounds are very lush and warm. it won't do bright sounds very well but strings are excellent. The oscillators aren't that great but the filter is wonderful and the delay is the icing on the cake- wouldn't think a simple 12-bit digital delay would sound that good but the secret is in the analog feedback path.

If you're not using the delay I can see why you say it doesn't sound that great, but with the delay it sounds excellent (for pads and softer bass sounds anyway- a minimoog it isn't but it's not bad, and the leads are quite "phat" in unison mode).

And best of all it's cheap. If you can think of something better for the money I'd love to hear it. ESQ-1 is good competition but it doesn't sound as lush and warm.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-25-2003 at 13:36
Jez a hobbyist user from Belgium writes:
The build quality is poor. The keyboard is not very good - it has velocity and aftertouch, but is very cheap and plasticky, not what you'd expect from a quality instrument.

It's easy enough to program. The sounds are best described as "unique", due to the 16 digital waveforms you get with the 2 oscilators. The filter is 12Db/Oct low-pass with a 6 stage envelope and not self-oscilating; the single LFO can be applied to the oscilator, filter and amplifier sections; 6 stage envelope for the amplifier. It does have a digital delay, that you program into each sound.

MIDI spec is fairly limited, though you can use MIDI for sound bank dumps, and to link it to a computer editor. Not multi-timbral.

The sounds are just not that good. Some nice pads and basses, but you can get something better sounding, more reliable or better built for the money. If you want simple thin pads with some unusual harmonics in your studio rig, OK. If you want really fat basses, lush strings, lots of control over you sounds all in a package you can gig with, you will be very disapointed.

I sold mine and put the money towards something better instead, and I've not regretted it.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Feb-25-2003 at 10:06
Jakob/Amphasis a part-time user from Denmark writes:
This whas my first synth, and i proud of having it! The only thing bad about it is a few of the sounds, but hell, those u can change! I got it for about 2000 DKK wich would be about 300 US $! Kinda cheap!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Jul-19-2002 at 13:07
Ralph from Canada writes:
Just to add to my review below: The DW will sync to external midi clock, just make sure your sequencer etc is set to transmit midi clock. Set the DW parameter 87 to external clock (4,5, or 6). Set the arpeggiator to assignable-latch, and start the sequence. Make sure you play or record the notes in proper time to the music, the DW re-triggers the arp every time it gets a new note (unlike the Poly-6 which has a fixed clock). In assignable mode, you have to hold one key down while assigning the others to the sequence. Using a midi sequencer, make the first note sustain and add the other notes underneath. They can be of any length but remember the re-trigger rule. It's good for some interesting effects. By the way: I would rather get the Virus b than a Nord 3, The filters aren't fast or wide enough for TB303 effects, and I have never had problems with dropped notes (see review above).

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Jun-24-2002 at 14:00
hemlyn a part-time user from UK writes:
Some DW800s suffer dropped notes. You press the key, but nothing comes out. People first suspect that it might be crap in the keybard contacts, but it seems that the DW8000 shipped with a ROM that had a few bugs in it. Shortly after it's release (back in the 80s) Korg finished a new ROM and made it freely available for anyone at Korg service centers. Your local dealer should stil be able to order and swap the ROMs, and they were still available as late as 1998 (in the UK, anyway).

A local Korg technician may require that you bring in the board and might charge you a minimal amount for labor and their time but it shouldn't be much. In some cases they just might do it free. They need to old ROMs from your board in order to be credited for the new ones, so you can't just order the new ROMs from Korg.

Oddly enough the rack version (the EX8000) doesn't have these midi bug issues. It came out later and also doesn't have a keyboard so it bypassed the problems that existed in the DW8000.

posted Tuesday-Apr-23-2002 at 07:40
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