I think we all know what the DW8000 is, an Underrated Hybrid digi/analog 8-voice polysynth. the filter (same as the DSS1) is very sweet indeed and combined with the hard edge of the digital waveforms gives a machine which can produce a varied range of sounds from PPG-esque bell, Epiano and clangerous sounds to quite usable and smooth Analog pads with the cutoff low. As you crank resonance up, bass disappears a bit too much A`la Roland SH1/JP4 (shame) but turns to a sweet whistle almost worthy of a REV-1 Prophet-5. I wish that there were more waveforms or some sort of phase distortion element to give more creativity but that`d be asking a lot, this machine cost £1200UK new in 1985. the Delay unit is very flexible and not notably noisy, can produce flanging and chorusing too. Arpeggiator either runs up/down or in note order, unfortunately no up, down, random options but IS syncable over MIDI. 64 patch locations (expandable with an external voice expander box) and Korg`s horrible joystick arrangement. parameter editing is laborious but a piece of cake and the last parameter selected before saving is available for real-time tweaking afterward (though the slider doesn`t send over MIDI).
The hardware is varied from the poor casework, iffy switches (need cleaning out on this one as they either double trigger or need a hard press to work, not nice when saving patches as they often end up in the wrong location (:-( .,) and tacky (poly 800-like) switches on the back panel for cassette mode etc. on the up side, the base is metal and sturdy, the inboard powersupply is beautifully made and well heat-sinked (no wall warts here!) and the keyboard mechanism isn`t the usual early 80`s Korg crap lightweight rubber dome type like the Poly-800, Polysix & 61 and (think) the DW6000, this 8000`s Kbd is similar to the DSS1, Lambda and Trident with proper leaf switches, and in this case weights glued under the keys to give some feedback... previous reviews have remarked that the Kbd is clunky or plasticky, maybe they used different ones depending on age.. aftertouch is a little stiff but can be internally adjusted via two trimmers, MIDI spec is very good indeed and an editor is available as shareware for windows..
Make sure you get the Powerlead with it as it is a 2-prong affair that I`ve only otherwise seen on other Roland (MKS70, 50, JU2 etc) and Korg (DSS1 etc) units and may not be available now. I replaced the one in this one with a standard IEC 3-pin one after shaving it slightly to fit, easy to do without removing the base as the leads are long enough to pull the socket out.
Conclusion.. Compact, affordable, sometimes warm, sometimes, brash, sometimes nasal but always loads of get up and go, EG`s are a little on the slow side but have an extra decay and sustain to make life interesting, pleasant to play and a good alternative to a Matrix6, less lush but more biting, both capable of souding huge.