Synth Site: Korg: Poly 61: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.6 out of 5
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Ron a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
I got my poly two years ago from a guy who had to give me some money. Instead I got this thing. Great sound, a bit difficult in realtime adjustments. But it's easier to use live than the ms-20. I'm still looking for a manual that goes with this thing, so I was hoping someone out there reads this and can help me. Thanx

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-13-2000 at 20:21
Nate Howells a part-timer user from USA writes:
The expected background is that I came across this at a local shop, bought it for ~$115 with a patch cable thrown in. The selling point was the bass. Although I am sometimes frustrated at the digital key parameter modifiaction, I have found that it can be an impressive board if one takes the time to sit down and play with it. I run mine through a few Boss pedals and occasionally a Sequential Circuits Prelude for some kill FX. The board by itself sound sci-fi and is good for ambient. Add in the rest of the band and some beats, and it's good for just about any other form of electronica. I have yet to go MIDI, but I tend to prefer "live boards" anyway, and the P61 is definitely a great "live board!" My rating was determined with respect to other older analog boards I have played, and I will admit a personal bias because I own this one....

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-May-31-1999 at 19:19
Antonio Grazioli a hobbyist user from Italy writes:
I bought mine yesterday for about 80$. When I got home, I realized the keys didn't work. Only 4 or 5 were making some noise. I didn't want to take it back to the shop, but in those conditions it was useless... but today I decided to open it, I removed the keys and cleaned the contacts under the grey rubber things. (I understand dust is quite a common problem). Now it works perfectly. I programmed a few sounds from scratch (it's not very difficult), turned the arpeggiator ON, played a chord, put it through a Zoom Guitar Effect and played with resonance and cutoff...acid lines in a minute. I think I will have fun with this synth. My next step will be to replace the internal battery and (maybe) the original presets (any help appreciated). I think it's a very good synth for the price I paid, maybe even for 200$, but not much more.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-May-14-1999 at 18:05
Patrick D. Rosenbalm a professional user from TN, USA writes:
I have had two of these beasts in the past 11 years. The first one was bought used for $650 in 1986 and had been used on the road. It smelled like and ashtray and the keyboard was worn out. I used this fact to get the price down from $775. No problem, I knew what it was and how to fix it which I did. Anyway, I like it better than my Poly 800 I had back then because it had a VCF for every voice and the VCA was faster acting the the computerized envelopes on the Poly 800. In Dec. 86' I got a wild hair and sold it for $650 (lucky break there) for a camera and joined the Navy.

In early 93' a then friend of mine's sister had bought a Poly 61 for her son new in 1983. He had bearly used it and it had been sitting in the original box since 84' or so. Everything was there, book, patch cord and data tape. All of which I still have except for the box, too big to keep. Needless to say it's in mint condition.

As for the sound. I have read good and bad reviews from all over the net on this axe. It's not the most popular synth ever made but it's certainly not the worst either. I hate when someone writes a review about an old synth and compares it to some new do-all workstation. Apple vs oranges. For it's day, late 1982, it was a good deal and a good synth that wasn't meant to compete with Prophet 5s and Jupiter 8s. Back to the sound, it does some pretty fat sounds and some nice strings. Resonant wahps and womps are good so are bells and chimey things. Sweeps are great. You can program some cool sounds if you have a little patients. One big overlooked thing about the Poly 61 and Poly 6 (had one of those too), is the chord mode. Here's the deal; if you hit the same key six times you will cycle (L to R on the pc board) though all six voices. Now, hit the hold button and then hit the same note six times and then hit chord. Now you are monophonic with 6 or 12 voices. Find or make a resonant sweep sound and hit hold then hit the lowest C and all C's until the top one (all six) and hit chord. LIFT OFF!!! My Juno 60 won't do this. If you can find a Poly 6 or 61 for $200 or so think about getting it because I think you will like it.

Visit my website at for some more info on the Poly 61 including how to weight the keys with oil based clay and teaking the voices. NOTE: MY SITE IS UNDER CONSTUCTION.


Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Nov-28-1998 at 01:18
Steveo a 0 user from UK writes:
Hmmn - I find this a very dissapointing synth - parameter resolution is rediculously low , DCO's sound weedy and the keyboard itself is terrible (springy and way too light)...It has a few reasonable basses , the odd good pad but overall its not up to much - Even the single OSC PolySix or a Juno is a much sweeter sounding synth. They do go for pretty low prices and at around the £150 mark are an ok buy - but dont expect too much.

Rating: 2 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:42
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