Synth Site: Korg: Poly800 mkII: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.7 out of 5
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Steve B a hobbyist user from UK writes:
Well, I bought mine about 6 months ago for £100 sterling. For that amount of money, it's great! I knew what I was buying, so I wasn't dissapointed at the lack of polyphony or stuff. Portamento would be nice, however ...

I use it for what it does best - huge analogue sweeps and shimmery strings and pads. The full digital delay line, (as opposed to the poxy chorus on the Mk1), really does make a difference.

Back in the late eighties, lots of magazines published patches for the Mk1. They can be easily translated as a starting point for your own sounds.

As to the reliability etc, I've used it for six months with no problems whatsoever. I'd guess the battery problem is best solved with a screwdriver and a trip to your local jewellers or whatever.

I've also read nightmare tales about the memories wiping themselves when you plug in MIDI leads. That hasn't happened to me (yet).

Overall, it's a really pleasant change from the flat, bland sounds of S+S. It really does have a character of it's own. Not, I admit, to everyone's taste, and definitely of a sort of square wave feel to everything that comes out of it, but you _can_ drop it to the 1 VCO eight voice poly mode quite happily, if you take time to set up the dleay line right.

Don't pass this one up if it's the right price. It will take more work than the instant gratification of modern synths, but it will be worth it and you will learn a lot for not much layout.

posted Monday-Oct-12-1998 at 06:44
Michael Rall a professional user from USA writes:
Ahhh....I'm feeling very nostalgic. The Poly-800II was my first real synthesizer. I bought one 2nd hand in 1989 for around 300 bucks and it didn't even have a manual and so I had to fiddle with the parameters until I figured out what each of 'em did! Unfortunately, mine died in a bad road accident in 1994 when my keyboard stand collapsed on stage in Memphis, TN. My Ensoniq Mirage fell directly on top of it, crushing the keyboard and the undercarriage. I wish I had another one, even though it only provided 4 note polyphony, it generated some WICKED bass and some really nice filter sweeps and analog pads could be created with a little time and effort. Like the Mirage (and like most of the older, cheaper synths from the 80's), I wouldn't take it on the road by itself, but it fits in nicely alonside a rack of synth gear or in a studio setting. (

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:42
Kevin Seward a hobbyist user from US writes:
'Case you're wondering, the sysex dump request is F0 42 21 0C 10 F7. That should come in handy if your tape backup isn't working (like mine) or are interested in saving patches in sysex. Not as glamorous and highly esteemed as other synths of its time, the Poly 800 Mk II is still a cool synth. The delay with its 1 second max delay time can create some spacy effects. Try the modulation feature on the delay for chorusing and not so subtle detuning.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:42
Jain Dough a hobbyist user from USA writes:
I got this little guy for $120 used. Best 100 bucks I ever spent. Sure, the sequencer is uselessly anti-productive, but the 1 sec. ddelay is very nice, indeed. The filters are pretty nice, and kind of remind me of the filters on some of the cheaper SCI boards(split-8, etc.). This little bugger can generate some truly alien transmissions! It really shines when you patch it a Distortion pedal/processor. It really interacts with distortion better than most of my other gear as so many of the frequencies catch. Good, gutsy basses can be generated, as well as lead-type sounds and noises that could've been sent back from the Voyager spacecraft. No multi, no velocity-touch sensitive keyboard, but it does have pegs for a strap, which makes it even more quirky! Diagnoses: I love mine and wouldn't sell it for the world! Just hope my battery doesn't die soon!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:42
Chuck Ruggiero a professional user from USA writes:
Well, what can one say about a featureless keyboard with a limited interface? Probably the worst thing is the inability to access the oscillators through MIDI. Still, it's lightweight, requires no maintenance or care, and has some decent sounding pads and noise patches. Bass sounds are kinda cool and there is a definite potential for a lot of 80's sounds from this rig. However, there is no onboard CMOS, so when the power goes off you lose your programming...which means...always make sure the batteries are up to snuff, or you lose all your work. I HAVE sucessfully used the tape (remember tape??) interface to save and re-boot the native patches. For the few bucks I gave up for this board, it's a good addition to your stage rig, if only for the pad tones.

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