Synth Site: Korg: MS20 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.6 out of 5
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David a part-time user from France writes:
I've had my MS20 since the late 70s (one of the first produced...). I must admit that I've never used the keyboard that much (only as a trigger), and that the majority of the time I've had the keyboard output linked back through the "total" input jack, which allows a wider range of sounds... used with a good echo (I used to have a 'plex, now I'm making do with a rather tinny little pedal)it can give "spacey" effects that Tim Blake himself would be proud of, though you've got to have a deft hand with the knob-twiddling...

Most of all, I've used it as a treatment device. I've never been able to get it to "play" (the early-version pitch-to-voltage device plays up something rotten), but the filters and envelopes can be used very creatively...

So, all in all, a very nice little synth for the "part-timer" who can't shell out for a VCS-3 - the only problem I've found is that the filter peak controls tend to get sticky with age (turn 'em up more than 3.5 and you get howls from the filter)...

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Nov-01-2001 at 05:29
chris from usa writes:
i bought one of these from ebay and restored it..i think it is a very good synth..i think some people over-rate it though.it makes good warm basses and great noises.it has the most screaming filters ive ever heard!if your not carefull you might cook your speakers or even scare your neighbors!it scared me and my cat when i cranked it up and tweeked the filter.lol...its built like a tank(except for the keys which chip/break easily)..one of the best things about it is that you can route patches like a modular synth,thats how you get the most out of it.i would not consider this a minimoog replacement as i have read before in here.it has a different sound than a mini.but its still around the same level of tweekability.i think this synth is starting to get very popular after korg made its ms2000 series.i think the ms 2000 sounds nothing like the ms-20.i thought it was better to save my money and get the real thing..im glad i did!...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-29-2001 at 16:14
Steve a hobbyist user from Netherlands writes:
One of the best analog synths ever made. Extremely unique with a tremendous amount of character. The HPF/LPF filter combination with their particular resonance characteristics is just a sonic work of art. The patch bay is extremely versatile, just remember that Korg and Yamaha use linear CV scaling when considering other outboard gear. The knobs are solid and well laid out, the range of control is extreme, the pitch follower/cv converter is still ahead of it's time 20 years later, it stays in tune perfectly, and it looks like something from a late 60's science fiction TV series. You can patch anything to anything internally as well as to and from other CV gear. What on earth isn't there to love?

This synth can produce rich buzzy warm tones that are nice and earthy, thin reedy sounds, deep rumbling concusive sounds, spaceships, industrial machines, all very natural and moving. It can also produce the most aggressive sound I've ever heard in over 25 years of making music. This thing can put Jimi Hendrix's guitar to shame and produce filter sweeps that double as a dentist drill if desired. Need to give an audience a mass root canal? No problem. Excellent for taking over a small country. An absolute Jedi Knight freaking laser sword! Get the picture?

A very personal and wonderful instrument. I am going to expand with the MS-50 for sure. It takes careful tweaking to really learn this synth but be patient and it will become an extension of yourself. Although I love the sound of the Minimoog, I'm sorry but it will have to bend over and pick up the soap in the shower this time, cause the MS-20 with it's one of a kind filters will kick it's ass.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Aug-28-2001 at 19:43
lorin cutts a professional user from Ireland writes:
Great to learn how to programme on - sounds great, and looks like something out of Jon Pertwee era Dr Who! Thanks Mike Score from Flock of Seagulls in 1982 - if I'd never seen you playing one I'd have never have thought to get one!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Wednesday-May-23-2001 at 08:12
spectralab a professional user from Canada writes:
Finally got my hands on one of these... I have to admit, I didn't think it was going to live up to all the hype I had heard about it. But I was pleasantly surprised that it did... I would agree that the oscs are a bit thin sounding, but the killer filter and patchbay and audio input more than make up for it... the filter really is the crux of this machine, you know the specs by now so I won't go over it again. Suffice to say, in the few weeks I've had it, a LOT of the patches I had programmed on other synths have had a whole new life breathed into them going through this filter... I use it mostly for weird/bizzare, sound-effect type stuff and it excels at that... I would think that if I were using it for more traditional sounds I'd be more inclined to use it for leads than for bass... it's nowhere near as fat sounding as, say, an MKS-80 (my personal fave bass synth)... great for buzzy leads though, and packed with a healthy dose of features you don't always find on monosynths... bottom line: it somehow makes sense that Richard D. James owns, what is it, 3? or these guys...

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-31-2001 at 07:18
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