Synth Site: Korg: POLY800 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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Jerome Conreen a hobbyist user from UK writes:
I was given a poly 800 a few weeks a go by my cousin, and I think it's great. So far I'm still programming it,but I've already wrote two songs on it and recorded them on my 4 track. It's very good for Gary Numan, Human League and other eighties synth sounds. This makes it just right fot kind of industrial/ambient rock that I play. However, I still have been unable to program some of these lush string sounds, that every one goes on about. So if anyone out there has any patch sheets, please can you help!

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:43
Øystein Bergseth a hobbyist user from norway writes:
I bough a poly 800 a few years ago, but I never used it until now.The sound was great. But after I have had it plugd to my midi input on my computer my sound bacame strange. Can anyone help me with this please, and does anybody hav the users manual. My E-mail adress is

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:43
Ab Wilson a part time user from UK writes:
The Poly 800 is a great example of collective madness caused by fashion. The only good thing about it is that it's cheap, but if you pay more than £100 for one you're getting stitched up. Let me explain what I don't like about it. Firstly this is really a mono-synth pretending to be a poly. It's 8 digitally generated oscilators feed into a single analogue filter. Why did Korg do this? Well at the time of it's release the poly synth market was dominated by the DX7 and it was becoming harder and harder to sell analogues. The only solution was to go down market, or jump on the digital synth band wagon. Korg did both. Most of the sound generation is digital. The oscilators are completely generated in software (ie they are not even digitally controlled analogue), as are the envelopes and LFO. This was just about the limit of what was posible in those days but still cheaper than implementing the real thing. (Software generated modulation sources where used by many `analogue' synth manufacturers at the time, basically to reduce costs.) Since DSP technology at the time wasn't really capable of doing any serious sound shaping (remember digital reverbs were novel in those days), Korg stuck an analogue filter on the end of the signal path just so you could do something to the sound and then copied Roland and added a chorus unit to try and thicken the sound up a bit. So what you've got really is the cheapest synth you could possibly make and still get away with calling a synth. Well should I really be criticsing the machine because it was designed to be cheap? No, but I can criticse the fashion victims that think because something is old and tacky looking it must be cool. Why did people get back into analogues? Well besides the rock bottom second hand prices around at the end of the 80s I think the main reason was that the digital synths in those days were either horribly fiddly to program (I own a TG-77 so I know), or good at playing back their factory sounds but not really capable of synthesis in the true sense of the word (for any one who hasn't guessed I'm talking about the M1 here). The reason why synths became awkward to program was that very few people bothered to try so the manufactures to the opertunity to cut costs by supplying crap interfaces. This all started with the DX7 which just had too many parameters to supply knobs for all of them. Korg followed suit with the Poly 61 (the ancester of the Poly 800), except they did it purely to cut costs. After that no manufacturer could really afford to supply a decent programming interface (Roland had the decency at least to make optional stand alone programmers). So lets get back to the point. It's now at least 5 years into the big analogue revival and although most people still can't tell you what VCF stands for they know that they are `kewl' and make `phat' sounds. The prices of all the recognisably analogue synths - the Jupiters, Junos and Profits etc (ie the ones with knobs on) - have already been inflated. So attension is now turning to the synths without knobs - the ones that caused the problem in the first place. In summary - if you are that strapped for cash buy a Casio CZ101 instead.

Rating: 1 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:43
Gordon JC Pearce a hobbyist user from Scotland writes:
I got mine about 6 years ago and have fallen in and out of love with the beast ever since. Makes nice warm pads, and good acid spiky basses.... No midi through and only one filter, and I suppose the way it drops to four voice when you use two osc's per voice is a hassle.... I'm just about to modify mine to allow midi Out to be used as midi through (it's a pretty simpleminded beast, so it only sends notes and controllers, it also has no local off so you can't use it as a controller very easily) and to have a filter in so I can pass stuff through the filter. Email me for info...

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:43
Jonathan Pratt a hobbyist user from USA writes:
Lots of fun for Textural chord progressions. Nice organ sounds and bass.

all your eighties movie synth sounds. Overall I think it reminds me of

eighties synth music. I can get a lot of depeche mode-ish sounds out of

this thing. My only complaint is that the sequencer is not very useful.

For an eighties synth this thing is the cats meow.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:43
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