Synth Site: Korg: Polyphonic Ensemble: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.0 out of 5
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Aaron Koper from USA writes:
When I was little my dad owned a Korg Polyphonic Ensemble 2000 a.k.a Poly Assemble. I got the pedal for one still. Unfortuanly don't have the synthizer. I willing to trade anyone for there Korg Polyphonic Esember 2000 for my Korg Poly 800. I miss having that synthizer around it had a wounderfull organ sound that I loved when I was little, reminded me of dracula and my band wrote many songs in band with it. I hope you all can help. Thanks, -Aaron

Rating: 0 out of 5 posted Monday-Oct-18-2004 at 12:04
Jon E Salley from USA writes:
Being fortunate enough to have both models of the Poly Ensemble and to remember them from when they were new, the basic answer they shared the name and overall appearance is "marketing." Korg was offering a pair of analog polyphonics for far less than Prophets or Polymoogs or the Yamaha CS series (you get two keyboards for the price of one) and one being optimized for percussive and one for sustaining synth timbres it gave the user a two-keyboard platform for arrangements. Plus, stack them on your Mellotron 400, and you've got the killer, reasonably portable but versatile 70's prog setup.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Saturday-Oct-26-2002 at 00:24
Dan Aarons a hobbyist user from England writes:
I bought one by chance and I think this is a very under-rated machine. Strings sound is really rich (almost as nice as a solina) The phase shifter sounds lovely. Could benefit from an octave swith and more control over the sustain. Well built machine, good sound.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Friday-Sep-20-2002 at 08:18
Steve Smith a professional user from Australia writes:
I have a PE-1000, and it is virually a hybrid organ-synthesizer. 61 notes, each with three oscillators. It has a very thick, dense sound, which can be either plastic or natural. Each note can be microtuned by adjusting the pitch using a screwdriver under the plate on the front panel. So weird temperaments are possible.

The synth has discrete componentry (real transistors). The preset sounds include electric piano x 2 (close to an electronic Hohner Pianet Wurlitzer EP200) a harpsichord (nice) a clavichord (filtered - like a wah-mounted Clavinet) a brass patch (nice sawtooth synth - think of Cat Stevens' "Remember the Days of the Old Schoolyard") strings (good when put through a chorus - I used to use a Roland RS09 Organ/ Strings as a chorus for it) pipe organ (churchlike but ordinary) and the control section, which features basic envelope and hi-pass/lo-pass filters which Korg dub a "Traveler". Traveler controllable by footpedal - this gives wah-wah effects. Sawtooth and square and pulse waves all provided and usable. Pedal also worked as volume pedal on all patches.

There is vibrato, detune, and a sub-octave which adds a sub-pitch to each note played. Master tuning and volume controls also are present.

This is an antique and definitely under-rated. It has some Frankenstein-like quantities but it was definitely one of the earliest polyphonics. It has a character like no other synth - nice dense sounding deep filters, killer bass, and weird sounds possible as well - choir, explosions, white noise, flute (mellotron-like to authentic).

This doesn't really compare with any other synth readily - the design parameters were marginally different to the other synths of the time. It isn't an ARP Omni, or a Crumar Orchestrator, or a Moog or a Solina. It's one of the earliest Korgs and often forgotten about - but it is an interesting piece of history - a totally polyphonic synth from 1976. For its time - a great leap forward. Good range of sounds.

Actually - it produces sounds identical to the latest Roland and Korg mega-synths. Just don't tell anyone, OK? ;-)

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-02-2002 at 05:03
Stephen Parsick a professional user from Germany writes:
I´m a keen user of both Korg´s PE-1000 Polyphonic Ensemble and the PE-2000, its fellow Polyphonic Ensemble "Orchestra". I wonder why Korg sold two totally different instruments under the same name, causing more than just a bit of confusion among synth collectors and users worldwide. First of all, the PE-1000 aka Polyphonic Ensemble P, Poly-Ensemble 1 etc. is more or less aiming at imitating electric piano types of sound. It has presets for various harpsichord/piano/clavichord settings plus Brass (which sounds truly biting, at least on my example), Pipe Organ (another truly beautiful sound generated from a heavily modulated pulsewave) and String (okay, let´s forget about this one, although Michel Huygen of NEURONIUM used it a lot as a solo voice on early NEURONIUM albums up until about DIGITAL DREAM). Finally, the 1000 has a "Control" section that allows you to create simple polyphonic synth sounds from scratch, using various types of square and ramp waves plus the richly modulated "chorus" waveform. Both the presets and the "control" section can be controlled by means of Korg´s unique "Traveller" filter, two sliders for controlling high- and lowpass filtering at the same time (each with controllable resonance and envelope modulation). The Synth section is quite as basic as an ARP Omni, but not half as boring IMO. This is easily the strongest point of the 1000, even though it´s not able to play sustained notes (that´s where the 2000 jumps in). The 2000 had less controls and less keys and cost a lot more... and you got a hell of an instrument for your money back then. Imagine a preset version of Korg´s PS-3300 and you´re quite there. It has four groups of sounds with two presets each (pipe organ -- on earlier models named reed/wind --, chorus, brass, and strings), two of which can be combined with each other. The sound can further be modified by a simple built-in eq, a simple A/R envelope and -- applause, please -- a built-in phase shifter which adds greatly to the instrument´s unique character. Listen to Tim Blake´s "New Jerusalem" track (his 2000 was stolen from him when he was still playing with HAWKWIND, btw), J-M Jarre´s "Equinoxe 8" or Tangerine Dream´s "Pergamon -- Quichotte Pt. 1" and you won´t have any more questions. In my opinion, the PE-2000 is the most characterful string ensemble ever made, even more characterful than, say, a Solina/ARP because it´s never been half as popular as its Dutch/American ancestor (possibly because it came to late to woo die-hard Solina users). The sound of it has more of a polyphonic synthesizer than of a string ensemble. Some people wonder in how far it can be regarded as the predecessor of the Lambda: Forget it. The difference between the 2000 and the Lambda is about as big as the difference between a PPG Wavecomputer 360 and a Wave 2. The first one is incredibly powerful and rude-sounding while the latter is more tamed and less dirty. I should add that it apparently has never been popular in Germany (there were just two or three users apart from TD) so I had to get my 2000s from France (where it had been heavily promoted by Jarre) and Norway (!). To me, it´s absolutely indispensable, and I´ll never forget Tim Blake going apeshit about mine when we played at the same festival :"Oh mon dieu, regardez, regardez, une Korg Ensemble Polyphonique, c´est merveilleux, c´est incredible...". ´nuff said. If you have anymore questions I couldn´t answer right here, please feel free to contact me. Kind regards, thanks for your attention, Stephen Parsick/RAMP.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-11-2000 at 10:38
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