Synth Site: Korg: POLY800 Synthesizer: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.8 out of 5
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P a part-time user from Europe writes:
Had a reversed colour one & I really loved its sounds. It is light & can be played with a strap like a guitar. I must have been crazy because I sold it - but - the person I sold it to became really famous in the synth world and writes reports about synths & does demos at famous music fairs! Then I bought a Jupiter 6, & I sold that too! Roland D-20 (also sold!) But I still have my Jen SX2000! (Now EMU + soft synths + Yam DGX) Poly800 is a real gem! Uses tape to record sounds. 5 of 5. Not a Fairlight, but good.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-03-2008 at 10:17
Mike the Mender a professional user from UK writes:
A good little synth that can create some interesting textures and which will take serious punishment. I can't remember when I last had one of these in for fixing. They just don't go wrong. The mk2 has battery back up. I can't remember the mk1 having that. You just load in standard batteries. This sounds like an advantage. It isn't. The 2032 battery is welded in and is really difficult to removed without damaging nearby joints. You would think that they could have fitted a battery slot in point...wouldn't you? Korg and batteries just don't mix! It also loses the thickening chorus and gains a useless delay. The 'better' midi is still basic. A lot of mk1s have the eprom upgrade fitted. It wasn't expensive or trouble. Prices are still attractive. The reverse key model is the one to have. Prices are at a premium for these. About twice as expensive as a standard key model. They're rare. Worth it? Yes! It looks great. I fixed and serviced an SH101 the other day. A red example. The guy wanted £1000..yes a thousand UK pounds for it! special editions cost more.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-15-2008 at 03:41
bill a professional user from canada writes:
its a great little synth for many reasons. first and foremost its a cheap synth. however the build quality come on these are still around after twenty five years almost. thats a long time for a synth to last. i realy dont think most of the gear built in the last ten years is going to last that long.

secondly as for how it sounds its not a rompler. its pretty noisy in some ways but who cares i mean i dont realy know many old keyboards wich dont have a bit of noise to them. if these werent built decently they wouldnt still be kicking around. the battery issue is a pain in the ass but theres alot of support out thier for these. honestly if you want a nice subtractive synth on stage its pretty hard to beat it in terms of being light and also you dont have to worry much about it. how does it sound. like a poly eight hundred. lot of decent spiky blips and bleeps possible. the sequencer is kind of fun too. i think this is a good board for electronic musicains who are into hardware. as for comments about how it sounds like early 90s techno i dunno i kinda think that was when most of the best techno was made. well i cant give it a five. i mean come one a five is for things like a jupiter6 or a prophet5 or a minimoog. people give way to many fives here. this synth is usualy under two hundred bucks...oh wait for that reason and beacause there is no other synth as good as this for that price i will give it a five. and the guy who says a sy35 is better. sorry its not fair to compare the same. one is a rompler with four operater fm. the other is a subtractive dco based analog board.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-May-24-2007 at 00:20
L_X a part-time user from Netherlands writes:
The poly-800 was the first Synth I bought in the 1980's. So yes I might be a bit sentimental about it. Anyway...I read alot of negative and positive stuff about it. I don't think it's fair to compair this very basic machine to any more advanced instruments from later years which might have been in the same price range and have sample playback etc. Yes..It can sound really crap...and I mean really! I agree with that and it did frustrate me at times especialy as a teenager with no money to even get an FX-processor or peddle. The cool thing about the Poly-800 I always found it's step-sequencer. I was into EBM at that time so... I have to say that it's limitation to one pattern is a bit of a drag. I would have loved having buttons to switch between like say 6 different programmable patterns. Maybe somebody can make a modification for this!! Talking about mods..yes..no tweakable buttons on the standard machine but many fans of the machine havethought up modifications to have tweakable knobs. As it is a analogue synth (with digital controls...which is ofcourse it's main negative point I think) mods are relativly easy to do and can push your machine into a whole new realm. I can state here now all it's limitations ofcourse, and there are many if one looks at what's available now. Limited polyphony, not multi-timbral and forget about creating really complex sounds. So if you are looking to have it all..skip the poly-800 and possibly everything build before say 1998 or so...Overall it's a nice synth to have as an addition to your setup. And yes...I still own it and use it from time to time.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Sunday-Nov-19-2006 at 05:26
Kelly Chaney a professional user from USA writes:
Proof that the Poly-800 sounds good? When the Human League went to record the Crash album with super producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the only keyboards they brought with them was their EMU sampler and the Korg EX-800... which is featured heavily on that recording, including the hit "Human".

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jul-04-2006 at 08:00
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