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Korg Poly-800

Polyphonic Synthesizer (1983)

Affordable paraphonic synthesizer based on DCO oscillators with internal step sequencer.


OVERVIEW all plastic from 80. It features 49 keys with no velocity.  Main panel features a segment display, 3 sliders, 19 button and 1 data slider. Very nice STRAP PINS for keytar fashion players.

-Ex800 is the module version with sysex for edit and chorus effect
-Reverse Poly800 is a limited edition with different outfit, same specs
-Poly800 Mk2 is an enhanced version with battery, sysex and digital effect instead of chorus
-Moogslayer is a common modification with cutoff pot and much more

Terminal connectors:
- Midi Interface (no Thru port)
- main signal out
- headphones out
- tape Interface
- switch tab memory protection
- pedalswitch input for program up. 
- Power supply is external PSU with 9V AC/DC -)+ polarity.


OSCILLATORS Main unit 8 bits controller CPU Intel 8050 family. Oscillator DCO is based on MSM5232 chip, well-known for some '80 arcade games. The IC MSM5232 generates 8 digitally controlled oscillators,  which features 2 summable waveforms saw and square plus 4 additive harmonic octaves heights at 16' 8' 4' 2' + 1 white noise generator.
The MSM is assignable in 2 different manners:
- double mode: 2 x 4 voices for a thicker richer sound
- whole mode: 1 x 8 voices for full polyphony.

ENVELOPE there are 3 EGs with ADBSSR structure, which stands for: Attack, Decay, Break point, Slope, Sustain and Release. 
- 1X DCO1 amplitude: 6-stages ADBSSR
- 1X DCO2 amplitude: 6-stages ADBSSR
- 1X VCF: 6-stages ADBSSR

LFO there are 2 triangle-shapped modulators:
- MG1 modulates FILTER VCF
- MG2 modulates DCO pitch.
The modulator is triggered by joystick control with possible delay start function.

FILTER a limited paraphonic filter based on a single NJM2069.
The chip is a resonant (but not up to self-resonance) analog 4 poles lowpass with cutoff, contour and possible polarity reverse.


EFFECTS analog stereo chorus board based on BBD 3209 + driver 3102.

SEQUENCER features a very basic 256 steps sequencer, but syncable to external Midi clock.

MEMORY Memory is non-volatile if 6 x 1.5 V batteries are fitted- there is a custom modification to implement an internal lithium 3V like Cr-2032; internal memory holds 64 RAM patches in 8x8 banks, no ROM so you need to load by tape (it's provided on this page).It is NOT possible to edit the Poly-800 using a computer as there is no Midi Sysex implementation, later corrected on desktop EX800 and revision model Poly800 Mk2.

Special Poly800 with battery modification

Korg Poly800 Specifications

Model: Poly800
Brand: Korg
Year: 1983
Country: Japan
Display: segment
Original Price: $795
Actual Price: 300€ (growing)
Keyboard: 49 keys with no velocity C/C
JOYSTICK pitch bend/DCO and VCF mod
Polyphony: 8 voices
WAVEFORMS square/ramp/16, 8, 4, 2 harmonics
Synthesis: Analog Subtractive
Timbrality: 1
LFO: 2 delayed modulator triangle
Filter: 1 resonant low-pass cutoff/resonance/kbd track/intensity/polarity/single-multi trigger
Envelope: 3 X EGs ADBSSR
Memory: 64 patches
Effects: analog chorus
Midi: yes
Sequencer: yes
Weight: 4,5 Kg
Dimensions: 78 × 28,6 × 8,8 cm

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Korg Poly800 Korg
Vintage polysynthesizer from 1983. 123456789 1234567890123
75 out of 100 based on 11 user ratings
200 to 300 from 1 sellers Sellers:
Product description: Classic analog for budget: some nice pads and sweeps. Sound is sometimes unusual with many sonic artefacts resulting pretty harsh.... but that could looks interesting. Customer reviews:
And Old Friend! - by , May 1, 2011
3/ 5stars