Today I found a used but in near mint condition Korg Poly 61 Synthesizer for $50 at a used music shop located a short drive from my house in Nagano-city, Japan. I must admit that I know very little about the Korg Poly 61, but for the price which included a hard case, I had to plug it in and give it a whirl. All of the presets were in the synth and after about 30 minutes of playing it, I couldn’t find one thing wrong with the synth. The sound for the most part was fantastic. I say for the most part because some of the presets were just ok, but with some tweaking I’m sure they would sound great.
It’s hard to pinpoint with just a short time playing this synth, but there was something about it that I really liked. It was a bit annoying about the lack of knobs for editing the sounds, but quickly I was able to figure out how to program what I wanted. The Joystick is an absolute DREAM!!! I love it! That joystick alone can crank out some wicked sound variations. Plus the arpeggiator is a blast as well. Everything about the synth felt good and just felt for $50 bucks I could have a lot of fun with it. I should also note it’s not the “M” version which has the MIDI connections, however, that doesn’t bother me. I rather enjoy playing the keys straight and recording in real time so I actually don’t use midi all that much in my other keyboards to be honest. It would have been a nice addition, but I certainly can’t complain. It’ll be nice to hook this up alongside my Juno 6 or Juno-106 for sure.
Thus for first impressions, I rather like the Korg Poly 61. I heard it’s really cheap, but honestly I have never seen one in Japan. If I check Yahoo Japan Auction, I do see one listed for over $200, so I feel I got a great price on mine. There seem to be a lot of Roland Juno Synths around, but I really don’t see any Korg Poly 61’s so I for the moment, it’s a rarity in my book. There’s only one “working” Korg Poly-61 on Ebay right now as well for $500. Wow, that’s quite a bit.
There are quite a few Youtube videos highlighting the Korg Poly-61 Synth. Below is a video that I think is one of the best I’ve seen of the Korg Poly-61 Synth simply because the guy knows what he’s doing with regards to synths and he pushes it to the limit.
This video showcases more of what the Korg Poly-61 can do.