The other day I was in a used music shop here in Nagano-city Japan and I ran across a used Korg M1 Workstation in mint shape. The asking price for it was $485 and I reluctantly passed it up. I asked the sales clerk if he could come off the price as it seemed a bit high compared to prices found on Yahoo Japan Auctions. Korg M1 Workstations are pretty high priced on Ebay right now at around $500 to $600 but I don’t see any selling for that price in the completed listings. As a result I skipped the opportunity and instead went home and dug out my old Korg X3 which is still in rather excellent condition. I turned it on and everything worked great except the floppy disk drive. It worked previously but I guess storage has caused it to break down.
I opened up the Korg X3 and found that the rubber floppy belt inside was still intact and in rather good condition. I figured it might be stretched out to much and so I ordered a new one online for 10 bucks to replace it. I already tried a rubber band which worked on my Yamaha SY-77 once before, but no luck with the Korg X3. It doesn’t look like the drive itself is broken so hopefully it’s just the drive belt that needs to be replaced. When I get the belt I’ll update this article with the result.
The software editor and librarian I use with the Korg X3 is Sound Quest Editor/Librarian 10 XL. I run it on an older Apple iBook G4 OSX 10.4.11 which works perfect for most of my older synths. I have had no issues at all transferring programs, combinations, or sequences to and from the Korg X3 and the Apple iBook. It’s also easy to record the midi tracks into Pro Logic 8 which I also have on the iBook G4. So if the floppy disk drive can’t be fixed, then it likely won’t be too much of a problem.
I really like the Korg X3 actually. It’s perfect for that New Jack Swing sound of the 90’s. I would love to snag a Korg M1 or M1r one of these days when I find a good price. Five hundred just seems a bit much for a Korg M1 but maybe some people might not think so. I’m not sure. I also have “imitation” sound programs of the Korg M1 and Korg 01/W for the X3 which were found on the Korg UK website. They sound pretty decent and will work. The key bed is also fantastic on the X3 and is made by Yamaha. It’s very similar to the one on the Yamaha DX7 and I’m curious if it’s the same. It sure feels like it. I also like the sequencer very much as well which is very easy to program and has an adequate 10 song / 100 pattern memory for laying down tracks and ideas.
I remember buying the Korg X3 used back in 2000 in Tokyo. I bought it for a really cheap price because it wasn’t selling in the used shop. The sales clerk said nobody wanted it and so I figured I would take it off his hands. I’ve kept it ever since and likely will not sell it. For that 90’s sound it really is great.