Korg Polysix Synthesizer

Korg Polysix Synthesizer
Korg Polysix Synthesizer

Well I finally managed to score a Korg Polysix, albight it’s not in fully working order just yet. I have one voice chip that’s dead and a replacement is on the way. Other than that everything works 100% on it near as I can tell. It’s a wonderful synth and likely will become one of my favorites if not already. I found it on Ebay here in Japan from a good friend whom I purchase from quite frequently. I’m so glad I bought it from him because I know the Korg Polysix can have it’s share of problems and I didn’t want to spend a whole lot time dinging around with it. The Korg Polysix is one synth you want to get working right away so you can enjoy playing it.

Cosmetically, the Korg Polysix looks fantastic. There are some slightly torn corners on the wooden panels which seems to be common, but other than that, this thing sure looks pretty…laugh.

The two chips that are being replaced are the SSM2044 and SSM2056 IC chips. I also have a Korg Poly-61 which uses the SSM2056. It looks pretty easy to just pull the chips and add new ones. Likely some calibration will be needed after that, but it looks pretty straight forward. With testing I’ve determined the chips ( or one of them ) are the problem, so I’m anxious to get the new/used ones in there. I have a couple of 80’s retro shows coming up in August here in Japan and would love to add the old Korg Polysix to the mix.

I was on the fence for a little while with the Korg Polysix because while owning the Korg Poly-61, I wasn’t quite sure if I needed the Polysix. However, after watching a few videos I found I really liked the rather unique sound of the Korg Polysix. It has a real gritty sound to it that I really like. It really slides in nicely with my Roland Juno-60.

UPDATE: I replaced the SSM2044 chip and now it works fantastic! I had every 4th note skipping when played, so I just took out the 4th SSM2044 chip from the left. It started working great from there!

Here is a great video showing you some of the sounds and capabilities of the Korg Polysix synthesizer.

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6 thoughts on “Korg Polysix Synthesizer

    1. Thanks Jared!! I’m happy to report that my SSM2044 and SSM2056 chips arrived today. I found that all of my original SSM2056 chips were just fine. However, it was the 4th SSM2044 chip that had failed. I replaced it with the SSM2044 chip I received today and it works beautifully now. I actually found that every 4th note would not make sound. I just counted over from left to right and took a stab at replacing the 4th chip It worked! It was as simple as that. Funny.

  1. rich wirth

    Hey Jim, Rich here from Customcomp. I have the hood up on a customer polysix presently. Battery leaker and killed IC30 and IC31 and about 15 tracks on the circuit board. This is a very common problem. What your clean by the battery?

    1. Hi Rich! Fortunately I haven’t had to deal with any battery leakage problems. I actually bought my PolySix with the battery already replaced and from the looks of it, likely was replaced by Korg Japan a while back. It’s soldered in there, but the soldering job is very well done and everything around it is super clean. There is good news in that you can find lots of info about it around the web, but unfortunately it likely will require some work. Best of luck in getting your PolySix up and running again.

  2. Hi Jim!
    I also have the Poly61 (with my self designed midi interface) and a Poylsix (with a redesigned midi interface from Bojan Burkeljc – can be found on the net) and I have to say that I prefer the Polysix. Programming the Poly61 with the Parameter/Value method is boring. The many knobs and switches on the Polysix are much more fun. The effects unit chorus ensemble enables very nice pads and also fat sounds. Have fun with your polysix. If you have an ipad there is also a Korg Poylsix ipad clone 🙂

    Ciao
    Peter

  3. Colin

    Hey Jim! I have a couple questions, if you don’t mind.. I have a polysix with the exact same problem as yours had, (skipping every 5 or 6th note, I can’t remember which). I’ve had it at this local shop in Las Vegas for repair and it’s been there for 8 months! Whenever I call them they always say that these things take time, and that vintage synths take longer, blah blah blah. How true is that, one? And two, where does one order the SSM chips needed to replace the busted voice chip? I’d greatly appreciate any info you can provide! 🙂

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