Korg / ARP 2600 FS – comeback of a vintage classic

They did it! Korg released the ARP 2600 FS – a full-size clone of the original ARP 2600 from 1971, with an almost unchanged surface, and with some extra performance tools such as aftertouch, arpeggiator and a simple step recorder. The ARP 2600 FS looks – yes! – beautiful …

The synthesizer comes with its 3620 keyboard and costs a slim 3,999 Euros. The price includes not only the two lids for the synthesizer / keyboard, but also a road case for both boxes …

You have to look closely to figure out that this is “not” a synth from 1971. First, the new ARP 2600 FS comes with MIDI (In / Out / Thru), USB port and two powerful, extra XLR outputs (R / L).

Second, the separate 3620 keyboard has aftertouch, a comprehensive arpeggiator and a simple step recorder (sequencer). And its connector/cable looks much better than the unreliable original connector system …

Third, the new ARP 2600 FS has two filters (switchable, as with the new Korg MS-20). Ok, ok, … it’s not so clear yet, which filters we’re talking about … the 4012, of course .. and the 40??. And it’s neither clear what oscillators are used.

Be that as it may, the sound seems to be very good. It’s surely not the sound of an ARP 2600 from 1971, but surely a pleasant, powerful analog sound. The original ARP 2600 – well, there was not “the” ARP 2600, they all were a little different – anyway, the original ARP 2600 had quite a few special qualities / quirks that contributed to its strong sound character.

Quirks such as the delicate keyboard with its permanent minimal “sliding effect” when you played notes. Special qualities such as the orignal 4012 VCF with its enormous resonant “bass” boost. And the vintage noise module sounded – for whatever reason – more like noise and less like a test rountine in a laboratoy.

However, the modern analog sound is pretty good – probably more on the clean side, with a slightly different sound character. But it’s definitely good! Be that as it may, Korg has given the ARP 2600 – that “holy grail of analog” – a new life. We are very much looking forward to the new ARP 2600 FS, with its MIDI, aftertouch, arpeggiator … and its pleasant sound.

Korg / ARP 2600 FS

Monophonic / duophonic analog Synthesizer
with MIDI / USB and switchable filter and with a separate
3620 keyboard with aftertouch, arpeggiator and step-recorder


Compare with:
ARP-2600 – holy grail of analog? (Test Report of the original ARP 2600)


Filed under 2020, General, Stories

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.

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