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