A 6-voice polyphonic analog synthesizer with a 61-key keyboard. Released in 1981.

The PolySix is essentially a true polyphonic version of the Mono/Poly, with added 32-patch memory and a tape interface for more storage space. The modulation capabilities aren't as flexible as with the Mono/Poly, due to having only one LFO. But the 6 VCOs can be played in the unison mode to create a really thick monophonic sound.

Chips used in the PolySix include SSM 2044 as the VCF and SSM 2056 as the ADSR envelope generator.

from the original owner's manual

back to Korg

Anyone considering purchasing a Korg Polysix should be aware of the following: The rechargable battery installed by Korg to power patch memory while the unit is unplugged would inevitably go bad after a period of 10-15 years and spray battery acid on parts of the nearby PCB.

Battery Acid Modulation is not a feature considered desirable at this time by most synth owners. The damage will disable a number of features, and requires extensive circuit retracing and component replacement to repair. So be sure to test functionality as thoroughly as possible, as well as opening the unit up to do a visual scan for damage, before purchasing a Polysix.

The battery is located near the middle of the unit, slightly on the left. It is a sky blue plug about 3/4" in diameter and about 3/4" long. It will be quickly apparent if it has leaked -- there will be brown sticky crud on the PCB around the negative terminal of the battery.

If there is no damage (rare these days but possible if the synth wasn't used much), it is a simple fix that will cost less than $50 to repair -- this involves basically replacing the battery with a modern Lithium Ion battery.

These synths sound great. In my opinion, they are much more organic than the Roland Juno 60, which is feature-wise very similar. Additionally, they are much less common, so the sounds are less familiar to listeners, which is frequently a good thing. I highly recommend this synth if you can find one in good shape.

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