MATRIXSYNTH: Korg Lambda ES-50 fully analog fully polyphonic synth/string synthesizer

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Korg Lambda ES-50 fully analog fully polyphonic synth/string synthesizer

via this auction

"The 1979 Korg Lambda ES-50 is a fully polyphonic analog polyphonic synthesizer with three layers of fully-polyphonic oscillators, and three amps (one for each note of each oscillator layer) per key. This makes it perhaps the most powerful analog string synthesizer in history.

The Lambda has a wealth of different types of sounds in two different sections that can be layered together, as well as basic functionality to allow you to shape these sounds to suit your purposes.

Two of the three layers of oscillators can be detuned, allowing you to create the most luscious and complex natural chorusing ever produced by a string synth, and there is a beautiful stereo chorus that can be used IN ADDITION to the natural chorusing possible.

Unlike many string synths, this one has a filter associated with its "Brass" setting, allowing you to create standard 1970s synth sounds. There is only one filter, which makes it a paraphonic structure. But you can adjust the filter cutoff with a designated knob.

With three amps per key, the amp structure is NOT paraphonic. Each of the two sections has some envelope controls that allow you to shape the amplitude of each section to suit your tastes.

The Lambda has various piano sounds, string sounds, organ sounds, brass sounds, and a "chorus" sound, which is a synthesis-generated choir sound which must be heard to be believed.

This Lambda is in very good condition (for being 40 years old) with only a few minor marks and wear. The ample wood of the case is in very good condition compared to many of the Lambdas out there (see pictures). Functionally, this Lambda is 100% except for the octave shift tab, which is demonstrating some intermittency. This merely suggests that it needs to be cleaned, and as I am not a tech, I wasn't comfortable addressing it."

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