MATRIXSYNTH: First Demo Video & Pics of the New KORG ARP 2600

Thursday, January 09, 2020

First Demo Video & Pics of the New KORG ARP 2600

Uploaded on Jan 9, 2020 GAK

KORG ARP 2600 FS posts

Update2: The announcement is up here.

Update: Looks like the video was changed to private. Good reminder to be checking the site often - to catch things before they get pulled. :) BTW, the video stated the new 2600 is based on the first version of the ARP 2600. That is technically incorrect as the first version was actually the Blue Marvin/Blue Meanie. You can find two videos of one here, and some pics in various archived posts. There was also a Grey Meanie. From that link: "First was the Blue Marvin about 20 of these were made next was the Grey Meanie 35 or so were made". This new 2600 has the design scheme of the first major runs of the next 2600. Thanks goes to @AzevedoAudio for the reminder!

"The new Korg 2600 Arp is here!
Luke pops in to Demo this beast."

Note the "sequencer" is a programmable arpeggiator:

"3620 Keyboard While faithful to the original design, the functionality of the 3620 Keyboard has been greatly enhanced for this limited ARP 2600 release. The 3620 Keyboard contains 49 full-size keys, aftertouch, portamento, and is also duophonic, allowing two keys to be played at once – Single or Multiple Triggering is available. In addition, the duophonic keyboard can use an optional foot switch to lock the interval between any two notes, without retuning the oscillators during performance. Vibrato can be added via a dedicated circuit controlled by aftertouch, or by the onboard LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), using any of three available waveforms. Most noticeable is the addition of a flexible Arpeggiator that allows a user-defined pattern to be manually sequenced and played back. Still present are the original Pitch Bend knob and the Two Octave Up / Two Octave Down Transpose switch. Connecting the keyboard to the main unit now uses a secure eight-pin din cable.

Processing Powerhouse The ARP 2600 reveals its modular nature by the unique assortment of valuable, esoteric, and individually patch-able modules it contains. To begin, there are a set of parallel-wired Multiple jacks that enhance the patching possibilities – allowing the same control signal to be sent to multiple locations, for example. Three independent Voltage Processors provide scalable control voltages, or can act to attenuate any control signal. Use the Lag Generator to delay the start of any control signal. The Noise Generator is tunable to deliver White, Pink, and Low-Frequency noise, plus everything in between. A series of three Inverters can reverse the polarity of any signal. The Electronic Switch can be sync’d to either the internal clock or any external clock signal, as can the Sample & Hold rate. Most importantly, the Arp 2600 includes a dedicated Preamp and Envelope Follower for processing an external audio signal."


  1. Surprised by Korg's 'vanilla' reboot. None of the typical -or even most basic- mods owners and users have found necessary and useful over the last 40+ years. No OSC sync? No EG time scale switches? No AR Gate input? No Gate out from the Envelope Follower? HUGE reduction in capability without these.

    Whether these will be easy mods or not will have to wait for gut photos of this Korg reboot. They'll definitely be missed by any who've had them in the past with original 2600's.

    Can't tell from the text and photos how the described S/H and Electronic switch rates are handled. There's only the new jack on the 3620 (upper left) labeled "Arpeggiator". This is an obvious clock input, but it doesn't seem possible to drive the Arpeggiator, E/SW and S/H at independent rates. Another missed opportunity when a simple jack below jack "C" of the E/SW can accomplish this much useful result.

    Also can't know yet if all VCF inputs are AC or DC coupled? Knowledgable techs upgrading 2600's do NOT AC couple all filter inputs. Fix the VCA, and the thump AC coupling is trying to avoid goes away. There are a great many sounds which disappear when AC coupling removes the 0-10V nature of the Saw and Square-Pulse VCO outputs.

    Also missing is a 1/4" jack input for the preamp and two for the main outputs. However, the XLR outputs next to the IEC AC input is a very nice addition. As is the IEC itself, in this age of too many external brick PSUs.

    Was a good choice to inset the input output panels on the left and right sides, as this is not done on the originals, with much damage to the Tolex as a result.

    The Handles and case clamps are not as original and this is a shame, as both are available if one knows where to look. Hoping for a rear case view to see reverb tank placement and size, as well as the signature nameplate.

    The keyboard upgrades seem all good, as long as the true nature of the original Duophonic CVs and gate is achievable. (Obviously this is another digital emulation of the original CV/Gate KBD.) Nothing wrong with that, as long as the original operation is somehow available, This has NOT been the case with other such KBD upgrades of the ARP duophonic operation.

    All in all, a nice if rather pedestrian clone/reboot. And the price is fair, but upper end and for this reason the missing details and features matter. Glad there will be other choices for full size 2600's in 2020.

    Fortunately am aware of another full size 2600 clone landing soon, which does not make these mistakes. Many choices now and soon in the 2600 and ARP clone universe. A good time to be an ARP fan.

  2. The product page on their website also got removed, it was listed for pre-order at GBP 3,500 (just over USD 4,500)

    1. I'm hearing it will go for $3899.99 US.

  3. Missed two points in previous reply. First, there is the expected "TYPE" switch in the VCF area, so it would seem either 4012 or 4072 VCF is available. A good thing.

    More importantly, the trim hole covers above VCO1 and VCO2 suggest that the 4027 circuit *may* be inside. As these high frequency trims were unused and later removed when 4027-1 VCOs replaced the 4027s early in the 2600s lifetime. Since many claim better sound from the earlier OSCs -nothing new there- Seems to be a synth thing for many to believe earlier is better. Let's just say they *are* different. Still, the above mentioned VCF AC coupling would have greater effect on what the OSC output sounds like than the earlier vs. later VCO circuits.

    It's also possible Korg simply left the holes and covers in place since they were there on most grey 2600s, regardless of which submodule was behind the panel.

    One last weirdness, if they did use the older OSC circuits. The Silkscreen for the normalled jacks is the newer simplified version, which does NOT match the OSCs in that case. A full-on Mashup by Korg.



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