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Korg MS2000


Steve Nathan

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A friend wrote to say that his kid wants a Korg MS2000, and he has around $500 to spend on it or something similar.

I don't know this instrument. Was it special in some way, or popular with a certain style of music?

A quick Google/Ebay/Amazon yielded used ones in various conditions, but most would push his limit with either the purchase price alone or the International shipping.

Anything similar to this model worth considering?

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I never laid my hands on one, but I remember being interested in it when it first came out. There have been a heck of a lot of VA's to come out. Basically, it was an early 4 voice VA physical model of the MS20. Some of the reviews weren't that great of it. Any VA with 4 voices or more would be an alternative option.

Dan

 

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It's not bad, but I would look at a Yamaha AN1x instead. For some reason, it seems to go for ridiculously low prices at the moment, and it's sonically superior in my opinion. Also, it has a 5-octave keyboard with aftertouch, and a ribbon controller.

OTOH, it has much fewer knobs for programming, so it's not as immediate.

Other options to consider for a similar price (used) are Alesis Ion, early Nord Leads and Viruses, Waldorf MicroQ, MicroKorg, Roland JP8000...

 

 

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I had the rack version for a few years. I regretted not having the keyboard version because of the intimate connection between kbd & front panel. Otherwise, I liked the instrument. I think it was pretty well suited to techno, as the sound was a little abrasive (in a good short of way).

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Very nice board. Same basic engine as the MicroKorg (not the XL), but knobbier, with full size keyboard.

 

http://www.vintagesynth.com/korg/ms2000.php

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I auditioned one extensively when it was new, and thought it was ok. I liked the JP-8000 and Nord Lead better, but actually ended up with a V-Synth. The 3 1/2 octave keyboard and four voice polyphony pretty much ruled it out for my purposes. It's not a true one knob per function VA like the Nord Lead and JP-8000 - but close.

 

Speaking of which, I'd advise against getting any knobby synth this old without checking it out first hand. These guys have been around awhile now, and quite a few have developed front panel glitches over the years.

 

If it's for a kid, have them check out the M-Audio Venom - which can be had for around $200 new and just ooze the contemporary edgy EDM sounds I'm hearing so much in today's music. I was very impressed when I played one. It's fully computer integrated too, which may speak his language better than a stand-alone VA.

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I had a tough choice between MS2000 and JP8000 when they were new on the market. Spent several hours one Saturday A/B-ing them. Roland was darker and warmer sounding, but the Korg had a sparkly edge that really appealed to me at the time. Ended up narrowing it down to the rack mount versions to save $, and Korg ultimately wound up under my arm...better price and more aggressive tones.

Got lost in soundscapes for weeks. Admittedly, I haven't touched it for nearly a year...just might light it up when I get home this evening.

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I have the MS2000R. I used it mostly for the vocoder and occasionally for some fat bass sounds. The routing capability is really nice, especially with up to 3 sequencers. Wish I had taken more time to learn it. Now I'm trying to sell it (among a lot of other items) so I can pay for my new CP4.
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Just Dan: In no way was/is the MS-2000 related to the MS-20. That was never the design intent. It's a general purpose virtual analog synth. Good engine, with nice modulation and step-sequencer-like modulation capabilities. Decent vocoder, not the best-in-class, but workable (see, I can be critical of my kids!). A great design for learning synthesis as well as just playing, due to it's good knobby interface.

 

Jerry

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I wouldn't spend $500 on one, especially if it's going to be "my kid's first VA synth."

 

Other options to consider for a similar price (used) are Alesis Ion, early Nord Leads and Viruses, Waldorf MicroQ, MicroKorg, Roland JP8000...

+1 (except for the microKORG)

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Yes,the Micro and 2000 were the same engine I believe.

 

My MS2000 crapped out on me after 2 years. Bizarre modulation behavior then just stopped working. I used it on a total of 6 gigs, the rest in my studio.

 

I thought it sounded great but was so cheaply constructed and way too susceptible to ESD unlike any other board I have.

 

I used to be a Korg fan (MiniKorg, Polysix, DW8000) but the cost of repair was too darn close to what I paid for it.

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I love the MS2000 for the same reason I like a lot of free soft synths. It is a great platform to learn synthesis.

 

For a $500 player instrument I would prefer a JP-8000 or Radias-R Rack.

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$150 is about the right price, if it's the BR edition (at least that's my recollection of the revision model's name).

 

I owned the blue one, sold it, then bought the black revised edition for $220 at a blow out sale. Then I sold it for the RADIAS, which ultimately disappointed (different story).

 

I still have tracks recorded with the MS2000BR that sit well with other tracks and which take well on the whole to replacing with Polysix and/or MonoPoly (VI's), but there are other tracks that have a special mojo I haven't been able to get with the VI's. I have no regrets selling it though; I learned a lot on that synth and it helped me develop criteria for other synths, but ultimately it's a bit too grainy. Good vocoder design.

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Then I sold it for the RADIAS, which ultimately disappointed (different story).

 

Sorry to hear that. I've heard people say the MS2000 has a warmer sound vs. the Radias, but I've not played them both.

 

 

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I wouldn't bother.

Tried the MS2000B as an analogue general purpose synth and couldn't get the sounds I wanted because of the bizarre programming quirks - avoid IMHO.

Not a great keyboard either - I got the Roland XP30 (see other thread)

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