Korg ARP 2600 M Synthesizer, Same Analog Circuitry In A 40% Smaller Case

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Speculations over, it’s official. Korg has revealed a more compact version of its iconic semi-modular Synthesizer recreation named ARP 2600 M at NAMM 2021

A vintage Synthesizer was a big topic in January 2020, the ARP 2600. On the one hand, because Korg had announced an official ARP 2600 reissue at NAMM, and at the same time Behringer announced its replica at Banaheim. It’s 2021 now and both synthesizers are rarely available. Korg’s ARP 2600 FS at $4k is sold out and the 2600 for everyone from B. has such large pre-orders that you have to wait several months for it.

When Korg showed his replica there were also rumors about a cheaper version, even renderings were circulating on the net about which I report. Today at the start of NAMM 2021, Korg is showing the ARP 2600 M, a more compact and smaller one.

Korg ARP 2600 M

Korg ARP 2600 M – The Original Shrunk By 40%

The ARP 2600 is arguable the most iconic and recognizable Synthesizer of all time. Not for everyone but for many. The ARP 2600 M offers everything we love about it in a more compact and portable format (60% of the original size) with additional features that make it compatible with modern music-making environments.

Korg ARP 2600 M

The M is also made in Japan and features the same analog circuitry and components as the ARP 2600 FS, and thus faithfully reproducing the characteristic ARP sound.  3 VCOs, filter, LFO, 2 envelopes (ADSR, AR), VCA, spring reverb, ring modulation… Like the FS version, the M version has both filter revisions (4012, 4072) as well as a spring reverb.

The latter is not a digital emulation but fully analog. It has a revised version of the spring tank that fits into the new format. Great importance was attached to keeping the rich, characterful sound of the original. The same applies to the built-in monitor speakers which also find their place in the small 2600. 

Korg ARP 2600 M USB Host

Modern Connectivity

The ARP 2600 M will cost less than half of the FS, but you have to do without a lot. Not everything, however. A dedicated ARP 3620 keyboard, arpeggiator, or sequencer are not included. Therefore you can find a super practical USB host functionality on the side with which you can connect any USB MIDI controller directly with a USB cable. A neat extra feature, which I would like to see for the Wavestate, OPSIX, and others.

You also have to do without the premium XLR outputs of the FS. Here Korg uses classic L/R 6.3mm output jacks. Then, you have DIN MIDI in, a mode switch, and a USB connection to connect it to a computer. The ARP 2600 M ships with a dedicated carry case that not only protects your instrument but also makes it easier to transport, thanks to its custom casters with special anti-shock damping technology.

KORG microKEY2-37

The first 1000 units will come with a special color road case, as well as a Korg microKEY2-37 so you can start playing right away.

New Feature Highlights

  • Plug and play: Connect any class-compliant MIDI controller and automatically get full control of your instrument
  • resized: the new size makes it easier to visualize your patch and also allows you to use shorter patch cables
  • twp types of filters from two versions of the original ARP 2600 (4012 type, 4072 type)
  • DIN MIDI In added
  • pitch-bend, modulation, portamento on/off, and portamento on/off can be controlled through MIDI CC messages (USB/DIN MIDI)
  • normalized voltage: the threshold of the trigger signal required to activate the ADSR through the S/H GATE JACK has been reduced from 10V to 5V, making it much easier to use in combination with other gear such as volcas or Eurorack modules
  • improved attack and release time ratios
  • L/R stereo output jack (instead of XLR)
  • speakers turn automatically off when using headphones
  • improved, smoother sliders

First Impression

The rumors about a mini have come true. The ARP 2600 looks solid and beautiful. Since this has the same components as the FS, the small one will sound as good as the large one. It’s nice to see that Korg is now making its replica accessible to more musicians at a moderate price. However, this comes at the wrong moment in my opinion. With the Behringer 2600, there is currently a 2600 replica that costs three times less than this one. I like the form factor of Korg’s new ARP 2600, the design, and the neat new features (USB host…). Excellent job. 

Objectively speaking, it won’t be easy to sell this one when you know that there is another solid one on the market for less money. Had Korg released this in 2019, or early 2020 at the latest, it would be a completely different story. They would have been almost unrivaled on the market. Now they have to assert themselves against the BARP. From a different point of view, however, more options are always better and ultimately the customer decides whether he wants an ARP or a BARP.

Korg ARP 2600 M will be available in June 2021 for 1799€ including tax.

More information here: Korg 

Available here for pre-order


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  1. Sorry Korg. Too little, too late, too greedy. Can’t see much market for this at this price point. You could have a a 9 oscillator Behringer trio!

    • What is the 2600 known for? Its arpeggiated sounds. What does the 2600 not have? An arpeggiator. Sorry, in a world where the Behringer 2600 exists, that’s far too crippled for me, Korg. If I need to have a computer to do sequencing and arpeggiation, I’ll just use the Arturia emulation, which is actually damn good. (I’m not anti Korg — I have a 2600 FS and love it. but i don’t see the value proposition here, if it is indeed $1500 ish).

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