Korg wavestate SE and SE Platinum, 120 voices of premium wave sequencing

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Korg wavestate SE and SE Platinum, the premium versions of its wavestate Synthesizer with 120 stereo voices, a keyboard with aftertouch, and more.

The Korg wavestate Mk1 is loved by many people for its vintage 80s-style sound. But also because of the deep engine. The users were just as unanimous about the quality of the synth—especially the keyboard without aftertouch and the “low quality” all-plastic housing.  Korg then reacted to this criticism and showed a teaser of the upcoming wavestate SE in 2021 for virtual NAMM 2021, with a better housing, more and better keys, and aftertouch support.

Today Korg introduced the Mk2. The improvements requested by the users were not implemented, which is a pity. However, they are implemented in the wavestate SE and SE Platinum, which have now been officially released.

Korg wavestate SE

Korg wavestate SE

It took a long time. More than two years, but now the wavestate SE is here. I think the delay also has something to do with the chip shortage from 2022.

The different design is immediately noticeable. It’s significantly more extended, more elegant, and has more keys. Now 61 keys instead of 37. The wavestate SE now looks like a professional flagship Synthesizer. According to Korg, it represents the top model of the wavestate series.

Bye-bye, plastic, the Wave Sequencing Engine 2.0 engine sits in a high-quality black metal housing with metal-coated knobs, made in Japan. Or let’s say: assembled in Japan. I’m sure it feels completely different right away and at 8.6kg, the wavestate SE is not a lightweight synth anymore.

Then, it hosts a high-quality “Natural Touch” keyboard with 61 keys equipped with velocity, release velocity, and aftertouch.

Korg Wavestate SE

As a bonus, SE users benefit from even more polyphony. Unlike the MK2, which has 96 stereo voices, the new SE models have 120.

The remaining features are identical to the wavestate MK2. You get a Wave Sequencing Engine 2.0 with various filters, effects, 4GB for custom samples, etc. On top, it ships in a matching hard case. Korg has another version if that’s not premium and exclusive for you.

Korg wavestate SE Platinium


With the wavestate SE Platinium, Korg presents a limited version with a silver-colored aluminum control panel and stainless steel side panels. Korg says: “it give the instrument an exceptionally elegant and futuristic character and make it an absolute eye-catcher in the studio and on stage”.

Like the regular SE, the wavestate SE Platinum is also manufactured or assembled in Japan and delivered with a matching hard case. The engine is the same here too. Here, too, you benefit from the 120 voices boost.

First Impression

It took a long time, but now the wavestate SE is here. He looks very elegant and mighty at first sight. It is a pity that the front panel has a lot of unused space on the left and right. There would have been room for more control options and a larger display.

Plus, the price is anything but affordable. To enjoy the aftertouch-enabled keybed and the better case, Korg demands 140%+ as the mk2 version. Phew, that’s a lot.

Korg wavestate SE will be available in July 2023 for 2199€ (incl. VAT). The wavestate SE Platinum will also be available in July 2023 in limited quantities for 2399€ (incl. VAT).

More information here: Korg 

Available for pre-order at my partner

Hardware Synthesizer News


  1. It does look nice, but for that price and the oodles of panel real estate space left, they really could have combined the 3 synths in this series – modwave, wavestate and opsix – into one mega hardware synth, the “mod-state-six”. Many of the panel functions would be interoperable, particularly between the modwave and the wavestate. Unique controls e.g FM operator controls for the opsix – easily could have fit onto the front panel. Users could switch between synths, and maybe create performance/layer patches that combine the three generators into truly out of this world possibilities.

    I really couldn’t see myself justifying upgrading all my current highly versatile individual plastic versions to this SE range (which I assume is where they’re going with this), particularly when the very usable VST versions KORG have created also provide me with the performance capabilities I’ve referred to, via a DAW. If one hardware synth could do all I’ve listed above however…

  2. A lot of disappointment going around over here, but I’m elated! I was in love with the sounds of the original Wavestate, but I HATED the flimsy 3 octave keyboard. When the teasers for the SE came out years ago, I figured I would wait for the deluxe version. It took so long I thought it was forgotten and may never come out, but now it’s here! I can’t wait

    • You can use midi and have more octaves. You pay a lot of money for metal instead of plastic and… more octaves. Really?!

  3. I’m seeing these for $1999 on pre order. I’m curious what people think an appropriate price for this would be? I honestly wouldn’t expect anything with an aluminum enclosure, metal knobs and a high quality keybed with aftertouch to cost any less.

    Also, I’m aware that I could just as easily buy an OG Wavestate and hook a midi controller up to it. I don’t want to do that. I just want one instrument that sits on a keyboard stand and does it’s thing without the need for cables and midi configuration. I’m willing to pay for that.

    • I, too, was excited about the SE when it was first announced. I had it on pre-order, and was quoted $1399, which I would pay. $2000 seems too much to me. It should be noted, though, that the mk2 will be more than the mk1 at $899.

    • Its hardware is something like modal argon 8x, which sells for under $1000. So this Korg is at least double the reasonable price.

  4. @ Ghetto D

    If you look at the modal Argon 8, now look at the Argon 8 61, you’ll have your answer.
    Not even $100 difference.
    Whereas Korg are truly asking too much for such a slim upgrade, and I think most people realise that. The same applies to the mk 2 also, too much of a hike for what you get.

  5. I believe all that is relative? To my ears, Wavestate is the best sounding synth I’ve heard in years. Argon 8 is nice, but I just don’t feel that way about it.

  6. It’s weird that these aren’t Mk II. That’s what I initially thought. Odd choice to announce them all at once during their MkII promotion.

    • they are based on the same designs. So technically they are MK2 but the original wavestate with 37 keys was MK1 and so it’s MK2. But the SE are MK1 because they are new and the first generation.

      • Ah, got it. Sometimes my eyes gloss over with the features of these heavily digital complex keyboards.

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