Korg MS-20 Kit Lets You Build A Full-Size Analog Monophonic Synth Classic

korg-ms-20-kit-unassembled2014 NAMM Show: Korg is introducing a Korg MS-20 Synth Kit – a limited edition MS-20 Kit is a kit that lets you create a real, full-size MS-20 by assembling the parts yourself.

The MS-20 Kit is a true-analog, 1:1 scale reissue of the MS-20, with both filters built in (the more aggressive early production filter and more mellow late production one). Every details has been replicated, right down to the packaging, which includes a letter from the original MS-20 engineers and the President of Korg, Inc.

Just like the MS-20 mini, development of the MS-20 Kit was led by the original engineers themselves, who spared no effort to perfectly replicate the circuitry of the original unit. When it was necessary to substitute a part, the engineers made the decision based on their own ears, ensuring that the exact sound of the original unit has been reproduced.  According to Korg, the sound of the MS-20 kit has a ‘somewhat bright and extreme quality’ to it, because its sound is that of an original MS-20 in mint condition at the time it went on sale, before any of the components aged.

Here’s the official intro video for the Korg MS-20 Kit:

The MS-20 Kit comes dissembled, and can be put together with simple tools (some included), providing the user with a bit of the experience that often went hand-in-hand with ownership of vintage modular analog gear.

No soldering or understanding of circuit diagrams required. The updated MS-20 also features the same modern connectivity (MIDI and USB MIDI) as the mini.

The MS-20 Kit is a being released as a limited edition product.

Features:

  • A full-size, true analog MS-20
  • Build yourself with simple tools
  • Early and late filters at the flip of an internal switch
  • ¼” patch cables
  • Limited edition

The Korg MS-20 kit is expected to have a street price of about $1,400 and to be available in March.

79 thoughts on “Korg MS-20 Kit Lets You Build A Full-Size Analog Monophonic Synth Classic

    1. The old one will not have MIDI (if you really need it), will have a captive power cable (ugh), and most importantly, will need some TLC in the very near future. The old components will have a duller sound and the keybed on the new one will probably be nicer. You will have to settle for one filter or the other. And finally, this one will most likely come with a warranty.

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  1. I dont even know what to feel right now… This is fucking awesome, but 1399$ for a DIY ms20? Seems like alot for a DIY project? Although, both sets of filters is quite sexy.

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    1. Yeah I’m totally confused…. I want a sub37 badly, but an MS 20? Shit… Guess I’ll wait to see what build quality is like. And audio quality. Wish it weren’t limited edition, $1500+ is a lot to come up with at the drop of a hat.

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      1. Oh and this won’t have after touch, midi or any of that shit….hmmm… Were the components more expensive than the mini? Otherwise I’m not totally sure I understand the price other than to protect the brand.

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  2. Yes, for only the cost of two MS-20 minis plus a MicroBrute you can put together your own full-sized MS-20 that sounds the same.

    Okay, there’s the ability to have both the old ms-20’s filter types, and there’s the bigger keys, but still, wtf

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  3. you can literally buy one of the upcoming New moogs…. and build your own ms-20 filter…. for about what this is going to f’ing cost. for something you PUT together, the price should be substantially lower. at what point, do us musicians go no…? lol

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  4. Interesting approach. Given that it’s a limited run, this seems like less of a mass-market instrument more of “MS-20 Mini, Deluxe Edition” – something for a dedicated Korg fan. If you don’t want to pay $1300, you can get an MS-20 filter on a Monotron/Monotribe (that’s the mp3 download) you can pay half that and get a perfectly usable MS-20 Mini (that’s the equivalent of the CD release), but if you’re a huge fan with a little more disposable income, you can get the MS-20 kit (Super-deluxe vinyl box set)

    I’m not the target market, but I bet there are people who will get a kick out of this, and it’s nice that they’re offering it.

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  5. If I had bread to throw away I would most def get a couple and sit on one depending on how limited they are going to be.
    Ofcourse the price will be cheaper than listed by a couple hundred or so.

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  6. I honestly wish they’d offer more than just a simple monophonic synth that’s been done to death. something new would be great especially at a pretty decent price. anyone else notice that there is not much innovation happening anymore? more like rehashing. like we do with our films- same we do with our synths lately.

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    1. In the case of synths, there is little “innovation” because the field has finally reached the point early users were dreaming of. Memory, stable pitch, better builds (sometimes), etc. throw it back on the USER to come up with the innovation. It takes a good instrument to bring that out, but it only happens when you put some IN first.

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      1. I congratulate and thank KORG… At least they’re sticking true to analog. There can always be more innovation.
        Companies like KORG, MOOG, & DSI are true to the people; Roland and others, on the other hand, are the boring people creating cheap digital consumer gear with no character. AKAI is also stepping up their game now as well with their new analog drum machine: Wolf Rhythm.

        Thanks KORG; maybe you can recreate some of the old Roland classics for us as well!

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  7. something like z1/trinity/triton turned into a put-it-together-yourself kind of module- with a step sequencer. now i’d pay quite a bit for something like that. with new forms of synthesis thrown into it. that would at least be far more interesting than ms20 rehash 2.0

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  8. The price isn’t all that surprising. It is a limited edition, probably won’t sell in huge quantities. There was probably a fair amount of design work to work out the product logistics, packaging, instructions, support, etc. Probably won’t be a huge profit maker once you factor in all the support for folks who don’t wire things correctly. While that price-tag is a stunner, and doesn’t make sense for what you can get for the same money; there is this emerging maker market and some of them are synth geeks.

    Since Korg released that successful little bits kit, they probably realized what an under-exploited market that is.

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  9. Sure, it isn’t as cheap as the Mini, but it isn’t really that expensive for a quality mono synth that can do what it can do. If I had the disposable income I would completely sell my mini and buy the full sized one, because, ya know, it’s full size.

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      1. You can get IK Multimedia’s Sample Tank configured for an iPhone and it sounds great. That’s pretty close.

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        1. Oh for sure, the software/iOS alternatives are geat; Animoog and Nave are all you could ever really need for crazy evolving sounds, and Korg’s own Wavestation VST is quite good. However, a mini vector synth (Microwave? Microstation? Errr damn, now I see why branding people earn the big bucks) could use existing tooling for cheap production (they have a joystick in the microstation) and would have the following advantages:
          -The wavestation has its own sound, and it would be cool to see it rereleased/ expanded upon (sampling capabilities for the oscillators? Memory is cheap now and they’ve already done a compact keyboard sampler)
          – It’s got keys on, and mini keys are fun
          -Tiny synths are adorable and you know it
          -Who’s a little Wavestation? Yes you are, yes you are, have a PCM memory card what a good boy.
          -Retro/nostalgia appeal

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  10. If only I didn’t get a MS-20 mini I would’ve bought this instead. Just because I could. But I guess that anyone that really digs the MS-20 will be fascinated by this. I personally am, but its not the price tag keeping me away… its the fact that I’ve got a slightly smaller version already!!

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  11. Cool idea, the world could use a few more full-size MS-20s, but for the price of nine Volcas and a Monotron I’d like to see what kind of new analog monster Korg could come up with. Maybe next year?

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  12. love that korg have their finger on the pulse at the moment but I feel a slight slip with the price, this is what happens though when the competition dies away.

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    1. That price is probably MSRP (even though it’s what JRR shows).

      Remember that using distributors adds 30-40% or more for every product you buy. The money is not always in the engineering, but in the distribution overhead.

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  13. Well more than the cost of two brand new MS-20 Minis and you have to put it together yourself? For a 14% larger keyboard and ¼” patch inserts? KORG’s been kicking ass lately but this just doesn’t sit right with me.

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  14. The price difference and limited availablility might be due to better or dead-stock components, seeing as the MS-20 mini cheaped out in a few areas. Maybe the keyboard is much higher quality (the original ms20 keyboard was flimsy), and they are going to use 1/4″ jacks? Thicker metal housing? Silkscreening and bakelite knobs? Lower noise and osc bleed than the mini?

    Probably not. My take is that this is a “ride the wave” product aimed at hipsters.

    Also, the original MS-20 came assembled… How does selling it in peices have anything to do with re-living the past. Korg just went full retard.

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  15. I can’t think of a good reason to get this when moog just announced that their sub 37 will be about the same price (unless you’re big into semi-modular). Not a huge moog fan, but the sub 37 looks really sweet, sounds great, and offers much more as a performance instrument. If korg were to offer this kit for 700 usd or so it would help.

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  16. I wish they make a minimoog clone in a microkorg case with a sequential filter and cs80 knobs.
    and i want it with midi,3 usb plugs,in built THX speakers,in a vintage arp box
    and as a kit , all white, access snow white,
    and with a fake vst plugin to edit it from ableton
    and a digital delay .
    And rosewood sides.
    And a mike ,to vocode,nobody vocodes,but yu need this.
    and a guitar input.
    and free chocolates.
    and a voucher for the plugin version that will be around in a month or two.
    and a PS4 connector,
    and bluetooth to stream digital audio into my car.
    and a lmited ferrari red glassback
    and backlighted touchscreen with morphing fx.

    .

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  17. The whole point of the MS-20 mini is that you can use the same patch cables as your Eurorack modular. Going back to 1/4″ jacks? Sorry, can’t afford a 5U modular either.

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  18. thousand and one reincarnations ms20, korg has no ideas and just remade and remade 36 years old synth, I’m tired of seeing this thing in ipad vst in mini version and kit

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  19. The price is a bit stiff for what isn’t really a “build your own” as much as a “finish putting it together” kit.
    Yes the two filters are a sweet add, but over twice the price of the MS-20 Mini ready to play out of the box? It doesn’t make a ton of sense in a market with companies releasing actual new analog products. If Korg is going to do kits, how about ALL of the old models, The Mini and Maxi Korgs, the modulars, something besides the MS-20, please.

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    1. Science fiction is becoming reality everyday. But when most folks lose their jobs to the robots, who is going to buy all these big companies’ products? The robots? Unless they’re planning on paying robots, it seems to me that the big companies are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. I know it’s a compounded problem…but still.

      KORG are only one company of many I realize. KORG – “No CyBORGS were abused making these synths.” …cause now you make it for them. I’m kind of kidding but kind of not. I think these DIY kits are an awesome learning tool in general, but the current environment for employment, human rights, and economic stability are…not so awesome right now, and sometimes I can see companies experimenting with how to replace human workers and still look like heroes. In 2 years your pizza will be delivered by drones…at least Amazon will offer this service …and most of us will be applauding the drones until the day comes when the drones that knock on your door aren’t so friendly.

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  20. looks like the soldering is all taken care of already, and that’s the fun part of building diy kits not screwing on nuts and assembling premade parts. A rare miss for KORG, I think. Not really impressed by KORG at this NAMM, but their new app “KORG Gadget” looks pretty cool.

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  21. This is great, Korg make an announcement, throw a price out there and get the public to do your market research for you before you launch it! Both korg marketing and R&D departments are getting lots of mileage out of these forums.

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  22. I was excited…till u dropped the price on my head! Korg has been on fire this past year but starting 2014 off with a $1400 synth you have to build…it’s time someone called the fire department to hose KORG down. $850 and I would’ve been in line right now! Good thing KORG is making this as limited edition because at $1400 it’s going to be limited sales, IMHO.

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  23. I’ll stick to the Korg Legacy collection and my Korg Legacy MS-20 Controller.
    Polyphony, decent master keyboard, knob twiddling and spaghetti.

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  24. Wow. KORG is great. Look at all of their stuff lately. From little bits volcas. iOS apps. Reissues and now kits. Hats off to you

    This is a pricey kit, otherwise I’d be tempted. However it’s probably what they need to price it at, so good for KORG for doing it. Now I’m going to buy the new iPad app and a volca (don’t ask me what auto correct wanted there!). I want to buy their products because they try so hard.

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  25. Well I was SO sold on this until I saw the bloody price! Seriously??? If I had money to burn I’d buy one, but there’s no way on God’s earth I’m paying that much for something I have to piece together meself.

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  26. Rethink: My above gobsmacking at the price notwithstanding, Korg had to make all the tooling and molding equipment, create print screens for the panel and so on. That costs money. What’s the betting that this is a marketing test to gauge demand for an actual (and I mean ready built) full-size modern MS-20? I guess time will tell… . . .

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  27. Unless they’re numbered and have an end number set, the term limited could easily be a marketing term to gauge the selling potential. Korg is still a company in the business of making money. That being said, if they sell enough and can project selling more, don’t be surprised if NAMM 2015 has an unveiling of what this should be.. A pre assembled MS-20 with MIDI I/O, not just midi out. And common, no MIDI data transmission of the knob movement. Yeah you could work around it with MIDI>CV and just patch it in… But at 1,400 you shouldn’t have to do work arounds to automate parameters in 2014. If I’m wrong about not being able to transmit and receive CC data for automation, please post a link to correct me.

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  28. so silly.
    go get a $1,300 keybed and add a $200 filter to your ms-mini?
    don’t forget some adaptors and new cables.
    oh wait, why?

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  29. is it me or is this show like some Insanity ward…..$1400 for a kit ? you can buy a vintage one for that and have something with some vibe and character , this and the nord lead a1 made me realise that most of these companys i think lost the plot…..

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  30. I’d guess the Bill Of Costs would be near $200. Meaning it has a huge profit margin. Yet the thought of having an MS-20 with full-size keys, dual filter types, midi and built using modern surface-mounted higher reliability electronic components is still enthralling.

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  31. Oh come on. If I’m going to be able to build it, I want to get out the soldering iron and build it! Not put together legos. Now Korg’s just being lazy. Uh…here…you finish…

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  32. This is great, and if it was €900 I’d buy it. But at that price it’s difficult to see how you could choose it over the Sub 37.

    This looks to be a collectors synth, not a musicians synth. If u want the sound the mini will suffice, and you could chain 2 of them together for less money.

    I admire Korg for doing this, and I think they did it because they can, but it’s just way too expensive.

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  33. Only 1000 units worldwide, and street price is $1399.

    Price now makes sense, no huge profits to be made. With such low numbers this will probably hold it’s value. But it’s a collectors only synth.

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  34. Come on Korg, I am one of your biggest fans and Roland I love you as a brother but this time Moog has stepped up to the plate and has bitch slapped the both of you. I am in line to purchase a Sub 37

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  35. moog sub series are always a looks like a poor man synthesizer, I think Dr moog if live today never doesnt allow these bad products but KORG is legend and the MS 20 full size idea is the best for me, cos I didnt find any time a legend KORG MS 20, Please always produce them I can buy every year one of them… I love you all KORG vintage synthesizer…

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  36. Wow, thats awesome. I really ? synthesizers & I studding electronix now. i made some synths. I wish one day you help me! please put an article to learning how to make synths…
    Thank you so much.

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  37. You’d have to be real careful not to scratch the front panel while tightening the nuts on all the 1/4 inch jack sockets. You can bet if this was done in a factory they would have torque drivers with some sort of plastic coated socket so as to not scratch the paint. Make a mess of this and you seriously spoil your build

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