Korg MS-20 Mini Price Cut To $449

korg-ms-20-mini-price

Korg has dropped the US price on its MS-20 MIni by $150.

The street price for the Korg MS-20 Mini is now about US $450, 25% off the original $599 price.

The reduced pricing is now available from Amazon and some other online retailers.

The MS-20 Mini recreates the analog circuitry of the original Korg MS-20, but adds MIDI In and USB-MIDI. The synth is slightly smaller than the original, about 86% of the MS-20’s size.

For more info on the MS-20 Mini, see the Korg site.

29 thoughts on “Korg MS-20 Mini Price Cut To $449

  1. That’s great, but we should note this is what the street price already was, and with this announcement the street price is holding firm.

    The CV in on the machine still conforms to the Korg exponential CV standard of course, which is incompatible with.. well, nearly everything.

    I understand wanting to remain true to spec, but if putting a mini keyboard and USB, which are not part of the original, why not bend just slightly more and switch to 1V/octave?

    FAQ

    Dear RabidBat,

    R U dumb? Did U not see it has MIDI in? Y U need CV input anyway?

    Signed,

    Clueless Noob

    Hi Clueless Noob,

    Thanks for your response. As you know, the included input maps to the backwards, irrelevant and archaic tuning system known as 12 tone equal temperament, which is not used by any cultures worldwide except a couple weird ones that are obsessed with consumerism, eternal war on behalf of the elite against anyone that opposes their interests, and inane corporate propaganda that no educated person could possibly fall for. As an intelligent and free person, I have no interest in that tuning system. Therefore the built in MIDI interface that only supports the 12th root of 2 system and nothing else, not even the codified parts of the official MIDI standard known as MTS, are totally useless to me, and the CV input is the only input of interest.

    Thanks for asking.

    Your friend,

    RabidBat

    1. You can’t change the Hz/V voltage control without changing the analog circuits and if you do that, it arguably wouldn’t be an MS-20 anymore.

      At the very least, you’d piss off the purists!

      The $450 price is pretty damn tempting. What I would really love to see, though, is for Korg to create a new analog synth – maybe with some of the MS-20’s DNA.

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, isn’t it just the gate and pitch cv which conform to the Hz/Volt scaling? I’m still able to use external modulation such as envelopes, step sequencing, and lfo’s on the MS-20’s applicable sources such as VCO pitch and filter freq.

      The Hz/V isn’t really a problem unless you need pitch and gate, there’s still a wealth of input/output jacks which play nicely with other CVs

      1. Sorry but GATE can’t possibly be V/Oct, since it does not carry any frequency/pitch information 🙂 it’s just an ON/OFF signal.

    3. Oddly enough the Total and Freq In jacks are V/Oct. In theory they’re not accurate enough to track over the whole keyboard but I’ve had pretty good results turning my Microbrute into a 3-oscillator synth using Moog’s CP-251 processor to offset the voltage a bit, and it tracks pretty well that way.

      Also I paid $600 for one off Amazon this past Feb so I don’t know if it was street price then. If so then jokes on me I guess.

      1. this is good to know as I have a Minibrute that would be fun to layer with the MS-20, and luckily have a CP-251. I don’t have perfect pitch anyways!

        I think the cost reduction will drive down the used prices, they were around $450ish right before this announcement. If you have a little cash, its a no-brainer at 300-350ish, just like the Minibrute and Bass Station II.

        1. Give it a shot, it’s good fun. What I do is patch the Micro’s CV out into the 251’s mixer, and the mixer’s + out to the MS-20’s Total jack, set the Freq Modulation’s MG/T.EXT knob to 10. Set Osc 1 to Sawtooth, 8′, filter off.

          To tune, latch both keyboards (on the 20, patch White Noise to TRIG In), press the bottom C on the Brute, and tweak the Offset knob on the 251. When it’s in tune, hit the highest C and tweak the Master knob, then repeat. After 3 to 5 iterations you should have it pretty well locked in, and it’s good for 3, maybe 4 octaves. On my Microbrute it’s tuned when the offset is just below -2 and the Master around 9.

          Or of course you could just use a MIDI cable, but where’s the fun in that?!?

          Oh and as a bonus, if you use the Total jack, the other MG/T.EXT knobs give you filter keyscaling.

    4. Archaic twelve note scale? Redesign of volt per octave?
      Looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bridge this morning.

    5. Yep, it is a disappointing situation we’re in here when it comes to playing anything other than 12t ET. The thing is, you are better off utilising midi when retuning the MS-20 mini to other scales. Using software to retune the MS-20 via midi pitch bend messages will be far easier and more reliable than trying to accomplish it with CV. Even if you want to go OTB, that midi data can be exported to a hardware midi sequencer too.

    6. “backwards, irrelevant and archaic tuning system known as 12 tone equal temperament, which is not used by any cultures worldwide except a couple weird ones that are obsessed with consumerism, eternal war on behalf of the elite against anyone that opposes their interests, and inane corporate propaganda that no educated person could possibly fall for. As an intelligent and free person, I have no interest in that tuning system.”

      https://youtu.be/ztVMib1T4T4

      This is synthtopia, not abovetopsecret.com

    1. Should be an easy DIY project. I saw a mod on this that replace the side panels with wood. Seems like you could go further and take the keyboard off, too.

  2. These mini’s have a lot more noise floor and VCO leakage than the original MS-20s (I bought one when they first came out). Also they tend to have a thump upon press AND release of the keys or MIDI input signals. Although I am happy with the sound these units have, the noise and thump issues make it very fickle for recording. I collect vintage synthesizers and trust me these Mini’s are much noiser than an average synth. Korg aimed them at a market of people who are looking to buy their very first synth and haven’t owned an analog synth before, so they cut corners on the design to save money.

    If anyone found a fix for these issues then the synth would be a good deal, but buyers should be aware of what they are getting when they purchase this synth. That being said it’s still really fun and sounds cool, but it’s a pretty cheaply built unit.

    Also note: the synth is not noisey when no keys are pressed because the output signal is gated, but as soon as you press a key you hear a lot of noise, especially when the lowpass filter is turned down.

    1. From all that I’ve read about this, the noise is primarily a function of the older Rev.1 filter that these units use.

      The larger kit and desk versions that have switchable filters, most of that noise floor disappears when you toggle over to the Rev 2 filter.

      The majority of vintage MS-20s out there are in fact Rev 2s. It was designed specifically to get rid of that noise.

  3. Mini keys are still a no-no for me. If they release something with full size keys that I don’t have to assemble, I’m interested!

      1. we all decide what we do with our time. In this case, I felt that restating that I am not interested in this machine, perhaps in reaction to the on-going analog mania. This forum is not restricted to those only interested by a machine, but rather as a way to express opinions, experiences etc…

  4. In Europe, the best price I found was about 500€ (way more than the American price), usually it’s about 600€. I hope our prices will be cut, too…
    If so, I’ll buy it, I’ve been desiring it for months! It’s the best true analog synthesizer on the market.

    1. Not really, thomann is set at some 480€, and i seem to remember being lower. There has been a price surge due to strong dollar apparently nowhere have i seen near 600.
      Everytime i think about getting the ms mini, vermona mono lancet comes to my mind. I like them both but vermona is so creamy. and less space. For europeans its the best choice.

  5. Wow… pretty tempting

    I love the original MS-20 and I user the heck out of the Legacy Collection VST, but as far as the Mini goes, the mini-keys and no PWM had me choosing Novation’s Bass Station 2 over this.

    if if ever drops to 399 I’d definitley grab one, if not just to to run sounds through the MS-20 filters.

  6. Having an MS-20M this makes me think about the possibilities of cabling two of these little guys together for some cross modulation fun. MS-20M owners have PWM & FM but lack a solution for paraphony like the other models. I was looking at the patch panel wondering if you couldn’t have the best of both worlds with two Minis. With that in mind, here’s hoping for a mini module sometime from Korg. At least an Internet post from a brave soul with instructions for an MS-20 Mini R / keyboardectomy. You could probably make a nice side business out of that.

  7. This thing is so small that it looks ridiculous. However, they do burn quite well when I pour lighter fluid on them and set them on fire at the end of the show.

  8. Was my dream synth, and I knew early on I couldn’t afford a original, saved for a year and was happy as a pig in shit when it arrived. Looking for a amazing synth that can do everything? Look again. Looking for a experimental, wayward, idiosyncratic, weirdo of a synth then maybe it’s for you. Noodlers and muso’s need not apply.

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