Behringer K-20 Synthesizer A ‘Flexible Little Monster’ (Korg MS-20 Clone)

Behringer has shared the first public image of another upcoming synth clone.

The company shared the above image of Jeffrey Ford, part of their Las Vegas support team, on the Musictribe site, along with his impressions of their latest synths.

Look closely at the image, though, and you’ll see the Behringer K-20 – a Eurorack format Korg MS-20 clone – next to the Behringer D and Neutron:

The company originally announced plans for the K-20, along with a lineup of Behringer synth clones, back in 2017.

Here’s what Ford had to say about the upcoming Behringer K-20:

“I never had an MS-20, so this was a learning experience of wonderment and at times pure awe.

What a flexible little monster. Most definitely a generator of sounds from outer space. Add some tape delay and I’d go missing for hours on end. “

No details on pricing or availability have been announced.

Behringer K-20 Specifications (Preliminary):

  • Analog synthesizer with dual VCO design
  • Reproduction of original “MS-20” circuitry with matched transistors and JFETs
  • Analog signal path based on authentic VCO, VCF and VCA designs
  • Semi-modular architecture with default routings requires no patching for immediate performance
  • 4 variable oscillator shapes with variable pulse widths and ring modulation for ultimate sounds
  • First-generation filter design (high pass/low pass with peak/resonance)
  • Dedicated and fully analog triangle/square wave LFO
  • 2 analog Envelope Generators for modulation of VCF and VCA
  • 16-voice Poly Chain allows combining multiple synthesizers for up to 16 voice polyphony
  • Complete Eurorack solution – main module can be transferred to a standard Eurorack case
  • 36 controls give you direct and real-time access to all important parameters
  • External audio input for processing external sound sources
  • Comprehensive USB/MIDI implementation with MIDI channel and Voice Priority selection
  • 3-Year Warranty Program

75 thoughts on “Behringer K-20 Synthesizer A ‘Flexible Little Monster’ (Korg MS-20 Clone)

    1. I agree, so much experience! no other company is making this kind of comprehensive research investment. They will start to even overtake DSI in respected polys within a few years i bet.

        1. Steve, every design is changed, as you can see if you look at even 1 of them. The circuits often have great knobs, small size, midi thru, and extra CV that the originals don’t have. And they have their own synths too. Really i find the anti-clone sentiment silly . . like what is it really, do you not like a choice of good products lol

          1. In the reverse engineering business we have a saying “Understand completely or duplicate exactly”. Most people who are criticizing Behringer are assuming the latter strategy is at play. However, as you and others have noted Walter, making material circuit changes beyond through-hole to surface-mount conversions is in evidence. And as someone that benefited hugely from working at companies with great engineering, a understanding a good design will teach you the more than you can ever learn at college. These cats are getting the by far the best experience in analog synth design extent in the industry. If their vintage efforts sell well, Behringer will be future of analog design. I am psyched for the UB-Xa – worth the wait!

      1. It’s only been 15 months since they announced the whole ‘vintage synth’ revival. Amazing progress really to fill a multi year product pipeline in so short a time.

  1. if this sounds decent I’ll probably pounce. I have an MS-20 mini (and an iMS-20) but it doesn’t physically fit into my studio setup so its always perched way up on top of a rack somewhere. I’ve looked at the mods for sawing off the keyboard, etc and turning it into a module but I’d rather go pre-built. And the MS20 large format module from Korg is too bag.

    1. I like my Behringer Model D and I am interested in some of their other synths as well, but it is important to note that the MIDI implementation on the Model D very bare bones (not comprehensive as claimed in the manual). Just be aware of this before you purchase one, but maybe they’ll make the K-20’s MIDI implementation more robust. Either way it will probably be another great sounding & inexpensive little synth.

    2. “Comprehensive” is a poor choice of words. Assuming the MIDI implementation is similar to the Model D, It is as complete as it can be for an analog synth with fully analog controls.

  2. Considering the inexpensive and widespread availability of the MS-20 Mini I personally would have preferred a clone of the MS-10 or MS-50, but c’est la vie. Hopefully some of the clones “leaked” in 2017, particularly the Arp 2600 and Synthi VCX3, will become a reality soon — the original machines, and currently-available clones, are a lot less widespread by comparison.

  3. With both vintage and new Korg MS-20’s readily available at reasonable prices, I don’t see the point here. It’s as if they are manically replicating whatever they can get hold of by now, simply because they can.

    1. If the build quality was higher, I might buy one. But it’s Behringer (okay it’s _new_ Behringer), but… still suspicious.

      The full-size MS-20M desktop unit was a limited run and is no longer available. I don’t need a keyboard, so they have my attention. 🙂

      1. Can’t speak for the original MS but the Korg mini is pretty poor build quality. Very cheap. And they’re noisey as hell.

        1. Thanks for confirming. I’ve come so close to buying the MS-20 Mini a few times but I have no need for keys, and I missed out on the desktop module. I’m actually OK with noise and note on/note off MIDI… hurry up, Behringer. Waiting for those sweet 808 and 909 modules too. 🙂

          1. Don’t get me wrong the Korg mini is still a ripper of a synth. I’m just saying Korg didn’t really take any oppurtunities to make it better than the original. It’s still definitely worth owning though

    2. If it really is Eurorack compatible — meaning V/Oct instead of Hz/V, V-trig instead of S-trig — it would certainly stand out from the pack. Dunno if that can be done while keeping the MS-20 what it is.

    3. MS-20 mini still has a pretty large size, which dont fit to all users set-ups. Also Beringer’s version will have eurorack form factor and maybe standart eurorack v/oct specification (both original and mini version are using hz/oct). Plus MAYBE it will have some additional mods for parameter modulations.

      1. I’ve bought and sold two MS-20 mini’s. I would buy the rack version for the same reason Mueller above notes – storage/performance space. I have five times as many rack mount synth’s as I do full keyboards and they still take less floor space. This is an MS-20 form factor I wouldn’t care to sell – and would serve as the nucleus of a push for rack mount. All my analogs are Moogs so far. This looks like a surething (to my tastes) to start around.

    1. I love the sound of sallen-key filters, and I’d buy a ms20 mini, were it not for the frankly ridiculous form factor. I even considered buying a cheap 2nd-hand unit to do the very complicated desktop conversion.

      Screw that, if this comes out. It’s small, cheap, rackable, it’s everything I want, really.

  4. Even their support team are throwbacks from the 70s! I’m really impressed with the authenticity they are putting forth here! Way to go Uli!

    1. I know. My first thought upon seeing this was, “the dude abides”. Didn’t realize it was a contemporary photo at first.

    2. Haha, good one, I was thinking that guy represents the whole Behringer ethos. Washed-up cover band musos playing the greatest hits of other bands instead of writing new songs.

  5. The big question is whether this copies the original’s oscillator circuits.

    Purists will want the original design, but I’d rather see the design updated to use modern modular standards. Also – it will confuse the hell out of people if they can’t patch this with their Euro gear in a straightforward way.

  6. There are a few things which need adding to an MS20, it’s a good synth but with some missing bits.

    PWM,Sync and FM are popular mods on the originals. There are some patching additions people often make too.

    1. Agreed ! I had the MS20M module version and having the choice in between the two revisions of the filter became an essential feature. But I was ending up using the second version most of the time. The first generation was used when wanting a grittier / noisier sound. Hope Behringer can fix that before they start the production ….

      1. Same here – I have the MS-20 full-size keyboard kit, and I use the later version of the filter for all but the very nastiest sounds. It is far more versatile, and doesn’t add that weird noise effect.

  7. I’m still waiting for the Behringer Odyssey. Where is the Odyssey?

    These prototypes are meaningless unless you can actually order a product.

    1. The wait between teaser/announcement and actual product is long, but it has been consistently long, and Behringer has so far consistently delivered. People have started receiving the MS-101 and VC-340, just like the Neutron and the Model D before them. So perhaps your “prototypes are meaningless” comment is unfair.

      The Odyssey and the 808 are likely to be next. Then probably the Pro-1 and Crave. Then perhaps this. The UB-Xa is likely somewhere in that timeline too.

  8. What’s funny is that one of the reasons I bought my Neutron was because it had similar semi-modular capabilities to the MS-20 but in a Eurorack format. Of course, the Neutron doesn’t sound anything like the MS-20 so having the former isn’t really going to prevent me from buying one of these guys.

  9. I have the Neutron and it is good for the money. It feels sturdy too.

    I don’t mind these clones but it feels weird to me that all these instruments are coming out but the only one I could actually order or buy in a store is the D. Maybe it would be good to release the ones they’ve already announced first.

    A quick “where are they”list of announced but unreleased clones off the top of my head:

    1) Pro One clone
    2) 808 clone
    3) 909 clone iirc
    4) Odyssey clone
    5) Roland vocoder
    6) Almost forgot… SH-101 clone

    This isn’t including announced but unreleased instruments like the planned OB-Xa clone either.

    Personally I don’t feel I need an MS-20 clone but it would be interesting to see.

    It’s starting to feel like they’re announcing things but not planning to release them. I hope I’m proved wrong soon.

    1. The ‘Roland vocoder’ VC340, and the ‘SH-101 clone’ are both in pre-order on Sweetwater. While it will take a while for production ramp up, like the D did. They did deliver. I’m not worried about delivering the small fry – it’s the big boys like the UB-Xa that will take time to release. Even small project can take more than 6-9 months to worm up a physical prototype. It’s common to have schedule slips as partners fail to make their schedules… Anyway, developing prototypes is the best way to gauge difficulties in execution and custom acceptance. Behringer is on the right track keeping a pipeline of products to keep people interested.

  10. Cool! Ever since the MS20 made its way into Gadget, I’ve been interested in the hardware version. This would be the perfect solution for getting that sound in hardware on the low-low. I totally skipped the MS20 mini when it came out because a friend of mine dissed it (flimsy build), so I’m new to the MS20.

  11. Happy to see this

    Have been eyeing the Korg mini version since it came out but never jumped fast enough before prices flew

  12. Uli if you are reading please can you consider making a more flexible but classic drum machine / drum synth such as the DSI Tempest, Waldorf Rack Attack, Elektron Machinedrum, or Vermona DRM MK III

  13. Interesting. Nice 70’s style on Jeffery complete with manspreading…seems fitting. Needs a babe in a disco dress with no bra.

    1. It’s funny because that was just a regular day at work for me. I’m kinda known for being that funny dressed guy at the office.

  14. Lol, I sold my KARP and is currently waiting for the release of Behringer ARP.

    Please, Behringer.. finish and release…and afterward talk about new projects…

    1. That’s a really good point you have there, since Behringer is obviously pulling their developers and manufacturing managers directly off of their current projects to do marketing and social media promotion for more unreleased stuff. It’s a wonder they ever bring anything to market!

      Shame on you Behringer for wasting resources like that.

  15. Glad to see this coming down the pike!!!

    Since I sold my 2 Korg MS-20’s a year ago n my
    Korg Rack MS-20, I’ll pick this one up n mount it in my Eurorack system.

    So will Behringer attempt to design a West Coast style synth like Korg did? Maybe a VCS3 style Synth (not a clone)? ARP 2600??

    Go Go Behringer!! Keep’em coming!

    I have the Deepmind 12, n my 2 Neurons are in my Eurorack.

  16. Never give up on the MS-20. Long live the MS-20. Even let Behringer make it, I don’t care, get it out there for the people.

  17. More Behringer junk. Having a Behringer in your setup is like having yellow pack cornflakes on your breakfast table – embarrassing.

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