Korg Pushes ARP Odyssey Release Date Back To Early 2015


Korg today announced an update for the release date for the reissue of the ARP Odyssey analog synthesizer.

Korg’s new schedule has the updated ARP Odyssey shipping in early 2015 The original shipping schedule was September 2014.

Korg notes:

“We are sorry for this delay especially since the extraordinary reaction to the initial Odyssey announcement. We are refining the Odyssey to make this product even better.

We appreciate your understanding regarding this delay and thank you for your continued interest in the reissued Odyssey.”

Is Korg responding to the wishes of Synthtopia readers for an improved ARP Odyssey, expressed in a reader’s poll earlier this year? With close to 2,000 readers weighing in, there was a clear desire for the best possible Odyssey, vs a purist reproduction:

  • 51% prefer the Black & Orange Odyssey color scheme, over the White or Black & Gold;
  • 59% would prefer Korg to include all three generations of Odyssey filters, even if they have to charge a little more;
  • 52% want comprehensive MIDI In/Out, preferring greater flexibility to authenticity to the originals; and
  • 74% would like to see better build quality on a new Odyssey.

See our Korg Odyssey reader poll for details and also some great reader feedback in the comments.

Will Korg deliver an updated Odyssey, or one that’s closer to the original?

Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a few more months to know!

47 thoughts on “Korg Pushes ARP Odyssey Release Date Back To Early 2015

    1. This would be great, but would require digital control over every parameter adding a bunch of circuitry over the original designs. I wouldn’t hold my breath on it happening.

  1. I see it selling at about the same leve as the “old school” MiniMoog. The Odyssey was built to a price point of about $1500 in the mid-1970s. That would be over $6,000 today. If they charged $6,000 for the reissue, they’d be lucky to sell 10. Right now there are a lot of good analog and virtual analog mono-synths for under $1,000. Korg will likely price it at the high end of the mono-synth price range, give it a good look and feel and sell to collectors rather than the “masses”.

    1. I think Korg will sell the arp in the same price range like the MS-20 Mini or near 1000$. Korg know the people and listen to us, Is not like Roland. cheaper the price = more sell and more sell = more $ for korg

    2. I totally disagree with several of your issues:
      1) A faithful reproduction of the ARP Odyssey should be more popular than the Old School Minimoog Voyager because the OS Voyager had to compete with the New-School Voyager which which had already been on the market for several years. In addition to patch memory, the NS Voyager offered pot-mapping, user-defined MIDI parameters, and a multitude of other functions.
      2) I think a lot of people would love to have a genuine ARP synth because they had such a wonderful sound. If you play any songs from the 70’s, chances are the synths used were either an Odyssey/2600 or a Minimoog.
      3) In addition to being a musician, I’m also a vintage synth collector who currently has 10 different ARP synths including a 2600, Odyssey, Pro-Soloist, Pro-DGX, Explorer, Axxe, Omni-1 & 2, Explorer, and a Quadra. Why would a “collector” be interested in an Odyssey that was made by Korg????? The only reason I might buy a KARP is so I wouldn’t have to haul my ARP to and from gigs and risk damaging it.,

  2. As in the original, I’d be really worried about all those keys sticking out over the front, all exposed and ready to get busted! Some things SHOULD be changed, even it upsets the design purists! Thoughts?

    1. I don’t agree.
      At least in that I tend to embrace these design-flaws as character. If they did address this issue with a proper frame I would still be interested, but it’s not enough of an issue to lose me.
      I have worked with the originals, and bent manuals are common, occasionally to a fault.
      Price point is key. Under 1000, no wobbly encoders and sliders. THAT is much more important here.
      The MS-20 kit had issues like many of their other products.
      DSI had similar issues with The Evolver and lost a lot of faith from this client by not addressing this issue for those of us who paid into their product at the beginning and were well past the warranty periods before the encoder issue was openly admitted to.

      1. DSI took care of me to a degree that I would expect; I purchased pot upgrade kits for my p08 and MEK at the same time and they discounted me. The serial number to my MEK is 0106; I was an early adopter too. I’d much rather DSI stay in business and continue making amazing synths than give stuff away for free and cause them to take a huge loss.

        We are all human here, mistakes happen. It’s not like DSI intended for that to happen. They also offer the encoder upgrade for $25 per pcb which is very affordable.

        As for Arp’s extended keys; I do not like that. In the real world things break and when you gig with your instruments … the chance of keys that are extended like the Arp’s getting broken are high. I have an Arp Axxe 2313 and I modified the case a tad to protect the extended keys just in case. (I made new end cheeks out of 1″ oak and added an oak strip across the front.

        But hey, I’m a girl who’s overly-anal at times. That being said, I can’t wait to see what Korg does with the Odyssey. I really hope they don’t go with the aesthetic design of the mkIII (even though I love Helvetica a little too much.)

    2. I have the mkII 2813, which had the keys recessed (before I cut them off). The mk III pictured above was a poor choice of design, I have seen far too many of those models with broken keys. As to keyboard removal, in doing so I learned that you lose duo phonic play unless you mod the circuit. However, you can send cv to the pedal input, and control pitch of vco #2 that way. Before you cry blasphemy I just want to say that I did it to make touring with the odyssey less of a hassle and it worked. More importantly – I don’t collect synths, I use them.

    3. I like the main direction, but with that exposed design, you’ll be knocking teeth out of it in no time. It won’t seem so magical then. Too few keyboard makers seem to be fully engaged with the idea of it being the point where you most connect with the instrument. Its an afterthought too often. Sure, I’d like to see a small memory bank, a modest effects section and more complete connectivity in it, but I’ll trade that for a more solid build any day. A decent floor unit or DAW can handle effects, but they can’t do a thing about a $150 repair bill because your thumb got caught under that last exposed key and sent it flying. Believe me, that’s a very real thing. I’ve done it and it makes you scream like a chicken for a minute. 😛

    4. Unlike the Korg MS-20, this synth is not an ARP Odyssey–it is a Korg (or KARP) Odyssey. So I see no need in trying to make everything exactly the same as the original especially if these changes do not impact the sound of the instrument. Besides, there were like 10 different versions of the Odysseys, including white-face Model 2800 Odysseys with 2-pole 4023 filters and without extended keys, Black-face Model 2800 Odysseys with 4023 filters, Black-face Model 2810 Odysseys with 4-pole Moog Ladder Filters, Black-face Odysseys with 4075 4-pole filters, Orange-Black Odysseys with 4075 filters and extended keys, Black-face Odysseys with CV-Gate-Trigger I/O, Black-face Odysseys without CV-Gate-Trigger I/O, Black-face Odysseys (Model 2810) with B1 oscillator boards, Black-face Odysseys with B2 oscillator boards, Various Odysseys’ with and without PPC pads, etc.

      IMO, Korg has 3 options regarding modifications and changes:
      1) They can make an exact replica of one particular Odyssey (with no mods except for maybe MIDI).
      In this case, they would probably replicated one of the latter orange-black models with the 4-pole 4075 filter.
      2) They can make a new version of the ARP Odyssey that contains various features that were present on various Odysseys. An example of this might be an orange-black Odyssey without extended keys, or an Odyssey that contains all 3 versions of the filter (or the 2 ARP-designed VCFs–the 4023 and 4075). (I doubt Korg will elect to have multiple filters or they probably would have done this with the MS-20.)
      3) Make a brand new Odyssey with updated features. (like Moog did when they made the Minimoog Voyager), Changes could include patch storage, pot-mapping, MIDI-control of all parameters controlled by a pot, Pot-Mapping, etc. Also, falling into this category could be changes/additions to controllers, such as an Odyssey with Pitch/Mod Wheels, a joystick, or a pressure/velocity sensitive keyboard.

      Since I already have an Odyssey and Axxe with a 4023 filter, an Explorer with a 4034 (Moog) filter, and a Solus with a 4075 filter, I don’t see the need for all 3 filters especially since it would likely add $200 – $300 to the price. On the other hand, since I have a vintage Odyssey, I’d love to have an Odyssey with patch memory and extensive MIDI-capability, but that would depend upon the price. Personally, I think Option #2 makes the most sense as far as the majority of people are concerned.

    1. Two changes that need to be made that don’t affect sound quality are:

      1) Replace those cheap, plastic sliders found in the original Odysseys with better quality metal sliders. ARP had went to a metal-slider design with the Solus and the Quadra and this was an excellent move. (Actually, the mixer and portamento section of the Quadra (7 sliders I think) still utilized the cheap plastic sliders.)
      2) I prefer the metal chassis (orange-black Odysseys) over the plastic chassis in the earlier Odyssey’s which look and felt cheap. (Korg could use Aluminum instead of stainless steel though.)
      3) If they go with the orange-black chassis, they need to replace those leather side pieces with some thin wood pieces. Unlike the original orange-black chassis, these wood pieces could be extended to protect the keys. (If not wood, dare I say that a good-quality plastic would be better than those awful leather pieces that wear so easily.)
      4) If they don’t use PPC pads, I prefer they use a pressure sensitive keyboard that could be used to bend pitch and or provide modulation. ARP did this on the Quadra’s lead synth section as well as on the Pro-Soloist and Pro-DGX, so there is precedent. Somehow I just can’t see the Moog-style Pitch/Mod Wheels on an ARP synth. A joystick doesn’t seem right either, but it does make more sense than the Moogish Wheels. (Even ARP got rid of the pot pitch benders found on the early Odysseys.)

  3. My bet is that 90% of the people that took the poll wouldn’t have bought the remake anyways regardless if their preferences are met or not.

  4. I think this could be awesome, but I know that as an educator, I will be unable to afford it. I say: new, weirder volcas! Yes, Off topic. Please down vote.

  5. PLEASE Korg, if you do the sliders, make them better, you know what I’m talking about with the issues that are on the original. Just, better sliders. Everything else is perfect.

  6. I’m hoping they’ll stick with their original instincts – black and gold.

    Regarding the delay, i’d say its related to midi implementation. I can’t see them changing the chassis hugely, that won’t affect sales and its probably pretty good. But they may have decided to build in full midi control, which would certainly cause a delay in production and would also make it more desirable. At least 2 filter options would be cool, a third would be amazing.

    To be honest, regardless of what they put on sale, it will sell like hotcakes. Who’s not going to buy it because its exactly the same as the original + Midi? Very few.

    Regarding making it for collectors and not the mass market. Thats nonsense. Korg is all about the mass market. The MS20 kit was an indulgence, this will be their biggest selling synth and they’ll make user its affordable. I’m guessing around ¢1200-1500.

    1. Full MIDI control on a Synth with a discrete analog signal path would be a nightmare. You’d need high resolution D/A converters for every slider (not to mention analog switch routing). People would then demand patch memory and a display. And a sequencer. And polyphony. And drum sounds. And perhaps a sampling engine and 4×4 matrix of trigger pads.

      It’s more likely that the MIDI will be similar to the MS-20’s. The delays are probably due to part shortages or perhaps minor circuit changes.

      1. That sounds reasonable actually. However, maybe thats exactly what they’re doing? A 21st century version with patch storage? But that would make it very expensive, so I’m inclined to think they’ll keep this cheap and go the MS20 route if thats the case. So whats the delay? Maybe its the 3 filters? Maybe its a different chassis? Or maybe they realise how popular its going to be and are delaying release so they can meet the expected demand?

      2. >>>> Full MIDI control on a Synth with a discrete analog signal path would be a nightmare. You’d need high resolution D/A converters for every slider (not to mention analog switch routing).

        THIS! Those of you who keep yelling for an analog polyphonic should pin this up over your rig. If it was economically practical, you’d see more of them than the $20k Schmidt. You can put wings and enough thrust on a brick that it’ll fly, but it’ll never be a smooth ride. The polyphony you can get with workstations and VAs isn’t there to spite anyone. Its that way because its what works best. Get a couple of small analog synths, run them from something with a decent CV Out and call it Real Good, because it is. All Bach had were harpsichords and pipe organs with their bellows being pumped by wheezing choir boys. I’ve even got a digital Mellotron that has no tape to snarl. Yeah, we’re doing just fine.

      1. and one would have to be really naive to believe the original press release wasn’t timed to shit on Roland’s AIRA announcement.

        korg wanted to plant this seed so that the kids who can only afford 1 new synth would hold out for the oddy and forego the aira, it’s just business.

  7. polyphonic mode would be nice. maybe have a button that puts the mono into poly even if its fake polyphony it would be nice to have the option to play chords.

  8. MIDI DIN & USB in/out
    VC gate and 2 pitch ins
    Totally new panel colors/design
    2 filter revision options selectable via switch on back
    Keybed will be new design
    Otherwise, same circuit

  9. Please! No more MIDI than on the ms20 remake!
    Limiting digital controls on such a synth would just SUCK! It’s a musical instrument, not toilet paper for the lazy ass hipster producer.
    And also, it would be nice if the built and audio quality will be a lot better than on the ms20 mini and especially the Volcas, it’s a real shame if you can’t keep a great synth just because the output sucks or it breaks way too easy.

  10. Separate c.v. input, and audio output for oscillator 2, Audio in with gate to trigger envelopes.
    I Like the MS-20-mini keys, It would be to large for a mono synth otherwise

  11. Update:

    I talked with Rich Formidoni with Korg, and he told me that the Korg ARP Odyssey is going to be a mini version and Virtual Analog. I asked for more info, but he refused to tell me. You can probably email Rich and get the same info. They’re having to work out the rest of the bugs in the unit.

  12. Check out my videos on You Tube: Peterkeys.
    I get down and dirty with the Prophet12 and Tempest.
    I also toured with Mariah Carey.

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