Korg ARP 2600 Clone Coming Soon, Says Jean-Michel Jarre

We haven’t seen an official announcement about this yet, but electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre says that Korg will be introducing a full-size ARP 2600 clone in 2020.

The ARP 2600 is considered by many to be one of the finest synths ever created, with used prices pushing towards 5-digits. It’s been available as a clone in DIY form as the TTSH (two thousand six hundred) for several years.

The 2600 was made from 1970-1981, and it went through multiple iterations in that time.

The killer feature of the 2600 is its insanely huge front panel. This allows for immediate control over synth parameters; slider controls, which give you a clear visual representation of settings; and even leaves room for built-in speakers.

Synthesists may soon have multiple options for pre-made ARP 2600 clones, because Behringer announced in 2017 that they planned to make an ARP 2600 clone.

Pricing and Availability

Official details on the Korg ARP 2600 are still to be announced.

ARP 2600 image via Reverb.com

63 thoughts on “Korg ARP 2600 Clone Coming Soon, Says Jean-Michel Jarre

  1. Very happy about this, certainly will buy. But I have to question why Korg doesn’t release it’s beloved Mono/Poly in full format, adding MIDI, etc. This is a huge mystery why they put the ARP before their own legendary synth.

    1. the Mono/Poly used SSM 2044 filter chips (as did the Polysix). I read that Dave Rossum released a small batch of clones a few years ago. But unless they become widely available I don’t think Korg could do it (unless they change the filter design, which would certainly come under fire).

        1. I dont agree, throwing a random machine name from another production-line on the table, when the topic is ARP 2600 is totally irrelevant.

      1. @ad van gerven, I looked at the hydrasynth. Interesting, but I’m drawn to the korg ‘logue’s open oscillator and effects options. I bought the XD desktop as a cheap entry – really liked it’s digital osc – and traded up to a prologue. I sold the XD an a K-2 to fund it. It’s the prologue 16, so plenty of wackiness to enjoy!

    1. So, there may be a Korg clone and a Behringer clone? Based on the build quality of my Behringer Neutron and my Korg MS-20 mini, I’d rather have Behringer 2600 clone.

      1. I was dissatisfied with the ms-20 mini as well. And I bought two! The K2 was a nicer design, but desktops don’t fit my studio setup. Although I had the K2 for a much shorter time, I made more progress with it than the korg minis. Also the korg odyssey it sounded nice, also seemed a little too flimsy.

        If the used market will support it, buy and sell, is a better option for those low cost synth’s than reading reviews.

      2. Korg is no better than Behringer. Korg and many other manufacturers have ripped off Laurens Hammond in making clonewheels for decades. Anyone who respects the original designer of Hammond organs will avoid ripoff companies like Korg and Behringer.

        1. What about how Laurens Hammond “ripped off” Thaddeus Cahill? Are you as vehement about that, Bill? If you want to get mad about Hammond being ripped off, you should start with the technology that Hammond invented… like the top-octave divide functionality found in so many organs and synths. There, now I’ve helped you be righteously indignant about every single synth and organ company in history. You’re welcome!

  2. Admin: Personal attack deleted (name calling against groups of people).

    This is a recurring issue with your comments. Keep your comments on topic and constructive, without personal attacks against individuals or groups of people, and they will not be deleted. Waste the admin’s time and we’ll be forced to drop the ban hammer.

  3. Honestly, I’d rather see a clone that’s proportionately scaled down like the Odyssey was. The original ARPs seem a little oversized these days. It’s one of the things that I think Behringer got right with their clone (full size keys, but overall size scaled down to a more modern footprint).

    1. I assume that many buyers of re-issues like this are enthusiasts that want to fulfill their teenage synth-dreams and create the experience of making music with the instruments their idols used. For this crowd the original look and feel is an important factor. Working musicians will probably rather go with modern day instruments as daily drivers, as 50 year old instruments tend to be impractical in modern production environments. For those users, even a shrunk-down version would likely not be more attractive than a good virtual emulation or a modern synth. So a faithful, full-size recreation, maybe with a few additional modern features, might actually make more sense from Korg’s perspective.

      1. @dacci pucci, that’s a very insightful way to look at it. As one of those ‘teenage synth dreams’ guys, I always lusted after the Synclavier and Fairlight, but would never spend the money on tech that old. I’ve worked on electronics since the mid 70’s; HW and SW reliability, design verification, and manufacturing have made several magnitudes of improvements since then. I’m quiet fulfilled by the two iOS apps for those lofty giants, and I know I’ll never have to purge electrolytics, swap power supplies, resolder joints; replace wiring, switches, buttons, jacks, plugs, screws, nuts, fuses, knobs, pots, displays, LEDS, lamps, well, you get the idea. 🙂 just update the apps and OS once every couple of month. Ah! Technology!

        If they came out with a modern reissue…. well now, that’s different 🙂 I might have to sell everything!

        1. With the beautiful Prophet T8 keyboard on the Synclavier reissue. 😀
          I don’t know why resynthesis isn’t more common in modern digital synths and apps – it is such a nice feature.

        2. The fact is the technology cannot be compared between ARP2600 and Synclavier, the latest having way more components. Moreover, digital technology ages at an incredible fastest pace. Another plague on digital components is the migration of oxydes. On old analog synth such as the 2600, even if some parts are now rare and obsolete, equivalencies still exist nowadays, or at least some portions of the circuits can be redesigned with modern components. This is because the design at that time was based on stock components, not dedicated ones.

  4. I am only guessing here, but i think the Korg and Behringer clones will be totally different in format, so there will not only be a question of price. It seems that the Korg will try to be a 100% identical copy (of course with MIDI and USB, i hope) and the Behringer will be a rack mounted keyboardless version of it. So people will buy one or the other not only because of price difference, but also because of size and format differences. In any case, for us buyers having a choice is better than “monopoly” …

  5. Although bringing out this re-issue of the 2600 could be taken as a tribute to Alan Robert Pearlman, i sincerely hope that Korg will have the decency to make a more serious tribute and contribution, e.g. the AR Pearlman foundation.
    Don’t know about the price but good to know this one might be really available again.

    1. cool enjoy your stolen slave made product while the rest of us use a respectful reissue in collaboration with the original engineers

      1. Isn’t Korg stuff made in China as well? Have they documented some kind of progressive fair wage factory situation ?? I would hope so ….. and if so I am all ears. but let me know the difference on that front

    2. Better? Certainly possible! Quite likely too in-fact judging from the K2 I had. But 1/4? No. Most single synths do not sell in high enough volume to provide a competitive pricing for equivalent design across manufactures. In this regard though, Behringer has a distinct advantage in parts pricing as they can aggregate their entire analog synth design base around common components like their SSM and Curtis chip reproductions and thus reap those important volume pricing. I think you’ll see prices within 20% of each other depending on who goes to market with it first.

      In any event. It’s good to see both new attempts at synth architecture occupy the same market as vintage reproductions. Everyone wins, there’s a customer for every product. The market is fortunate enough to be able to satisfy manifold directions in product design and still stimulate high end product to push the envelope. Sadly, low level computer and operating system design (not UI) seems headed in the opposite direction.

  6. One modern feature I would really like to see added is storage and recall of presets. Obviously, you can’t store cable patching but, it seems to me you could store all of the panel settings as presets. This would also allow recall from your DAW. I realize I am probably asking for way too much. Adding this functionality would likely raise the cost dramatically (motorized sliders for example). Yep, I am one of those who became aware of the 2600 through a record, “The 1812 Overture/Nutcracker Suite” by Kraft and Alexander and had coveted that machine ever since.

    I did actually find one at a music store back in ’87 in Nashville for $300 and snapped it up. It was fully functional. However, I loaned it out and could never get it back so, that was that. I seriously regret making that mistake in trusting somebody with something like that.

    Well, I am pretty happy with using Arturia’s 2600V. It’s not the real deal but, I enjoy using it. Plus, being software, it fully integrates into my DAW and it does sound pretty good. One upgrade they could do to it would be to be able to swap out virtual versions of the three different filter boards ARP used in the different iterations over its eleven-year run.

  7. If you’re drawn to the 2600 design for just its base ARP voice and the fun of cord-patching, no problem, but there are several ways to get that sound more readily. If you’re really serious, look at it as a bigger MS-20. Using it as a nerve center for outside gear takes it way beyond just the front panel. Few used that aspect when it was new, but IMO, in 2019, the connectivity is where it shines. If your modular isn’t sprouting leads to a couple of other things like a MiniBrute, you should milk it a little more.

  8. I might be in the minority, but personally I have not liked the look of Behringer’s products. They look toyish in comparison to the originals. Yes they are a large fraction of the price and provide the same end result in sound, but if Korg releases this ARP 2600 to look exactly like the original, then I would go for that than what I’ve seen Behringer has leaked. Sure the sound is the key factor, but as an analog synth lover, I like the aesthetics as well.

    1. You’re telling me you don’t want cheap plastic and blinking cotton candy lights all over the front panel of your 2600?

      Korg is doing this with the original designers. I feel sorry for anyone that chooses a clone over a reissue to save a few dollars and have immediate gratification rather than saving up and having eternal gratification,

      1. Just because you hire the original designer for the drawing table does not mean that you get a better result at the end of the day, that is a misconception…

  9. I’ve got a gray face 2600 and I built a TTSH. If JMJ knows about the Korg reissue, then Korg wants him to know as a user of the original. If he’s excited about it, then so am I. Korg did a good job with the Odyssey, so I’m sure they’ve done their homework on the 2600.
    I bet it’s all surface-mount components, but I hope they’ve been able to get close to the original, again, like they did with the Odyssey.

  10. Behringer Poly D brings back an (affordable) Minimoog Model D – Korg brings back the ARP 2600 – what next? I’m kind of hoping the original Roland System 100 (not the 100M) might be possible.

  11. It needs the speakers in the box like the original and a spring reverb.

    The duo phonic ARP keyboard with vibrato and two voices would be ideal to include with the synth, but mine may still work.

    Osc 1 – bass sequence from clock divider
    Osc 2 – S/H – rhythm, and effects
    Osc 3 lead violin voice bowing the square wave
    Ring Mode – S/H and Noise for the percussion

    Just one synth and you have a one man band – at least in 1976.

    I’ll buy one.

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