Korg ARP 2600 Mini (2020 NAMM Show Rumor)

Social media sites were abuzz this weekend about a rumored Korg ARP 2600 Mini – a synth that, like Korg’s earlier MS-20 Mini, packs the electronics of its full-size counterpart into a more compact and affordable package.

The discussion was triggered by the name of the new Korg ARP 2600 FS – a ‘full-size’ recreation of the classic 70’s analog synthesizer. The need for the ‘FS’ appellation suggests that it might be necessary to differentiate the synth from a smaller counterpart. And it recalls Korg’s earlier ARP Odyssey/ARP Odyssey FS and MS-20 Mini/Korg MS-20 families.

Eagle-eyed synthesists also noticed some differences in the 2600 photo (top) used on Guitar Center’s listing. It shows only a three-octave keyboard, compared to the four octaves of the Korg ARP 2600 FS, below:

At this point, we have not seen any official word from Korg about a ARP 2600 Mini, but we may learn more at the 2020 NAMM Show or later in the year at Superbooth or Synthplex.

In the meantime, leave a comment and share your thoughts on the possibility of a smaller, more affordable ARP 2600!

37 thoughts on “Korg ARP 2600 Mini (2020 NAMM Show Rumor)

  1. If they do this, it will be good news. A lot of people were probably left feeling disappointed that after such a long wait for a long-anticipated re-issue, the price of the Korg ARP 2600 FS was so high. If a ‘2600 Mini’ were to be made, I’d be looking at something in the $2000-$2500 bracket. I’d love to get the 2600 FS, but at $5499 AUD here in Australia, I just can’t justify that much on one instrument.

    1. Supposedly the FS is already sold out globally via preorders. Allegedly the run is only 400 units. There’s also wild speculation that some preorderers plan to be speculative flippers and sell theirs on ebay for whatever they can get for them, maybe 6 grand. Will be interesting to see how all that pans out. Maybe Korg will decide to make more than 400. Or maybe they make more and then a bunch of the preorders cancel. Lots of possible drama with a small run limited edition of something many have said they were desperately waiting for for decades.

      If the mini is announced, for lets say $1899, undoubtedly many FS preorders will be cancelled. Korg would be wise to delay Mini announcements until after the FS run ships next month.

      1. I think the 400 number was talked about being just the US allocation. We know Sweetwater got 100 and GC got 90. Musicians Friend likely got close to that. That’s not even guessing at all the other dozen retailers like Sam Ash, Kraft, AMS, Perfect Circuit, etc who go some too.

  2. Either way this is still a very tacky release by Korg
    because on one hand if you do release a mini , you just screwed over all those who just bought a FS at FS price , some would have surly preferred a mini . Then if you don’t you screwed over the whole world with this half ass limited release of the FS which most are just going to end up on ebay and Reverb marked up at well over 50% .

    Korg should have did what Moog did with there reissues and tell the truth from the start that this will be a limited number release of only 400 units sold worldwide so don’t hesitate . Instead Korg did a whole bunch of calculated leaks and had the whole world anticipating for this , just to find out you can’t even buy it . So in a situation like this
    the resellers wins agin and the synth community gets screwed agin . how many time have we bought a synth just to find out theres a XL version out now or a white version or a special limited version or in this case that reissue vintage synth you really wanted is sold out before it came out , so early adapters in the synth world get screwed all the time and we’re tired of it .

    The only way for Korg to make this right is to have significantly more FS units available to the synth community
    or we will do a Full Size boycott on Korg for this farce . #KorgFSboycott

    1. Really tho. NAMM starts on Thursday. Korg isn’t hiding anything. They did us all a favor by announcing a couple products early.

    2. You’re worried that a white version might come out, and, as such, you’d be screwed?
      The solution, if you’re “tired of it” as you claim, would be to not purchase. And it’s so simple that you don’t even have to do anything.

    3. Last week’s whiny complaint: “The Korg ARP 2600 is too expensive. NO ONE will buy this!!!”

      This week’s whiny complaint: “The Korg ARP 2600 is sold out already!!! WTF?”

      Next week’s whiny complaint: “The Korg ARP 2600 Mini has mini keys!”

      1. Dead right! Great summary! Those this week also includes “I used to have five of these and dumped them, they are terrible!”

        I have an original full size, don’t need another. Small chance I might get a mini. I do like them. I have built my own expander for mine that adds a step sequencer, full microtonality, harmonic modulation, etc already. Cool others will get the same or well some of that.

        The keyboard is really crap. It’s not a good keyboard, nor were any keyboards in that time period, they were all junk. The case is also rough. Put together by part time high school students or such working with rusty dull tools. This Japanese reboot looks to actually be the finest implementation ever. Jealous for those who snagged one. I should have sold mine when they were hot, then got a clone.

    4. quote:
      “…you just screwed over all those who just bought a FS at FS price , some would have surly [sic] preferred a mini”

      Considering they’re not shipping for another 4-12 weeks, anyone who doesn’t want their pre-ordered FS has ample time to change their mind. It would just go to the next buyer in line…and I think we all understand how long that line is…

  3. I hope Korg will be bring more FS ARP. I don’t care about sound of ARP, I have it on my eurorack – Tonestar2600, so also I don’t care about mini ARP. I just want to have FS, just for feel it, look on it. It is not all about sound and for me never will be. And look Roland (JP8) and Yamaha (CS80) how much cash you’re passing. Bring reissues. So high demand. You really want all that money to go to Behringer who without any shame are just copied you? How many crappy old 10 years technology VA synths you want to release before bring real analog synth stuff? It will be more fun when someday Behringer will buy Roland and Yamaha because they earn money from selling their copies.

  4. I know the size of the original is supposed to be part of its tactile joy, but give me the smaller version (with those full size keys) over the FS any day. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d still take the smaller version.

  5. I really think that that’s an early concept render sent to gague istributor interest before Korg went all in on a full recreation. Maybe it will show up as the mini design, maybe not.

    I can’t imagine the mini version doing a wood case with Tolex, likley be a plastic textured thing.

    I also think that Korg put the FS in the name to signify to buyers that this is full-size and in line with their other recreations that us FS as such. It’s a bit of wishful thinking trying to read into it more than that.

    I think that Korg was forced t push the release forward before they were quite ready after leaks started popping up from GAK and others. They also seem to have seriously underestimated the demand for the FS, unless they simply built all that they felt was wise to build.

    1. I read that Korg will make as many of the 2600FS units as there is demand. So I think the limited edition thing was to get people ordering quickly and to assess the intensity of the demand. Now that they know, I’m sure you can expect plenty more to come. Also I’ve seen retailers claim units will ship towards the end of January. And I’ve seen others say in April. It is likely that many sold out their allocations and will have to wait for the next wave. But it will come. No way did Korg invest what they did in this project only to be done at 400 units. Korg is a business and I’m sure they’re quite pleased with the demand and the high sell-through rate before NAMM even got started.

  6. I’m interested to know what the slider/pot length of travel is on both the FS and mini versions.

    Original Odyssey: 45 mm ?
    Korg Odyssey module: 40-42 mm ish

    Original Arp 2600: 50 mm ? I have no idea actually…
    Korg Arp 2600 FS: same as original ?
    Korg Arp 2600 mini: probably same as karp odyssey module ?

  7. The proportions seem wrong. Look at a full size 3 octave keyboard, on an Odyssey for example. That means the 2600 Mini would have a front panel of a similar size if not smaller.

    Also as the FS 2600 uses 3.5mm sockets … the Mini can’t really be much less width wise. Just doesn’t stick up.

    1. what i see is full sized keys but with jacks at the same scale as ms20 mini. That’s why it seems a bit odd. If i’m correct, it would definitely be a response to customer reaction to the ms20 mini’s keys.

  8. Playing the sliders live is a very important aspect of the ARP 2600 – miniaturizing the sliders and cramming them together would handicap play IMO.

  9. Not going to be buying any retro-analogs (lived through them already, no need to repeat it), however, I would prefer a 3 octave version of this so the keyboard width would match the main case. A composite case could therefore be built, eliminating what looks like a two case solution as pictured.

    As @irre’s point about slider length, and @caligari’s case implementation, notes these ‘mini-me’ models often sacrifice feel for the sake of looks. Shorter sliders, and feather light cases spoil the feel of a small-scale reproduction. I was very disappointed in the MS-20 mini weight. I had to hold the synth down while plugging in cables. Yuck. The Korg Odyssey was better, but for the life of me why reproduce those horrible pitch/mod squishy rubber buttons? The Roland Boutique’s have horrible look and feel – but sound great! Modern small synths suffer from none of this. Some stuff just doesn’t scale down.

    What would a 80% scale mini-key Synclavier II feel like? With a netbook for a terminal, and a pencil to poke the tiny buttons?

  10. if the sound is the same and the jacks are all solid im actually more interested in this than the FS. hope its 1k or less, will have to compete with the Behringer version which will surely be sub-1k.

  11. The excitement over the Korg ARP 2600 FS – and the clear interest in a ‘2600 Mini’ for the rest of us who can’t afford (or can’t get) the FS, should be a really strong message to the likes of Roland and Yamaha and others. People ‘want’ the original classic instruments back. VST copies are cheap by comparison, but you get what you pay for, and they simply don’t match the pleasure of using the real instrument, even if they might sound similar. Roland and others also need to understand that pale imitations such as the Boutique modules, and virtual analogue emulations don’t really cut it. I tried the Boutique JP-08 and it was awful, compared to the real Jupiter 8. Likewise the Jupiter 80 and the Jupiter X is little better.

    I’ve got the Korg MS-20 Mini and the Korg ARP Odyssey and I’d not part with either – the MS-20 Mini is way better than the Legacy VST equivalent (which I also have and never use). Likewise, I have the Arturia V Collection, but manipulating sliders on a fake 2600 with a mouse just isn’t the same – nor even is using a MIDI controller keyboard. It sits there, and I am simply not inspired by it. Having a real 2600, even a ‘mini’ would, by contrast, be something that inspires creativity.

    Re the 2600, I think Korg clearly need to be taking on board feedback on blogs like Synthtopia, and Sonic State, and on social media, and move fairly quickly to release a full production run 2600 Mini that is much more affordable than the FS. I’d buy a Korg 2600 FS in a heartbeat – if I could afford it and if one were available – but I can’t and it isn’t – and that’s a real shame for a lot of musicians out there who can’t afford the high price.

    1. Even worse is when an OS update kills hundreds of dollars of Plug-ins. Looking at you Black Rooster Audio and Logic. Hardware just works (for the most part).

  12. First off, I spoke with the dealer where I was able to order a FS model. They said there is no way that anywhere near 100 went to any single retailer. No matter how big the box.

    Second, the price. $4,000 is a lot of money. But I looked at a guy’s TTSH at KnobCon in 2014. He was building them for resale and taking orders. They were $4,000. No keyboard and certainly no road case. There is another similar, small sized, clone. Again, with no keyboard. Guess how much? $4,000.

    Phil Cirroco, the ARP-Meister, makes a clone that is 6U rack spaces tall. It’s a lovely thing. Guess how much it costs? If you guessed $4,000… you are way off. It’s Nine F#@&ing Thousand Dollars!

    Vintage 2600s go for north of that. So I am very happy to spend the money that I didn’t actually have. I will have to part with some things to get the credit card back in shape. But for me, this is well worth it. If Korg are also planning a slimmed down version at a lower price, good on them! You can pick one up and expect it to still be working in 30 years. Just don’t expect it to cost you 500 bucks (see above).

    So if you bought a FS model and would have preferred a mini version, Korg have not cheated you. You will probably be able to turn right around and sell your FS to someone for a profit. A lot of people, including me, did not get how limited this release was. I almost missed it thinking I would raise the money and get one later on. But Korg did announce the FS as a Limited Release. I don’t know why they should have to do anything “to make this right”. Companies always bring out new models, with different colors, or features. Nobody is yelling about boycotting a car company because they brought out a convertible, after you bought the hardtop.

    I don’t know, maybe they are. It is the way of the internet.

  13. I’m trying very hard to get my hands on a 2600 FS. I was traveling and didn’t find out about it immediately. I’m in the backorder line with a few retailers. I hope I get one. If not, I’ll get one when someone tries to scalp it.

    I have huge hands, so I really want the full size one. Maybe if a mini gets announced some of the FS preorders will get canceled and I can move up in the line. Fingers (very big ones) crossed.

  14. Wow – Whoever did that render of the 2600 Mini doesn’t know how to patch a real 2600. Completely non-sensical patching.

  15. I tried to order the ARP 2600 FS the day it went on sale and got wait listed at 4 retailers. I’m told I’m so far down on the list there is virtually no chance I’ll get one. I own four Korg instruments but I’ll never buy another one if they don’t make this right and build enough FS to cover the wait list. I won’t buy a mini just on principle. What a crap show!

Leave a Reply