Monday, January 28, 2013

Korg MS-20, MS-10 and SQ-10 "The Second Generation of Korg Synthesizers" brochure, 1978

Korg MS-20 and MS-10 synthesizers and SQ-10 sequencer "The Second Generation of Korg Synthesizers" brochure from approximately 1978.

 Gorgeous, eh? I know.

I've been going strong on my Strider System posts but then last week Korg came out swinging at NAMM and I just had to interrupt my thought process to post this baby. We'll get back to Strider on Thursday, but today here's my way of toasting Korg's balls for not only doing what they did, but apparently doing it RIGHT.

If you are not aware, Korg has introduced (eeerr... reintroduced?) the Korg MS20 Mini. From the Korg Web site:
"Korg’s MS-20 monophonic synthesizer, first introduced in 1978, is still a coveted instrument to this day, thanks to its thick, robust sound, its powerful, iconic analog filter, and its versatile patching options. Over 300,000 people have enjoyed the distinct MS-20 sounds from the original, from Korg’s MS-20 plug-in synth, or the iMS-20 iPad app.

Today, the sounds of the MS-20 have been reborn in hardware, as the MS-20 Mini. The same engineers who developed the original MS-20 have perfectly reproduced its circuitry and fit into a body that’s been shrunk to 86% of the original size, yet retains the distinctive look of the original"
Perfectly replicated, PLUS MIDI in and a USB connector. Hello!

Even before it was officially announced, the rumors spread fast. Vintage Synth Explorer's forum, MATRIXSYNTH and pretty much everywhere else. I'm surprised it was kept quiet for as long as it was.

Now, I love my original MS-20, but I will be first in line at my local store to pick one of these up. Heck, I may even sell my MS-20.

Well, actually... probably not. But you get my drift.

This brochure is awesome in so many ways. The font choice - spectacular. And also the front cover family photo and all the individual portrait photos of the MS-10, MS-20 and SQ-10. And also all those delicious features and specifications that accompanies each piece of gear sitting on each of their opposite pages.

Those are some nice spreads - each one would have made made it onto my bedroom wall beside my Annie Lennox poster.

And speaking of the spreads, there was a good reason that I ended up loading the inside pages separately instead of as individual spreads. Blogger has a size-limit for images, and will shrink down larger images if you upload above the limit. When I did full spreads, they horizontal width triggered resizing and shrunk 'em down to a point that the specifications weren't even legible.

Even if you shift-clicked on the images and zoomed in, the detail just wasn't good enough. I've included them below. For comparison, the above individual images were uploaded with a width of 1600 pixels. The below spreads had a width of 3200 (double). You can definitely see the difference in resolution with you shift-click on the images. Boo.

But even at this smaller size they are still mighty impressive.

The back page of the brochure is probably my favorite - both the colours and the photo are excellent. With the Stage Echo sitting there beside the synths.

One disappointing thing about this brochure is that there is no date to be found. I gave it a date of 1978 considering this is when the gear ads originally started showing up in CK - but that was back in November, so this brochure could very well have been printed in 1979 or even later. But I'm an optimist. :)

Looking back at my other posts for the MS-20 and MS-10, I realized I never posted the Spec Sheet promo that appeared in the January 1979 issue of Contemporary Keyboard, shortly after the ads for these instruments started running.
"Korg Synthesizers. The Korg MS-20 synthesizer features two 10-octave VCOs, two VCFs, a 3-octave keyboard, two envelope generators, and a programmable control wheel (modulation routing can be set up however you like). Also included are a second VCA and a white and pink noise generator. A patch panel allows interfacing with another instrument, or the MS-20 can be patched internally into routings other than those provided in the hard wiring. The Korg MS-10 is a single VCO version of the MS-20 with a 2 1/2 octave keyboard. Prices are: MS-20, $750.00; MS-10, $450.00. Unicord, 75 Frost St., Westbury, NY 11590."
With the release and no doubt crazy popularity of the new MS-20 Mini imminent, I'm hoping we can expect Korg to release mini versions of the MS-10 and SQ-10 as well. And maybe it will also be the kick in the pants Roland needs to FINALLY try and bring out new versions of their XOX- line.


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