Korg ARP 2600 FS Semi-Modular Analogue Synthesizer

Cat#: KORG-ARP-2600
Genre:
Format: Vinyl
£3,499.00

Temporarily out of stock

Due back in stock in TBC

Rubadub's Review

Now is your opportunity to own one of the most sought after and coveted instruments from the vintage synthesizer era.

The ARP 2600, built between 1971 and 1980, was a legendary analogue synthesizer. This limited-edition release is a loving reproduction, handcrafted in Japan and includes USB and DIN-style MIDI connections, XLR audio outputs, plus the improved ARP 3620 Duophonic Keyboard with an added arpeggiator / sequencer. Your new ARP 2600 will arrive in a custom-branded hardshell case, complete with casters.

More than a synthesizer, the ARP 2600 is a complete sound design studio.

Even today, the ARP 2600 stands as a bridge between the individual elements of modular synthesis and the immediacy of a production / performance instrument. Included is an ample supply of oscillators, envelopes, a filter and amplifier – all of the building blocks of analogue synthesis. But the ARP 2600 goes even further, with a spring reverb tank and even a pair of built-in monitor speakers. Also present is much of the versatility of a vintage modular system, including ring modulation, lag and voltage processors, an envelope follower, audio preamp, a clock-able switch, noise source, a sample & hold module, signal inverters, an auxiliary mixer, and even a set of parallel-wired/multi jacks.

Play as-is or create new signal paths of your choosing

Nearly every slider and switch on the ARP 2600 front panel is hard-wired to specific control source. For example, the front panel controls allow the pitch of Oscillator 1 to be controlled by the keyboard (On/Off switch), the output of the Sample & Hold module (slider), the shape of the ADSR envelope generator (slider), and/or by the sine wave output of Oscillator 2 (slider), and each in varying amounts. These hardwired pathways provide massive amounts of immediate control that make excellent use of all the ARP 2600 has to offer, allowing the ARP 2600 to be played as-is – no patching needed. In true modular fashion, inserting a patch cord into the jack associated with any hardwired control overrides that internal connection, letting you create a new signal path of your choosing. As a programming aid, the detailed panel graphics clearly show the available signal routings.

More versatile patching with the streamlined 3.5mm jack.

Unlike earlier modular synthesizers that relied on bulky 6.3mm (1/4") jacks and patch cords, the ARP 2600 uses a more streamlined 3.5mm (1/8”) jack that allows for more patch points to occupy the same amount of panel space, delivering more options and more versatility. Most of the patch points are arranged in a single row below the controls of the individual sound modules. This arrangement keeps the main panel clear and unobstructed for tweaking the controls during a performance. Needless to say, these patchable connections and the onboard processors can be used to interact with nearly any modular or Eurorack synthesizer system.

3620 Keyboard - 49 full-size keys

While faithful to the original design, the functionality of the 3620 Keyboard has been greatly enhanced for this limited ARP 2600 release. The 3620 Keyboard contains 49 full-size keys, aftertouch, portamento, and is also duophonic, allowing two keys to be played at once – Single or Multiple Triggering is available. In addition, the duophonic keyboard can use an optional footswitch to lock the interval between any two notes, without retuning the oscillators during a performance. Vibrato can be added via a dedicated circuit controlled by aftertouch, or by the onboard LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator), using any of three available waveforms. Most noticeable is the addition of a flexible Arpeggiator that allows a user-defined pattern to be manually sequenced and played back. Still present are the original Pitch Bend knob and the Two Octave Up / Two Octave Down Transpose switch. Connecting the keyboard to the main unit now uses a secure eight-pin din cable.

The ARP 2600 reveals its modular nature by the unique assortment of valuable, esoteric, and individually patch-able modules it contains.

To begin, there are a set of parallel-wired Multiple jacks that enhance the patching possibilities – allowing the same control signal to be sent to multiple locations, for example. Three independent Voltage Processors provide scalable control voltages or can act to attenuate any control signal. Use the Lag Generator to delay the start of any control signal. The Noise Generator is tunable to deliver White, Pink, and Low-Frequency noise, plus everything in between. A series of three Inverters can reverse the polarity of any signal. The Electronic Switch can be sync’d to either the internal clock or any external clock signal, as can the Sample & Hold rate. Most importantly, the ARP 2600 includes a dedicated Preamp and Envelope Follower for processing an external audio signal.

Oscillators

ARP Voltage Controlled Oscillators (VCO) are extremely stable in their tuning. All three oscillators feature Initial Tuning and Fine-Tuning sliders, and every oscillator can be designated as an LFO (Low-Frequency Oscillator) modulating oscillator or as an audio oscillator. (Additional LFO modulation sources are available on the ARP 3620 keyboard; included.) Each oscillator generates multiple wave shapes at once. Available Waves include Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine, and Pulse. The Pulse wave of Oscillator 2 and Oscillator 3 includes a manual Pulse Width control, and Pulse Width Modulation is available on Oscillator 2. One audio oscillator can be used to modulate the frequency of another audio oscillator to create analogue FM effects.

The Filter

The ARP 2600 is equipped with a 4-pole Voltage Controlled Filter (VCF), offering a roll-off curve of -24dB per Octave. As with the oscillators, the ARP 2600 filter also offers a Fine-Tuning slider. The addition of Fine-Tuning allows precise and useful control of the pitch of a self-resonating filter. The input mixer stage of the VCF includes sliders for each Oscillator, the Noise Generator, and the output of the Ring Modulator. Over time, the ARP 2600 historically went through a number of changes; some were cosmetic, and some were more crucial to the sound. The Filter Type switch selects between a filter response more closely related to either earlier or later models of the ARP 2600.

The Envelopes

Two Envelope Transient Generators (EG) are available on the ARP 2600. The first is a full four-stage Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release Envelope. The second EG offers variable Attack and Release only. The Manual Start button allows the Envelopes to be retriggered at any time, without using the keyboard. The Envelope module also provides both Gate and Trigger outputs – ideal for patching into another analogue modular or Eurorack system.

The Amplifier

In order to produce and output sound, the ARP 2600 relies on a Voltage Controlled Amplifier (VCA) to bring the output up to a suitable level. The Amplifier features both Linear and Exponential control inputs, and the Initial Gain setting provides a continuous output at its highest setting.

Output

Following the VCA, the audio signal of the ARP 2600 passes through the Stereo Mixer section, the internal Spring Reverb tank, and on to the main outputs, the headphone jack, and the internal Left and Right speakers.

Plug-and-play

The ARP 2600 is equipped with two low-impedance XLR outputs (Left and Right) for direct connection to a recording console or sound system – no direct boxes or line-matching transformers are required. A headphone output is also provided. MIDI is transmitted and received via old-school din-style IN, OUT, and THRU jacks, and also via USB. Three footswitch jacks (footswitches sold separately) on the 3620 Keyboard provide hands-free performance control over Portamento (On/Off or Momentary) and the Interval Latch. The front panel offers a Preamp input for processing another audio source.

ARP 2600 - System Features

  • Faithful limited edition of the iconic synth with modern updates
  • Normalled signal flow with patch points
  • 3 stable, versatile audio oscillators with 5 waveforms and LFO functionality
  • Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) option on oscillator 2
  • Analog FM (Frequency Modulation) capability
  • Noise Generator with White, Pink, and Low-Frequency options
  • 4-pole filter with switchable early/late-period 2600 response
  • 2 Envelope Generators with Gate and Trigger outputs
  • Internal Spring Reverb unit
  • Onboard stereo speakers
  • Ring Modulation, lag and voltage processors
  • Envelope Follower; clock-able Switch
  • Sample & Hold module
  • Aux Mixer, Signal inverters
  • Preamp input for processing external audio sources
  • Upgraded 3620 duophonic keyboard with aftertouch and LFO
  • Pitch Bend knob; 2-octave up/down Transpose switch
  • Flexible modern Arpeggiator for custom pattern sequence/playback
  • Portamento; Interval Latch
  • MIDI DIN I/O/T; MIDI-over-USB
  • L/R low-impedance XLR outputs
  • Headphone output jack
  • 3 footswitch jacks
  • Includes custom hardshell case with casters and separate compartments for synth, keyboard, and cables
Additional Information
Specification
  • Type: Synthesizer System with Speakers
  • Analog/Digital: Analog
  • Number of Keys: 49
  • Type of Keys: 3620 Keyboard, Synth action, Full-size Keys
  • Aftertouch: Yes
  • Other Controllers: Pitchbend Knob, Octave Transpose Lever
  • Polyphony: Monophonic, 2-voice Duophonic
  • Oscillators: 3 x VCO (Sawtooth, Square, Triangle, Sine, Pulse)
  • LFO: Triangle, Square, Delayed Sine Wave
  • Filter: Lowpass 4-pole 24dB/Octave, Type Switch (early ARP/later ARP)
  • Envelope Generator: 1 x ADSR, 1 x AR
  • Effects Types: Spring Reverb
  • Arpeggiator: Auto, Up, Down, Up & Down, Random, Seq Play
  • Audio Outputs: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/8" (left,right)
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4"
  • USB: 1 x Type B
  • MIDI I/O: In/Out/Thru/USB
  • Other I/O: 1/8" Jack Patchbay
  • Features: Built-in Stereo Speakers
  • Power Supply: Standard IEC AC cable
  • Height: 20" (2600), 6.2" (keyboard)
  • Width: 32.9" (2600), 36" (keyboard)
  • Depth: 9.13" (2600), 10.8" (keyboard)
  • Weight: 42.5 lbs. (2600), 24.9 lbs. (keyboard)
  • Manufacturer Part Number: ARP2600FS