Sunday, November 8, 2009

Korg Poly-61

One of three synthesizers I bought at the same time.
It is also one of two (the other one is the Matrix-6) that does not work.

It powers up and the front panel seems to work. A couple of buttons are barely responding (you have to be very "convincing" when pushing them) and some of them are bouncing, causing double clicks. Still, you can switch presets and change parameters and everything so it seems that part is in reasonably good shape except some mechanical wear on the buttons.

One of the the most obvious things is the broken joystick controller. I don't know what it's supposed to look like but the guy said it was broken and it does seem a tad short.

The marking is from the previous owner which apparently was some elementary school. I guess they didn't treat this poor Korg with the love and affection it needed :)

Also there are some serious scratches on the front panel but it's just a small cosmetic flaw that I don't really care about.

The real problem is that it's dead silent :)
You get no audio from the headphones socket nor from the line out socket. I have no idea if it's some amplifier that has died or if it's something else.

I read somewhere that there are little LEDs on the voice board that look like 1N4148 diodes. I actually spotted one on the power supply board and the center of it is lit very faintly. Whenever a voice is assigned and used the corresponding LED on that part of the voice board should light up.
I didn't see any of them lighting up though so I suspect that either the keyboard is completely disconnected or there is something wrong with the assigner board.

After doing some more reading on the Poly-61 I realized it was suffering from the same leaking battery problem as the Polysix. Morons.
So, I looked at the battery area...

Frosty! :)
I guess chances are that something has gone south on that area of the board on this synthesizer as well... Gah.. Perhaps something that prevents the voices from triggering? :)
So, I should probably remove the board, clean it up and fix any damaged connections as soon as possible, and get rid of that horrible battery...


  1. Get that battery out directly, the acid will even eat away the surrounding components.

    After that clean the affected area (both sides of the board) very good with dish washing liquid, rinse with water, dry the board and look at the damage.

    Replace all damaged (discoloured, brown/black-ish) connections and components and you should be all-right.

  2. Hehe, funny!
    After not having touched the Poly 61 for 2 months I had just opened it up and was preparing to remove the battery and get the synthesizer working. I was cleaning the rubber contacts for the keyboard when I saw your note. Coincidence, hehe.
    The battery has now been removed. Will post a new entry soon :)

  3. Look at this site
    The procedure you need to follow for the poly-61 is the same.

    Very nice synth though, very rough sounds possible.

  4. Hi Anon :)
    Last night when I was adding some entries to the blog I was thinking that I've made it a bit confusing since the latest update about my stuff isn't visible when you click on it under "My equipment". I guess I should use labels instead, like under "Gear".
    Still figuring out how to best use this blog in the best way :)
    So, yes, I have already looked at oldcrow's site and the Poly61 is playable now, mostly.
    Thanks for the advice though!