The ARP 2600 reborn? Revisited? Who cares!

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
First things first, if you are in any way interested in the history of synthesizers you really should watch this video:




Yes, they left out a couple of people instrumental in the development of the 2600, but then they only had 30 minutes, and lets face it, much of the history has been buried in the sands of time (that sand being silicon maybe?) For example, Jim Michmerhuizen wrote the original "owners manual" and it remains an excellent text on synthesis. But I digress!

Here's my dilemma - I have an ARP 2600, a fairly early example, it was the service center crash test dummy for years, so it too has some history. And it is not as reliable as I'd like, since it did take part in more than a few experiments. But when it works, well, it sounds fantastic.

I has been, for the most part, replaced by the TimewARP 2600 plugin, which sounds fantastic, and is certainly more flexible, and capable, but without the physical controls it is no where as fun. I recently purchased a KIWITechnics Patch Editor, and I've been working on adapting that. Previously I used a Kore2, but that was not quite up to the task.

I've also had problems with the external input, it does not behave quite the same. The rest is pretty darned close to the hardware, but the ability to plug in a microphone or my guitar was more than half the fun (the same was true of the Korg MS-20).

So why consider a $4000 synthesizer, especially a remake? Reliability would be one thing, built in MIDI would be another (I've tried numerous MIDI-to-CV/Gate converters, none are perfect). And the external input is a big lure. Access to both filter models is really attractive too.

On the other hand I do have one, and with a little effort (maybe a lot of effort?) I could restore it. And I could make a few changes I've always wanted to boot. And mine has some history behind it.

On the other hand, well, you get the idea. I am seriously tempted, and at the same time well aware of at least a dozen reasons ($4000 is a big one).

Just figured I should at least share the video, and possibly the news.

(I've been told that there is a good chance that the entire run is already spoken for - that would help me<G>!)
 

Wes Antczak

Senior Member
Thank you for sharing that video.

I would love to get one and the price seems reasonable. There are also rumors of a Behringer clone, who imo, did a really nice job with the Odyssey. The build quality is also much better than Korg's version. If the Behringer rumors are true, it will be interesting to see what their asking price will be.

The Timewarp is a really nice virtual option, but didn't Jim kind of give up on it? The last time I had an issue I needed to contact Simon Bangs.

I agree that using a virtual instrument doesn't give the same tactile experience as using the hardware. Even mapping things to controllers isn't really the same thing.
 

Wes Antczak

Senior Member
Just saw this at the Sweetwater site. Looks like a beautiful thing. Here is a video from Korg:

 
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charlieclouser

Senior Member
At college in 1981 I learned synthesis on an Arp 2500 with dual wing cabinets. The first synth I owned was an Arp Solus, which I used on many records. I've owned two different 2600's (an orange+black and a greyface) and used many more. I now own a TTSH 2600 clone, and it sounds great and I thought it would be as close as we're going to get in this day and age.

So when Korg announced the re-issue it was an instant "add-to-cart" moment. Done.

I would much rather have a brand-new, modern unit that sounds and operates as it was INTENDED to, which hopefully WILL be different to some broke-down vintage unit. It's quite easy for me to dirty up the sound of a modern unit if needed, but it's far more difficult to clean up the sound of a vintage unit when that's what's needed. I just want the damn thing to do what it says on the tin, with no unavoidable distortion in the signal path, no uneven response from ancient sliders, and no alligator clips gripping the broken-off shaft on the filter cutoff slider!

I sold off both of my originals as they just did not do what they said they were going to do most of the time, and they just became too troublesome to use most of the time. The reissue has MIDI and XLR outs - YES PLEASE.

So I'm all in on the 2600 FS reissue. For anyone complaining about the price point, there will be plenty of options - Behringer are doing a rack-mount version with some changes and LED sliders that will be mid-priced, Phil at CMS does his absolutely top-shelf boutique rack mount version with many mods at a premium price, the TTSH project is still going strong at a high-mid price, and Guitar Center accidentally used the wrong picture on their website which revealed the (possible) existence of a 2600-mini from Korg, which will have a 3-octave keyboard and a shrunk-down cabinet, similar to the MS-20mini.

So for 2600 fans it is a great time to be alive - we're spoilt for choice.
 

kmaster

Now in LA: let's get coffee!
At college in 1981 I learned synthesis on an Arp 2500 with dual wing cabinets.
Me too! And straight to tape! But nearly 3 decades later. 😁

Still chasing that 2500 sound, though - the 2600 (which we also had) is another beast entirely. Sadly, I don’t see Korg RI’ing the 2500 any time soon...
 

Wes Antczak

Senior Member
I wouldn't expect to see a 2500. It's cool enough that they're even doing a 2600.

I'm interested in the possibility of a smaller version. Now that would be great. Besides the question of space, the lower price point would be something I could more easily justify to myself. It would also make a good companion to my MS-20 Mini and my Minilogue (I don't really mind the smaller keys).

They also had a 2600 in the Electronic Music studio at my school, so that's one of the instruments I learned on. They had a 2600, a section of a 2500, and a Moog.
 

barteredbride

Hello and hola...a Brit in Spain
First things first, if you are in any way interested in the history of synthesizers you really should watch this video:




Yes, they left out a couple of people instrumental in the development of the 2600, but then they only had 30 minutes, and lets face it, much of the history has been buried in the sands of time (that sand being silicon maybe?) For example, Jim Michmerhuizen wrote the original "owners manual" and it remains an excellent text on synthesis. But I digress!

Here's my dilemma - I have an ARP 2600, a fairly early example, it was the service center crash test dummy for years, so it too has some history. And it is not as reliable as I'd like, since it did take part in more than a few experiments. But when it works, well, it sounds fantastic.

I has been, for the most part, replaced by the TimewARP 2600 plugin, which sounds fantastic, and is certainly more flexible, and capable, but without the physical controls it is no where as fun. I recently purchased a KIWITechnics Patch Editor, and I've been working on adapting that. Previously I used a Kore2, but that was not quite up to the task.

I've also had problems with the external input, it does not behave quite the same. The rest is pretty darned close to the hardware, but the ability to plug in a microphone or my guitar was more than half the fun (the same was true of the Korg MS-20).

So why consider a $4000 synthesizer, especially a remake? Reliability would be one thing, built in MIDI would be another (I've tried numerous MIDI-to-CV/Gate converters, none are perfect). And the external input is a big lure. Access to both filter models is really attractive too.

On the other hand I do have one, and with a little effort (maybe a lot of effort?) I could restore it. And I could make a few changes I've always wanted to boot. And mine has some history behind it.

On the other hand, well, you get the idea. I am seriously tempted, and at the same time well aware of at least a dozen reasons ($4000 is a big one).

Just figured I should at least share the video, and possibly the news.

(I've been told that there is a good chance that the entire run is already spoken for - that would help me<G>!)
Ok here is my reckless advice.

Life is too short.

If you love the ARP 2600 and have the money then just get it!

Why not?! Go and have some fun.

You can always sell it again in the future.

:)
 
OP
wst3

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
Ok here is my reckless advice.

Life is too short.

If you love the ARP 2600 and have the money then just get it!

Why not?! Go and have some fun.
There is wisdom to your reckless advice. Seriously, that was initial reaction. I've worked hard, I pay my bills, and I could pay cash if I so desired, or get one of those lovely 0% financing deals, but it commits resources. Big difference between I can afford it, today, and it won't put me in a bind if something else goes wrong.

Sadly I've reached a point where I am a little more careful with my funds. And that is ok. I guess?

barteredbride said:
You can always sell it again in the future.
I could also sell my "vintage" 2600, probably for more than the cost of the new one. (what a strange world!)

My wife understood me and my relationship with some types of gear. Before we married she went to a guitar show with me, and I was playing a lovely vintage instrument that was priced to sell, because it needed some work. The seller pointed out to my soon to be bride that it was an investment, and she laughed. "He'd have to be willing to sell it for it to be an investment". She was right.

My ARP 2600 served as the ARP service department crash test dummy for years, and it belonged to a very good friend, so no, it is not for sale. It has history. And it sounds good - when it is working<G>!

What Greg said rings true - if I had a project that would pay for it I'd buy it, just for grins if nothing else. That seems to be my approach lately.
 

IFM

Senior Member
Ok here is my reckless advice.

Life is too short.

If you love the ARP 2600 and have the money then just get it!

Why not?! Go and have some fun.

You can always sell it again in the future.

:)
Okay I have to admit this put me over the edge. There is a March batch coming and I was lucky enough to get one on preorder. I don't think this opportunity will ever come up again and I'm only going around once.