Following the immensely popular reissue of the ARP 2600 semi-modular synthesizer, Korg has taken the same legendary instrument and put it into a smaller, desktop-friendly enclosure—the ARP 2600 M ($$1,899). The M model provides the same iconic sound, familiar layout, lush spring reverb and built-in speakers with a more compact footprint you can keep on your desk or take to a gig.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the new ARP 2600 M and walk through all of the features to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your synth collection.
KORG ARP 2600 M OVERVIEW
Just like the full-size reissue, which sold out in mere days, Korg has gone to great lengths to make sure the ARP 2600 M matches the original in tone, features and quality. Each unit is assembled in Japan from high-grade components in small batches, unlike other mass-produced clones on the market.
While the unit doesn’t come with an analog duophonic keyboard like the full-size model, it does accept MIDI controllers via USB and 5-pin DIN connectors. Korg even redesigned the spring reverb to achieve the same lush sound as the full-size model with a shorter spring.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the top features:
KORG ARP 2600 M TECH SPECS
- Classic three-oscillator, duophonic, semi-modular analog synthesizer
- Complete series of patch points and faders as found on the original
- Built-in stereo speakers
- Onboard spring reverb, redesigned to provide the lushness of the reverb found in the full-size model
- Powers and accepts standard MIDI messages from any USB controller
- All the power of the full-size model at just 20.5” wide and only 13 lbs.
- Includes roller case, patch cables and free music production software bundle
Now, let’s get into the specifics of what makes this reissue special.
A FAITHFUL RECREATION
The ARP 2600 M features the exact same circuitry as the full-size reissue, containing high-grade components chosen to match the sound of the original unit while providing greater reliability. The result is a near-perfect recreation of a classic instrument, updated for the needs of modern musicians and sound designers.
While the ARP 2600 was relatively small for its time, it wasn’t nearly as compact as today’s popular desktop synths. To make it more portable and fit nicely into small home studios, Korg has shrunk the unit to roughly 60% of the full-size model, with the M model measuring just 20.5 inches wide and weighing 13 pounds.
The ARP 2600 M’s semi-modular layout gives you the freedom to create custom patches on the fly without starting completely from scratch like a true modular synthesizer. With the basic architecture in place, you’re free to follow your creativity and experiment with patching to create one-of-a-kind sounds that only an authentic ARP can deliver.
JUST ADD MIDI
The 2600 M’s USB port and integrated MIDI protocol allow you to use any class-compliant USB MIDI controller, while the traditional 5-pin MIDI input interfaces with older keyboards, sequencers and other controllers. Pitch bend, Modulation and Portamento can be controlled through MIDI CC messages and mapped to most controllers for easy access.
ANALOG SPRING REVERB
One thing that set the original ARP 2600 apart was its onboard spring reverb tank, a luxury normally reserved for guitar amplifiers and some tonewheel organs. Since the 2600 M is smaller than the full-size model, ARP and Korg have redesigned the spring to provide the same lush sound as the original in a more compact enclosure.
BUILT-IN STEREO SPEAKERS
Like the original ARP 2600 and the reissue, the new M model features built-in stereo speakers for monitoring your sounds and jamming without an amp. The speakers provide surprisingly high-fidelity audio and they turn off automatically when using headphones—one of a few improvements over the original.
INCLUDES ROLLER CASE AND PATCH CABLES
A custom roller case offers protection and portability, making it easy to safely transport your synth to your next gig, practice or jam session. And, with the included patch cables, you can start patching right away.
FREE MUSIC PRODUCTION SOFTWARE
To sweeten the deal, Korg is including a free software bundle featuring a variety of music production tools. Create tracks with Reason Lite and a range of virtual instrument plugins, improve your keyboard skills with Skoove and master your mixes with Ozone Elements. Whether you’re new to making music or not, this bundle is a great value for expanding your musical toolbox.