Korg MS-20 KIT – now SHIPPING!

Korg MS-20 Mini Pieces

Korg MS-20 Mini Promo Shot

I have ponied up for Korg’s new MS-20 Kit. The vendor in California tells me he has the much-publicized limited edition vintage analog semi-modular synth reissue-as-a-kit in stock, so I expect it to find its way into my grimy clutches within the week.

Upon receipt of the kit, I shall immediately join forces with the “Love”-ly and talented DJ Güber for an evening of kit assembly and frivolity. Watch this space for one of the first ever customer MS-20 Kit unboxing / assembly / test / MS-mayhem videos.

See you then! I can’t wait!

3 thoughts on “Korg MS-20 KIT – now SHIPPING!

  1. UPDATE:
    I was just reviewing the assembly manual for the MS-20 Kit (available as a pdf at http://i.korg.com/uploads/Support/USA_MS20Kit_OM_EFGS1a.pdf ), and learned something strange:

    We already know that the MS-20 kit includes both revisions of the MS-20 filter, selectable by moving a jumper on the circuit board. But did you know that the filter can also be selected by holding down notes on the keyboard when you power up the MS-20 Kit?

    From the manual:

    Quick selection

    To compare the sound of the originally installed filter with the other filter, temporarily change the setting as described below.

    • To select the earlier filter, hold down the F#3, G#3 and A#3 keys and turn on the MS-20.
    • To select the later filter, hold down the F#3, G#3 and B3 keys and turn on the MS-20.


    No matter which filter is set with the above operations, the setting will revert to the filter set with the short pin on the circuit board when the MS-20 is turned off.

    This is a really cool feature that I have mixed feelings about. On the positive side, maybe I won’t bother installing the toggle switch I was considering. On the other hand I can’t help but wonder what Korg has added to the signal path to make the filter switching possible.

  2. Hello Nebula,

    Did you get the KIT already? I’m considering ordering one myself but I want to see at least one user review before deciding. What I’m interested in is the build quality compared to the ms20 mini and also the printing of the front panel which in the sonicstate review was already coming off the panel. Fingers crossed that is was just a proto.

    Let me know your experience and congratulations to your purchase.

    • Hi Daniel, I got the Kit and assembled it with my friend Greg. I am quite happy with the build quality, and I am not having any issues with paint coming off.

      One of the first things Nick noticed on his machine on in the Sonic State review was that the rotary switches that select the octave of the oscillators seem to go to the highest octave when between clicks. I can confirm mine does this as well, but the switches don’t feel cheap or flimsy in any way – they just do that between positions. As the switches aren’t something a player would typically change in mid-note, it doesn’t bother me.

      There’s a really extensive thread on Gearslutz, which is a bit laughable because the only people complaining about the MS-20 Kit quality are the people who didn’t build one.

      Somebody did point out the External Signal Processor (ESP) section seems to cut too much high frequency content from the source signal, limiting its usefulness as an additional filter in the synth’s signal path. I verified that my unit also seems to roll off too much high end. To be fair, this is an unusual use for this section of the instrument, but it is one area where the Kit may not be a perfect reproduction of the original.

      Overall I’m extremely happy with it. As a guy with a lot of synths, I like the fact that the MS-20 brings something truly different to the table.

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