Superbooth 23: The Korg microKorg Crystal makes it clear that the iconic synth is celebrating its 20th anniversary

Superbooth 23: 20 years ago, Korg’s microKorg helped to kickstart a trend for affordable, portable synths, and its built-in vocoder gave it an additional layer of hipster cool. To celebrate this double-decade anniversary, a new semi-translucent version - microKorg Crystal - has been released, giving you the opportunity to see what’s going on inside.

The redesigned chassis puts the microKorg Crystal’s electronics and internals on display, and the controllers (knobs, dials and wheels) are see-through, too. There’s also a stainless mirror-finish front panel that “blurs the limits between you and your instrument and provides a cosmetic impact never seen in any other musical instrument.” Yep, all that from a front panel.

The wooden end cheeks have been given the heave-ho in favour of aluminium side panels, while the supplied transparent vinyl carry bag ensures that, even when the microKorg Crystal is being transported, it’s visible (though whether you’d always want your synth to be on display when you’re out and about is another question). 

We’re told that the design of the microKorg Crystal “‘crystalizes’ the energy and feelings of the Korg team behind its birth,” and you may be able to buy one for €539. We say ‘may’ because this will be a limited edition release, with units available in a couple of months.

Given that you can pick up 2016’s microKorg S for considerably less than this, you may wonder if the Crystal is worth the cash, but it certainly looks nice. You might also consider the microKorg XL+, which offers increased polyphony and a different sound engine.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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