NAMM 2020: Korg’s Wavestation follow-up Wavestate and its ARP 2600 revival might be the synths generating the most excitement ahead of this year’s NAMM show, but the Japanese brand is also showing some love to the vintage revival that started it all by updating its line of MS-20s with a new full-sized model available in four colours.
Originally released in the late ’70s, the original MS-20 is a classic semi-modular monosynth, prized for its distinctive, aggressive-sounding filters and external audio processing capabilities. It was originally revived by Korg in 2013, in the form of the three quarter-sized MS-20 mini, and while two full-sized versions did follow – in full and desktop module forms – both were released as DIY kits produced in limited numbers.
Now Korg has finally announced another production run of the full sized MS-20 - this time in pre-built, rather than kit format - and what’s more there are four colour variations to choose from. These include the standard black design along with new green, blue and white versions, each of which Korg says will be produced in limited numbers (although we’ve no info on precise volumes available of each).
As with all of Korg’s MS-20 reissues, the design here remains faithful to that of the original, except for the addition of rather basic MIDI and USB MIDI control (just pitch and note on/off). As with the kit versions, the MS-20 FS includes two filter circuits allowing users to switch between earlier and later designs of the original’s filter.
At the time of writing, there’s no official word on price or release timings, beyond just ‘2020’. When it does land, it will face competition from Behringer’s unofficial K-2 recreation, which lacks the MS-20 FS’s keyboard but boasts a tantalising sub-£300 price point. Head to the Korg website for more.