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Category:  Products / synthesisers / analog synthesisers

Added: 13-Dec-98  |  Author: admin

New price: discontinued  |   S/H price: ??


Ok.... I'm gonna add all the old vintage synths... not that i've used them all myself.. but i'm gonna dd the spec's then people can add comments based on real-life use.... so , as i had nothing to do today, i thought i'd start to add them as basic page templates... then add the spec's later....so...

The KORG SIGMA..... please add your comments

Product Videos

Vintage Synth (Korg Sigma)

Me playing an old synth i found lying around at college. i believe it's a Korg Sigma after much inte...

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: Shahar
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 31-Jul-99

Sorry Kilo, but this one is MONO !
however, it features killer sound and check this out - aftertouch ! and to think they made it back in '78....
mine has some buttons missing, and I don't have a clue what all the jack's in the back do, so if anyone has a Sigma , your help is wanted !

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: Thijs Geritz
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 21-Apr-00

I purchesed the Sigma back in 1987 and I am still using it as a bass en solo synth in my rockband. The Sigma sounds wonderfully "old-fashion". It most remarkable feature is the fact that you have at least 5 parameters that can be changed while playing; aftertouch, 2 joysticks, portamento (toggle on and off in a splitsecond). This makes the Sigma a synth with the freedom of playing like that of a guitar. In fact, I use the Sigma in combination with a guitar-effectprocessor; priceless.
And it looks great according to audiences.

Thijs Geritz
Katerstraat 101
2512 DA The Hague
The Netherlands

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: georg nebel
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 06-Aug-02

hi folks,
i sure do like my "new" sigma.
however, noise & S/H soon gave up working. im looking for help, as well as for a manual/scematics/etc.
korgy greetings to sigmatitst,

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: Yiannis Pantelidis
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Date: 03-Feb-03

Hi all, I am a Greek student at Liverpool (UK) and I'm looking to buy a Korg Sigma (or 01, T3). Anyone who knows music stores, magazines or anything else pls mail me (pontium21@yahoo.com) Thnx

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: richard easter
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 25-Mar-03

I first got hold of a sigma in 1982, and then sold it to get hold of a Polysynth, the name of which escapes me right now. As soon as I'd parted company with the Sigma, I regretted it. There's something so old-style and charming about th keyboard that you just can't find anywhere else. Anyway, cut to the chase - 17 years later, I went looking for another Sigma. I found only one advert in "Loot" for 150. Quite a lot to pay, but I had to have it. I was pretty damned surprised then, when the Sigma arrived, and it was MY OLD KEYBOARD- the one I'd sold all those years ago (I knew it was mine because of certain dents and wobbles it had when I first got it).
So I plugged it in, turned it on, cranked up the amp and....well, it's a bit pants, let's face it.
There's no power to this machine - only the PWM has any kind of strength, and even that sounds like something from an old Dr Who episode ("Attack Of The Weedy Monosynths" I think). The pre-set "instruments" (even Korg were optimistic calling them that) would shame a Casio VL-Tone, and the "synthe" (that's how it's spelt, don't blame me) sounds are pretty dire, too.
But...but...start combining things, and sounds begin to happen; add the joystick filter, ring mod and all the other gubbins, and you've got a synth that doesn't sound like anything on earth. Possibly a bad thing, as much as a good thing, that.
You REALLY need effects units with this baby - by itself, even with everything playing, it still hasn't got the oomph of even an EDP Gnat or Wasp, which is saying something. The Sigma seems to have taken an evolutionary side-road and ended up in a cul-de-sac with no way back out. It isn't a synth, it's not an organ, it's just...a Sigma. Your degree of control over the sounds is little short of useless ("Decay" anyone?, whoo-hoo) and even the Ring Modulator just dirties everything up rather than making it fly.
I SHOULD say the Sigma is terrible- and in many ways it is- but I just can't. It sits there, looking a bit sorry for itself, wondering where it went wrong, and pleading with you just to play with it in the vain hope something decent will come out. It's very, very cute, like a dog with one leg or a cat with patchy fur and a squint. So, despite the Royal slagging I appear to have given it, I actually love it. I can't think of a single use for it, but I love it all the same. It's not even retro enough to use on Electroclash style music. James Last should do an entire album with it, it would be just up his street.
So there you are- The Sigma. Designed during a boozy Korg lunch, built by engineers who have never played a Synth in their lives, played by musicians who really should have tried it out in the shop before parting with their cash, and loved by everyone who's ever owned one. Viva La Sigma! But if you ever see one up for auction, wait for an SH101 or a WASP instead, if you want a good old fashioned Synth. The Sigma ain't it.

I hope this has been of any use - if not, disregard all the above.

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: richard easter
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Date: 25-Mar-03

Well, well, the Sigma. At once, an infuriating machine, but at the same time, a quite charming bit of kit. I'm not sure who it was aimed at, really. It's not a synth (but it does have Synthe patches) it's not an organ (monophonic doesn't really help) it's just some bizarre mutant keyboard thought up by Korg as a bit of a bizarre situationist prank.
So- what's good about it?
Er....I'm thinking.
Oh yes, first, the way it looks. Yes, the pre-set tabs are a bit Bontempi, but it has enough knobs, dials, buttons and switches to keep us Synth-obsessives happy. Just sitting there, the Sigma looks cool. However, it's when you switch it on that problems start.
The Instruments. I'm not sure exactly what tuba, trumpet, strings, guitar etc the Korg Imagineers were listening to, but they obviously come from another dimension. Apart from the bass, these sounds are about as far away from reality as it's possible to be. Yes, part of the Sigma's charm, I know, but they really should have tried a little harder. My Mum had a home organ with better pre-sets, and even they were rubbish.
The "Synthe" section is better. S&H bubbles away very nicely (although no midi- no chance of sequencing it to anything without a major headache) and the PWM would make Gary Numan very happy. Sawtooth is fine, Square is fine, in fact, all of them (even the white noise) are perfectly usable. But then comes the kickback - no control! Well, one little dial above each one, but really, Korg, putting a dedicated filter/envelope section in would have made this SO much better. It's frustrating when you really want your PWM to "whoosh" and you have to do it manually. C minus, Korg, see me after.
But of course, you can combine any and all the sounds, and that's where the fun (I use the term loosely) starts. Combine the Tuba with the PWM and things start hapening. Add a bit of Ring Modulator (again, an optimistic description from the Korg boys) and you get some pretty nice metallic sounds. But everything is so hit and miss, and you just can't quite get the machine to spit out the sound you're hearing in your head.
The Sigma, most of the time, is only 50% there. It just can't do the business in any area, but that's also part of it's charm, I suppose. There is nothing else on earth that sounds like it, which is a good thing, I think.
Naturally, there aren't many musicians who'll own up to working with a Sigma. I believe Jean Michel Jarre prodded at one for a couple of times, before deciding that "Magnetic Fields" or whatever really wouldn't be greatly improved by a Tuba that sounds like a bit of a wet fart. Rick Wakeman probably had one, but then RW has probably got every synth ever made, so that doesn't count. Not even the recent wave of "Electroclash" bands (Fischerspooner, Ladytron etc) could be tempted by the retro stylings of this machine. It isn't powerful, or, well "Electronic" enough. But my God, if anyone suddenly wants to make an album called "Sad Pre-Set Trumpet Plays The Hits Of The Human League" then this machine is the boy to crank it out. If this all sounds like I hate my Sigma, I don't.
I love it. I love it's weediness, it's lack of control, the fact it has a music stand (what the hell were Korg thinking of? Exactly what music can you play on a monophonic keyboard anyway? But once again, it's just it's sheer bonkers-ness that makes it so appealing) I love the fact that it has SO many outputs/inputs on theback AND NONE OF THEM SEEM TO HAVE ANY USE and I love it's little, rubbishy joysticks, that we all know are invariably missing, replaced by a biro (mine is). I love the fact it's alone in the world, a truly unique keyboard with no friends or even relatives. THAT's why I love the Sigma. I feel sorry for it. And the fact that I own it makes me feel like I've given it a much deserved home, like the last dog in the Kennel with the wonky eye.
God bless the Sigma. You'll never hear it on any records, or see it played live. But we all know it has a place in our hearts. Just don't select the bloody tuba. It'll only hurt you.
So - to sum up...
An absolutely terrible keyboard, that is utterly fantastic. And whatever Korg were on when they released it, can I have some?

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: phil
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer
Date: 25-Aug-03

A real rich and powerful sound. Great BPF-Filters, no resonance, but i don't miss it. Great for beautiful and for sick sounds as well. Easy to handle, fun to play. It is strange that it has no direct ADSR but you can handle it:-)

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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: Tom
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 30-Jan-04

Just finished fixing mine today so I thought I'd 'celebrate' with a review.

I bought mine a while ago on eBay - they said it was old and 'noisey' in the listing but this arrived definately FAULTY....!!

Rather than complain I decided to have-a-go at it. I found a Sigma service manual (also on eBay) and when it arrived I set about checking her out.

The Sigma is a NIGHTMARE to dismantle. There are 3 boards, a keyboard (bolted to the wooden base plate) a power supply and the row of jacks on the back panel. And all the wiring harnesses aren't long enough to let you lift out one thing at a time. You kinda have to lift ALL the innards together, and the potential for causing more damage is quite high! Either get help or develop Octopus-like features...;^)

Anyway, today I found the fault - a capacitor in the power supply.

The symptoms were the LFO was thumping away on the audio output constantly and there was a quiet tone (the last note played) constantly in the background, just incase you ever get the same problem - small 10mfd electrolytic capacitor - there are two -one for +ve and one for -ve.

So now I can play her.... and I see what all the above reviewers mean ... ;^)

But Hell, it's COOL.... you can get sounds outa her that you could only get with a larger 'Modular'.

I think I *WILL* find uses for her - and probably never part with her either, being the collector I am. I have lots of other Korg voltage control stuff.... maybe I'll link 'em all together and see what happens.....;^)


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Product:  Korg - SIGMA
Name: sofia
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 24-Jan-10



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