Last year Korg announced a limited edition remake of the ARP 2600. It’s about as iconic as synths get. But, the 2600 is a beast of an instrument. The whole package, including the keyboard, weighs about 68 pounds and would basically demand its own table or desk. Technology has come along way since the original version was introduced in 1971, though. So Korg has done its best to shrink the 2600 down to more manageable proportions. The ARP 2600 M is about half the size and tips the scales at just 13 pounds, though it ditches the keyboard to help make weight.
The heart of the 2600 M is the same as any version of the synth. The three classic oscillators are there as is a dual-mode, self-oscillating low-pass filter that lets you switch between different eras of ARP instruments. There’s a true spring reverb tank and a pair of built-in speakers.
Of course, this isn’t a 100-percent faithful recreation of the ‘70s modular synth. Korg expanded the feature set to make it work better in a modern music-making environment. For one, all of the control voltages have been normalized to five volts instead of 10, making it easier to integrate with other modular gear and Eurorack equipment. It also has USB host capabilities so, while it doesn’t come with a separate keyboard module, you can connect any USB MIDI controller you want and get straight to playing. Korg also ditched the original XLR audio outs and went with TS style jacks.
Unfortunately, there’s no word on when the 2600 M will ship or how much it will cost. But hopefully the price is on a similar diet plan as the rest of the synth, because the $3,900 the recent reissue commanded was definitely too much for all but the most dedicated synth nerds.