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MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:30 pm
by K-man
I´m looking for an economy VA synth in the second hand market.

My two preferences are the microKOrg and the Alesis ION.

I like so much the microKorg for its sound, features, looking and low price. Not so much for its minikeys and its only 4 polyphonic voices, but well, it can be forgiven.
I also love the Alesis Ion (i know it´s more powerful also), but even not being an expensive synth, it can be the double of a microKorg´s price.

I´d like to know if the Alesis Ion really worth it considering the price´s difference between both synths:

-MicroKorg: 200€
-Alesis Ion: 350-400€

Thanks!

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:47 am
by abruzzi
So the Ion has a mini version--the Alesis Micron, and the Microkorg has a full sized version--the MS2000. The large of both are about the same price (MS2000 and Ion) and the small of both have about the same price (Microkorg and Micron). So you have two choices--size/knobs vs price and Korg sound or Alesis sound.

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:16 am
by K-man
abruzzi wrote:So the Ion has a mini version--the Alesis Micron, and the Microkorg has a full sized version--the MS2000. The large of both are about the same price (MS2000 and Ion) and the small of both have about the same price (Microkorg and Micron). So you have two choices--size/knobs vs price and Korg sound or Alesis sound.
Haha, thanks I know.

But between microKorg vs Micron, I prefer mK. And between MS2000 and ION, I prefer ION.

So the question is... Do I go for the smaller, with less knobs, but good sounding and cheaper (microKorg) or get the bigger, full of knobs, great sounding but more expensive (Alesis ION)?

I want to know if the difference of price between both synths really worth it.

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:33 pm
by crystalmsc
I own a microKorg XL and the ION, with some experience of playing the original microKorg. To me it's the ION hands down, it feels like truly playing an instrument. Especially if you are more into a vintage tone, it's a great investment. Just make sure it didn't have the famous output problem or be ready for it.

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:35 pm
by K-man
crystalmsc wrote:I own a microKorg XL and the ION, with a some experience of playing the original microKorg. To me it's the ION hands down, it feels like truly playing an instrument. Especially if you are more into a vintage tone, it's a great investment. Just make sure it didn't have the famous output problem or be ready for it.
That´s my impression.

I think microKorg is a great little synth with a great sounding for the value. ION is more expensive, but looks like a more serious instrument. And yes, I love and I´m looking for the vintage "analog" sound.

So... Would you spend 150-200 bucks more for an ION?

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:58 pm
by crystalmsc
I spend way more than that when it was new back then and yes I won't be hesitate to spend the extra bucks if you are into such type of sound. I like the original microKorg as well for it's gritty tone, but I'm more into Ion type of sound. The filter types alone worth the cost addition, especially since it's able to process external sound as well. With 4 parts and 8 voices, it's like the capacity of 2 microKorgs as well. The microKorg XL key is okay, which is the equivalent of the microKey, but I won't trade the experience of playing the full keys of Ion with the original microKorg. Also those three wheels, knobs, screen and Zen looking leds :)

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:09 pm
by K-man
crystalmsc wrote:I spend way more than that when it was new back then and yes I won't be hesitate to spend the extra bucks if you are into such type of sound. I like the original microKorg as well for it's gritty tone, but I'm more into Ion type of sounds. The filter types alone worth the cost addition, especially since it's able to process external sound as well. With 4 part and 8 voices, it's like the capacity of 2 microKorg as well. The microKorg XL key is okay, which is the equivalent of the microKey, but I won't trade the experience of playing the full keys of Ion with the original microKorg. Also those three wheels, knobs, screen and Zen looking led :)

I undertsand...

I have heard a lot of demos in youtube from both synths, and the microKorg sounds great to me (very warm and vintage), but also ION sounds wonderful and seems like a more powerful synth.

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:48 pm
by gs
I paid $380 (USD) for my used ION, and it was worth every penny... and then some.

Bottom line... if you want full size keys and lots of knobs, the ION is your best bet. The feature set (compared to microKorg, or even MS-2000) is insane. About a dozen different filter types, 3 mod wheels, nice big rubbery knobs, and a full blown Mod Matrix. Kind of like a digital Modular in a small silver box.

OUTPUT ISSUE: I did have the RIGHT output going on the fritz a while ago, but now it's working fine (weird!). Will probably take it in for JFETs (output circuits) replacement soon. But the LEFT output has been fine, and I just run it in MONO for gigs anyway. The AUX outputs (left & right) are working OK.

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:42 pm
by meatballfulton
The choice is simple, do you like the MK or the Ion better?

Price is meaningless, the biggest waste of money is buying something cheaper rather than waiting and saving enough to buy what you really want.

Re: MicroKorg vs Alesis Ion

Posted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:29 pm
by K-man
meatballfulton wrote:The choice is simple, do you like the MK or the Ion better?

Price is meaningless, the biggest waste of money is buying something cheaper rather than waiting and saving enough to buy what you really want.
Of course, you´re totally right


MicroKorg is a great little synth for the money, but I recognize that an ION is very tempting :D