Korg MS-20 Vs. Future Retro XS

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Korg MS-20 Vs. Future Retro XS

Poll ended at Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:46 am

Korg MS-20
7
50%
Future Retro XS
7
50%
 
Total votes: 14

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Korg MS-20 Vs. Future Retro XS

Post by PitchMode » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:46 am

I don't visit the forums as often as I'd like, but I haven't seen much of a debate between these two. So forgive me if it has already been thoroughly discussed elsewhere.

I have always wanted a MS-20. I played a friend's once and have been hooked ever since. I would probably sell all my other synths if I were to only have just one. But I recently sold my MC-4 and can afford to pay the $1000+/- that they're going for these days.
So I've finally got the cash, but it's been a while since I've seen a decent MS-20. And now the XS is finally out and I'm starting to loose patience. I realize the XS has more features and will obviously out live a 30+ year old synth. But, given the choice...

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Post by synapsecollapse » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:47 am

first: is this a buyers guide question?

second: ive been lusting over an ms20 for a long time, but i just listened to the demos online and ... i think the xs sounds incredible, and does everything i would want a semi modular mono to do and more. it seems like the main appeal of the korg is that it looks sexier in a seriously vintage sort of way (negotiably) and also has the envelope follower for signal modulation and pitch tracking (unless i am missing this and its included on the latest specs on the XS?).

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Post by clubbedtodeath » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:01 pm

Haven't owned the XS, but I've had an MS-20 for about a year.

It's very nice.

The patchbay is useful: it's not quite modular, but it does allow some experimentation. And being able to feed in audio signals helps tremendously.

Another thing I should add, is that on the MS-20 you can feed the CV out (pitch control) back into the patchbay for all sorts of nonsense, ie. using the keyboard to detune oscillator 2 for pseudo-duophonic behaviour, or changing the keyboard tracking of the filters.

It does not, however, have an overdrive section (which is a shame). You'll have to add that yourself.

In all honesty, I think you need to try these synths out before making a decision. I immediately gelled with the Korg MS-20, and my feelings about it have not changed. It doesn't have quite the same kind of punch a MiniMoog might have, but it does have a delicate tone all of its own. It will do screaming leads, and it will do trouser-flapping bass.

I've put some demos up on a web page here. They should give you an idea of what it's capable of.

Lastly, if you have any specific questions about the Korg MS-20, by all means fire away. Only you can decide what synth is best.

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Post by Villi » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:12 pm

If the MS-20 is a synth you've always wanted, I'd try the XS extensively before choosing it instead of it, or you might end up beeing unsatisfied.

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Post by stikygum » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:21 pm

BTW, you won't get any strong answers except for the MS20 because the XS isn't out yet. No one's really played it. We've heard demos, which are great, but if no one's played it, you aren't going to get a clear answer.

I think you'll be fine by picking either. I'm always happy that I bought a synth even if I end up selling it because it gives me the chance to try it in person and hear/judge it for myself and see if it suits my style and how I like to make music. So that's the best advice I can give you. If the XS demos and specs wow you more than what you've heard of the MS20, then maybe you want an XS. Or maybe you should just buy a MS20 and then sell it if you're not satisfied and get an XS.

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Post by JSRockit » Sat Dec 08, 2007 1:33 pm

You need to go for the MS-20. Buying the XS, while a smart move for those who like this type of synth, will not make you forget about the MS-20. The way I see it, is that you buy the MS-20 and if you end up not caring for it...you can sell it for what you bought it for and buy an XS.
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Post by 30h5 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 6:27 pm

JSRockit wrote:The way I see it, is that you buy the MS-20...you can sell it for what you bought it for and buy an XS.
It's possible the reverse is true as well (Buying XS, selling for MS-20). If you were to get an XS, you could probably flip it for more than what you paid for it because of limited intial availability. I too have been torn about this debate/decision. I would really love a MS-20, but am on the list for an XS. One difference in my case is I have not played a MS-20, but it looks like a ton of fun and I like the sound. It's a tough decision. I guess we could save up and get both! :wink:

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Post by GeneralBigbag » Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:38 pm

Shagghie did describe the XS as a psychadelic sex tornado or something of the like - I don't know that the MS20 has ever had such lurid praise...
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Post by jp8080 » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:49 pm

also keep in mind that the ms20 will resell for what you paid for it or more. the xs will loose a lot of value since you'll have to buy it new. better to buy/try the ms20 first. you can sell it and loose nothing.

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Post by Entropy Farmer » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:09 am

GeneralBigbag wrote:Shagghie did describe the XS as a psychadelic sex tornado or something of the like - I don't know that the MS20 has ever had such lurid praise...
The problem with FR is that their demos are too good. How am I supposed to tell if the synth is good or bad when 100% of the demos kick my a*s?

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Post by synapsecollapse » Sun Dec 09, 2007 12:18 am

Entropy Farmer wrote:
GeneralBigbag wrote:Shagghie did describe the XS as a psychadelic sex tornado or something of the like - I don't know that the MS20 has ever had such lurid praise...
The problem with FR is that their demos are too good. How am I supposed to tell if the synth is good or bad when 100% of the demos kick my a*s?
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Post by otto » Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:44 am

jp8080 wrote:also keep in mind that the ms20 will resell for what you paid for it or more. the xs will loose a lot of value since you'll have to buy it new. better to buy/try the ms20 first. you can sell it and loose nothing.
That really depends on availability for either and other factors.
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Post by PitchMode » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:07 am

wow, very awesome advice from all. thank you.

i read what shagghie had to say about the xs/s1 mkii and couldn't believe it. for me, i see the macbeth and s1 as "maybe if i were a filthy rich pop star would i own one" synths. in fact that's what shifted my interest. i knew the demos were bad a*s, but figured they just had a bad a*s guy(girl) that could probably make a mc-303 sound half decent. speaking of which, those demos of the ms-20 rocked. thanks ctd.

i think i am just going to have to wait it out and find a decent ms-20. as a couple of you have stated, they'll hold their value. one of the biggest attractions is the esp. i have a filterbank, but to my ears, the ms-20's filter owned beats and anything else i ran into it. it's limited, but had just about everything i could want in a small semi.

it will be a while until i have a chance to thoroughly try a xs. i highly doubt that guitar center (seattle) will ever get one. so, unless one of you locals get one and want to invite me over :) ...i'll keep my eyes pealed for a korg.

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Post by Arddhu » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:05 pm

Hope you don't mind me hijacking here but I was wondering if people had other alternatives to the XS.
I mean, from the demo's I've heard; it sounds like the biggest, nastiest thing I've heard in quite a while and I was just wondering what other analogues do the whole nasty thing well. Obviously it's been compared to an MS-20 and I think I heard a Pro-One too?
Whadda ya reckon? Anything with a fair few modulation options and a decent filter?

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Post by PitchMode » Sun Dec 09, 2007 2:22 pm

don't mind at all. i think the pro-one is a fair comparison. same for the eml 101 and many other vintage semi-mods.

the m5, vostok and s1 are kind of out of it's league (in my opinion) but if money's not an issue they are all extremely flexible and sound great.

the red square is probably the only non-vintage that is similar and within the same price range. i have no idea how it sounds though. the only demo of it on utoob is terrible.

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