A news item released by Korg yesterday probably shocked many vintage analog synth fans. The Japanese company announced they were releasing a new version of the legendary ARP Odyssey synthesizer from the early 1970s. I wonder if Korg waited for Roland to reveal their new AIRA line before dropping this bombshell.
The new Odyssey is fully analog and essentially a recreation of the original, not unlike Korg’s own MS-20 kit that saw its revealing at this year’s NAMM show. Korg said the new models will hit the market in September of this year. Maybe an iOdyssey iOS app is also in the pipeline?
An Early 70s Analog Synth Classic
ARP released the Odyssey in 1972 as an essentially scaled down version of the ARP 2600, hoping to compete with the wildly popular Minimoog. A dual oscillator synth, with a unique for its time duophonic capability, the Odyssey went on to become ARP’s most popular synth. Three different models of the Odyssey were produced throughout the 70s; with the synth being phased out in 1981.
The Odyssey’s hardware knob-less interface is another hallmark of its design. Sliders serve as the primary control component for the synth. Later models included a ladder filter similar to Bob Moog’s; ARP paid a small licensing fee to Moog for its use.
Used Odysseys on eBay cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 and more. Korg didn’t announce a price for their new version, so who knows what will happen to used market after the September release?
ARP’s David Friend joins Korg
David Friend, who designed the ARP Odyssey with Alan Pearlman, is joining Korg to head the re-release project. Of course, that makes me think of the sheer wonder of a new ARP 2600 model and obviously both synths need a re-release of the ARP Sequencer. Put the man to work, Korg!
It appears that Korg’s success with the MS-20 and the Monotron series has turned its thoughts towards additional analog reissues. A new version of the Korg Polysix would be another winner. Analog synth fans are waiting for September with baited breath!
An initial knob twist to Synthtopia.