Thursday, October 8, 2009

Korg Maxi-Korg K-3, Contemporary Keyboard 1977


Korg Maxi-Korg K-3 synthesizer from pg 15 of Contemporary Keyboard Magazine January 1977.

I think this is the first half-page ad I've posted. I also think this ad is one of Korg's earliest to appear in CK.

I have to confess I'm not that familiar with this line of Korg synths (my MS-20 and Trident are about as far back as I get). While starting to do some research, it soon became clear that this piece of kit goes by a few different names online. Maxi-Korg K-3. Univox K-3. Korg 800DV. Maxi-Korg 800DV.

The problem is that I'm one of those people that believes everything I read on the InterWebz and, even more problematic, I crave consistency.

So, which is it? Maxi-Korg? 800DV? Univox K-3? Time to dig a little deeper.

Synthmuseum.com indicates that this synthesizer was marketed as the Univox K-3 in the US and as the Maxi-Korg 800DV elsewhere.

This MATRIXSYNTH post (from an eBay auction), contends that the piece of gear in question was sold under the name 'Maxi-Korg K-3' in the US and as the 800DV and Univox K-3 elsewhere.

This other MATRIXSYNTH post has great photos of a U.S. model sporting the Maxi-Korg logo on the front and lists K-3 as the model on the back. And when you click on the link to the auction, there is a photo of the back of the synth with the Univox logo.

Meanwhile, back in 1977, Unicord puts out this ad in a US magazine - with 'Korg' in big print, a Maxi-Korg logo on the left hand side of the control panel, and although distributed through Unicord, the name 'Univox' can't be found anywhere in the ad copy. But, my guess is that 'Univox' is slapped on the back of the synth in the photo.

So, I'm going say the US model should be officially called 'Univox Korg Maxi-Korg K-3 distributed by Unicord'. Sounds about right. :o)

The fact is, the big reason I like this ad is because Unicord totally jacks the Timothy Leary 1960's counterculture phrase 'Turn on, tune in, drop out', tacking on 'EXPAND YOUR MIND' at the start of the ad copy. Nice touch for 1977 - I think Unicord definitely knew their audience.

Sound on Sound has a great article from April 1998 about some of the early Korg gear including the Maxi-Korg, with some great insight as to why this synthesizer was so unique. BTW - big 'ups' to Sound on Sound for putting their older articles online.

For more on the history of Univox and Unicord - it's a good ride - check out this site.

And, one final note. I'm going to beat Zenbecca on commenting on the Univox/Maxi-Korg font. Yes - very retro... :o)

1 comment:

zenbecca said...

Oh, it's painfully retro. I don't know if I should love it or hate it.

($3041.39 in today's money, by the way.)

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