And so I joined the Korg DSS-1 club!

What a beast! I don’t care for playing acoustic samples at this stage just using it a synth itself is enough power. I kid you not, this thing sounds as good and powerful as a Prophet 5. Still can’t believe its sound. The low end is insane. Osc sync is killer. You can change the bit depth of the samples in real time from 12 bit down to 8 bit and even 6 bit. Also the two delay lines can pull up some incredible flangers. Took me two years to find a mint unit. But it was worth it. I have another unit which I got few yrs ago but it has one dead delay unit and some problems, but when ever I would play it I was always blown away by its sound. Patiently waited to find one in good condition to ensure long life. So here it is. If you can find one locally, give it a try. Press the Synthesize function, use a standard Saw wave (it will auto generate one for each octave) and try it as a synth and tell me it doesn’t sound good! There is also additive engine inside which can generate all kinds of weird sounds like formants, bells etc.

As of the upgrades, for those interested…

We upgraded the PSU with the new caps

Installed a LED based display.

Goodbye to that old “80 calculator” display. Hello LED.

Then we had new tact switches installed, so that when you press the switch it actually works.

Old floppy was removed replaced with Gotek Flash Floppy currently running some 140 floppies on the USB. Floppy images are available here.

Sharp eyed ones probably noticed something unusual about the first image. It’s because this unit has a Evil_Dragon_sayz_the_DSS’_too_big_letz_fix_dat mod. Took a while to build these sides as the slope has that unusual “stair” not easy to do on regular carpenter desk, but a friend Chris is good in his business and built a pair over the drawings I’ve provided. Also this mod is not easy plug and play type of thing. Some things need to be cut inside the unit. Don’t do it unless you know your shi1t.

This is the design I went with. Probably can be made better, I’m not a gear designer. So take it with a grain of salt.

Comments (4)

  1. Nemanja Smiljanic

    What a beast of the machine! I gain interest into DSS after watched Espen Kraft review. I have a lot of synths, and I keep getting back using it, pure joy. I bought mine from a local musician in my home town of Kraljevo, and it was owned by legendary Laza Ristovski and was on tour with Bijelo Dugme.

  2. eusti

    Interesting. How much do the new cheeks save on width? An inch and a half or two inches? Do you feel it was fully worth it?

    • Don Solaris

      Hi! The new cheeks are 10 mm wide. I didn’t measure how much they save on width, but it’s instantly visible. It was worth it! 😀

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