One of the most sought-after instruments of all time is back in the form of its complete, authentic recreation (“FS”). It’s a Reverb Shop-only sale for the USA, in a rare chance to grab this instrument – and another excuse to recall how it created iconic sounds from Herbie Hancock to, yes, R2D2. May the 4th be with you.

The ARP 2600 FS was originally released in 2020 by KORG – a high-end, authentic recreation of the original instrument with input from veterans of the original ARP team. I wrote about that model at the time, and why the 1970s design seems even more relevant for this decade.

The new model will run US$4499.99 with free US shipping. That’s slightly more than it ran in 2020, but part costs have increased since then, so it’s not surprising.

The Korg ARP 2600 Is Back in Stock & Cheaper Than Used Prices

ARP 2600FS 2023 – US Only [Product Page]

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Most importantly, with that 2020 run sold out, this is a chance for ARP lovers who do have the budget for this to grab this below the sky-high used prices of the original or even the 2020-run FS.

Now, me, I’ll be sticking with software versions apart from when I get into someone’s studio but – for those of us in that situation, let’s still enjoy looking at some lavish photography of the FS recreation. Gorgeous. And Star Wars gimmicks aside, there’s no way not to be inspired by Ben Burtt’s inventive sounds if you care at all about sound design.

Indeed, it occurs that as a kid my first encounter with any synthesizer was hearing R2D2’s invented language, watching with my parents and sister on our sound super-8 mm cut of the film, popcorn maker-popcorn in hand.

Here’s how to approximate that patch from the film, from Korg:

Pics (click to enlarge):

This one close-up reveals the features not on the original – mode switch, MIDI ports, USB.

Plus there’s this great feature Reverb produced back in 2020:

And Perfect Circuit did a complete walkthrough of the panel/sound functions (relevant also to software emulation, if you’ve got one – that’s what I’ll be doing, just uh, imagining the faders):

ARP 2600FS 2023 – US Only