83 comments on “The Upgrade Story

  1. Hello I own 2 DSS-1 and I live in Vienna Austria. How much is the item with all included (shipment?). Can I pay with paypal?



    • Hi, the kit is 250 USD plus shipping, and if you order more than 1 I will discount the order by 10%. You can pay with paypal. Unfortunately there are none available at the moment, the last one was just sold. I will be making more in January. If you want, add yourself to the mailing list by filling out the form on the website.

    • Hi there!
      I am living in VIenna too and got (only one) a DSS1….

      i am interested in the mod too; so if someone in Vienna could do it for me:

      That would be nice!!!!



      • Hello Clemens,
        Any music store with a service center should be able to do the work; if not I have people in Germany that you could send the boards to for modification.

  2. Hi there,

    I’m just about to pick up a DSS-1 (it’ll be my first Korg!) and came across the info for this upgrade.

    I have pretty basic soldering skills (no SMC thankyou!) and am fairly comfortable pulling synths apart – I’ve cleaned and performed a few simple fixes on Rolands and EMU, so could probably have a go at this kit.

    Could you give me a bit of info about exactly what’s involved with the install?

    Plus shipping costs (if you have any boards still available!) to Melbourne, Australia, if you could?



    • Download the installation manuals (under Downloads) to see what’s involved. Please note, I no longer support user-installed kits. The installation must be done at a service center to be supported. This policy is due to the number of damaged boards caused by user installation. If you have ‘basic’ soldering skills, it’s best to have the work done (at least the component removal) at a service center. Shipping the kit to Australia will be approx $20 USD.

      • Thanks for the reply – I actually discovered the manual just after I sent the message (sorry, fingers working faster than brain!). It doesn’t seem to tricky a task, although my soldering iron is pretty basic and doesn’t like desoldering ICs! Fair enough, regarding not supporting user-installs… Do you happen to have contact info for any local (Melbourne, Australia) synth repairers?

  3. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the reply… Do you have any service-contact in Melbourne, Australia?



  4. Hi Tom,

    Will there be new documentation for installing the most recent DSS-1 upgrade kit?

    Thank you

    • At some point I’ll do a new guide with pictures, but for now, the original guide plus the addendum for the KLM780 (CPU) board is what I’m giving people. They can be found under the Downloads section. The KLM-782 modification is still the same.

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  6. Hi Tom,

    Getting my second DSS-1 soon – do you still have an upgrade kit available for me? I like the first so much… 🙂

  7. Hi I have a dss-1 that I would like to modify I also read that you don’t sell the kit anymore. I own a small electronics repair shop that we service older synths and sound reinforcement repairs from the 70’s and 80’s and also work on plasma TV ‘s I work with mainly smd and other technologies so I have the knowledge to install it. has anyone tried to set one of these up that would retain the patches in memory with the installation on a backup battery? I haven’t looked at the schematics on this yet to see if it even feasible
    Thanks for any help

    • Yes, it’s true, the DSS-1 kit is sold out. I will not be making any more for a while.
      Currently, it’s not possible to have the patches retained by a back-up battery since the software initializes all of the RAM upon boot-up. However if you have an upgrade it IS possible to have a bank load automatically by naming the system DEFAULT.DS1 and have it in the root directory of the default USB device (B:).

  8. Thanks Tom for the reply I have seen the USB upgrade in place of the floppy drive but I think the conversion software for converting floppy disc to usb is no longer available of difficult to find
    Again thanks for the reply I just put a new floppy drive in a friends DSS-1 and was just wondering if there was an easier way of booting these we had a long conversation on this subject

    • The DSS-1 doesn’t boot from a disk, the OS is in ROM. Using a floppy emulator (which is what you’re describing, I think) requires making an image of the floppy (probably using OmniFlop) to put on a USB stick. This will be faster than an acutal floppy drive but still slower than the upgrade. The floppy emulator still goes through the 765 floppy controller, where the upgrade talks directly to the USB microcontroller.

  9. Thanks Tom we were talking about the sound banks on the floppy’s I will check back from time to time to see if you have made more conversion kits
    again thanks for the replies

  10. Hello and happy new year, Tom.

    Are there any plans for new kits to be available this year?

    Am I right in thinking the USB connectivity means I could place my own WAV samples in a USB drive (FAT 16 or 32) from my computer and then connect to the DSS-1 and load the samples?

    I was planning on using a program called SampleVision to do this via MIDI dump, but it will only run on Win98.

  11. Hello Tom,

    I have an old non-upgraded DSS-1, and would love to get my hands on the upgrade kit. I read through the docs/tutorials, and I believe I can install this myself. Do you have any kits available? If not, any plans on making more in the near future?


  12. Hi~Mr. Tom
    I’m always beeng impressed with your great and respectable job.

    Last year, I’ve waited your reply for upgrade kit for my DSS-1 and DSM-1 for long time.
    Still do you have new or upgraded stock?

    I wanna purchase your tressures soon.
    Happily waiting for your reply.

    Have a nice day.
    (Now I have DSS-1 and DSM-1 together in my hand.)

      • Hi Tom,
        I’m interested in purchasing your upgrade kit for a dss-1.
        When would you recommend I check back with you regarding availability?
        Thank you in advance ..

          • Hi Tom, that’s bad news (and good news)! I just revived my DSS from a 20 year sleep and with a little stubborn persistence got it working 100% (in total factory trim)…then I stumbled across your site and upgrade. Just wanted to drop a note that I will be upgrading as well (Allen will do the install, great guy BTW)…I suppose in the meantime, I just need to deal with the slow, limited loading lol. Thanks for all you do in supporting the DSS user community!

  13. Hi!

    Please let me know when you have dss-kits ready.
    And also if you know of any techs in Sweden that can install it.
    All the best
    Tobias Leo

  14. Glad to hear there’s a version coming out for 2016.

    I own a DSS-1 and two DSM-1 samplers and would be VERY interested in upgrading …

    … especially if I can find a tech to install it here near Raleigh, NC.

    Tnx, & keep up the awesome work!

  15. I too am very interested in the 2016 DSS kit. Anyone know a good service center in the midwest?Chicago, Milwaukee, Mpls.

  16. Hi Tom

    Would you be so kind and send me the list of service guys in Germany. I am astudied electrical engineer but I assume to get it done by “profis” is much better for this maschine.
    Do you have an idea when the 2016 rev. will be released?

    Best regards

  17. Hi Tom
    I am very interested in getting a kit for the DSS1. And I own a DSM1 too, so when a kit will be finished, I would like to get one.
    I live in Germany and could do the installation by myself.
    Best Regards,

  18. Hello Tom,

    Please, if you got any idea of a date on your new upgrade, would you please be kind enough to share with us?
    I have a DSS-1 and I must say i am very keen.
    Thanks in advance!

  19. Tom, sorry, I forgot to ask, would you please recommend another floppy? I thinkKoutech IO-FPM220 is not available anymore.

    Thank you!


  20. I am also super interested in the new DSS-1 upgrade kit, it sounds like the solution to limited memory! Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into this!

    I will be checking in occasionally to see when it might be available, but as it’s 2016 now, do you have any estimate of when they new kits will be ready? (I’m in CT USA)


  21. I will order this soon. But I have many recommendations for modifying the FIRMWARE and I do not know how deep you can get into this to add functions.

    – PORTAMENTO is a big feature I want to use.
    – When blending OSC1 and OSC2, I’d like it to move as follows;
    0% to 100% from full OSC1 to OSC1+OSC2, then 100% to 0% from OSC1+OSC2 to full OSC2. This way we don’t have to bash out head on the useless way the blend works….. So in the center, both should be 100% instead of 50% / 50%…..

    I have other requests but I would need to explain them in depth. Basically to make this machine more pro. For example the pitch bend when putting it 12 semi is bad, some tones don’t pitch bend properly. There must be a way to have all the notes in tune then?!

    • The upgrade already implemented Portamento. The OSC1/OSC2 level balance was already requested. I’ll keep the other requests in mind when developing the software.

  22. Hey Tom, Nice to see that things are progressing. Do you think the upgrades will be ready this quarter? Or later in the year? Pretty stoked about getting my hands on one my DSS-1 needs this 😀

  23. Hello Tom –

    I have been following your progress for a few years now and I finally got my hands on a DSS-1 again. I too would be very interested in getting the latest version of the upgrade board when it is available again. Do you have any updates on availability?

    • No updates at the moment. I hope to get back to work on it soon, and will post updates when I’ve made some progress. I don’t expect to make any significant progress until 2017.

  24. hi tom i’ve got a dss1, that i’ve had you kit fitted with the jim babb usb installed and a usb stick with the sound library , but unfortunately i didn’t get any loading instructions and wondered if you email a simple set of command sequence to load
    many thanks

  25. Hello Tom. Please let me know when your kits are available again. I’d like one too.

  26. Long time owner of this wonderful beast (bought it while in college back in ’87) and it’s my baby.
    I would love to get the new kit when it’s available, so please add me to your list!

  27. Hello Tom; you upgraded my DSS1 a couple of years ago, what a dramatic improvement to this great Sampler. My Son was poking around in attempt to play it, and It appears he accidentally erased my sounds… can I purchase another USB stick with all needed info and sounds installed to get my synth playing again? You are a blessing, the Korg community appreciates you!!!

    • Hi Paul. You can download .zip files that are archives of all the libraries that I put on the flash drive. Download them, unzip them, and copy them to the USB drive (has to be in FAT16 or FAT32 format). The link is under ‘downloads’ on the site.

  28. Hello T; God Bless you for always supporting your customers and fellow musicians. Your upgrade took my DSS1 to the next level; I would be a buyer for any sound libraries or future update revisions you offer. You are the man; I’ve owned my DSS1 since 1986, I appreciate your dedication and smarts investment into this great instrument. Blessings to you my friend; PH

  29. Hi Tom,

    Please let me/us know when they will be available again.
    I just can’t wait to have this in my DSS1.
    This must be absolutely amazing.

  30. Thanks for this great work. If and when you have more DSS1 boards available I would be very keen to buy one. Please put me on your waiting list.

  31. Any news on the upgrade kit for the DSM-1? I have the ability to pick up one for dirt cheap and would love to have expanded memory in the sampling engine for recording waveforms and loops…plus the ability to save to USB storage??? Please tell me you’re still developing this…

  32. Hi Tom, following all this with great interest. Please add me to your next upgrade kit list. Thanks!

  33. Hello I’m interested in an upgrade kit for my Dss as well,please let me know when there will be more available,thanks. Best wishes from New Orleans.-Ras David.

  34. I also wanted to express interest in an upgrade kit.

    Thanks for all of your hard work on this!

  35. Hi. I fear I have waited too long to put in for a DSS-1 kit. Please add my name to the list if abd when you start production again..


    Bill Tomlinson

  36. Awww, I have been away from music for many years (family/work), but stumbled over this just now. I bought my DSS-1 brand new 1987 for $2900 in Sweden, it was such a big deal. Later it seems here, I was one of the few who actually upgraded to DSS-MSRK with SCSI (It was a must as I used i live) It came in a white cardboard with the extra components + photocopied papers instructing you how and what to do! 0.o It costed me back then $500 (~5000 SEK) for the kit + work to get it fitted. (Not sure I remember exactly but I think it was 88/89!?). It’s still operational and I love the keyboard and the sound library, but it’s too slow for use, even with SCSI. I can’t departure of it as it’s part of my story. the USB option seems cool and maybe a usability extender. (this is one heavy beast though…….)

    If there is a path for me with an existing DSS-MSRK pls. let me know.

    Cheers, this keyboard for sure deserve the attention.

    • The USB option does make it much quicker, however the new version currently in development will be much faster than even the current upgrade (now out of production). It will be possible to upgrade your unit, though it means un-doing the modification from 1987.

      • Man, why do I have the feeling I have to get a science degree!?!?! 🙂

        I have the channel open here now,, will monitor the progress..
        Thank you for responding AND for keeping this alive 🙂

  37. Hi Tom,

    I’m interested in your latest DSS-1 upgrade kit, I would like to purchase one when they become available again. Thanks!

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