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Complete Review Digital Piano Korg SV1 88. Is it Good Choice?

Korg is a Japanese company of electronic musical instruments and guitar tuners. And a few years ago (in 2009) it released a very interesting and vintage-style keyboard, we are talking about the Korg SV1 88 that had a price of about €1500, which in 2017 had a renewal and recently left the market, opening the way for the new Korg SV2 88 with a price of €1969/$1999/£1,799, which we will also analyze later. Let’s go through the features of the Korg SV1 88:

  • Vintage aesthetics
  • 88 weighted keys (Weight that the keys of an acoustic piano have and that digital pianos try to imitate to equal the touch of the piano. The keys in the high register are heavier and in the high register less. This is different from the sensitivity on the keyboard which serves to regulate the volume of the note. But a weighted keyboard always has sensitivity in the keys) RH3
  • 80 notes of polyphony (Number of notes that can be played at once. This includes accompaniments that also consume notes. So if you play over an accompaniment more notes will be accumulated)
  • 36 sounds (Different sounds of piano and other instruments)
  • 8 Sensitivity and Speed Curves
  • Tuning and Transposition function (Transposition allows you to move the note spectrum of a keyboard. This is to be able to play with transposing instruments. It is not an easy concept but it is made to facilitate the writing of an orchestration for instruments with very different bass and treble registers)
  • Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology
  • 8 memory spaces for saving favorites and settings
  • 1 x 12AX7 valve on the preamp
  • 36 demo songs
  • Sustain pedal (The sustain pedal of a piano or keyboard is used to keep the note playing even if you stop pressing the key) type Korg DS-2H
  • Hull exit
  • JACK and XLR line input and output
  • Midi input and output (MIDI allows you to do such wonderful things as connect your keyboard to your computer, record a sound track, and with certain programs click through what you’ve played to musical notes on a score. MIDI tracks store the information of the musical notes)
  • USB to connect pendrive
  • It has a lectern and a network cable
  • a weight of 20kg and a size of 1353 x 347 x 154mm

demo preview korg-sv1-88

Now that we have listed and described the features of this keyboard there is no better way than to take a look at the following videos where they tell us more about the Korg SV1 88 and you can hear how its different sounds sound.

We have a keyboard with a vintage look that has very good features, such as its weighted keys, its excellent sound quality is something very rare in keyboards, vacuum valve for the preamp part, this is only seen in electric guitar amplifiers, however the Korg company has bet on this kind of effects.

Related post you can be interested in

Now let’s compare the Korg SV1 88 with its more common alternatives. Also at the end of the post you will find a section with the best shopping possibilities for this digital piano. But you can go directly to that part of the post by pressing the following button.

Korg SV1 88 vs Korg SV2 88

As we mentioned before there is a new version of this same model that has a higher price with almost £500 more and now we will see face to face with the characteristics of each one:

  • Both keyboards have 88 speed-sensitive and weighted keys. Let’s remember that sensitivity refers to the fact that we can play our performances with dynamics, i.e. when a key is pressed with force it sounds higher while when a key is pressed with less force it sounds lower. And weighted keyboard refers to the weight that the keys of a real acoustic piano have, in the high range with lighter keys while in the low range, the heavier ones.
  • The SV1 has 36 sounds with 80 notes of polyphony, while the SV2 has 72 sounds and 128 notes of polyphony.
  • They have the same sound engine and the same sound functions so they also have the option of the valve circuit, with the 12AX7 in the preamp.
  • The SV2 has four concert grand pianos and two upright pianos, as well as input for three pedals, when the SV1 only had 1.
  • The SV2 offers 2 balanced XLR line outputs/unbalanced 6.3mm jack and 2 unbalanced 6.3mm jack line inputs when the SV1 offered one of each.
  • The Sv1 weighs 17.5kg and measures 1143 x 347 x 154mm, and the SV2 weighs 17.2kg and measures 1143 x 157 x 347mm (W x H x D), which is almost exactly the same in this respect.

There are many improvements in front of the new generation, and the value that increases is worth moving to the next level.

Korg SV1 88

Korg SV2 88

  • Vintage aesthetics
  • 88 weighted keys (Weight that the keys of an acoustic piano have and that digital pianos try to imitate to equal the touch of the piano. The keys in the high register are heavier and in the high register less. This is different from the sensitivity on the keyboard which serves to regulate the volume of the note. But a weighted keyboard always has sensitivity in the keys) RH3
  • 80 notes of polyphony (Number of notes that can be played at once. This includes accompaniments that also consume notes. So if you play over an accompaniment more notes will be accumulated)
  • 36 sounds (Different sounds of piano and other instruments)
  • 8 sensitivity and speed curves
  • Tuning and Transposition function.
  • Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology
  • 8 memory spaces for saving favorites and settings
  • 1 x 12AX7 valve on the preamp
  • 36 demo songs
  • Sustain pedal (The sustain pedal of a piano or keyboard is used to keep the note playing even if you stop pressing the key) type Korg DS-2H
  • Hull exit
  • JACK and XLR line input and output
  • Midi input and output
  • USB to connect pendrive
  • It has a lectern and a network cable
  • a weight of 20kg and a size of 1353 x 347 x 154mm
  • 88 speed-sensitive keys
  • RH3 keyboard with hammer action, in 4 graduated counterbalanced zones
  • Sound Engine: EDS-X (Enhanced Definition Synthesis – eXpanded)
  • Polyphony: 128 voices
  • Layer and partition sounds with up to 3 tones
  • Authentic electric piano, peg and organ sounds, including typical noises, vintage effects and amp simulations
  • String sounds, ensemble, woodwind and brass, choir and synthesizer
  • 4 concert grand pianos + 2 upright pianos
  • 64 storable favourite sounds
  • Effects section with real valve circuit
  • 2 balanced XLR line outputs / 6.3 mm unbalanced jack
  • 2 unbalanced 6.3 mm jack line inputs
  • Stereo headphone output
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB port
  • 3 6.3 mm pedal jack inputs
  • Includes Korg DS-2H pedal and free SV-2 editor for PC/MAC
  • Dimensions: 1356 x 157 x 347 mm (width x height x depth)
  • Weight: 20.4 kg
  • Color: Black

And now a video of the SV2:

Korg SV1 88 vs Clavia Nord Stage 3 88

We will now have the following comparison: The Korg SV1 88 keyboard with an approximate price of €1500 and the Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 with a value of €3.490/$4500/£3,185, almost doubling the value of each other. With such a big difference in price we will analyze their differences in functions and features in the following face-to-face:

  • Both keyboards have 88 speed-sensitive and weighted keys. Let’s remember that sensitivity refers to the fact that we can play our interpretations with dynamics, that is to say, when a key is pressed with force it sounds higher while when a key is pressed with less force it sounds lower. And weighted refers to the weight that the keys of a real acoustic piano have, in the high range with lighter keys while in the low range, the heavier ones.
  • The Korg SV1 has 36 sounds with 80 notes of polyphony, while on that Clavia Nord it has 2Gb of storage for sounds from its library, which is actually very extensive and 120 notes of polyphony.
  • The Korg SV1 features 8 sensitivity and speed curves, Tuning and Transposition function, Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology, 8 memory spaces for storing favourites and settings and a 1 x 12AX7 valve in the preamp.
  • The Clavia Nord Stage 3 features: String Resonance function (Gen 2), Noise Pedal and Long-Release option, powerful synthesizer capabilities with Subtractive Synthesis, FM, and Wavetable, Arpeggiator function, has Master Clock and Unison modes, includes modes for the famous B3, Vox/Farfisa and Main Pipe organs very similar to the original, also simulates the Leslie Vintage 122.
  • The Korg has: Korg DS-2H type sustain pedal, headphone output and JACK and XLR line input and output, while the Nord has: 4 assignable audio outputs Jack, Stereo Headphone Jack output, 1 mini-jack monitor input, input for sustain pedal that supports triple pedal, input for rotor jack pedal and also supports organ, switch and control pedal with stereo jack, plus a network cable. A great advantage over the Korg.
  • Both have MIDI in and out and USB MIDI that allows them to be connected to a computer for use in a music production program.
  • The Sv1 weighs 17.5kg and measures 1143 x 347 x 154mm and the Nord weighs 19kg and measures 1287 x 334 x 118mm (W x H x D), being almost exactly the same in this respect.

As we can see in many ways if not in all the Nord has an advantage over the Korg, not for nothing this is one of the most sold and purchased by professional musicians, it is very common to find these teams in a music video both for its sound capabilities and for its special design. Logically, it is worth what it costs and it is not cheap compared to other models. Even for a tighter budget the Korg is not a bad option.

We will put the characteristics of each of these pianos in 2 different columns to make it easier to see the differences:

Korg SV1 88

Clavia Nord Stage 3 88

  • Vintage aesthetics
  • 88 RH3 weighted keys
  • 80 notes of polyphony
  • 36 sounds
  • 8 sensitivity and speed curves
  • Tuning and transposition function
  • Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology
  • 8 memory spaces for saving favorites and settings
  • 1 x 12AX7 valve on the preamp
  • 36 demo songs
  • DS-2H Korg type sustain pedal
  • Hull exit
  • JACK and XLR line input and output
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to connect pendrive
  • It has a lectern and a network cable
  • a weight of 20kg and a size of 1353 x 347 x 154mm
  • Digital stage piano with synthesizer functions and 88 touch-sensitive weighted keys. We’re talking about the red keyboard you’ll see in any professional keyboardist’s music video. It’s very popular
  • 2 GB memory storage
  • 120 notes of polyphony
  • Creative Piano filters and effects
  • Transitions between very fluid sounds. No perceived pause
  • Large section with piano sounds, it’s really a freak
  • String Resonance function (Gen 2), Noise pedal and Long-Release option
  • Powerful capabilities as a synthesizer with Subtractive, FM, and Wavetable synthesis
  • Arpeggiator function
  • has Master Clock and Unison modes
  • includes modes for the famous B3, Vox/Farfisa and Principal Pipe organs very similar to the original
  • It also simulates the Leslie Vintage 122
  • OLED display for Program and Synth sections
  • 4 assignable audio outputs Jack (for whatever you want and they are asymmetrical)
  • Stereo Headset Jack Output
  • 1 mini-jack input for monitor
  • Input for sustain pedal that supports triple Nord Triple Pedal that is not included
  • Input for rotor jack pedal
  • Also supports organ, switch and control pedal with stereo jack
  • DIN MIDI input and output
  • Also USB MIDI
  • ICC c14 type network cable
  • a weight of 19 kg with dimensions 1287 x 334 x 118 mm
  • It includes a case and although it does not have a triple pedalboard, it comes with a very acceptable Sustain pedal. It also comes with Nord Samples and piano DVDs and USB cable

And now a video of the Clavia Nord Stage 3 88

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Clavia Nord Stage 3 88.

Korg SV1 88 vs Korg Grandstage 73

Again, we will analyze two Korg keyboards, having a fairer comparison: The Korg SV1 88 keyboard that we have already mentioned has a price of about €1500 and the Korg Grandstage 73 that has a price of €1666/£1,499, being about €166 cheaper the first one. We will analyze their differences and similarities in the next section:

  • Both keyboards have speed-sensitive and weighted keys. The SV1 with 88, while the Granstage with 73. Let’s remember that sensitivity refers to the fact that we can play our performances with dynamics, that is, when a key is pressed with force it sounds higher while when a key is pressed with less force it sounds lower. And weighted keyboard refers to the weight that the keys of a real acoustic piano have, in the high range with lighter keys while in the low range, the heavier ones.
  • The SV1 has 36 sounds with 80 notes of polyphony, while the Grandstage has 500 sounds, including 5 grand and several upright pianos and 128 notes of polyphony.
  • The SV1 has the Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology, while the Grandstage has 7 sound engines. Giving a great advantage to the second one.
  • The Grandstage has a modulation wheel, a pitch bend wheel and a sustain pedal and input for three pedals.
  • The Grandstage offers 2 balanced XLR line outputs / 6.3 mm jack balanced and 2 unbalanced 6.3 mm jack line inputs when the SV1 offered one of each.
  • The Sv1 weighs 17.5kg and measures 1143 x 347 x 154mm and the Grandstage weighs 17kg and measures 1099 x 359 x 140mm (W x H x D).

Again, we have two good keyboards, with some difference between them. The Grandstage has a greater amount of sounds and polyphony notes as well as having more sound motors. The SV1 has certain features such as Enhanced Definition Synthesis and Real eXperience technology that give it an advantage, apart from its tube circuit and a larger number of keys. It’s actually a bit of a complicated decision, but a lot depends on what you’re going to use the keyboard for.

We will put the characteristics of each of these pianos in 2 different columns to make it easier to see the differences:

Korg SV1 88

Korg Grandstage 73

  • Vintage aesthetics
  • 88 RH3 weighted keys
  • 80 notes of polyphony
  • 36 sounds
  • 8 sensitivity and speed curves
  • Tuning and transposition function
  • Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology
  • 8 memory spaces for saving favorites and settings
  • 1 x 12AX7 valve on the preamp
  • 36 demo songs
  • DS-2H Korg type sustain pedal
  • Hull exit
  • JACK and XLR line input and output
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to connect pendrive
  • It has a lectern and a network cable
  • a weight of 20kg and a size of 1353 x 347 x 154mm
  • 73 touch and speed-sensitive Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 keys
  • Bring five concert grand pianos and several upright pianos
  • 128 notes of maximum polyphony with 7 sound engines
  • 500 sounds
  • 2 screens with OLED technology
  • 3-band equalizer and 4 insertion effects
  • Reverb Effects
  • Delay effects
  • Split and dual function
  • Modulation wheel
  • Pitch bend wheel
  • Includes power cable and music stand (Standard-M-SV)
  • Includes ‘Damper’ pedal (DS-1H) which is a sustain pedal
  • 2 balanced Canon XLR stereo line outputs
  • 2 line jack outputs
  • Stereo headset jack output
  • It has tickets for Damper, Switch and Pedal
  • USB-A input for pendrives
  • USB MIDI
  • A weight of 17 kg and dimensions of 1099 x 359 x 140mm

And now a video of the Korg Grandstage 73

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Korg Grandstage 73.

Korg SV1 88 vs Clavia Nord Electro 6

As a last comparison we will have the Korg SV1 73 keyboard that we have mentioned has a price of about €1500 and the Clavia Nord Electro 6 that has a price of €1769/£1,599 with a difference of about €230:

  • Both keyboards have 88 speed-sensitive and weighted keys.
  • The Korg SV1 has 36 sounds with 80 notes of polyphony, while the SV2 has 1Gb of storage for piano sounds with 120 notes of polyphony, and 512Mb for storage of sounds from other instruments with 46 notes of polyphony.
  • The functions that characterize the Korg SV1 are: 8 sensitivity and speed curves, Tuning and transposition function, Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology, 8 memory spaces to store favorites and settings and a 1 x 12AX7 valve in the preamp.
  • The functions that characterize the Clavia Nord Electro 6 are Nord C2D B3 Tone Wheel Simulation, Pipe Organ Model main functionality, Leslie 122 Nord C2D simulation, Seamless Transitions system, Dual-Organ mode, 9 physical handles, Nord Half-Moon-Switch support
  • The Korg has: Korg DS-2H type sustain pedal, headphone output and JACK and XLR line input and output, while the Nord has: 4 assignable audio outputs Jack, stereo headphone jack output, 1 mini-jack monitor input, input for sustain pedal that supports triple pedal, input for rotor jack pedal and also supports organ, switch and control pedal with stereo jack, plus a network cable. A great advantage over the Korg.
  • Both have MIDI in and out and USB MIDI that allows them to be connected to a computer for use in a music production program.
  • The Sv1 weighs 17.5kg and measures 1143 x 347 x 154mm and the Nord weighs 11.4kg.

In our last comparison we have to recognize that the Nord digital pianos offer many more functions than the Korg SV1, although it has more keys, but in the amount of sounds, effects and other features the Korg lags behind. Even for the price the Korg is still a good choice.

We will put the features of each of these pianos in 2 different columns to make it easier to see the differences:

Korg SV1 88

Clavia Nord Electro 6

  • Vintage aesthetics
  • 88 RH3 weighted keys
  • 80 notes of polyphony
  • 36 sounds
  • 8 sensitivity and speed curves
  • Tuning and transposition function
  • Enhanced Definition Synthesis sound engine and Real eXperience technology
  • 8 memory spaces for saving favorites and settings
  • 1 x 12AX7 valve on the preamp
  • 36 demo songs
  • DS-2H Korg type sustain pedal
  • Hull exit
  • JACK and XLR line input and output
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to connect pendrive
  • It has a lectern and a network cable
  • a weight of 20kg and a size of 1353 x 347 x 154mm
  • 73-key weighted, sensitive keyboard with Nord Hammer Action Portable technology
  • It is a synthesizer keyboard with very powerful functions for live
  • Split and dual functions in all sections of the keyboard
  • 6 points for splitting with LEDs as indicators
  • 1GB of memory storage for the Nord Piano sound library
  • 512MB of memory storage for the Nord Sample sound library
  • Nord C2D B3 Tone Wheel Simulation
  • Main functionality Pipe Organ Model
  • The Leslie 122 simulation of the Nord C2D
  • Enough polyphony to play anything you want
  • Setlist function for program selection
  • Sound changes without any interruption in the sound. This is the Seamless Transitions system
  • New Dual-Organ mode allows quick access to two manual settings
  • 9 physical shooters
  • Support for the Nord Half-Moon-Switch not included with three speed settings: slow, high and fast
  • The effects all come in stereo
  • Tube Overdrive and Vibe organ effect, both in stereo
  • Reverb Effects
  • Separate reverb delay effects
  • Double line output Jack for live playing without injection box
  • Minijack with monitor input, great also for live
  • Hull exit
  • Input for foot control
  • Sustain pedal input
  • Input for Rotary Speaker pedal, which is an effect pedal with rotary speakers, loop recording, …
  • MIDI input and output
  • Also comes with USB (MIDI)
  • A weight of 11.4kg makes it a great stage piano-synthesizer

And now a video of the Clavia Nord Electro 6

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Clavia Nord Electro 6

Where to buy Korg SV1 88

Thomann

  • Free Shipping.
  • Full warranty. If you have any problems, they take care of everything.
  • 100% reliable payment.
  • Leader in trouble-free shipping.
  • Usually Best price.
  • Best Reputation: They are the leading online store in Europe and have the best catalogue and information.

Amazon

  • Free Shipping and possibility of shipping in one day with Amazon Premium.
  • Full Guarantee but they are no experts in music equipment.
  • Sometimes better price.
  • He’s got worse stock than Thomann.

Check below related models with similar price and features:

Jaime Echagüe

Hi! I'm Jaime Echagüe, a musician and an authentic fan of musical instruments. With this blog I want to give general information about musical instruments in an easy, direct and honest way. I hope you enjoy my website and that you find it very useful.

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