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Digital Piano Kurzweil Forte SE Full Review. Is it a good one?

Complete Review Kurzweil Forte SE Digital Piano – Is it a good choice?

Kurzweil Music Systems is an American company that produces electronic musical instruments. It was founded in 1982 by instrumentalist musician Stevie Wonder, multi-faceted (inventor, musician, entrepreneur, writer and scientist) Raymond Kurzweil and software developer Bruce Cichowlas.

Among its stage piano models, the Kurzweil Forte SE with a price of €1700, we have a great musical instrument with many functions and features that make it a very interesting digital piano, which has the following characteristics:

  • 88 weighted keyboard (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) type Fatar Tp100LR
  • 128 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)
  • 512 sounds (Different sounds of piano and other instruments)
  • 182 multi to create different layering
  • 2 GB Flash Play including the German Grand D-piano and the Japanese Grand Piano
  • 188 MB of memory for samples configured and recorded by you. For loops, etc
  • 1024 user-configurable sound programs
  • Split function (divide the keyboard into two different instruments) with 8 zones and Quick Split
  • Dual mode (Dual mode allows you to combine two sounds to create a more complete one. Typical is the combination of piano + string sound) and layering
  • It has up to 32 effects including the typical reverb, chorus, and
  • V.A.S.T. Edition
  • 8 arpeggiators
  • 9 buttons and 9 sliders on the front Modulation wheel and pitch bend (Functionality that changes the sound wave of what you play and then returns to its original state)
  • Master EQ (refers to the master equalizer that allows you to adjust the parameters of the sound mix coming out of your speakers) with adjustable mid registers
  • High quality LC display
  • Line output
  • Stereo headset output
  • 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo input
  • 2 inputs for switch pedals that can be used as a sustain pedal (The sustain pedal of a piano or keyboard is used to keep the note playing even if you stop pressing the key)
  • Expression Pedal Input
  • 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 device for for example a pendrive
  • weight 18.5 kg and dimensions (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm
  • Includes a foot switch

demo review kurzweil-forte

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 Kurzweil Forte and you can hear how its different sounds sound.

Related post you can be interested in

Now let’s compare the Kurzweil Forte SE 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.

Kurzweil Forte SE vs Kurzweil SP6

The first comparison we will have with two digital pianos of the same brand: Kurzweil. The Kurzweil Forte SE which, as we have already mentioned, has a price of approximately €1700 and the Kurzweil SP6 which has a price of €999/$1299/£938. We will analyze their differences and similarities in the next section:

  • Both keyboards have 88 touch-sensitive and weighted keys. When we say sensitive we mean the option of making dynamics in our musical performances, that is to say, at the moment of pressing a key with force it will sound higher and at the moment of touching a key or less force it will sound lower. Weighted keyboard refers to the weight that the keys of a real acoustic piano have, in the low range it has heavier keys and in the high range lighter keys.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE has 512 sounds, with 128 notes of polyphony and 2Gb of storage including, among others, the German and Japanese Grand Piano. In terms of sounds the SP6 has 256 factory sounds, 1024 user sounds, 130 multis factory sounds and 1024 multis factory sounds, in total 2Gb storage. Polyphony refers to the number of notes that can be played simultaneously in a piece of equipment.
  • Both have the function of KB3 ToneReal Organs, K.S.R. (Kurzweil String Resonance), and a software editor. They offer very real organ tones and string resonances that give a great simulation of the instruments. In addition to its VAST sound engine.
  • In physical controllers, the Kurzweil Forte SE has 22 controllers (9 knobs, 9 Switches, 2 Wheels (Pitch and Modulation) and 2 Dual-Switch Pedal Inputs. The Kurzweil SP6 has 20 controllers (4 knobs, 1 Switch, 2 Wheels (Pitch and Modulation), 2 Dual-Switch Pedal Inputs, and 1 Continuous Control Pedal Input.
  • Both digital pianos have many effects in general.
  • Both have USB inputs, the SP6 has 2, while the Forte SE has 1, they are for extra storage.
  • Both pianos have auxiliary audio input and audio outputs, plus they have the option of USB MIDI for connection to a computer to serve as a MIDI controller in a music composition/production program.
  • In weight and measurements, the Forte SE weighs 18.5 kg and measures (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm and the SP6 is 12.36 kg and measures 1333 x 381 x 146mm (W x D x H)

Being of the brand Kurzweil, both have many similarities, however the Kurzweil forte is unfortunately no longer on the market while the SP6 is still on the market today. So it gives you a really big advantage, besides having a much lower price.

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

Kurzweil Forte SE

Kurzweil SP6

  • 88 Fatar type weighted keyboard Tp100LR
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • 512 sounds
  • 182 multi to create different layering
  • 2 GB Flash Play including the German Grand D-piano and the Japanese Grand Piano
  • 188 MB of memory for samples configured and recorded by you. For loops, etc
  • 1024 sound programs that can be configured by the user
  • Split function with 8 zones and Quick Split
  • dual mode and layering
  • It has up to 32 effects including the typical reverb, chorus
  • V.A.S.T. Edition
  • 8 arpeggiators
  • 9 buttons and 9 sliders on the front Modulation and Pitch Bend wheel
  • Master EQ with adjustable middle registers
  • High quality LC display
  • Line output
  • Stereo headset output
  • 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo input
  • 2 inputs for foot switches that can be used as a sustain pedal
  • Expression Pedal Input
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to device for example a pendrive
  • weight 18.5 kg and dimensions (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm
  • Includes a foot switch
  • With weighted hammer action
  • With 88 speed-sensitive keys (Medeli K6)
  • Monochrome LCD with 128 x 64 pixels
  • 128 dynamically assigned polyphony voices
  • Sound generation: VAST – Variable Architecture Synthesis technology
  • KB3 Real Tone Emulation
  • VA1 – Oscillators with Anti-Aliasing and Power-Shaping as well as DSP-processing of the Kurzweil VA1 concept synthesizer
  • Quick Partitioning/Layering up to 4 zones
  • Memory locations for factory programs: 256 factory programs, 130 multis factory programs, 1024 user programs, 1024 multiple users, 5 favorites
  • 100% compatible with Forte SE programs
  • Compatible with Forte family and PC3 programs (with minor limitations)
  • Extensive effects section
  • Pitch wheel and modulation wheel
  • Tap Tempo button
  • 2 inputs for double shift pedals (support for two switching functions and half-damper operation)
  • 1 connection for the threshold of the foot
  • Analog outputs: 2 balanced 6.35mm jacks (32-bit D/A converter)
  • 1 6.35mm headphone output with 130mW at 32 Ohms
  • MIDI and MIDI input/output via USB
  • 2 USB ports (one USB-A / one USB-B)
  • Editing applications: External editors for Mac OS X, Windows PC and iOS devices
  • Free operating system updates: Operating system update via USB or USB key
  • Included accessories: External 15V DC 2.5A power supply, foot switch, USB cable, self-adhesive feet
  • Dimensions: 133.3 x 38.1 x 14.6cm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 12,36kg

And now a video of the Kurzweil SP6:

Don’t miss our review of the Kurzweil Forte SP6.

Kurzweil Forte SE vs Clavia Nord Stage 3 88

We will buy the following digital keyboards: The Kurzweil Forte SE keyboard And as we have already mentioned it has a price of about €1700 and the Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 which is currently priced at €3490/$4499/£3,185, with a difference of almost twice the price, we will see their differences and similarities according to functions:

  • Both keyboards have 88 touch-sensitive, weighted keys. When we say sensitive, we mean the option to make dynamics in our musical performances, that is, when pressing a key with force it will sound louder and when touching a key or less force it will sound lower. Weighted keyboard refers to the weight that the keys of a real acoustic piano have, in the low range it has heavier keys and in the high range lighter keys.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE has 512 sounds, with 128 notes of polyphony and 2Gb of storage including, among others, the German and Japanese Grand Piano. And the Nord Stage 3 also has 2Gb of storage that can be filled with samples from the Nord Piano Library or Nord Samples Library, with a polyphony of 120 notes. Polyphony refers to the number of notes that can be simultaneously in a piece of equipment.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE features: KB3 ToneReal, K.S.R. (Kurzweil String Resonance) organs, and a software editor. These provide very real organ tones and string resonances that give a great simulation of the instruments. In addition to its VAST sound engine.
  • The Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 features the following functions: Very smooth sound transitions, String Resonance function (Gen 2), Noise Pedal and Long-Release option, Arpeggiator function, has Master Clock and Unison modes and includes modes for the famous B3, Vox/Farfisa and Main Pipe organs very similar to the original. It also simulates the Vintage 122 Leslie
  • In physical controllers, the Kurzweil Forte SE has 22 controllers (9 knobs, 9 Switches, 2 Wheels (Pitch and Modulation) and 2 Dual-Switch Pedal Inputs. The Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 has a large number of knobs and buttons to move around in its different functions, and input for four pedals: sustain, rotor, organ, and control. It also supports a triple pedal input.
  • Both digital pianos have many effects in general.
  • Both have USB inputs, the SP6 has 2, while the Nord has 1, they are for extra storage. The Nord also has an ICC c14 type network cable.
  • Both pianos have auxiliary audio input and audio outputs, and have the option of USB MIDI for connection to a computer to serve as a MIDI controller in a music composition/production program.
  • In weight and measurements, the Forte SE weighs 18.5 kg and measures (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm and the Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 weighs 19 kg and measures 1287 x 334 x 118 mm. Very similar.

Both are excellent digital pianos, with the Clavia Nord Stage 3 winning in many comparisons, and it is not for nothing that this digital piano is so famous among professional musicians. It has a large number of effects and features that allow a high quality performance on stage. Although for the price, the Kurzweil’s features are not bad.

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

Kurzweil Forte SE

Clavia Nord Stage 3 88

  • 88 Fatar type weighted keyboard Tp100LR
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • 512 sounds
  • 182 multi to create different layering
  • 2 GB Flash Play including the German Grand D-piano and the Japanese Grand Piano
  • 188 MB of memory for samples configured and recorded by you. For loops, etc
  • 1024 user-configurable sound programs
  • Split function with 8 zones and Quick Split
  • dual mode and layering
  • It has up to 32 effects including the typical reverb, chorus
  • V.A.S.T. Edition
  • 8 arpeggiators
  • 9 buttons and 9 sliders on the front Modulation and Pitch Bend wheel
  • Master EQ with adjustable middle registers
  • High quality LC display
  • Line output
  • Stereo headset output
  • 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo input
  • 2 inputs for foot switches that can be used as a sustain pedal
  • Expression Pedal Input
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to device for example a pendrive
  • weight 18.5 kg and dimensions (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm
  • Includes a foot switch
  • 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 synthesizer capabilities 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 pedal, 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.

Kurzweil Forte SE vs Roland RD-2000

Now we will move on to the next comparison: the Kurzweil Forte SE keyboard which as we have already said has a price of approximately €1700 the Roland RD-2000 which currently has a price of €2290/$2599/£2,090. So let’s move on to the face-to-face of these two devices:

  • Both keyboards have 88 touch-sensitive and weighted keys. The keys of the Roland are a hybrid of wood and plastic giving a greater simulation of a real acoustic piano.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE has 512 sounds, with 128 polyphonic notes and 2Gb of storage including among others, the German and Japanese Grand Piano The Roland offers 1113 sounds, with 128 polyphonic notes.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE features: KB3 ToneReal Organs, K.S.R. (Kurzweil String Resonance), and a software editor. These offer very real organ tones and string resonances that give a great simulation of the instruments. In addition to its VAST sound engine.
  • The functions that characterize the Roland RD-2000 are: Eight knob wheel controls and nine slide controls, you can also split into eight different zones, layer function.
  • In physical controllers, the Kurzweil Forte SE has 22 controllers (9 knobs, 9 Switches, 2 Wheels (Pitch and Modulation) and 2 Dual-Switch Pedal Inputs. The Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 has
  • The RD-2000’s are: Eight wheel knobs and nine slide controls.
  • Both pianos have auxiliary audio input and audio outputs, plus they have the option of USB MIDI for connection to a computer to serve as a MIDI controller in a music composition/production program.
  • In weight and measurements, the Forte SE weighs 18.5 kg and measures (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm and the Roland RD-2000 weighs 21.7 kg and measures 1412 x 367 x 140mm (W x D x H)

Interesting proposals for digital stage pianos, on this occasion the Roland wins in many of the points, starting with the quality of its keyboard that being a hybrid technology between wood and plastic has a better quality. Also the quantity of sounds is much higher than the Roland, than the Kurzweil. The Kurzweil has many functions and physical controllers, but in the rest the Roland surpasses it, of course also in price, getting to cost almost twice as much.

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

Kurzweil Forte SE

Roland RD-2000

  • 88 Fatar type weighted keyboard Tp100LR
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • 512 sounds
  • 182 multi to create different layering
  • 2 GB Flash Play including the German Grand D-piano and the Japanese Grand Piano
  • 188 MB of memory for samples configured and recorded by you. For loops, etc
  • 1024 user-configurable sound programs
  • Split function with 8 zones and Quick Split
  • dual mode and layering
  • It has up to 32 effects including the typical reverb, chorus
  • V.A.S.T. Edition
  • 8 arpeggiators
  • 9 buttons and 9 sliders on the front Modulation and Pitch Bend wheel
  • Master EQ with adjustable middle registers
  • High quality LC display
  • Line output
  • Stereo headset output
  • 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo input
  • 2 inputs for foot switches that can be used as a sustain pedal
  • Expression Pedal Input
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to device for example a pendrive
  • weight 18.5 kg and dimensions (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm
  • Includes a foot switch
  • Molded hybrid construction counterbalanced keyboard with part of the actual mechanism of a piano This synthesizer piano is very popular, although not as popular as the Nord Stage or the Yamaha Genos
  • 2 sound engines and advanced real-time control possibilities
  • The acoustic sound engine is very very real and total polyphony
  • Second supernatural engine with 128 notes of polyphony
  • Eight knobbed wheel controls and nine slider controls for sound parameter control
  • You can split into 8 different zones and configure each one with the instruments and programs you want
  • Of course layer function
  • 1113 sounds including mythical acoustic pianos
  • Many vintage tones sampled in near-analog quality
  • Over 1100 sounds from other wind instruments and everything you need
  • Two holes to expand the amount of sounds you can download from Roland’s website
  • 100 settings you can program to retrieve in one click
  • Lever for traditional Roland pitch and modulation and two assignable wheel controllers
  • 2 assignable drivers like Picth Bend or whatever you want
  • USB MIDI output
  • Stereo Jack and XLR line output
  • a brutal amount of effects with the typical reverb, chorus, etc
  • Stereo mini-jack input
  • Several stereo ‘damper’ or sustain inputs, fc1, fc2
  • MIDI connectors (in, out1, thru/out2)
  • USB port for external storage
  • Stereo headset jack output
  • AC power input jack
  • A weight of 21.7 kg and dimensions of 1412 x 367 x 140mm (width x depth x height)
  • Powered by Jack and does not include a sustain pedal or built-in speakers

And now a video of the Roland RD-2000

 

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Roland RD-2000

Kurzweil Forte SE vs Yamaha CP4 Stage

We will buy the following digital keyboards: The Kurzweil Forte SE keyboard which as we mentioned before is priced at approximately €1700 and the Yamaha CP4 Stage which is priced at approximately €1500 with a difference of approximately €200 between the two. We will therefore analyze their differences and similarities on the next side:

  • Both keyboards have 88 touch-sensitive and weighted keys. The keys of the Yamaha are made of wood giving a greater simulation to a real acoustic piano.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE has 512 sounds, with 128 notes of polyphony and 2Gb of storage including among others, the German and Japanese Grand Piano. The Yamaha CP4 Stage offers 433 sounds and 128 notes of polyphony generated by its two sound engines: the SCM and AWM2.
  • The Kurzweil Forte SE features: KB3 ToneReal Organs, K.S.R. (Kurzweil String Resonance), and a software editor. These offer very real organ tones and string resonances that give a great simulation of the instruments. In addition to its VAST sound engine.
  • The Yamaha CP4 Stage features: Pitch Bend and modulation wheels, 4 zone split function, and dual or layer function.
  • In physical controllers, the Kurzweil Forte SE has 22 controllers (9 knobs, 9 switches, 2 wheels (Pitch and Modulation) and 2 Dual-Switch Pedal Inputs. The Clavia Nord Stage 3 88 has The Yamaha CP4 Stage has 2 sustain pedal inputs that are included and 2 inputs for controller pedals.
  • The Kurzweil has 32 effects, while the Yamaha has 11.
  • Both have USB inputs, the SP6 has 2, while the Yamaha has 1.
  • Both pianos have auxiliary audio inputs and audio outputs, and also have the option of USB MIDI for connection to a computer to serve as a MIDI controller in a music composition/production program.
  • In terms of weight and dimensions, the Forte SE weighs 18.5 kg and measures (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm and the Yamaha CP4 Stage weighs 17.5 kg and measures 1332 x 161 x 352 mm.

These are excellent stage pianos, with their respective advantages and disadvantages. The Kurzweil offers a greater amount of sounds and effects on the keyboard, apart from certain functions that are not available from Yamaha. However, the Yamaha has a keyboard with 88 real wooden keys, not plastic ones, and this surely also gives a better feeling of experience when simulating a real acoustic piano keyboard. So it will be a difficult decision, however depending on which one best meets your employer’s needs will be the best.

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

Kurzweil Forte SE

Yamaha CP4 Stage

  • 88 Fatar type weighted keyboard Tp100LR
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • 512 sounds
  • 182 multi to create different layering
  • 2 GB Flash Play including the German Grand D-piano and the Japanese Grand Piano
  • 188 MB of memory for samples configured and recorded by you. For loops, etc
  • 1024 user-configurable sound programs
  • Split function with 8 zones and Quick Split
  • dual mode and layering
  • It has up to 32 effects including the typical reverb, chorus
  • V.A.S.T. Edition
  • 8 arpeggiators
  • 9 buttons and 9 sliders on the front Modulation and Pitch Bend wheel
  • Master EQ with adjustable middle registers
  • High quality LC display
  • Line output
  • Stereo headset output
  • 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo input
  • 2 inputs for foot switches that can be used as a sustain pedal
  • Expression Pedal Input
  • MIDI input and output
  • USB to device for example a pendrive
  • weight 18.5 kg and dimensions (W x H x D): 124.2 x 38.6 x 13.2 cm
  • Includes a foot switch
  • Weighted keyboard with high-quality touch-sensitive keys with Wood Graded Hammer standard. Very good indeed with the white wooden keys
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • 433 sounds
  • Sound generation engine SCM and AWM2
  • 11 effects including reverb, chorus, etc
  • 128 Performances
  • Pitch Bend Wheels
  • Modulation wheel
  • 4 Zone Split function
  • Dual function or layer
  • LCD screen
  • Stereo jack line outputs
  • Hull exit
  • USB MIDI
  • Conventional MIDI
  • 2 sustain pedal inputs included
  • 2 inputs for controller pedals
  • a weight of 17.5 kg and dimensions of 1332 x 161 x 352 mm

And now a video of the Yamaha CP4 Stage

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Yamaha CP4 Stage

Where to buy Kurzweil Forte SE

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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