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Digital Piano Kurzweil SP6 Full Review. Is it a good choice?

Digital Piano Kurzweil SP6 Review Complete 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 models of stage pianos, here’s the Kurzweil SP6 with a price of €999/$1300/£938. This is a great musical instrument with many functions and features that make it a very interesting digital piano, which has the following characteristics:

  • 88-key weighted keyboard (Weight of the keys on an acoustic piano, which digital pianos try to imitate to match 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 to the keys) and sensitivity to touch and velocity
  • 128 notes of polyphony (Number of notes that can sound at once. This includes accompaniments that also consume notes. So if you play over an accompaniment more notes will be accumulated)
  • Very innovative VAST sound engine
  • DSP (Digital Signal Processing) effects. These are digital effects that modify the sound of the keyboard) signal and anti-aliasing
  • Split function (divide the keyboard into two different instruments) up to 4 Split parts
  • Dual function (Dual mode allows you to combine two sounds to create a more complete one. Typical is the combination of piano + stringed instrument sound) or quick layer up to 4 parts
  • 256 sounds (Various piano and other instrument sounds) from the factory, 130 multis from the factory, 1024 user-created programs or sounds (Various piano and other instrument sounds), 1024 multi-user, and 5 favorites
  • Forte SE and PC3 program compatible
  • A host of effects including reverb and chorus
  • Pitch bend wheel (Functionality that changes the sound wave of what you play and then returns to its original state)
  • Modulation wheel
  • Tap Tempo Control
  • 2 inputs for foot switches. Here is the sustain pedal (The sustain pedal of a piano or keyboard is used to keep the note playing even if you stop pressing the key)
  • Line output
  • Single color LCD display
  • Hull exit Jack
  • USB 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)
  • 2 extra USB storage places
  • Music editing software
  • Operating system update. Charged by USB
  • It includes a foot switch that is used as a sustain and a USB cable
  • Weight 12.36 kg and dimensions 133.3 x 38.1 x 14.6 cm (width x depth x height)

 

review kurzweil-sp6

Two very interesting videos for you to see and hear all the power of this keyboard:

 

Posts you can be interested in

Now let’s compare the Kurzweil SP6 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 SP6 vs Kurzweil PC4

In our first comparison, we will have two digital pianos of the same brand Kurzweil, the keyboard Kurzweil SP6 which as we saw is priced at €999/$1300/£938 and the big Kurzweil PC4 which is priced at €1.799/$2000/£1,655 a big difference of 800 euros, we will see their similarities and differences:

  • Both digital pianos offer a keyboard with 88 weighted keys, which those of the Kurzweil PC4 have RPHA (Real Piano Hammer Action) technology and adjustable aftertouch sensitivity achieved to have a more realistic simulation of an acoustic piano. Weighted Keyboard, means the weight that the keys have to resemble more to those of an acoustic piano, in the low notes more weight that decreases as it reaches the high notes. All keyboards with weighted keys have sensitivity, which is the option to make dynamics, that when we press a key strongly, it sounds higher, than another we press less strongly.
  • Both have the VAST (Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology) sound engine, the SP6 with 128 notes of polyphony and the PC4 with 256 notes of polyphony, which is the most notes that can be played at the same time.
  • 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. And the PC4 offers more than 1000 factory sounds, 4096 user sounds, more than 50 multis factory sounds, which speaking in storage are 2Gb of factory sounds and 2Gb of user sample memory sounds.
  • Both have the KB3 ToneReal Organ function, 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 physical controllers, 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. The PC 4 has 35 (9 Faders) Sliders, 9 Knobs, 10 Switches, 2 Wheels (Pitch and Modulation), 2 Pedal Switch Inputs (with support for half a pedal), and 2 Continuous Control Pedal Inputs, Aftertouch and Ribbon controllers.) which allows greater control of the functions and performance of the digital stage piano. Both are good, however on the PC4 we have more control.
  • Both have USB inputs, the SP6 has 2, while the PC4 has 4, 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, both keyboards are very similar, the SP6 has 12.36 Kg and measures 1333 x 381 x 146mm (width x depth x height), and the PC4 has a weight of 13Kg and measures 1270 x 374.6 x 165.1 cm (width x depth x height)

Both digital pianos are very similar, taking into account that one is a stage piano and the other is an arrangement piano. The PC4 has better and more features, having a greater amount of sounds and more physical controllers, which allow a greater control towards its different functions. It can also be noted that the PC4 has four extra storage inputs and has a lot of space for compositions, demos and arrangements. Both are excellent in their different purposes, and the SP6 is still an excellent choice for stage piano.

We invite you to listen to the sounds of each piano and make an auditory comparison for yourself.

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

Kurzweil SP6

Kurzweil PC4

  • Weighted, touch-sensitive and speed-sensitive keyboard
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • Very innovative VAST sound engine
  • DSP signal processing and anti-aliasing
  • quick split function up to 4 parts
  • dual function or fast layer up to 4 parts
  • 256 factory sounds, 130 factory multis, 1024 user-created programs or sounds, 1024 multi-user, and 5 favorites
  • Forte SE and PC3 program compatible
  • A mockery of effects including reverb and chorus
  • Pitch bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • Tap Tempo Control
  • 2 inputs for foot switches. Here’s the one for sustain
  • Line output
  • Single color LCD display
  • Hull exit Jack
  • USB MIDI input and output
  • 2 extra USB storage places
  • Music editing software
  • Operating system update. Charged by USB
  • Includes foot switch used as a sustain and USB cable
  • Weight 12.36 kg and dimensions 133.3 x 38.1 x 14.6 cm (width x depth x height)
  • 88 fully weighted hammer action notes
  • With speed-sensitive keys and aftertouch
  • V.A.S.T. engine with 256 polyphony voices
  • FM engine with 6 operators
  • 2 GB of factory sounds
  • 2 GB of user sample memory
  • More than 1000 sound presets
  • KB3 ToneReal Organs
  • Effects Engine
  • Importing WAV and AIF files (16 Bit / 96 kHz maximum)
  • Import of files in Kurzweil format (.P3K, .KRZ, .K25, .K26)
  • 16-track MIDI sequencer
  • Arpeggiator and Riff generator for each MIDI track
  • Tone modulation wheel and modulation wheel
  • 9 knobs, 9 sliders and 9 buttons for real-time control
  • 4.3″ colour widescreen
  • 4 audio outputs (6.3 mm TRS)
  • Stereo headphone output (6.3 mm TRS)
  • 2 audio inputs (6.3 mm TS)
  • 1 audio input (3.5 mm TRS)
  • MIDI input / output
  • Input for tape controller
  • 4 inputs for pedals and foot switches (6.3 mm jack)
  • 2 USB ports
  • Dimensions: 127 x 37.46 x 16.51 cm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 13 kg
  • Includes sustain pedal, USB cable, external power supply (15 V DC) and power cable

And now a video of the Kurzweil PC4

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Kurzweil PC4.

Kurzweil SP6 vs Yamaha MX 88

Now we will compare two digital pianos the Kurzweil SP6 keyboard which as we know is priced at €999/$1300/£938 and the Yamaha MX 88 digital piano which is priced at €888/$1099/£818, with a difference of about 100 Euro, we will see their differences and similarities in the face to face:

  • Both pianos have 88-key weighted keyboards (each keyboard with its own technology) and sensitivity.
  • The Kurzweil SP6 has its VAST sound engine, with a large number of sounds, about 2500, with 128 polyphonic notes. The Yamaha MX88 has its AWM2 sound engine with 1000 tones/speakers, and 128 notes of polyphony, which is the highest number of notes that can be played at the same time. Where the Kurzweil has a great advantage by almost doubling the sounds or voices of the Yamaha.
  • In terms of effects, the Kurzweil SP6 has a powerful effects engine with 32 units. The Yamaha MX88 has its VCM (Virtual Circuitry Modeling) effect engine. As always we invite you to watch the Videos so you can compare the sounds of each piano.
  • In physical controllers 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. The Yamaha MX88 Pitch has only 8 (2 Wheels (Pitch and Modulation), 4 Knobs, 2 Pedal Inputs). Where the Kurzweil stands out due to its greater control, which if you are playing live is more than good for you.
  • Both keyboards have: line out and line in, USB MIDI to serve as a MIDI controller in a computer for use in a music composition and production program.
  • Both are compatible with music editing software.
  • The Kurzweil SP6 weighs 12.36 kg and measures 1333 x 381 x 146 mm (W x D x H), and the Yamaha MX88 weighs 13 kg and measures 1320 x 405 x 168 mm (W x D x H). Both weighing about the same size and weight.

Here is a video of the Yamaha’s engine:

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

Kurzweil SP6

Yamaha MX88

  • Weighted, touch-sensitive and speed-sensitive keyboard
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • Very innovative VAST sound engine
  • DSP signal processing and anti-aliasing
  • quick split function up to 4 parts
  • dual function or fast layer up to 4 parts
  • 256 factory sounds, 130 factory multis, 1024 user-created programs or sounds, 1024 multi-user, and 5 favorites
  • Forte SE and PC3 program compatible
  • A mockery of effects including reverb and chorus
  • Pitch bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • Tap Tempo Control
  • 2 inputs for foot switches. Here’s the one for sustain
  • Line output
  • Single color LCD display
  • Hull exit Jack
  • USB MIDI input and output
  • 2 extra USB storage places
  • Music editing software
  • Operating system update. Charged by USB
  • Includes foot switch used as a sustain and USB cable
  • Weight 12.36 kg and dimensions 133.3 x 38.1 x 14.6 cm (width x depth x height)
  • With standard 88-key hammer-action keyboard (Graded-Hammer)
  • AWM2 tone generator
  • 128-note polyphony
  • 16 multi-timbral parts
  • VCM effects (Virtual Circuitry Modeling)
  • 1000 voices based on MOTIF XS waveforms
  • Arpeggiator
  • Split/Layer Function
  • Playing standard MIDI files and WAV and AIFF audio from USB devices
  • USB Audio/MIDI interface with iOS support
  • Pitch Bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • LED and LCD display
  • 2 Jack line outputs from ¼” (L/R)
  • Stereo “¼” headphone jack output
  • Input for pedal and sustain controller
  • MIDI Input/Output
  • USB
  • Auxiliary input 1/8″ jack
  • Includes licenses to download versions of Cubase AI PC/Mac software, Cubasis LE for iOS and the FM Essential Synthesis App (4 operator FM synthesis)
  • Dimensions: 1320 x 405 x 168mm
  • Weight: 13,9kg

First, a comparative video between the two teams, in which it is worth mentioning certain important points:

  • Both have professional sounds, that is to say, in neither you will be disappointed by the audio quality
  • In general, the Yamaha sounds brighter than the Kurzweil. However as a personal opinion, Kurzweil sounds more real.
  • On the low notes, I like the sound of the Yamaha better, however and taking into account that both are EQ’s at zero (i.e. it has no EQ) the dynamic range of the Kurzweil sounds better.
  • If we classify them by a musical style, Kurzweil might be more suitable for classical compositions, ballads, and film music. ballads, and film music. The Yamaha may be more suitable for playing contemporary pianists.

Here is the video, listen to each piano and draw your own conclusions.

And now a video of the Yamaha MX88

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Yamaha MX88.

Kurzweil SP6 vs Roland Juno-DS 88

Finally, we will have the comparison of the digital pianos the Kurzweil SP6 that as we know has the price of €999/$1300/£938 and the Roland Juno-DS88 digital piano that has a price of €939/$1100/£855, with a difference of 60 euros, we will see their differences and similarities in the face to face:

  • Both pianos have keyboards with 88 weighted keys (each keyboard with its technology) and with sensitivity. The Roland has its keys with an ivory touch, which offer more realism of an acoustic piano when playing.
  • The Kurzweil SP6 has its VAST sound engine, with a large number of sounds, about 2500, with 128 notes of polyphony. The Roland Juno DS88 has its sound engine with 1200 tones/speakers, and 128 notes of polyphony, which is the highest number of notes that can be played at the same time. The Roland is compatible with the GM2 sound engine, here a list of sounds. The SP6 outperforms it with more than double the amount of sounds, however the Roland is not far behind with its virtual wave expansion slots, which allows new waveforms to be downloaded.
  • When it comes to effects, the Kurzweil SP6 has a powerful effect engine with 32 units. The Roland Juno DS88 has a total of about 96 effects.
  • In physical controllers 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. The Roland Juno DS88 Pitch has only 18 (4 Knobs, 4 Sliders (Faders), 8 Multicolor Pads, 2 Pedal Inputs)
  • Both keyboards have: line out and line in, USB MIDI to serve as a MIDI controller in a computer for use in a music composition and production program. Giving both keyboards a good control of their defects and performance, which for live playing is very useful. The Roland Juno DS88 also has microphone input and dedicated effects such as reverb, vocoder and tone effects, which is an advantage over the Kurzweil.
  • Both are compatible with music editing software.
  • The Kurzweil SP6 weighs 12.36 kg and measures 1333 x 381 x 146 mm (W x D x H), and the Yamaha MX88 weighs 13 kg and measures 1320 x 405 x 168 mm (W x D x H)

Both are excellent stage pianos, each having its own advantage over the other. While the Kurzweil has a greater amount of sound. The Roland, has a virtual wave expansion, eight phrase pads to trigger samples or songs, and a microphone input with effects to modify the sound of the voice.

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

Kurzweil SP6

Roland Juno-DS 88

  • Weighted, touch-sensitive and speed-sensitive keyboard
  • 128 notes of polyphony
  • Very innovative VAST sound engine
  • DSP signal processing and anti-aliasing
  • quick split function up to 4 parts
  • dual function or fast layer up to 4 parts
  • 256 factory sounds, 130 factory multis, 1024 user-created programs or sounds, 1024 multi-user, and 5 favorites
  • Forte SE and PC3 program compatible
  • A mockery of effects including reverb and chorus
  • Pitch bend wheel
  • Modulation wheel
  • Tap Tempo Control
  • 2 inputs for foot switches. Here’s the one for sustain
  • Line output
  • Single color LCD display
  • Hull exit Jack
  • USB MIDI input and output
  • 2 extra USB storage places
  • Music editing software
  • Operating system update. Charged by USB
  • Includes foot switch used as a sustain and USB cable
  • Weight 12.36 kg and dimensions 133.3 x 38.1 x 14.6 cm (width x depth x height)
  • Keyboard with 88 ivory feel-g keys
  • Weighted Touch
  • Polyphony of maximum 128 voices
  • More than 1200 preset patches: More than 30 drum kits and 64 performances:
  • 256 user memory patches: 8 drum kits and 128 interpretations
  • Powered by power supply and batteries
  • Includes all Juno-DI sounds plus recently upgraded acoustic and electric pianos, additional organs, and other stage essentials
  • The virtual wave expansion slot allows new sound waveforms to be downloaded
  • The sounds are available free of charge on the Axial de Roland website
  • Sample import function
  • Easy sound manipulation and editing
  • Eight phrase pads to trigger audio samples and songs stored on the USB memory stick
  • Microphone input
  • Dedicated reverb, vocoder and automatic tone effects for impressive vocal performances
  • Intuitive eight-track pattern sequencer with nonstop recording for fast-developing song ideas
  • DAW and USB Audio/MIDI control mode
  • Pedal retaining jack
  • Foot Control Jack
  • 6.3 mm jack microphone input
  • External stereo mini-jack input
  • Output (L/MONO / R) 6.3 mm jack
  • Headphone jack
  • 6.3 mm stereo jack headphone output
  • MIDI connectors (input and output)
  • USB memory stick port
  • USB computer port (supports USB Audio/MIDI)
  • Includes power supply
  • Dimensions: 1415 x 341 x 144 mm (width x depth x height)
  • Weight: 16.2 kg

And now a video of the Roland Juno DS88:

If you want to know more about this model don’t miss our review of the Roland Juno-DS 88

Where to buy Kurzweil SP6

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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