Nord Stage 2 88 Reviews4.8/5.0 based on 11 customer reviews
The Nord Stage 2 is quite possibly the BEST keyboard I've ever played. The first time I booted it up, I spent 20 minutes playing the default Bosendorfer Imperial Grand. I was so absorbed that I had to remind myself that it came with more than just one sound. In my opinion, Nord's latest C2 engine also makes the Stage 2's tonewheel emulation unrivaled. When I needed to replace the centerpiece of my rig, I was deciding between this and another flagship keyboard. I decided on the Nord because this keyboard is timeless. You will develop an emotional attachment and never want to part with it. Nord is always adding high quality authentic and meticulously sampled instruments to their online sample library (which are free to the end user). Also delightful is the fact that I can cherry-pick through the Nord sample library and load up only those sounds which are beneficial to the style of music that I play.
from OK, United States
December 3, 2012Music Background:
My Ripe Red BeautyYES. I finally got this a couple months ago and I just never could have enough time in the world to play on it. It feels so good on my fingers, every little nob on this is just put together so well. I truly believe this was the work of God. One thing I must say is say is that I would like Nord to come out with more pad sounds. I am currently saving up to get a macbookpro because i need it for school anyways but I am also wanting to get Omnisphere, only then will I be unstoppable. This keyboard is worth the buy, it is a lot of money I know, but boy is it worth it.
from Bettendorf, IA
October 5, 2012Music Background:
Great gigging keyboardMy main reason for having a keyboard is acoustic piano and B3 organ. Over the past 12 years I have owned a couple of workstation type keyboards hoping the soundset matched the "top of the line" product offering. These boards were good with solid organs, but acoustic piano was always overprocessed and did not sound that good under real life mono PA applications. Nearly everything sounds great in stereo with headphones on in the showroom! The Nord Stage 2 is the best I have heard yet for all around acoustic piano sounds short of a software only instrument (equals the Yamaha CP300 but about 20+ pounds lighter). Most impressive is the ease of programming since there really is no deep menu to wade thru. Want to create a layer? A couple clicks and you have it. Want to modify the filters on the string within the layer? Just grab the knob and go for it. Want to map the mod wheel to a parameter? Takes about 5 seconds. The key action is great for both organ and piano. If you need every sound under the sun, this isn't your rig. If you want top notch pianos, organs and synth sounds with lightweight portability - take a hard look. Put the the keys to the test by playing though a mono PA rig and listenging for alising and looping - you won't find any. Did I mentiond this is with the effects off? Try that on some competitors product.
May 17, 2012
GREAT Tone!It is a lot of money, but if you have the money for something like this or the patience to save, GO FOR IT! The sound is unmistakable. I haven't had much time with it yet, but I haven't heard a sound that I didn't like. With the Midi input, there is nothing that it can't do. Sweetwater has been great to work with for this purchase.
from Cupertino, CA USA
May 2, 2012Music Background:
The NORD Stage 2 is worth itAll I need are the piano sounds, perfect piano, and a good action. Well the pianos are not perfect, but pretty close! Because of the effects section, you can do more than a real piano can do.
Then there's the big fat rest of this machine: organs, electric pianos, samples, fm, wave synths, arpeggiator, compressor, and loads more, all accessible for performance and endless tweaking experimentation and calculated sound design. With unlimited potentials of clean rich sound in an accessible portable package the Stage 2 is worthy of praise.
William R. Tschanz
from Philly Pa. in Manayunk
April 11, 2012Music Background:
Blues, Jazz, Funk. recording and live performance.
Hand Madein from SwedenIf you do live shows in a performance mode were the dynamics of the night could throw anything at you there is no board, in my opinion, which will give the best bang for the buck than Big Red. I have had multiple keyboards on stage and the Stage 2 HA 88 has replaced them all, one unit at around 40 lbs. If you worked with controller keyboards the interface will be easy to grasp. I was concerned about the Key bed and the action of the new board and was pleasantly surprised by the feel and response of this Red machine. It has after touch! I use an EV-7 pedal for pedal controller and my little Hammond switch pedal for toggling the Leslie Sim. I have sold off all my systems to break even on the cost and finding all the pedals I have are compatible was a pleasant surprise. The sound quality is IMHO stunning. A performance I look forward to every time I charge her up. My hand made in Sweden is without a doubt THE best board for these old hands of mine. The Stage2 HA 88, a musical instrument that sets a new bench mark to the term "an extension of one’s self ". The romance continues...
from Rogers, AR USA
March 14, 2012Music Background:
Really impressedThe Stage 2 is simply the most versatile live keyboard that I have ever played. The upgrades in the piano section from the original stage were crucial and extremely well done. The organ is nothing less than stellar and the synth section has some interesting samples/waveforms. Don't expect omnisphere from this unit however. The ability to treat the piano, organ, and synth section as independent units is nothing short of brilliant. The effects section sounds great and is highly useable on the fly. The weighted keyboard may be the easiest of that class to play organ on and yet feels solid for piano. Wow, I really don't have a lot of negative things to say about it other than menu system. Compared to its contemporaries, the Nord's limited display seems relegated to the 90's at best. This is a minor inconvenience when considering the power of this unit. I didn't think that I would be able to say this, but worth the price tag.
from Lafayette, Louisiana
February 15, 2012Music Background:
Nord Stage Button Programming SuggestionI read the review about the buttons being hard to navigate and small display and here's what I did to solve that on the gig.
There are 4 main buttons each with a rotation knob of multiple programs. What you do is this:
Program PIANOs on Button 1-00 (Honky Tonk on 1-01) etc
Program Rhodes on Button 2-00 (and Whurly on 2-01) etc
Program Clavinet on Button 3-00 (and Stevie W on 3-01) etc
Program Organs on Button 4-00 ("Greg" then Steve Miller on 4-01) etc
The 1st program on each button should be your favorite gig sounds
The 2nd program on each (by rotating the knob) is 2nd alternate.
That way - on the gig - hit a button, change the sound, rotate the knob once or twice and you get alternate sound in the same category maybe adding synth pads or effects, etc
It takes some moving of programs but it makes gigging so much easier.
Love my Nord Stage - You'll have to tear it from my gigging hands!!!!
PS: Sweetwater rules the Universe !!!
from Houston, TX
April 20, 2012Music Background:
Hobbyist, praise & worship
Nord Stage 2 88 is very goodThis instrument is perfect for live performance. With 3 independent sound modules, you can easily make changes on the fly without any interruptions in sound. Morphing with the modulation wheel is very good and easy to setup.
Organs are stellar, acoustic pianos are very good, EPs are excellent, and I am only getting started with the synth. I was able to setup an organ, piano and synth overlay after a couple of readings of the overlay sections in the manual. I will likely want to search the libraries for better pads and strings.
Overlays and splits are very easy to setup and use. The power of this instrument is the flexibility with which the 3 sound modules can be integrated. The NS2 allows layers and splits with the organs that the Kurzweil PC3x can not do.
The keybed is much better than expected. The action is a joy to play and very expressive. The action is an improvement over the PC3x.
While the sound set is not as extensive as the Motif, many parameters can be easily and quickly changed at performance time on the NS2.
There are a few patches in the Motif XS rack that are very good so it is worth the trouble of setting up the MIDI settings to make it happen.
This comes very close to a one keyboard does all solution.
I like the encoder style digital draw bars since they reflect the current value at a glance. They also move smoothly from the current position to the next position without an acoustic glitch. When you are learning, you hear the patch as well as see the control positions.
The location of the draw bars is excellent as you can change them while holding a note in the same hand.
Excellent job Nord!!!
from Chicago, IL
September 19, 2011Music Background:
Great Performance BoardHad this Nord for a week to figure out it's applications, before I took it out on gigs. It has a very logical layout and all the active controls make it a great board for live shows. It has outstanding piano samples. The programming is simple and all the free samples are great! Coming off a semi weighted workstation, this keyboard has very workable action. I thoroughly enjoy experimenting with this unit and it will be with me for a very long time!
from Danbury, CT USA
June 13, 2011Music Background:
Composer, Arranger, Keyboardist, Vocalist, Producer
Everything I hoped it would beInstead of jumping right to the negatives (and there were very few), let me first praise this keyboard. Acoustic pianos, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Hammond organ, Synth, effects....all outstanding. All in one box? Priceless! Just a few negatives. The top end of the organ doesn't scream the way I hoped it would. Weak signal on many of the preloaded samples. Not being much of a techie, there may be adjustments I'm not aware of. That being said, I love playing and performing with my Nord.
July 27, 2011Music Background:
sounds great--butThis instrument has the best sounds of any I have owned. Pianos are perfect. Organs are perfect. Synth sounds are really good--and certainly as good as any competitors sounds. My quibble is the learning curve to get this lovely red piano to produce those wonderful sounds. The action is nice. But--this is not an intuitive instrument to operate. No handy dandy row of pre-set buttons with easily accessible sounds. The display panel is ridiculously small. There is no easy way to navigate it. After several hours at home I finally got comfortable enough to take it to a couple gigs (where the sounds received rave reviews). I'm still learning--and wondering why it has to be so hard.