Awesome keyboard for gigging!
(Background: 20+ year pro musician. Genre: Hip Hop, Blues. Gear: Roland Fantom's, Yamaha Motifs, Roland RD700, etc. My shows range from touring style venues, corp events, bars, to accustic style deck gigs.)
Is this keyboard perfect? No, but, it is so much better than anything else for a practical live keyboard that I had to give it a 5. A live keyboard needs to be flexible and allow you to dial up sounds on the fly, create splits, layers, tweak volumes, etc. This keyboard is setup up perfectly for this. It is also lightweight so you can pull it out on a lot of smaller shows (as well as your large shows). The sounds on this keyboard are rediculous! On a lightweight platic keyboard under a grand I expected the sounds to be lacking... wrong. I do a lot of bass under my left hand and the bass sounds are fat and clear. Everything from accustice bass to synth bass... and everything in between. What I really like is that so many of the sounds are usable live... and that's in every catagory. Remember, this is not a digital piano so don't expect each 'program' or 'voice' for piano to sound perfect right out of the gate like a big time digital piano. This is a synth. So, layer your piano with a little bit of synth pad and strings, tweak the eq to your liking and you've got one heck of a piano sound. Most other sounds such as electric piano, organ, synths, basses, strings, brass just kill right out of the box.
All the global settings are accessible right on the panel with easy to use knobs. The 'smart' knob for adjusting 'program' (voice) octave, modulation, volume, etc. is brilliant. The eq and effects are also right there.
The 2 things I would have liked to seen on this keyboard:
-Separate Guitar/Bass catagory- so I could use separate inserts for synth when I'm using a split bass - which is what this keyboard is all about. I think that was a big miss.
-Transpose- Let me have a single transpose on off button like the Roland RD series so I can play chords in the proper key and toggle to a transposed key for solos.
Direct bank access buttons for banks A-D instead of the 1 multi-push button.
Customer Support: The manual is nice and short. There were a couple of times I called Korg customer support and get a friendly, knowledgeable tech on the phone within 5 minutes... amazing. It's been great so far.
Even with these things I'd like to have, this keyboard has quickly become my favorite keyboard for playing live as well as goofing around in my living room. If they made a weighted key version I would buy it the second it came out (hint, hint).