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Korg SV-1 73 Stage Vintage Piano - Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 18 customer reviews
Questions about the Korg SV-1 73 Stage Vintage Piano - Black?

Questions about the Korg SV-1 73 Stage Vintage Piano - Black?

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  • from Glendale NY March 5, 2017

    Excellent Keyboard

    I've been looking for a portable piano for home and live performance usage. The Korg SV-1 73 meets that need perfectly. First of all it's a instrument you can bond with, it feels right, and deliveries what I'm trying to play. The 8 preset feature are amazing when you want to focus on playing. I've chosen 8 sounds which I've modified and those are the sounds I use 95℅ of the time. It allows me to turn on the instrument and get right to playing. The on/off switch is an example of why I really like this keyboard, you flick the switch/lever and it goes on, without having to push a soft button several times to turn on the instrument. The keyboard had real feel to it. I've since purchased a Korg SV-1 88 black for home rehearsal because the the 73 is for me, a gigging instrument. I need a full keyboard for home rehearsal since the piano is my main keyboard. The instrument is heavy, I use a small hand truck so it not an issue. The keyboard has everything I'm looking for in a gigging keyboard: portable, excellent sound, quality, compact, and most importantly quick to recall sounds that I want.
    My 8 presets are: Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Japanese Grand, Upright, Hammond click, Hammond jazz, Full Strings, and Strings Piano.
    I use the 88 version every day and keep the 73 in a case for gigging and jamming in the studio.. I have them set up the same so there's a continuity that I appreciate. I prefer the 88 version, since a piano has 88 keys, but the 73's compactness and lighter weight is an advantage for regular moving.
    Highly recommended

  • from Sacramento October 28, 2016

    Great classic and modern sounds

    We're really happy with the keyboard. Although it has a lot of technology to it, it is easy to dial in the sound wanted with the selection and adjustment knobs. Way to go Korg! Less geek and more instrument.

  • from Fairhope, AL August 22, 2016

    Yeah. It's a keeper.

    I've had the SV-1 73 for about 6 months now - enough to give it a decent review. I bought this specifically for the Rhodes & Wurlitzer sounds - and it nails them both. Key action is great; pretty stiff at first but it loosens up good after a few weeks. Solid (and heavy) construction. I like the fact that I don't need a degree in computer science to get killer sounds out of it. I had a Kurzweil that I sold to buy this - it was great, but I spent as much time programming it as I did playing it. I have simple tastes and needs - awesome electric piano, and a little bit of other stuff to fill the gaps. If strings, synth, or organ is your thing, there are certainly better choices - this gets the job done, but it's not gonna "wow" you. But if you want great acoustic or (especially) electric piano, I haven't found anything better for under 3 grand! Get a good stand! It's heavy!

  • from New York May 6, 2016Music Background:
    Videogame Composer / Producer / Session and Gigging keyboardist

    Three Years - Rock Solid

    A few years back, I decided to get back into gigging.

    I had been a videogame composer / producer / studio musician with an obsession for music technology. I love me some DAWs with Soft-Synths and Plug-in Effects. I enjoy the thousands of sounds, endless tweaking possibilities, matrix routing, etc. BUT, my new commitment to gigging wouldn't require any complex technology. Nope, I wanted to play in a Funk Band.

    I spent a month or so shopping and playing Roland, Yamaha, Nord, and Korg instruments. I chose the Korg for two primary reasons.

    The RH3 keybed
    The unique look

    So, it's been a few years now, and I've gigged a bunch and recorded two studio demos. How do I feel about the SV-1.

    It's Rock Solid.

    The instrument is very playable, with excellent action and dig-in-ability. The sounds are legit, and live sound engineers have often complement the richness of the Piano, EP, and Clav. I dont mistreat my gear, but I do play hard and have broken semi-weighted keys on other keyboards. The SV-1 is a tank, and begs to be played like a grand piano (tickle and pound).

    As a keyboard player, I buy keys/synths expecting them to quickly fall out of fashion due to stale tech or dated sounds. I would never expect a keyboard to hold resale value for more than a year or so (ignore the miniKorg). BUT, like a guitar, this instrument is part "furniture". Not just because it's too heavy, but also because the SV-1 has substance, dare I say - soul. Today, a used SV-1 sells on craigslist for $100 less then what I bought it for three years ago.

    If you are on the fence about this instrument, let me give you a push.

    My Rig:
    Korg SV-1
    Roland VR-9
    Korg miniKorg

    Traynor K4
    K&M Omega

  • from North Carolina April 1, 2016Music Background:
    Semi-professional musician, aspiring artist

    Worth the Wait

    Just unboxed my SV1 last night and couldn't stop playing it. I've had my eye on this instrument since it appeared on the market a few years ago, and I can honestly say it was worth the wait. I've always wanted an instrument that could give me a really authentic grand piano sound and still have some other great sounds. In my experience a lot of digital pianos do one thing really well and they fall short in other areas. This piano does not. I will say that if you are looking for a piano that has 1,000 different sounds then this is not the instrument for you. It is meant for piano players who play live with other musicians. Gotta have that Steely Dan Rhodes sound? Got it. Want that Supertramp Wurlitzer sound? No problem. Can't live without that Hohner Clav sound from Cripple Creek? Done and done. If you want something with tons of horn and string patches then this isn't your piano. Keep it simple stupid, with the classic vintage pianos/organs that made all of those old records so great. I plan on recording very soon and I know that this SV1 will definitely be on every track. Also, thanks to the folks at Sweetwater for making the process so smooth. I will certainly be ordering all of my gear from them in the future.

  • from November 24, 2015

    Real Instrument

    I've played keys for 40 years. Been through lots of technology. I've seen sound and capabilities reach new heights, but you know what ? With all of that, many times the most important "vibe" of a keyboard is sterile and lacking. We get caught up in what they can do and get lost in it. This board really brought me back to having fun playing. I haven't stopped playing since I got it. Totally intoxicating , from the simple interface and layout, to the feel, to the sounds and how it all comes together. Good job Korg. A brilliant classic instrument, that plays like an instrument, and not a computer.

  • from Pasadena, CA, USA June 2, 2014Music Background:
    keyboardist, composer, arranger digital recording

    I need one of these ...

    EVERY TIME I visit my local music store, I'm compelled to sit and play an SV-1 for as long as I can without getting obnoxious to the sales people. It is VERY VERSATILE as your main keyboard axe. Until the SV-1, I hadn't found any keyboard that has that great touch and subtleties that a real grand piano has, so I've not been able to enjoy an electronic keyboard for this type of music ... UNTIL the SV-1. This keyboard has the finest touch and feel of any keyboard I've ever tried, and it has all those subtleties due to multiple sampling levels -- all which provides the player an incredibly genuine piano playing experience. Fantastic dynamics, which is absolutely necessary for playing jazz. The Rhodes, too, are insanely phat and rich, and you can pretty much capture ANY type of Rhodes ever made with the SV-1, from crystal-clear bell-like sound, to a hard-driving, distorted sound. Wurlies are also quite nice, and the SV-1's tremolo effect make it even more authentic. Vintage synths ... reminiscent of Oberheim and Prophet -- fantastic 1980's mainstays. Strings sections are lusciously rich and have great texture, and the smaller ensemble patches capture very authentic duets. I need one of these. You need one of these.

  • from Oklahoma City May 17, 2014Music Background:
    Student, Performing Artist and First Song now on ITUNES

    Great Keyboard

    Outstanding sound, keys feel great

  • from Stony Point, NY USA December 20, 2012Music Background:
    Gigging keyboardist in blues/classic rock band, pianist in Christian worship band,

    The holy grail for the gigging keyboardist

    The retro design, the build quality, the perfect samples, the instant-access presets, the hammer-action keys, the tube amp modeling and effects...I could go on and on. having played non-weighted, semi-weighted and full-weighted keys from Korg, Yamaha, Roland, Nord and others, this one just nails it on every level. If you're looking for a workstation or a studio synth, or a bazillion sounds, this is not your baby. No sequencer, no arpeggiator, no drums, etc. But if you want want vintage pianos, e. pianos, organs and clavs in a neat little package for on-stage performance, look no further! Added bonus...nothing else even remotely looks like this thing...rounded corners, analog dials, a glowing vacuum tube and a fat metal toggle switch for the power button...instant time travel to the 70's!

  • from Chicago December 18, 2012Music Background:
    lifelong student

    Great gig keyboard

    I had a Korg 88 key that seemed to get a bit longer and heavier everytime I loaded it up. I remembered seeing the SV-1 in the Sweetwater showroom and was impressed by the simplicity of the settings. The 73 keyboard is the right size, weight and reproduces all the vintage piano and organ sounds that I was looking for. In fact although Korg emphasizes simplicity this board does a whole lot more than anticipated.

  • from United States August 1, 2012Music Background:
    Recording and Live Sound Engineer, musician

    Best Digital Stage Piano I've ever heard. Very Authentic.

    I heard this keyboard for the first time tonight. I mixed a band that played a brand new one and I was blown away with how authentic it sounded. I own a Rhodes Mark II, and this Korg sounded exactly like the real deal (maybe even a little better because of the onboard compression/effects). For the price, it seems like a better deal than a Nord, and in my opinion sounds even a little better than the Nord samples I've heard. I am considering buying one myself after hearing it tonight! Great job Korg!

  • from United States May 4, 2012Music Background:
    Engineer, Pianist


    When I first sat down at this, something about the tube glowing off to the side clued me in that this was going to be an amazing keyboard. I was right. first, the sounds in this keyboard are amazing, like nothing i've ever heard before, the stage piano sounds better than most grand pianos i've played. The weight of the keys was amazing they float so well, so smooth and the price point for what this unit offers is mind blowing. i would probably pay double just for what it offers, just amazing.

  • from Indianapolis April 12, 2017Music Background:
    Small club cover bands and infrequent big stages.

    Great gigger

    Used it extensively for three years for many small club gigs. Does the job great. No one talks about how well the mellotron sounds works in cover songs. I recorded a solo album of cover and original songs and when it was replayed by the engineer I was blown away by how great the sounds were. If you need just one keyboard and not much synth sounds the sv 1 is it.

  • from Birmingham, AL USA September 6, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Jazz Performance Major on Piano and Live Musician

    The best substitute for a Rhodes/Clav

    Everything I expected and my expectations were high. Sounds awesome. Easy to operate, looks cool, L and R XLR outs plus 1/4" L and R outs. If you use the Rhodes sound on your keyboard then this is the best next purchase for you. I would say get a Nord, Korg M3/Kronos Motif etc for your main board and this is a perfect second board. For the money you can't get a better deal.

  • from Newark, DE August 4, 2014Music Background:
    Songwriter, home recording, forever a student.

    Exactly what I expected. Simple accurate sound and feel.

    I had my eye on this keyboard for several years. I was initially drawn to the lush sounds and accurate feel of the weighted keys. Several more encounters with the sv-1 and I was convinced that it was capable of producing very natural voicings of the instruments I would use most while recording. Thorough research and years of reading reviews, supported my initial opinion of the sv-1 as an instrument designed for quality, rather than quantity, of sounds. In this price range quality will always trump quantity for my musical endeavors.

  • from September 25, 2016

    Fell Short

    I really wanted to like this keyboard, it fell short. Been playing for 35+ years and this board looked great.

    The pros:
    1. Great EPs
    2. Front Panel is great for live alterations. (no sub menus)
    3. Looks cool
    4. Easily save your custom sounds

    The Cons:

    ALL The piano patches are awful. Tried altering every parameter to get to a tolerable tone with no success. They all sound like a toy piano muffled in a pillow case. And no It's not my amp. My Current Piano sounds are from a Yamaha S90-ES and they set the bar.

    The Clavs are decent but nothing to write home about.

    There is only 1 decent Organ patch but the "Rotary" speaker effect is embarrassing.

    The Effects are pretty good as long as you only want to use 1 at a time. If you want a bit of reverb and some delay, no can do. you have to choose one or the other. terrible.

    The wah effect is cool, however it takes ALL of the low end out of every patch and sounds so tinny. I know, was not invented for bass but this is all digital, why not give the option?

    The different amps are lame. Basically just takes more and more off the low end as you scroll through them. And the "Overdrive" is as laughable as the Rotary speaker effect.

    The underside of the board is just particle board. I can definitely see this being a problem for the gigging musician. Cheap particle board, really??

    So disappointed, like I said I was very excited about this board and heard great things about it. I just can't justify buying this and only wanting to use 1 sound. This concept is perfect but the execution fell way short. Hopefully Korg will step it up on the next version. Or even better, Yamaha will make one of these will superior patches.

    So if you are looking for a $1500 EP with a couple cool effects this board is for you.

  • from Philly, pa October 4, 2015Music Background:
    Pro musician band geek

    Poor sustain

    Cool looking keyboard with good organ sounds. Nice all manual controls with knobs and switches. Good sound that is workable in the context of the Band setting. Short coming: the piano sustain is poor. This makes the keyboard very weak as a solo instrument. If you know how a acoustic piano sustain works and feels you will hate this piano. The peddle does not fully hold a note, the decay is fast and the note is gone. Lush acoustic piano songs do not work with this keyboard. Don't try to play slow ballads and expect the sustain to sound any good. I have owned mine for over two years now and never try to use it solo any more. If you play only fast rock songs with no peddle than it's ok, but if you try to play Gurshwin it will suck. I continue to be disapointed by the lack of sustain on piano sounds.

  • from December 10, 2016

    Korg SV-1

    This is a wonderful keyboard to play, but there is a big caveat (buyer beware)! Korg makes a big deal of it having an editor/librarian to get at many parameters that aren't on the front panel, and this is true, the editor opens up a lot of fine tuning, and since the the number of presets it holds at any one time are fairly limited, the librarian provides a way of building up sounds and easily retrieving. The editor worked fine in Mac OS 10.9, however since moving beyond that the editor/librarian no longer works, and Korg shows know sign of fixing (I've emailed, no response). So unless you have an older Mac OS, you'll have to be content with the front panel adjustments, which are roughly half of what's available..a shame. And, unless you can craft a SysEx voice dump, you're stuck with 36 presets. All that said, love the feel and response of the weighted keys, and the sounds are great. But, the factory presets don't do justice to what a bit of tweaking the editor can bring out (which you likely won't have on a Mac OS 10 or later). The main instrument bug is that ever time you change presets, the sustain pedal (provided by Korg, a nice and rare touch) is not active on first press, it's as if you need to wake it up.

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