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Korg SV-1 88 - Brown Reviews

  • Benny Bock
    from Berkeley, CA USA February 28, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Musician, , Student, Keyboardist

    An instant classic.

    Okay. Let me get one this straight right off the bat here: you just can't get any better than those vintage keyboards. A Rhodes, a B3, a Whurlitzer, a Clav, and so on. One simply cannot use those sounds in a cheap digital keyboard and have them--perfectly--match up to your expectations. You need the analog hum, the warm, golden fuzz of the tube, the true feeling of grit beneath your fingertips. Yes, and every keyboard I've tried just can't duplicate these sounds, and nothing truly will. There is one exception here. The SV-1. The instant I played it, I felt alive. I could feel a Rhodes, I could hear it, and I could really know it as a classic vintage keyboard. I sampled the 73 key version at my local music shop, and I was blown away. For my blues/jazz/funk band, the keyboardist (me) is the key instrumentalist, especially 'cause I play the bass in my left hand. Well, the minute I set eyes on this beauty, I was hooked! When I ordered it over the phone--WHICH I RECOMMEND TO ALL!--I chatted with the pleasant salesman for a few minutes and he then took off shipping costs. Wow! 50 bucks that I didn't have to spend! When it arrived at my house, I unwrapped it and was pleased to see a nice, sturdy, damper pedal along with. Also included in the package was the software which, while not fabulous, is a good edition for those who really want to dial in your sound. However, it is quite heavy. Yeah, it's not the 275 lbs of the original Rhodes Mk I, but it still packs a wallop! I would recommend investing the 200 smackers for the custom-fit case that Korg makes for it. I simply adore the tube, which can range from a soft, mellow tone, to a rockin' fuzz! There are 3 inputs just for pedals, so one for damper, one for wah (yeah!!) and the last for turning on/off the Leslie sim. For me, the best part about this keyboard is the Rhodes sounds. 6 different Rhodes, and all of them are tops. Also, there are 6 different amps to come out of, and a great drive knob. Yeah, there are organ sounds, but I prefer my Hammond XK-1 combo (which I place above this one). If you need strings, hey! there are two great settings for it, including a super vintage-sounding Eleanor Rigby type. The synths--nahh, though pleasant for the occasional riff, it falls flat. Yeah, the Moog is just the best in that category. So--in conclusion--if you are into that classic, vintage tone and don't want to lug around 5 different keyboards, get this beauty. You'll be happy you did. I promise!

  • Kasha
    from IN January 8, 2012Music Background:
    semi-professional keyboardist

    Great Keyboard and feel

    I've had this keyboard for over a year now and I really like the vintage sounds, especially for the various styles of music I play live. I've gotten the organ sound tweaked on this to work pretty nice, although after reducing the touch sensitivity to the keys, it's still not the same as having un-weighted keys. The organ would be easier to play if they were not weighted...but I wasn't originally just looking for an organ w/this, I wanted something to accommodate the styles I play and to perhaps take the place of my main piano keyboard some day. The piano sound still doesn't match the grand piano sound which I am accustomed to playing, but there are a lot of nice sounds on this. It's a great purchase and I love the tube in it. The different sound packs are free through Korg's website and once you get all your favorites saved, you are ready to go! Overall, it is a great keyboard for the money.

  • Joshua Piper
    from Austin, TX March 15, 2010Music Background:
    Part-time musician, piano player for 16 years.

    No menus to wade through

    Acoustic piano sounds are very good. One of the best uprights I've heard in a keyboard. Electrics have a nice feel, though the stock sounds can be improved greatly with the on-board effects. I purchased this because of the ease of use for live playing. No menus to wade through, just turn a knob or select one of your presets. Just a heads up, the preset buttons are easy to hit and can change your sound while you are playing! I've heard there will be an update to the software to lock the buttons while you are playing. Organs are so-so, I'm not holding my breath for an update, but it'd be nice if there was a patch update/download from Korg to improve these. Probably not something to wait around for though. Build quality seems good, but damper pedal is cheap and light. Another reviewer mentioned the key spacing on the 73-key version, but it does not bother me. I tried out several keyboards and liked the action on this Korg the best. Action is a very personal preference though, I would say it is heavier and feels a bit more mechanical than my Roland. Overall a good board with excellent expressive abilities and sound customization.

  • Bruce
    from Alabama January 12, 2012Music Background:
    musician...professional hobbyist

    Korg SV-1 88

    The keyboard was really just what the doctor ordered for us dinosaurs looking for dinosaur tones rather than a desk top computer with a keyboard attached. The operating system while modern in true function has the vibe of a simpler "analog" system with knobs and settings rather than a small LED screen with a menu to click through. It is easy to adjust on the fly as you play a song and has some truly excellent tones that play right into what we do which is sort of a funky bluesy rock and roll thing...lots of good organ, piano and clav sounds. The variable oscillation function on the organ sounds is one of the cooler ones that gives you some of the flexibility that a Leslie and Hammond B3 would give you without the accompanying back trouble.
    Rather than being bedoggled or confounded by the operating system one can quickly get to the business of checking out all the sounds and creating music with them. Certainly covers a lot of classic sounds from the 60s, 70s and 80s (not that anyone cares for them much...haha). It's a solid piece of pro gear unlike many keyboards you might run across that feel suspiciously light. For people that want to spend more time playing than programming and are looking for a highly functional instrument I think they would like this. It does a relative few things very well although "relative" is pretty relative as in the parameters of any one piano or organ setting there are countless variables. We are presently actually playing through an amp so have not used the tube function a great deal although in some instances it has come in hand to warm things up. Probably just touching the top of the iceberg and will over time stretch things out to their greater potential but, in the mean time, it has been a perfect fit for us...and the rebate from Korg certainly sweetens the deal.

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