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Korg SV-1: from GAS to pass?


Dana.

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Since its release, I've seen a big swell of GAS, a flurry of purchases, and a torrent of sales (read: forum members selling it for a board more to their liking). Subsequently, Korg has painted it black, reversed the keys and knocked 1/4 off the price, but they haven't released a new sound pack since September 2010. What happened?? And for the two people who still own one (I'm exaggerating for effect), why have you kept it?
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Dana,

 

Is it possible there were enough idiosyncrasies given its product placement (stage pianos) that it is simply reaching the maturing (i.e., trailing off) segment of its lifecycle?

 

If I was the product manager (is it Malcolm Doak?) I'd be thinking about an SV2 with Kronos class pianos in a stage piano form factor, whether that's a photon torpedo or not.

 

Also, I'm a bigger fan of the PX3 keybed than RH3, but I've liked the connection on the SV1 and digging the kronos.

..
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I still have my SV-1 but I have toyed with the idea of selling since I got the Kronos. The problem is that if I took the Kronos out I would still need a weighted action to trigger the pianos... I think its handy for chucking into a taxi for the odd gig. Will have to play it again and check with the Kronos piano

 

It's still a good board but since the Kronos I think the pianos and epianos need a reworking...

 

Kronos Kronos Kronos on the brain.... I know...

 

 

 

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I considered one, briefly; but it would have likely ended up in the KC Garage Sale, or on ebay.

 

For my rig the SV-1 could have been a great, compact 73 for smaller gigs. But despite some of the unique features/sounds, it's always seemed somewhat limited to me. If Korg would have created an on-board soundset / user memory in the 64 patch range (a little more synth variety), and more organ model control features, that would likely have given it a broader appeal. Plus having synth tones on board made it more than just an electro-mechanical emulation 'board. In keeping with the retro 'vibe' being pitched, I would've included a small soundblock of essential synth tones - perhaps three to four each of classic Moog, Arp, Sequential, Oberheim, and Roland; and, at least a Korg X/Y joystick for control.

 

Nice piece, in some ways, but too niche'y for the $$$$, IMO..

 

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short, smart-ass answer: 'Cuz I like it.

 

Slightly more informative answer: Because I haven't found another board that's better suited for the situation I use it for. There are certainly boards that are better in any one given respect*, but its particular combination of strengths still meets my needs better than any other option out there. So much so, in fact, that I'm considering upgrading my '09 model to the new version with the improved RH3. I'm gonna wait a while and watch the reviews on it first, but it's definitely a possibility.

 

*Except the Wurli. I still haven't found a hardware emulation that can match it, and I use it a lot.

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I've got a local shop here in Seattle that I deal with and know the manager well. He says he's been selling an SV-1 once every two to three weeks. He sells a lot of Nord and the lower end from the big three. High-end DPs and workstations are a lot more of a challenge. I don't know that this forum is representative of the market at large. You'd think, based on the posts here, that clonewheels are huge. Hell, I don't know that I could find one in a shop in Seattle. Nor do I see them in clubs that often.

 

I still think the new black 73 at $1499 is going to do very well. The Nord weighted actions are a lot more money. There are plenty of mid level DPs in this price range with actions that are no better than the RH3 and typically have one decent acoustic piano and everything else sucks.

 

Busch.

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Every time I sit down to the SV-1, I love it all over again. It really rules with a cut-trough ballsy head-turning authentic classic sound. The real-tube preamp is the heart and soul of the instrument and without that I think it'd be a lot less of an instrument. I don't care if noone likes it but me, I went whole hog and got the stand and the case and I have no intention of selling it ever.
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I think Korg could've had more success with it if they'd stuck to acoustic pianos and electro-mechanical instruments and ditched the organs, strings, etc. In essence, they didn't go niche enough, and so they fell victim to people wanting it to be more than what it was designed to be. It's not a workstation; it's not a controller; it's not an Electro. But it could have been a less expensive Nord Piano.
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You'd think, based on the posts here, that clonewheels are huge. Hell, I don't know that I could find one in a shop in Seattle.

 

Well, it's been about 14 years since I worked in music retail, but from my experience, we're (KC addicts) a far cry from the average customer that walks in a music store. The vast majority are hobbyists that poke around & want to spend a little on a do it all board. The customer that's able & willing to drop a few grand on ANY kinda specialty instrument, be it a clone wheel, a virtual or real analog, a high end DP, etc. is few & far between. And when those types come in, they're usually pretty street smart, so the margin a retailer makes on those pieces is small. I'm guessing that's still the way it is, since I can't go to my local music store & try out a Jupiter 80, a Kronos, an SV-1, a XK-3c, a Voyager or any other lovely piece like that.

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I think Korg could've had more success with it if they'd stuck to acoustic pianos and electro-mechanical instruments and ditched the organs, strings, etc. In essence, they didn't go niche enough, and so they fell victim to people wanting it to be more than what it was designed to be. It's not a workstation; it's not a controller; it's not an Electro. But it could have been a less expensive Nord Piano.

 

:idea: Hmm... Different twist than what I mentioned, which was a wish for an expanded SV-1. But with your idea they could not only have created a less expensive Nord Piano, but one with a bit more soul. When playing the SV-1 I've gotten lost in the pianos, ep's, and clavs ahead of everything else... The tube, and the amp modeling is a big part of that particular magic.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'll say it again - the Electro template was out there. Korg ignored it.

I think, in a way, they were intentionally doing the opposite, with some good rationale. The E3 wasn't out all that much sooner than the SV1, so especially compared to the E2 which presumably would have been the market presence during product development... Yes, they both did acoustic-mechanical emulation with a direct control knobby interface. But Nord offered only an unweighted board, focussed on organ and EP, with a minimal piano you could use in a pinch; Korg offered only a weighted board, focused on piano and EP, with a minimal organ you could use in a pinch. I think both approaches are reasonable. (And at least the Korg does have a small amount of split/layer functionality which is better than nothing and can come in handy.)

 

I don't know what SV1 sales were like vis-a-vis expectations, but I do see a reasonable number of them in the wild. Neither the piano sound nor action are state-of-the-art, but I don't know that there's anything else at the price that everyone agrees is better, everything has its fans and detractors, and the SV1 does have (to many people) nice aesthetics and ergonomics. Personally, my disappointment was the weight and the curved top that I couldn't put anything else on. (Not that you can put anything on a Nord, either...)

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I'll say it again - the Electro template was out there. Korg ignored it.

I think, in a way, they were intentionally doing the opposite, with some good rationale. The E3 wasn't out all that much sooner than the SV1, so especially compared to the E2 which presumably would have been the market presence during product development... Yes, they both did acoustic-mechanical emulation with a direct control knobby interface. But Nord offered only an unweighted board, focussed on organ and EP, with a minimal piano you could use in a pinch; Korg offered only a weighted board, focused on piano and EP, with a minimal organ you could use in a pinch. I think both approaches are reasonable. (And at least the Korg does have a small amount of split/layer functionality which is better than nothing and can come in handy.)

 

I don't know what SV1 sales were like vis-a-vis expectations, but I do see a reasonable number of them in the wild. Neither the piano sound nor action are state-of-the-art, but I don't know that there's anything else at the price that everyone agrees is better, everything has its fans and detractors, and the SV1 does have (to many people) nice aesthetics and ergonomics. Personally, my disappointment was the weight and the curved top that I couldn't put anything else on. (Not that you can put anything on a Nord, either...)

What I'm talking about is the lack of a library of sounds that you can load in - sample sets from multiple pianos and EPs instead of 'variations' on one sample set each, and continuous control over the FX instead of stepped knobs. Those things limit the SV-1 unnecessarily IMO, and were a large part of the reason I passed on it.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I have the same love-hate relationship with the SV-1. I love the look, I love the layout, I love the functionality, but I'm not 100% in love with the feel, and while I could pass that off, the piano sounds just haven't done it for me. This is how the demo model seemed every time I tried it (at three different stores), anyways, but it IS possible that I was using the old sound pack. I did play it through a Traynor K2 and was impressed though (I'll probably buy a K4). Man oh man, that SV-1...

~ Sean

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:idea: Hmm... Different twist than what I mentioned, which was a wish for an expanded SV-1.

+1

 

I was hoping for Korg's version of a Nord Stage 88: Kronos APs/Rhodes/Wurli, CX-3 (with drawbars and other goodies), knobby VA, along with split/layer and MIDI controller functions.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

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I have the same love-hate relationship with the SV-1. I love the look, I love the layout, I love the functionality, but I'm not 100% in love with the feel, and while I could pass that off, the piano sounds just haven't done it for me...

 

This is it, if you're talking about acoustic piano. No matter, if you're using old or new sound pack, piano sounds are still somehow weak. I think they just did some eq-refinements for those old grand sounds.

 

Though, I really like rhodes and wurli (and DX too:)

Don't take me serious, I'm just playing.

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What I'm talking about is the lack of a library of sounds that you can load in - sample sets from multiple pianos and EPs instead of 'variations' on one sample set each, and continuous control over the FX instead of stepped knobs. Those things limit the SV-1 unnecessarily IMO, and were a large part of the reason I passed on it.

 

I don't think lack of changeable sounds limited it unnecessarily... no one else offers that feature in its price range either. So I don't think they could have "just as easily" put that feature in, between increased manufacturing cost and then developing the library to make use of it.

 

(In fact, when the SV1 came out, the only weighted board with that feature was the much more expensive Nord Stage EX. And I suspect that Korg probably loses more sales to Yamaha and Roland than they do to Nord... and Y/R don't have that feature either. But then I don't know that the SV1 has been any less successful than comparably priced Yamahas and Rolands, so I don't necessarily buy the underlying thread premise that it was a bit of a flop in the first place.)

 

Changeability/upgradabaility may be a great selling point, but besides the fact that nothing else at the price does it either, I think one really terrific sounding piano sound would probably have been more beneficial than a half dozen alternate Korg pianos which would almost certainly have fallen into the same usable-but-not-great category that all their small memory pianos do. I mean, that was my own knock against the Nord approach until their Grand Imperial sample... I'd rather have one nice Yamaha piano sound than five bleh Nord ones.

 

As for effects, I can't say I've seen complaints that ten steps isn't enough, but at least they are 10 for rate and 10 for amount. With the E3, Nord reduced the amount parameter to three. Even then, though, I don't really see complaints (except from E2 owners... who sometimes don't realize that there are even three, since if you just look at the panel having come from an E2, it deceivingly looks like there's just one).

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I was hoping for Korg's version of a Nord Stage 88: Kronos APs/Rhodes/Wurli, CX-3 (with drawbars and other goodies), knobby VA, along with split/layer and MIDI controller functions.

Basically, a Kronos without a sequencer, built-in sampler, or karma, but with a more tactile interface with dedicated controllers? Yeah, I'd go for that too, though it would probably be no cheaper than a Kronos.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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When Tucktronix has his I got to play it a few times. The action was the big thing for me and on any weighted board its an automatic deal killer if it does not feel right. I thought the EPs and Clavs sounded real good myself. I dont think they SV-1 was that bad but I wonder if the timing of it being released was a factor??

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The SV-1 is a really good board. I really liked the Ac pianos, rhodes and clavs, and really dug the DSP and amp sims... and really appreciated being able to dial-in something cool and funky at the flip of a switch. However, there were a few issues leading up to the sale of my SV-1.

 

As Jason(Outkaster) mentioned earlier, the keyboard action was a bit heavy for me and took some getting used to after 10 years with the Yamaha S80, but I was willing to adapt. Secondly, for the bands that I've been playing with lately, I needed a board with a wider palette of sounds and extensive split/layer functionality, and the SV-1 didn't fit the bill. For the features, weight and the price(got a whale of deal from Sweetwater), the Yamaha MOX8 was hard to pass up. Also, getting back to the keybed, after having it for several months, I noticed some separation between several keys. Aside from all that, the SV-1 is a good board with some cool electromechanical sounds and DSP processing and looks like a great deal with the new price.

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For me, the whole point of a stage keyboard is that it's lightweight and has a really simple user interface. 40 pounds tops for an 88, and more desirably, 35 pounds would be great.

 

Loving my Nord Stage classic, I unrealistically want the SV-1 to split and layer- it's easy peasey to do on the Stage, and you've got 6 voices to work with. But not at the SV-1 price point.

 

I'm like a few other folks here- i'd like to see the EP and Organ modeling from the Kronos, as well as one of the simpler synth engines, full tweaking using a computer but otherwise pretty simplified controls onboard. If they did, for example, the Oasys piano (so that no solid state drive would be needed), I'm guessing they could come up with an 8 part multi-timbral 88 note board that costs under $2,500.

 

After using the Nord Stage, the SV-1 is way too limited; I don't care that it's half the price, I wouldn't buy it. But on the other hand, the Stage is too pricey; so something between these two extremes would make a lovely stage keyboard, esp. if it weighed under 35 pounds!

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
Has Korg confirmed that the new SV-1s will have the improved/"fixed" RH3 action?

 

No, and I was surprised to see that they've hit the stores already. Korg is still in the process of swapping RH3 actions on the Kronos and supplies are limited. I played one of the new black SV-1 73s the other day and it seemed like the standard RH3. I didn't run into any double strikes, it felt fine.

 

If any one is interested in the new SV-1 black 73, all I've got to say is Hello Music.

 

Busch.

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