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Questions on Quality of SK1-88 Piano


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I just got a chance to try out an SK1-88. I really wanted to love this instrument, being a pianist first and foremost and hoping to get back into organ. Unfortunately, it just didn't work out for me.


First of all, just figuring out how to configure this to play acoustic piano was not straightforward. It would have helped if the salesman assisting me had known the instrument at all, to the point that he wasn't just randomly switching things to get it to work. After finally getting him to fetch me an owner's manual, I managed to set it to the default settings and then figure out how to configure the extra voices containing piano, and turn off the split keyboard so only the piano was used.


As far as the sound goes, I only had a cheap set of earphones, so it's hard to judge, but I found the acoustic grand sound to be good. Beyond that, nothing to add.


Doing a few jazz runs, the touch was o.k. although not stellar. I tried a bit of Beethoven and Debussy, and here it became quite obvious that there is no way that this keyboard would satisfy me, even in the slightest. So, despite the Hammond online demos to the contrary, don't expect this keyboard to inspire the pianist in you. It's just not likely to happen.


For jazz or rock piano where you're primarily after the sound of a piano, and are willing to compromise on phrasing and subtlety, ok, but otherwise you may be disappointed.


I did a side-by-side comparison with a Yamaha CP4 they had. That, on the other hand would do nicely for a pianist, while of course compromising the organ sounds and touch - kind of the reverse of the sk1-88.


I liked the design of the SK1-88, its size, look, weight. I had fun playing with some of the non-piano sounds. It's a great instrument. Like I said, I really wanted to love it. Unfortunately, I just couldn't.

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Welcome to Keyboard Corner.

I do piano stuff, particularly Romantic era, on my Kurzweil PC3X (88 key). Never really got exactly what I wanted out of the PC3 for Hammond, although close enough to be usable. Tried a Nord Electro 3-73 - a bit better on organ, but still not enough - sold it a year later. Got the SK1-73 - love it for organ. Piano and other extra voices are good enough for ensemble work.


One "do-it-all" board is kind of like seeking for the grail - you kiss a lot of frogs along the way and don't quite ever find the princess. A keyboard that really is excellent for pianistic work isn't going to work very well for Hammond and v.v.


Lot of folks here really like the CP4, I haven't played one. The CP4 along with an iPad running either Galileo or the Hammond sounds in Korg Module might satisfy pretty well.


Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."


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Being a pianist first i think it would serve you well to check out a Roland RD 800 or Yamaha CP4. Although i love the organs on SK1 if i were playing piano mostly it would not be my first choice. Welcome to the forum. I am planning on getting a SK1 73 later this year hopefully for mostly organ.
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To be honest, that's like saying a Selmer Mark V didn't prove particularly satisfactory for playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. I love the SK series but am baffled by the 88.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Being a pianist first i think it would serve you well to check out a Roland RD 800 or Yamaha CP4.


Agreed. Or a Kawai MP7. ;)


I have never tried the CP4's organs, however I gather they are of the rompler variety, rather than offering the adjustable drawbars of the Roland or Kawai.


As Aidan suggests, the SK1-88 is not geared towards piano players who wish to play a bit of organ, but organ players who wish to play a bit of piano.





Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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