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Korg SV-1: Still a viable choice?


analogman1

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Hey folks,

 

With all of the stage pianos available these days, there's not much mention of the SV-1 anymore. The times I've tried one at a store, I've really enjoyed the interface and general playability of it. However, though I'm aware of the PX5s and others, in that approximate price range I have not yet had a chance to compare any o them directly to the Korg. (I've owned the Privia PX3, which was damaged and needs repair; so I know the Privia line is a fantastic value already).

 

I'm less interested in covering a ton of synth and brass/string sounds, etc. I've got my Mac running MainStage for that. I really am just interested in whatever competes with the Piano/EP/Clav sounds. (the extra organ sounds in the SV-1 would be only used as a backup in case of computer failure, or if I were just looking to take one keyboard to a rehearsal).

 

Also, the fact that things can be so easily tweaked on the Korg, in realtime, are more useful to me than having a ton of sounds that I probably would not use. (or at least, hardly use!)

 

Therefore, I'm really just seeking any opinions of the current completion vs the Korg SV-1. I'm disappointed that Korg never produced a direct follow up to this instrument: I was hoping there would be something at the last NAMM show, but apparently, nothing.

 

Thanks in advance!

Tom

Tom

Nord Electro 5D, Modal Cobalt 8, Yamaha upright piano, numerous plug-ins...

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I was also considering an SV-1 , loved the interface, had a good feel, loved the real time tweaking, but it was heavy, cumbersome to lift or carry, and as pointed out to me by several owners, theres better sounds out there, especially acoustic pianos, I did like the EP's a lot. Organ not very good at all.I ended up with a Moxf8, better AP, EP and tons of other sounds, but you don't need them as stated. If Korg ever did an SV 2 , I would highly consider one, but as of now, Im very happy with the moxf.

Theres also been a ton of issues with the keybed, go onto the korg forums and check out what others say, its the RH3 keybed.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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Is it still a viable choice? Yes, but I think there are several better options in the $1,500 range. For $200 more you could get a Yamaha CP40, which has better AP and EP sounds (though the SV-1 has better Clavs) and better action. For $500 less, the PX-5S has better EP and Clav sounds, but AP sounds and action are probably a draw.

 

At this point, I don't think the SV-1 would be anyone's first choice, and I think the reason an SV-2 doesn't exist is because the 1 hasn't sold as well as Korg would've liked. The price drop last year(?) would support this theory. The SV-1 could totally be the board for you, but objectively speaking, there are newer options with better sound and action.

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IMO, the Korg SV-1 is still viable over everything else in its price range because it is built like a tank, tweakable in real-time and fun to play. YMMV.

 

If you can get an even lower price because it's "old" now, it really becomes a steal. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Very nice piano for the price. Action was a bit odd though. My favourite sounds were the Rhodes sounds when grunged up

 

I remember back in 2010 or 2011 when I bought one I was going between the SV1 and the Nord Stage 2 and went for the SV1 because I could not stomach the price of the Stage 2.

 

Fast forward 3 years and the SV1 is gone and I am taking delivery of the Stage 2 this week..

 

 

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And still one of the most fun keyboards I've ever played. Remember that SV stands for Stage Vintage. That's what it's designed to do and it does it brilliantly. It feels like you're playing a vintage board with very responsive idiosyncrasies. I wouldn't choose it as my only 88 but it would be a great board to have at hand. If you're looking for a great acoustic piano sound with a great action there are better choices at that price point. But if you're looking for insanely playable EPs with a decent piano sound and an interface that begs for tweaking nothing else does it better for the money.

 

Mind you, I've never owned one and have only played them a few times back-lined at gigs so I can't comment on their maintenance, lug-ability, or reliability issues. Korg could keep this in their catalog for years as is. I doubt that they sell enough of them to justify making an SV2.

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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I have the 73 key model, the more I play it the more I like it. I really love the interface and the sounds especially the EP. It has a great finger to ear connection and I never have trouble finding enough space on stage. I don't use the organ sounds, I have a VR-09 for that. The two boards make a fun little rig.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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If you like the interface I don't think there is anything else that is going to provde you that style of on the fly tweakability.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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I'm going to revise my statement. It wouldn't be anyone but Prof's first choice. ;)

 

I think it really depends on what's important to you. Particularly for piano/EP, it does well, and I think the interface is nice. The tube adds something other keys don't have. As an example, dirty Wurlitzer sounds are way better than on my Kronos, which you would think would be identical. One of my biggest criticisms of the Privia is the user interface, though I know that's subjective. I wouldn't want the SV-1 for organ/synth sounds, where others have the advantage. But I think there's a sweet spot it could hit for certain people.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I bonded with the SV-1 action, didn't like the cheap wiggly knobs, and the switches which don't give you any control of overdrive for instance between "off" and "stun".

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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between "off" and "stun".

 

are there any other settings? :D

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I agree with Dan and others, particularly if you're EP focussed, I think the SV1 is still a very strong board. And there is a "fun factor" to its operation that is missing from the PX-5S.

 

Though at the price (and weight) of the SV1, if you're looking for a piano/EP board, I would also look at Yamaha CP40 as well as possibly Kawai MP6 and Kurzweil SP5-8.

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 still bring out the SV when I need a bottom board that does just AP and EP, with the focus on EP. The Wurli in particular is still second to none for my money, including the recent offerings from Yamaha and Casio. (YMMV, of course.) And since Wurli is my main "piano" voice for a lot of gigs these days, I don't see myself parting with the SV anytime soon.
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The thread title reminded me of a recent GS rant on how "uncool" it is to used such an "old-fashioned" sound as an acoustic piano in "modern" music.

 

What is old is new again, in the right hands.

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In the same way that many keyboards have become classics, I think the SV-1 will be a classic in the years to come. It will always be cool, and for those who like it's retro sounds and controls combined with excellent weighted action, it'll always be a mainstay keyboard.

 

Not enough gets said about the fat sound the keyboard derives from it's tube preamp. Play it side-by-side with the a Nord equivalent which doesn't have the tube preamp and the difference is clear.

 

I think Korg missed the boat by not pushing the retro-cool of the SV-1 as far as they could... leather biker jackets with the SV-1 logo would have been most excellent!

 

http://zkcd.net/_gfx/matos/dyn/large/korg-sv-1_13.jpg

 

 

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I bonded with the SV-1 action, didn't like the cheap wiggly knobs, and the switches which don't give you any control of overdrive for instance between "off" and "stun".

I also had the same experience when I was checking this board out, it was straight out of the box literally and it felt like the knobs would break off in my hand. I think the keybed was improved with the 2nd generation board ( black). It really is a fun instrument to play, even if korg did some more updates to the sounds, ( which they havnt for a while ) I would still consider it, it meets what Im looking for in a lot of ways. Go to a store and play it for a while, that will be the deciding factor.I really wanted to get one of these a few months back, but for a few $ more, I got a whole lot more with the moxf8, but that's not for everyone either.

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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I still bring out the SV when I need a bottom board that does just AP and EP, with the focus on EP. The Wurli in particular is still second to none for my money, including the recent offerings from Yamaha and Casio. (YMMV, of course.) And since Wurli is my main "piano" voice for a lot of gigs these days, I don't see myself parting with the SV anytime soon.

Ive been considering starting to use the wurli 200 at gigs, its not that bad to travel with, running mine through a blues o/d pedal and a wah pedal is a ton of fun. :cool:

"Ive been playing Hammond since long before anybody paid me to play one, I didn't do it to be cool, I didnt do it to make a statement......I just liked it "

 

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Personally I avoid that thing like the plague. I've had two and got rid of both within a month. The first one was devoid of mechanical issues, it was more a sonic reason. The second SV1 exhibited action problems right away. Even with the newer soundpack 2 sounds it wasn't happening for me.

 

Also if reading the SV1 Korg forums and all tons of problems there isn't enough to dissuade someone..well. ;) I feel the SV1 was the beginning of Korgs march to the bottom with regard to quality control on their boards. Unless someone *gave* me a Korg keyboard, I wouldn't own one. And then if it was a gift, I'd probably sell it for a quality Yamaha. :) A drag because I used to play Korgs exclusively, different company now though.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

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The first one was devoid of mechanical issues, it was more a sonic reason. ... Even with the newer soundpack 2 sounds it wasn't happening for me.

I can definitely see that with the APs, but even with the EPs? Or was that moot because of the AP?

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 read the thread posted above by D-Bon. I'm concerned that the action of the black 73 key model I'm interested in is the "old" RH-3 action. Is this correct?

 

Assuming you're looking at a new model in a store (not a used one), it should be the new RH3. You can tell by looking at the sticker on the top key. If it just says "RH3," that's the old version. If it says "RH3 Japan," that's the new one (the one you want).

 

If the sticker is gone, you can tell just by looking at the keys if you know what to look for. On the old version, the gaps between the E and F keys, and between the B and C keys were noticeably wider than the rest. The new version solved that problem. So if they keys look like they should, it's new. If they look like they need braces, it's old.

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