Korg SV2 88-Key Stage Vintage Piano Review (2022)

The Korg SV2 Stage Vintage is the only piano to ever successfully combine the distinctive sound, the distinctive performance environment, and the aesthetic pleasure of so many iconic keyboards. The Stage Vintage line was introduced by Korg ten years ago to rousing acclaim. 

Since more than ten years ago, musicians from all over the world have been inspired by the combination of an intuitive live panel, the best keybed, the ultimate realization of coveted vintage sounds, the clarity of top-tier pianos, the warmth, and character of period-proper effects, and the distinctively smooth shape. 

These SV-2 models, which are the newest additions to the Stage Vintage series and are available with 88 or 73 keys, include more of everything that makes an SV fantastic. More noise. More Recall. Additional polyphony Extra Presets. More Command.

General Overview of Korg SV2 88-Key Piano

The long-awaited update to this cherished stage piano, the Korg SV2 88-key, was finally unveiled by Korg at NAMM 2020. But before we get into the specifics, let me point out one of the SV-2’s biggest red flags. They are in direct rivalry with one another because the top-tier SV-2 and the Korg Grandstage both have the same MSRP. Not only do the two instruments share many features, but they also sound similar. It will be fascinating to see how the Korg SV2 compares given our appreciation for the Korg Gradstage. 

korg sv2
Editor Rating: 9.3/10
FeaturesRating
Performance and sounds9.3
Connectivity9.2
Build Quality9.3
Value for money9.3

Now that that is out of the way, let’s get right to the review and determine whether the Korg SV2 is pricey or not. There are 4 variations of the Korg SV2. You can select between 73-key and 88-key versions, which come in both with and without speakers. The weight, dimensions, finish, and key count are the only other distinctions between each variation. 

Our evaluation focuses mostly on the 88-key Korg SV2 with speakers. The fact that the item included speakers didn’t significantly increase the weight either. As shown in the comparative chart above, adding speakers very slightly raises the weight above the threshold of 47 lbs (21 kg). So far, everything seems normal because the weight is comparable to that of other stage pianos. 

The Korg SV2’s appearance is what makes it unique. With its sleek, curved retro styling, the Korg SV2 still manages to catch people’s attention. From some perspectives, Korg’s instruments tend to favor practical design over striking aesthetics. The Korg SV2 is a terrific trend breaker because people don’t think the Kronos or Grandstage is especially eye-catching. 

The most recognizable aspect of Korg’s SV lineup is probably the distinctive curved top panel, which manages to look cohesive despite the addition of speakers on my review variant which the original didn’t have. For handling this component well, kudos to Korg’s creators. SV-2’s build quality is generally excellent though with one major flaw.  

The majority of the body is made of metal, and it has a wonderful glossy sheen that mimics the appearance of the original Korg SV1 dimensions. The curved surfaces feel wonderful to the touch, and the whole thing seems like a sturdy product that will hold up well over time. The knobs and buttons maintain the same level of quality. These controls have a good amount of heft and feedback, making every movement precise and tactile. The distinctive retro styling isn’t just for show.

Korg SV-2 88-key Stage Vintage Piano
  • 88-key Stage Vintage Piano with RH3 Hammer Action
  • 64 Instant-access Presets
  • 72 Instrument Sounds

The tube valve, which is situated to the left of the front panel, is another distinguishing characteristic of the Korg SV2 vs SV1. On the original SV-1 from Korg SV 1 review, there was much discussion on whether the tube truly altered the audio stream (it did), but many thought it was just a gimmick for the show. Particularly because it was prone to degrading with time (as you would anticipate from any valve tube). The tube appears to have been enhanced with the Korg SV2. 

This time, the tube tends to run cooler, and only LEDs are used to create the illumination. The warmth provided by the audio stream makes up for the fact that it is still somewhat of a visual gimmick. Although it’s difficult to predict how long the tube will last, even the Korg SV1 often lasts for several years before needing maintenance, so you should be in good shape. The bottom of the Korg SV2 has a significant build quality fault as pointed out above.

Although the remainder of the body is generally strong, the underside is made of particleboard that feels cheap and was also utilized in the first Korg SV-1. Although the audience cannot see this, extra caution is advised when moving it, as MDF boards aren’t known for being very sturdy. Overall, the control system is well-designed. 

The front panel is organized quite logically with an emphasis on hands-on control. This keyboard is naturally intuitive and is particularly appreciated in that you don’t need the user manual nearby to use it. If you’ve used the Korg Grandstage before, you might experience a sense of Deja-vu, and that’s okay. 

We appreciated Grandstage’s straightforward design, and the addition of retro styling does heighten the novelty. Some have issues with the controls because of some bad design decisions.

For instance, it’s difficult to mix the level of a three-voice sound that was created using splits and layers since you have to hold down the equalizer knobs for a certain period of time before switching to the mixing mode.

Additionally, there isn’t a logical way to create split sounds directly from the front panel controls when it comes to splitting. In actuality, sound editing is trending in that direction. A lot of adjustments that seem routine must be made using the program editor, which seems weird. Although the use of external software is necessary, the “hands-on” approach could have been fully implemented.

Finally, you don’t have modulation wheels or pitch bend, which is a heinous sin for instruments that are designed for the theater. This is partly understandable given the Korg SV2’s sound repertoire, but it would be fantastic to have a mod wheel for adjusting the speed of the organ’s rotating movements or a pitch-bend wheel to employ more synthesizers in addition to the Korg SV2. 

These may only be minor complaints, depending on how you use a stage piano, but they are found to be fairly unsatisfactory, especially given that the controls on the majority of other stage pianos (and even inexpensive keyboards!) are perfect. All things considered, you are receiving a stunning, well-made, and hands-on-focused stage piano, but there are a few points to keep in mind.

korg sv2 88

Having said that, the Korg SV2 still boasts one of the most recognizable looks if you solely want an attention-getter. The Korg SV2 uses the RH3 keybed, which is the exact same keybed found on the Korg Grandstage that we previously evaluated, much like the majority of Korg’s other high-end instruments. The original Korg SV 1 has the same keys as well.

 If you’re curious, the same keys are also employed in Korg’s cabinet-style digital pianos, so despite their antiquity, don’t let that deceive you. We have previously applauded these tried-and-true actions many times. The keys are created in Miyama, Japan, and have a graded action, which means that the lighter keys fall in the lower range of the range. 

Despite some might bemoaning the keys being purely plastic, they feel just as wonderful as the hybrid wooden keys on the comparably priced stage pianos from Roland and Yamaha. The most crucial factor is how the keys feel, and even though this action has been around for more than a decade, we still think it’s one of the best. The black keys have a matte black finish, while the white keys have a synthetic glossy acrylic top. 

Features

  • More sample data: The SV-2 has a lot of memory and can store a variety of brand-new piano and keyboard sounds. It has 64 memory spaces to save edited Favorites for quick access during a performance and 72 engaging sounds.
  • Truly reproducing sound: You can use as much or as little of these real-world objects as you need to create a three-dimensional sensation of presence. The RX Layer somehow preserves every aspect, from the slap of the time to the release of the hammer and the click of the contacts.
  • Responsiveness: The best KORG RH3 graded-hammer action keybed is shared by all SV-2 Stage Vintage instruments. This RH3 keybed delivers every expressive aspect precisely while being remarkably sensitive to the subtleties of every performance.
  • The incredible Korg SV2 was developed by KORG in collaboration with Italian speaker designers K-ARRAY. The Korg SV 2S comes equipped with every function found in the Korg SV-2 as well as a built-in speaker system, enabling it to play anywhere and whenever you are.
  • All you need is one box Bundle with a Bench, Sustain Pedal, Double Braced X-style Keyboard Stand, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth.

Also check: Best Beginner Digital Pianos & Keyboards 2022

Sounds

Even though the Korg SV1 had good sound at the time, it falls short when compared to contemporary keyboards and pianos. Thankfully, this has been fixed in the latest release. The Korg SV-2 features an improved EDS synthesis engine, known as EDS-X, and the differences between the new sounds and those from a decade ago are immediately audible. The SV 1’s sounds were of lesser sample quality than what we’d anticipate from digital pianos from the present period, and it was obvious. 

korg sv2 88key

Particularly, the piano sounds lacked sustained time and definition, which made them inferior to their more contemporary equivalents. You receive twice as many sounds as the original SV-1 with the SV-2’s enhanced 72-sound preset library.

The sensation of limitation with the original was a common criticism, but 72 sounds is a lot to work with. You may be curious as to why Korg chose not to utilize the SGX-2 and EP-1 engines found in the Korg Grandstage.

People were interested to see how things would differ because this difference is one of the key distinctions between the two. However, writing this article so soon after using the Grandstage brought to light certain auditory similarities between the two instruments, which sound remarkably similar. 

That’s definitely an advantage for the SV-2, especially given how fantastic the Grandstage sounded.  However, the advertised figure of 72 sounds isn’t entirely correct. Up to 400 sounds are accessible through the included software editor, some of which are entirely unreachable from the SV-2 itself, as we’ll cover in the software editor section later on. Even though this choice is odd, for the time being just think about it.

Specifications

Some of the aspects of the Korg SV2 piano include the following:

  • Action 3 Real Weighted Hammer (RH3).
  • Full-size, fully weighted 88/73 keys.
  • 8 velocity curves for touch sensitivity.
  • EDS-X is the sound engine (Enhanced Definition Synthesis).
  • Preset Tones are 72 (6 base sounds x 2 sets of 6 variations).
  • Polyphony of 128 notes.
  • The modes are Split and Layer.
  • The Korg SV2 has two 15-watt speakers (SV-2S only).
  • The effects on the Korg SV2 include equalizers, modulators, reverbs, delays, amp simulation, vox wah, vibrato, and tremolo, among others.
  • You need a USB to Host (type B), MIDI In/Out ports, two XLR balanced outputs, two unbalanced outputs, a headphone output, two line inputs, and three pedal inputs for the connections available (damper, expression, footswitch).

Pros

  • The Korg SV2 is well-built.
  • The SV2 Korg looks so beautiful appearance-wise.
  • Electric pianos and pianos with great tones.
  • Stage pianos with amp simulations are among the best available.
  • The Korg SV2 offers a practical control strategy.
  • One of the greatest mediocre onboard editing solutions is the RH3 keybed on the Korg SV2.

Cons

  • It needs third-party software to operate at its peak potential.
  • Some controls are difficult to operate on the Korg SV2.

Competition

To keep their dominant position in the market, many companies are vying with one another to outperform the competition. The keyboards for the contest are; 

Nord Electro 6D 73 Semi-Weighted Keyboard vs Korg SV2 88-Key Piano

In a very compact design, the Nord Electro 6D 73 Key Semi-Weighted Action Keyboard mixes simulations of classic electro-mechanical and acoustic instruments. This is one of the most powerful and adaptable Electros ever, a polished modern classic, thanks to its three distinct sound sections, streamlined user interface, and the inclusion of Seamless Transitions. 

With choices for alphabetical, numerical, and category sorting, the List View makes it simple to explore all of the Programs, Pianos, and Synth Samples. A refined program section and seamless transitions. When switching sounds or programs while playing, the Nord Electro 6D Keyboard offers automatically smooth transitions. 

A convenient Organize mode with Copy/Paste and Move capabilities are available in the simplified Program section to let you rapidly arrange your applications in the order you like. A Page View lets you easily sort and organize pages as a song list.

Nord Electro 6D 73 73-Note Semi-Weighted Waterfall Keybed...
  • Bundle Includes: Nord Electro 6D 73 Key Semi-Weighted Action Keyboard, Knox Gear TX-100 Closed-Back Studio Monitor Headphones, Knox Gear Adjustable X-Style Keyboard Bench, Knox Gear Adjustable Double X Keyboard Stand, and On Stage KSP100 Keyboard Piano Style Sustain Pedal (Black)
  • Sound Sections: 3 Independent sound sections
  • Physical Drawbars: Physical drawbars for dedicated organ players

RockJam 88-key Digital Piano vs Korg SV2 88-key Piano

The RockJam 88-key digital piano has full-size velocity-sensitive keys, which help you improve both your playing style and tone while maintaining a classical aesthetic. The RockJam keyboard piano has a classic and elegant design, yet it is packed with modern capabilities, such as 10 distinct voices, 10 demo tunes, 10 tones, and 10 metronome settings. 

To improve learning, select from standard, split, layer, and lesson modes. The RockJam 88 Key piano keyboard has a 24 Watt sound system with two built-in speakers that can fill a whole room. You can also use the auxiliary outputs to pump up the music for a larger audience and the microphone input to sing along while you play. If you want to practice quietly without disturbing others, use the headphone jack. The USB and auxiliary inputs make it simple to play along with your favorite music. 

RockJam 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard Piano with Full Size...
  • This RockJam 88 digital piano keyboard has 88 full-sized, semi-weighted, velocity-sensitive keys that closely replicate the feel of a real piano.
  • This weighted keyboard piano is packed with modern features including ten unique voices (upright piano, electric keyboard piano, grand piano, strings, synth, bass, guitar, percussion, Hammond organ, and church organ.)
  • The inbuilt stereo speakers on this electric keyboard deliver a powerful 24 Watts of sound.

Donner DEP-20 Beginner Weighted Keyboard vs Korg sv2 Top Digital Piano

The DEP20 has a conventional design that complements any decor thanks to its traditional style. Two persons may transport the piano from room to room as needed thanks to the small cabinet’s much-reduced space requirements compared to an acoustic upright piano. Sheet music and portable equipment can be stored in the built-in brackets. Students need a strong foundation to study piano properly so they can acquire good technique and prevent creating undesirable habits that are difficult to break. 

The DEP20 has a tone and expressiveness you won’t find on other pianos thanks to decades of development by donner. This high-quality instrument provides you with uncompromising performance that will carry you through years of playing, packed with features from our premium home pianos.

Donner DEP-20 Beginner Digital Piano 88 Key Full Size...
  • 🎹 【Full-Weighted 88 key keyboard】The digital electric piano is constructed by 88 full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response. This 88-key weighted keyboard allows to adjust your desired playing style.
  • 🎹 【238 Tones & 128 Polyphony】 The 88-key weighted keyboard loaded with 238 types of tone like Ukulele, drum, bass, etc. vividly presenting voices of different instruments, arousing your keen to learn music. The digital electric piano with 128-note max polyphony, players could distinguish tone clearly in Chorus & Reverb under various occasions.
  • 🎹【Double Keyboard & Control Panel】This 88 key weighted keyboard provides dual-tone mode for combining two voices together, like piano and drum, inspiring to make a new creation. Panel includes sustain pedal, triangle pedal and audio inputs & outputs, perfectly used for music arrangement and an ensemble.

One Smart Weighted 88-Key Digital Piano vs Korg SV2 88-Key Piano

You can learn to play your first song quickly with the ONE Smart Piano! The one aims to make playing the piano more enjoyable and affordable when paired with free mobile applications for iOS and Android. Piano games, integrated video lectures, and light-up keys are all helpful learning tools for beginning musicians. 

Even seasoned players can enjoy themselves by selecting some of the hundreds of pieces of free sheet music available. Simply establish a connection to our free software, The ONE Smart Piano, and you may start with a crash course to learn a song in a matter of minutes or select a game mode with arcade-style scoring. You may purchase the newest pop songs or select from our collection of thousands of free music sheets to learn a tune note by note. 

Only when you press the proper piano key does the music advance. Kids may play the learning game with a journey-style format in our other app, One Pianist. Additionally adding MIDI capability, this smart piano also integrates with other MIDI-based applications like Yousician, piano Maestro, and even garage band. Everyone can afford it and enjoy it. Purchase The ONE Smart Piano right away to get playing right away.

The ONE Smart Piano, Weighted 88-Key Digital Piano, Grand...
  • Beginner Friendly: Guided by 88 red and blue LED lights to start playing piano in minutes. Connect the piano to our app via Bluetooth. More than 4000 sheet music, 100 instructional videos and games in the free apps. The ONE smart piano is not only a piano, but also a teacher.
  • 88 Full-Wighted Standard Keys: 88 weighted standard keys with graded hammer action and touch response provide the player a pleasant and authentic playing experience. The ONE Smart Piano is visually and acoustically comparable to an authentic piano.
  • High Quality Sound: The sound of the digital piano comes from grand piano sound sampling and 16-bit stereo sampling techniques, which guarantees the high quality sound of the piano. Also, there are 426 timbres in the app for you to choose from.

Conclusion

The Korg SV2 is a nice example of a contemporary stage piano. In fact, people were pleasantly pleased because they had expected this review to be a duplicate copy of the Korg Grandstage. The Korg SV2 targets keyboardists and pianists who desire a piece of equipment that does exactly what it says on the tin. It adheres to an earlier design philosophy that prioritizes simplicity. That’s fine, and you may anticipate strong SV-2 sales. It is a nice and great piano.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is Korg SV2 Worth It?

Our evaluation of the Korg SV-2 has been mostly positive. We genuinely think that this is a powerful keyboard, and suggest it to keyboard aficionados. Given that it costs half as much and sounds just as good, if not better than a Nord, it would be suggested for you. 
There are 4 variations of the Korg SV-2. You may select between 73- and 88-key versions, which come in both with and without speakers. The weight, size, finish, and key count are the only other distinctions between each variation. 

2. Does Korg SV2 Have Built-in Speakers?

Enjoy the KORG SV-2’s sound, appearance, and performance everywhere you go. For the incredible SV-2S, KORG collaborated with Italian speaker designers K-Array. The Korg SV2 has all the same features as the SV-2, plus an integrated speaker system.

3. How Many Independent Stages of Studio-grade Signal Processing Does the SV-2 Feature?

The Korg Valve Reactor circuit, which reproduces the extra warmth or fat snarl of a genuine 12AX7A vacuum tube, powers the SV-2’s six separate phases of studio-grade signal processing.

4. Where is Korg Made?

Electronic tuners, guitar pedals, audio processors, and electronic musical instruments are all made by the Japanese business Korg Incorporated. The Japanese multinational company Korg Inc. Keio Electronic Laboratories, produces electronic musical instruments, audio processors and guitar pedals, recording gear, and electronic tuners.

5. What is an Korg SV2 Diagram?

Systems, their ports, and the Resource Flows between those ports make up an SV-2. If it is practicable, the architect may decide to depict all Resource Flows on a single diagram rather than drawing a separate design for each Resource Flow for each System. Any SV2 model may demonstrate: How are the ports connected? The Systems of which the ports are a part.

Being in love with music, Larry started this website to help piano lovers get the most detailed and accurate information with his 5 Years of experience of working in a music store.

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