Nord Stage 3 Review: Piano for Stage Shows? -2023

Nord always builds instruments for professional musicians and the stage 3 digital piano has been in use for live performances and stage shows for ages. It is also one of the best pianos for music shows. This piano features a large internal memory and also encompasses diverse features, effects, and functions, and its weighted wooden keys that are sensitive to force emulate exceptional music from this piano.

Nord Stage 3 Review 2023

Nord Stage 3 88-Key Digital Piano
Editor Rating: 9.3/10
Performance and sounds9.3
Build Quality9.3
Value for money9.5

Three different versions of Nord Stage 3 digital piano

There are three versions of the Nord Stage 3 digital piano. The Nord Stage 3 88-key piano is the best version of the three. It features a fully weighted 88-keys keyboard and is the ideal choice for musicians who wish to play piano in its complete capability. The next version of Nord stage pianos is the Stage 3 HP76.

This piano has about 76 keys in total and also offers a slight hammer action. It is recommended for people who wish to have a portable piano in hand, that is also rich in functionalities. The last in the series is the Nord Stage 3 compact pianos. These pianos have 73 keys in them and they feature a semi-weighted key action. This is an exceptional piano for organ players and this mimics the C2 series of pianos from Nord. 

The major difference between these three versions of the digital piano, apart from their weight, dimensions, and drawbars in their sound engine. Let us discuss the Nord Stage 3 digital piano with 88 keys in this review, as it is the most commonly used piano and is also much preferred by professional pianists. 

The overall design and the external features of the Nord Stage 3

Design of Nord Stage 3

The Nord pianos are known for their robust design and their stylish red color. This distinctive feature of these pianos offers them an elegant appearance. This distinguishes the Nord pianos clearly from the rest of the pile and it is also the recipient of the best musical instrument hardware award for the year 2017.

The Nord Stage 3 digital piano features smooth lines and also combines both wood and metal in a high-end manner. The control panel of this piano is distinctive and elaborate and there are unique keys for distinct sound creation and customization. There is a knob or a button for every single piano function that we would require. The controls and corresponding knobs get organized under specific zones. There are two OLED displays on this piano that indicate the functions of the piano. 

The keyboard of the Nord Stage 3 digital piano

The Nord Stage 3 88 keys digital piano features the same design as that of the Nord Stage 2 EX. The keyboard is weighted and makes use of the key actions produced by Fatar, which have tremendous playability and would be great for stage shows and live performances. The keyboard offers a natural lift to the keypresses, just like the concert grand pianos. The keys in this digital piano make swift glides instantly and are exceptionally playable.

Pitch bend and mod wheel

The Nord Stage 3 digital piano also comes with a Mod wheel and a unique pitch blend. The pitch wheel has to be handled with the pitch stick and it also features a cut-out lip. Though this is not a standard pitch wheel, it performs at its best at full bends and vibrato. But the wheel is of small size and there is not much difference between the two extremes and budding pianists might find this feature hard to handle. The Mod wheel is thin and excellent and offers a decent level of resistance to make precise changes at any part of the music. 

Quality of piano sounds

The Nord Stage 3 digital piano features three main sound engines and features in-depth piano sounds. The sounds of this piano are sampled from grand acoustic pianos and users can swap the samples on the piano on-demand with the help of a USB connection and the provided Nord sound manager. The piano offers 2 GB of internal memory in its piano section to store the samples. 

The piano samples the well-known and highly praised Bosendorfer Grand Imperial XL piano and as it features an extensive memory, it could also come to include the Royal Grand 3D YaS6 XL piano. The instrument is also adequately and appropriately simulated with string resonances and appropriate velocity transitions. The piano library is available in four convenient sizes and these can be downloaded from Nord’s website as required. 

All the samples from this piano have great bases and they also feature exceptional effects section, that helps them shine on a stage show. There are clavinets included with eight pickup combinations, which are generally great for meeting the piano needs. Its harpsichords are also sampled in French and Italian variations. The piano features a 120-note polyphony, which is great to cover the classical music pieces 

Connectivity features

Connectivity features of Nord Stage 3

We will have our expectations with that of stage pianos and the Nord Stage 3 digital piano has not failed to accomplish this. It features a complete suite of connectivity options that are present on the rear panel of the piano.

There are four standard ¼” out jacks for audio channels. The first two channels are meant for the stereo output and the rest can be used to source different audio sources. There is a ¼” stereo headphone jack output. There is an organ swell jack to connect the three-pedal system with the piano. A new inclusion is a program up or down pedal jack that helps to navigate across the programs with a two-button pedal. There is a MIDI in and out jack, and a USB portal as well.

Nord sound manager and sample editor

This is an important aspect of the Nord Stage pianos. The sound manager program helps in managing the programs, songs, and presets and we can also manage the piano sounds for the piano section. We can easily manage the samples for the synth section and there is also a backup section for the complete instrument. It is also possible to restore the instrument with a complete backup file. This program is also available for the Windows and the OS X interface and is indeed a straightforward user interface. 

The Nord sample editor helps in converting the piano tunes into the new NSMP 3.0 format. This program maps the samples to the keys that correspond to the pitch, making the entire process as easy as a breeze. 

Must check: Best Digital Pianos Under $5000: Top 7 Best Premium Pianos

Pros & Cons of Nord Stage 3 Digital Piano


  • The samples of the piano are great and are taken from two grand acoustic pianos, namely the Bosendorfer Grand Imperial and the Royal Grand 3D.
  • The piano features an exceptional build quality and it has exceptional keys.
  • The instrument features a simple and effective synth section.
  • It features extensive easy-to-control effects and has a huge number of presets.
  • There are up to four split zones in this piano with intuitive controls.


  • The cost of this piano is at a higher-end
  • The effect section of this piano can be used only for one sound source.

Alternatives of Nord Stage 3

These are some of the best alternatives to Nord stage 3 digital piano.

Note: You can check more alternatives in our list of Top 14 Best Digital Pianos for Advanced Pianists.

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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