Korg SV-1 Stage Vintage Piano 73-Key Black
"SV" stands for "Stage Vintage," and the Korg SV-1's vintage-instrument vibe is apparent before you even hear it. The curved case is clearly built to stand up to the rigors of live performance (and turn a few heads in the process). Flip the substantial power toggle and watch as amber lights blink to life on the beveled control panel. Turn chunky, clicking knobs to select and tweak your sound, or punch eight fat buttons to access your favorites. The controls are a breeze to operate, with nearly every function accessible via a dedicated knob -- ideal for live performance. The keyboard itself utilizes Korg's fully-weighted RH3 graded hammer-action keybed (just like the one found on the Korg M-50), and you can adjust its sensitivity to one of eight curves by clicking the dedicated Touch button. Touch-sensitivity is memorized when you save a favorite sound. There's an included damper pedal, and a full three pedal inputs mean you can also hook up sostenuto and soft pedals of a real piano. It's clear that Korg has taken every care to approximate the real deal in the SV-1.
Vintage Instrument Sounds
The SV-1 may not be a time machine, but it's the next best thing for a keyboardist looking to transport their audience back to the classic sounds of the '60s, '70s, and '80s. You'll find loads of Rhodes and Wurlitzers, plenty more electric/electro-mechanical pianos, detailed acoustic pianos (including an impressive upright), indispensable pop piano/pad layers, Hohner Clavinets, and Hammond, Lowrey and Farfisa organs. Click the dial over to "Other" to find tasty novelties like Mellotron-esque violins, a 70s disco "Solina String Ensemble" homage, the obligatory synth choir, and even a couple of iconic 80s pop polysynths. On the acoustic pianos and electro-mechanical instruments, Korg's RX (Real eXperience) Technology sound generator goes beyond multisampling to include subtle imperfections that accompany the notes: the thunk of a damper pedal, clicking keys, snapping tines. You can adjust these RX effects independently, depending on just how "vintage" you want your instrument to sound. Easily switch between a pristine $60,000 concert grand to a trashed-out, ill-behaved suitcase piano that you picked up at a yard sale.
Vintage Effects and Amps
Vintage electric piano sounds go hand-in-hand with period-accurate effects and amps. But typical amp simulations don't include a power amp circuit -- and the sound of a real tube amplifier depends on the varying impedance created by a power amp driving a speaker. So Korg built the SV-1's Valve Reactor as an actual low-wattage power amp circuit, complete with the real 12AX7 vacuum tube built into the front panel. Sonically, this translates into the unmistakable warmth and growl of a tube amp through your choice of speaker cabinets. Like the effect chain in a classic instrument amplifier, the SV-1 has a three-band equalizer section; stompbox "pre" effects simulator with compressor, booster, univibe, vibrato, tremolo, and Vox wah; and post-amp modulation section with chorus, phaser, flanger, and rotary speaker effects. There are also six types of reverb and delay, plus two limiters to keep your levels under control. And you can bypass any or all of these stages, to shape your tone to your liking.
Dig In Deep with Free Editor Software
There's more to the SV-1 than meets the eye. Connect your SV-1's USB port to your Mac or PC to back up and edit all your sounds and effects with Korg's SV-1 Editor/Librarian software. Graphic-based and painless to use, this free software extends the SV-1 experience to your computer to make digging into sounds and effects fun and rewarding. Access parameters beyond what you'll find on the SV-1's front panel to develop your own signature sounds. If you need more than eight spots to save your favorite sounds, you can now override any of the 36 presets with sounds of your creation, or load new sound banks that Korg releases through their website.
Korg SV-1 Features: