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KORG Grandstage - stage piano that you surely want to buy

KORG Grandstage - stage piano that you surely want to buy

Premiered at NAMM 2017 flagship digital piano KORG Grandstage amazes with its capabilities. Sound engines taken from KORG Kronos, keyboard 6/7-octave options, user-friendly interface and high-quality wear-resistant housing for long-term use anywhere you want – on stage, in the studio or at home, it’s going to serve you for 100 years! And a nice surprise to make the fans of the brand happy - this Korg is assembled in Japan!

KORG Grandstage

Korg has been on its way to reduce the cost of the company’s instruments - simpler material, assembly in the third world countries. And in order to keep the sales afloat the brand repainted the housing and increased its role in tendencies - returned to the analog and turned to the youth. It was so bad actually that the only "real Japanese synthesizer", a quality and advanced digital instrument enclosed in a reliable housing of premium materials assembled in Japan, was Kronos – that’s it, just Kronos. This approach is common to the entire Japanese trio - both Roland and Yamaha behave exactly the same: Roland goes even more "budget-like", Yamaha is a bit less into it, but anyway their essence has all been about economizing recently.

But here came Roland RD-2000 - a great digital piano and master controller 2 in 1 with a focus on stage use. Yamaha has a lot of stage instruments in its assets, for example CP4, CP5, etc. KORG, which previously produced only middle-price pianos, offered the concept of "all-purposeness", i.e. suitable for both stage and home, for example SV-1, or even unique hybrids, such as Pa588 (arranger + stage piano), or performer synthesizer N1, where there were more synth sounds than those of classic piano. Until nowadays, if you needed a stage piano and you’ve always been a fan of Korg - then there was only one choice - Kronos 2 88 at an inhuman price (slightly less than USD4000). At the same time, you realized that you will not use all of its mega-extensive functions of the workstation.

But then came 2017 and at the main musical exhibition the Japanese company announced Grandstage - a digital performance piano created for the true professionals. Grandstage is not a workstation as Kronos is, and it offers a more tolerable price of about $2,300-$2,500, dragging the attention of new users who do not need the functions of a "computerized studio" a top-end instrument offers. However, Korg’s new creature took the sound engines from Kronos, and this is certainly a positive fact which guarantees the premium quality.

So, what Grandstage is all about:

1. Sound engines:

  • SGX-2 (acoustic piano): max 240 voices
  • EP-1 (electric piano): 100 voices
  • AL-1 (analog modeling): 36 voices
  • CX-3 (electric organ): 128 voices
  • VOX Organ (transistor organ): 100 voices
  • Compact Organ (compact transistor organ): 100 voices

In total, an unimaginable number of 19 GB waveforms fill the instrument. There are also 16 demo songs to dazzle you with the sound quality right after the purchase. Technically, the output parameters of the audio signal are of the premium level - the frequency range from 20 to 22000 Hz, with almost no distortion (0.005%), the signal-to-noise ratio is 105 dB.

2. Programs

500 presets, 64 memory cells for "Favorites".

3. Effects

4 insert effects, 3-band equalizer, several types of reverb, different types of delay.

4. Keyboard, controllers, user interface

There’s a selection between 2 sizes of a weighted keyboard - 88 keys and 73 keys (Grandstage 88 and Grandstage 73). Both keyboards do not support aftertouch, but are velocity sensitive. Since this is a stage piano, the interface is focused on live performances, there are encoders for quick selection of instruments, effects, user-welcoming 16 large buttons for the Favorite options right in the center of the instrument, pitch/mod wheels. 2 displays, though on organic diodes, but quite small ones – remind of the approach applied in KingKORG. So the screens are actually the same.

5. Connectivity

Like any modern instrument of this level, Grandstage has a full connectivity range ensuring smooth interaction with other digital devices - MIDI input/output, USB ports (for memory card and for computer, with USB MIDI support), inputs for pedals.

What do we get? We get an excellent, multifunctional, high-quality unit. And what is important - beautiful and stylish. An upcoming bestseller assembled in Japan.

Published: 10:39 07.07.2017
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