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Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
#3027133 09/20/20 11:28 AM
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Hey everyone,

Many years ago I learned playing on an old acoustic piano, but now I'm in the market for a digital piano. I've spent about three weeks narrowing them down to two primary options within my budget (approx $2800 Australian), though the less I have to pay the better. I guess I'm looking at value.

  • Korg G1 Air $2399 AU (or C1 Air $1799 AU)
  • Roland DP603 $2699 AU


I was wondering if anyone had any opinions on the above.

Some extra useful info:

  • I've tried the Yamaha 635 and I'm not a fan of it. It feels a little heavy.
  • I'd like something with more sounds than less, but sound quality is important too.
  • I like the action on the Roland LX705, but it doesn't sound right. Not bad per se, just ... slightly off.
  • The streamline cabinet look is important. I haven't played any Kawais before, and I've been told to check them out, but any in my budget seem to have the traditional styling and I'm not a fan of that. I'm open to other ideas though. The Yamaha YDP S54 and Roland F140R come to mind.
  • I'm in the middle of a lockdown - most shops are closed and therefore I can't really test any instruments. But, I believe that within reason, between two amazing actions, I'm splitting hairs over which one feels better.



Cheers for your help.

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3027167 09/20/20 01:16 PM
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Have you had a chance to try any of the Kawai digitals?

I'm on my eighth 88-note digital piano. I've had 1 Kurzweil, 2 Yamahas, 3 Casio Privias, 1 Korg Kronos 88, and now a Kawai. The Kawai is not the most expensive out of the bunch but it definitely has the most realistic sound and feel to me. I can see keeping the Kawai even after getting an acoustic grand.

You may or may not like the Kawai but I would strongly recommend trying one before you make your final decision.

Best of luck!

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3027218 09/20/20 04:02 PM
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I'm happy with my Korg C1 Air. I didn't get to test drive different brands & I don't come from an acoustic piano background, so my experience probably isn't worth much. But so far, there's nothing about the Korg that disappoints. Sounds pretty, easy to use, looks nice, & my hands & wrists don't ache like they did with my old keyboard.

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
No Expectations #3027653 09/21/20 10:09 PM
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Thanks for the replies so far.

Originally Posted by djvu10
Have you had a chance to try any of the Kawai digitals?

I'm on my eighth 88-note digital piano. I've had 1 Kurzweil, 2 Yamahas, 3 Casio Privias, 1 Korg Kronos 88, and now a Kawai. The Kawai is not the most expensive out of the bunch but it definitely has the most realistic sound and feel to me. I can see keeping the Kawai even after getting an acoustic grand.

You may or may not like the Kawai but I would strongly recommend trying one before you make your final decision.

Best of luck!

How did you feel about the Korg Kronos? If only the Kawai had a different looking cabinet for their pianos. I know they have the CA99, but that's double my budget. I guess in US dollars my budget is around $2000.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like piano stores or any non-essential retail stores are going to be open in my area until end of October/start of November.

Originally Posted by No Expectations
I'm happy with my Korg C1 Air. I didn't get to test drive different brands & I don't come from an acoustic piano background, so my experience probably isn't worth much. But so far, there's nothing about the Korg that disappoints. Sounds pretty, easy to use, looks nice, & my hands & wrists don't ache like they did with my old keyboard.

Even if you haven't played on an acoustic piano, and didn't test drive different brands, I presume you still tested a few other digital pianos in the store and went with the Korg. Is there anything you don't like about it?

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
djvu10 #3027749 09/22/20 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by djvu10
Have you had a chance to try any of the Kawai digitals?

I'm on my eighth 88-note digital piano. I've had 1 Kurzweil, 2 Yamahas, 3 Casio Privias, 1 Korg Kronos 88, and now a Kawai. The Kawai is not the most expensive out of the bunch but it definitely has the most realistic sound and feel to me. I can see keeping the Kawai even after getting an acoustic grand.

You may or may not like the Kawai but I would strongly recommend trying one before you make your final decision.

Best of luck!

+1


Peter
--------------------------------
Yamaha U1 / Kawai CS11 / Kawai MP11SE / Hammond XK-3c
Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3027756 09/22/20 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by onover
Thanks for the replies so far.
Even if you haven't played on an acoustic piano, and didn't test drive different brands, I presume you still tested a few other digital pianos in the store and went with the Korg. Is there anything you don't like about it?

I also bought the C1 last week and I'm totally enjoying practicing with it. I had a Yamaha P-115 before it and the actions felt rather shallow and overall just didn't feel good. I couldn't convince myself to get up and practice. The speaker system was also to blame even though it had two tweeters on top.

However I think the comparison between a low-end model from Yamaha and a mid-range from Korg isn't reasonable.

So let me arrive from another point of view. I am taking piano lessons at a school where there are acoustic upright and digital mid-range Yamaha pianos. I have played mainly their acoustic uprights and little the Yamaha ones.

The action of the C1 feels is definitely lighter than the GH Yamaha action, and close to a typical upright. I can even sense a bit of 'escapement' when I press a key. The keys have plastic surfaces, which don't bother me at this stage of learning (though the black keys have matte finish).

There's a bit of getting used to when it comes to the RH3 action on this piano. You need to adjust your technique and be more subtle with your playing in order to play pianimisso and low velocity notes, or else they will sound kinda jarring. (Remember my main instrument was a Yamaha P115).
The little escapement I believe allows you to play rapid notes without releasing the keys (Just had a little test with that, I could test more if you want).

The sound system sounds great to me, given the powerful speakers and the choice of two different piano sounds. They sounds crisp and bold. I really like it.

There's a complete review of C1 here: https://www.pianodreamers.com/korg-c1-review
Based on my short experience I approve its fairness.

Last edited by meghdad; 09/22/20 08:05 AM.
Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3027765 09/22/20 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by onover
Even if you haven't played on an acoustic piano, and didn't test drive different brands, I presume you still tested a few other digital pianos in the store and went with the Korg. Is there anything you don't like about it?

No stores near by, & I assumed the ones within driving distance have depleted stocks. So all I can compare the C1 to is my low level Yamaha 61 key keyboard, which may not be a valid comparison, but the Korg seems like a work of art after playing on the little Yamaha.

No buyer's remorse re the C1.

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3028090 09/23/20 04:03 AM
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So, it seems that if I go with the Korg C1 Air, then I at least won't be disappointed with the action. That's actually rather reassuring, because for me the Korg C1 Air sells for around $1800 AU, so approx $900 under my budget. What does the paint look like? Is it glossy, semi-gloss, matte ...?

And this is for those that have experienced them: how does the Roland PHA-50 action feel compared to the Kawai Grand Feel Compact? I have read that these actions are both pretty good considering the price range, but the other variations of the Grand Feel can be considered a tad spongey.

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3028098 09/23/20 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by onover
So, it seems that if I go with the Korg C1 Air, then I at least won't be disappointed with the action. That's actually rather reassuring, because for me the Korg C1 Air sells for around $1800 AU, so approx $900 under my budget. What does the paint look like? Is it glossy, semi-gloss, matte ...?
Go for the G1 as it has string resonance and a more powerful, multi-directional speaker system, plus more AP sounds.

The white key surface is more on the glossy side though not as much as to feel slippy. I suppose it feels like all other well-known digital pianos with plastic keys at this price point, so you could try any of them to get a good idea in this regard (at a friend's home e.g).

The black keys have a matte finish so...yeah, touching them feels nice.

The key surface finish should not be a big deal to be honest, unless the finger sweat makes playing rather difficult for you. I guess you could brush the keys yourself with a matte material. I'm not sure.

On a general note, I recommend you to make the keybed action and touch sensitivity plus midi connectivity and a good speaker system your top factor in choosing a digital piano. If you are dissatisfied with the sound, you can hook it up with a nice software VST and enjoy the sound (possibly through the builtin speakers).

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
meghdad #3028101 09/23/20 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by meghdad
Originally Posted by onover
So, it seems that if I go with the Korg C1 Air, then I at least won't be disappointed with the action. That's actually rather reassuring, because for me the Korg C1 Air sells for around $1800 AU, so approx $900 under my budget. What does the paint look like? Is it glossy, semi-gloss, matte ...?
Go for the G1 as it has string resonance and a more powerful, multi-directional speaker system, plus more AP sounds.

The key surface finish should not be a big deal to be honest, unless the finger sweat makes playing rather difficult for you. I guess you could brush the keys yourself with a matte material. I'm not sure.

On a general note, I recommend you to make the keybed action and touch sensitivity plus midi connectivity and a good speaker system your top factor in choosing a digital piano. If you are dissatisfied with the sound, you can hook it up with a nice software VST and enjoy the sound (possibly through the builtin speakers).

So definitely the G1 over the C1 in this case. By surface, I actually meant the exterior of the digital piano - to see how it will match my furniture. I guess I'm a bit pedantic. Either way, I'm fairly indifferent regarding key surfaces.

The key action and connectivity are certainly important for me, but as far as I'm aware both the G1 Air and the Roland DP603 have Midi and Bluetooth and their fair share of different voices and customisation. But VSTs are something I didn't even think of. You make a good point.

Now, this is a scary question for me, but would it be worth pushing my budget up by another $1000-$2000 and waiting until around Christmas?

Last edited by onover; 09/23/20 05:39 AM. Reason: Fixing grammar
Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3028105 09/23/20 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by onover
So definitely the G1 over the C1 in this case. By surface, I actually meant the exterior of the digital piano - to see how it will match my furniture. I guess I'm a bit pedantic. Either way, I'm fairly indifferent regarding key surfaces.
Haha sorry, my bad. There's so much talk with the keywords key,gloss,matte etc on this forum and elsewhere that my mind automatically added an extra 'key' to your sentence. :p

Anyways, my unit is fully black matte and it looks gorgeous though I would have preferred a brown and wood style cabinet. Korg actually does sell such a cabinet style but my unit was second-hand so...

This is the new wood style cabinet for the C1 (dunno about the G1):
[Linked Image]

Last edited by meghdad; 09/23/20 06:04 AM. Reason: fixed image
Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3028190 09/23/20 11:09 AM
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My C1's brown. It's a dark walnut brown, matte, wood grain. Honestly, it looks like it came from Ikea, which means it works with modern decor, but will blend in with traditional stuff with a little accesorizing. Nobody will mistake it for fine furniture, but it won't stick out like a sore thumb either. I didn't want a glossy finish or a fussy cabinet style that overwhelms my room.

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3029608 09/27/20 02:48 PM
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I have a question to post. My wife and I recently acquired a Suzuki Mini Digital Grand piano. We can't seem to be able to format SD cards. Whenever we try, the attempt stalls. Is there an alternate means of formatting SD cards for the digital grand?

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3029609 09/27/20 02:58 PM
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On a PC, you should format with a filesystem known by the piano (FAT32 or extFAT).


Yamaha CLP150, Bechstein Digital Grand, Garritan CFX, Ivory II pianos, Galaxy pianos, EWQL Pianos, Native-Instrument The Definitive Piano Collection, Soniccouture Hammersmith, Truekeys, Pianoteq
Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
meghdad #3029614 09/27/20 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by meghdad
[Linked Image]

That looks very nice.

Re: Picking my first digital piano - choice between Korg G1 Air
onover #3029616 09/27/20 03:20 PM
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If the PC does not have the SD socket, there are some cheap USB-SD adpaters that must do the trick. And as suggested by Frédéric, try FAT32 first.


Kawai ES8, Roland RD2000, Yamaha AG06 mixer, Presonus Eris E5 monitors, Sennheiser HD598SR phones.

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