Korg SP 170 – Review

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Korg SP 170

Finally we got to check out the korg sp 170 88-key Digital Piano.

My niece and I are having great fun playing the different digital pianos at the music store looking for the right piano under $500. So far we tested the Yamaha NP 30 and the Casio PX 130. The dealer came over and asked us if we had tried the new Korg SP 170 they just got in the store? It is brand new, released this year and you can usually find it for just under $500. Check out our Korg SP 170 review.

It comes in two different colors – Silver and Black. What really surprised us with this model is that there are NO buttons at all. So you would think that the Korg SP 170 Digital Piano only plays one sound and that’s it. Not so at all…

You can change the sound by holding the 3 top keys down while selecting a corresponding key for the sound you want. I don’t think anyone has done this kind of system before but it makes for a very clean and beautiful looking electric piano. And once you get used to this way of changing the sounds, it is actually very simple to do.

On the top of the piano is the built-in speakers facing the player. Very nice layout. The volume control is on the back which can be hard to get to when playing but it makes the look very streamlined. There are also 2 separate headphones jack outputs on the back. Nice for when working with a teacher and you can not play out loud. It comes with a matching stand (optional extra) which make the piano a very beautiful instrument that would look great in any home.

How does the Korg SP 170 sound?

There are a total of 10 sounds. Two brand new grand pianos, 2 electric pianos, harpsichord, clavichord, vibraphone, two organs and finally strings. The newly recorded piano sounds are multi dynamic recordings made for this series specifically. With Korg’s great reputation in the keyboard world you would expect brilliant sounds and they don’t disappoint. The sounds are awesome. Better than the Casio PX 130 and as good or maybe even better than the Yamaha NP-30. The speakers sounded great too. A nice robust sound coming from the full-range oval speakers housed in an internal bass-reflex cabinet. Check out the sounds in this video.

Extra Features in the Korg SP 170

Even though it has no buttons the Korg SP170 still have a few tricks up in it’s sleeve.

You can tune and transpose the notes. Tuning is helpful if you are playing with other instruments that have a hard time tuning correctly. Transposing is great if you only know how to play a specific song in one key but need a different key to match a singers range. Again this is done using the 3 top keys down technique from before.

There are also beautiful selectable reverb and chorus effects. These added great depth to the sounds. Try adding chorus to the electric piano sounds and you will get a big wide professional sound or reverb to the strings to get a lush concert hall sound.

The piano is really a joy to play. Korg have created new natural weighted hammer action keys. The Korg SP 170 is weighted like a real piano, with a heavier touch in the lower ranges and becoming lighter and lighter in the higher keys. Similar to the Yamaha NP-30 but this time with real weighted keys and not simply spring back.We actually preferred playing the Korg piano over the same priced Casio PC 130 which also have weighted keys.

Conclusion – Korg SP 170

There is no doubt that we both liked the Korg SP 170 very much. It looks like a piano, it plays like a piano and it sounds like a piano. What more can you want? Well it does not have all the features as the Clavia PX 130. Features like USB input to computer or song recorder. There is no midi spilt on the keyboard to let you play two different sounds at once. And you are not able to layer two sounds either. Although it has midi out to connect to another midi instrument, it does not have midi in. That means you cannot use the computer to play back the Korg SP 170. If none of that matters to you, then this digital piano is simply made for you. Wonderful sound, playability and looks as well as a price anyone can afford. There you go, you have found your first digital piano in the Korg SP170 88-key Digital Piano.

Insider Tips

The Korg Sp 170 comes with a sustain pedal, music stand and AC adapter. Optional you can also get a matching stand for it. A good piano bench is also highly recommended. It will match the look nicely and help keeping the right posture when playing the piano. I also recommend getting a good pair of headphones. It can help keep the peace around the house when playing late a night. 🙂

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