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#1744427 - 09/01/11 11:15 AM Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250
jPod Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 4
Hi all,


First time posting, as I've only started looking to purchase a digital piano (my only real option right now, given student living accommodations) this week. I've been reading the forums diligently while searching online for used instruments, and I've ended up trying two used Korg SP250's and a new one at a retail store in the last two days.

The feel/action of this model seems quite good and even much better than the piano I grew up with for a dozen years (older Yamaha upright with very soft keys - it was a challenge adjusting to the grand pianos at the examination centres). My main question pertains to the issue of 'clicking' or loud keys, which I experienced on the older of the two used models (4-5 years with a few children taking lessons and practicing).

I believe I also read another post somewhere on these forums about noisy keys on the SP250, but as I didn't experience this issue with the other used instrument (1 year, beginner lessons) or the new model at the store, can anyone share some insight as to whether this is something common to most digital pianos in this price range over a certain amount of time/heavy use, an issue with instrument care/maintenance, or maybe even something that's specific to this model?

Finally, as I'm thinking of purchasing the more gently used instrument for around $500 CAD (I believe I would be able to get a new one for $700-800 CAD here), and I think the only real difference between the 'like new' and brand new instruments would be the lack of warranty, is it common for these instruments to require significant servicing (equivalently, is it likely that I will regret buying used versus new, given that the instruments sound and feel the same)?

My apologies for the lengthy post, I've just managed to spend a good week getting super excited about purchasing a digital piano, but now that it's time to put my money where my mouth is, I suddenly have this feeling of 'Is this really what you want?' Maybe some of you can relate to this =P


Thanks for reading, and any insight on the above issues is much appreciated. Cheers!

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#1744446 - 09/01/11 11:47 AM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3020
Loc: Oregon
I had the SP-250 for two or three years (ex-demo model), and never had to have it serviced nor had problems with the keys (and I'm a pretty heavy player). The only issue I remember is that one of the metal speaker grilles started audibly vibrating very slightly at certain frequencies.

A lot of DPs develop slightly noisy actions after a while. The SP-250's action, which is the same as in the SV-1, is prone to some clicking with the passage of time, but this is not universal (I don't recall it being noticeable on my SP-250).

Overall, as a basic DP, I think the SP-250 is a very competent, if not glamorous, piano.
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
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https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1744515 - 09/01/11 01:36 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: voxpops]
jPod Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 4
Thanks for the info, voxpops. I have read numerous reviews by satisfied SP250 owners (generally sounding like newer owners), with the most common gripes pertaining to the weight or simply the fact that it's not an acoustic, but I hadn't heard much about the durability over years of heavy use.

I did get the impression that noisy keys could be an issue with DPs but I think I will still go for it, as I can't currently consider an acoustic. All in all, the SP250 fits within my budget and I don't really need the bells and whistles - like you say, it's not particularly glamorous, but I believe that the basic functionality fits my needs.

Still a bit curious about how many years one might expect to get out of a digital piano such as this, with moderate to heavy use (minimal transporting, I don't expect to be moving it about frequently, if at all). Are there important things to watch out for in terms of taking care of the instrument?

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#1744528 - 09/01/11 01:48 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3020
Loc: Oregon
Originally Posted By: jPod
Still a bit curious about how many years one might expect to get out of a digital piano such as this, with moderate to heavy use (minimal transporting, I don't expect to be moving it about frequently, if at all). Are there important things to watch out for in terms of taking care of the instrument?

Rolands and Yamahas generally soldier on for years without problems - you often see ten-years-old models for sale. (Caveat: Roland had a bit of a problem with their key surfaces more recently.) The SP-250 shouldn't be any different as it seems pretty robust for a plastic-encased DP. Korg's synths can be a little flimsy, but they are constructed differently from their pianos, usually. The only problems I've had with DPs have been with Italian-built instruments.

I've never done anything to protect my DPs other than to throw a dust-cover over them (when I remember). Just don't pour too many pints of beer into them! wink


Edited by voxpops (09/01/11 01:53 PM)
_________________________
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:
http://www.amazon.com/author/richardspanswick

https://soundcloud.com/richards-recordings/sets/strange-charm-waiting-for-the/s-ppGuy

"can hardly wait to hear what voxpox has to say..."
[HisKidd, May 2014]

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#1744582 - 09/01/11 03:35 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
bouleetbille Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/28/10
Posts: 19
Hi ipod

I have had an SP250 for about 5 years now. The keys do make a clicking sound but although it doesn't annoy me it does annoy my wife; so it depends. I use the piano for gigging and probably put it in the car about 20/times a year and so far no problems, the build quality seems good. (No flight case). For the price, and especially the stand and pedal that stays put it's a good buy.

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#1744609 - 09/01/11 04:21 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
Yuri Pavlov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Moscow, Russia
I use SP 250 about 1.5 year and keys are OK. Some clicking is natural (acoustic click more) and don't problem for me (of course it is problem for others in the night!)
An even after this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rIV1zLwvYs - the keys are pressed the same unchanged
_________________________
DP: Korg Sp-250,Pianoteq 3.x, TruePianos 1.9x;
Grand piano: Blutner, Muhlbach, Yamaha;
Upright: Kalujanka;
English (with some problems)

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#1744633 - 09/01/11 04:59 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: Yuri Pavlov]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: Yuri Pavlov
I use SP 250 about 1.5 year and keys are OK. Some clicking is natural (acoustic click more)..


This was the point I was going to make. Acoustic pianos make a lot of click and thump noise but because you can't turn down the volume the music you play downs out the key thumps. If you were to place a felt blanket over the strings you'd hear the mechanical noises.

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#1744641 - 09/01/11 05:09 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
Yuri Pavlov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Moscow, Russia
But I know that some craftsmen are refining the keyboard SP250 and it gets even closer to the ideal! But it takes time and special skills
_________________________
DP: Korg Sp-250,Pianoteq 3.x, TruePianos 1.9x;
Grand piano: Blutner, Muhlbach, Yamaha;
Upright: Kalujanka;
English (with some problems)

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#1744683 - 09/01/11 05:51 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
sh1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/11
Posts: 41
The 250 is a great board, I had one for many years and have only just sold it.

The action is superb and bang for buck it's fantastic value.

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#1744697 - 09/01/11 06:10 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: sh1]
jPod Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 4
Thanks all for the great input so far! I feel a lot more confident about going for the SP250, and it helps to hear from longer term owners or former owners regarding durability/reliability.

The point about the clicking being comparable to acoustic pianos is interesting, I hadn't thought about it that way. I'm looking into purchasing a pair of headphones to use with the instrument, and I think between that and playing (when using the speakers) at a volume comparable to an acoustic piano, the quiet clicking sounds (if and when they do decide to show up) shouldn't be a problem. Am I correct in assuming that this clicking sound is not associated with any degradation of the action or the feel of playing the instrument?

Also, with regards to using headphones, can anybody comment on the sound of the SP250 when outputting to a decent pair of headphones? Unfortunately, I didn't have a pair of headphones to bring with me when I tried out different types of DPs earlier this week.

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#1744823 - 09/01/11 10:40 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
AtomHeartMother Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/19/10
Posts: 7
Loc: Ohio, US
I'm just using some cheapie headphones with my 250 now and it sounds remarkably well. Gonna try a higher end set soon as I feel like spending the cash on them. Had this dp a little over a year now...it's been great ! I'm a newb but from what I've seen and heard key noise seems no louder than an acoustic.


Edited by AtomHeartMother (09/01/11 10:41 PM)
_________________________
"... you know you've pretty much hit rock bottom when you're told you have character flaws by a man who hung his predecessor in a military coup... "

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#1744894 - 09/02/11 01:47 AM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
Yuri Pavlov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/08/10
Posts: 211
Loc: Moscow, Russia
I use AKG K140 (Monitor) as main for detailed sound and Senheizer 500 (with volume control) as second. In any cases sound in headphones more better from SP250 loudspeakers.

And - do you know black version SP250 announced this week - http://www.facebook.com/notes/korg/korg-...50270420546560?
(But I prefer white version)
_________________________
DP: Korg Sp-250,Pianoteq 3.x, TruePianos 1.9x;
Grand piano: Blutner, Muhlbach, Yamaha;
Upright: Kalujanka;
English (with some problems)

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#1744916 - 09/02/11 03:48 AM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
Artur Gajewski Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/10
Posts: 304
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
I have Korg SP-170 and it also had issues with clicking keys according to users on the internet, but I never experienced it.

Quote:
Voxpops said: The only issue I remember is that one of the metal speaker grilles started audibly vibrating very slightly at certain frequencies.


On my SP-170 I had a plastic pieces on the back of the piano vibrating on the bass notes, causing a rattling sound. I placed some toilet paper into the empty space and it never bothered me any more.
_________________________
- Artur Gajewski

Author of Piano Lessons Package for Synthesia & Child's Piano Play

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#1745012 - 09/02/11 10:29 AM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Hi. I Had the opportunity to try the Sp250 out yesterday for a considerable amount of time. I didn't notice anything unusual in regards to key noise. Actually the sounds and the feel of the keys were one of my favorite in this price point. I didn't get the chance to listen thru headphones though.

I tried all the dp's they had from a price point of $599 up to $2599+. I quickly eliminated the Casio. Not bad but didnt like the sounds or feel of the keys too much. I also tried Roland Fp4 and Fp7f and 300gn and 700. And found I could Not get to liking the keyboard feel. I know people feel these are superior but I just didn't like them. I found myself going back to the Korg Sp 250. At this price point a favorite of mine. I'm not really in a position for another big purchse but am keeping my eyes open for a good deal on a used one to accommodate playing at night with headphone. The new one was listed for $798. What price have you been quoted? I'm just curious.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#1745021 - 09/02/11 10:39 AM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: ZoeCalgary]
galaxy4t Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/28/08
Posts: 851
Loc: Lakewood, CA
The Korg SP-250 should be readily available used as it has been around quite a while now. They sell for $699 USD new. The Casio is due to be refreshed. The PX-135, PX-335 are due to be released in Japan. Casio has reportedly addressed making the keyboard more stable among other improvements. These will replace the PX-130/330 when released. The other option in this price range is the P-95 and Korg SP-170 although the SP-250 is the best of this bunch in my opinion.

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#1745058 - 09/02/11 12:00 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
Hi Galaxy4t - I agree with you. The Yamaha P-95 and Korg Sp-170 are not bad options. In their price point I'd consider them almost equal. Still the SP-250 is a noticable step above in terms of key action. Thanks for sharing price information as well. The price I quoted was in Canadian dollars.
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#1745081 - 09/02/11 12:39 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: ZoeCalgary]
jPod Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 4
ZoeCalgary: I ended up purchasing a lightly used (< 1 year) SP250 from an online (local) poster for $525 CAD. I think the standard price offered by music stores is around $800 CAD, as you mentioned, and I thought to try my luck sometime at haggling with the store representatives to see just how low they would go on a new instrument, but I ended up being impatient and taking home the used one yesterday evening...

Based on my (very limited, admittedly) experience with playing DPs of various brands and models, I'm very happy with the Korg SP250 and fully agree with the other posters about excellent value at this price point. I think it would be a great idea to keep an eye out for a deal on this or a similar model, or maybe visit the local music store a couple times and see if you can get them to come down on their prices.


Now, time to pretend that I saved a whole lot of money on my new piano and use those 'savings' to buy some nice headphones! Do music stores typically carry different models of headphones that one can try with the in-store DPs?

(Yuri Pavlov: is the SP250BK model that you mentioned only different in the colour of the speaker grills and stands? Actually I think that whole set might look pretty nice, but I've already grown fond of my own instrument)


Edited by jPod (09/02/11 12:41 PM)

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#1745105 - 09/02/11 01:26 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
ZoeCalgary Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/01/11
Posts: 748
Loc: Calgary Alberta
iPod: Congratulations on your new DP Piano!! I am excited for you. I think you will be very happy! I think once I've committed to really getting one I will go see what 'deal' I can get for a new one. Until then I'll keep my eyes open for a used one. If there is no discount and I'm ready to buy I'd be tempted to look at the entry level Kawai's as well. I played one months ago and forgot the model number and I remember liking it alot. But for now, there are other things taking priority so this purchase will have to wait (unless a used deal pops up!)

All the best to you and your new to you piano!
_________________________
Preparing Grade 6 RCM.


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#2034362 - 02/16/13 05:13 PM Re: Last questions before sealing the deal on Korg SP250 [Re: jPod]
JcKeys Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 17
.


Edited by Ken Knapp (02/16/13 06:09 PM)
Edit Reason: zillionth copy of this post deleted.
_________________________
Korg Triton Studio, SP-250 / Roland XP-60, SH-2000
Akai APC40 / M-Audio Oxygen 8 / Novation Remote SL Zero / Behringer FCB 1010



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