A couple of years back I owned a 73 key Korg SV-1 for about 6 months, and sold it at a $700 loss. It had the 'newer' RH3 keybed.
Why did it get rid of it ?
Loved the look and sounds of the keyboard..... and the various effects that could quickly be applied from the control panel. I typically play jazz/cocktail piano and would mostly use the piano and EP/Rhodes sounds. Piano and EP samples were excellent. With the preamp/tube, you could get a great, gritty Rhodes sound (I have owned 2 Rhodes and a EU Wurlitzer piano)
The strings were good, along with some of the Organ sounds. The editor provides a lot of flexibility in tweaking the individual sounds and letting you save the entire keyboard configuration and custom settings back to a PC.
The Problem. Since I play a lot of acoustic style piano on the board, and a percentage of standards/ballads, I observed some notes cutting off too soon. The issue I had with the SV-1 when used as an Acoustic Piano, is that when keys are played very gently…jazz or other ballads, you could frequently find some notes cutting off prematurely on the mid to lower section of the key bed ...
– totally unacceptable. I started to visit various dealers/stores, trying somewhere in the order of 6+ different SV1's and found I could reproduce note cutout on all but possibly one of the boards.
KORG and other forums have reported a lot of instances of similar observations by owners. On the KORG forum there was a string relating to an owner bring a new board back for Tech service, and finding on return there had been a minor improvement on the extent of note cutout...but it could still be discerned when playing acoustic piano.
In general, the RH3 keybed as a unit seemed reliable. My recollection from the KORG forums is that with the RH3 keyboard design, note cut-off is quicker (happens with a less mechanical key travel on release) than most competitive keybeds. It may be that the ‘adjustment’ that a calibration/repair center can make to fix this cutout on the SV1 is marginal. I seriously think the issue is with the integration of the electronics trigging and the RH3 keybed travel/trigger mechanism.
(I had spent A LOT of time on KORG and other forums trying to see if there were real resolutions to the note cut-off issue).
Here is an example of this type of note cutout occurring on an RH3 keybed driving a KORG SP-250http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9RDZqiBfQM
...watch for notes cutting out prematurely on release....
The test; particularly on the lower ˝ of keyboard with an Acoustic Piano setting, gently, repeatedly, push down the keys 3-4 times. You will likely find some notes cutting out prematurely on release. Note that when playing EP or sounds other than Acoustic piano, the key/note cutout can be harder to spot.
Other considerations regarding SV1. To replace the tube, it is considered service center work. The keyboard needs to be carefully disassembled (I know I had the service manual)
There is no true ‘split’, and variable split-point – for those needing good left hand bass. KORG has included a few sounds with a bass split, however the Split-point cannot be changed, you cannot replace from within the unit the Acoustic/Elect. Bass with another sound. With the editor you can turn off the bass side of the split and possibly drive an external Bass/Etc. Midi module via the keyboard.
What has replaced it? Casio Privia PX-5s. I consider this one of the best, if not the best, DP keybed that has a good acoustic piano feel in the less than 5K price point (my reference point is my KAWAI grand). As a reference, I've owned Roland RD-700 and FP7 series boards which have good action, however I much prefer the Privia PX-5s/PX-350 key response (I also own a PX-350 which is my backup board).
....I recognize and respect the fact that individuals might certainly have their preference with regards to keyboard action.
Via the Casio editor, their forum and User contributions you can update, modify replace all the 'stage settings'. The privia acoustic piano options are first class, and now there are A LOT of good EP sounds you can 'import' and further modify if needed.
I believe I must have updates/customized a good 40% of my initial on-board stage settings and tones; to my likes.
SPLITS – you can make the split-point anywhere you like and apply any sounds/tones to either side of the split. Another reason I like this board is the 25 lb weight.
Via the CASIO forum, new tones and stage settings are continually being uploaded.
...not the least – customer support via the CASIO marketing GM, Mike Martin, is absolutely first class (you just need to check out his live tutorials on youtube).
...he watches blogs like a hawk trying to make sure the PRIVIA series and other CASIO boards are #1.
...I don't have any 'skin in the game', stock etc. with Casio – just very happy with the PX-5s/350.
This response is not intended to slam the SV1.
I think it has a stylish design (I had a red one), keyboard controls and EP sound are first class.
If I see an SV-1 in a shop, I still go over and try the keybed response...just in case...
...no luck so far (in finding a unit where I can't create the note cut-out issue).
If someone from KORG can chime in and update the status of the SV1/RH3 keybed issue, I would like to hear it.