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#2353106 - 11/21/14 08:49 AM Korg SV-1
Mind Flayer Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/14
Posts: 4
I am in the market for a keyboard. Currently, aside from my piano, all I have is an M-Audio 49-key controller, which I use to play through Logic Express.

I have tried out the SV-1, Casio PX-5S, the Krome, Kross, etc., and the SV-1 hands down feels the best to me.

The ONLY thing that is making me hesitate is the relatively low number of sounds available on the SV-1. Is it possible to hook up the SV-1 to my computer and use it as a DAW controller to play VSTs and other software instruments?

Also, is it possible to hook the SV-1 up to some sort of rackmount unit that would give me more sound options? If so, does anybody have any recommendations for affordable units?


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#2353171 - 11/21/14 11:20 AM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 635
Loc: Hernando, MS
Yes, the korg SV1 has both midi and USB connections, so you should be able to hook it up to a computer or sound module for additional sounds. Also, I think that korg offers additional sounds available for download that you can install on the instrument. So it can be quite versatile.
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

#2353175 - 11/21/14 11:26 AM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 635
Loc: Hernando, MS
P.S. As far as hooking it up to a computer, you have a huge variety of VST's to choose from. For synth stuff, there are many good ipad apps that might suit your needs. There aren't a lot of companies making modules these days. Two that might be worth looking at are Roland's BK-7m which is a sound module that plays auto-accompaniment patterns (simulates having a backing band), and the much more expensive roland integra which lacks the auto-accompaniment features but has much better sounds and gives you much more control of those sounds.
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

#2353262 - 11/21/14 02:14 PM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 450
Loc: Seattle Area
I used the original SV-1 88 as my primary instrument for several years before I got my grand piano. I still love the SV-1. I Also love the PX-5S but there is just something about the touch and sound of the SV-1 and its acoustic piano sound that just resonates with me. I have recorded with it many times and I can't recommend it highly enough. The Kross and Krome aren't in the same league, action wise. I have a little Kross 61 I tote around to jam sessions, though.

The SV-1 does NOT have downloadable sounds, but rather presets that kind of riff on the same 36 that comes with the instrument. If you're looking for a better value and you just want the action from the SV-1, try finding a used SP-270. It has the same keybed, awesome piano sounds, and costs less than half as much, but it went out of production recently.

Also everything Fizikisto said above is good stuff! ^
2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61

#2353409 - 11/21/14 09:08 PM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
fizikisto Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 635
Loc: Hernando, MS
ahh....thanks for the correction! And yeah, the SV-1 seems like a really nice board. I really like the EP's based on demos I've heard, and the inclusion of the actual tube amp is pretty fun (I wonder, does it give off much heat?) I played the older SP-250 which has the same action and I rather liked the feel of it a lot.

Although I'm vaguely remembering now that there were some posts here that suggested that the SV-1 was pretty fragile if you were moving it around a lot, i.e. that if it got tilted the the wrong way then action would get messed up (i.e. you could play but it would no longer generate sound on some keys). If I recall correctly, the solution was to turn the board upside down and literally shake it. Did you ever have any problems along those lines?
Nord Stage 2 HA88
Roland RD800

#2353449 - Yesterday at 01:04 AM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 450
Loc: Seattle Area
I was always very careful with my SV-1 and it lived permanently at my desk, so I never took it on gigs. I did see Hey Ocean! using a SV-1 73 at a show in Vancouver, so I know it's meant to be a giggable instrument. However, I HAVE heard that the RH3 action is fragile and problematic, especially among Kronos owners.

I used my SV-1 to control my DAW and virtual instruments plenty, so it works fine as a controller via USB.
2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61

#2353640 - Yesterday at 04:29 PM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
DaveBB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/30/09
Posts: 7
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-250
...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.

#2353722 - Yesterday at 08:04 PM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
voxpops Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 3096
Loc: Oregon
DaveBB, I had a very similar experience to yours. On my SV-1 the note cut-off was very noticeable in the bass range and affected EPs as much as APs. It was the primary reason I sold the SV - it was no use in a solo or exposed situation. However, I loved the vibe, and I still think that it came close to being the ultimate electric piano substitute.

I've had two PX-5S pianos, and I loved them for the action and thought there were some great EPs in the downloads, Mike Martin, Dave Weiser and others had made available. For APs, I hooked the PX up to Pianoteq - pretty much a perfect match (apart from the lack of half-pedaling). But I still think that the SV has a presence that is lacking in most other stage pianos. If I could find one that definitively did not have an issue with the keybed/sensors, I'd be very tempted to buy another - but it's a real crap shoot!

Right now I'm using Kawais. Anotherscott has posted an EP setting for the MP7 that pretty much mimics the SV's amp-driven Rhodes. The MP7 isn't perfect, but it covers a lot of bases very well. The little ES100 I've acquired is also astonishingly nice for the price (though no SV killer!).
Occasional author and inveterate ivory tickler:

#2353727 - Yesterday at 08:50 PM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: voxpops]
Mind Flayer Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/14
Posts: 4
Thanks for all of the helpful replies.

I have gone to a few more stores and tried out some more boards, and now I'm a little more torn. I need to do some more research!

#2353814 - Today at 04:15 AM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
Markarian Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 450
Loc: Seattle Area
I'm not sure I ever noticed this issue or not on my SV-1 88. It doesn't ring a bell, but it does sound annoying, to say the least.

Mind Flayer, in your initial post, a couple boards that seem conspicuously absent is the RD-800 or Yamaha CP4. Were they just not your cup of tea?
2012 NY Steinway Model B | Kawai MP11 | Korg Kross 61

#2353842 - Today at 07:39 AM Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1481
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
One of the "virtual instrument" possibilities for EP's is "Lounge Lizard". It will run "free-standing", without a VST.

I can't testify about how close it is to a real Rhodes or Wurlitzer. But it makes lots of interesting sounds, it comes with a wide variety of presets, and it's "physically modelled" and fully configurable:

. . . You can "virtually" change anything that you could "physically" change on the
. . . real instrument.

And it's not terribly expensive.

It might be worth trying, even with a 49-key controller.

. Charles

PS - I understand the problems of relying on software for gigging. That's a different discussion.

#2353870 - 2 minutes 2 seconds ago Re: Korg SV-1 [Re: Mind Flayer]
Mind Flayer Online   content
Junior Member

Registered: 11/20/14
Posts: 4
Re the RD-800 and CP4, I have not seen any in stores so have not been able to try them out. Plus, they are outside of my budget, which is for something in the $600 - $1,500 range.

At this point, I think I have narrowed it down to the Casio PX-5S, the Korg Krome 88, and the Yamaha CP50.

I have played Lounge Lizard. It sounds really nice to my novice ears. But if I were to play it live, I'd need to upgrade my laptop.


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