88 key stage piano to pair with 61 key korg kronos 2?

Mar 18, 2018
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I've been using an ancient Korg N1 as a controller for my Korg Kronos 2, but now N1 is not working well anymore it needs to be replaced.

Looking at keyboards in price range AUD$1,000-$4,000 (~USD$770-$3.000) but prefer something around $2,000. As I live in countryside near no decent music stores I probably will be ordering online without trying first.

This will be primarily used for piano sounds, when I need a lot of synth I will use in dual setup with Kronos 2. Used for very occasional gigging in genres of pop/rock 'n roll/jazz and in community theatre shows.

Key features I am looking for:

- 88 keys
- Excellent piano sound
- Excellent electric piano sounds
- Excellent piano action, easy to play expressively
- Pad and string Sounds to layer with piano
- Midi In/Out
- < 25 kg (55 lb)
- quick to change to any sound / or allow set list programmed

Features that are a plus but not required:

- in-built speakers (to save carrying an amp for small rehearsals)
- good hammond organ style sounds
- pitch bend/mod wheel
- xlr out
- record to wav or mp3
- option for soft & sostenuto pedals

Current keyboards I've been looking at:

Nord Piano 3
Roland RD-2000
Kawai MP7SE
Kawai ES8
Yamaha CP4

Currently I am leaning towards Kawai ES8. For the following reasons:

- good action
- seems to be relatively good value
- decent piano & electric piano sounds
- inbuilt speakers means for some rehearsal scenarios I won't need to lug my keyboard amp
- can save sounds configured to registration slots for quick recall

However from YouTube it seems MP7SE has significantly better organ sounds, and a much better control layout...

Any thoughts of other options to consider?

My thoughts on why I didn't select other keyboards listed:

Roland RD-2000 = don't like the piano sounds I've heard of it on YouTube
Yamaha CP4 = sounds dated to me
Nord Piano 3 = high price, I already have a sampling keyboard, I'm not sure it will be good enough to justify the price, the Korg Kronos already has much more sampling memory, etc..


Jun 28, 2014
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Adelaide, Australia
All of the pianos on your list have a good reputation, not sure you would go wrong with any of them.

I'd also throw the Korg Grandstage into your consideration list.


It will cost you about AUD3600, which is towards the upper end of your price range, but it pretty much ticks every box on your list.

I currently use (and endorse) a Korg SV-1 88, which you could also look at but I don't think is quite versatile enough for your stated requirements. If it ever were to die, the Grandstage is the one I'd be replacing it with.

EDIT: You know the other thing I was thinking is that if you're happy with the sounds of your Kronos, you could save a stack of money and get a good quality 88-key midi controller. If you need to do synth and piano together it should be a simple matter to split the keyboard.

There's an excellent keyboard player here in Adelaide who does this with a Studiologic SL88 and a 61 key Kurzweil PC3. His rig sounds killer!
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Feb 14, 2018
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Dont go by you tube vids - you dont know how they were recorded, on what equipment, with what processing, nor in what space. All they do is give you a very broad idea of capability, not sound.

I tried them all bar the ES8 when looking, and the RD2000 had the best action and the best sounds of them all for me. The Nord Stage was up there with sound - that choice would be personal as it was very close, but the action on the stage is awful.


May 14, 2012
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Something you've not considered but is an exceptional board is the Casio PX-5S Privia Pro, its relatively inexpensive, great hammer action, very good pianos and EP among the many built in sounds, Pitch/Mod controllers, 256 note polyphony , audio recorder to mp3, master controller functions and very light which is great for gigging.

I played on in a shop and couldn't tear myself away

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