Korg Krome EX vs. Nautilus

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Hi,
I am using main keyboard Kurzweil PC3 Le8 and Roland A33 (76 keys) controlling Yamaha MU100R, Yamaha VL7 and EMU B3.
Yamaha MU100R died now (not possible o repair) and I plan to change my rig to keep Kurzweil PC3Le8 and replace A33+modules with 2nd keyboard with sounds. my 2 favorite options are Korg Krome EX 73 or Korg Nautilus 61. I have read a lot about both, but have not tried personally.
I can live without many features on Nautilus (audio recording, sampling, sequencer, sound tweaking), my main concern is sound and keybed quality (use to play fast lead solos on 2nd keyboard)
I need to have wide range of sounds (presets) to choose from rather than do sound design by myself. Our band is playing prog-metal.
For home recording I am using DAW, so my main focus is "live gigs".
So the question is: are the presets on Korg Krome EX and Nautilus about the same quality (mainly leads, hammond, brass)? Is the keybed (semi-weighted) of both also similar?
As I have not bought any instrument for couple of years, the budget is not issue now.

Looking forward to your comments.

Petr
(Kurzweil Pc3-Le8, Roland A33, Yamaha MU100R, Yamaha VL7+BC3, EMU-B3)
 
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Welcome.

Both are rather old designs with the Nautilus being a cut down version of the now defunct Kronos.

My understanding is that the Nautilus does have considerably better sound engines and superior quality of sounds.

Do note that there is now a version of the Nautilus with Aftertouch so if this is important to you then this is the only one of the two with the feature.

There has been a fair amount of adverse comments on the Korg Forum about the Ex only being a minor update and not as significant as many Korgites wanted.

The Nautilus does have SST whereas the Krome does not.
 
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are the presets on Korg Krome EX and Nautilus about the same quality (mainly leads, hammond, brass)?
No. The Nautilus has 9 sound engines, including a dedicated organ engine (for much better Hammond sounds) and VA synth engines (typically better for lead synth sounds), neither of which are in the Krome, which has only a single sound engine, sample playback. And even that sample playback engine (EDS-X) is of lesser quality than the one in Nautilus (HD-1), so the brass should be better as well.

Is the keybed (semi-weighted) of both also similar?
No, Krome has a lower end action, with keys that have notably more resistance toward the rear of the keys compared to the front. Nautilus has the better "Natural Touch" keys.
 
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Welcome.

Both are rather old designs with the Nautilus being a cut down version of the now defunct Kronos.

My understanding is that the Nautilus does have considerably better sound engines and superior quality of sounds.

Do note that there is now a version of the Nautilus with Aftertouch so if this is important to you then this is the only one of the two with the feature.

There has been a fair amount of adverse comments on the Korg Forum about the Ex only being a minor update and not as significant as many Korgites wanted.

The Nautilus does have SST whereas the Krome does not.
Thanks Biggles.
It is obvious that Nautilus is better. However Krome EX is 35% less expensive than Nautilus. Do you think the price/performance ratio is OK for live gigs at Nautilus compared to EX?
 
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Whether something is "close enough" to what you want to be worth the savings is something only you can determine.

"Good enough" sounds is always somewhat subjective. My feeling is that almost *any* sounds are good enough for most live gigs. That is, maybe short of total crap, the odds that "better sounds" will get you the higher paying gigs or make you more likely to be re-hired or make the difference between a happy or disappointed audience is pretty small. There may be exceptions if you're in a particular featured situation (e.g. playing in a jazz organ trio could call for a better organ, a solo piano gig may need a higher than average quality piano sound), but to me, better sounds is more about my own satisfaction. I mean, it's not like any of the sounds in the Krome EX are going to be total crap.

But also, not only is whether something is worth the cost subjective, it also varies with someone's financial situation. For some people the difference in price between a Krome and a Nautilus might be around the pay for a single gig, for someone else it might be more like ten gigs. Or it might mean around 5 hours at someone's day job, or around 50 hours. Or it might be most of someone's current savings, or it might be a small fraction of their total savings. So again... you're the only one who can answer.

Personally, in terms of sound, feel, and functionality, I'd certainly much rather be playing a Nautilus... BUT for gigging. I might be tempted by the Krome's 7.2 kg vs the Nautilus' 13 kg. But that just shows again, people's situations and priorities are different.

All that said, if I was looking for a low-cost alternative to Nautilus specifically for "mainly leads, hammond, brass", I'd look at the Roland VR-09 over the Krome EX... better (VA) synthesis for leads, better hammond organ emulation, and brass is probably "good enough." However, it is worth noting that its split/layer functionality is not nearly as good as what's in the Krome, in case that could make a difference. BTW, there's a freeware Mac/PC editor for the VR-09 that greatly expands its capabilities. (Roland also offers their own more limited editor for it on iPad.) The Roland Fantom-06 would be even better (in most ways, including giving you back the kinds of split/layer functionality you'd have on the Krome), but it's pricier. Basically, VR09, Fantom-0, and Nautilus all have dedicated sound engines for virtual analog (typical lead line) synthesis and hammond organ emulation, which the Krome does not, which is why I think they might better suit your particular requirements.
 
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Whether something is "close enough" to what you want to be worth the savings is something only you can determine.

"Good enough" sounds is always somewhat subjective. My feeling is that almost *any* sounds are good enough for most live gigs. That is, maybe short of total crap, the odds that "better sounds" will get you the higher paying gigs or make you more likely to be re-hired or make the difference between a happy or disappointed audience is pretty small. There may be exceptions if you're in a particular featured situation (e.g. playing in a jazz organ trio could call for a better organ, a solo piano gig may need a higher than average quality piano sound), but to me, better sounds is more about my own satisfaction. I mean, it's not like any of the sounds in the Krome EX are going to be total crap.

But also, not only is whether something is worth the cost subjective, it also varies with someone's financial situation. For some people the difference in price between a Krome and a Nautilus might be around the pay for a single gig, for someone else it might be more like ten gigs. Or it might mean around 5 hours at someone's day job, or around 50 hours. Or it might be most of someone's current savings, or it might be a small fraction of their total savings. So again... you're the only one who can answer.

Personally, in terms of sound, feel, and functionality, I'd certainly much rather be playing a Nautilus... BUT for gigging. I might be tempted by the Krome's 7.2 kg vs the Nautilus' 13 kg. But that just shows again, people's situations and priorities are different.

All that said, if I was looking for a low-cost alternative to Nautilus specifically for "mainly leads, hammond, brass", I'd look at the Roland VR-09 over the Krome EX... better (VA) synthesis for leads, better hammond organ emulation, and brass is probably "good enough." However, it is worth noting that its split/layer functionality is not nearly as good as what's in the Krome, in case that could make a difference. BTW, there's a freeware Mac/PC editor for the VR-09 that greatly expands its capabilities. (Roland also offers their own more limited editor for it on iPad.) The Roland Fantom-06 would be even better (in most ways, including giving you back the kinds of split/layer functionality you'd have on the Krome), but it's pricier. Basically, VR09, Fantom-0, and Nautilus all have dedicated sound engines for virtual analog (typical lead line) synthesis and hammond organ emulation, which the Krome does not, which is why I think they might better suit your particular requirements.
Thanks Anotherscott.
100% agree, have the same thoughts as you describe. I am not a professional keyboard player, money from gigs are mostly invested back into our band. So the most important is my personal feeling and reliability of the instrument (hate to solve repairs). Ordinary people will hardly appreciate whether you have expensive of cheap instrument

I also considered Roland VR09 of Fantom-0, but generally Roland sounds seem to me a bit dull and "middle EQ" oriented - not getting through the mix of load drums and guitars (my personal feeling).

So I tend to go for Nautilus 61 AT and free my mind from endless search for optimal solution :)
 
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I’ve owned and gigged with both.
Nautilus sounds significantly better for hammond’s. The portamento is much better if you’re doing Wakeman-esque mini Moog solos.
The action is much better on the Nautilus.
Also the Nautilus has an ssd hard drive, where the Krome has a card which is prone for failure.

Also Krome is no longer in production.

The downside is the Nautilus weighs at least twice as much (comparing 61’s…. I actually had an 88 Krome and weighs the same as my 61 Nautilus)
And the Nautilus takes over 3 minutes to boot.

I absolutely loved my Krome, but the keys were starting to fail. If it was still in production I would have bought another Krome, but as it was done I went Nautilus.
The Nautilus is significantly better and I love it as much as I did my Krome ( although I kind of wish I got the 73 instead of 61)

I think you’ll be fine gigging with a Krome. Yanni used to tour with a dozen of them! But if you top top end sounds and can swing it financially the Nautilus is better.
 
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I also sought the Kronos. But just as I was ready to pull the trigger, Korg stopped making/supporting them. Many, including myself, thought Korg would update the Kronos; which had NO peer imo; to a 64bit version. Nope. We got the Nautilus instead. There are a few Kronos around brand new; but if I'm spending $thousands? It's gotta be supported. Roland Fantom and Yamaha Montage try, but I haven't bonded with either. What I DO like is the Kurzweil K2700. But they are nigh impossible to find. I have an order in; with delivery maybe by July? Killer keyboard!
 
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I'm gonna jump in here and give my two cents as if it counts. But here goes. I got the Krome EX 73 in 2021. It was definitely steps above my previous Casios, but they did their job anyhow. Used the EX quite a bit with my Zoom Live Trak 12. Then 2023 rolled along and I knew it was time to up my game. I was also getting introduced to the DAW world that year. Made up my mind last summer to go for the new Nautilus 61 AT cause I had studied extensively all the reviews and knew it had some features that were way beyond my EX capability. I haven't given it the fair amount of time to really try out YET. I am mesmerized by the DAW world, the very thing I tried hard to stay away from. The sounds etc on the Nautilus are different from the EX. I don't really see any overlapping, as some of them actually are KRONUS sounds. My days are coming where I am going to devote the required time to get to know the Nautilus. Two more payments and it will be paid for! That might make it even more special. Now mind you I only use for home studio recording. I know that might not impact your decision, but it's my story. And FYI before buying Nautilus I was between MODX and Summit of all things. Figured I could get along better with the Korg.
 
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I’ve owned and gigged with both.
Nautilus sounds significantly better for hammond’s. The portamento is much better if you’re doing Wakeman-esque mini Moog solos.
The action is much better on the Nautilus.
Also the Nautilus has an ssd hard drive, where the Krome has a card which is prone for failure.

Also Krome is no longer in production.

The downside is the Nautilus weighs at least twice as much (comparing 61’s…. I actually had an 88 Krome and weighs the same as my 61 Nautilus)
And the Nautilus takes over 3 minutes to boot.

I absolutely loved my Krome, but the keys were starting to fail. If it was still in production I would have bought another Krome, but as it was done I went Nautilus.
The Nautilus is significantly better and I love it as much as I did my Krome ( although I kind of wish I got the 73 instead of 61)

I think you’ll be fine gigging with a Krome. Yanni used to tour with a dozen of them! But if you top top end sounds and can swing it financially the Nautilus is better.
Hi Shutoku,
great you had both instruments. As others report too, the Nautilus has simply better sounds (now flagship of KORG),. Krome EX has "acceptable" sounds, maybe easier (limited) editing + easier handling (weight) if you are gigging frequently.
And, as you say, "the keys were starting to fail" scares me. I do not plan to have identical (backup) second keyboard for the case that one is broken. Better to have proper one (Nautilus).
 
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I also sought the Kronos. But just as I was ready to pull the trigger, Korg stopped making/supporting them. Many, including myself, thought Korg would update the Kronos; which had NO peer imo; to a 64bit version. Nope. We got the Nautilus instead. There are a few Kronos around brand new; but if I'm spending $thousands? It's gotta be supported. Roland Fantom and Yamaha Montage try, but I haven't bonded with either. What I DO like is the Kurzweil K2700. But they are nigh impossible to find. I have an order in; with delivery maybe by July? Killer keyboard!
Kronos is the king - of course. But it is no longer produced and the 2nd hand price is still high and you never know how the instrument was treated and what defects it can have. Simply prefer new instruments. Krome EX is still sold new at some e-shops. my main keyboards is still 88-weighted (Fatar TP-40) key Kurzweil PC3-Le8, so I agree Kurz 2700 must be superb. However for fast solos I need semi-weighted keyboard and joystick for pitch bend (so not like wheels).
 

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