Thoughts on Korg Kronos in 2021?


rsm

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With the release of the Korg Nautilus I started to wonder about the future / next generation replacement for the Korg Kronos. It seems the current Kronos (Kronos2) hardware has been out for a few years now.

My purchase timing is usually bad; I'm good at buying something shortly before the new and improved, next generation, replacement model is released.

Peering into your crystal ball, what are your speculative thoughts on the possibility of a new Korg flagship workstation, and when we may likely see it?
 
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happyrat1

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There's something good to be said about buying the previous year's models. Firmware updates and bug fixes are usually a thing of the past and you have a pretty solid idea of what you're getting.

The latest and greatest can as easily be a lemon as it can be a classic.

Besides, how much more keyboard do you really NEED?

Gary ;)
 

rsm

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More is better. I need the latest and greatest, best-est and most-est. :)

10+ synth engines, all upgraded versions, more memory, faster processor speed, more storage, AI, bigger screens, lighter weight, wireless, ...

:)
 
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I am not sure that the Nautilus was intended to be a replacement workstation for Korg's flagship offering. I could be wrong.

I would say to try out the gear that works for you and make the purchase, regardless if they come out with something new. If we swapped our gear each time a new piece came onto market, we would never get any music written and released.

I am from the school of buying what works for me, learning everything about it, and keep going with it. This is why I still have 30 year-old Ensoniq synths in my studio to this day (that, and the sound of Ensoniq synth are unlike anything else).

I would say that since the Kronos has been out for around 10 years, they may have something coming down the pipe in addition to the Kronos, but we do not really know. This topic has been talked about endlessly in the Korg Forums and the results seem to be the same - no one knows.

Korg put A LOT under the hood of the Kronos and that is why it has lasted so long. I do not know of anyone in the Korg forums or elsewhere that have truly exhausted the resources that the Kronos offers. Sure, some of the PC tech in there is dated, but if the unit is working and still sounds amazing, then that is what really matters.

The Nautilus, according to my research and time spent in the forums, is that it is a truly upper-mid level instrument between the Krome and the Kronos. It features a lot from the Kronos, but also lacks a number of things that the Kronos has. KARMA, and the lack of aftertouch are just two. The Nautilus also has a few tricks up its sleeve that the Kronos does not have. This is to be expected when a much newer product is released that has newer tech in it.

I am not sure when Korg plan on releasing a new workstation, if they do at all. I would like to think that they WILL, because the Kronos is just that good and they really need to keep it going. I could see new tech, add Wavestate and ModWave features in it, make it a bit more user-upgradeable, and many other things that are very easy to do now. I would also like to see integration with a computer keyboard, mouse, and external touch screen monitor to be added. Korg could really blur the lines of what a true music workstation could be if they did that.

I personally still believe that the idea of a true music workstation has never really been achieved. Sure we have the M1 that really put the idea of a workstation out there for everyone, but Ensoniq had the ESQ1 (in 1986) even before the M1. Korg capitalized on the emerging tech and made a winner with the M1. Look at the synthesis engines in their products today and you still see the underlying structure.

I feel a true music workstation needs to be a keyboard, like the Kronos, but also offer user integration like the computer peripherals so that it truly could be the centerpiece of a studio. We take all of this time writing our music in our synths and such, but export them to a DAW for so many other things... I even do that myself. We should be able to plug everything into our synth and create/complete from there without a PC if we wanted. Maybe I am too firmly planted in the 'old school' room, but I think that something like that would really sell well, especially for thsoe on a budget or lacking a PC with specs enough to get the job done.

Again, I would play around with both and see which one strike you the best. Only then will you truly be happy with your purchase.

Grace,
Harry
 

rsm

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I am not sure that the Nautilus was intended to be a replacement workstation for Korg's flagship offering. I could be wrong.

I would say to try out the gear that works for you and make the purchase, regardless if they come out with something new. If we swapped our gear each time a new piece came onto market, we would never get any music written and released.

I am from the school of buying what works for me, learning everything about it, and keep going with it. This is why I still have 30 year-old Ensoniq synths in my studio to this day (that, and the sound of Ensoniq synth are unlike anything else).

I would say that since the Kronos has been out for around 10 years, they may have something coming down the pipe in addition to the Kronos, but we do not really know. This topic has been talked about endlessly in the Korg Forums and the results seem to be the same - no one knows.

Korg put A LOT under the hood of the Kronos and that is why it has lasted so long. I do not know of anyone in the Korg forums or elsewhere that have truly exhausted the resources that the Kronos offers. Sure, some of the PC tech in there is dated, but if the unit is working and still sounds amazing, then that is what really matters.

The Nautilus, according to my research and time spent in the forums, is that it is a truly upper-mid level instrument between the Krome and the Kronos. It features a lot from the Kronos, but also lacks a number of things that the Kronos has. KARMA, and the lack of aftertouch are just two. The Nautilus also has a few tricks up its sleeve that the Kronos does not have. This is to be expected when a much newer product is released that has newer tech in it.

I am not sure when Korg plan on releasing a new workstation, if they do at all. I would like to think that they WILL, because the Kronos is just that good and they really need to keep it going. I could see new tech, add Wavestate and ModWave features in it, make it a bit more user-upgradeable, and many other things that are very easy to do now. I would also like to see integration with a computer keyboard, mouse, and external touch screen monitor to be added. Korg could really blur the lines of what a true music workstation could be if they did that.

I personally still believe that the idea of a true music workstation has never really been achieved. Sure we have the M1 that really put the idea of a workstation out there for everyone, but Ensoniq had the ESQ1 (in 1986) even before the M1. Korg capitalized on the emerging tech and made a winner with the M1. Look at the synthesis engines in their products today and you still see the underlying structure.

I feel a true music workstation needs to be a keyboard, like the Kronos, but also offer user integration like the computer peripherals so that it truly could be the centerpiece of a studio. We take all of this time writing our music in our synths and such, but export them to a DAW for so many other things... I even do that myself. We should be able to plug everything into our synth and create/complete from there without a PC if we wanted. Maybe I am too firmly planted in the 'old school' room, but I think that something like that would really sell well, especially for thsoe on a budget or lacking a PC with specs enough to get the job done.

Again, I would play around with both and see which one strike you the best. Only then will you truly be happy with your purchase.

Grace,
Harry

Agree. Many good points. I waited awhile before considering a hardware workstation, with few exceptions, most of my "workstation" capabilities are in software. Assessing the current situation, the Kronos seems about ready to replace; the Nautilus isn't a Kronos replacement, but it's a lower cost Kronos derivative (my speculation: maximizing their investment in the Kronos while they work on a new flagship workstation series). I don't need it immediately so I can wait, frankly a four manual console for Hauptwerk system is at the top of my GAS list; I just don't currently have the space in my house for a large organ console with 32-note AGO pedalboard!

I'd like to time my purchase more effectively; i.e., I have enough gear now to wait for the next generation Kronos replacement; that's my preference to get in early and ride the upgrade waves vs. getting a mature product that will eventually be superseded. I think this is most important in the high tech, leading edge area of workstations vs some other keyboards; e.g., I see no need to upgrade or replace my Hammond SKx with the new, latest and greatest SK Pro. Now if it was a dual manual with three+ sets of drawbars and XK-5 features, I'd be tempted. :)
 
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Agree. Many good points. I waited awhile before considering a hardware workstation, with few exceptions, most of my "workstation" capabilities are in software. Assessing the current situation, the Kronos seems about ready to replace; the Nautilus isn't a Kronos replacement, but it's a lower cost Kronos derivative (my speculation: maximizing their investment in the Kronos while they work on a new flagship workstation series). I don't need it immediately so I can wait, frankly a four manual console for Hauptwerk system is at the top of my GAS list; I just don't currently have the space in my house for a large organ console with 32-note AGO pedalboard!

I'd like to time my purchase more effectively; i.e., I have enough gear now to wait for the next generation Kronos replacement; that's my preference to get in early and ride the upgrade waves vs. getting a mature product that will eventually be superseded. I think this is most important in the high tech, leading edge area of workstations vs some other keyboards; e.g., I see no need to upgrade or replace my Hammond SKx with the new, latest and greatest SK Pro. Now if it was a dual manual with three+ sets of drawbars and XK-5 features, I'd be tempted. :)
I am not sure that we will ever have 'enough' gear :) I am currently at 30 synths and not enough room to hook them all up, but I still look on the marketplaces to see what I cannot live without. One of my future wish list purchases is the Crumar Mojo organ. I really like the layout of it and it would really enhance my organ playing in bands and on albums, but I already have the Yamaha Reface YC organ clonewheel...

Grace,
Harry
 
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I do not think that Korg will release an updated Kronos this side of next year.

The Nautilus was released in November last year with them being available in January at £1999. Since then sales do seem to have been pretty good and its price has settled down to £1760 so it is getting near to a price that I would expect and it is at a level that will appeal to even more buyers.

Hence Korg will not imo release a new Kronos until the Nautilus sales start to level off at an acceptable level to Korg management.

Not only is the Kronos old but so is their Pa range and even the Kross and Krome Ex are a few years old as well.

Korg do seem to be concentrating on the synthesizer and digital piano market at present with about 7 new or updated synths coming on the market in the last year.
 

rsm

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I do not think that Korg will release an updated Kronos this side of next year.

The Nautilus was released in November last year with them being available in January at £1999. Since then sales do seem to have been pretty good and its price has settled down to £1760 so it is getting near to a price that I would expect and it is at a level that will appeal to even more buyers.

Hence Korg will not imo release a new Kronos until the Nautilus sales start to level off at an acceptable level to Korg management.

Not only is the Kronos old but so is their Pa range and even the Kross and Krome Ex are a few years old as well.

Korg do seem to be concentrating on the synthesizer and digital piano market at present with about 7 new or updated synths coming on the market in the last year.

I agree; I think it will be a few years before we see a new flagship workstation from Korg, and other makers. I've got more gear than I have time to play, but hoping to retire early in a few years, so want to get most of my expensive instruments while I have the income. I finally got my real Hammond and a good digital Hammond, as part of this plan.

A modern flagship workstation and a four manual console for a Hauptwerk system are at the top of my pre-retirement wishlist.

Cheers!
 
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It is unknown if/when Korg will release a Kronos replacement. When they scaled down the OASYS to create the Kronos, the OASYS itself was merely phased out and not replaced. All future development was done for Kronos, there was no more development done for OASYS. They may be doing the same thing again, and Nautilus will be the new top-of-line before long, or they may keep Kronos around for a good while yet, or they may come out with a new higher end model above the Nautilus, whether with the Kronos nomenclature or not. Nobody knows, except people inside Korg, and they're not saying.
 
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It is unknown if/when Korg will release a Kronos replacement. When they scaled down the OASYS to create the Kronos, the OASYS itself was merely phased out and not replaced. All future development was done for Kronos, there was no more development done for OASYS. They may be doing the same thing again, and Nautilus will be the new top-of-line before long, or they may keep Kronos around for a good while yet, or they may come out with a new higher end model above the Nautilus, whether with the Kronos nomenclature or not. Nobody knows, except people inside Korg, and they're not saying.
You know... I STILL drool over the OASYS :) I LOVE the work surface and the atmosphere of using a workstation like that.

I know a number of owners were feeling a bit cheated (non-owners alike) when the Kronos was released as a successor to the OASYS. The Kronos certainly did not look the part of a flagship, even though the internals were vastly superior to the OASYS. There was something about the flagship OASYS, well, looking and feeling like a true flagship (along with the price tag).

I have had the opportunity to buy an OASYS at least a few times over the course of the years (my wife even was paying a local store monthly for one for me as a gift), but I never pulled the trigger on it. Now, some 15+ years later, is it even worth it to get one, or would it be a better idea to go with the Kronos? I think that we would have too much upgrading to do on the O platform to get it current (HDD to SSD swaps, battery replacement, etc...) for use today. It is also limited by only 2Gb of RAM.

I do not think that it was Korg's intention to mass produce and sell the OASYS, at least from what I have read over the years. It was more of an experiment of what a true flagship 'all-in-one' workstation could really be and do. I believe they succeeded.

I hope that they do not repeat the phasing out of support for the Kronos like they did the OASYS. With that said, the Kronos has been around for more than twice as long as the OASYS and while many feel that there could have been more updates to the Kronos during this time, they really have taken care of it for the life of the product.

The OASYS is still selling on different market platforms anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000. That is not too bad considering its age. The Kronos seems to be holding its price pretty well too, all thigns considered.

Even if the Kronos is discontinued, there are still a number of third-party developers out there producing product for it. I do not think that it will go away anytime soon. If Korg do release something new, one can only imagine how they might top the mighty Kronos...

Grace,
Harry
 
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I do not think that Korg will release an updated Kronos this side of next year.

The Nautilus was released in November last year with them being available in January at £1999. Since then sales do seem to have been pretty good and its price has settled down to £1760 so it is getting near to a price that I would expect and it is at a level that will appeal to even more buyers.

Hence Korg will not imo release a new Kronos until the Nautilus sales start to level off at an acceptable level to Korg management.

Not only is the Kronos old but so is their Pa range and even the Kross and Krome Ex are a few years old as well.

Korg do seem to be concentrating on the synthesizer and digital piano market at present with about 7 new or updated synths coming on the market in the last year.
I guess we will not know about a Kronos successor until Korg either teases something or just outright releases something...

I am not so sure about the PA range being too old. The PA700 will be 4 years old in a few months (I bought mine in late September 2017) and it is still relevant. The PA1000 was supposedly released around the same time, but delivery on the PA1000 was moved at least a few times to well into 2018, if memory serves.

With the PA series being more of a niche product than a synth like a Kross, Krome, or Kronos, I would not expect them to release a successor for at least 5-7 years after the initial product release. Sure, they could offer more resources for it, but I think that Korg have done pretty well with their Bonusware. Even styles from the PA80 and such can be ported over and that PA80 is very old. There are also lots of resources available online for these units.

I think that Yamaha is more guilty of this than any other company. I believe the only reason they released the PSR-SX700/900 is because of the PA700/PA1000. Korg upped the game with those and left the PSR-S models in the dust. Yamaha had to respond and it took them time to do so. With that said, Korg has been releasing arrangers with 3 Upper/1 Lower part configurations at least since the PA1X and that was back in 2003. For all I know, the PA80, before the PA1X, also offered that. The original i3 may have offered that structure too. If so, they have always been ahead of Yamaha in that regard (even if the polyphony limited it from actually working well).

Grace,
Harry
 
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I guess we will not know about a Kronos successor until Korg either teases something or just outright releases something...

I am not so sure about the PA range being too old. The PA700 will be 4 years old in a few months (I bought mine in late September 2017) and it is still relevant. The PA1000 was supposedly released around the same time, but delivery on the PA1000 was moved at least a few times to well into 2018, if memory serves.

With the PA series being more of a niche product than a synth like a Kross, Krome, or Kronos, I would not expect them to release a successor for at least 5-7 years after the initial product release. Sure, they could offer more resources for it, but I think that Korg have done pretty well with their Bonusware. Even styles from the PA80 and such can be ported over and that PA80 is very old. There are also lots of resources available online for these units.

I think that Yamaha is more guilty of this than any other company. I believe the only reason they released the PSR-SX700/900 is because of the PA700/PA1000. Korg upped the game with those and left the PSR-S models in the dust. Yamaha had to respond and it took them time to do so. With that said, Korg has been releasing arrangers with 3 Upper/1 Lower part configurations at least since the PA1X and that was back in 2003. For all I know, the PA80, before the PA1X, also offered that. The original i3 may have offered that structure too. If so, they have always been ahead of Yamaha in that regard (even if the polyphony limited it from actually working well).

Grace,
Harry
I too bought my 700 in Sept 2017, since then zero significant updates.

Pa1000 became available in the UK in Feb 2018 and since then zero significant updates.

Pa4X announced Sept 2015, one significant update in 2019 so two years+ ago.

Korg have faffed around with the Kronos over the last few years with the LS version.

The Krome EX is more a cosmetic update that has been panned by the users in the Krome section of the Korg forum.

Meanwhile with the exception of the Nautilus, Korg has released a stream of synths.

Makes one wonder with the lack of Pa updates exactly what the team in Italy have been upto in the last 15 months
 
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I am not sure that the Nautilus was intended to be a replacement workstation for Korg's flagship offering. I could be wrong.

I would say to try out the gear that works for you and make the purchase, regardless if they come out with something new. If we swapped our gear each time a new piece came onto market, we would never get any music written and released.

I am from the school of buying what works for me, learning everything about it, and keep going with it. This is why I still have 30 year-old Ensoniq synths in my studio to this day (that, and the sound of Ensoniq synth are unlike anything else).

I would say that since the Kronos has been out for around 10 years, they may have something coming down the pipe in addition to the Kronos, but we do not really know. This topic has been talked about endlessly in the Korg Forums and the results seem to be the same - no one knows.

Korg put A LOT under the hood of the Kronos and that is why it has lasted so long. I do not know of anyone in the Korg forums or elsewhere that have truly exhausted the resources that the Kronos offers. Sure, some of the PC tech in there is dated, but if the unit is working and still sounds amazing, then that is what really matters.

The Nautilus, according to my research and time spent in the forums, is that it is a truly upper-mid level instrument between the Krome and the Kronos. It features a lot from the Kronos, but also lacks a number of things that the Kronos has. KARMA, and the lack of aftertouch are just two. The Nautilus also has a few tricks up its sleeve that the Kronos does not have. This is to be expected when a much newer product is released that has newer tech in it.

I am not sure when Korg plan on releasing a new workstation, if they do at all. I would like to think that they WILL, because the Kronos is just that good and they really need to keep it going. I could see new tech, add Wavestate and ModWave features in it, make it a bit more user-upgradeable, and many other things that are very easy to do now. I would also like to see integration with a computer keyboard, mouse, and external touch screen monitor to be added. Korg could really blur the lines of what a true music workstation could be if they did that.

I personally still believe that the idea of a true music workstation has never really been achieved. Sure we have the M1 that really put the idea of a workstation out there for everyone, but Ensoniq had the ESQ1 (in 1986) even before the M1. Korg capitalized on the emerging tech and made a winner with the M1. Look at the synthesis engines in their products today and you still see the underlying structure.

I feel a true music workstation needs to be a keyboard, like the Kronos, but also offer user integration like the computer peripherals so that it truly could be the centerpiece of a studio. We take all of this time writing our music in our synths and such, but export them to a DAW for so many other things... I even do that myself. We should be able to plug everything into our synth and create/complete from there without a PC if we wanted. Maybe I am too firmly planted in the 'old school' room, but I think that something like that would really sell well, especially for thsoe on a budget or lacking a PC with specs enough to get the job done.

Again, I would play around with both and see which one strike you the best. Only then will you truly
You know... I STILL drool over the OASYS :) I LOVE the work surface and the atmosphere of using a workstation like that.

I know a number of owners were feeling a bit cheated (non-owners alike) when the Kronos was released as a successor to the OASYS. The Kronos certainly did not look the part of a flagship, even though the internals were vastly superior to the OASYS. There was something about the flagship OASYS, well, looking and feeling like a true flagship (along with the price tag).

I have had the opportunity to buy an OASYS at least a few times over the course of the years (my wife even was paying a local store monthly for one for me as a gift), but I never pulled the trigger on it. Now, some 15+ years later, is it even worth it to get one, or would it be a better idea to go with the Kronos? I think that we would have too much upgrading to do on the O platform to get it current (HDD to SSD swaps, battery replacement, etc...) for use today. It is also limited by only 2Gb of RAM.

I do not think that it was Korg's intention to mass produce and sell the OASYS, at least from what I have read over the years. It was more of an experiment of what a true flagship 'all-in-one' workstation could really be and do. I believe they succeeded.

I hope that they do not repeat the phasing out of support for the Kronos like they did the OASYS. With that said, the Kronos has been around for more than twice as long as the OASYS and while many feel that there could have been more updates to the Kronos during this time, they really have taken care of it for the life of the product.

The OASYS is still selling on different market platforms anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000. That is not too bad considering its age. The Kronos seems to be holding its price pretty well too, all thigns considered.

Even if the Kronos is discontinued, there are still a number of third-party developers out there producing product for it. I do not think that it will go away anytime soon. If Korg do release something new, one can only imagine how they might top the mighty Kronos...

Grace,
Harry
I love my Oasys 88, fully Upgraded with all modules and HDD cloned to large SSD so plenty of room for storage and the like. Beautiful operating system and no problems, tho 88 is 32.1 kg.
Kronos 2 looks better aesthetically from Kronos 1 but starting to get a little tedious, don’t get me wrong, Amazing Korg sounds but just a bit “meh”

Nautilus, using Oasys print outside on bodywork, just so bland and plain looking??? Hmmmm personal choice of course but they could of made look a bit better IMO.
 
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Undisputed truth #37. After you do your research, reading reviews and price comparisons and narrow the field to a few and finally pull the trigger, a newer and better product will be on the market within six months of your purchase. This is especially true for computers.
 

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