Editor’s Note: If you are looking for a simple home use digital piano, Korg B1 (B1SP) is the one that suits your taste. Though it might be limited when it comes to advanced features, the B1SP is still a great tool for practice at home. It may lack advanced features and effects, but, it’s one of the learnable and playable digital pianos for casual players.
Korg B1 (B1SP) Digital Piano – An Overview
Maybe some of you are looking for a Casio or a Yamaha. But, did you know that Korg is known for affordable, yet quality digital pianos? The brand name may not ring a bell to you, but, it has recently released two entry-level digital piano, B1 and B1SP.
In this review, we will be focusing on the B1SP digital piano. This digital piano comes with weighted keys to replicate the feel of a real acoustic piano. B1SP has a lot to offer, which includes the following features:
Very Sturdy Construction
It’s compact and lightweight. It only weighs around 26 pounds and has 1.2 inches depth.
Although it might not be as slim as other digital pianos, it’s still very handy and can be moved around very easily.
The keys are made of plastic. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have the ivory and ebony surface other digital pianos have. So, there might be instances of fingers slipping off while you are playing for extended hours.
The speaker grill that stretches in front of the panel is very neat and clean. The few controls make it very simple and straightforward, so you can easily memorize its functionalities. It comes in two common color variations – black and white.
Reliable 88-weighted Keys
Very delightful to touch. This 88-key entry-level B1SP replicates the touch and feel of a real acoustic piano. It features a Natural weighted Action (NH) Keyboard.
The NH keyboard uses real hammers (like those in acoustic piano) to be able to have the touch, feel and the exact response of the acoustic piano. Since it’s weighted differently, it’s a bit heavier at the lower registries and slowly becomes lighter towards the higher registries.
In addition, the keys are also touch-sensitive. This means the sound each key produces depends on how hard or soft you strike it. You have preset settings – Lighter, Normal (default) and Heavier.
So, when you select “Heavier,” you need to strike the keys harder to achieve the powerful sound that you are looking for.
Thanks to Korg’s improved PCM stereo sampling technology, there are eight sounds you can experiment on, including the grand pianos, organs, electric pianos, and harpsichord. This digital piano is designed to replicate acoustic piano. However, it’ll be more exciting to add more instruments and effects; that’s why a few more sounds are added.
Unfortunately, there are no string options, vibraphone or bass sounds. It could have been better to have these sounds to be the best option in this price range. But, you can still make some more adjustments with the Reverb and Chorus effects of the digital piano.
Through these years, Korg has successfully improved their speakers, thereby, producing powerful digital piano sounds through their speakers. B1SP features full-range speakers which implement the Motional Feedback (MFB) technology. This technology helps the speakers produce more accurate sounds by controlling the movement of the speaker cone.
Though it’s limited when it comes to the effects and features, it produces very natural, rich and clear sounds. This is even better than those pianos of the same price range that have more advanced features. Unfortunately, the speakers may not be that loud, even when you set the volume to a maximum.
Limited, but Useful Features
It doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it has a few features like transpose, tuning, and metronome. In addition, it has a Partner Mode, which is like a Duet Play in most digital pianos. This mode splits the piano into two equal parts with the same pitch ranges for side-by-side practice.
The transpose feature allows you to raise or lower the pitch of the entire keyboard. You can move higher or lower in semitone steps. This is very useful when you have to play a song in a different key, without the need to change the way you play each key.
Tuning is one useful feature. This may be handy if you want to match the pitch of the vocalist or another instrument like an organ or grand piano, etc.
It doesn’t have a USB or MIDI port, but has a headphone jack. So, you can practice on headsets or amplify the sounds through external speakers. But, you can’t play songs directly from a flash drive or connect it to a computer for file transfer.
Indeed, a Great Practice Piano
If you are looking for a practice digital piano at home, this one is the most suitable one. It lacks all the effects you can find in advanced digital pianos, so you really have to master and practice your skills. So, this instrument will really help you strongly build your piano skills.
- Sounds genuine like a real piano
- Everything is perfect upfront, setup is awesome
- Strong and sturdy build
- Weighted keys are very responsive
- Volume is not that loud, even in a closed room
- Weighted keys aren’t quite noticeable unless play at high volume
- Headphone jack is at the back, hard to access
It’s not nice to say it, but I’ll tell it, anyway…
It may be affordable and has a powerful sound, but it’s way too basic. Aside from the fact that it lacks a few of the more exciting features, it’s also very poor in connectivity options.
It only has the headphone jack and the pedal jack located on the rear panel, but it doesn’t have USB option.
Some more affordable digital pianos are better than this, with the USB/MIDI and Bluetooth connectivity options. So, I wonder why Korg is not adding these necessary features to the B1SP. Anyway, it’s a not a deal breaker, but this digital piano could have been more worth it with these features.
Is it a great pick?
For beginners and casual players, maybe. But, for serious musicians, this one is too basic and might not be a great instrument for large performances. It lacks all the advanced features to make your music more interesting and more unique.
Nonetheless, the Korg BS1P is great digital piano for beginners who need a practice instrument at home. However, it might not be wise for musicians who might be traveling to gig and perform.