Piano Reviews: Korg SV188BK-88 Key Digital Piano Review
The Korg SV188BK-88 key digital piano is wonderful for lovers of vintage keyboards. It combines the best of Korg’s upright, grand, and electronic piano sounds. It also has a very retro design, that will make digital piano purists proud. Finally, Korg is known for their high-quality products. So, when you purchase the SV188BK-88, you are getting one of the best digital pianos.
Want the whole story on the Korg SV188BK-88? If yes, then read on.
The specifics of the Korg SV188BK make it stand out as an amazing product.
- Keyboard: 88 keys, Velocity Sensitive RH3 (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3) keyboard
- Dimensions: 53.3 inches x 13.66 inches z 6.1 inches not including music stand
- Weight: 45.3 lbs. not including music stand
- Sounds: 6 banks and 6 variations
- Effects: 4 insert and 2 master
- Demos: 36 demos
- Accessories: Power cable, User guide, Accessory Disk, Music Stand, and Damper pedal.
To get a clear picture of the reason why so many performers love the Korg SV188BK, we need to look at a few features in detail.
Like all of Korg’s products, the SC188BK has amazing sound capabilities. Whether you are using the digital piano to advance your technique or perform onstage, the SV188BK has something for you.
The Korg SV188BK comes with six different sound banks. Each of these banks has six possible variations. That’s thirty-six different sounds in total that you can choose from. Of course, this isn’t even counting the many effects that you can put on each sound. Additionally, the Korg SV188BK can be connected to other MIDI devices.[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY0oVebwDxk[/embed]
With all of these sound options, you will never want for the right accompaniment to your playing. The only thing missing is the recording and playback options of some stage pianos like this one. But, that’s not all . . .
Like the older SV 1, the Korg SV188BK has a lot of connectivity. It has XLR and 14-inch outputs as well as left and right audio inputs. Plus, there are MIDI in and out jacks and a USB MIDI port. Finally, the three pedal connections allow you to hook up to three pedals to the digital at a time.
Korg had added this level of connectivity because the SV188BK is a pro keyboard. If you are a professional musician—or aspire to be one—then you need as much customizability as possible. The Korg SV188BK gives this to you in spades. You can even hook the digital piano to your computer to access even more varied sounds.
Korg has designed the SV188BK to look vintage. This means that the keyboard is full of curves. Also, there are single-function knobs on the switchboard, which will bring you back to any earlier era. The SV188BK is available in black or carbon grey. You can also purchase a black stand and soft rolling case to go with your SV188BK.
The best thing about the SV188BK’s design is that it is still extremely functional and playable. The placement of the single knobs and switches above the keys gives you easy access. They move smoothly, which enables you to alter the sound on a moment’s notice. Plus, every knob and switch is clearly labelled. There is no guessing with the Korg SV188BK.
Pros and Cons
You’re about to learn all about the pros and cons of the Korg SV188BK. It is important to take these into consideration when you are researching your digital piano purchase.
- Korg may not have the long history of Yamaha, whose products we discuss here, here, and here. But, it is still a company with over a forty-year history. This means that they are used to creating great products by hand. None of Korg’s products are made in an assembly line factory. Instead, they are handmade in Japan. So, you know you are getting quality when you buy from Korg.
- There is a lot of variability with the Korg SV188BK. You can attach a lot of different equipment, which will significantly change the sound. Thus, you can vary this digital piano specifically to you.
- Korg’s SV188BK comes with a full keyboard of eighty-eight keys. The keys use Korg’s RH3 graded hammer action. This is the best that Korg has to offer. It is the closest to an acoustic keyboard that you can get with a digital piano.
- You only get eighty notes of polyphony with the Korg SV188BK. Polyphony refers to the number of sounds that can be played at one time. Therefore, the less polyphony you have, the less layering you can do to your sound. Eighty note polyphony is not bad. However, some of Korg’s other digital pianos—like the SP280 and LP380-88—have over one hundred polyphony.
- The Korg SV188BK only comes with a damper pedal. This is the most commonly used pedal on a piano. But, an acoustic piano does have three pedals to choose from. If you want that flexibility, you can to purchase the other two pedals separately.
The Korg SV188BK-88 is a fine example of Korg’s products. It is less a digital piano, and more a stage piano. But, it is perfect for someone who needs the sound flexibility that the SV188BK offers. If you are planning on taking an instrument to gigs, then you need this digital piano.
A final great advantage to choosing the SV188BK is the customizable nature of the instrument. Very few manufacturers allow you to customize the sound of your digital piano to this degree. If all of the things we’ve discussed today sound like something you’re interested in, then you need to try out the Korg SV188BK. If you want to keep looking, we have a great article on the best digital pianos of 2020.