The Korg B1 is one of their few entries into beginner-friendly, affordable, digital console pianos, inviting competition with better-known Yamaha and Casio keyboards. Korg brings a reputation for technical expertise and excellence into the B1SP, but is it enough? Let’s take a closer look.
Overview of the Korg B1SP Piano
A feature comparison of the Korg B1SP with similar digital console pianos in this price range doesn’t turn up many surprises. The big advance of the Korg B1SP is the investment in speaker sound technology, which offers some surprising features in the class. But is great speaker technology enough to make the Korg B1SP a competitor with more popular digital console keyboards? Let’s take a closer look.
Summary of the Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano with Stand’s Features and Specs
- 88 full-size keys
- 3 levels of touch sensitivity
- Natural-weighted hammer key weighting system
- Reverb effect
- Chorus effect
- 9-watt speakers
- Servo-assisted MFB speaker technology
Headphone/line out port
- Tranpose function
- Passive sound radiator
- Keyboard partner mode
8 instrument voices, including:
- 3 acoustic pianos
- 2 electric pianos
- 2 organs
8 demo songs included
120 max polyphony
- Stereo PCM sound engine
- Dedicated piano button to revert to
- Amazon bundle includes furniture console keyboard stand with 3 pedal panel
- Amazon package includes Knox piano bench
- Comes with a piano learning guide
Video Overview of Korg B1SP
Who the Korg B1SP Digital Piano Most Suitable For?
The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano with Stand is designed to provide excellent instrument sound samples along with excellent onboard sound amplification and reproduction. These features, along with the full-size, 88-key weighted keyboard, make it a great option for a player who is accustomed to playing acoustic pianos, but wants a more compact, affordable console piano that never needs tuning. Experienced acoustic piano players, particularly people who have let their piano playing lapse for a while and are taking it up again, love the sound and feel of this keyboard.
It is also a fantastic way for a piano student to learn and practice, because the keys and key weight, along with the pedal panel, will give them a practice experience that easily transitions to an acoustic instrument.
It is, however, short on “digital” features, for a digital piano, and doesn’t have many of the acoustic effects, onboard memory, or advanced capabilities of other keyboards, making it not the best choice for aspiring digital musicians.
It’s a great option for those people who want a baby grand at home, but, with no MIDI or USB ports, not a great piano for those who want to share their music more widely.
What’s Included with the Korg B1SP Digital Piano?
The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano bundle comes with:
A Knox full-size 19-inch black piano bench
A “Focus on Piano” piano learning guide
- A furniture-style console stand
- A 3-pedal board
- An AC power adapter
- A music rest
Overview of the Korg B1SP Digital Piano with Stand’s Features
The furniture-style console, metal pedals, upright stand, and included bench of the Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano with Stand look great and make a wonderful addition to a home, adding the warmth of a piano without taking up as much space.
It doesn’t have a lot of buttons or an LCD screen to detract from the classic look and feel of the instrument.
The 88 full-size, fully NH weighted keys provide a satisfying playing experience that simulates the feel of an acoustic piano. Three levels of touch sensitivity accommodate different playing styles and expressions.
Servo-assisted MFB technology controls the physical movement of the speaker cone to minimize distortion and achieve excellent frequency response, particularly in the low-frequency range. It removes any sound coloration caused by the speaker itself, and helps to compensate for room acoustics and small speaker size.
The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano’s instrument samples are good, but not extraordinary. What’s extraordinary about the Korg B1SP is the sound playback technology. It uses a pair of full-range, 9-watt speakers and a passive radiator to produce rich and resonant tones.
It only has 8 instrument voices, which is a small number compared to other keyboards, but the essentials are there, along with a dedicated Piano Play button to return the instrument to Grand Piano settings. The maximum 120 levels of polyphony aren’t great, but since there aren’t any rhythms, layer effects, or accompaniment options, players are unlikely to experience any negative effects from the limitation.
It has reverb and chorus effects for an extra layer of acoustic control.
The built-in metronome and keyboard partner mode are great for lessons or duets. In partner mode, the keyboard is split in the middle, giving two players a 44-key keyboard with their own middle C. It’s a great way for two players to sit side-by-side and play together.
Pros & Cons of the Korg B1SP
An Alternative Product to Consider
The Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano with Stand is a great alternative to an analogue piano. It has great sound and a great playing feel, but takes up less space than a traditional piano, and never needs tuning. However, it is almost surprising how few digital features this piano has, in this price range.
Korg makes high-end synthesizers and music workstations, so the lack of onboard memory and omission of MIDI or USB-out capabilities is particularly strange for this brand. It means that, while the Korg B1SP 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano with Stand is a great piano for practice or in-person performance, the music isn’t easily recorded, digitized, mixed, processed, or shared.
For a comparable keyboard that takes better advantage of the possibilities of today’s technology, a good alternative is the Casio Privia PX-160 furniture bundle.
Like the Korg B1SP, the Casio Privia PX-160 has
- 88 full-size, fully weighted keys
- 3 levels of touch sensitivity
- Duet keyboard function (called partner mode in the Korg)
- And this package comes with a keyboard stand, pedal board, music rest, and piano bench as well
The Casio Privia PX-160 also has many advanced features that the Korg B1SP simply doesn’t have, including
- Simulated ebony and ivory key surfaces
- Layer, split, and duet keyboard functions
- Tuning control
- Record one song with 2 tracks in onboard memory
- Lesson functions
- USB port
Finally, the Casio AiR sound engine produces excellent, high-quality instrument sounds. While the Korg has superior speaker power and sound management technologies, and the console stand is more attractive, the Casio simply has more musical capabilities and more advancements, for practically the same price.
Accessories for the Korg B1SP Digital Piano with Stand
A keyboard cover
The Korg B1SP is a handsome instrument, and it’s worth protecting its good looks and making it easier to clean with a keyboard cover. The Clicks Dept Piano Keyboard Dust Cover is an excellent choice. It is made of thick, durable nylon, and stretches to fit the piano keys, protecting them from dust and dirt. It is machine washable, so the keyboard cover is easy to clean.
The stretchy material is a perfect fit for both portable and console keyboards. It comes with an attractive free storage pouch so you can keep it in good condition while the keyboard is in use, and has a full 3-year guarantee.
If you are going to use headphones with the Korg B1SP, they should be headphones that live up to the rich, resonant sound of the piano’s onboard audio system. Your headphones should deliver the same clarity, depth, and power of the keyboard itself.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M20x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones are a great companion for this keyboard, with their high-quality materials and enhanced low-frequency performance.
They not only deliver excellent audio while you are playing, but they also provide excellent sound isolation, filtering out distractions and background noise. They are padded for enduring comfort, designed for durability, and give you professional-quality sound while playing.
Musicroom TV Presents: Korg B1 Digital Piano
PMTVUK’s Korg B1SP Piano Review
If you are looking to replace the baby grand piano in your life with a more affordable, compact, low-maintenance instrument, the Korg B1 88 Weighted Key Digital Piano is an excellent choice. It has great sound, a good feel in the keys, and provides an enjoyable playing experience. If you need a digital piano with a greater range of features, it may not be the piano for you.