Best jazz piano – Korg Grandstage 88 Review

This article will provide you with all the necessary information about the Korg Garndstage 88. If you are interested in buying the Grandstage 88 or you just want to know more about the synthesizer, you should keep on reading. If you like this article and found the provided information useful, you might want to check out our other reviews at AalbergAudio.com

Price

The Korg Grandstage 88 is a well-made piano. The prices can vary depending on the website you are buying it from, but mainly it stays between 1800 and 2700 euros. You can check the latest offer here!

Product Description

The Korg Grandstage is a professional stage piano for stage use. Seven powerful sound engines make the Grandstage a true sound miracle. The instrument features 5 concert grand pianos and an upright piano of the highest sound quality. Korg’s RH3 keyboard reproduces even the most subtle nuances of the game. The Korg Grandstage also features many useful functions for live stage use, such as Favorite, button, a smooth sound transition, a panel lock, and much more. The Grandstage comes with a special music stand and a newly developed piano stand with a matching chrome surface. A complete stage piano system that makes every performance a real pleasure.

Pros:

  • Simple user interface 
  • Dedicated dynamics section
  • Gorgeous piano sounds
  • Beautiful real hammer-action keyboard
  • Well-build, made in Japan
  • Some of the best Pianos, Electric Pianos, and Organs
  • Controls feel solid 
  • Complete connectivity package 

Cons:

  • Best suits a very specific kind of player – jazz/classical
  • A small amount of editing options 
  • Only a single Reverb/Delay effect
  • Limited features
  • No expandable sound library

Is Korg Grandstage 88 Review Worth it?

If you want a dedicated stage piano, you will struggle to find any better than the Grandstage 88. It’s one of the best digital stage pianos on the market and has the most realistic feel in our top 12. 

Despite having around 500 high-quality preset sounds, it’s the piano voices and the keybed that make it worth buying. For jazz or classical pianists, it’s one of the best keyboard pianos around. If you play in a band that requires a wide range of sounds, you’ll get better value for money elsewhere. 

In-Depth Review of the above articles

Benefits:

Good operation thanks to an intuitive user interface

The Korg Grandstage has a clear operating concept that makes it possible to select the desired sound quickly and specifically from the abundance of sounds. In addition, all effects, EQs, and dynamic controls are directly accessible via front knobs and buttons.

A variety of useful functions for live use

The Korg Grandstage offers a wealth of useful functions for live use. Dynamic controls for direct control of articulation and expressivity can be found. Smooth Sound Transitions (SST) provides natural transitions between sounds. With the 3-band equalizer, you can adjust the sound character of the whole instrument to the acoustics of the venue.

The natural playing feel thanks to sophisticated keyboard technology

The Korg Grandstage has the weighted RH-3 keyboard. The 88 touch-sensitive piano keys react sensitively and allow nuanced control of the dynamics in interaction. The expressiveness of the Grandstage sounds is remarkable – the pure fun of playing!

Music stand, sustain pedal and piano stands included

The Grandstage comes with a special emergency console attached to the Instrument, a damper pedal (DS-1H) that supports half-pedaling, and a newly developed piano stand ( standard N-SV) with a chrome-plated surface.

Specifications:

Number of keys: 88

Type of keys: Weighted (RH3 keybed), velocity-sensitive 

Other Controllers: Pitched, Mod Wheel 

Polyphony: Up to 128 voices

Presets: 500 sounds

Effects: Reverb, Delay, EQ

Audio Outputs: 2 x ¼ (left, right), 2 x XLR (left, right)

Headphones: 1 x ¼” 

USB: 1 x Type A, 1 x Type B

MIDI I/O: In/Out

Pedal Inputs: 3 x 1/4″ (damper, switch, pedal), DS-1H included

Bench/Stand Included: Stand

Power Supply: Standard IEC AC cable 

Dimensions:

Height: 5.51”

Width: 51.6”

Depth: 14.1”

Weight: 44 lbs

Manufacturer Part Number: GRANDSTAGE88

Quality

The first thing you’re going to notice about the Grandstage is that it’s a well-built, quality piano.  And it’s not without robust features, either.

Usability

When turning on the Grandstage, all of the red backlighting turn on, which then dims down. The Piano does not instantly turn on, it has a startup time that is quick enough, around 30 seconds in total.

The sounds are pretty easy to navigate. You can think of the left hand as the ensemble section, or the “what goes layered with the piano sound” section. Turn the knob (after turning the section on with the corresponding button) and select your sound. You can then think of the right hand as the keyboard section or the piano sound. Interestingly, the Ensemble side allows you to pick any Keyboard sound, and the Keyboard side lets you pick any Ensemble sound, so in reality, any sound is available from either side.

Creating splits is easy—just press the dedicated split button! If you want to change where the split point is, just hold down the split button and press the key you want to split at. That’s it! You only get one split point, but each part gets its own MIDI channel. The swap button switches the upper and lower parts. Layering is also very easy and achieved in a similar manner via a single button push.

Speaking of changing sounds, the change between sounds are very smooth. KORG calls this the “Smooth Sound Transition” (SST) function, which creates seamless changes when you switch between sounds and effects, even while you perform. For many players, this is an essential feature.

Sound

This is GrandStage’s strongest suit, and the best reason to own one. Starting with the acoustic pianos, there are several to choose from German, Japanese, and Italian to name a few. Each sounds great and have their own character.

Additional Features:

  • Powered by 7 sound engines: SGX-2 acoustic piano; EP-1 electric pianos; CX-3, VOX, and Compact organs; AL-1 analog modeling; and the HD-1 PCM engine
  • Acclaimed RH3 keyboard responds to your every playing nuance
  • Premium RH3 weighted hammer action for realistic concert grand feel: heavier in the lower register, lighter in the upper
  • Master effects, including 3-band EQ, reverb, and delay
  • Dynamics knob lets you customize the playing feel of the keyboard in real-time
  • Favorites buttons let you register up to 64 of your go-to sounds for instant recall
  • Korg’s Smooth Sound Transition (SST) creates smooth and natural changes between sounds and effects while you perform
  • Effortless layer and split functionality
  • Panel Lock prevents sounds or settings from being inadvertently changed
  • Crafted in Japan to exacting Korg standards
  • Includes keyboard stand, DS1H damper pedal, and music rest

Warranty

Warranty coverage is provided by the Korg distributor in the country in which the product was purchased.

Who Is Korg Grandstage 88 Best For?

At the end of the day, this Grandstage instrument is for someone who wants a huge, realistic library of diverse sounds & tones with the ability to find them quickly and to be able to play a big variety of musical styles.

What Do People Say About Korg Grandstage 88 ?

You can find some feedback and synthesizer reviews on Amazon and Thomann. A lot of people prefer buying their synthesizers online due to the better prices rather than in stores. Overall the Korg Grandstage 88 has been rated on average 3.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon Review. 

Amazon Reviews #1“By far the best sounding stage piano available in 2019. Could it be improved upon? Certainly. But it’s by far the richest sounding of the current lot. I took one star off for the heavier action. I have a grand piano and its action is still lighter than the GS. Why work harder than you have to? Very nice design too, relative to other stage pianos. Intuitive to use.”

Amazon Reviews  #2“Love this stage piano. I am new to playing piano and the quality of the product and features has been awesome and a great vehicle for learning!”

To get a better idea of how the Krog Granstage 88 sounds and looks like, we have provided you with a couple of Youtube videos, where you can get a quick synthesizer review and sound check.

YouTube Review #1 – This video by Sweetwater will give you a demo of the Korg Grandstage digital piano. By watching this video you will get a better idea of how to master your Korg Granstage and how to make playing on it more fun and comfortable. 

Youtube Review #2 – This video gives a quick overview of the piano and also demos the functions Korg Grandstage has to offer. 

The Verdict: Is Korg Grandstage 88 Worth It?

To sum it all up, the Grandstage sounds good, plays well, and is extremely easy to use. I’m wasn’t kidding when I said it’s one of the best-sounding stage pianos, and I’m willing to overlook the slim feature set as a result.

In the end, I highly recommend the Grandstage for pianists who want a wide palette of good-to-go sounds. It sounds awesome, and if you don’t need the extra bells and whistles, the Grandstage is an easy choice.

If you like this article and found the provided information useful, you might want to check out our other reviews at AalbergAudio.com