Korg B1 – Digital Piano Review
I was keen to try out the Korg B1 having heard a lot about the new MFB speaker system. Without me boring you with the details of what it means, it’s basically Korg’s effort at keeping things up to date and cutting edge when it comes to the ever increasing popular world of digital pianos.
Korg also boast a great stereo sampling of a concert grand piano, as well as its resonance and how the sound carries after a key has been played. So I was certainly looking forward to playing the Korg B1 to see how these speakers sounded with its replicar concert grand sound.
Well, it certainly does capture a concert grand sound very well, and although it’s pretty impossible to actually make a digital piano at this price sound exactly like a real concert grand, it certainly gives it a go. The new speaker system is also very impressive and surprisingly very loud at the top end of the volume scale. Not that you would usually have it that loud in the home, it’s always nice to have plenty of extra volume.
The piano sound is always what I listen to first, and it sounds very bright and crisp. The bass notes are nice and earthy as I like to call it, and as you progress up the keys they become nice and bright where needed – especially right at the top.
There aren’t many additional sounds on the Korg B1, and you can clearly see that it’s been designed with the pianist in mind – which is fine with me. I often find that a digital piano which doesn’t come with many sounds tends to put more effort and technology into the main ‘piano’ sound which it has been designed for. However, the extra sounds it does come with are of a high quality.
The additional sounds that accompany the Korg are what you’d typically expect to see nowadays on digital pianos, like electric piano, church organ, jazz organ etc. Again, if you aren’t too fussed about these sounds and are only interested in the piano, then it won’t matter to you too much how they sound; but I can confirm they are of a good quality sound – and you never know, you might just want to give them a try!
Touch and feel
The Korg B1 boasts what they call a ‘NH’ keyboard action, which stands for ‘Natural Weight Hammer’. Not sure why they’ve dropped the ‘W’, but I can confirm the ‘NH’ key action is really good. It basically attempts to mimic the weight and feel of a real acoustic piano. The keys at the bottom are heavier and get lighter at the top. For the experienced player this is sometimes a ‘must have’ feature, and I couldn’t agree more.
However, even a beginner will benefit from the authentic touch and feel of the Korg B1’s keys, as it’s really important that anyone starting out gets used to the weight and feel of how piano keys should be, compared with what you might find on cheaper models and most keyboards.
I also like the way the keys react to faster playing, and they are very responsive when needed. You can bounce nicely off the keys when playing any style, and I really made sure I tested the piano out with big fat chords and fast scales to see how it responded.
Overall, the Korg B1 offers a really nice feel at this price point and doesn’t disappoint in either sound quality or keyboard responsiveness.
Priced at just over £300, the Korg B1 is an extremely cheap way for any beginner to get their hands on a brand new piano without breaking the bank. It also comes with a sustain/damper pedal, which is a nice inclusion.
I typically find that the experienced player tends to be spend more on a higher model, however I would still highly recommend the Korg B1 to anyone of all ages and levels as the sound and feel is able to compete with even the most expensive of digital pianos.
£300 really is practically nothing when it comes to buying a piano, as you can literally spend thousands if you like. However, if you are on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice quality, then the Korg B1 just might be for you…