Korg SV1 88 Review – The Perfect Combination of Elegance and Power

Korg SV1 88 review featured image
Our Korg SV1 88 Review

Korg, a Japanese multinational corporation that specializes in electronic musical instruments, tuners, pedals, and recording equipment, has been known for producing high quality and durable equipment since being founded in 1962.

This company has been credited with many different products and innovations, including the “key transpose” function, putting effects on synthesizers, and the first to provide a “sample + synthesis” design. These innovations keep Korg at the forefront of musical equipment and are obvious in the high-quality SV1 88.

What Is the Korg SV1 88?

This is an incredibly powerful gigging piano that is packed full of all of the keyboard sounds that you can use when performing. Because it is loaded not only with modern sounds but also past decades of analog sounds, it’s a great option for musicians who want the best of both worlds.

Additionally, the Korg SV1 88 has a great weighted keyboard, which adds bulk and stability to the instrument, making it a great job for playing with expression without worrying about its shifting position. It’s been on the market for almost a decade, but that doesn’t mean that this powerful piece of equipment is any less timely or useful. Korg wanted to make an instrument that was not only easy-to-use but also friendly and accessible to musicians of all skill levels while still providing a little depth and additional control that players who are more tech-savvy would appreciate.

Who Is this Digital Piano Designed for?

The Korg SV1 88 was designed for performance, which means that it is great for private play and for recording, but it is going to be most impressive when used on stage for a live show. It’s packed with great features such as the SV-1 Editor/Librarian software, which offers graphics-based programming for more advanced musicians to enjoy.

Any musician who is looking for a portable, reliable, and economical way to enjoy many different vintage instruments without having to invest in them individually will enjoy the Korg SV1 88. It’s laid out in a way that makes sense, which means that new musicians can easily start playing without much help. Korg did, however, make this instrument powerful enough that as a musician improves they will be able to enjoy more power and control over their sound.

What’s Included?

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Korg SV188BK - 88 - Key Digital Piano with Vintage Sounds, Black

Last update was on: April 8, 2020 11:33 pm

The Korg SV1 88 is ready for you to plug it in and get started playing and making music right away. It ships with a damper pedal and has XLR and ¼” stereo outs as well as a ¼” in. If you have quality headphones on hand, then you can easily plug them into the Korg SV1 88 for private practice.

Before you go on stage, you will want to make sure that you have a powerful amp ready to plug in. A high-quality amp will give you not only the volume that you want but also make it easier for you to adjust the sound during performances. It’s also important to have a powerful computer on hand so that you can access and use the SV-1 Editor/Librarian software. Using this, musicians can program and save eight favorite and 36 sounds, making it easy for users to create their own tracks and to swap their favorite settings with others.

Primary Features of the Korg SV1 88

The graded-hammer action keyboard of the Korg SV1 88 is Korg’s finest. Thanks to how high quality it is, it offers premier playability for all artists. Other great features include:

  • 88-keys
  • 80-note polyphony
  • 36 sounds in six banks and six variations
  • Bass, mid, treble equalizer
  • EDS sound generation
  • Single-function knobs
  • Eight assignable favorites for fast recall
  • Three pedal jacks
  • Easy transposing to new keys in +/- 12 half-steps

Every control that you need for using the Korg SV1 88 is available on the front panel and easily accessible. There aren’t any confusing menus to navigate or multiple buttons that you will have to press. Additionally, since the rotary knobs are all illuminated, this powerful equipment is great for use in darker areas without worrying about sound quality.

There are 36 sounds that you can choose from when using the Korg SV1 88. They include options from synth, acoustic or electric pianos, strings, and organs. Every category begins with basic sounds and then also offers unique and rarer instruments. Because it’s easy to cycle through to find what you’re looking for and to save your favorites, you never have to worry about sound quality.

Alternatives to the SV1 88

It’s tricky to find any digital piano that offers the same control and high-quality sound as the Korg SV1 88, but the Korg SP170SBK2 is a good alternative. The lower price makes it much more accessible to new or younger musicians, but the 88-key keyboard allows for plenty of sound and control. Thanks to the high quality of all of the sampled piano sounds, it’s easy to enjoy the nuances of an impressive concert grand piano without the size, weight, or expense.

Another powerful alternative that is worth considering is the Kawai CE220. This digital piano is similar in price and power to the Korg SV1 88, but it is larger and generally used in just one location. This makes it ideal for use in a home or in a church but limits its use as a gigging instrument. However, it has 192-note polyphony, a two-track recorder, and long wooden keys that are comfortable to play and offer incredible sound quality.

Conclusion – Is the Korg SV1 88 the Right Choice for You?

The Korg SV1 88 is interesting because it is a perfect combination of raw power and ease of use. This means that it can easily be used by musicians of all skill levels, although most find that they enjoy more use and better control over their sound as they improve their musical abilities.

If you are going to be performing live in any capacity and want to make sure that you have the right sound and power when performing, then you will want to consider the Korg SV1 88. It’s perfect for loud arenas and gigs and works just as well on Sunday mornings, producing clear and bright tones that are easy to hear and cut through any ambient noise without problems. Thanks to the slightly lower price tag, it’s definitely worth considering this powerful digital piano.

We hope our Korg SV1 88 review was helpful to you. You might want to check out our list of the best keyboards here.



Duke Taber

Duke Taber has been a Senior Pastor of various churches since 1988. Prior to that, he was involved in the Christian rock scene opening for such notables as Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Rez Band, and once played briefly with Darrel Mansfield. Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world. He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center.