I was looking to buy a compact digital piano for quite some time when I came across the Korg B1 for the first time at a friend’s place. My first tryst with this amazing instrument was enough to make me fall in love with it. So, I decided to buy one of my own almost instantly. I purchased it primarily for my students. I wanted them to practice freely at my place and have a genuine piano playing experience while doing so. Here’s my review of the instrument.
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What I liked most about the Korg B1 is the wide array of key features it comes equipped with. As a result of having straightforward controls that are not very advanced technologically, the instrument can be played easily even by students who have just been introduced to pianos. B1 does not come with any stand of its own; however, I would advise you to purchase one separately for enabling seamless integration of the unit into your home. You can look for STB1 furniture-style stand specially designed for B1 or choose any universal keyboard stand.
Korg B1 comes with a single damper pedal by default which is enough for most pianists. But if you study seriously you can purchase accessories like the triple-pedal unit and matching cushioned bench.
The piano would enhance the appearance of the room it would be placed in. At least, in my case it did so. Its design is pretty modern and sleek. Transporting it is also easy as it weighs just 26 lb. Its depth is less than 13 inches, which makes accommodating the instrument absolutely seamless.
This piano is capable of producing rich tones we usually get from acoustic pianos. That’s possible primarily because of the characteristic servo-assisted MFB tech found in Korg products. The unit’s passive radiator and full-range speakers also play major roles. I was pretty amazed to see the piano carrying a couple of oval speakers with dimensions of 3.94”x1.97” in spite of having a price of about $500. What’s more, the speakers offer amplification of 9W.
Korg B1 manages to produce tones as vibrant as that of acoustic pianos by using sampling technology. So far, I have used quite a few Korg creations and I can confidently say that this one’s tonal range is significantly more expressive compared to each of those previous models. The unit can even reproduce damper resonances and string vibrations.
I also like the fact that this piano never creates the clacking sounds we see cheap pianos carrying plastic keys make. This ensures that individuals playing it have a perfect piano playing experience.
The main thing that differs electronic keyboard from digital piano is the keys weight. B1 comes with Natural Weighted Hammer (NH) keyboard, which provides heavier touch at the lower keys and lighter touch at upper keys, just as it is on a real acoustic instrument. So B1 is a digital piano with great quality keyboard. Moreover you can set the dynamic response of the piano to match your playing style.
Korg B1 can not boast of the big number of connections onboard. It has only the required minimum: headphone jack and pedal output.
Korg B1 special features
As mentioned above, Korg B1 uses MFB or Motional Feedback for offering amazing sound quality. This technology works using a system equipped with built-in speakers. It allows the instrument to reproduce low frequencies with zero or little distortion.
One thing I liked most about this Korg unit is that the manufacturer never tried to provide it with everything a piano can have (that’s something most makers do when putting together a low cost instrument). The primary aim of the maker of this product seems to be offering the user a great piano playing experience; and they have succeeded in doing so.
Like the majority of the other digital pianos available on the market, B1 also offers all basic voices. It comes with eight different sounds. These include three acoustic piano sounds, a couple of electric pianos, a couple of organs, and a harpsichord. It’s true that it would have been great if the list included some string instruments or the option of using orchestra accompaniment. But I actually don’t like all these bells and whistles, so I found the package quite satisfactory for such a low price.
Another interesting feature of the unit is the Partner Mode. It allows the user to split the piano’s keyboard into two different keyboards. With a couple of middle Cs, it becomes easier for students (particularly the new entrants) to mimic me during lessons. The Partner Mode also makes playing duets a more seamless job than ever before.
There are several packages on Amazon:
- Korg B1 Black – black keyboard
- Korg B1 White – white keyboard
- Ausin Bazaar B1 package – black or white keyboard with Korg STB-1 stand, furniture-style bench, instructional book, DVD, polishing cloth
Power supply and score stand is included in every package.
Korg B1 is a perfect unit for individuals who are looking to know what a piano actually is or have plans of relearning the instrument. Being a professional pianist and trainer, I have played the majority of the compact pianos available on the market. This has allowed me to come to the conclusion that Korg B1 comes with more features than any of its competitors. The features the piano offers are enough for any individual who wants to learn the art of playing the piano or is searching for an instrument he or she can practice the art on a regular basis.
Korg B1 main specifications
- Color variations: Black (B1-BK), White (B1-WH)
- Keyboard: 88 key weighted (Natural Weighted ammer)
- Tones: 8 Built-in tones
- Demo songs: 8
- Effects: Reverb, Chorus
- User songs: –
- Polyphony: 120
- Metronome: Yes
- Midi Recorder: –
- Duet Mode: Yes
- Pedal included: 1 damper pedal
- Built-in Speakers: 2×9 W
- Dimensions: 51.65″ x 13.23″ x 4.61″ (without stand and score stand)
- Weight: 26 lbs/11.8 kg
- Pedal unit