Overview Of the Korg SP-250 Digital Piano / Keyboard
What can I say about the SP-250 digital piano / keyboard by Korg other than mainly good things? 88 keys and 30 sounds are more than enough for most players out there. The Korg SP-250 includes 3 different levels of reverb and chorus that allows you to create some unique effects. You can even combine two sounds, allowing you to create a wide variety of new instruments. The possibilities of this keyboard are numerous, if not endless, and whether you want to use it to practice classical piano, to play with your band, or even to use it to record or with MIDI, the Korg SP-250 gives you a lot of tools to use it for your music.
Here’s a quick video demo of the Korg SP-250 digital piano / keyboard from TurnerGuitarStudio1.
Weighted Keys A Plus
The SP-250 has 88 keys with different weights depending if the keys are low notes or high notes, emulating a real piano. Some people around forums tend to criticize the heavier weigh these keys have compared to other electric pianos in the market. For me it’s a plus, since I bought it originally to practice piano it allowed me to develop strength in my fingers and didn’t found problem when playing with real pianos. Although it may be not suitable for organ players, but you should not criticize the keys if your fingers are not use to “real work”. You can even adjust the intensity of the playing allowing you to produce a louder sound with less force or the opposite.
The volume and the metronome have sliders which is for me another big plus. In regarding the volume it’s perfect to create crescendos or even fade in effects (I used it when recording and it sounded awesome!). Metronomes using buttons may be tedious for some people especially when it resets after turning the key off. It also allows you to configure a specific metronome tempo with the use of the keys and also different tempos number (you should check the manual for that), although complex tempos such as 5/4 are not supported (unless you have the cheat codes for that).
The ability to transpose and also fine tuning are great too, and it has also 3 different types of tuning for a more baroque sound (Werckmeister and Kirmberger III tuning). Another interesting thing is that the piano’s effects have the low notes pitch slightly lower and high notes pitch slightly higher emulating a real piano tuning used by professional piano tuners.
Create New Sounds / Customization
10 sounds with 3 different banks for each (some backs even have different sound such as vibes and guitar in the same sound). The possibility to add 3 levels of reverb and chorus allows some interesting combinations such as a normal piano with chorus for a different type of electric piano. Also the possibility to combine two different sounds to create interesting combinations.
The quality of the real piano sounds are excellent for me. I didn’t find them bad at all, and the electric piano itself also sounds incredible. Maybe harpsichord and clavichord are not my thing but they sound much better than other electric pianos out there. The strings and pads also sound very nice and choir is a very nice sound to experiment with.
But for me the best sound in this instrument is the organ. Specially the Hammond type of organ. I find it amazing! I couldn’t really tell the difference between this sound and a real organ in a record. I use it a lot to play in bands and it’s just great.
Watch this video demo from Kraft Music that goes over some of these features of the Korg SP-250 Digital Piano / Keyboard
What Else Is There To Say About The Korg SP-250?
The stand it comes with is very solid, I had mine for years and although it has some parts which have bent, due to some bad treatment (my bad) it’s still very solid and doesn’t move when I’m playing. Very resiliant!
The sustain pedal is also very great with a very nice design, it only stopped working after years of use but it was nothing I could fix myself. Not a problem in the circuit really but in the rubber that makes contact with it. It had also a lot of bad treatment. My bad!
The only complaint should be its weight. 19 kg or 41.8 lb, but a good weight in the keys comes with a price right?
As a MIDI controller it doesn’t have the possibilities a normal MIDI control will have but it serves it function and you can even adjust the MIDI channel it will use. You can even connect a MIDI controller and use it to combine the two of them for more power!
It has two speakers allowing you to hear the sounds in stereo. When playing low notes they will come out louder on the left and when playing high notes they will come out louder on the right.
Two stereo phones output and two outputs in the back (L and R/MONO) allow you to play with a friend and be quiet at the same time or the possibility to record two separate tracks when in the studio.
One Last Gripe
One more complaint I have is the demo function. I don’t see the need of it in a piano I consider to be suitable for professionals, but I guess the need to include a wider public is necessary.
Regarding to the polyphony it has the possibility to play 60 notes at the same time for most sounds and 30 for sounds that use two samples (had a lot of fun using it to create interesting ambient effects). Reverb takes 10 notes out of the polyphony and chorus, 3.
Not So Famous Last Words
In conclusion, my opinion after year of using it for different purposes such as classical piano studies or playing in a band is that despite not having a wide variety of sounds, the ones it has must be useful for playing most of the styles out there. Whether you are going to use it to practice in your home or for recording, or even for band practice or live playing (although you are going to need strong arms to carry it more than 3 block) it’s a good choice. I had mine for years and it went through different treats. It’s very robust and handles well a lot of hit (a lot!). It looks good also, with wooden detail and a good looking panel without unnecessary buttons. Very intuitive, It’s easy to start using it right away. An excellent choice for any serious musician.