The Bottom Line
This is an excellent keyboard … great for all skill-levels and well worth the price of $500. You could easily find many digital pianos of this caliber for $1500.
- 88 full-size, weighted keys
- Up to 120 polyphony; 60 for stereo
- Lightweight model at 26.68 lbs.
- Can be used to control another MIDI device
- Sustain pedal included
- No metronome
- Keyboard stand not included - extra $99 - $150 (see Accessories)
- No pre-made rhythms
- No MIDI in; just out
- Manual is a must-have to work the controls, but is available for free online
- Keys: 88
- Polyphony: 120-note; 60 stereo
- Touch Sensitivity: 3 velocity settings
- Reverb/Chorus: Both
- Metronome: No
- Available Colors: Black (SP170BK), white (SP170WH), or red (SP170RD)
Red model (and its stand) is a limited edition.
Review - Korg SP170
Keys & “Action”:
The Korg SP170 features full-sized weighted keys and a “scaled” keyboard, meaning there’s a heavier touch in the bass octaves. In general, the keys feel a bit lighter than some of the more robust acoustic pianos, but if you’re used to playing on electric keys this shouldn’t be too noticeable – overall the keys feel pretty realistic.
The controls on this keyboard are unique; they aren’t on the instrument’s body, they’re manipulated using the actual keys. This wasn’t as much of a hindrance as I thought it would be, it just takes some practice and a handy manual. Once I became used to these controls I found them to be rather convenient.
Transposition from -6 to +5.
Voices & Touch-Sensitivity:
There are 10 clear, realistic voices. At higher volumes, the decay can sound somewhat electric, particularly when the sustain is used on the electric organ and clavichord. (It should be noted that I tested this out using a different sustain pedal than the one provided with this package.)
Available tones are:
- 2 Grand pianos; one concert grand (best for classical) and one bright, crisp option
- 2 Electric pianos; straight or dynamically sensitive
- 2 Organs; one electric jazz organ and one pipe organ
- Clavichord; electric clavi for funk or pop
Touch-sensitivity may be adjusted with 3 preset velocity curves.
Preset Songs & Recording:
The SP170 has 10 demo songs (abridged versions of a some classics and a few Korg originals); one song per voice so you can test their ranges and timbres.
There is no integrated memory, so recording is only possible if the instrument is used as a MIDI controller with proper music editing software.
Keyboard Speakers & Quality:
The two suspiciously strong 9W speakers are ideal for home use, but will not disappoint those who like to crank it up. Even at higher volumes, there was no noticeable fuzzing or strain. Speakers are muted automatically when either headphone jack is in use, preventing interference, feedback, or late-night disturbances.
The SP170 comes with a basic sustain pedal which connects to the instrument through a 1/4" input plug. The 12V AC adaptor is included in the package, as well as a matching, removable sheet music rest.
Optional accessories may be purchased separately, and include:
- Matching keyboard stand; available in black; white; or red – $99 - $150
- Sustain pedal with half-pedal effect (model # DS-1H) – $60
○ 2 Headphone jacks, may be used to connect speakers or amp
○ MIDI out only
○ Damper pedal input, 1/4"