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In an ideal world where money were no object, professional and beginner keyboard players alike would sit proudly in front of this elegant, beautifully crafted piece of art, tapping melodically away at its 88 keys. It is a pleasure to be able to review an instrument that not only produces an incredible sound but also looks every inch the part. 

For serious musicians the Korg SV-1 Black is an absolute joy to play. In our experience it is not very often an instrument actually lives up to the hype; in this case all hype is surpassed. The RH3 Real Weighted Hammer Action is the finest keybed Korg offers, with a solid, responsive feel that leaves you in complete control. Unlike much of the competition, there is no need to stare at complex displays with numerous banks and programs. The SV-1’s entire front panel is permanently live, allowing you to fine tune your sound as you play. The entire system has been designed for user simplicity; saving your eight favourite settings for quick recall could not be easier.

The styling of the SV-1 Black is a major selling point with the retro curves reflecting the look and feel of the original instruments. If it’s an elegant, even sophisticated on stage presence you’re after, if you can’t create it with the SV-1 Black, you really have no chance at all. Even the controls are designed with a retro-style in mind! To see this vintage keyboard is to play it, and once you start you will not be able to stop. 

The sounds produced by the SV-1 Black originate from organs, strings, synths, electric pianos and acoustic pianos, offering some truly distinct sounds which defined eras. It is impossible to generate some of these sounds on any other keyboard. Each of the instruments has been accurately sampled at a wide range of velocities, including tine, key-off, damper and hammer noises. The attention to detail is so great that even piano cabinet resonances have been sampled, which further improves the accuracy of the instruments.

To surmise, the Korg SV-1 Black offers a cost-effective, reliable and economical method of collecting a wide variety of vintage instruments, without having to store them securely and ensure they all receive equal playing time. If you’re looking to recreate the sounds of German and Japanese grand pianos, mono pianos for smaller gigs or a 70s and 80s Japanese electro-acoustic, you will not regret opting for the Korg SV-1.   

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