Japanese craftsmanship truly reflects the quality and their love of music in their musical instruments, and the brand Korg is keeping the tradition alive.
And, the C1 Air Digital Piano from Korg is truly a perfect example of what a Premium Quality Digital Piano is known for.
Korg has lots of individual series of keyboards, synthesizers and pianos each focusing on a particular functionalities and expertise.
And the C1 Air is the one and only instrument in the series, which itself belongs to the Concert Series.
The C1 Air is the streamlined genre of the G1 Air, with both of these being the lead models of Korg, and honestly it wasn’t expected out of Korg to make such bold changes.
Undoubtedly, Korg produces such superb keyboards, but it isn’t greatly successful in the home instruments segment. Let’s have a quick glance at the specifications of the Korg C1.
Features of Korg C1 Air Digital Piano
The Elegant Design
The digital piano is so simple and elegant that one can’t take their eyes off it.
The engineers who have designed it certainly deserve a huge round of applause for their commendable work of making the piano as unique as possible giving it a tint of freshness.
Well, no wonder that your point is correct that all the digital pianos ultimately look the same, but yes the difference lies in the details.
The cabinet of the C1 Air is slim and has a modern look, that easily fits even when there is lots of space crunch! Isn’t this amazing guys?
The splendid front legs of the C1 Air, provides the piano with a majestic and exorbitant look.
Till recent times such amazing design elements were to be found in the high-priced pianos such as the Clavinova line of Yamaha, CA Line of Kawai inspite of them being not that solid and versatile like the C1 Air.
The depth of the piano is just 10.24”, which is no wonder the most compact piano that I have come across yet.
There is an increase of 3.6 inches due to the anti-tipping brackets.
Similar to that of an acoustic piano we also have the 3 pedals in the C1 Air- that is the soft, sustain and sostenuto providing a realistic touch and feel.
The initial two pedals aid half-pedaling, for more expressive controls.
Another best part of this keyboard is that it has been manufactured in Japan, that is well-known all round the world for its quality products and latest and upgraded technology and innovation.
The color options present for this piano is white, black and brown, wherein the wooden grain brownish finish is really amazing.
The C1 Air has the lid that is the replica of the acoustic piano with the soft-close feature, so you won’t hurt your fingers.
Due to this your keyboard is well protected from dust, dirt, and any sort of unwanted spills and mess.
There are 28 buttons on the control panel of the piano, with a volume control knob, making the navigation of the instrument an easier task.
As the buttons comprise of LED indicators, one knows that which sound or function is currently in use.
Considering the aesthetic appeal of the piano, my personal preference is to have a piano with minimum and only the necessary controls present on the piano, though then it becomes tough to find certain functions and settings.
Usually there are some pianos of the same price range, with only 3-5 buttons, though they are by and large harmonious with the assisting apps like the piano partner 2 and the piano controller.
But there is no such app yet developed to be compatible with the Korg pianos, so it’s better that they have included more buttons to give a satisfying experience.
The one thing that is disappointing regarding the control panel to me, is that the surface is made up of glass that gets easily smudged due to the fingerprints every now and then.
The All New Keyboard Of Korg C1 Air
In the C1 Air, we have the top-notch keyboard action from Korg that is the Real Weighted Hammer Action 3.
This is the same action that is found in the professional pianos and workstations of Korg.
The pro version of the C1 Air, that is the G1 Air, is also loaded with the same keyboard action.
In the RH3 we have 88-keys that are fully weighted and uses the graded hammer system having four different weight segments, meaning keys present at the lower end, shall feel heavier and this gets lighter as one moves upwards on the keyboard.
This action, RH3 is also neither too heavy nor too light. It is almost a balanced weighted action, due to which the instrument is versatile and you will enjoy playing on it, irrespective of your technique and style.
C1 Air comprises of touch sensitive keys, so that you have a better grip and control over the instrument.
Here, the hard you play, loud is the sound produced.
The keyboard responses can be adjusted with the 5 preset settings. If you desire that the sound should not change, irrespective of the fact that how hard or soft you are playing then opt for the ‘steady’ setting.
Next good factor, of the RH3 action is that it functions quietly and produces minimal noise inspite of being at lower volume levels, which is not the case when we talk about its competitors.
In the recent times, digital pianos with ivory keys are considered to be more famous than the traditional synthetic fiber.
There isn’t any textures material present on the keys of the C1 Air. In my opinion, the textured surface of the C1 Air, is good to touch and use, as it improves the grip to some extent.
The keys in black present on the keyboard have matte finish, which is fantastic but yet it does not give the feel and royalty of the ebony simulated keys, the ones present on the best models of high price range.
In the C1 Air, we have the Stereo PCM system, that produces realistic sound that has been diligently sampled from the best grand pianos.
Finding two distinct grand piano tones in a digital piano is a bit rare at this price range.
In addition to all this, many of the brands like Yamaha and Kawai use their grand pianos for sound sampling, and is it absolutely justified as any rational manufacturer, won’t publicize the competitor’s strength.
The C1 Air has the ‘German Grand’ that is a good instrument tone, being one of the most amazing and flexile piano sound, and even perfect for all styles or genres.
At one go you can identify the enriched sound, and will be your ultimate preference while using.
Next is the ‘Japanese’ grand, most probably sampled by the Yamaha grand piano.
As far as I think though Yamaha is the manufacturer of the amazing acoustic pianos, but this tone for sure lacks that spark when compared to the German Grand.
The multi-layered samples of the C1 Air, facilitates triggering of different layers which is proportional of the force of the key strokes.
Now one bad news here is that there is no string resonance simulation on the C1 that is present in G1.
The sound performance of the C1 Air, is so excellent and authentic that if one hears it with full concentration then ultimately will get mesmerized and submerged in it, such that you will feel as if you are just beside one of the acoustic pianos.
In an aggregate you get 30 sounds on your keyboard, with the only effects like brilliance, reverb and chorus that are adjustable up to 3 levels.
A limitation over here is that one can’t opt for any one particular reverb and would have been better if these parameters could be more manageable.
This simply refers to the number of notes that any digital piano can produce at a time, wherein Korg C1 Air features a 120-note polyphony which isn’t that great but yet enough.
There isn’t any reason to be hyped regarding this as the sound quality isn’t dependent upon the polyphony note, rather it only facilitates smoother sound texture.
Apart from all these points, having 120-note polyphony is well and good for enhanced playability without actually worrying about the cutoff of the notes.
The speakers of the Korg C1 Air definitely deserve your attention, the piano has 2*10 cm speakers present on both the sides of the instrument and to be honest they are just so splendid and catchy.
The power of these speakers is 2*25W which isn’t present in other digital pianos of this price range, and Korg has the ball in its court by doing so.
For you to be devoid of any such confusions the powerful speakers don’t simply make the sound any better.
The various factors that have a role in the final sound that reaches your ears are the ones like, speaker quality, the size of the speakers and even the location they are placed at.
Though powerful speakers are much needed when it comes to resonant sounds like the one delivered by an acoustic piano, and the C1 Air is not a disappointment.
The speakers of the C1 Air are contained in the speaker box facing the player, that makes your playing experience an excellent one.
The days are gone, when the digital pianos from Korg were mere and lightly featured.
It feels good to see that eventually Korg has come up with the onboard MIDI recorder, even the lesson mode and many such additional features that were a miss in the earlier models.
Other than the ‘single’ keyboard, there are various modes present on the C1 Air facilitating effective use of the instrument’s keyboard.
The layer mode basically layers the two tones and so they both are produced together at the same time.
In this mode, there are amazing combinations of the sound possible like the strings, organ, etc. with the layer mode one is at liberty to layer a sound for as much length they wish to subject to the condition that the sound comes from different sections.
It’s a bit disappointing to know that the much- needed split mode that helps in splitting two tones, amongst the keyboard segments, is missing in the C1 Air.
The next useful mode present on the C1 Air, is the partner mode.
With the aid of this mode, you and your teacher, both can practice together.
The mode just bifurcates the keyboard into equal halves that is of 44 keys each, and then you along with your partner or teacher can play the notes and practice together for better learning.
Recording and Playback
The in-built MIDI recorder, permits recording of a user song containing a maximum of 2 tracks.
One may even record the track individually and further playback as one single song.
With the C1 Air, we also get the punch-in recording feature, wherein it is possible to make an additional recording to an existing pre-recorded part.
The model even offers to you nearly 40 piano masterpieces presented by the renowned composers.
The tempo of the song is also adjustable for practicing a selective part.
Other Notable features
The metronome helps in thorough practicing of the rhythm and keeping a track of the time.
Be it the beat, tempo or the volume of the metronome, they can be specified as per the requirement.
With the transpose function you can change the pitch movements, and with the aid of the Master tuning, the pitch of the C1 Air, can be matched with the pitch of another instrument.
The C1 Air from Korg has very basic connectivity options.
You can find the connector box just beneath the left end of the keyboard and there all sorts of ports are present such as, MIDI In/Out, line out and two headphone jacks.
There are not any USB ports present in the C1 Air, and as a substitute it uses the MIDI In/out port.
Currently, all digital pianos feature a USB to host port, so that the keyboard can be easily connected to a PC and perform the functions that of a MIDI controller.
Though the same task can be done by the MIDI ports, its just that you require a separate MIDI-USB adapter, that isn’t that cheap and neither easily available as the USB A-TO-B adapters.
Till now, you may have thought for a while that why does the model name comprise of the word ‘Air’?So, we shall answer this question too, Air infers that the instrument backs Bluetooth technology as well and you can now transfer your audio data from your mobile to your instrument, and can listen to them via the amazing speakers of the C1 Air, that too wirelessly without any complications.
Now we shall brief you about the accessories that are available with the piano package and the ones you are required to purchase separately.
As the C1 Air is a cabinet style piano, it contains almost everything one requires at the beginning to start playing, this includes the 3-pedal unit, a stand and the key cover.
One such accessory that you are required to buy is the bench and a pair of standard quality headphones.
There are variety of benches available in the market so pick the one that matches your comfort level and is within your budget too.
The choice of headphones is yet a complicated task to perform.
So, go for the pair that delivers clear sound and focuses on the details of the sound, because this your onboard speakers won’t offer.
The headphones are an essentially important accessory for private practicing sessions without causing much or little disturbance to anyone present around.
My Experience with Korg C1 Air
No Doubt, Korg C1 is a fantastic all in one Digital Piano. I used it for couple of weeks and my overall experience can be summed as "Great".
Despite having so many features and authentic feel here are some of the snag you should take into consideration before finalizing your music companion.
Reasons To Buy
- Slender and elegant design
- RH3 weighted-action keyboard
- 2 fantastic tones presented and sampled by the world’s best and renowned Grand pianos
- 2-track MIDI recorder
- Power speaker system delivering majestic sound
- Wireless Bluetooth connectivity is possible
- Composed of trusted Japanese quality
Reasons To Avoid
- Limited reverb types
- Lesser sound customization options
- USB port is not available
With this we head towards the ending of the review which I would like to make by saying that all that Korg offers in the C1 Air model is really amazing and entirely suitable for any budding pianist and is surely the lighter version of the G1 Air model.
Though there are many similarities in both of the models.
If you are looking out for a piano that has the same features as the flagship model- G1 Air but low on budget, then the C1 Air is the perfect choice that you can make without actually any compromises.
So that’s all from our end hope this Korg C1 review helped you guys to make a better decision.
Keep Playing and Spread Love.