Musical instrument industry is completely driven by one and only factor - "Quality". And there's quite few digital piano brands that lived up to the height and maintaining the quality is an another challenging game in itself.
From the 1970s, Korg has been one of the market leaders in the market of exemplary instruments, And Korg D1 Digital Piano raises the bar up to a new height.
Some of the most amazing features that Korg possess are the - Kronos workstation keyboards, MI sampling synthesizers, and the MS-20 analogue synthesizers.
Korg has time and again proven its ability to produce and design extremely impressive quality, uncomplicated and enjoyable instruments not once but for every time.
And the perfect example of this craftsmanship is reflected in the D1 Digital Piano from Korg.
Here's a quick highlight of Korg D1 digital piano :
Now, let’s find out if the D1 can create the signature performance of Korg or not ?
A Detailed look at the features of korg D1 Air Digital/Stage Piano
Reading Reviews Is So 90's, Instead Check The Video Review of KORG-D1 below 👇
The Elegant Design
Korg presents the 88-key D1 as stage piano in the market, but it can be considered otherwise if you go by its weight, as 16 kg is surely not that light.
One of the main issues with the Korg D1 that any home based- pianist shall come across is that it lacks onboard speakers.
When it comes to the stage performers they aren’t actually much concerned with this issue, because for them the absence of the speakers reduces the weight and bulk of the piano.
But yet, if your purpose is to practice at home, then surely consider the D1 as it can be used with the aid of external speakers and a pair of good quality headphones particularly to listen back your playing.
Next thing is that the D1 from Korg is available only in black color and there aren’t any other variations.
The matte finish on the body of the keyboard is actually a relief for the ones with sweaty hands and they won’t have to struggle with the fingers anymore.
Although the keyboard is a portable one, I would avoid carrying it as it has considerable weight.
There isn’t any stand with this keyboard, and it isn’t a major concern because it adjusts well on the desk and even works on any other keyboard stand.
In the D1 there is the damper pedal for standard play, but it may seem smaller to you when compared to any regular piano.
One more negative point that we have here is that the pedal is short of half- pedaling, and it’s actually a disappointment.
“Click here to see owner reviews on Amazon.”
Yet, the pedal is good enough as compared to the box-like ones present in the other digital pianos of this price match.
Though if at any point you feel the need of any substitute pedal then the Korg DS-1H is the next best alternative covering up for the shortcomings.
The D1 has amazing controls, as all of them are presented distinctly on the top of the keyboard itself, then there is the numeric screen present to assist you in navigation process which is a miss in other keyboards.
Some of the other appreciable features of D1 includes the volume knob, as they make incorporation of volume swells an easier task.
In total, the Korg D1 is user friendly and has easy operations keeping aside the absence of a built-in speaker. You have the perfectly crafted interface that does not interrupt your playing at any point.
The Keyboard Of Korg D1
What makes or breaks a keyboard is the key bed of it and at such mediocre price range there isn’t any expectations for the best.
It’s the well- budgeted Korg D1 that shall offer you the best key bed at this price point.
There is the 88-key well-built keyboard with varied actions and is also equipped with the Japanese technology-RH3.
The keys are similar to the top models of Korg and all of them are much more highly priced than the D1.
The RH3 action keys are curated in Miyama and Kyoto, offering you heavier feel in lower register and lighter feel in the higher one, exactly like a live concert.
Being one of amazing key actions included in this price list, the RH3 is a 2-sensor plastic action.
With the black keys having the matte black finishing, the other keys are composed of the synthetic and shiny acrylic.
Coming to the next point, that is how does the keyboard feel in actual ? One- word answer for this question is- stunning.
Others may argue on the basis that the keys are somewhat too hard whereas I would like to clarify that they deliver realistic feel, and that is what you actually require after all.
The Korg D1 is comparable to the Yamaha digital piano form the Clavinova series having the GH3 action, that costs nearly 5 times more than the Korg D1.
The increased weight of the instrument is mainly due to the keys, and the decision to market it as the instrument’s flagship feature by Korg was absolutely apt.
Furthermore, there are 5 distinct intensity levels within its touch settings, rather than the same old 3 levels.
A negative yet minor point about the keyboard is that it lacks a mod wheel and pitch bend.
Because it is presented in the market, as a stage piano, the above point is a real loss from the viewpoint of a synth player.
Yet, this small compromise is negligible in front of the other excellent features that the keyboard brings to you.
For actually to know the sound quality of Korg, one must get to know the experience of a person who has played the Korg Kross.
They offer standard-quality sound be it even from their entry-level or medium ranged products.
There are aggregate 30 sounds, with the acoustic pianos, being diligently sampled, with the damper resonance and key-off resonance adding to produce more realistic and lively sound.
We have 4 velocity samples for each individual note and there is effortless switching of the sound engine, between the notes, implying the expressive playing and lots more to discover.
Besides the 6 variations that of a grand piano, there is also the electric piano sounds sampling classic like the Wurlitzer and Fender Rhodes.
On the whole you have 30 sound splits. Yamaha DX7 is also present. Left of the display there are the sound buttons and proper labeling is done so that you can shift among different sounds with ease.
With the bank button one can shift among three different sounds in each bank, so there are 30 sounds for you.
The sounds blend well with built-in reverb sound effects and provide a pragmatic ambiance.
D1 from Korg is laced with 3 types of effects, namely- the chorus, brilliance and reverb.
If you wish to make any adjustments to the effects, then simply hold the effect button and at the same time press the + and – keys present adjacent to the numeric display. Now, each of the effect further has 3 distinct levels.
With the brilliance effect modifications can be made to the brightness of the sound ranging from dark to bright.
The reverb enhances the depth of the sound via the hall reverb algorithm.
Similarly, the purpose of the chorus effect is to provide modulations as well as detune delivering enriched sound.
Range of the intensity is from light to deep. Though these effects are helpful, but the tweaking options are restricted which makes you feel a bit limited.
There is a maximum of 120 polyphony notes in the Korg D1, which is adequate for standard playing along with no sound cut-offs.
Its competitors though have higher polyphony note of 128 or 192.
If you make an attempt to play multiple complicated pieces in the layer mode then, some of the samples may cut off.
Though it is not a grave issue and occurs only when purposely press multiple keys in the layer mode.
So, the 64 note polyphony is sufficient, as it permits to play majority classical pieces, without any such complications.
D1 from Korg follows its principle of simplicity.
In the entire body you will find only the necessary features, and nothing useless.
The inclusion of the keys and the sounds are done very well.
You may thin that only minimal features are presented but in real they are sufficient for regular use.
The layer mode present in it gives you the opportunity to play 2 sounds simultaneously.
For activating the layer function, you just need to press the 2 distinct sound buttons present on the front panel.
You are at liberty to make volume adjustments to each sound in the layer mode and even itemize the octave of the second sound in layer mode.
The spilt mode is a miss in the D1, which if present you could play different sounds on both the halves of the instrument.
Apart from this the duo mode is also missing, with which you could have split the keyboard into 2 halves.
There are 30 in-built songs in the Korg D1 that includes the classical pieces as well as the Korg originals.
Then there are 10 other songs present to show off each sound to its best and they can be accessed via the PIANO SONG button.
With the help of the +/- keys you can adjust the settings of the functions included in the D1. They mainly include:
- Transposing - With this the played key can be changed.
- Metronome - By pressing the metronome button the in-built metronome gets activated. With the +/- buttons the tempo can also be set, while the display showing the current beats. If you hold down the metronome button, the time signature can also be changed.
- Tuning - This is particularly handy while playing pieces in oscillating tuning standards.
- Temperament - Basically there are 9 selections present, like the equal temperament, major pure temperament, minor pure temperament, Arabic, Pythagorean, Werckmeister, Kirnberger, Slendro scale, and Pelog scale.
- Auto power off - With this function the automatic turn- off function is enabled after a span of 4 hours.
There isn’t a second thought that there are some required features of a digital piano, that the D1 lacks, but you must agree that it also comes with effective connectivity options, for easy integration in a studio.
If you are a stage performer, the Korg D1 shall not bring you any disappointments.
There are 2 ¼” line out jacks in the keyboard that connects the external speakers and amplifiers.
If you are using additional keyboards for the stage performance, then the MIDI In and Out are a plus point as then you can connect additional instruments to the D1 for effective controlling of the instrument.
Next, for ones whose motive is just to play and practice at home without causing disturbance to any, the D1 has a 1/8” headphone jack in the front panel so all you need to do is just plug in the headphone and get started.
Another notable point is that the Korg D1 does not have the onboard speakers.
So, if you wish to experience the feel of a real digital piano then shall need to use your own speakers in that case.
Things To Note Before Finalizing Your Purchase
This exists when it comes to the features especially, with the Korg D1 missing on some notable features such as the auto-accompaniment, recorder and playback function, USB connections, and learning modules in assisting the learner.
As mentioned before, pitch and mod wheels are also absent, though all you require is a well- featured keyboard that has all the functions required for regular practicing and that is provided by the D1.
Korg D1 has all that you require to start practicing at home, as you get the following with the box:
- Music rest
- D1 sustain pedal
- AC power adapter
- Owner’s manual
Stand - The D1 is compatible with the ST-SV1 stand, which was originally structured for the SV-1 and the Pa4X and also goes well with the D1.
If one wishes for more affordable and portable variations then, should for once surely check out the X- and Z- style stands.
Pedal- D1 has the damper pedal which is fine but does not support the half-pedalling, and is also a bit smaller but perfect fit for stage performers and practitioners.
To make the most out of your Korg D1 keyboard it is best for you to separately purchase the DS-1H pedal, as it supports the half-pedalling too.
Headphones - For private practice sessions, a pair of good headphones are an essential stuff and very handy because with the help of it, you won’t end up disturbing others in your surroundings.
More so, they also deliver clear sounds and every little detailing of the sound too which isn’t the same in case of on board speakers.
Korg D1 Alternate
The Best Alternative Of Korg D1 Is Yamaha P 125 And PX 160. The Price Is Almost Same So Don't Forget To Check It. (PX 160 Review - Click Here, P 125 Review - Click Here)
My Experience with Korg D1
No Doubt, Korg D1 is a fantastic all in one Digital/Stage Piano. I used it for couple of days and my experience was 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
- Compact in size and user-friendly keyboard
- Easy to use control panel with small sized screen
- Stunning RH3 keyboard action
- 30-amazing sample sounds
- Natural piano sounds with key-off simulation and resonance modeling for more realistic feel
- Piano style pedal is present
Reasons To Avoid
- Is heavy weight to some extent
- Onboard speakers are missing
- Lacks USB port
- No recording and playback options
- Pitch and mod wheel are also absent
- Split and partner modes aren’t there too
I would like to conclude by saying that the Korg D1 is an amazingly beautiful digital keyboard for pianists at any level.
The price of Korg D1 is also quite affordable. The fact is that at such price match, you won’t probably get a more suitable stage piano.
The RH3 keyboard action is also a beneficial factor of the Korg from past periods and its presence in D1 is really praiseworthy.
Since there are no onboard speakers which may have lowered the expectations for home practitioners but you certainly own a set of speakers and headphones.
Though there aren’t many fancy features present in the D1, like the lessons, on-board recording or accompaniment styles, yet it is one of the best keyboards available in the market.
Digital Pianos / Keyboards
That’s all from our end hope this Korg D1 review helped you guys to make a better decision.
Keep Playing and Spread Love.
5 thoughts on “Korg D1 Review – Digital Piano Redefined”
Thanks for your review.
I wanna buy my first Digital piano. I’ve watched many videos on youtube, facebook, instagram, And etc.
All of them are agree on RH3, they say that its one of the best.
and i know that Yamaha p 125 has more features such as Ios app, recording and..
I wanna choose between these two, Korg D1 and Yamaha P 125, but i can’t make up my mind.
Both are great, both are amazing. I donno about the sound quality that which one has better sounds, but I know RH3 is an advantage for Korg D1.
As i said i’m a new piano learner (just started learning). So what is your Suggestion ?
I suggest to go with P 125. Korg D1 is no doubt an awesome digital piano.
But I also recommend having a look at PX S1000 and S 3000 as these are also quite affordable and beginner-friendly.
Thanks for your answer.
Unfortunately in my country I only can find Korg D1 and Yamaha P -125
There isn’t any good option.
I wanna know which one has better quality of sound, and which one will more satisfy me with a Paino.
Now I’m practicing with a really cheap keyboard.
Daniel, is it good from a trainee point of view ?
No, George it’s not designed for very entry level pianists.