Hello everyone! Here is the Korg SP-280 review some of you have been waiting for. The SP-280 is the successor to the SP-250. Korg’s digital and stage pianos are popular with stage pianists. But those models are pricey. The SP-280 is one of the lowest priced Korg models. But what about the quality? Is it worth it? Keep reading to find out.
The company states, “Piano players of all levels appreciate playing an instrument that faithfully reproduces the sound and feel of Concert grand piano. Korg’s SP-280 offers that experience in a beautifully-designed digital piano that’s ideal for your home or as a partner on stage.”
After 7 years of the SP-250, Korg released SP-280 in 2013. Their official statement (above) doesn’t summarize the SP-280 well. It’s rather vague. But who cares what they have to say, right? Before we go into the details, we’d like to point out that “semi-recommend” the SP-280. Korg makes great stage pianos, workstations, and synthesizers. However, their digital pianos aren’t are great as Roland, Yamaha, and even Casio models.
Let’s take a look at the features before going into the details:
- 88 key Weighted Natural Hammer Action keyboard
- 120 Polyphony notes; 3 touch sensitivity levels
- 30 instrument sounds (including 5 acoustic piano sounds)
- Stereo Piano System sound generation
- 9 temperament settings; 3 X reverb, chorus, and brilliance levels
- Fine tuning pitch and transpose; Metronome
- 30 Demo songs for learning
- 2 headphone outputs; Line In/Out; MIDI In/Out
- 22 W x 2 Amplifiers; 2 8 x 12 cm speakers
- Damper pedals included; Option to add additional pedals
- Music stand and keyboard stand also included
- Weighs 41.2 lbs. or 19 kg
- Offered in two colors: black or white
- It’s easy to set up. It’s easy to use. It’s simple.
- The Natural Hammer Action (NH) is a slight improvement as the keys don’t make any noise when they move. That means there is no more clucking sound like you get on a cheap plastic keyboard. The NH action is quiet.
- You now get 120 polyphony notes – double the 60 notes in the SP250. Obviously, it has improved the overall sound quality.
- The piano sounds are power even for its affordable price. The sound quality is not the best in its price range, but it’s decent.
- The included damper pedal actually works well and plays an important role in improving the sound.
- The internal speakers are good. They provided a more powerful sound than the speakers in similarly priced Yamaha and Casio digital pianos (ie. P-Series, Privia). However, more powerful sound doesn’t mean better overall sound.
- It’s not complicated. New learners won’t get overwhelmed. It doesn’t have a bunch of useless extra features.
- The layout and control panel is simple and that makes it easy to use the instrument.
- The design is debatable. Some will like it. Some won’t. It has rounded sides, which is different than every other digital piano that have a rectangular shape.
- The included keyboard stand is an added extra. It’s not the typical x-shaped stage, so it’s easier for the leg room. No need to wrap your legs around it. However, it’s better to place the instrument on a sturdier surface.
- Some of the 30 instrument sounds, especially the electric piano ones, are weak.
- Despite being quiet, the NH action is not great. The touch response is weak and when playing the keys, they feel sluggish. The key action on rival models are much better.
- The previous Real Weighted Hammer Action 3 that was in the SP250 had better action. The new Natural Hammer action seems to be downgraded. Why would Korg do that?
- Lacks USB connections and iPad connectivity – something that’s standard in most digital pianos now.
- Not too compact as it weighs over 40 lbs.
Overall, the Korg SP-280 is a decent digital piano. The only reason we are “semi-recommending” is mainly because of weak NH key action and touch response. The sound quality is also only decent. For similar price, you can get better sound, key action, and features. After 7 years of the SP-250, we were expecting significant improvements in the SP-280. Unfortunately, they failed to do so. It’s not a bad instrument for beginners. But you’re better off with something like the Casio Privia PX-350 or the Yamaha P-105.
Good for: entry-level piano students with tight pockets
Not so good for: slightly experienced pianists or anyone who wants better quality for similar price
Final Verdict: Semi-recommended
Thanks for reading this review.