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Rating and Reviews: Korg Pa588

The Korg Pa588 is easy for beginners to use yet powerful enough for pros. A great value, the Pa588 includes 880 sounds, DJ-style crossfading, and more.

User Ratings
Ease of Use
The Wow Factor
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"The only 88-key arranger with a great value and instant playability" submitted May 26, 2010

By a customer from hotmail.com
Ease of Use
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Band Keyboardist, Hobby Recordist
Music Style: Rock, Jazz, Piano rags
Back to Product Information
Sound: Sounds are generally good. Most piano samples are nice, but the RX noises which are intended to make the sound more realistic are actually reducing the quality. Piano physical noises are not so authentic and they do not respond to velocity. Pressing the damper half-way will still cause a harsh sound of string vibrations. Guitars, accordians and organs are made really nicely and there is a huge choice, considering it only a dedicated arranger keyboard. Guitar RX noices are authentic and works really well in music, and the automated noise addition function is quite useful. Brass, Strings and Sax are not so much satisfying. Only a few choices give expressive and authentic sounds, others can be easily defined as "flat" sounds. Synths contain only the most basic synth sounds but can be edited and combined to make others. Drums are nice and the RX drums can totally parallel real ones if they are adjusted correctly. Feature: For an 88-key arranger keyboard at this price level, this contains even more than I wanted. It has almost exactly same internal system as the PA500, except it has a few expanded sounds that only works for the 88-key piano. Every effect, style, pad, controller, and track can be edited in almost every way one can think of. One pullback of this is that it does not support waveform data (just like PA500 in oppose to PA800). For such a rich sound base sampling is not a big requirement, but it is still helpful if some of the non-unique sounds can be replaced. SD card instead of USB memory makes it a little more hassle to transfer data between the piano and computer when the computer is not built with a memory reader. (Although the keyboard can be a storage device when selected so and communicate with the computer thru its MIDI-USB port, it is sometimes annoying to interrupt the connection for some file transfers and find the audio software not recognizing the device as the same one anymore.) This keyboard is totally customizable and with not much effort it can be turned into a beautiful performance keyboard. Ease of Use: Really simple UI as with all other KORG's arrangers. Sounds and relating settings can be saved for single-touch recall. Styles can be combined with these settings and saved in performances, which include another set of sounds. Most performance-related operations can be done with less than 3 touches. Touchscreen is bright and useful, but the lack of response (the "click" of pressing a key") can make me unsure if I pressed the right area. Offstage everything can be modified in different menus and tabs, which can be accessed in less than 3 button pressings. This is really convinent in opposition to those pro workstations that have layers and layers of menus. Though it is great, it would be better if the virtual sliders are turned into real sliders. Quality: The item looks great from the outside. The speakers make it seem less professional though, and more than once when I carried this onstage people asked me if it is just a large "simple keyboard with backing" (like the entrance level PSRS and YPG's). It would be much better if the speakers are made extenal (like what Yamaha did with Tyros) so it also lessen the weight when I'm on the gig. The PA-588 is too heavy for gigging. (whopping 60 lbs, as much as a MOTIF XS8!) In fact it requires two people to carry in and out of the box. This could be why a specially made stand is included so the keyboard would not fall on a normal X- or Z- shaped stand. It works quite well though. I have never encountered any problems of breaking down or losing data. It seems quite persistent and somewhat gigging-proof. In studio it could possible last as long as most pro keyboards in the working state. Cosmetically I don't like it so much. The painting looks nice when its new, but they tend to bleed and stain when it is accidentally hit. In fact, the wall against which my PA588 is placed now have quite a few stray marks because of the usual moving. Value: This is totally a value keyboard. It is almost impossible to find another 88-key keyboard with built-in arranger, but still remains affordable without jumping into the "super-pro" field. This is priced for those who want basic arrangin and sequencing functions or who want to play instant made-up melodies live. Manufacturer Support: I cannot say too much about support since I have not yet contacted them. The item did not need any service or got me into troubles. The Wow Factor: The design is modern, but plain. The panel is just the same as any other PA, but they are all gathered in the central area instead of spreading out like most arrangers. Generally this will appear as a nice and great keyboard. The only bad point it should not have built-in speakers since that makes it look more like a playtoy for a child learning electronic keyboard. Overall: This is for those who want to keep things simple. Personally I love this since it is a digital piano plus a great dedicated arranger, and it just work when taken to a live playing situation, with no other hassle or up-ahead finetuning. However, those who want sophisticated funtions and complete control over the sounds for studio work should not look into this.
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