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Rating and Reviews: Korg Pa800 Keyboard

With 950+ Styles and 900+ sounds, plus two mic/line inputs with killer TC-Helicon vocal effects on board, the Korg Pa800 arranger synth is sure to inspire.

User Ratings
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
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"Gearheads will love Korgs blue meany (get it) with the coolest funky base lines. It could be setting the benchmark in this genre" submitted April 24, 2007

By a customer from cogeco.ca
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Hobbyist now and ex-active musician from the 70's.
Music Style: All kinds of music, but like jazz, rock and country
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Sound: Great sounds, very lifelike. Musical sounds/voices are a personal thing, (one mans meat etc)and in my opinion, all of the voices are good, or better than good on this KB. The styles are great!! They feel more alive and less repetative than the competition. Good variations that build nicely.I could be wrong, but the backing voices (score accomp) seemed to vary without changing the style. The intros and endings are of a very high technical quality that sound as good as any MP3. I have to say, they have an edge over Tyros. One touch defaults are chosen well and suit the styles with great compliment. Base lines are too real! In fact, they are scary good. Close your eyes and the baseman is playing next to you. They have worked hard on these styles. Ryhthems kept from being boring and were amongst the best I have heard. Great production Korg! This is a perfect partner for song writing inspiration because the rythems and styles lead the way. "Sweet" voices (flute, clarinet, harp etc) are excellent, but I think Tyros has an edgein this zone. PA800 Guitars,piano and organ are (opinion) better than Tyros. The organ voice lacks a good clear key click and attack on the drawbar organ voicing and the rotary is a little weak. Perhaps a later upgrade can "fatten" this sound. Also needs an easier way to vary the organ sound to allow for over-drive and a more aggressive sound. Again, this may be a price point thing, but an extra knob or two for this feature, would add sales appeal to players who look for that "real" organ sound. Let's face it, we all want a few basic voices that stand out as a the platform for all solo voices. They are; Piano, EP, organ and strings. Top this off with a good horn section and peaople will beat a pathway to your door!!! In past years, most keyboards in this segment, sufferd with diluted synth sounds, lousy accoustic pianos and toy like organ voicing. In recent years, solo voices have leapt ahead, but some of the foundatio voices remain tepid. This KB has excellent strings, piano and not bad organ. I can see some pro gigs using this kb for solo and piano voices. The built in speakers/amp are excellent. Pretty loud on their own! Good stereo field. Perefct for quiet playing and song writing in your den. I played it through a KB amp and it reproduced very well. played through high end ref monitors, it really opens up with lots of nuance and color to the voices. Feature: Loads of knobs and sliders and good touch screen make it easier to use than Tyros. Two sequencers!!!!! .The voice harmony from Helicon is NOT as good as a stand-alone TC Helicon unit and is on par with Tyros. OK for home use. I can't understand why this feature can't be made as good as the TC Helicon voice live. After all, it's just a circuit board without the case. I won't be parting with my TCH quite yet, although I would like to, just to simplify my set-up. Rear panel ports for line in/out and midi etc are excellent, but as usual you have to look over the top of the panel to read them! Good postion for a USB stick/card/host on the front wher it's easy to use. The keyboard quality (keys) are typical for this level of board. Very light to play and quite good for Hammond like chops and gliss, but not good to bring out a good piano voice. However, I have never been a fan of synth like keys and prefer to use my Roland with full wieghted keys as a master. You can get great sounds though and if you are a left hander chord player this is works fine. The syles, rythems, voices will appeal to almost every age and taste. Nothing cheesy about these sounds and purists will hate the fact it sounds so damn good. Ease of Use: Easy as any I have tried and owned. The TC Helicon harmony feature is too small on the screen and needs it's own set of controls, but I guess the price dictates the features packed in. Faders and sliders make for easy control from KB to mic to sequencers etc. I got around it without the manual but I have many years experience with personal kb's Quality: Looks are good. Not too heavy but feels like it has some solid build to it. Perhaps a little too much plastic, but they all have these days. Different in blue to all the silver and black kb's on offer. Stands out like the Nord red machines. I liked it. Cool and modern looking. Perphaps too modern? I would bet if the manufacturuers wanted to upsell and add value, that a special edition of any upscale kb with say some nice wood stock ends larger touch screen etc. would command a premium price from pro users. Why not custom models like autos? The Hammond KB cab on their XK series is an example of a pro board with a pro looking case. Does nothing for the sound, but looks are important up there on stage. I bet for an extra $300 in cost they could add $500 to the price. I will accept a commission for this brilliant marketing concept if taken up by any of the top 5 manufacturers. Value: A little more than PSR300 but a grand cheaper than Tyros, but all of the power of Tyros. The price point seems to have been set bang on. Manufacturer Support: Web site is OK. Have never had to call them. The Wow Factor: I am buying it after trying out most of the KB's on the market today. I have owned Yamaha organs, synths and KB's. I curently own a Nord Clavia and Roland RD700SX and the PA800 will sit on top of the Roland with the Roland as the master KB. The Roland RD700SX cannot be beaten by the way for Piano and strings (I love my Roland) and because it has fully weighted keys it brings out the best in the Korg PA voices. Overall: I like to change with the times. I am a gear freak! However, I stick with my basic piano and Hammond sound for foundation and supplement with a good arranger for backing etc. I have also used rythem boxes and modules for the latter. One of my faves is Ketron for the best in arranger type modules. But I have decided I need keys as well as sounds. This new axe from Korg looks like it has legs due to it's ability for upgrades,sound libraries, USB for SMF files etc. So, my bet is I would keep it for a couple of years. I really like this new arranger and when compared to Tyros, PSR3000, Roland G70 this is a real contender and in most cases at a much lower price point. Each to his/her own though. I have ordered one.
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