Synth Site: Korg: P3 Piano Module: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.3 out of 5
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Brian Andrew Marek a professional user from the United States writes:
I just got mine by UPS today (an eBay purchase) and... WOW! I only spent something like $45 on this thing, and it sounds fabulous! Somebody noted, as a drawback, the fact that it's tabletop instead of rackmount... well, I don't use racks anyway, and it's so sleek and "space-age" looking! I mean, this thing looks like it belongs on the bridge of the Enterprise. Anyway, I digress. I have yet to delve into many of the more subtle features and tweakages available, but the raw, uncut sound is great (tho I do already cop to transposing an octave down). Recommended!!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Apr-17-2000 at 22:09
Spinster writes:
Here's an addendum to my review below.

Tonight I sat back and just listened to the P3 and some other piano sound sources: Korg M1REX, X5DR and Trinity, Kurzweil PC88, Soundblaster LIVE! piano (from the 8 meg GM set), Roland SC33 and Yamaha PSR-740... (my EMU Proformance is at the rehearsal space and thus was not included). I removed reverb and other effects from all contenders and proceeded.

I ran a range of solo piano sequences (jazz, modern jazz, gospel, ragtime and classical) from PG Music's excellent "Pianist" series and compared each instrument's performance. My impressions:

The Korg M1REX's pianos were thin and unconvincing in the upper ranges. The Trinity pianos were OK but a bit dull and compressed-sounding, despite the 48 khz sample rate. The X5DR was worse. But the P3's "Piano 2" had something special - air, presence, delicacy, bite in the lower end, balance, lightness. (I didn't care for the "Piano 1" except for in a couple of rumbling blues tunes.)

I tried each of the Kurzweil's pianos - solo and layered versions - and although some were very nice and smooth (Classical and Stage), they were all a bit lifeless and stale-sounding when compared to the P3. (Those of you who know me also know that Kurzweil has not provided me with a good ownership experience to date, and may discount my opinions regarding the PC88's performance, but I really did try to be impartial in my listening tests tonight and frankly, I do prefer the sound of the P3.)

I liked the SB LIVE! pianos, but the P3 is the clear and definite winner when pitted against them. (Remember though that I used the piano from the 8 meg GM set... I'm sure that bigger, better pianos can be had in SoundFont format!) The SC33 was OK for that raw beater piano sound, but not much else. The Yamaha PSR-740 sounded very nice, having stereo samples, but some of the loops in the mid and lower ranges were poor and didn't do well in slower jazz ballads.

I'm glad I did this comparison tonight. It makes me curious to learn more about the P3. Sampling rate, amount of memory etc.

I'd recommend the P3 without reservations. It may sound and "feel" a bit light as you play, but on playback (solo and even moreso in a mix) I'm pretty sure you'll find it to be a worthy addition to your toolchest. Good prices too.

posted Friday-Nov-19-1999 at 00:04
Spinster a professional user from Canada writes:
I recently found one for 60 dollars CDN (around 40 USD). Very nice samples of Bosie and Steinway, though only taken at one velocity. This would not be such a drawback if the P3 had dynamic filters to compensate (which it unfortunately does not have). Still, nice samples and when you layer the Bosendorfer with the Steinway and pan each L/R, you get a great spacious stereo sound, but you're then limited to 8-note polyphony and some weird sustain characteristics. The Piano 2 sample - presumably the Steinway - layers well with other Korg synth pianos such as the ones in the M1 and Trinity. It's not everyone's cup of tea, I'm sure, but for a 12 year old module it's great and holds up well to this day against piano sounds like the ones found in the Kurzweil PC88, (even if the 16 note polyphony doesn't).

The top end responds correctly i.e. it's undamped in the top 1.5 octaves and really sparkles - in fact I prefer this section to any Kurzweil piano sample I've heard, but i don't think that all if the P3's octaves are as full as the Kurzweil PC88 (which sounds good but is definitely NOT built to pro quality tolerances, by the way).

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-15-1999 at 23:22
Roderick van Huis a part time user from US writes:
This thing is pretty neat. Sure, it's only got two voices. But hey, I only use one anyway, and it sounds great. It's a shame about the cards - you really can't find them, and I hear Korg isn't interested in supplying them. But honestly, the piano sounds are excellent. And it's a great value, too, if you can find it for $100 or less. I personally paid $150, and that's okay, because you'd have to pay a lot more to get something a little better. It's so easy to use. I just turn it on and push the "octave down" button. The size it kind of a bummer, though, because it won't fit on top of my Kawai K1 (a pretty small synth in terms of depth), but it might fit on yours.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Wednesday-Aug-05-1998 at 23:42
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