Having now owned the Korg PA1000 for approximately 6 months and having had my fair share of Korg experiences over the last twenty odd years I would like to digress a little on the merits and shortcomings of this new Korg arranger.
Obivously we are not talking top of the range so subsequently it is not realistic to expect a stellar performance, by which I mean a performance emulating or even outshining its more expensive counterpart, the PA4X.
Let me begin by pointing out some of the weaker aspects of this arranger keyboard, also in relation to its yamaha and ketron counterparts in the same price range.
Out of the box , as often the case, I found the Korg rather disappointing and I am not surprised to see that so far imho it has not been a great commercial success for Korg. That is judging by the drop in retail prices, and also judging by the overall interest in my latest JS Resources , programmed specifically for the PA1000. My main bone of contention would be the Songbook and some of the basic samples. And of course the fact that they have done away with the notion of Performances thus forcing all users to rely on the Songbook for everything. By contrast Yamaha has upped its total registrations in the Genos for instance.
I cannot help thinking that somehow the Songbook ( factory default I mean) has been compiled by a computer program with a fairly random assigment of righthand voices to go with a style. In itself nothing new but it simply means ( once again) that you will have to start tweaking and progamming intensively using the factory entries as a base.
I have now been programming for over 6 months and I guess it will take me another 6 months to, more or less, be where I would like to be. Which in itself also highlights one of the positive aspects of this Korg which is that you can delve incredibly deeply to program and alter things . But I was still on the negatives so to speak. The overall sound is good to excellent buts some categories , noticebly piano, el piano and guitars imho still trail compared to yamaha. Shame really and there should be no need for that really. The keybed is fairly good, much better than the PA900 or the PA700 but falling short compared to the PA4X.
The factory Pads are another disappointment in as much that they have not altered very much or have been significantly expanded. I have written to Korg that a major update ( similar to the 2.0 for the PA4X) might do wonders as to their sales, particularly if they were to up their efforts with some extra basic samples and more pads. Although Korg has never had the amount of (freeware) styles to choose from the way Yamaha has, I personally do not find that a problem. Instead of providing its customers with new “styles packages “ I think it would be much more interesting to see new “ pads packages “ or even small free packages with one or two new basic samples, so that we do not have to rely on the very few companies that provide external samples, at sometimes staggering prices.
After six months of intermittent programming and tweaking I think I can say that the potential of the PA1000 is huge and most satisfactory but it will not appeal to the ready-to-go-and-play home musician, used to e.g. a yamaha PSR. On stage it could do well but obviously those who can afford to will gladly splash out some more dough to get the PA4X. Which leaves the PA1000 in a bit of no-man’s land really.
In the meantime I have added a bunch of external samples a.o. the free acoustic piano sample by Reuben, some Dynamix samples and the old Technics KN7000 samples which can be bought from Mister Music .
The internal amplification and speakers sound great as folks such as Uncle Dave, Casp, etc. will probably confirm. All in all I think it is a great board with an ever more attractive price-tag, but a bit hard to target as far as to which group of players will be interested. …
Below a link to a diddy I just recorded on the fly.