Both the Korg C1 Air and the Korg G1 Air are widely acclaimed digital pianos. With these two digital piano models, Korg hopes to bring the sounds of world-class pianos to musicians at a reasonable price.
In this article, we will take a look at the features of each Korg digital piano before deeming one the winner of this keyboard showdown. To better help you, please use our interactive guide below, which allows you to directly compare the Korg C1 Air and Korg G1 Air to other notable digital pianos.
|Yamaha YDP-144||GHS action, CFX Grand Piano Voice|
|Yamaha P-515||Natural Wood X Key Action|
|Casio PX-870||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Yamaha YDP-164||GH3 action, CFX Grand Piano Voice|
|Roland RP-102||Works w/Roland Piano Partner 2 app|
|Casio AP-470||256 Note Polyphony|
|Yamaha YDP-184||Graded Hammer 3 Action (GH3)|
Korg C1 Air: What Does it Offer Me?
The Korg C1 Air is available for the price of $1,399.99.
This 88 weighted key digital piano is built with a Real Weighted Hammer Action (RH3) keyboard, so the C1 Air has the same heaviness in the lower register and lightness in the upper register as concert grand pianos do. Keyboardists have noted that the RH3 keyboard action is extremely quick and responsive, and that it is capable of handling even the most expressive classical pieces. Additionally, this action lends itself well to playing synth and organ parts. See what musicians are saying about the RH3 action here.
Damper resonance and key-off simulation help the C1 Air to recreate the subtle sounds of an acoustic piano.This digital piano recreates the damper resonance that is produced by the strings inside of an acoustic piano when the damper pedal is held down. Damper resonance is integral to the sound of an acoustic piano.
Additionally, the C1 Air uses key-off simulation to recreate the sounds that are produced when a player lifts their fingers off the keys of an acoustic piano and the hammer’s inside the piano move off of its strings. These subtle sounds add to the character of an acoustic piano’s sound, so the C1 Air adds a layer of realism to its piano sounds by adding key-off simulation to the sounds. B
By combining the key-off simulation feature with damper resonance, the Korg C1 Air comes closer to recreating the experience of playing an acoustic piano than cheaper digital pianos likely will.
Below, please take a moment to view some of the best selling digital pianos online, and see how well they stack up to the Korg C1 Air and Korg G1 Air.
|1) Casio PX-S3000|
|2) Casio PX-870|
|3) Roland RP-102|
|4) Alesis Prestige Artist|
|5) Korg D1|
How Many Sounds Does the Korg C1 Air Have?
The C1 Air has 30 onboard sounds. Two of these sounds are recreations of two fine concert grand pianos; these sounds are called the German Grand and the Japanese Piano in the C1 Air’s sound library.
This digital piano’s onboard sounds are organized into ten different sound sections, and each section contains three different sounds. The sounds are organized as follows:
- Piano 1: German Grand, Jazz Piano, Classic Piano
- Piano 2: Japanese Piano, Pop Piano, Honky-Tonk Piano
- E. Piano 1: Stage, Bright, Electric Grand
- E. Piano 2: Digital Electric 1, Digital Electric 2, 60s Electric
- Harpsi/Clav: Harpsichord 1, Harpsichord 2, Clav
- Vibes/Guitar: Vibraphone, Marimba, Acoustic Guitar
- Organ 1: Jazz Organ 1, Jazz Organ 2, Jazz Organ 3
- Organ 2: Pipe Organ 1, Pipe Organ 2, Positive Organ
- Strings: Strings, Cinema Strings, Chori
- Bass & Piano: A. Bass and Piano, E. Bass and E. Piano, Bass+Cym and Piano
The sounds being grouped together makes it really easy to remember where all of your favorite sounds are located. Just click the designated button for each set, and you can play your favorite sound within seconds.
How Much Polyphony Does the Korg C1 Air Have?
This Korg digital piano has 120-note polyphony. Some players may eventually find themselves looking for an instrument with more polyphony as they advance their piano-playing skills, but this amount of polyphony will definitely see you through your beginner and intermediate stages.
Other Notable Features
The Korg C1 Air comes with three levels of chorus, brilliance, and reverb. These effects help you to customize your digital piano’s sound output; with these effects, you can make your sound brighter and dreamier, fuller, and you can even make it sound like you are playing in a legendary concert hall.
Players have the option of splitting or layering sounds on the C1 Air. With a split keyboard, players can use one sound in the right hand and another in the left hand. For example, you can use an acoustic piano sound with a string sound.
The layering feature lets players blend two sounds together; that is, two voices will sound when a single note is pressed. The layering feature can be used to play, for example, an acoustic piano sound with the acoustic guitar sound to create an emotional, coffeehouse style performance.
The Korg C1 Air has Bluetooth capabilities, which is really handy for beginners who like to practice along with video tutorials or audio recordings of their favorite songs. The Korg C1 Air can essentially be used as a sound system so that players can listen to whatever they’re playing along with through the digital piano’s speakers.
This is really helpful when learning a new song or practicing a tricky passage. In the past, I’ve played along with music from my phone or laptop, but the sound was often drowned out by the sound of my own playing at my keyboard. With the C1 Air’s Bluetooth capability, you can play and control the sound from its speakers, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to hear everything that you need to hear.
- Learn more about the Korg C1 Air here.
Korg G1 Air: What Does It Offer Me?
The Korg G1 Air costs $1,599.99, a two hundred dollar increase in price from the Korg C1 Air.
Like the C1 Air, this digital piano is built with a Real Weighted Hammer Action (RH3) keyboard, so the keyboard action on the G1 Air is just as great as that of the C1 Air.
The G1 Air also uses damper resonance and key-off simulation to recreate the subtle sounds that help to make up the overall sound of an acoustic piano. However, this slightly pricier model takes things to another level by adding string resonance simulation. The strings inside an acoustic piano resonate along with those of corresponding pitches as the damper is lifted; this resonance is an integral part of an acoustic piano’s sound.
The string resonance simulation in the G1 Air adds another layer of realism to the playing experience and lets musicians somewhat recreate the sound of an acoustic piano at a fraction of the price.
To learn more about string resonance, also called sympathetic resonance, check out this article.
More Sounds on the Korg G1 Air?
Yes, but only two more. One of the additional sounds is another acoustic piano sound, the Austrian piano. This piano sound is warm and brilliant, while the German Grand has a rounded low end and a brilliant high end, and the Japanese Piano’s sound is crafted for dynamic playing in a variety of genres.
Having two additional sounds is great, but I suggest playing around with the sounds on both keyboards to see if the increase from 30 to 32 sounds is worth an extra two hundred dollars to you.
How Much Polyphony Does the G1 Air Have?
This digital piano has 120-note polyphony, too. This is enough to support splitting and layering of its onboard sounds and the application of its three effects.
What Other Features Does This Digital Piano Have?
Like the C1 Air, the Korg G1 Air comes with three levels each of chorus, brilliance, and reverb.
Also, this digital piano gives players the option of using split mode, layer mode, or partner mode. Split mode and layer mode operate in exactly the same way as they do on the C1 Air. Partner mode is really great for learning with someone else. This feature splits the keyboard into two identical halves, so that you can play along with a teacher, friend, or parent.
The G1 Air also offers the extreme convenience of Bluetooth capability. Just connect your smart device and start playing along with your favorite tunes!
Which Digital Piano Is the Winner?
Based on all of the details, we’ve gone over so far, the Korg C1 Air offers the best value for your dollar.
The Korg G1 Air costs two hundred dollars more than the Korg C1 Air, and its only upgrades worth mentioning are two additional sounds, sympathetic resonance, and partner mode.
However, two extra sounds is hardly a dramatic increase in the digital piano’s sound offering, especially if you are accustomed to having a digital piano with fifty or more sounds. On the other hand, if you only intend to use your digital piano to practice what you learn in your piano classes or to teach yourself how to play the piano, having two more sounds to play around with is not worth an extra two hundred dollars.
String/sympathetic resonance adds a layer of realism to the G1 Air’s acoustic piano sounds, but the difference in sound quality between the G1 Air and the C1 Air is not that drastic. Also, no digital piano can ever completely recreate the sound of an acoustic piano, so it isn’t worth shelling out the extra money for this added resonance simulation.
Partner mode is handy for learning alongside another piano player, but it is only really necessary for those who know that they will either be teaching or taking lessons on their digital piano. If you are a piano teacher who is looking for digital pianos for your class studio, buying the G1 Air might be your best bet.
For those of you who are teaching yourselves at home or practicing what you learned in piano lessons on your home digital piano, partner mode isn’t really worth the extra money.
Both of these digital pianos offer the same amount of polyphony. Like I mentioned earlier, 120-note polyphony is great for beginners and intermediate players, but advanced players will eventually find themselves needing more polyphony to support their playing.
As you progress in piano-playing skill, you will want to play advanced chords, glissandos, intricate arpeggios, and you might want to start layering effects with your playing.
Sadly, with 120-note polyphony, you may experience note dropout, which is when your digital piano does not sound some of the notes you are playing in order to stay within the confines of its maximum polyphony. As such, you might find yourself needing to upgrade to a higher-end digital piano in the future. Might as well use that extra two hundred bucks to start saving toward your next instrument!
Overall, there aren’t many differences between the Korg C1 Air and the Korg G1 Air. Although I declared the Korg C1 Air the winner of this battle, you have to be aware of your own needs when it comes to picking a digital piano (or any instrument, for that matter). The C1 Air is better suited to players who are on a budget; however, you are not skimping on value by going with the cheaper option here. In fact, you are getting lots of bang for your buck!
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