In this Kurzweil SP7 Grand review, we take a detailed look at its sound, build quality, touch response, features, and more. Whether you’re an intermediate player or a seasoned pianist, the SP7 Grand has a lot to offer. So let’s dive into everything you need to know about the SP7 Grand—and what makes it so impressive.
|Kurzweil SP7 Grand|
|Nord Piano 5|
Kurzweil SP7 Grand review (TLDR)
If you’re a modern musician in search of a versatile keyboard that can handle a wide range of musical styles, this SP7 Grand is the instrument for you.
This 88-key keyboard boasts:
- a rich and realistic sound
- solid build quality
- impressive set of features that make it a great option for both home and stage use.
Though not without its flaws, the SP7 Grand is a great deal for its price whether you’re a professional pianist, a gigging musician, or a late intermediate player looking to improve your skills. I would personally choose this instrument.
|1) Casio PX-560|
|2) Nord Piano 5|
|3) Roland RD-88|
|4) Korg D1|
|5) Roland RD-2000|
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Sound: Rich and Realistic
The sound of the SP7 Grand is one of its standout features and where it fails in some ways. With its 256-note polyphony, this keyboard can produce a rich and layered sound that’s perfect for a variety of musical styles, and you can make sure that every note that you produce will be heard. Whether you’re playing classical pieces, jazz standards, or pop hits, the SP7 Grand delivers a realistic and dynamic sound that’s sure to impress.
The keyboard also features a variety of onboard sounds, including a range of piano sounds (including vintage and electric options), organs (which are amazing), strings (they even have vibrato!), and more. Although the SP7 boasts an impressive array of sounds, there is one that left me disappointed: the harpsichord.
As a seasoned musician, I can attest that the harpsichord is notoriously difficult to emulate accurately. Unfortunately, the SP7 Grand fell short in this area. The sound produced was lackluster and unconvincing, almost as if the strings were being plucked by tin cans rather than the delicate plucking mechanism of a true harpsichord.
Of all the instrument sounds to emulate, woodwinds are also quite difficult. As someone who has worked extensively with woodwind players, I can tell you that these sounds may not meet their standards. The woodwind samples on the SP7 Grand are particularly disappointing, lacking depth and life.
On the other hand, the brass samples are notably better, passing my ear test. Interestingly, I’ve found that nearly every keyboard I’ve tested struggles to capture woodwind sounds, while the rest of the sounds on the SP7 Grand are truly remarkable.
Another downside to keep in mind is that it doesn’t come with internal speakers. While you can certainly get by with the headphone output, investing in a good set of speakers is essential to really unleash the keyboard’s full potential.
However, it’s important not to cut corners on the speakers as this could hinder your ability to experience the true range and depth of the keyboard’s sound. So be sure to factor in the cost of quality speakers when budgeting for the SP7 Grand.
|Kurzweil SP7 Grand|
|Nord Piano 5|
Build Quality: Solid and Durable
The build quality of the SP7 Grand is impressive, with a sturdy and durable design that’s built to last. As you gaze upon the keyboard, your eyes are immediately drawn to the vibrant array of colors adorning the sides of the sleek and sophisticated 7-inch color LCD touch screen. The visual presentation exudes a premium quality, with a level of refinement that speaks to the attention paid to every detail.
However, upon closer inspection, the plastic material used for the edges of the keyboard may leave you feeling slightly underwhelmed, lacking the same level of luxuriousness as the rest of the instrument.
The SP7 Grand impressed me on my weight test. As I picked up the instrument, I immediately noticed a noticeable heft, giving me the impression of durability and quality. The keyboard is surprisingly lightweight, weighing only 36 lbs., which makes it a breeze to transport from gig to gig. The best part is that the SP7 Grand doesn’t feel flimsy or hollow like some other keyboards.
The keys themselves are also of high quality, with a weighted and graded hammer action that delivers a realistic and responsive touch. The keyboard also features an adjustable touch response, allowing you to customize the key sensitivity to your liking.
The SP7 Grand’s knobs, touchscreen, and buttons all deliver impressive responsiveness. While I had low expectations for the touchscreen, it surprised me with its accuracy and response time.
However, I did find myself wishing for a quicker way to navigate up and down the screen, such as a knob or button, maybe I missed it, as scrolling can sometimes be a bit cumbersome. Overall, the SP7 Grand’s construction is undoubtedly durable, ensuring longevity and reliability.
|Kurzweil SP7 Grand|
|Nord Piano 5|
Portability: Lightweight and Compact
While the SP7 Grand isn’t the most portable keyboard on the market, it’s lightweight and compact, making it easy to transport to gigs or store in a small apartment or studio. The keyboard weighs just 36 pounds, and measures 53.5 inches long, 14.5 inches deep, and 5.5 inches high, making it a good choice for musicians who need a high-quality keyboard that’s also easy to move around.
When taking the SP7 Grand on the road, it’s worth investing in a high-quality carrying case to keep it safe and protected. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to consider a sturdy keyboard stand and bench to complete your setup.
I highly recommend looking at options like this to ensure the most comfortable and stable playing experience possible. Keep in mind that investing in the right accessories can truly enhance your overall playing experience and can even help to extend the lifespan of your keyboard.
Touch Response: Extraordinary and Sensitive
The touch response of the SP7 Grand is impressive, with a graded hammer action that delivers a realistic and responsive feel. The keyboard features 88 fully-weighted keys, with a range of customizable touch settings that allow you to adjust the key sensitivity to your liking.
As a classically trained pianist, I have developed a discerning ear and sense of touch when it comes to the action of pianos. Too often, when trying out different keyboards, I find the key response to be lacking.
However, Kurzweil has certainly impressed me with the action on their SP7 Grand. The keys offer a remarkable level of control, allowing me to play pianissimo to fortissimo with ease. It’s not uncommon for keyboards to struggle with such extreme dynamics, but the SP7 Grand handles it with aplomb. Kudos to Kurzweil for nailing the action on this keyboard.
The tactile experience of playing a keyboard is a crucial aspect that can either make or break the entire instrument. Often, keyboards can be found with keys that feel too plastic, which can detract from the overall playing experience.
However, the SP7 Grand strikes a perfect balance in providing a premium feel without going overboard. Its keys have a satisfying tactile sensation that will please even the most discerning players.
I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I am with the touch of these keys. Kurzweil has truly outdone themselves with the attention to detail in the design and construction of these keys. From the moment you place your fingers on them, you can feel the quality and craftsmanship that has gone into creating such a responsive and nuanced playing experience. It’s clear that every aspect of the key action has been thoughtfully considered and meticulously engineered.
|Kurzweil SP7 Grand|
|Nord Piano 5|
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Features: Impressive and Versatile
SP7 Grand boasts an impressive feature: the Authentic Timbre Synthesis Technology (A.T.S.T.) sound engine. This new synthesis platform is the result of extensive research and development by Kurzweil and is based on a custom semiconductor that delivers high-fidelity audio and streamlined sound programming.
What’s more, A.T.S.T. supports higher-resolution audio, smooth velocity layer transitions, and a 2x oversampling filter, which all contribute to a more realistic and expressive sound. While A.T.S.T. excels in its piano sounds, there are other features that are equally noteworthy and valuable to mention in this Kurzweil SP7 Grand review.
You must admit that the SP7 Grand offers an impressive array of features that would take another review to cover in detail. But among them, one feature that really stands out is its audio interface that comes with two mic inputs and phantom power.
The benefits of this feature are manifold – you can use it for live streaming your performances from a gig or home, or for recording directly onto your computer. With phantom power, you can even use condenser mics that provide more versatility in choosing your preferred mic. While an internal recording option would have been nice to have, the SP7 Grand still offers plenty of value with its audio interface.
In case you frequently play with a singer, or sing yourself, the SP7 Grand offers a useful feature that could come in handy – the transpose buttons. With these buttons, you can easily shift the key to a song up or down. This feature could be particularly useful if you need to adjust to a singer who may be feeling under the weather or struggling to hit certain notes. So, instead of having to transpose on the spot, you can rely on the SP7 Grand to do it for you with just a few button presses.
One of the standout features of the SP7 Grand is its impressive set of features. In addition to its rich and realistic sound, solid build quality, and responsive touch response, the keyboard also includes a variety of onboard tools and functions designed to help you refine your piano playing skills.
Finally, the SP7 Grand gives you precise control over virtually every aspect of your sound. Its array of knobs and buttons lets you tailor the EQ, reverb, and zones to your liking, allowing for maximum expressiveness and performance enhancement. As someone who’s typically wary of built-in features like reverb, I was pleasantly surprised by how natural it sounded when I tinkered with it. You can easily adjust the level to suit your needs and preferences. Hats off to Kurzweil for a job well done.
You can check a full list of features here.
Pros and Cons: Great Value with Some Compromises
- A.T.S.T. sound engine with realistic piano sounds
- Awesome key responsiveness
- Versatile range of instrument sounds
- Audio interface with 2 phantom power mic/line inputs
- Loaded with features and connectivity
- Lightweight, durable and portable
- Missing internal speakers
- Needing internal recording
- Lacking editing of sounds
- Weak woodwind and harpsichord sounds
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Failed harpsichord test
Comparison: Weighing the Options
The SP7 Grand is an upgrade to the SP6. It features a more powerful sound engine, the Authentic Timbre Synthesis Technology (A.T.S.T.), which delivers higher-fidelity audio and smoother velocity layer transitions. The SP7 Grand also has 256 voice polyphony, compared to the SP6’s 128, allowing for more complex and layered sounds.
In terms of keyboard action, the SP7 Grand features the fully-weighted graded hammer action keybed, which gives it a more authentic feel and response, while the SP6 uses the graded hammer action keybed with 4-zone velocity. Additionally, the SP7 Grand has an improved user interface with a larger display screen and more intuitive controls, making it easier to navigate and adjust settings.
While the SP6 still has many desirable features, such as its high-quality sounds and built-in effects, the SP7 Grand offers significant improvements in sound quality, keyboard action, and user interface. The SP7 Grand is also more expensive than the SP6, reflecting its upgrades and advancements. Overall, the SP7 Grand is a worthy successor to the SP6, offering improved performance and capabilities for pianists and keyboardists.
The SP7 Grand competes with other high-end digital stage pianos such as the Yamaha CP88, Roland RD-2000, and Korg Grandstage. The Yamaha CP88 is a popular choice among professional musicians due to its realistic touch and sound, as well as its robust build quality.
Like the SP7 Grand, it also has a range of features such as a comprehensive effects section and a full range of connectivity options. However, the CP88 is slightly more expensive than the SP7 Grand and does not offer as many voices.
The Roland RD-2000 features a sleek design, and its action is highly regarded for its responsiveness and feel. The RD-2000 also has a large selection of sounds, including many that are modeled after classic vintage keyboards. While it is more expensive than the SP7 Grand, it does offer more sounds and a more intuitive user interface.
The Korg Grandstage is known for its realistic touch and sound, as well as its intuitive user interface. The Grandstage is equipped with the acclaimed RH3 keybed that provides an excellent dynamic response and touch sensitivity. It also features seven different sound engines, including SGX-2 acoustic piano, EP-1 electric piano, CX-3 organ, and more.
The Grandstage also offers a variety of effects and controls, such as EQ, reverb, and chorus, that allow for customization of the sound to your liking. While the Grandstage has some impressive features, it is priced higher than the SP7 Grand, making it a more premium option.
Overall, the SP7 Grand stands out for its impressive sound quality, realistic touch, and versatile features, all at a more affordable price point compared to its competitors. While the Korg Grandstage and Yamaha CP88 offer some unique features, the SP7 Grand remains a solid choice for musicians who want a quality digital piano that delivers a realistic playing experience and excellent sound quality.
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Conclusion and Final Grade: A-
While the SP7 Grand has some minor limitations, it delivers on the most important aspects of a digital piano: sound, touch response, and features. The realistic piano sounds, along with a variety of other high-quality instrument sounds, make this piano a versatile option for a wide range of musical styles.
The key action is responsive and realistic, making it an excellent choice for those who want a playing experience that closely mimics that of an acoustic piano. It offers exceptional value for its price. While there are a few minor drawbacks, the overall value of this piano makes it a solid choice for both home and stage use.
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