NAMM 2024: It’s been six years since Korg released the Grandstage, so a new version was definitely in order (not least because the original has now been discontinued). That’s now arrived in the shape of the Grandstage X, a mighty fine looking stage piano that comes with seven dedicated sound engines.
With its angled control panel, flat top, aluminium body and perforated metal cheeks, the Grandstage X certainly gets off on the right style note; the two tone ivory and black colour scheme looks great, to our eyes. It’s the sound that counts, though, and here, the story starts with the SGX-2 engine, which powers 13 acoustic pianos. These include the new GSX Piano and the existing Nautilus, Oasys and SG1D pianos from Korg’s back catalogue, and there’s a nod to the ‘80s and ‘80s house revival with the inclusion of the classic M1 Piano.
The EP-1 engine, meanwhile, provides seven electric pianos that cover the requisite vintage bases, and there are no less than three different organ engines (CX-2, Vox and FC-1). Further engines include the AL-1 analogue modelling sound source, which deals with synths, and the HD-1 PCM module.
The interface on the Grandstage X has been designed with live players in mind, and promises to be very intuitive. You can layer and split at the touch of a button, and there are dedicated level controls for each part.
The keyboard has Korg’s RH3 weighted hammer action, and we’re intrigued by the key-touch slider, which promises “instant control over volume and timbre changes with each keystroke”. There are Nutube-powered analogue-style effects, an EQ and multiple delays and reverbs. The Grandstage X also has a slight arranger keyboard vibe with the inclusion of a rhythm and chord progression function, which creates a backing track that’s said to complement your playing.
There’s no shortage of competition in the stage piano market, but with its distinctive look and (hopefully) high-quality sounds, the Grandstage X could definitely be a contender. There’s no word on a price yet, but you can expect it to arrive in June.
Find out more on the Korg website.