Korg might be best known for its stage pianos and synths, but if it has keys, they make it and do it well.
The Korg LP-380U is a slimline digital piano that blends traditional features with modern style. It’s available in a range of colors to suit any personality.
In this review, we will find out just how good it is.
Our verdict on the Korg LP-380U
We like the LP-380U, but it does run into some pretty stiff competition in its class. It has excellent acoustic pianos and some killer electric piano voices.
The build quality will be an issue for some users, but the funky design and excellent speakers go a long way to make up for that.
It sounds great, and it’s a lot of fun for anyone who prefers the modern look.
The sound quality of the Korg LP-380U is very impressive overall. In order to deliver a dynamic/expressive performance, the acoustic piano voices have been sampled with four velocity layers per note.
Korg also does an excellent job with the resonant and mechanical noise, simulating a real piano.
On the surface, it’s hard to fault the acoustic piano sounds, but we feel some other manufacturers are slightly better in that department.
Things start to get complicated when you get into the electric piano voices because we think Korg does them better than most.
So, judging the overall quality will depend on how much you value acoustic piano and electric piano sounds.
There are 30 voices in total, and that’s more than respectable for a digital piano of this price. It offers a max polyphony of 120 notes.
The speakers in the Korg LP-380U have the highest output in their class. It might not seem like the most critical feature, but it makes a difference if you’re playing with other instruments.
The speakers are positioned under the keyboard, giving the illusion that the sound is coming from within the body. Another feature that may not seem significant at first, but it all adds to the realism.
The LP-380U is equipped with Korg’s flagship RH3 keyboard. RH3 stands for Real Hammer-Action, and it feels great.
Korg is one of the best, along with Yamaha and Roland, regarding realistic weighted keys.
There are three levels of touch sensitivity, light, normal, and heavy. Switching levels will help adjust to your playing style, but it’s also great for beginners who need to progress from light to heavy keys.
It doesn’t have a simulated ebony/ivory feel that you get with some similar digital pianos. That isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, but it would have been an excellent addition.
Before we get into the features, we should mention the style of the LP-380U again. While it’s not a feature that alters the performance, it’s definitely eye-catching, and that may play a part in your decision.
We like to mention the metronome when we discuss digital pianos for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, even if most digital pianos have one, not all of them do. Secondly, it’s an excellent reminder to potential buyers/students that it’s an invaluable tool for practice sessions.
Korg’s LP-380U comes with 30 onboard demo songs. Demo songs can be a great way for younger beginners to learn and interact with the piano.
There aren’t too many built-in effects, but you get brilliance, reverb, and chorus.
The brilliance and reverb effects are great for the acoustic piano sounds, and the chorus is lovely on the electric pianos.
So, they may be few, but they are pretty high-quality.
The layout feels more like a keyboard, but it’s still tasteful without having buttons everywhere.
It’s easy to navigate; voice types have individual buttons with another button to switch between the three available banks. There’s also a small LCD screen to keep you right.
It has a modern design that’s a little quirky and unusual, plus it doesn’t take up much space.
While some people prefer a more traditional-looking digital piano, we think the style of LP-380U will be a great selling point.
It’s probably not a digital piano for more advanced players, but beginners and intermediate players should really enjoy it.
The downside of the LP-380U being so light is that the materials used aren’t as robust as possible.
When we look at pianos from other manufacturers in the same price range, we see better build quality.
The important thing is that we are clear that the build quality isn’t terrible. If you want a stationary piano for your home, it’s doubtful you’ll have any problems.
If you plan to move the LP-380U around, we would think it might not handle bumps and scrapes as well as some competitors.
The Korg LP-380U provides dual headphone jacks (1/8″), which is something we wish every digital piano offered.
It also offers a dedicated 1/4″ audio output and USB MIDI.
Compared to other digital pianos
The Korg LP-380U isn’t the most expensive digital piano on the market, but it’s far from entry-level pricing. So, as always, we suggest you look at the competition, too.
Korg LP-380U vs. Casio PX-870
We are big fans of the Privia series, and the PX-870 probably has a better grand piano sound than the LP-380.
But, it doesn’t deliver the same range of quality sounds, style, or sense of fun.
Korg LP-380U vs. Roland F701
The F701 is another new digital piano that comes close to matching the compact style of the LP-380U.
In our opinion, the F701 is a more serious instrument that will last longer as you progress.
Korg LP-380U vs. Yamaha YDP-144
It’s hard not to mention the Arius range because they are so popular amongst musicians.
The YDP-144 is a more traditional digital piano, but it also lacks the sense of fun brought by the LP-380U.
Who is the Korg LP-380U best suited for?
It suits beginner to intermediate players who prefer a modern design or have limited space at home.
- Versatile sounds.
- Great electric pianos.
- Stylish design.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Improved speaker system.
- Build quality could be better.