$499 internet discount price - optional stand additional cost). First of all, Korg finally realized their mistake (which I had pointed out earlier in a previous blog) in the original SP170 with regard to Korg not having a control panel with knobs and/or buttons for that model. What were they thinking!? Anyway, they put a power on/off button on the front top of the piano along with a basic control panel which includes a button to quickly access all 10 instrument sounds (which are very nice by the way) as well as a default button to automatically reset the instrument to the best piano sound on the instrument (there are 2 acoustic piano sounds with only the main one being acceptable to me). They also put the volume control knob on the front control panel instead of on back of the piano as they did on the previous model. I give credit to Korg for learning from their obvious mistakes in the recent past.
The keyboard action on this model is surprisingly quiet and sturdy but in my opinion the response of the piano notes/keys while playing normally is not so good when wanting to play lighter or softer passages. When you are trying to play a piece that requires a good response from the notes while playing easily and/or quickly, the keys on this model do not react as they would on an acoustic upright or grand piano. This may not be something the average person would notice right away until you play a song where you would need to play more quickly or quietly with less finger pressure. In that way the key action feels mushy to me with some peculiar note reaction time. There is an editing control for key touch sensitivity but this does not help when wanting to get better control over the sound (any instrument sound) during normal play. When you play normally, the physical action, response time, and sensitivity should work well no matter how you play. In this instrument it does not and that's too bad. The stereo piano tone is nice and convincing as an acoustic piano for many people, but the tonal dynamics from soft touch to hard touch when playing the piano could be much better. In other words, I am not impressed with the physical nature of this NH key action and Korg uses the NH in their newer SP280 digital piano ($699 internet price) as well. It's also somewhat noisy and plasticity sounding too when playing the keys. The key action is the most important thing to look for in a digital piano and I like the Yamaha, Kawai, and Casio key actions in the lower priced portable pianos much better than this SP170S piano.
Overall, it's an OK instrument (especially with its large amount of polyphony memory) but it's still not quite there because of the key action. As I mentioned earlier, the piano touch response sensitivity, especially when playing with a lighter and/or quicker finger touch as many people do, is mushy. I played on the SP170S many times, and personally, even though all the other features on this piano are fairly nice and the price is somewhat low, I would instead recommend you also look at the portable Casio PX160 ($499US internet price), Casio PX350 ($699 internet price), the Yamaha P115 ($599US internet price), and also the Kawai ES100 ($799 internet price). You'll get a much better playing and practice experience in my opinion, along with better overall features.