What is the best Nord keyboard for you?
Well let our team provide you with a quick overview of the best Nord Keyboard giving their expert opinions on feel, sound and functionality to help you decide. This article is a quick summary of the latest Nord keyboard models but full reviews of each will be coming soon so please do check back.
Why Nord ?
Firstly lets start with why the Nord keyboards are worthy investment. After all they are not cheap and you will want to be assured that you get what you paid for (and more). Nord keyboards are know for their immaculate build quality, incredible sound, ruggedness and of course their iconic red finish. For these reasons alone they are the go to’s for many seasoned performers. That’s not to say a beginner wouldn’t enjoy playing a Nord keyboard its just that the control panel could be quite daunting and they are expensive for someone just starting out.
Nord also provide incredible product support. For example, Nord product owners are able to update sample files to the latest recordings to ensure existing customers don’t miss out. Knowing this you can expect support for years to come and your keyboard will be some what future proofed.
Overviews of the following keyboards will follow
- Nord Stage 3
- Nord Piano 4
- Nord Piano 5
- Nord Grand
- Nord Electro 6
- Nord Wave 2
Nord Stage 3
The Nord Stage 3 is the flagship keyboard from Nord and comes in 3 models, varying in feel and size but keeping consistent with their functionality.
What are the differences?
The first difference is the physical number of keys, the 88 and 76 are self explanatory and the compact has 73 keys. With this, the physical dimension and weight also changes as per below table.
|Nord Stage 3 88
|Nord Stage 3 HP76
|Nord Stage 3 Compact
|19 kg / 41.8 lb
|12.5 kg / 27.5 lb
|10 kg / 22 lb
|1287mm / 50.7″
|1122mm / 44″
|1070mm / 42″
|334mm / 13″
|347mm / 13.6″
|302mm / 12″
|118mm / 4.7″
|127mm / 5″
|104mm / 4″
If weight and portability are your priority the the compact really does stand out.
The other difference is in the action and feel. The Stage 3 88 has fully weighted keybed and traditional lipped keys. The stage HP76 moves to Nords portable hammer action with lipped keys which helps reduce the weight but it does begin to move away from the 88’s authentic piano feel. The compact (73) model reduces weight further by opting for semi weighted waterfall keys moving towards a typical synth feel/action.
What stays the same?
All three models have a wealth of functionality which remains consistent across the range. Check out this clip which showcases most sounds and functions.
The fact the Nord Stage 3 won the prestigious NAMM TEC Award (Technical Excellence and Creativity) for Best Musical Instrument Hardware in 2018 is testament to how good this piece of kit really is. It really is a top end piano keyboard/synth/digital Organ all wrapped in one. There really is a reason you see so many top musicians with one of these. It’s that good!
Nord Piano 4 & Nord Piano 5
The Nord “Piano” range is aimed at musicians expecting a great sounding portable keyboard with the feel of an acoustic piano. You will instantly note that the control panel is much cleaner in the “Piano” range than the “Stage” range. this is much more appealing and less intimidating for the typical keyboard musician.
The Piano 5 is also available in a 77key version with the only difference being the number of keys which results in a width and weight reduction.
What are the differences?
While both offer a magnificent experience both in feel and sound the Piano 5 does edge things with some additional features being the latest release. The biggest best change is the ability to have 2 piano engines & 2 synths that can be used and layered simultaneously. This means that you can split or layer these engines together which is not possible with the Piano 4. Check out this clip which showcases the power of this added function.
The Piano 5 can have an extra 10 samples in polyphony with additional unison, vibrato, round robin and filter functions. It also features 2 additional reverb options.
The Piano 5 has doubled both the piano and sample library memory’s giving you more options at your fingertips for your masterpieces.
The OLED display has been moved to a central location on the Piano 5 which is the optimum place for a quick glance at settings during a performance. I also feel it gives the keyboard a more symmetrical and appealing look.
What stays the same?
The size and weight remains the same with the 88key models. Both have triple sensor grand weighted hammer action key beds. The connections are identical and all other functions and features are the same.
Nord Electro 6
Nord Wave 2
So What is The Best Nord Keyboard?
This is ultimately a question of “what are your requirements?” and “what will you use it for?”.
If you answer is ANY PERFORMANCE
Then it is hard to look away from the Nord Stage 3 range. It really is a performance work horse. The only downside might be when it comes to portability but with the Stage 3 compact weighing just 10kg it is only slightly heavier than the Wave 2 or Electro 6D’s.
If you answer is TO FEEL AND SOUND LIKE AN ACOUSTIC
The Nord Piano range will give you just that (and some)