Korg Concert Piano C-15

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tornveil
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Korg Concert Piano C-15

Post by tornveil » 23 Sep 2009, 03:26

I have a Korg Concert Piano C-15, which is aging. I believe the electronic components are going. Capacitors tend to go first, so I've replaced most of the polarized electolytic sapacitors. It still fails to make sound except a brief "burp" when powered on. I suspect it is the main amplifier board as it handles greater power and has more and large capacitors than the synthesizer board. A few questions:

1) Do you know any source for board-level spare components for the Korg C-15?
2) Is it worth it? It seems a waste because the keyboard is pretty nice - full 88 - and probably the most expensive part of the piano.
3) Can the electronics be replaced with newer components so that the chassis and keyboard can be retained? E.g., new amplifier.

Considering the cost when new, I would have expected Korg to use high quality long-life electronic components. Apparently not. Good old wood and sounding board pianos have a far superior lifespan. If the Korg is trash, I'll probably return to accoustic. Thanks.

Dave Kelley, Seattle
Dave Kelley, Seattle

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Re: Korg Concert Piano C-15

Post by markymark » 25 Sep 2009, 00:05

As I don't live in USA, I wouldn't know where to begin advising you where to get spare bits for your digital piano. In the UK, there are a few folks that sell spare parts for keyboards and digital pianos provided that the parts or models are still in production. I'm not familiar with any of Korg's digital pianos but if your digital piano is "aging", the parts may not be in production any longer. I would contact Korg directly about this.

If you have been doing your own work to the keyboard, is it possible that you used a lubricant or cleaner of some kind. WD-40 and others is an absolute no-no. Depending on the age of the keyboard it may not be worthwhile trying to fix the problems as digital equipment devalues so quickly after a certain age.

To my knowledge, digital pianos and the like are not modular enough to take one bit out such as the main soundboard in order to replace it with another. Keys and contacts are one thing, but so much can go wrong with screws and wires connected to soundboards, etc that you could make a huge mess of things if you haven't done it before. Again, I would confirm this with Korg as I reckon you're going to need specialist intervention here given the tedium of the task in hand. Again, this can often be expensive depending on who you get to do the work.

I have heard reviews and feeback about some of Korg's earlier stuff with keys and even knobs and buttons wearing out. I have personally never been a fan of Korg's instruments from the mid to late 90s although I think they have improved with the introduction of their sturdier progressive hammer actions. The statistical life span of a digital piano is somewhere around 15 years. I have a 20 year old digital piano (Clavinova CVP-8) in my classroom which used to be in a church and then in my home prior to its current residence at school. It is still going well and no problems so far.

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athomik
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Re: Korg Concert Piano C-15

Post by athomik » 25 Sep 2009, 10:10

I've been working on eletronic products for 30 years (in the music business since 1986). Even on 20 year old keyboards, capacitors rarely fail and if they do, they tend to be part of the power supply. Most faults relate to contacts (keys & switches). Other favourites include RAM (esp. on older products), diodes, transistors and op-amps. Other than that, you get random component failures, which could affect any part of the circuit and can affect instruments from the day they are first switched on to some day 20 years down the line. Nowadays, such failures are very rare (compared to the number of products out there) and are not an indicator of poor quality components - at least not if it's from a reputable company, which Korg is (although I shouldn't really be admitting this :wink: ).

Keyboards, including different models in the same range from the same manufacturer, tend to be designed individually with little compatibility between each other as far as bigger assemblies (circuit boards, fittings, etc)are concerned. When you look at products from different ranges or even different manufacturers, you are unlikely to see any interchangeability between parts from different products, unless you go down to component level, and even there, VLSIs (Very Large Scale Integrated circuits - which are very common these days) and other components are specific to a model or manufacturer.

The only exception to this are cheap, own-branded products produced for the bottom end of the market by anonymous mass producers in China. This applies both to reliablity of products & components and use of generic sub-assemblies.
athomik

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tornveil
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Re: Korg Concert Piano C-15

Post by tornveil » 30 Oct 2009, 03:40

Thanks for your responses. With nothing to lose, I may try some more agressive things with the Korg. My next piano will be an accoustic, maybe a good old upright which can be refurbished by a piano tech.
Dave Kelley, Seattle

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