Korg KRONOS 2 Discontinued?
It appears that after 11 years, Korg have decided to discontinue the KRONOS line of music workstations, leaving the Nautilus as their new “top of the heap.”
Prior to yesterday, the KRONOS occupied several spaces in the “Music Workstations” section of the Korg website. If you do a little digging, you will find that KRONOS has now taken its place in Korgs “Product Archive” section.
I’m neither surprised nor upset by this turn of events. It was inevitable that Korg would move on eventually. Eleven years is a long time in the flagship workstation category, after all. The parts it’s based on are getting scarce — its Intel motherboard was discontinued not long after the KRONOS was introduced. And, almost all of the other major manufactures have had newer products out for a couple of years now, the Roland Fantom being probably the most advanced new workstation-class synthesizer on the market today, especially now that it’s been through a few operating system upgrades. There are many other amazing new general/performance synths on the market now — a workstation is simply one that has a complete or nearly complete facility for composing and producing complete songs. And that’s a special class in which nothing has really been able to compete with the KRONOS until very recently. Some would argue that KRONOS still has no equal, though I believe that at least Roland is getting really close.
It’s quite possible that the time of the music workstation is at an end, as people have been turning more and more to computers — in the studio, in the home, and on stage — as their “weapon of choice” when it comes to music creation. Alternatively, the power of an iPad has become formidable, and they’ve become a quite capable music production platform. Still others have turned “old school” with multitrack recorders and a plethora of standalone synthesizers and hardware sequencers.
My personal approach will be to stick with the KRONOS on stage. For one thing, mine is only just over a year old, and I’ve really come to enjoy its capabilities as a performance keyboard. I have absolutely no plans to retire the KRONOS simply because it’s been discontinued — it should be a viable instrument for years to come. I do intend to get a bigger controller, probably the Nektar Panorama T6, to use in place of the Arturia Minilab to give me more capability on stage. I am considering acquiring some spare parts, in case I do need a repair and parts can’t be found. Honestly, if I had the money, I’d buy another whole KRONOS right now — it’s still that good and the Nautilus is really not a replacement as it lacks the realtime controllers and aftertouch that I’ve come to depend on.
So, yeah, the KRONOS is discontinued, and I’m not really all that concerned. I’m just happy I was able to get one when I did.
Workstation all the way for me on stage!!!! No PC or iPad for me when performing live. I use the Konos, Montage and Fantom6 at all gigs. I wouldn’t choose one over the other…All 3 are kinda like my wife and my girlfriends..lol
Agreed! I love my Kronos 2-61 and just for fun, I’m thinking about picking up a used Oasys…it’s looks awesome and still sounds incredible….I’ve played so many workstations it’s hard to pick a favorite, but my heart has always been with Korg and shall remain with Korg
Well, if I’m honest, I’m a little less than happy with mine right now. It’s developed a habit of going silent for no apparent reason, and occasionally locking up completely. In most cases, it’s been when playing or loading piano sounds. I opened it up and reseated all the connectors I could (some were actually glued in place!), but that didn’t cure the problem. Over the weekend, I replaced the SSD. If nothing else, it vastly improved the startup time, but it remains to be seen if the problem is cured.
If, and it’s a big if at the moment, I keep gigging in cover bands, I’m probably going to have to retire the Kronos from the road. Whatever I get to replace it will also have to play well with more electronic-based music and fit better into my Ableton Live centric production.
Heh, I still have an Oasys 88. I never switched to Kronos because it felt flimsier. The interface is just so good, if they continue along these lines I can’t see buying a Korg ever again.
Nothing wrong with the OASYS! If it had still been a thing when I bought the Kronos, I might have gone for it. The selling points for the Kronos over an OASYS for, though, would have been the newer pianos and electric pianos. I only got the 61-key, because I like the lighter action for organs and synths — and I like the lighter weight for my chronically-bad back!
I have a Korg Kronos 88 and a Nord Stage 2 Ex 76and the combination is perfect for my needs. Both have hammer action weighted keys. The Kronos stays home and my 35 lb Nord is the Swiss Army knife of performance keys. Since both can totally nail a B3 I can use them as upper and lower manuals with 2 Leslie’s
I have owned the Kronos 88 for 5+ years now. I tried last year to do a gig with my M1 based IPad Pro. I used KeyStage and a number of virtual synths. It was a disaster. 20 min into the gig the IPad crashed and I could not for the life of me get KeyStage to fully work again on the gig. This after two weeks of programming everything without a single hiccup. Fortunately, the singer lived around the corner and had a Yamaha Portasound he went and grabbed on break and I finished the gig on it. I wanted to use the IPad to have a smaller rig that weighed less. That didn’t work out. So to accommodate my idea of a smaller rig, I bought a Kronos 61 last December. But when I put it on the stand with my 88 and saw the two of them there, I knew that I HAD to run my rig in “beast mode” with both of them. So that’s my current live rig. Two Kronos, an 88 and 61. Other than load in and load out, I’m in heaven and the joy of having that much flexibility and power offsets the packing in and out, not to mention the stability. I was fortunate to get the 61 two months before the Kronos was discontinued. I’ll run this rig into the ground before getting something new. I had a Korg T3 I bought back in 1992 and used it up until about 2010 so I tend to get a lot of mileage from my boards.
I love my Kronos 2-61, too. It’s actually a little overkill for me, but I’ve only run into a couple of things it doesn’t excel at. I, too, wish it were a bit lighter. I’m gettin’ too old to be draggin’ this much stuff around! LOL!
I bought the Kronos Ii 88 SE in red almost 2 years ago. It’s still new in the box. I finally have to space to build my music room! I’ll have my Motif XF8, Kronos and my Roland Jupiter 80(also new in box). It’s all I need and can’t wait to create!
Interested in selling your Kronos SE
I don’t own an SE. I own a 2-61, but I’m not interested in selling that.
While the computer is fine as a DAW, I will never consider it a capable replacement for a synthesizer in a performance environment — I’ve seen things go sideways with computers on stage far too many times. I would love to see a Kronos-alike that was simply a synth without all the DAW trappings embedded, as I don’t use a DAW to its full capacity at any rate.
Do one thing, and do it well. And do it right. As far as the Nautilus goes, the lack of sliders on it makes it a total loss if I ever needed to replace my Kronos with something that isn’t a Kronos. “Close to the Edge” and a couple other songs absolutely demand the ability for real-time fade-ins and volume adjustments on a per-layer basis.
Roland will never get my money (again), for multiple reasons, one of them being that their equipment of late feels like toys. Korgs are tanks, and they are well worth the lug factor in transporting from one place to another.
I feel the same way, Jace. I tried computers on stage, and it just wasn’t been my cup of tea. Of course, we both feel this way about the computers, but the reality is that our Kronoses (Kroni?) and the Nautilus really are little PCs — the CPU board is pretty much a standard Intel MiniATX motherboard with an Atom processor running a custom Linux build, so I do get a little nervous some nights. So, it’s a bit of a conundrum, really. Most modern keyboards are some sort of computer at their core, so I’m beginning to think we may be headed towards being forced down the PC (or some sort of computer) in our rigs.
And, I know keyboardists who swear by Mainstage or a similar program and a laptop, and they tour with them with great outcomes. With the prices of good stage keyboards being what they are, it’s less expensive to get good controllers and carry a couple of computers in case one fails. I can get a couple of nice controllers and a couple of laptops and a couple of small interfaces for less than the price of one Kronos or Fantom. So, maybe it is a way to go. I just don’t know anymore.
I’m also sure that Korg is going to have to come out with something to counter Roland, especially after Roland came out with the Fantom 0-series to compete with the Nautilus. Of course, Korg has been rapidly bringing out software versions of smaller synths like the Wavestate and the OpSix. Some people are hoping for a software version of the Kronos, which would certainly be possible. Besides porting the product to Windows or MacOS, the biggest hurdle would be replacing the custom hardware interfaces, and that would mostly involve the touchscreen. The existing keyboard interface is a custom serial device, but existing controllers work just fine over USB or MIDI.