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.