I used to learn piano when I was little and now I'm considering to start again as a complete beginner. I don't know how long this is going to stick so I'm going for a used instrument.

I found a not-so-local list for a used Korg SP-250 for about $250. I only have the photo of it avaliable to me right now, and it seems that it has suffered some cosmetic damages (dotty stains on speaker grille, scratch on far right keys and chips that I've not been able to identify from the photo but seller mentions it). The seller claims that everything functions okay.

A quick research says that Korg is a respected brand in keyboards and this model is quite old. (Amazon last sold one in 2015 and it was discontinued) In fact, the age does make me a bit anxious. I do not know much about keyboards and I don't have anywhere else to turn. This is from a private seller, so there will be no way out if things go south.

Since I don't know how to interpret the spec-sheet, what is this keyboard, and is it okay? What should I look for, test for, and which questions should I be asking the seller?

  • 1
    Asking specifics about this particular k'bd will get the question closed - but the title is in its favour.
    – Tim
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 13:25
  • The only way to decide whether you like it would be to play it. As that's out of the question, you're just going to have to make the call. No-one can help you on that. Caveat emptor… which is why I'd always buy from a music shop (in normal times)
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Mar 10, 2021 at 13:33

1 Answer 1


You're right to be looking at something with weighted keys and 88 notes if learning piano is your ultimate goal.

Weighted keys enable you to achieve a range of volumes by responding to the force you apply to them. Some synthesiser/keyboards are not 'touch sensitive' at all. Others often only provide a much more limited sensitivity.

Weighted keys also mimic the feel of a traditional piano (to varying degrees of success).

A full-size piano has 88 notes. 88 notes provides a far greater tonal range than smaller keyboard formats, such as the popular 61 note styles. Many, many popular piano pieces require an 88 note keyboard to be played, and even if you are interested more in improvisation/composition, an 88 note keyboard provides a greater capacity for expressive potential.

You might also consider whether any keyboard you buy comes equipped with one or more expression pedals (Usually a damper/'soft' pedal and a sustain pedal, which 'holds' onto the note when depressed). These can be purchased separately, providing the keyboard has an appropriate input (most do, but it's worth checking).

As for buying second-hand from a seller who lives a long way away, simply as him or her to send a short video of every note being played in succession. This will identify important mechanical and/or tonal issues. If they are not willing to this simple task, look elsewhere.

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