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Crystal ball opinions on Kronos 2
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Tom Marr



Joined: 22 Feb 2021
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:25 pm    Post subject: Crystal ball opinions on Kronos 2 Reply with quote

I am in the process of purchasing a new Kronos 2. Just sold my 15 year old OASYS.
Trying to guard against buying the K2, then finding out via Summer NAMM that Korg introduced a new keyboard. (Remember I owned the OASYS. Korg stopped abruptly when recession hit.)

No one really knows, but what are thoughts of a new hardware for Kronos?
Upgrades are not an issue, of course.

Thanks for responding!
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GregC
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2021 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Korg is shipping Nautilus

Thats the answer this year.

There will not be a Kronos 3. Or Kronos 2 equivalent with better features.

As you are aware, no one can accurately predict the future.

During 2023, its my guess Korg will launch a high priced keyboard, but it won't much resemble todays 10 yr old Kronos. That would not make much sense.

What exactly does your retailer say about todays Kronos and your concern ?

Thats a direct and accurate question.

Your retailer should give a big picture answer.

If they don't , and you are in the US, call [ use the telephone] Korg USA and be direct.
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Docflick



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems highly unlikely that we will see a true Kronos successor in 2022 or even 2023. I think Korg released the Nautilus as be a way to milk additional $$$ out of 15-year-old Oasys/Kronos tech†for a few more years Ė and widen the potential pool of buyers with a lower cost product (much as Kronos did with Oasys). Korg is just kicking the can down the road on any true Kronos replacement, if that is even on the boards at all.

It would be a shame if Korg decides to hand the workstation market entirely over to Roland and its new Fantom platform (which Roland seems intent on building out for years to come). Especially given all of Korg's proven and innovative tech Ė which could be bundled into an amazing new killer workstation.
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

almost completely in agreement.

Korg has the creative talent, no doubt there.

The logistics and component issues are getting worse.

Folks should understand a Kronos is an assembled key board. They almost completely rely on 3rd parties. And 3rd parties are unreliable, I see no end to the shortages . I bet these 3rd parties are taking advantage of shortages, too.
Thats capitalism.

The logistics, container shipment is getting ridiculous- see whats happening in Long Beach as in example how product is stranded off shore.

You cannot run a profitable product line and rely on this key unreliability.
They cannot sufficiently service a large owner base either IMO.

The "just in time ' manufacturing /assembly ' concept relied on component fluidity and steady supply . Just in Time is impossible.

And what about profitability and providing long term service ?

If it was my business, I wouldn't get involved in any component heavy work station due to the above perfect storm. At a minimum, it seems stressful.

Yamaha makes their own parts. They can overcome some of the above.
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Tom Marr



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:32 pm    Post subject: Kronosí future Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply. I was unaware of the complexities of Korgís process.
Covid has affected everything...
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GregC
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Kronosí future Reply with quote

Tom Marr wrote:
Thanks for your reply. I was unaware of the complexities of Korgís process.
Covid has affected everything...


covid has been a major table flipper.

Some of the larger Asian co's are struggling with supply and logistics.

korg has major reliance as I stated. Its a far different world than 2010 or even 2019.
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Hector Space
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed Covid is a major game changer, but its effects wonít last forever.
I think the amazing thing is about the Kronos is just how future proof it has been considering little has changed since 2011, and not that much from the Oasys. Korg have not only done a good job in getting the future right, but also have been able to reuse their investments in Kronos tech over and over.

And when you look at the current big hitters in the workstation market you realise just how competitive the Kronos still is. The current Fantom for example may have a clutch of usb a type connectors, some extra nicely lit knobs and a splash of red across the back, but itís basic synthesis model is still the same 4 part PCM engine from back beyond 2005.. Roland was selling it off cheap when I bought my Juno Di in 2010! HD1 blows it out the water. And Rolandís super natural pianos donít in any way match the hard disk streaming SGX2 pianos of the Kronos. Ok so thereís zen core... which is basically just a Linux engine with a pretty small amount of flash memory.. really Roland have done one main thing with all this.. theyíve signalled theyíre moving their income stream to internet delivered apps that can be loaded into your compatible Roland hardware.. so whatís new.. basically Korg have already driven this step hard and can easily step up the competition because all the core parts are in place.
The future is software apps not hardware. As long as youíve got an established user base you will be able to create an income stream. The Kronos , if Iím not mistaken could easily be that user base.

Just image plug apps that you download from you Korg account... etc. Etc..
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Docflick



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hector Space wrote:

I think the amazing thing is about the Kronos is just how future proof it has been considering little has changed since 2011, and not that much from the Oasys ... The current Fantom for example may have a clutch of usb a type connectors, some extra nicely lit knobs and a splash of red across the back, but itís basic synthesis model is still the same 4 part PCM engine from back beyond 2005. Roland was selling it off cheap when I bought my Juno Di in 2010! HD1 blows it out the water. And Rolandís super natural pianos donít in any way match the hard disk streaming SGX2 pianos of the Kronos.


Yes indeed. I was enticed to buy Fantom by its phenomenal UI Ė Roland really did an exceptional job in developing a "fun," easy, and high quality experience in how one interacts with the instrument. Korg could learn a few tricks there.

That said, everything you stated above, in my view, is right on the money. In terms of overall sound and feature-set, as a workstation, Kronos still stands head and shoulders above the Fantom, in my view. Even with its relatively ancient OS and hardware. I have more fun with the Fantom, but I get more done with the Kronos, for sure. YMMV
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GregC
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going to challenge the historical and conventional Kronos opinion.

I am reading above, what I define as Camp 1 and camp 2 Kronos owners.

I get the enthusiasm.

Yet, when I talk to Kraft and SW, Kronos is not #1 for new buyers, the buyers new to Montage/MODX, new to Fantom, new to Kronos.

Kronos is not the #1 or #2 choice among this niche group, willing to spend +$2000 or $3000.

I understand the main point, some are saying Korg doesn't have to do anything.

Thats evident, as Korg has done Zero for Kronos past 3 years. So Korg agrees with the do-nothing approach to the expensive keyboard w/s.

So if you are not in the #3 critical " what have you done lately " camp of Kronos
owners, thats ok. There are buyers that watch and are aware of Korgs silence on Kronos.

I also believe its 99% financial, Korg puts the $$$ on other new products. Its up to them, how they play the market. I simply watch what new Korg product intro's every year.

One more decent OS rev for Kronos would have been a solid move by Korg. But its not happening.
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Hector Space
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get that a flagship product is a flag ship product for one reason. That is it acts like a beacon at the head of the brand. In many ways workstations are low volume lost leaders in most other ways.

The investment in the top end of the market is all about a statement. The Kronos was this. And beyond the icon part of the value has been the trickle down technology to many of its other products. Once you move to the Linux in a box structure you open many doors for reuse and scaling. An Korg has done this in spades. In hybrids like the Raspberry Pi in the Wave State, in the Nautilus and in their IOS apps etc..

Korg saw the coming of the DAW and its merger with cloud services back in 2011. Really Rolandís Zen Core system is testament to this being a fact.

Just like the humble PC.. is Windows 10 really any better than Windows XP?
Yes itís got extra tons of user app bloat but fundamentally the core system and functions are equivalent. Win 10 exists largely because of commercialism. The truth is as far as audio processing is concerned hardware tech has really not moved on much in the last 10 years. Yes you can have nicer interfaces and better wireless connectivity but actually as far as sound is concerned fidelity is pretty much a given now.. maybe you can get more notes and more timbrality but actually does that sell?

Look at the ASM Hydra Spa.. Itís innovative but built on a very tight ship using limited DSP power (compared to a DSI prophet 12!!) so itís niche. Without the direct links with Medeli it would not exist. And so (as youíve already pointed out!) this is an issue with OEM assemblers like Korg.. What are they selling? and what is their USP? My answer is software.

Monetisation of cloud services is the challenge for all the big players because its potential revenue stream will dwarf hardware sales and open doors to completely new ways of doing stuff.. But I think it may well reduce competition just like has happened with Google and Facebook. So to ignore it would be a mistake.

All this leads to the fact that yes.. Korg will need a new flagship but it will do the big player thing and wait for itís turn in the anti competitive cycle with Roland and Yamaha. In the meantime, for the next few years, it would be perfectly reasonable to begin to see a revised OS for the Kronos and an enhanced cloud portal that allowed Korg to monetise plug in app engines on the Kronos platform. This would be a pretty reasonable sized market with a medium (future proofed) investment.

We could easily see new plugins like a new SGVm virtual piano engine (Yes if Pianoteq can make such a thing run on a Raspberry Pi...) a revamped CX3 maybe CX3+.. And an enhanced HD1 engine HD2 with improved filters and better anti aliasing .. Enhanced connectivity. And since most of the interface on the Kronos is soft.. we might even see this getting revamped to suit the future because sooner or later Korg will be delivering it.

The value of this is it is incremental development within an established consumer base (walled garden) and if Korg donít do it theyíve got a big wall to climb when and if they come back with the Kronos 3 😊
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Track 7
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hector Space wrote:
Korg saw the coming of the DAW and its merger with cloud services back in 2011. . . .

Monetisation of cloud services is the challenge for all the big players because its potential revenue stream will dwarf hardware sales and open doors to completely new ways of doing stuff. . . .

In the meantime, for the next few years, it would be perfectly reasonable to begin to see a revised OS for the Kronos and an enhanced cloud portal that allowed Korg to monetise plug in app engines on the Kronos platform. This would be a pretty reasonable sized market with a medium (future proofed) investment.

We could easily see new plugins like a new SGVm virtual piano engine (Yes if Pianoteq can make such a thing run on a Raspberry Pi...) a revamped CX3 maybe CX3+.. And an enhanced HD1 engine HD2 with improved filters and better anti aliasing .. Enhanced connectivity. And since most of the interface on the Kronos is soft.. we might even see this getting revamped to suit the future because sooner or later Korg will be delivering it.

The value of this is it is incremental development within an established consumer base (walled garden) and if Korg donít do it theyíve got a big wall to climb when and if they come back with the Kronos 3 😊

Interesting. Today, after two or three weeks of window shopping for other workstations and hitting dead ends, I spent quite some time reading about PreSonus Sphere. Every couple of years I grow restless with my Kronos and get to thinking about life beyond it. If Korg had some kind of cloud sound garden as you describe, I might not be looking beyond my current fence toward greener grass beyond. Last time this happened, I ended up doing nothing (too many options) and kept my Kronos after all. This time I'm not so sure, as Sphere looks like some pretty green grass with no end to future growth. What was it Chance the Gardener said in Being There? Smile
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If they only patched up the kronos interface with some of the Nautilus stuff, it could stretch its life for another 5 years.. if they can still find CPUís for it..

The only reason i see for a Kronos update is if they run out of components to keep producing the current one... thats why we had the X and the Kronos 2 in the first place..
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Hector Space
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding soft synths and vst and iOS apps: The big issue with these is obsolescence is out of the hands of the developer. As a customer you are faced with a short lifecycle if your developer ceases to support the commercial platform on which you run your app. This happens all the time and adds support costs to all soft products that run on mainstream commercial platforms. Yes I still have a copy of Cubase from 1996 and Yes I have a win98 machine dedicated to run it!!!

Korg have with the Kronos avoided the continual bleed of resources into platform maintenance. This is because theyíve created an independent environment that is relatively free from updates and changes. Sure thereís hardware obsolescence but in terms of churn thereís clearly been far more years of stability afforded by their approach than on any soft synth.

Secondly regarding Kronos hardware: No 1: the walled garden already exists because there are several thousand Kronosís out there all with the potential of upgrade without any hardware changes. No 2: If Korg wishes to continue selling Kronosís then replacing the motherboard with a more recent non-obsolete product is perfectly feasible. One thing that hasnít changed much is PC hardware compatibility. Sure there would be a need to revamp some of the driver code but by and large most of the current Linux based code will port over without much work.

So I donít think either of these are challenges to the potential of the Kronos.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hector Space wrote:
...No 2: If Korg wishes to continue selling Kronosís then replacing the motherboard with a more recent non-obsolete product is perfectly feasible. One thing that hasnít changed much is PC hardware compatibility. Sure there would be a need to revamp some of the driver code but by and large most of the current Linux based code will port over without much work.


I do agree. One guy did it some times ago (https://marcan.st/2016/06/hacking-and-upgrading-the-korg-kronos/) . If one guy alone can do it, what could we say of Korg !!!

That's one way I've imagined for a kind of Kronos renewal : a Kronos hardware enhancement kit containing for example : new motherboard with its processor and fans, memory sticks, DVDs software upgrade.

This can of kit could be sold to final user, resellers or repair shop. There is no technical obstacle to that !
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Bachus
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hector Space wrote:
Regarding soft synths and vst and iOS apps: The big issue with these is obsolescence is out of the hands of the developer. As a customer you are faced with a short lifecycle if your developer ceases to support the commercial platform on which you run your app. This happens all the time and adds support costs to all soft products that run on mainstream commercial platforms. Yes I still have a copy of Cubase from 1996 and Yes I have a win98 machine dedicated to run it!!!

Korg have with the Kronos avoided the continual bleed of resources into platform maintenance. This is because theyíve created an independent environment that is relatively free from updates and changes. Sure thereís hardware obsolescence but in terms of churn thereís clearly been far more years of stability afforded by their approach than on any soft synth.

Secondly regarding Kronos hardware: No 1: the walled garden already exists because there are several thousand Kronosís out there all with the potential of upgrade without any hardware changes. No 2: If Korg wishes to continue selling Kronosís then replacing the motherboard with a more recent non-obsolete product is perfectly feasible. One thing that hasnít changed much is PC hardware compatibility. Sure there would be a need to revamp some of the driver code but by and large most of the current Linux based code will port over without much work.

So I donít think either of these are challenges to the potential of the Kronos.


Mac is pretty stable and seems well supported, even going to the new M1 structure most companies invest in adapting.


When you look at the new Unify 1.4 host by Pluginguru, it feels like an oldfashioned workstation in software form.. which should also work extremely well in combination with the good old kronos..
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