Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2: The Better $500 Digital Piano

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Beginners on the lookout for low-cost but high-quality digital pianos have two great options with Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2. Which comes out on top?

Finding a decent digital piano without breaking the bank used to be difficult. Before, if you wanted a high quality instrument that can be used for a long time, you would have to spend at least a thousand bucks – a huge setback for beginners on a budget. 

That isn’t the case nowadays, thanks to lesser known manufacturers coming up with pieces that rival the quality of those made by more established companies. 

Founded only in the 1980s, Alesis is considered by many as a newcomer. But they immediately shot to fame because of their incredibly low pricing. Korg on the other hand. has a longer history which started in the 1960s. And to be more competitive in the market, they had to come up with more-budget friendly options.

The aforementioned companies came up with the Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2 – this review’s featured models. Both are low-cost entry-level digital pianos. But which is the better option, especially for beginners? 

Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2: Comparison Chart

Image
The Winner (#1)
Alesis Prestige Artist - 88 Key Digital Piano with Full Size Graded Hammer Action Weighted Keys, Multi-Sampled Sounds, Speakers, FX and 256 Polyphony
The Runner-up (#2)
KORG B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano with Stand + 3 Pedal Unit bundle with Knox Gear Bench, Music Light and Focus Piano Book/CD (4 Items)
Model
Alesis Prestige Artist
Korg B2
Number of keys
88
88
Hammer Action
Graded Hammer Action
Natural weighted action
Tone Generation
Multi-Sampled Voices
Stereo PCM
Effects
Reverb
Reverb, Chorus
Polyphony
256
128
Layer Mode
-
Split Mode
-
Duo-Mode
-
Number of voices
30
12
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
4 x 2.5" woofer, 4 x 2.5" passive radiators
Two 15W speakers
Pedal
What I like
Price
Price not available
$749.99
The Winner (#1)
Image
Alesis Prestige Artist - 88 Key Digital Piano with Full Size Graded Hammer Action Weighted Keys, Multi-Sampled Sounds, Speakers, FX and 256 Polyphony
Model
Alesis Prestige Artist
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Graded Hammer Action
Tone Generation
Multi-Sampled Voices
Effects
Reverb
Polyphony
256
Layer Mode
Split Mode
Duo-Mode
-
Number of voices
30
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
4 x 2.5" woofer, 4 x 2.5" passive radiators
Pedal
What I like
Price
Price not available
More info
The Runner-up (#2)
Image
KORG B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano with Stand + 3 Pedal Unit bundle with Knox Gear Bench, Music Light and Focus Piano Book/CD (4 Items)
Model
Korg B2
Number of keys
88
Hammer Action
Natural weighted action
Tone Generation
Stereo PCM
Effects
Reverb, Chorus
Polyphony
128
Layer Mode
-
Split Mode
-
Duo-Mode
Number of voices
12
Headphone input
Recording
MIDI
Speakers
Two 15W speakers
Pedal
What I like
Price
$749.99
More info

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2: Full Summary of Differences

Balancing quality and cost has always been an important factor in manufacturing digital pianos, especially entry-level ones. At times, companies succeed. Sometimes, they completely miss the mark and need to do a whole lot of overhauling. 

Korg has had this problem. Their B1, released in 2016, often got bad reviews. It took them a few years to improve on it and, in mid-2019, the B2 came out. It wasn’t a huge hit, to be honest, but many still complimented Korg for trying. 

When Alesis launched the Prestige Artist in 2021, it was marketed as an improved version to the Prestige and a worthier rival to various models like Yamaha’s P45, Casio’s PX S1000, and the Korg B2. 

In this Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2 comparative review, the former wins big 3:1. Check out the full description of this report below: 

Korg B2 uses a naturally weighted action system
Korg B2 uses a naturally weighted action system

Feel 

The Winner: Tie

One component modern digital pianos should have is a realistic feel, specifically referring to the keytops and the mechanism under it. The good news is that both the Korg and Alesis variants are outfitted with equally satisfactory hammer actions, hence the tie. Both, unfortunately, have the same underwhelming keytops.

+Hammer Action

Alesis’ Prestige Artist is outfitted with a graded hammer mechanism, which basically means that the left-most keys are heavier than the right-most ones. 

Korg’s B2, on the other hand, has Natural Weighted action. This is essentially the same as its competition in terms of weight and resistance, that’s why they are matched in this regard. 

+Touch Sensitivity

The subtle nuances in expression is what both players and audiences like to hear. For digital pianos to really emulate this vital feature in acoustic ones, touch sensitivity is a must-have.

Korg B2 has three levels: Light, Normal, and Heavy, while Alesis Prestige Artist has four: Fixed, Soft, Medium, and Hard. The latter may have more but the effect is pretty much the same. 

+Key Texture

One of the biggest complaints users have about entry-level digital pianos is the material used for keytops – plain, smooth plastic that causes the fingers to slip across the keyboard. Sadly, both our featured models have this, falling short of most peoples’ expectations. 

Alesis Prestige Artist is packed with a lot of different instruments
Alesis Prestige Artist is packed with a lot of different instruments

Tone

The Winner: Alesis Prestige Artist

Aside from the feel of the keys, the sound produced by the digital piano is a factor most users give precedence to. While there isn’t a whole lot of difference between our featured models in terms of the methodology used for capturing the sound, the Prestige Artist from Alesis is packed with a whole lot of different instruments, making it the winner here. 

+Tone Generator

Korg and Alesis essentially utilize the same technology: sampling This just means that the sound from a particular instrument is recorded several times from different angles and then combined. The final product is then installed into the digital piano’s system and then ‘played back’ when the keys are hit. 

The B2’s sampling designation is Stereo PCM or Pulse Code Modification. Alesis did not provide a particular name to their sampling technology. But to be perfectly honest, there is no huge difference between the two. 

+Sound Library

The B2 was truly improved from its earlier version especially in this regard. On top of the 12 voices, inclusive of five different grand pianos, Korg made the sound richer and more vibrant than its predecessor.

Unfortunately, the B2 just does not pass muster when weighed against the Prestige Artist. With 30 voices that includes the essentials and a few more uncommon ones (e.g. synth and strings), it really is hard to beat. 

Piano Korg B2 - White
Piano Korg B2 – White

Piano Functions and Features

The Winner: Alesis Prestige Artist

While the two digital pianos are somewhat matched in some factors, it is in this section that the Prestige Artist considerably eclipses its Korg competitor. For a newcomer, Alesis sure knows how to jam-pack a whole lot of useful and interesting components into a lightweight piece.  

+Polyphony

Both the B2 and the Prestige Artist have a polyphony count of 128. This may not be a lot for master pianists but this is good enough for beginners and even intermediate players. 

+Playing Modes

There are three important playing modes high-quality digital pianos should have: Layer, Split, and Duo. Korg only has the Duo, the function that bisects the 88 keys into two, allowing one voice to be played on one side and a second one on the other. The Prestige Artist has Layer (plays two voices at the same time) and Split (divides the 88 keys into two sets that play the same octave).  

+Effects

The two digital pianos were given the barest minimum in this regard – the Prestige Artist with reverb and chorus while the B2 just has the reverb. Fortunately, these effects are some of the most important, particularly for those who will use their instrument for performances. 

+Recording Capability

It is possible to record and immediately do play-backs on the Prestige Artist; just don’t expect amazing quality from it. Korg’s contender does not have built-in recording and playback software. If you want to capture your last practice session, do so in another device through the USB-MIDI connection.  

The Alesis Prestige Artist plays multiple samples
The Alesis Prestige Artist plays multiple samples

+Connectivity

Both instruments can be connected to another device via USB-MIDI, which is a must-have these days since related apps can be downloaded to mobile devices. 

I do have to lament the proprietary pedal jack that Korg has for their B2. In case yours gets damaged, it would be such a hassle to find a replacement when most companies have made theirs generic.      

+Speaker System

Here, I would have to say that the Prestige Artist and the B2 are sort of evenly matched. The former has 4 x 2.5″ woofer and 4 x 2.5″ passive radiators which are impressive enough, external speakers aren’t required. The latter’s two 15W speakers aren’t that bad either. 

Alesis Prestige Artist vs Korg B2: How are These Similar?

Our featured digital pianos are similar in the most basic sense – both are affordable 88-key digital pianos intended for beginners. Sure, they share a few features and functions, but these are not enough to make them interchangeable.

The Korg B2 is not a terrible piece for an undemanding first-timer. Considering this was a passing improvement from its predecessor, it can last for a pretty long time before an upgrade is called for. But to get your money’s worth, the Alesis Prestige Artist is the better choice.   

Quick Rundown of the Alesis Prestige Artist

Alesis Prestige Artist - 88 Key Digital Piano with Full Size Graded Hammer Action Weighted Keys, Multi-Sampled Sounds, Speakers, FX and 256 Polyphony
  • It’s Time to Upgrade your Electric Piano – 88 key piano keyboard with graded hammer action and adjustable touch response for a natural piano feel - for beginner, intermediate and advanced players
  • Packed with Premium Sounds - 30 multi-sampled voices including Grand Piano, Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizers & more; simultaneous Split & Layer modes; built-in arpeggiator; 5 adjustable Reverb FX
  • Authentic Playing Experience - 256 max polyphony provides a superb 88 key piano playing experience; 50W micro-array speaker system sounds loud, clear and realistic in any setting
  • Stage Piano Essentials – OLED screen for intuitive control; Stereo 1/4” outputs; 1/4” and 1/8” (3.5mm) headphone outputs; USB-MIDI output for use with educational software or virtual
  • The Complete Full Size Keyboard Piano Experience - Piano style sustain pedal, music rest, and power adapter included; Lesson & Record Modes to develop your electric keyboard piano skills

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Graded Hammer Action is passable
  • Clear and bright tones
  • Incredibly high polyphony count at 256
  • Wide enough sound library
  • Incredibly user-friendly interface
  • Pretty affordable
Cons
  • Key texture could be better

Quick Rundown of the Korg B2

KORG B2SP 88-Key Digital Piano with Stand + 3 Pedal Unit bundle with Knox Gear Bench, Music Light and Focus Piano Book/CD (4 Items)
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: KORG B2SP 88-Key Natural Weighted Hammer Action Digital Piano with Stand and Three-Pedal Unit, Knox Gear Furniture Style Flip-Top Piano Bench (Black), Knox Gear Rechargeable Music Light (Black), and Focus on Piano - A Concise Approach to Learning & Playing (with CD)
  • SOUND ENGINE: The B2 provides a total of 12 sounds that cover a diverse range of genres, starting with five pristine piano sounds from its new piano engine, and also providing richly distinctive electric piano, organ, harpsichord, and strings. In addition to capturing the enormous tonal range of a grand piano, the meticulously-sampled sounds created for the B2 Digital Piano also reproduce the sympathetic string vibrations and damper resonances that give the piano its character
  • GERMAN PIANO SOUNDS: This world-famous German-made piano is beloved by countless pianists for its diverse range of expressive power. With stunning sonic dynamism and vibrance, its palette ranges from brilliant highs to chillingly detailed lows. The provided sounds include the majestic German concert piano and a Classic piano noted for its delicate and complex tone
  • ITALIAN PIANO SOUNDS: An Italian-made piano with beautifully bright expression and satisfying sustain. Pianists around the world are enraptured by its rich resonance and sensitive responsiveness. The sounds provided are Italian concert piano, a bright-toned Jazz piano, and a beautifully resonant Ballad piano
  • ELECTRIC PIANO SOUNDS: An e-piano reproduces the differences in tone that arise from your playing dynamics and even simulates the sound of a key-off. Conjure electric piano sounds that are instantly recognizable from decades of great music

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pros
  • Hammer Action feels almost like the real thing
  • Has 12 voices, five of which are grand piano
  • Basic Reverb and Chorus effects are pretty good in quality
  • 128-count polyphony – great addition for its price
  • One of the most affordable 88-keys digital pianos
Cons
  • Lacks playing modes needed by beginners
  • Keys are made of smooth plastic
  • Proprietary pedal connector would be hard to replace if damaged

Product Video

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