Korg PaX Series comparison: All thirteen models compared


In this article we take a look and compare the features and specifications of the thirteen models of Korg’s Pa*X line of synthesisers.

There are thirteen models comprising eight distinct models with various key count variations on some.

The Pa1X was launched in 2003 so we are now looking at technology with its roots planted two decades ago. We’ll look at the similarities and significant developments in this line of synthesisers.

We’ll look at Korg’s other line of Pa instruments, including the Pa80, Pa60, Pa50, Pa800 and Pa500 in a separate feature.

Pa1X/Pa1X Pro

Korg Pa1X

In 2003 the 76-key Pa1X Pro was launched, and the following year a scaled down 61-key Pa1X — the only model with built-in speakers — was released. Korg launched these with a combined manual, showing that they were very similar in nature, with the Pro sporting some additional features.

Both keyboards featured semi-weighted action with touch sensitivity and monophonic aftertouch.

Korg Pa1X Pro

Korg used its Hyper Integrated (HI) sound system, boasting 62 note polyphony, 870+ voices, digital drawbars, TC-Helicon voice processor, three pedal inputs, pitch/modulation joystick, assignable sliders, switches and pads, onboard sound sampling, and more.

Interestingly, the cut down version offered the possibility of a user-installable hard drive, with both models able to have a CD read/writer and additional memory installed.

Pa2X Pro

Korg Pa2X Pro

After a three year wait, in 2007 the Korg Pa2X Pro arrived. No ‘downgraded’ smaller non-pro version as for the 1X.

Still 76-key semi-weighted, velocity sensitive with aftertouch keyboard, sound processing is now the EDS (Enhanced Definition Synthesis) Tone Generation System and RX-Sound technology. The same voice processor is on-board. There are over 1000 tones and 400+ ‘live’ styles, a guitar mode for producing authentic-sounding guitar voices, 950+ sounds including some from the Korg OASYS, space for 256 user sounds, onboard sampler, plus a range of controllers.

Pa3X

Korg Pa3X 61-key
Korg Pa3X 76-key

Dropping the ‘pro’ suffix in 2011 with the Pa3X, which comes in two versions – a 61-key organ/synth style and 76-key semi-weighted variant – both featuring velocity and aftertouch.

Sticking with the Korg EDS and RX sound generators, adding in Defined Nuance Control and Natural Ambience Drums sound technology, plus the ability to continue playing the instrument while new sounds are being loaded.

Number of voices and styles have increased, as is expected with newer models.

Korg Pa3X product page.

Pa3X Le

Korg Pa3X Le

Three years later in 2014 came the Pa3X Le, only in 76 key version, upping the polyphony slightly to 128 but really not expanding much upon the Pa3X – in fact several features appear to have been ‘downgraded’ such as the internal memory and audio output options.

Korg Pa3X Le product page.

Pa4X/Pa4X Oriental

Korg Pa4X 61-key
Korg Pa4X 76-key

The Pa4X launched in 2015 offering yet more small additions in voices and accompaniments, a better touchscreen display, much more onboard memory, and some other improvements.

Korg Pa4X Oriental 61-key
Korg Pa4X Oriental 76-key

The Oriental mode in 2016 provided much the same as the Pa4X but with some specific additional voices and features tailored to the oriental market.

Korg Pa4X product page.
Korg Pa4X Oriental product page.

Pa5X

Korg Pa5X 61-key
Korg Pa5X 76-key
Korg Pa5X 88-key

Korg’s latest PaX arranger workstation, launched in 2020. The first in line to come in an 88-key fully weighted version as well as 61 and 76 key models, it also has a built-in guitar processor allowing for a variety of audio effects to be added to an audio input (which doesn’t necessarily have to be a guitar).

Korg Pa5X product page.

Current Model

Only the Pa5X is still available as a new model from Korg, any others would be purchased either as ‘new old stock’ from a dealership or on the second hand market. Hence we have not provided RRPs for the models as this would seem fairly meaningless now.

Specifications

Here’s a spec table for the main features of all eight models.

Pa1XPa1X ProPa2X ProPa3XPa3X LePa4XPa4X OrientalPa5X
Key number61767661/767661/7661/7661/76/88
Key weightSemi-weightedSemi-weightedSemi-weightedSemi-weightedSemi-weightedSemi-weightedSemi-weighted
Semi-weighted (61/76) / hammer action (88)
Key sizeFullFullFullFullFullFullFullFull
Touch responseYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
AftertouchMonoMonoMonoMonoMonoMonoMonoMono
Sound generator
KORG Hyper Integrated
KORG Hyper Integrated
KORG Hyper Integrated
KORG EDS Enhanced Definition Synthesis
KORG EDS Enhanced Definition Synthesis
KORG EDS-X Enhanced Definition Synthesis eXpanded
KORG EDS-X Enhanced Definition Synthesis eXpanded
KORG EDS-X Enhanced Definition Synthesis eXpanded
Polyphony6262120120128128128160
Number of sounds>870>8701007>1100>1100>1900>2000>2200
Accompaniments>450>450409>400>410>580>700>600
Vocal HarmonizerNoNoNoYesYesYesYesYes
Guitar ProcesorNoNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
RecordingYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Sampling
Record, Edit, Time Slice
Record, Edit, Time Slice
Record, Edit, Time Slice, Load/Import, Export
Record, Edit, Time Slice, Compression Tool, Load/Import
Record, Edit, Time Slice, Compression Tool, Load/Import
Full Edit, Time Slice, Sampling feature
Full Edit, Time Slice, Sampling feature
Full Edit, Time Slice, Sampling feature
TutorialsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
MIDI2 in, 2 out2 in, 2 outIn/Out/ThruIn/Out/ThruIn/OutIn/Out/ThruIn/Out/ThruIn/Out/Thru
USBUSB 1.1 Type BUSB 1.1 Type B2x 2.0 and 1x 1.12x 2.0 and 1x 1.12x 2.03x 2.03x 2.03x 3.0, 1x 2.0
Power supplyUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversalUniversal
BatteriesNoNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Speakers
4 Speakers (13 cm Woofer + Dome Tweeter), 2-way, Bass Re?exBox
NoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Audio In2x line, 1x mic2x line, 1x mic2x line, 1x mic2x line, 1x mic1x line, 1x mic2x line, 1x mic2x line, 1x mic
1x mic, 1x guitar, 2x line
Audio Out
2 main, 2 sub, 1 digital
2 main, 2 sub, 1 digital
4x analog, 1x digital
4x analog, 1x digital
2x analog2x analog2x analog5x analog
Sustain pedalYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Expression pedalYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Other pedal
Drawbars88999999
Other control4 pads4 pads4 pads4 pads4 pads4 pads4 pads4 pads
Display
320×240 Color TouchView
320×240 Color TouchView
320×240 Color TouchView
320×240 Color TouchView
320×240 Color TouchView
7” Wide capacitive color TouchView™ TFT display
7” Wide capacitive color TouchView™ TFT display
8” Wide capacitive color TouchView™ TFT display, 800 x 480 resolution
Memory
16MB to 32MB RAM, up to 32MB ROM
16MB to 32MB RAM, up to 32MB ROM
256MB256MB192MB1.5GB1.5GB4GB
Storage
USB, CD, floppy drive
USB, hard driveMicroSD
Hard drive, MicroSD, USB Flash
Hard drive, MicroSD, USB Flash
1GB drive, MicroSD, USB Flash
Release date20032004200720112014201520162020