Korg Kronos vs Nautilus

Korg Nautilus

| What would I choose? |

tldr? Check bottom of this article.

As the new Nautilus workstation becomes more and more available, people are wondering whether it is worth buying a Nautilus or a new or used Kronos.
I too have been thinking about buying a Korg Nautilus. The reason for this was that my Korg Kronos had a problem: every so often it would hang and give an error.

After trying some possible fixes I was done and wanted either a new Kronos or a Nautilus.
Searching the internet I came across very little information about the difference between the 2 workstations. And whether it was worth it.

Kronos vs Nautilus

I’ve compiled a list of considerations:

I noticed that many people actually want a 73-key workstation that doesn’t have weighted keys. If you are such a person then you should go for the Nautilus.

Aftertouch, yeah, some people use it a lot to get an additional way of expression and many other people don’t even know what it is. It’s when you press a key fully down and then press even more. Like, you hit the bottom and then press a little deeper. That’s aftertouch. You could assign a tremolo on aftertouch for a classical guitar. Or a filter to a lead synth. I would miss it, since I use it a lot.

The Kronos has KARMA, KARMA stands for Kay Algorithmic Realtime Music Architecture. Karma was created in collaboration between Korg and Karma-Lab. It is an advanced technology to give a workstation full musical accompaniment that goes far beyond an arpeggiator or keyboard accompaniment. Personally, I think KARMA sounds a lot better than the current state of the Nautilus arpeggiator. Compare it with the KARMA software for the Yamaha Motif series and the Motif’s built-in arpeggiator.

Yes the Kronos has a bigger screen, but you can clearly see that there has been a lot of development on the interface of the Nautilus. So this is a matter of taste. Also, the new Operating System of the Nautilus is still 32-bit, which means that no more than 4GB of memory can be addressed, so 1GB is reserved for the Kronos system, 1GB is not used (If I’m correct) and 2GB is available for you to use for samples and other things you like to save like sequences etc.

I’ve listened to both engines and to me the sound (apart from KARMA / Arps) is quite the same for most of the time. My impression is that the Nautilus is definitely not a new flagship but and in-between synth workstation, just like the Korg Krome, but much better than the Krome. The Nautilus just doesn’t blow the Kronos out of the water.

What about price: a new Kronos still costs a lot, but then you have warranty (which is important, because as you know I’ve had trouble with my Kronos 2, I fixed the problem, but it wasn’t an easy fix), so if you want new and money is a thing: buy Nautilus. If you don’t care about getting a second hand workstation then I’d go for the second hand Kronos. But then again, you don’t have warranty.

Please be advised, this is just my opinion, make you decisions at your own risk 🙂

Update: the Kronos problem (error) came back. I sold my Korg Kronos (2015) version and bought a Nautilus. I have to say, it works fine. I don’t miss the Karma function, the arpeggiator is quite good. I don’t miss aftertouch either. The Nautilus performs well in my coverbands. I’m glad I have it. Btw: the Kronos isn’t sold anymore. Therefore this website is doing not so many updates anymore. Also Michel Keijzers who developed PCG Tools is moving on to VST’s (which I am too in combination with Nautilus and Akai MPC Keys).