Nord Keyboard Reviews – Are They The Best In 2024?

Review Of Nord Keyboards

For as long as I can remember, Nord keyboards have been the industry standard when it comes to professional keyboards. This being said, Nord keyboards are specifically targeted towards professionals.

If you’re someone new to playing the piano, there are some great alternatives that are much cheaper.

So, are Nord keyboards over-rated? My quick thoughts on this are, no they are not over-rated. Are they very expensive? Yes.

Editors Choicenord stafe 4 Nord Stage 4
  • Personal Favorite On This List
  • Roland’s Best MIDI Controller
  • Incredible Zoning Features
  • Great For Gigging
Pianosnord piano 5 Nord Stage Piano 5
  • Highly Durable
  • Solid Key-Bed
  • Great Included Software
  • Great For Touring
Organsnord electro 6D Nord Electro 6D
  • Great Key-Action
  • Compatible With All DAWs
  • 8 Pads
  • Inexpensive

While we get into the specifics of Nord keyboards, later on, my initial thoughts are that they are great for those who can afford them and for those who gig frequently.

Nord Keyboard Overview

Nord Keyboards

The company, Clavia, started creating keyboards back in 1983 under the supervision of Hans Nordelius and Mikael Carlsson.

In 1995, they rebranded to the name Nord and they have kept this branding ever since. The Swedish company hit the mainstream when they launched the Nord Lead in 1995. Sound On Sound called this keyboard, “a magic piece of electronics.”

Since then, Nord propelled itself towards the top when it came to high-end keyboards and they’ve been there ever since.

The Good

So, why are Nord keyboards so expensive? Simply put, Nord keyboards are extremely high-quality.

From incredible sounds to great-key-action, to durability, to ultimate control when playing live, Nord brings it on every level.

I still remember the first time that I got to play on a Nord. It was Nord Stage and the piano/electric piano sounds blew me away.

When you play a Nord, you will notice that stacking sounds and navigating is all set up so that it can be done quickly and effectively live.

You can quickly add and remove effects by hitting a button or turning a knob.

The Bad

Those who play Nord’s are extremely passionate about their keyboards. I’m writing this section, not because I think Nord keyboards are bad, but just to give those who might not know a little insight.

This being said, if I have to pick on Nord’s it would be because of the price. With the growing demand for MIDI controllers, I wonder if the price tag will hold up over the years.

There will always be hardware enthusiasts who are not fans of VSTs, or MIDI controllers, it’s hard to deny some of the things you can do with MIDI controllers.

Nord keyboards, generally speaking, lack speakers. The reason for this is that they make a lot of stage pianos, which are known for not having speakers as you will be running them through the house PA or an amplifier.

For those who are serious musicians, you likely have an amplifier and also probably already know that stage pianos typically won’t have speakers.

Nord Keyboard Reviews

Let’s take a look at some Nord’s most popular keyboards and get into our thoughts on them below!

Nord Stage 3

Best Overall
Nord Stage 3

The Nord Stage 3 is an iconic keyboard that is one of the best options for gigging. The only negative thing about the Stage 3 is its price tag.

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The Nord Stage 3 is one of the most sought-after stage pianos currently available. For those who gig frequently and prefer the hardware route, this is extremely tough to beat.

I had the opportunity to play on one of these for about 2 weeks straight while rehearsing for some acoustic gigs.

I’ve noticed that a lot of studios that we would travel to would have one of these on hand.

So, what makes the Nord Stage 3 so popular?

Well, the keys are very responsive leading way to something that feels quite similar to an acoustic piano.

On top of this, the one thing I go back to with Nord’s is the sounds of the electric pianos and the organs.

The layout may look a little intimidating at first, but after a couple of days of playing the Nord Stage 3, I became comfortable navigating around.

You will find over 13 onboard effects with the Stage 3 including the following:

  • Flanger
  • Phaser
  • Chorus
  • Delay
  • Ring Modulator
  • Tremolo
  • Auto Pan
  • Wah
  • Speaker Simulations
  • Filters
  • Rotary
  • Reverb
  • Compression

Lightweight, Yet Durable

The Stage 3 doesn’t just shine in the sounds department. The durability is impressive with all Nord keyboards as they are practically built for the road.

While they are durable, they’re not terribly heavy. The Stage 3 weighs just 41 lbs, which is not very much considering the quality of it.


The Stage 3 is great for those who need a wide variety of sounds on the tip of the hat.

On top of this, as far as stock sounds go on keyboards, I would argue that the stock sounds of the Stage 3 are some of the best when it comes to organs, pianos, and electric pianos.

Nord Piano 5 Stage

Nord Piano Stage 5

The Nord Stage Piano 4 is a keyboard I've played many times for gigs. It goes without saying, the pianos are tremendous, the key-action is incredible, and the build overall is as durable as they come.

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The Nord Piano 5 is an impressive creation. While it’s similar to other Nord keyboards, it really is targeted at those gigging frequently.

With the Nord Piano 5, we see a slightly different keybed than that of the Stage 3 keyboard. The 4 uses triple sensor keys with virtual hammer action.

As far as presets go, you will find over 400 presets with 16 different banks. For those who are all about the 3 pedal units in traditional pianos, you will be happy to to know that this includes the 3-pedal unit.

The layout is presented in a sleek and clean manner like all Nord’s. Everything is laid out so that you can quickly access what you need by a simple click of a button or turn of a knob.

The two main places I always find myself tweaking sounds is with the delay and reverb knobs. I love reverb on my pianos and I love some delay on my electric pianos.


Overall, The Nord Piano 5 is a solid keyboard that is built for those looking to gig frequently. This is the type of instrument that you will get and likely keep for the rest of your life.

Nord Electro 6D

Nord Electro 6 D

The Nord Electro 6 D has fantastic organs and pads and is another touring rig classic. With incredible waterfall keys, to towering warm organs, the 6D is for your hardcore keyboard enthusiast.

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The Nord Electro 6D has 73 velocity-sensitive waterfall keys. It is commonly used by organ enthusiasts and it is also featured in our best electric organs article.

Should be confused about “waterfall keys,” what this means is that they are rounded at the edges, rather than sharp. This is so you don’t slice your fingers while doing glissandos or palm smearing.

The drawbars on the Electro 6D compete with or outdo any of the other electric organ-type keyboards that I’ve played on. You have some real expression while at the same time, you don’t feel like you’re going to break them.

The Electro 6D makes for a great gigging keyboard once again, as it weighs in at just 20 lbs.

There’s a wide variety of sounds with the Electro 6D and when you equip the sounds with a lightweight and quality build, you get a fantastic product.

This is a keyboard, that when you lift it up, doesn’t feel like it’s 20 lbs. A lot of times you will find keyboards will feel like they were built poorly and are cheap, and isn’t the case with the Electro 6D.


I would recommend this to those with studios. This is the type of keyboard that can be used for so many different types of records ranging from music such as The Killers to Eminem or other hip hop artists.

Wrapping Up

Nord keyboards have been around since the 1980s and I personally don’t see them going anywhere.

Even if music heads down the MIDI controller road, Nord’s will always have a home for hardware enthusiasts.

  1. Thanks for this article, Chris – very informative. I’m an amateur – play in a cover band – and have a two rig set up: A Korg D1, which is a great but very heavy piano, and a Roland VR-0, which is very light but has pretty good organ and synth sounds. Thinking of getting an Electro but not sure about the keybed or the acoustic piano sounds (I played on a couple the other day). And the price is daunting. I’m mulling over the new Studiologic Numa x piano, which is about 1/2 to 1/3 the price of an electro, with very good piano sounds and at 25 lbs saves me 10 lbs over my Korg. Do you have any thoughts for me?

  2. I’ve just put my electro 6D up for sale. I would say the organ sound implementation is first rate, as compared to my hammond sk1 which sits right next to it and is only slightly better. But after a year of trying, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can not get a remotely decent grand piano sound out of the Nord, despite downloading the largest and newest acoustic grand samples. no combinations of EQ, string resonance or any other sample of piano sounds remotely like a natural acoustic piano. I felt this for a long time but finally my entire band had to have an intervention to tell me how bad it was. It boggles my mind that people think the piano sounds great, I have an original yamaha motif from 2002 and the piano is so so much more natural sounding and pleasing to the ear. The nord 6D is shrill in many registers, thin in the bass, and has an unnatural response to velocity that is audible. I thought I must be crazy until I read many other reviews feeling this. I’m going for the new Hammond SK-pro which has a better piano, a mono synth section, and one of the closest things to a real B3 sound. And yes, they are very overpriced and under- populated with memory.

    1. The sk pros piano is worse than the Nord. You’ll see. Organ is about the same. And yes the Yamaha pianos are hard to beat for realism and dynamics. Honestly the s90es is still king.

      1. Ah, yes, I bought a Yamaha S90-es back in 2008 as a present to myself for having successfully made it through a rough six months of chemotherapy. The piano and Rhodes e. piano sounds are still the best, IMHO. I’m seriously thinking about getting the Nord Stage 4, for “all the other stuff”, and intuitiveness. Yamazaki synthetic are nice but about as intuitive as a bidet to a caveman.

  3. Funny that the article states that Nord keyboards are not overrated. Seems like the author of this article has not tried other brands yet. I just bought the Studiologic Numa X piano GT and the action of that key has not comparison with any Nord keyboard. Even the Roland fp30x has greater key action. Fatar keys is the company who makes The key action of these nord pianos. They don’t even put their flagship key action. Not like the studiologic. The Nord piano sound little bit thin for my taste. I rather the yamaha CP88. Also the Yamaha has greater key action and cost almost half what a Nord would be.

    1. Hi Israel,

      Thanks for the comment. It’s entire subjective. I actually own the Numa X Piano GT and the FP30X. I agree that I would choose other keyboards, but Nords are still highly rated and preferred by many touring keyboardists.

      Kind regards,


    2. The sk pros piano is worse than the Nord. You’ll see. Organ is about the same. And yes the Yamaha pianos are hard to beat for realism and dynamics. Honestly the s90es is still king.

    3. I agree 100% and I own 3 versions of the Yamaha (s90es, MOXF8, and Yc) and Nord piano 5. While the Nord piano 5 does sound good, it’s action is a bit sluggish compared to the Yamaha and the dynamics are lacking. As far as price, nords are simply not worth the $.

    4. Hi Israel,

      I own all of these pianos mentioned. Nords still serve a purpose for live bands, in which I state. Yes, the ones you mention are great, but there is a giant audience that loves the sound of Nord.

  4. The sk pros piano is worse than the Nord. You’ll see. Organ is about the same. And yes the Yamaha pianos are hard to beat for realism and dynamics. Honestly the s90es is still king.

  5. Thanks for your review!

    I agree totally. At present I own a 6D and a Stage 3. Both superb. Biold quality unique and feel wonderful. They are, at first, somewhat complex and unique, but so rewarding once you’ve spent some time. I enjoy these keyboards immensely, and look forward to a C2D replacement when it happens.

  6. In the end, it’s all subjective. Which ever keyboard 🎹 speaks to you, that is your instrument. The Japanese products tend to be a little less costly than the European or American products. It was that way in the auto industry.

  7. As a previous Nord Stage owner, I come down squarely on the side of Nord. Don’t get me wrong, most of Clavia’s line of performance keyboards are there simply to fulfill specific purposes. And it is at those purposes that they, in my opinion, blow the rest of the market away. If you need a proper synth, there are loads of dedicated synth manufacturers to scratch your itch. If you need a grand, upright, or electric piano, and a selection of classic vintage organs, buy a Nord.

    1. Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the comment. I have the Nord Stage 3 and it’s fantastic for radio type shows or acoustic shows. For full band, I use a MIDI controller setup with additional synths.

      Kind regards,


  8. Too bad you didn’t try the white grand download, it’s by far the best sampled piano sound on any keyboard, I’ve owned them all, it’s now the only piano sound I need, [playing 55 years] throw in their great new E-pianos now available and great b3 emulation, midi it to an 88 note keyboard for piano if needed, you made a mistake! but yeah, if you don’t download the new stuff they suck! The 5d will load new stuff and cover 95 percent of nords greatness, no need for the stage 2,3,4 piano 5, the 5d with new piano downloads/motif xf or mx 88 is incredible!

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