Arturia KeyLab Essential vs MK3 keybed comparisson

To summarize, my question:

Do they have the same keys? It says that the old version (first) of the KeyLab Essential 49/61 has ‘Velocity-sensitive keys’.

However, on Arturia’s product page for the MK3 version it says that the keys are of “Premium Keybed quality, 49 & 61-note velocity-sensitive keyboard with hybrid synth-piano feel”.

So, is it the same keybed or something towards the higher class Arturia products?

Thank you.

Hey @SoftSynthM thanks for your question.

Honestly I prefer the Keybed of the KL Essential Mk3, you can feel a real difference on the aftertouch Vs. KL Essential.

When playing the KLE-Mk3 it feels just right, not mentioned the great metallic central button and a the nice front panel.
Here is an Overview of the KL Essential Mk3 in case you want to see all its potential.

I hope this information will help you!

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Aftertouch? Where does it say anywhere that the KLE mk3 has aftertouch?

I mean the feeling when you free the key, it feels heavier than the KL-Essential.

Mk3 has also spring-based keys, as the KL Essential had?

@SoftSynthM @Jon_Vincent I confirmed and both KLE and KLE-Mk3 (in 49 and 61) has the same Keybed.

@SoftSynthM I guess you’re confusing the KLE-Mk3 with the KL-MkII.

If you’re looking for a better Keybed I recommend you to check the premium version which is the KeyLab MkII who has aftertouch and a weighted spring-key feeling, it is available in 49 and 61 keys.


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Exactly, yes, sorry, I’ll think the KL-MkII will fit my needs.

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I can confirm that the KL MkII keybed is pretty nice. But why are the black keys so skinny? That makes them a bit uncomfortable and easier to slip off compared to “normal” black keys. Also, maybe the mechanics make this impossible, but you have to press the black keys quite a bit harder than the white ones to engage the aftertouch. Any way the difference can be minimized?

I remember that *ektar *anorama controllers had exactly the same issue years ago. I bought a P4 then and wasn’t pleased with the keybed.

Furthermore, I opened my KLE yesterday to fix a potentiometer, here’s the image from the “inside”.

I’m not sure if this is what they call “spring based” keybed?

PS. Check the black keys mechanic, maybe that is the issues? On my end, I don’t feel any difference between black and white keys, though.

Which version of Keylab essential is in the picture above

The first version of Artuai KeyLab Essentials, (MK1).

Hey @SoftSynthM thanks for sharing,
This picture is from a KL Essential, not from a KeyLab MkII, their keybeds are different between them.

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