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658021 Posts in 9261 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 46 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: Keyboards  (Read 1123 times)
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Gracelette
Registered user

Posts: 1400


« on: Sep 11, 2007, 07:41:52 AM »

I need a keyboard and the two music shops in Bologna have very few boards to try out.

It needs:
* A decent piano sound for quiet solo bits and loud 'playing with a band' bits
* A decent sound when fed through speakers/amps etc and not just a nice headphone sound
* To be under 700 euros (and I'd really prefer something at the 400 euros mark)
* To be light and durable enough to gig with (max. 25 kilos, I reckon)

It should probably have:
* Properly weighted keys since my bandmate is an actual decent pianist and since I get freaked out by the feel of non-weighted keys
* Some nice non-cheesy brass and organ sounds (or the possibility of getting an expansion card to cover those)
* 76 or 88 keys (preferably 76 but w/evs)
* The ability to be used as a controller

It would be nice to have:
* Aftertouch (though I dunno how that would work with properly weighted keys?)

It really really does not need to have:
* Live sampling abilities
* Sequencing abilities
* On-board recording abilities
* Built-in speakers (unless they can be used as monitors while the sound is being fed through actual speakers - apparently some models give you an either/or option)

While I understand that, in an ideal world, I'd play every board under the sun until I figured out which one I liked, the reality is that I'm probably gonna have to pay 30 euros just for the train ride to whoever's selling this stuff secondhand and so I would really like to be pretty sure of what I'm going for before that point.

I am not adverse to getting a controller and a rack if anyone thinks that is a better thing to do. Nor am I adverse to getting a simple decent digital piano and then something non-weighted with better non-piano sounds if that works out to around the same price. I've basically accepted that, between guitars and accordions and speakers, I'm at the limit of pedestrian portability as it is and this board is not for lugging to rehearsals (we can use the rehearsal room's stuff for that) but only to gigs, where we're gonna need something on wheels anyway to transport all our crap. So one board, two boards, w/evs.

So far, what I have figured out is:

1) I like the feel of the two Yamaha boards I played (P70 and ES Motif something or other - especially the piano on the P70) but I keep reading reviews that say that Yamaha boards are not very good for live bands because their audio outputs are lame? This worries me. And I don't really know enough about this stuff to know.

2) The Roland board I played (FP2) said it had weighted keys but they felt really plasticky and I wasn't a fan of the feel or the sound (though I didn't explore the sounds much).

3) It is very very confusing trying to wade through all the things on offer.

The secondhand sellers of Italy are currently offering:

* Korg SP200 for 400 euros (in my city)

* Kurzweil SP88 for 600 euros (in my city)

* Yamaha S80 for 650 euros (3 hour train ride away)

So, my questions to you, LPTJ, are:
1) Does anyone have anything good/bad to say about any of those three boards?
2) Based on my requirements, what other boards would you recommend?
3) Is there anything else I should be looking out for that I'm not even aware I should be looking for?

Thank you!
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C of heartbreak
Registered user

Posts: 5285


« Reply #1 on: Sep 11, 2007, 09:14:02 AM »

I've never experienced any of those. However, I can vouch for the quality of Yamaha keyboards, and every one I have played actually sounded better through a speaker than it did through headphones.

But that Korg for 400 seems like a pretty good deal.
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Good Intentions
Registered user

Posts: 13882


« Reply #2 on: Sep 11, 2007, 09:21:24 AM »

I agree that that Korg looks to have a really good price: Korgs are prime quality keyboards. I also second the fact that Yamahas have very good sound quality, but I can't say anything about their outputs, which would be a problem.
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maggiego
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Posts: 1331


« Reply #3 on: Sep 11, 2007, 09:22:49 AM »

Thirded on the Korg.
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Gracelette
Registered user

Posts: 1400


« Reply #4 on: Oct 16, 2007, 05:46:19 AM »

Hey - if anyone is curious about what happened with this, the Korg SP200 guy messed me around a lot so I stopped calling. Then I tried a Korg SP250 (unexciting piano sound, lame lack of functions - e.g. inability to save user-edits, just not much fun), a Korg SG Pro X (lots of MIDI controller functions and an OK piano sound, but I just didn't take to the keys or the action), and a Yamaha P90.

The Yamaha P90 I loved from before the dude even switched on the power, just from the way the keys felt beneath my fingers. Then when he actually plugged the thing into the speaker... man, I just got that giddy feeling, y'know... "this is very clearly my instrument."

The piano and electric piano sounds are gorgeous and it's got *such* a lovely dynamic response. With the SG Pro, I was messing around with it for ages just trying to find a voice that worked, whereas with the P90, I was messing around with it for ages just because it was so much fun to play, it was close to an acoustic instrument in terms of the range of expression it offered. I have actually had the opportunity to play around with an actual grand piano recently, so this was maybe why I was more fussy about the Korgs, both their sound and, even more, the playing action. There was no problem with the P90 output, as had been suggested by online reviews - it plugged straight into an active speaker, not unlike my own, and sounded great. It only weighs 16kg, which is fine to pick up, although I'm enlisting help to move it from the vendor's home to mine (2-hour train ride away) because the length of the thing (it's a full 88-key jobbie) makes the weight hard to shift up and down train station stairs etc.

As far as I can tell, it's as new. And it's setting me back only 500 euros. Given that this price includes a sustain pedal, a sturdy looking support stand, and a semi-rigid trolley case, I am very very happy right now.

I am so excited to get this home and start playing with it.

Here endeth my keyboard-buying saga  Very Happy
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C of heartbreak
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Posts: 5285


« Reply #5 on: Oct 16, 2007, 06:45:09 AM »

Congrats! I'm glad you were able to find something at a good price.  Like I said, I'm a fan of Yamahas, so I'm glad you like that one. Good luck with it.
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SPACERACE
Registered user

Posts: 12155


« Reply #6 on: Oct 16, 2007, 10:27:36 AM »

very nice. good to see you found one you love.
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Almanzo
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Posts: 1109


« Reply #7 on: Oct 16, 2007, 06:14:01 PM »

Roland Juno G (not D)
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milesofsparks
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Posts: 5200


« Reply #8 on: Oct 16, 2007, 08:51:18 PM »

that is so awesome, Grace!  will we get to hear your new keyboard in Mortal Kollab?
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Gracelette
Registered user

Posts: 1400


« Reply #9 on: Oct 17, 2007, 04:42:00 AM »

Thank you all! Just sorry I cannot write a drunken celebratory song a la Milly.

No new keyboard on the Mortal Kollab, miles, cos I dropped out of it. Maybe the next forum project.

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