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#2242457 - 11/02/10 04:35 PM Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase?
t-healy Offline
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Registered: 10/05/10
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Loc: Ca
I am looking for a Yamaha Keyboard that has stage quality sounds in mono/stereo for live performances and as well as for recording. I also want to be able to do sequencing and recording. I will be using the keyboard for stage performances for gigs/churches/parties (using mostly acoustic piano samples and layering, rhodes, EPís, and synths/pad sounds). I have been reading into the many posts about the CP-5, Motif XF-8 and the S90XS. (pepsi challenge, comparison between cp-5vs nord stage ex)I am unsure what to do.

I have been leaning toward purchasing the CP-5, mostly a gut reaction. Many of you posted and agreed that the acoustic pianos are awesome and the EPís are decent. You have the ability to EQ, and edit low, mid, and high frequencies which comes in handy. I found that some people had trouble with recording in mono/stereo. I love the layering function along with ability that allows you split anywhere on the keyboard. The rhode sounds are nice and you can tweek other effects as well. If I remember correctly, there are fewer synths/pads than I would have hoped smirk I want to be able to use pads/synth for fills. I am really bummed that the CP-5 doesnít have a modulation wheel as all the synth/workstations do.

On the other hand, the motif xf-8 just about has everything anyone would ever dream of in producing. Sounds are a little warmer than the previous Motif XS, I think. Is the price of $3500 worth it, I donít really know?

As for the S90XS, most of you said that the APís are okay and overall the board is okay.

Currently, I own a Korg Triton that I have used for the past 7 years or so. I am ready to update. I want to buy something for stage presence and something that I can depend on until that next best technology rolls around.


Any advice? What should I buy? What other Yamaha keyboards, if any, should I consider? How would you rate the sound of the recordings done on these keyboards?

***And lets just say price is not a factor. cool


Thanks!
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#2242461 - 11/02/10 04:50 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
CEB Offline
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MOTIF XF-8 if you are tech savy. That thing will even purculate your morning coffee for you.
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#2242496 - 11/02/10 07:06 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: CEB]
HammondDave Offline
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Or if you don't need flash memory... the Motif XS 7/8
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#2242543 - 11/02/10 09:46 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: HammondDave]
Tonysounds Offline
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FOr you S90XS/S70Xs owners, here's a couple questions: In PERFORMANCES, you can take a zone in/out with a dedicated button;
do Masters work the same way? And from what I could ascertain online, Performances and Masters are still 4 zones? But Multis can be 16 zones, but obviously won't have the dedicated button move. Do I have this about right?
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#2242549 - 11/02/10 10:07 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Tonysounds]
MAJUSCULE Offline
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Uh, why only Yamaha?
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#2242550 - 11/02/10 10:15 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: MAJUSCULE]
jimmymio Offline
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Don't rule out the S90ES. It's a great board and can be had rather inexpensively these days.
JP
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#2242555 - 11/02/10 11:22 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: jimmymio]
Tonysounds Offline
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Yeah, I love my S90es machines.
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#2242560 - 11/02/10 11:53 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Tonysounds]
Marzzz Offline
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This one:


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#2242569 - 11/03/10 01:32 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
larico Offline
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You mentioned you would be using this new board for live gigs and dollars are not the main concern - that would steer me towards the XF-8.

If the XF-8 will provide you with the tones you need right now, and I imagine it probably does, you might also want to consider the fact that the sounds you're going to want down the road will most likely be different. All you have to do is change to a different band, and all of a sudden you have a completely new set of patch requirements. If you think in those terms, as well as what you gotta have right now, I think the XF-8 would probably be the best choice. It seems like a board you could have for a long time - there's a lot of versatility there.

The XF-8 is loaded with high quality sounds and editing capabilities. You would probably be able to find a nice patch on that board for just about any song requirement you come up against. The only downside is the learning curve. But if you plan on keeping it for a while, you'll get use to it just like any other keybaord.

If I were King, that's what I would do....I'd like to have an XF-7 for myself.
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#2242573 - 11/03/10 02:24 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: larico]
Discotheque Offline
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XF-8... really? At 63 pounds, who wants to haul that when weighted action can be had with the same sounds on the S70xs? Just my 2 cents.

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#2242575 - 11/03/10 03:28 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Discotheque]
Ian Sharrock Offline
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I've had the XF8 for 3 weeks now and I find it a joy to use. The weighted keyboard is first rate, the sounds are excellent and as for the editing; I've never owned a Motif before but within half a day I could navigate its innards with confidence.

As for the weight; I view it as not "heavy", more "well built". It's designed for gigging. I bought a Gator case for it that has wheels built into one end. I admit that it handles like a supermarket trolly but on a flat load-in I can move the XF8 on my own. Any steps & the case has handles at both ends for one of my band members to help get the keyboard to a flat run again.

(Also don't forget the Fantom G8 weighs in at 74lb)
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#2242606 - 11/03/10 07:04 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Discotheque]
Sven Golly Offline
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Originally Posted By: Discotheque
XF-8... really? At 63 pounds, who wants to haul that when weighted action can be had with the same sounds on the S70xs? Just my 2 cents.


Not the same sounds, nowhere near the same level of functionality. Thanks for playing, though. thu
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#2242610 - 11/03/10 07:30 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
StanC Offline
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Originally Posted By: t-healy

***And lets just say price is not a factor. cool



idea Why not get one of each?
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#2242614 - 11/03/10 07:39 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
Synthoid Online   content
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Originally Posted By: t-healy
***And lets just say price is not a factor.


How about a GX-1?


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#2242661 - 11/03/10 09:30 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Synthoid]
JohnH Offline
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Registered: 05/05/06
Posts: 1327
Tony: The mute buttons work the same in Master as in Performance.

In Master, to have the sliders work each of the four parts as volume the same as they do in Performance: In Master, Press Edit, F2, turn the dial to volume. (This applies if the zone switch is turned on)

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#2242668 - 11/03/10 10:05 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: JohnH]
Tonysounds Offline
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Do you use Master for external modules? I know this works for Performances even in Master Mode; I am more concerned with how it will work for midi control of other devices (which at least on the S90es, you canít combine a Performance with external control in a master).
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#2242684 - 11/03/10 10:33 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Tonysounds]
JohnH Offline
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Yes I use master for use with modules. Therein is the problem...I have to toggle back and forth at Edit F2 if I want to use the slider for modules or the zones in the Performance.

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#2242688 - 11/03/10 10:41 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: JohnH]
Tonysounds Offline
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Is that edit (Slider for modules or zones) a global thing, or can you save it in the Master itself?

The switches themselves will still work to take a zone in/out regardless though, right?
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#2242748 - 11/03/10 01:03 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
allan_evett Online   happy
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For what you're looking to do there are many terrific choices available in the market - from several different manufacturers. While I use, and definitely recommend Yamaha, I also find Kurzweil's current line-up to be powerful, and very worthy of consideration (the core, multi-purpose keyboards in my rig being a Kurzweil PC3, and Yamaha Motif XF7). However if Yamaha is the one for you, here are some thoughts.

From what you've described, I would rule out the CP5. It's a great stage piano - one of the best out there - but it's not a thorough, multi-purpose keyboard chock full of sounds for external sequencing and recording.
That leaves you with either an 88 key Motif, or one of the S series keyboards. If you want a built in sequencer, that narrows it down to the Motif then. Otherwise, you'll be deciding between a Motif XF8, or S90XS (A Motif XS8, or S90ES could also work very well - as has already been noted in this thread). At that point I would recommend spending some time playing both keyboards. You mentioned live performance - using piano tones, and layers with with same. Having owned an S90XS (and ES), plus having put in a few hours of playing/demo'ing time on a Motif XF8, I can say that the user touch/velocity interaction is quite different between the two instruments - especially with regard to playing piano. While both have a balanced, hammer action (vs. a graded, hammer action - as found on Yamaha's dedicated digital pianos), each plays a bit differently. I found the S Series to have a more 'subtle', piano like response. While I could play piano tones expressively on the XF8, the S90XS/ES provided a stronger sense of piano dynamic, IMO. Also, both S's have their respective Motif sound libraries on-board; plus each has an additional sample bank/soundset dedicated to acoustic piano. That said, your experience may differ entirely. Coming from playing piano/layers on a Triton, you might find the XF8 to be a very smooth transition for playing piano. The Motif XF8 is a great, all purpose instrument. The features, and variety of tones is almost overwhelming.
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#2242781 - 11/03/10 02:16 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: MAJUSCULE]
t-healy Offline
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Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 38
Loc: Ca
Thanks ALLAN for your thoughts!! I really like the 9 foot CF3 acoustic piano sample that the CP-5 offers which isn't on the S90xs. I believe the s90xs top sample is a sample from yamaha's s6 which is still decent. Would you say that the s90xs is a big step up from the mo-8 in its soundbank and interface?



Originally Posted By: MAJUSCULE
Uh, why only Yamaha?


Because I have friends in the industry that can help me out.

And I shouldn't say that I don't care about the price because I do but I wanted to get some information about what everyone thought of yamaha's line of products rather than the well "it depends."
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#2242802 - 11/03/10 03:29 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
Randelph Offline
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Registered: 06/30/09
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Loc: San Francisco, CA
How much is schleppage an issue for you?

I DETEST having to move heavy keyboards after playing for hours, and pretty much decided around 40 pounds was my upper limit (and of course with a gig bag with wheels I'm actually around 60-70 pounds). The Nord Stage is remarkable for that: steel casing, and the 88 note is right around 40 pounds. AND- it aint as long as those friggin Yamaha starships!!! Not only do I like having the pitch and mod controls above the keys, it means my 88 note board is about as long as most 76 note boards (and fits in many 76 note bags).

How about the learning curve and your willingness to relate to technology?

I have an XS7 and HATED how hard it was to make mine. A lot of the issues for me was that the sample management onboard was appalling (no sample editor, the OS didn't recognize multiple instances of the same sample, and building your own customized sample set was a hemorrhoid causing PITA). However, with the XF, a lot of those issues have been solved, they have sample editors/librarians now (for managing your collection), and the Flash memory, albeit pricey, is a dream come true for the best of a workstation and a sample based library of sounds (like VSTs in computers do).

I really got frustrated on the XS with the learning curve, I found myself spending a ridiculous amount of time learning it and setting it up the way I wanted it; you need to have a patience and aptitude for that sort of rigamarole. However, once I got over trying to get it to do what I wanted it to do and instead played to its strengths, i liked it much better.

For me the XS OS is like a stage piano on steroids. Sure it has lots of workstation features, but that's where it's a PITA to learn and use. But as a stage piano, it has a lot of direct controls to recommend it: dedicated sliders for part control, a decent sound finder system, and a matrix of knobs for 24 parameters that makes for easy editing of commonly used stuff. Very user friendly on that surface level.

However, in comparison, overall I find the Stage to be a breath of fresh air. 95% of what you relate to is right there on the top panel, almost no menu diving. And it feels REAL, there's a kinetic connection between my playing and the sound that comes out. I feel like I'm playing a real instrument, not a technological wonder that has way too many options. I sit down to it and PLAY, not fuss with the technology.

And I love how it cuts thru in a live setting- I constantly get compliments on the sound quality. The E.P.'s are to die for, the organ and leslie are inspiring, and the synth section adds a lot of substantial and sparkly virtual analog power (didn't know what i was missing with romplers trying to do analog). Basically I experience it as the best of the keyboard sounds of the 70's, a real golden era for keyboards.

And I find that instead of having to deal with over a thousand sounds, there's maybe 10 primary sounds, all killer, that i use all the time (organs, clav, rhodes, wurlizter, pianos) plus the unlimited capability of the virtual analog. And the easy to dial in fx are fantastic, as well as the ability to easily map your fx to controllers.

Of course keybed feel is important, and I like the medium weighted feel of the Stage: it doesn't tire me out, has a good connectivity with the sound expressiveness, its the first keyboard i've actually used aftertouch with consistently, and they've set it up so that organs are triggered with a lighter touch (to make up for it being a weighted action). Suits me, ymmv.


Finding the right keyboard for yourself is a learning curve. If I'd bought the Stage right off I might not have appreciated it as much. Hellofan expensive learning curve though. That said, the XF is a much more capable synth than the XS because of the flash memory and sample editor. But at 63 pounds I'd never get it, just because of the length and weight (at least not for a live board). However if you do go for it, the John Melas editors/librarian is well worth the money.



Edited by Randelph (11/03/10 07:03 PM)
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#2242809 - 11/03/10 04:11 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: Discotheque]
MikeT156 Online   content
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The OP also wants to sequence his songs, so the S90xs doesn't do that. Sure, you can always use a computer and software, but that opens a whole different can of worms. Depending on what kind of music you are doing, the internal sequencer can be enough. If you are doing movie sound tracks, you need a lot more tracks. The extra large screen on a PC is nice, but of course you have to spend time and money putting the whole thing together and getting everything to work properly. That can be time consuming.

The Motif at 63 pounds is somewhat heavy, but its more cumbersome that heavy. If you're playing in a band, you should have help. Either way, I hope the OP has a large credit line on the credit card.


Mike T.
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#2242810 - 11/03/10 04:19 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: MikeT156]
CEB Offline
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63 pounds, pfft! The Keyboard brotherhood has gotten soft...... ( I think back to the 1970s ) laugh


Edited by CEB (11/03/10 04:20 PM)
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#2242820 - 11/03/10 04:58 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: CEB]
t-healy Offline
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Registered: 10/05/10
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Traveling around with a board that is heavy can definitely be troubling especially if its 63 lbs!

any s90xs owners/users? what do you think of its soundbank and interface?
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#2242822 - 11/03/10 05:07 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
MikeT156 Online   content
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CEB:

I hear ya, I use to carry an Electric Grand, still own my Rhodes Suitcase Piano,etc. etc. I'm not getting soft, I'm OLD. Big difference. "Back in my day" our band carried a Hammond (B-2) and two Leslies. But that was 40 years ago! The old body just locks up on me when I think about it. cop

Time marches on and Time always wins. deadhorse rawk


Mike T.
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#2242867 - 11/04/10 03:38 AM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
Tuggy Offline
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Originally Posted By: t-healy
Traveling around with a board that is heavy can definitely be troubling especially if its 63 lbs!

any s90xs owners/users? what do you think of its soundbank and interface?


Good question, I was just about to post a new topic about s90XS vs PC3X.

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#2243041 - 11/04/10 03:58 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
allan_evett Online   happy
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Registered: 03/18/09
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Originally Posted By: t-healy
Thanks ALLAN for your thoughts!! I really like the 9 foot CF3 acoustic piano sample that the CP-5 offers which isn't on the S90xs. I believe the s90xs top sample is a sample from yamaha's s6 which is still decent. Would you say that the s90xs is a big step up from the mo-8 in its soundbank and interface?



Definitely, t-. The S90XS offers a lot of features that go beyond the MO8. While I agree with your preference for the CFSIII sample, you might find that the S6 sample works well for you. I would still try to locate an S90XS to play, prior to purchase. If you are able to A/B that with a Motif XF8, so much the better.
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#2243058 - 11/04/10 04:44 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: allan_evett]
MikeT156 Online   content
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Quote:
by Randelph:

However, in comparison, overall I find the Stage to be a breath of fresh air. 95% of what you relate to is right there on the top panel, almost no menu diving. And it feels REAL, there's a kinetic connection between my playing and the sound that comes out. I feel like I'm playing a real instrument, not a technological wonder that has way too many options. I sit down to it and PLAY, not fuss with the technology.


The thing to keep in mind is you are comparing two different categories of keyboards. The Motif XF is a workstation, the Norg Stage is a Performance instrument. So yeah, most of the controls SHOULD be available without menu diving. I'll make a wild guess and say you are not a good candidate for the XF. smirk


Cheers,


Mike T.
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#2243067 - 11/04/10 05:09 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: MikeT156]
allan_evett Online   happy
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Originally Posted By: MikeT156
Quote:
by Randelph:

However, in comparison, overall I find the Stage to be a breath of fresh air. 95% of what you relate to is right there on the top panel, almost no menu diving. And it feels REAL, there's a kinetic connection between my playing and the sound that comes out. I feel like I'm playing a real instrument, not a technological wonder that has way too many options. I sit down to it and PLAY, not fuss with the technology.


The thing to keep in mind is you are comparing two different categories of keyboards. The Motif XF is a workstation, the Norg Stage is a Performance instrument. So yeah, most of the controls SHOULD be available without menu diving. I'll make a wild guess and say you are not a good candidate for the XF. smirk .....


I agree that Randelph is not a good candidate for the XF.
Having owned a Stage 76, I agree that it is an excellent player's instrument; but so is the Motif XF. Despite its' classification as 'workstation', I find the XF to be a very expressive, player's keyboard - from the core piano tones to a very evocative Voice called "Electric Violin". Plus, there are plenty of programmable, front panel controls on the XF that are great for live performance.
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#2243082 - 11/04/10 05:59 PM Re: Which Yamaha Keyboard should I purchase? [Re: t-healy]
GDP Offline
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Registered: 05/18/09
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Loc: So-Cal
Originally Posted By: t-healy
Traveling around with a board that is heavy can definitely be troubling especially if its 63 lbs!

any s90xs owners/users? what do you think of its soundbank and interface?


How about the S70SX in the garage sale classifieds above?

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