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#2787137 - 06/25/16 02:12 PM Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage
dlittle1906 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 3
Hello all,

So I'm not sure if this has been discussed but I just joined this forum and wanted to get you guys opinion. So I currently have the Motif XS. I play in a couple cover bands and what I'm mostly into is the pianos, electric pianos and mainly synth sounds. As far as synths are concerned, synth sounds that are phat, thick and full sounding! Kind of like that 80s sound synth. I'm not into programming or downloading sounds. The most I do is layer the sounds on the different faders so I would be interested in the sounds of both these boards "straight out of the box"!

Any advice you can offer me would be great. Thanks in advance!

-David

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#2787138 - 06/25/16 02:18 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: dlittle1906]
timwat Offline
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David,

Welcome to the forum!

For what you're describing, both the Kronos and the Montage offer overkill functionality far surpassing your stated needs. There are other units out there with less complexity that will more than provide the things you state - Nord Stage, Kurzweil Artis, Casio PX5s - all of these will be less expensive than either the Kronos and Montage.

Now that being said, if you're choosing between the two, I'm only familiar with the Kronos. I own an original K73, preordered when they were first announced several years ago. It's been a workhorse, an embarrassment of riches...but the acoustic piano is only average. Stellar EPs, good B3 (if you're not comparing it to a true clone wheel), endless treasure trove of synths. And I find the 73 is a reasonable schlep factor, while still providing weighted keys.

Can't offer any intelligent feedback on the Montage - I have yet to even touch one in person.

Tim
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#2787149 - 06/25/16 03:54 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: timwat]
GregC Online   content
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: timwat

Kronos. I own an original K73, preordered when they were first announced several years ago. It's been a workhorse, an embarrassment of riches...but the acoustic piano is only average.
Tim


Blasphemy ! smile

you need quality stereo/studio monitors


Edited by GregC (06/25/16 04:26 PM)

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#2787155 - 06/25/16 04:25 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: GregC]
RABid Offline
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I've got a Kronos 2 73, an original Kronos 61, and a Montage 76. Here is my take on the comparison....

Piano's and EP's are pretty close. The Kronos 73 is hammer action so that is my preference for piano in my setup.

Organ is definitely better on the Kronos and one reason I hold onto the original 61. For me it is not fun to play organ on hammer action. Montage organ patches are definitely usable, but lacking in controls and missing that nice B3 grind.

Horns. In my view, no ROMpler can replace a horn section in the studio, but either of these will get you by in a cover band.

Both are easy to set up as an only keyboard covering lots of parts. Splits, layers, set lists. It's all good.

Integrating with other keyboards. This is my big disappointment with the Montage. I'd love to sit it on top of an 88 controller and play piano parts with the controller while using the Montage for other parts. Unfortunately the Montage does not work well as a sound source to be driven by multiple keyboards.

Either one would be great for general use in a band, but if I had to choose just one it would be the Kronos. Mainly because of the lack of MIDI input routing, but also because of the organ patches.
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#2787160 - 06/25/16 04:51 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: RABid]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Quote:
currently have the Motif XS. I play in a couple cover bands and what I'm mostly into is the pianos, electric pianos and mainly synth sounds.


No mention of organs which IMHO would be a pretty clear scale tipper for the Kronos whose CX-3 is more flexible and generally a better emulation than anything Yamaha has done for a clone, even on the Montage surprisingly (since it seems to have been post reface YC).

For synths, both these keyboards are loaded with presets and capable of covering anything you would possibly need.

For APs, EPs, both of these keyboards would similarly have all the bread and butter stuff.

Which included sounds without editing are preferable? Endlessly debatable.

But, I agree with Tim. If cost is an issue there are other keyboards that might do the trick at more reasonable price points. Unless you are selling off the XS, in which case, you probably have a decent starting point.
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#2787161 - 06/25/16 04:57 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: RABid]
BEMcCut Offline
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Registered: 07/24/11
Posts: 187
Loc: Pennsylvania
I this you should be able to get everything you need from Motif XS that you already own. I used a Motif ES in an 80's band and a modern country band and was able to easily come up with any sound I needed with layering.

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#2787164 - 06/25/16 05:20 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: BEMcCut]
GregC Online   content
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it might not be a strong point now, but having a full sequencer in the Kronos vs whatever they did in the Montage is a something to be aware of

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#2787173 - 06/25/16 06:20 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: GregC]
CEB Offline
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I've spent about 2 hours on the Montage. My impressions are... Montage bread and butter sounds sound better 'out of the box'. The Kronos can sound great if you tweak your sounds.

Kronos rules when it comes to patch control in a live setting. Search some videos on Kronos setlist. Montage is better than the Motif but Kronos is still king in the live control department. I would love to have a Montage 7 but the Kronos would still be my main controller.

Montage 8 is an awesome board. The first thing I would do is strip some verb off the pianos.


Edited by CEB (06/26/16 07:36 AM)
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#2787211 - 06/26/16 02:15 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: CEB]
Brilliant Offline
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Registered: 05/06/02
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Just my 2 cents... never owning either.

I've always loved the Motif bread & butter sounds. Even back to the original. They're perfect. Any improvement in the Kronos or Montage, is marginal.

If I'm just looking to play in a few cover bands & write songs on the weekend, I wouldn't be looking to replace the Motif... well, I might look for a less heavy solution for gigging & leaving the Motif in the studio.

But then again, I'd be perfectly fine gigging with a Roland XP-80

But buying a Montage or Kronos would be more about sound design, inspiration, innovation, & creativity. Both offer quite a bit in those categories. It's hard to chose just one.

If you'll be selling the Motif to help get a new board, I'd ask how much does the sampling & sequencer play into what you do. If they are integral, get the Kronos as the Montage has neither.

If you don't sample much or sequence on a computer, I'd start with the Montage.

Or... stick with the Motif & get a Prophet 6, pro 2, minilogue,a Moog Voyager, but that's me.

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#2787219 - 06/26/16 06:45 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: RABid]
dlittle1906 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 3
Thanks for the reply but the organ patch doesn't really make a difference to me. I have a Nord Electro 4 so I have organ taken care of. Even with the horn sections, it's not that big of a deal b/c the bands I play with we have a trumpet & Sax or we'll have 2 Sax players. Plus to me playing horn patches on a keyboard always sounds cheesy. As u said, nothing beats an actual horn section. So the main thing I wld be interested in is the layering, splits and set lists. I know the Kronos has the set list function. What abt the Montage? Does it have the set list functionality?

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#2787230 - 06/26/16 07:12 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: dlittle1906]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
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I have had a Kronos for about 3 years and have the K2 88 now. I am very satisfied and played the Montage a few days ago. Here we go for me the piano and strings on the Montage is slightly better than the Kronos. Everything else is better on the Kronos to me. The Montage seems to be harder to navigate around on. Setlist on the Kronos makes everything easier. You get more bang for the buck on the Kronos. Busch has some Famous Synths, VOL.1 AND 2 that are free and sound really good with no programming just download from the website. The layering and splits were a huge reason i chose the KRONOS. You have endless possibilities with the splits and layers and it's not very complicated. The vintage effects on the Kronos really makes the layering of sounds come alive. In my opinion you will need to tweak some on either board to get the sounds you want. Ultimately both keyboards top of the line.
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#2787236 - 06/26/16 07:31 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: dlittle1906]
CEB Offline
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Montage does have a setlist type function but the Kronos is more robust. It has annotation notes. You can color code the boxes. You can have 128 setlist with 128 patches each. Korg setlist is way better IMO. But the Yamaha patch control is much better than what the Motif had.

I don't mean to make the Kronos sound like slam dunk over the Montage. IMO the Montage action feels better. I think the Yamaha is better hardware. The Kronos in my opinion has more potential to give you the most hardware and software problems. My Kronos 2 gave me more problems than any keyboard I ever own. (But I preorder one of the first K2s)

You better power the Kronos off a UPS with automated voltage regulation. You should do that any way with UPSs being so affordable and with you looking at running $5000+ worth if gear if you get either these.

My Kronos pianos sound nice through IEMs but if you use stereo speaker monitoring live the Kronos pianos can sound like ass if your speaker placement is not just right.

Both are great boards.


Edited by CEB (06/26/16 07:32 AM)
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So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

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#2787237 - 06/26/16 07:35 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: CEB]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Good points, CEB. And obviously you own the Kronos right now, and have been very honest all along about any issues and niggles you've had with it. The engineering/architecture of these two boards is a bit different for sure.
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#2787241 - 06/26/16 07:55 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: ElmerJFudd]
CEB Offline
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I think it depends on your gig. If I was doing a Motown gig I would lean towards Montage. But with the over produced modern pop stuff I don't think I could do what I'm doing on the Kronos using the Montage.

Montage seems to have some stupid MIDI implementation limits. The Kronos is a strong controller. In pop it not rare to run 10-15 zones with multiple combis per song.

I like what Kurzweil is doing on paper but I don't do business with any Kurz dealers and have not had any hands on time with any of the new Kurzweil. But they look killer.

If I was still playing Country I would probably be playing a MP7 or still playing my S90XS.


Edited by CEB (06/26/16 08:03 AM)
_________________________
"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

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#2787266 - 06/26/16 11:23 AM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: CEB]
jimmymio Offline
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Registered: 09/05/02
Posts: 856
Loc: petaluma, ca
After 11 years of service my S90ES is starting to show its age. I am considering replacing it with a Kronos 73 but it is a little disconcerting to hear concerns about its build quality.

I agree about the great "bread and butter" soundset on the motif line. I'd even consider having the S90ES fixed but all the local sources say I'd have to ship it to Vegas for repair. I've never faced this in my 30+ years as a musician!
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Korg Kronos 2 73
Kurz PC361
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#2787275 - 06/26/16 12:25 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: jimmymio]
GregC Online   content
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Originally Posted By: jimmymio
After 11 years of service my S90ES is starting to show its age. I am considering replacing it with a Kronos 73 but it is a little disconcerting to hear concerns about its build quality.



I would agree the Kronos is not built like a tank. I suppose if an owner is tough on a board or other people handle the board carelessly, maybe the Kronos is not the 1st choice.

But thousands of Kronos owners gig with their Kronos. So its obviously doable. I also think its wise to have some type of backup keyboard just in case.

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#2787279 - 06/26/16 12:54 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: GregC]
timwat Offline
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Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: timwat

Kronos. I own an original K73, preordered when they were first announced several years ago. It's been a workhorse, an embarrassment of riches...but the acoustic piano is only average.
Tim


Blasphemy ! smile

you need quality stereo/studio monitors


Ha! How you making out in this oppressive heat, Greg?

Actually, I have decent monitoring here at home. But having 1) played a big band gig last week Kronos (BTW, I really don't like playing big band gigs - not my cup of tea and I don't think it will grow on me) and playing 2.5 hours of jazz on the CP4 last night, I have to say the pianos on the Kronos (even what sounds passable for me at home) simply are in a AAA league compared to the CP4 MLB-level pianos. No comparison.

Tim
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#2787283 - 06/26/16 01:39 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: timwat]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 738
Loc: USA
The Montage Piano has 10 layers and 10 second looped samples.
The Kronos Piano has 12 layers and 12 second unlooped samples.
Although these are both really good pianos your amplification
means alot also.

I have a friend that has both and he prefers the Kronos so
it is all about what you like and hear.
_________________________
Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5D 73, Yamaha S90es, Korg CX3, Roland D-70

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#2787284 - 06/26/16 01:53 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: timwat]
jimmymio Offline
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Registered: 09/05/02
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Loc: petaluma, ca
Originally Posted By: timwat

the pianos on the Kronos (even what sounds passable for me at home) simply are in a AAA league compared to the CP4 MLB-level pianos. No comparison.

Tim


I, for one, wouldn't expect a "Swiss Army Knife" KB to have pianos in the same league as a "one trick pony" stage piano.
_________________________
1935 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Korg Kronos 2 73
Kurz PC361
Yam S90ES
Rhodes Stage 73 (1972)

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#2787285 - 06/26/16 01:55 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: timwat]
GregC Online   content
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Originally Posted By: timwat
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: timwat

Kronos. I own an original K73, preordered when they were first announced several years ago. It's been a workhorse, an embarrassment of riches...but the acoustic piano is only average.
Tim


Blasphemy ! smile

you need quality stereo/studio monitors


Ha! How you making out in this oppressive heat, Greg?

Actually, I have decent monitoring here at home. But having 1) played a big band gig last week Kronos (BTW, I really don't like playing big band gigs - not my cup of tea and I don't think it will grow on me) and playing 2.5 hours of jazz on the CP4 last night, I have to say the pianos on the Kronos (even what sounds passable for me at home) simply are in a AAA league compared to the CP4 MLB-level pianos. No comparison.

Tim


Hey Tim, yes its getting hotter, approaching the century mark out here. It does cool off at night, fortunately.

To beat the heat, I run my errands in the morning. Afternoons , I stay inside working.
Can set my own schedule.

Good that you have decent monitors at home. The Kronos pianos also sound excellent on recordings.

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#2787286 - 06/26/16 01:59 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: GregC]
jimmymio Offline
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Registered: 09/05/02
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Loc: petaluma, ca
Disco Bay huh? I've been visiting my folks there for the last 30 years. Have yet to find the disco though!
_________________________
1935 Mason & Hamlin Model A
Korg Kronos 2 73
Kurz PC361
Yam S90ES
Rhodes Stage 73 (1972)

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#2787290 - 06/26/16 02:33 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: ElmerJFudd]
dlittle1906 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 3
Yea cost really isn't an issue. Ur assumption is correct. I'll selling my XS.

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#2787301 - 06/26/16 03:44 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: jimmymio]
GregC Online   content
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Originally Posted By: jimmymio
Disco Bay huh? I've been visiting my folks there for the last 30 years. Have yet to find the disco though!


the discos are on the Boats + booze that cruise the Delta wink

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#2787309 - 06/26/16 04:33 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: GregC]
Moonglow Offline
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Registered: 03/15/03
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Loc: Northwest Indiana
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: timwat

Kronos. I own an original K73, preordered when they were first announced several years ago. It's been a workhorse, an embarrassment of riches...but the acoustic piano is only average.
Tim


Blasphemy ! smile

you need quality stereo/studio monitors

I could not get the Kronos pianos to work live in mono, but they do sound considerably better in stereo. However, I did not want to run stereo, so my solution was to install a third-party piano which featured a nice Yamaha C7 mono sample. As much as I enjoyed everything else about the Kronos (e.g., EPs, synth engines, MIDI controller functions), I was ready to return it because I simply could not get the stock APs to work. I know the OP said that he does not want to download external sounds, but if he finds himself in a similar situation, there are options.
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#2787313 - 06/26/16 04:39 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: Moonglow]
CEB Offline
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My goto is a tweaked version of the Virtual Insanity Piano patch.

Which 3rd party piano did you get? Epic Grand?
_________________________
"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!
So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

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#2787315 - 06/26/16 04:48 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: CEB]
Moonglow Offline
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Loc: Northwest Indiana
Yep, the Epic Grand. Works great in my classic rock band.
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#2787352 - 06/26/16 09:53 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: CEB]
Analogaddict Offline
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Registered: 08/19/02
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Originally Posted By: CEB


Montage seems to have some stupid MIDI implementation limits. The Kronos is a strong controller. In pop it not rare to run 10-15 zones with multiple combis per song.


The Montage does have a lot of cool features, IMO the envelope follower is perfect for playing electronic music live. But - the midi implementation is no good for what I do. I spoke with a Yamaha endorser who was quite baffled with the limitations which make it more difficult than nescessary to integrate in a live rig.

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#2787759 - 06/28/16 03:53 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: bennyray]
Rick Stirling Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 9
Loc: Southeast ID
Originally Posted By: bennyray
The Montage Piano has 10 layers and 10 second looped samples.
The Kronos Piano has 12 layers and 12 second unlooped samples.
Although these are both really good pianos your amplification
means alot also.

I have a friend that has both and he prefers the Kronos so
it is all about what you like and hear.


SG2 (Berlin Grand) Has 12 layers and about 30-31 seconds un-looped on my K2
_________________________
Rick Stirling
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Korg Kronos 2, Korg PA600, MZ-X500, AKAI MPD32, M-Audio Oxygen 25, ZOOM H6, Cakewalk Sonar

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#2787765 - 06/28/16 04:25 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: Rick Stirling]
timwat Offline
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Registered: 11/21/01
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Loc: Concord,CA,UNITED STATES
While all of distinctions about sample layers, looped vs. unlooped, etc. are possible points of comparison, for me the question is playability, sound and finger-to-ear connection in a live gigging context.

I don't use the Kronos to record piano. I use a real piano - the one the studio already has. So I'm only talking about live work.

And for me, for live piano work it's the CP4 hands down. Now, I get jimmymio's note about a possibly unfair comparison (expensive swiss army knife vs. dedicated, narrow focus digital piano). But I might also suggest once we're talking about the retail price of either the Kronos or Montage (and the much-discussed sample layers in each), I'm not totally unjustified in hoping that pricey workstation would give a lowly, single-purpose slab piano a run for it's money.

tim

_________________________
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#2787770 - 06/28/16 04:54 PM Re: Korg Kronos vs Yamaha Montage [Re: timwat]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Loc: USA, greater NY area
Plus CP4 is the lightest of the slab digital pianos that's got a decent action (better than CP-40, different than PX-5S, lighter than MP7 and RD-800). I'm convinced that we don't always need the most powerful instrument, and sometimes not even the most versatile, but more ones that meet our gigging needs. I think the shift in recent models like Forte and Montage to focus on simplifying UI is a direct reaction to Nord's success focusing on giggers needs vs. hitting every spec. In the end, we want instruments that sound great, cover the sounds we use the most (and those we need less often), plus are really easy to use - including deeper real world needs like splits and layers. This is really really hard to achieve because not everyone's gig is the same, so you want to pick to your needs. On the upside, there isn't much I can imagine you need to do that can't be covered by Kronos, Montage, Forte, and Stage 2 EX. So pick what sounds great to you, and what you can wrap your head around using. For some, a stage piano is plenty. For others, only the mothership will do.
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