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#2850580 - 04/20/17 07:08 AM Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7?
TomKittel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
I am sitting on the fence of getting a Kurzweil Artis 7. It seems to be a quite unique gigging machine which could help to reduce my live rig from three to just two lightweight boards. Right now I have a 88 hammerkey piano at the bottom, a waterfall keys organ in the middle and a synth keyboard on top. The Artis should replace both the bottom and the top board and maybe sometimes even the middle board (clonewheel).

For me one of the Artis' main advantages would be that it supposedly loads PC3 user sounds. I have many great patches for my PC3X which I don't use anymore for gigging because of it's weight and bulkiness.

But I heard that the Artis 7 has quite a few issues. Obviously Kurzweil or Soundtower never fixed these. Or does it meanwhile work properly with the software editor? Does it load PC3 programs easily and reliably?

Another question relates to the keybed. I used to own a PC3 76 only for a very short time because back then I did not get along with it's springy keybed. Alledgedly the Artis 7 has got a newer generation of the Fatar TP8. Regarding key-to-sound connection it must be a big step forward compared to the PC3 76.

Your advice is greatly appreciated, thanks!

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#2850604 - 04/20/17 08:28 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11114
Ah, so picking up from the near-derail in the other thread... ;-) As I posted there...
--->
I'm curious about where you've heard of problems with loading PC3 sound. I hadn't heard, but I have experienced some. Most PC3 programs come in fine, but in my experience, KB3 organ sounds don't always come in right... it's been a while so I don't remember the detail, but it was some "extra" sound that wasn't supposed to be there (like an additional drawbar, or leakage, or overdrive, something like that). And while all the "factory" PC3 sounds I tried worked, it was hit and miss with sounds from other sources, many were silent. I always meant to contact Kurz tech support about these things, but never did.

That said, if I *had* to do a gig on a single board, the Artis7 would be at or near the top of my list, largely depending on how you get on with the action, which is a heavily sprung SW. Among boards with at least 7x keys (which I would see as a requirement for a single board that needed to be able to cover piano and do splits), it's under 30 lbs, sounds great for just about any sound you'd typically want, has clonewheel in it, is very flexible in its splits/layers, has pitch bend and mod wheels, has good MIDI functionality (in case you want to supplement with, say, some custom samples in an iPhone/iPad), and has a live-friendly interface. What other board can you say that about? (I also think the SP4-7 gets too often overlooked, as it comes pretty close.)
<---
And then picking up from some of the new stuff you posted here... I don't know whether the action is any different from the PC3. Both felt too springy for my taste. I was lucky enough to locate a set of alternate springs for my Artis7 which made all the difference to me. Of course, lots of people are fine with it as is, but since you were turned off by the PC3 action, yeah, this would be something to be wary of. FWIW, in terms of the stock keys, I actually preferred the SP4-7 to the Artis7. And you can load PC3 sounds into the SP4 as well, though I never tried it, and there could be some other limitations as the SP4 has fewer effects units and less polyphony than the PC3/Artis (among other advantages that the Artis7 has over the SP4).
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#2850614 - 04/20/17 09:12 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: AnotherScott]
HAM&EGZ Offline
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Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1197
Loc: Arphadon, Lousy-Anna
I have had mine for about a year and here are my few thoughts.

The soundtower editor is hit and miss, sometimes it glares back at me and refuses to load or display content, sometimes it works ok. I find if I try to import ALL the object range numbers it balks, so I have to restrict the numbers to import to the actual values.

Not all PC3s translate well, there is a pedal steel patch i wish would function with all the controllers, but some variables in the pc3 program aren't in the Artis, but for the most part they import just fine and sound good.

I was not raised on an acoustic piano so the keybed is fine for me and I do use the piano patches a lot but yes it is a bit spongy.

The KB3 engine is great, I am still not enamored with the rotary fx, and there is no separate outputs to just run organ to for a Vent. Panning hard L or R doesn't work cause if you want just the C/V block and not the rotary its in stereo so doesnt follow the panning, just as the other sounds are in stereo. This only is an issue of you have a split with organ and other sounds, Organ alone and bypassing the Vent will work.

As far as Scotts comment as an all in one board, I agree and use it for splits 3 ways and layers and dont miss the extra keys, it is versatile, I did some gigs with a wedding band that needed synth bass sounds, and there dont seem to be enough variations in the stock factory sounds, but may have been some in the pc3 libraries, but I didnt get a chance to try them because....

Getting ready for those gigs I had programmed the patches almost completed for the songs when the Artis starting emitting a LOUD white noise at random. Sent it off to Sweetwater who sent it to AM, found out there was a service recall for this malady , it was fixed under warranty, but i was out my board for 3 months, and lucky had the Kronos that I had to program from scratch for the wedding gigs in time.

A new board should not have the issue
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#2850617 - 04/20/17 09:36 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: HAM&EGZ]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11114
Originally Posted By: HAM&EGZ
the Artis starting emitting a LOUD white noise at random... found out there was a service recall for this malady , it was fixed under warranty, but i was out my board for 3 months

I didn't know about the service recall, but the first one I got quickly showed exactly this problem! Since I had just gotten it, I was able to return it and have them send me another, which has been fine. But wow, 3 months to get it fixed...
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#2850622 - 04/20/17 09:54 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: HAM&EGZ]
Kenny Ingram Offline
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Registered: 02/23/14
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Loc: Winnipeg, Canada
I wouldn't count on the keys being all that different from previous generation 76s. I've played K2500s, 2600s, SP76, SP4-7, etc. To me, they all felt very similaróbut in my opinion it's one of the best all-round actions. If you could swing the extra weight, I'd definitely check out the Forte 7. Then you still have a hammer action as a bottom board, but have it in a more compact package and still keeps the weight around 40lbs.
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#2850623 - 04/20/17 10:02 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: Kenny Ingram]
zxcvbnm098 Offline
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Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1153
Loc: Southern Calif.
I agree with most of the comments mentioned. I also had the SP4-7 first, and upgraded to the Artis 7. I also liked the less sprung feel of the keyed on the SP4-7....I just think Kurzweil 76 boards are too tightly sprung.....but that's my only reservation. It's a great board, and has been mentioned on other threads, the sounds sit very well in a band situation.


Edited by zxcvbnm098 (04/20/17 10:31 AM)

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#2850624 - 04/20/17 10:04 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: Kenny Ingram]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Kenny Ingram
If you could swing the extra weight, I'd definitely check out the Forte 7. Then you still have a hammer action as a bottom board, but have it in a more compact package and still keeps the weight around 40lbs.

...at more than twice the price, too.

Though it's hard to see all the pros and cons in these scenarios without knowing exactly which boards he's replacing... i.e. we have no idea what his current 88 weighs...
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#2850833 - 04/21/17 11:17 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: AnotherScott]
TomKittel Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
I got my Artis 7 today. Played it for two hours and I really liked it (will explain later why I choose the past tense 'liked'). The key springs are (too) stiff indeed. But unlike the waterfall keys of the Nord Electro or Stage I found the Artis piano sounds really playable with this semi-weighted keybed. Not bad at all but softer springs would definitely do it good. Wondering why the Kurzweil folks are refusing this change ever since they created the same problem with the PC3 76 years ago... with softer springs I am sure this keybed would be the best available compromise between hammerkeys and semi-weighted keys.

But then IT HAPPENED: all of the sudden my brand new Artis 7 produced A VERY VERY loud white noise and I mean really incredibly LOUD! I was completely shocked. First I didn't even know what happened. I tried to turn down the Artis volume fader but no effect. Only then I switched off my mixer. It was so damned loud that I am worrying over my Adam A7 studio monitors now. Really hope they are not damaged. WTF!!! My tom-cat also jumped from the sofa and shot out of the room. It's unbelievable, yesterday I read about this problem here and today it happens to me! WTF is the trouble at Kurzweil? What's going on in their quality control??? Really can't believe it.

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#2850836 - 04/21/17 11:29 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11114
If there was indeed a recall for this, or even if not a recall per se but a known issue, they should not be shipping any units out that have not been checked. That's surprising. Was this a brand new unit? (As opposed to used, demo, etc,)
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Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our new video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out!

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#2850848 - 04/21/17 12:21 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: AnotherScott]
TomKittel Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
If there was indeed a recall for this, or even if not a recall per se but a known issue, they should not be shipping any units out that have not been checked. That's surprising. Was this a brand new unit? (As opposed to used, demo, etc,)


It was brand new. But I don't know how long it was in the store before I picked it up today. Before I made the purchase I asked thy guys in the store about the white noise problem. They didn't know anything about it. Unchecked units should not be sold if the manufacturer is aware of a potential problem!!! The dealers should get a warning or a recall, shouldn't they?

Kurzweil did the exact same thing to me two years ago when I purchased a PC3LE which had the blinking problem. In this case the store likewise didn't know anything about it when I returned the faulty unit. I thought it was a exceptional case. But it was not. It simply is really bad business practice.

BTW: A few days ago I was offered a used Artis 7. However, after I read HAM&EGZ' post about the white noise problem I decided to go for a new one with full warranty. A good decision obviously. The KC forum saved my ass! What a great community. You guys are priceless!

Thanks.

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#2850890 - 04/21/17 03:09 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
rockinroller Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Motown
I've owned the Artis 7 since they came out. I've never had any "white noise" issue.

Maybe Tom should have bought a used one!
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Kurzweil Artis 7 (2)
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#2850903 - 04/21/17 04:56 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: rockinroller]
miden Offline
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Registered: 01/30/06
Posts: 2204
Loc: Australia
To the experienced users - isn't that tiny screen a bit hard to work with?

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#2850938 - 04/21/17 10:46 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: rockinroller]
TomKittel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
Originally Posted By: rockinroller
I've owned the Artis 7 since they came out. I've never had any "white noise" issue.

Maybe Tom should have bought a used one!


HAM&EGZ had his Artis 7 for a year before it happened to him. I was lucky that it happened at home and not on stage. This noise was like a explosion, not just a little hissing. It could have caused serious damage on stage. Let alone band members and audience.

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#2851140 - 04/22/17 11:48 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
TomKittel Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
I couldn't resist to keep playing around with the Artis 7 this weekend. But I was prepared and I turned the volume of my speakers down as much as possible to avoid damage in case the noise thing would happen again. And it happened again - in the very moment when I touched one of the connector jacks on the backside. The first noise attack had happened when I touched the USB port with a USB cable which was not yet connected to the PC. Conclusion might be that ist has someting to do with static charge?

Leaving aside the noise attack problem the Artis 7 is definitely a keeper once the problem is resolved. I hope to get a replacement unit next week. Otherwise I would return it and look somewhere else since three month wait for repair would be unacceptable for me.

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#2851157 - 04/23/17 04:57 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
rockinroller Offline
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Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Motown
Mine's over two years old and has had plenty of use (maybe 20 hours weekly?). Never an issue. Nada.
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#2851159 - 04/23/17 05:00 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: miden]
rockinroller Offline
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Registered: 11/05/04
Posts: 180
Loc: Motown
I am happy to have a board in this price point whose developers expended more investment and tech into the sounds and less into the screen. Besides, the screen is of sufficient size to display everything I need in terms of menu items, the program name, etc.


Edited by rockinroller (04/23/17 05:00 AM)
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#2851170 - 04/23/17 05:54 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: rockinroller]
BlueAndGreen Offline
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Registered: 12/24/05
Posts: 61
Loc: central fl
I have been using an Artis7 as my top board for 2 years. Mine exhibited the white noise issue (4 times) until I got a power conditioner about a 1.5 years ago. I have no issues with the editor. I use multis to store songs patches and sometimes have up to 4 splits. The pitch bend started getting wacky a month ago. The connector to the main board went bad.

I am used to the action, it actually is "fast" when you get used to it. Overall I have a positive view of this board, it compliments my CP40 very well.
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#2851330 - 04/23/17 11:03 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: BlueAndGreen]
Iconoclast Offline
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Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 350
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
I saw Kansas tonight and David Manion was playing 4 different Kurz boards and one of them was an Artis. Sounded great from where I was.
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#2852367 - 04/28/17 03:26 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: Iconoclast]
TomKittel Offline
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Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
Update from Kurzweil support: There is a fix for the Artis 7 white noise problem in the units that exhibit it. Cause of the problem is a grounding flaw.

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#2852372 - 04/28/17 05:22 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
DaBous Offline
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Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 240
The Forte 7 exhibits this behavior also in situations where the voltage is unstable. I use a voltage regulator with mine.

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#2852401 - 04/28/17 07:25 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
HAM&EGZ Offline
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Registered: 09/27/05
Posts: 1197
Loc: Arphadon, Lousy-Anna
Originally Posted By: TomKittel
Update from Kurzweil support: There is a fix for the Artis 7 white noise problem in the units that exhibit it. Cause of the problem is a grounding flaw.


I am glad they verified it, Tom. I had gigged with mine for 9 months or so before it started the white noise, always with a UPS dedicated to powering only it.

Maybe the flaw was a mechanical issue and transporting it finally caused the ground to become unstable.
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#2852448 - 04/28/17 12:06 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: HAM&EGZ]
playstation Offline
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Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 34
My power supply wall wart has no ground prong so, it can't be earth ground. They must have them wired like cars with frame return to the negative dc.
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#2852461 - 04/28/17 01:43 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: playstation]
zxcvbnm098 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1153
Loc: Southern Calif.
No wall wart on the Artis 7 or Artis 88 key....only on the SE...

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#2852478 - 04/28/17 04:24 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: zxcvbnm098]
rickzjamm Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 656
My Forte 88's doing the same thing. Taking it to the repair shop & probably a long wait for repair.
Other than that it's a beast!
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#2852479 - 04/28/17 04:26 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: rickzjamm]
rickzjamm Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 656
Tom, does it sound like a loud shrill sine wave tone or just white noise?
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#2852480 - 04/28/17 04:30 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: rickzjamm]
zxcvbnm098 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/02/05
Posts: 1153
Loc: Southern Calif.
Damn, you guys are making worry. No issues yet...but wondering if there's something proactive I can do? Anyone know the details on what they do to fix the grounding flaw?

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#2852603 - 04/29/17 09:59 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: rickzjamm]
TomKittel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
Originally Posted By: rickzjamm
Tom, does it sound like a loud shrill sine wave tone or just white noise?


It's a very loud full level white noise hiss regardles of the volume slider position. It's shocking loud.

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#2852605 - 04/29/17 10:05 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
TomKittel Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 453
Originally Posted By: TomKittel
Originally Posted By: rickzjamm
Tom, does it sound like a loud shrill sine wave tone or just white noise?


It's a very loud full level white noise hiss regardles of the volume slider position. It's shocking loud.


A precautionary measure could be to not plug in anything to any of the backpanel jacks while the Artis 7 is switched on. But I am not sure about that.

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#2852620 - 04/29/17 11:17 AM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
rickzjamm Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 656
The "sine wave" is also full level volume regardless of the volume slider position & even is in the headphones. It isn't always there but enters at the most inopportune moments... I've found if I switch to another sound or press the panic combo it goes away, but may or may not visit again - really frustrating & annoying.
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#2853013 - 05/01/17 04:08 PM Re: Any love for Kurzweil Artis 7? [Re: TomKittel]
ehand Offline
Member

Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 2
Loc: Texas
I can't tell you about the Artis, since I play an original PC3. I can, however, relate to you than since I upgraded to windows 10, and downloaded the latest soundtower version, my PC3 is not recognized in the same way it used to be. Its so bad, I have given up on soundtower. Could it be a lack of support for windows 10? Also: I'm not sure whether or not Artis has jacks for more than one CC pedal. On my PC3, I rely fairly heavily on my setups, with two volume pedals (organ & piano), plus pressure set to legato on the organ channel to control the leslie speed.

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