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#2864549 - 07/05/17 09:31 AM Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review
mate stubb Offline
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I'm sitting at the car dealer babysitting my wife's car while they change the oil, after my new Stage arrived this morning. I got maybe 10 minutes in on it before I had to leave.

First impressions:

- action: weird. When I took my first silent swipe it felt stiff and sluggish. Yikes. When I actually turned it on and could hear sound, that impression is lessened. I could get it to repeat not unreasonably, and heeding others' advice to play lightly makes me hope I will be able to get along with it.

- organ: still hate it. I expected a big improvement over my Stage Classic, but I am super picky about organ and it didn't sound good. Don't really care, I have Mojos.

- piano(s): OMG, lots of pianos at my fingertips! Some of the newer ones sound a bit bright to me thru the TT08As.

- physical: nice lighter weight than my old HA 76. Unfortunately, the knobs have spread out and my stand with the folding arms isn't going to work without some mods. It's always something...

- synth: very nice to hear sampled strings again. I haven't heard the analogue emulation enough yet to decide how different/better/worse the updated synth engine sounds. My old one has a bit of metallic harshness about the filter.
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#2864551 - 07/05/17 09:47 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5385
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
- piano(s): OMG, lots of pianos at my fingertips! Some of the newer ones sound a bit bright to me thru the TT08As.


I lived with "that sound" in my head for 4 years through those speakers. In fact I can still hear hear it jangling around sometimes.

Good luck with it.
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#2864603 - 07/05/17 12:34 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
cphollis Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 1803
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
I'm sitting at the car dealer babysitting my wife's car while they change the oil, after my new Stage arrived this morning. I got maybe 10 minutes in on it before I had to leave.

First impressions:

- action: weird. When I took my first silent swipe it felt stiff and sluggish. Yikes. When I actually turned it on and could hear sound, that impression is lessened. I could get it to repeat not unreasonably, and heeding others' advice to play lightly makes me hope I will be able to get along with it.

- organ: still hate it. I expected a big improvement over my Stage Classic, but I am super picky about organ and it didn't sound good. Don't really care, I have Mojos.

- piano(s): OMG, lots of pianos at my fingertips! Some of the newer ones sound a bit bright to me thru the TT08As.

- physical: nice lighter weight than my old HA 76. Unfortunately, the knobs have spread out and my stand with the folding arms isn't going to work without some mods. It's always something...

- synth: very nice to hear sampled strings again. I haven't heard the analogue emulation enough yet to decide how different/better/worse the updated synth engine sounds. My old one has a bit of metallic harshness about the filter.


Don't know if this is your first Nord or not. If it is, I'd suggest getting off the presets (few of which I like), and constructing your own sounds. Doesn't take long, and zero menu diving. You might be more pleased with the results.

The keybed, unfortunately, will be a matter of taste.
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#2864624 - 07/05/17 01:31 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: cphollis]
JWhllr Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/30/15
Posts: 133
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
I was an HP action dissenter for a long time based off first impressions. I've adapted to an Electro 4 HP out of necessity and I can now find it usable. Not an abundant joy to play on, but useable. There is hope!
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#2864628 - 07/05/17 02:05 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: cphollis]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: cphollis

Don't know if this is your first Nord or not. If it is, I'd suggest getting off the presets (few of which I like), and constructing your own sounds. Doesn't take long, and zero menu diving. You might be more pleased with the results.

The keybed, unfortunately, will be a matter of taste.


Not at all. I have previously had an Electro 2 and my regular gig axe is a Stage Classic 76. I know my way around the Stage well. But the organ will always suck for me!
_________________________
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---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

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#2864650 - 07/05/17 03:14 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
Nadroj Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 08/19/13
Posts: 891
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Do you have a vent? Certainly makes the Stage 2 organ better. Nord's older rotary emulation sucks to my ears.

Have you had any more time with it since this morning?
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#2864666 - 07/05/17 04:16 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: Nadroj]
mate stubb Offline
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Yes I have a vent, which I use with my Mojo 61. I always carry it plus the Stage so no need to compromise on organ.

I've played for several hours more today and am less than halfway thru the included presets. Got to get my go to sounds transferred asap.
_________________________
Moe
---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2864669 - 07/05/17 04:28 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
Rusty Mike Offline
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Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 703
Loc: Central NJ
Since the A and D banks are copies of each other, the first thing I did was wipe out the A bank programs. I then loaded in the APs and EPs that I like best and created new programs for myself.

I can't recall going through the Bank C presets, come to think of it.

Since my prior gig rig was an Electro 3, I did not have any splits, layers or synth needs out of the box. That has been developing over time though.


Edited by Rusty Mike (07/05/17 04:29 PM)
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#2864678 - 07/05/17 04:59 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: Rusty Mike]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike
Since the A and D banks are copies of each other, the first thing I did was wipe out the A bank programs.

When I had the NS2, I completely rejiggered it. Rather than choose a letter-bank for my own use, I put my 20 most essential programs in A 1-5, B 1-5, C 1-5, and D 1-5. Then with no scrolling whatsoever, I could get to any of those 20 programs with a maximum of two button presses.
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#2864684 - 07/05/17 05:25 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: AnotherScott]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott

When I had the NS2, I completely rejiggered it. Rather than choose a letter-bank for my own use, I put my 20 most essential programs in A 1-5, B 1-5, C 1-5, and D 1-5. Then with no scrolling whatsoever, I could get to any of those 20 programs with a maximum of two button presses.


This is exactly my intention.
_________________________
Moe
---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2865187 - 07/07/17 01:48 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
Nadroj Offline
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Registered: 08/19/13
Posts: 891
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Any further thoughts on the HP action Moe?
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#2865259 - 07/07/17 06:24 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: Nadroj]
Music*aL Offline
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Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 2442
Loc: SoCal
IMO, the vent makes the Nord B3 sound highly useable. Unfortunately, it doesn't solve the CV problem which is just not the greatest imho.
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#2865268 - 07/07/17 06:48 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: Nadroj]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nadroj
Any further thoughts on the HP action Moe?


Haven't gigged yet just played a lot the last couple of days. My initial impression still stands - feels sluggish when played silently, better if you can hear it trigger sounds.

I think I can get used to it, especially for my rock band where I'm not playing Rachmaninov or anything demanding. It doesn't feel any heavier than say a Yamaha action.
_________________________
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---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2865323 - 07/08/17 04:57 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
eric Offline
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Registered: 01/25/02
Posts: 6129
Loc: Virginia
Here are some of my thoughts on the NS2EX 76 HP keyboard action. It's definitely a tough one.

If I play the HA and then the HP back to back, I realize the HA is FAR superior to the HP. But if I spend enough time on the HP on its own, I can start to gel with it and find that it gives my fingers a decent workout. In a live setting, I can get by on the HP...with the benefit being the fact that it is 14 pounds lighter than my NS2 88 HA. I *almost* went for the NS2 EX Compact, but I really wanted some kind of weight in the keys.

The NS2 EX 76 It is a bit more of a workout and I find that I can play piano sounds a little bit more expressively with the heavier-feeling HP action. I love the lighter weight and ease of transport of the HP 76, which is important to me as I'm moving it around quite a bit every week. I use the Nord gig bag with wheels, but I have a couple of sets of stairs to navigate quite frequently, and the NS2 88 HA was a bit of a beast to carry up and down stairs in the Nord gig bag.

I kept my NS2 88 HA and use it at home for rehearsing and some sound design. I have it on a stand with a second tier and I often bring in my NS2 EX 76 HP and put that on the top tier over the older NS2 88. This gives me a chance to do some A/B comparisons. I still find the HA keyboard is a bit more inspiring and easier on the hands. I think it works very well for playing organ sounds and it just feels more elegant in general. But as is the case with many things, there is a tradeoff. Higher quality action means heavier weight. I'm currently making the tradeoff to live with the less elegant action of the HP 76 action so I can benefit from the ease of transport.

When I go for the NS3 (which I think is inevitable at this point), I think I'm going for the NS3 Compact to get the waterfall action plus the drawbars. Then I *might* consider selling one of my two NS2 instruments.

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#2865336 - 07/08/17 06:21 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: eric]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Registered: 10/19/09
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Originally Posted By: eric
When I go for the NS3 (which I think is inevitable at this point), I think I'm going for the NS3 Compact to get the waterfall action plus the drawbars. Then I *might* consider selling one of my two NS2 instruments.

I am with you guys on thinking the HA is too heavy to gig with, and the HP is a significant compromise in action. That's why I'd get the NS3 compact, and put it over some other weighted action that I find preferable to the HP action, and MIDI them up. Though I know, some people simply want to stick with a single board. But there are so many advantages to having the second, especially if sticking with one means not really enjoying the action.

I've really been into the idea of enjoying the feel, lately. As I mentioned elsewhere, I've been gigging with a NE5D-73 and a MOX6, and I can do a gig with just the two (as I did last weekend, where I had to do a very fast setup with long walks to the car), but when logistics permit it, I've been adding a Casio 88 just to have a better action for playing the Nord pianos. (Okay, since it's there, I sneak in using a few Casio sounds as well.) I could replace the MOX6 with a MOX8 and still have all my sounds and still have a weighted action, but I prefer the Casio's action and lighter travel weight. With three, I'm bringing more weight in total, but no single board is that big or heavy, plus I'm still super-light for the gigs I want to do with just two.

Which brings me to the other reason people may not go the "NS3-73+an 88" route... they may have some other unweighted board they want to use with their Nord, and so bringing an additional weighted action board means, not a decision between one board and two, but a decision between two boards and three. I understand that's harder to justify. But not impossible. ;-)
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#2865356 - 07/08/17 07:38 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: AnotherScott]
Daniel71 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 84
Loc: Rimouski Canada
Gigging with a HA88 is the way to go for me
Lighter than my sold Kronos 2 88

Regards

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#2865372 - 07/08/17 09:08 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: Daniel71]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 10610
Originally Posted By: Daniel71
Gigging with a HA88 is the way to go for me
Lighter than my sold Kronos 2 88

Yeah, weight is a relative thing. ;-)
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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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#2865400 - 07/08/17 10:24 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: eric]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: eric

If I play the HA and then the HP back to back, I realize the HA is FAR superior to the HP. But if I spend enough time on the HP on its own, I can start to gel with it and find that it gives my fingers a decent workout. In a live setting, I can get by on the HP...with the benefit being the fact that it is 14 pounds lighter than my NS2 88 HA. I *almost* went for the NS2 EX Compact, but I really wanted some kind of weight in the keys.


This is a good summation of how I am currently feeling. Piano on waterfall unweighted actions is out of the question for me. I end up banging on it wanting to dig in and I hurt my hands. So I shall see how I get along with the HP.

If I don't like it long term, I may think about trying to swap in the HA from my Stage Classic.
_________________________
Moe
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Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

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#2865443 - 07/08/17 01:08 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
RudyS Offline
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Registered: 11/06/02
Posts: 1818
Loc: Groningen, The netherlands
You mean putting the HA action in the stage 2? Will that fit?
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Stuff: Nord Electro 3, Casio PX5s, DSI Mopho keys, Nord Lead A1, Korg N5, Korg Poly 61, QSC K10 and a Shure SM58.

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#2865445 - 07/08/17 01:20 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: RudyS]
Daniel71 Online   content
Senior Member

Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 84
Loc: Rimouski Canada
Or just return the HP and take the HA instead...
Your hands will thank you like mine did smile

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#2865447 - 07/08/17 01:44 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: RudyS]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: RudyS
You mean putting the HA action in the stage 2? Will that fit?


Intriguing idea, isn't it? Don't know the answer, but the 76 HA in its rolling soft case is 50 lbs of awkward. I'm looking to improve on that.
_________________________
Moe
---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2865486 - 07/08/17 03:15 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
jeffinpghpa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Charlotte, NC
My solution to this was the Kurzweil Forte 7 with the 76 key TP-40 action. Not missing Stage 2 and happier with 700MB size Rhodes, Wurly and Clav samples with 7-12 velocity layers.

The organ on the newest Nords is better, though.
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#2865487 - 07/08/17 03:19 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: jeffinpghpa]
mate stubb Offline
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Originally Posted By: jeffinpghpa
My solution to this was the Kurzweil Forte 7 with the 76 key TP-40 action. Not missing Stage 2 and happier with 700MB size Rhodes, Wurly and Clav samples with 7-12 velocity layers.

The organ on the newest Nords is better, though.


I always forget about Kurzweil. I never ever see them in stores nor in other players' rigs. That Forte 7 is a beast, heavier even than my Stage Classic.
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Moe
---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2865493 - 07/08/17 04:15 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
orangefunk Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 04/14/02
Posts: 3283
I have an Electro 5HP. Indeed the action is very very weird.

But I suppose it is a compromise in order to get the weight down. I have a Stage 2 with the HA action and was surprised how light the HA action is compared to the HP which is a bit heavy...

I am getting used to the HP but it does feel weird at first and the rattley feel does not inspire. It is however a fantastic match for Rhodes sounds on keyboard curve 1.

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#2865497 - 07/08/17 05:06 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: orangefunk]
bjosko Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 118
Loc: Denmark
I have used my NS 88 Classic as a top board with my DMC122/Gemini as the bottom board. A HA should be a bottom board, but it do not fit so well on my stand. Therfore I have played a lot of piano on the lower manual on the DMC. It have been great to have 2 manual so close together with differnt sounds, and I have played a lot of tunes with more Wurly or other piano sounds that before was only organ. But I have missed my NS as the primary piano-board, so I hope the HP can fill this role.
I can almost do my pianos on the DMC, but of course are missing some keys, and for some tunes the HA feel.
Then I will later switch the DMC to the smaller Mojo 61 as a top-board, and could bring both board closer together.
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#2867323 - 07/16/17 08:47 PM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: bjosko]
mate stubb Offline
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Posts: 15027
Really finding some nice sounds. I dig the 3D Grand a lot. The Nefertiti compliments my standard Sparkletop nicely.

In my first foray away from basic piano / organ sounds in a long time, I've got a good set of presets for Here Comes the Sun.

I have 3 nice layered piano presets that will work well in a band. A Grand - Fazioli/Bright and 2 Upright combos - Bambino/HonkyTonk and Bambino/Rain. And I still have room to have several more loaded. I'll probably cull the herd and pick a couple faves to load XL versions.
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---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2867341 - 07/17/17 02:09 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
sosho Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/08
Posts: 16
Loc: germany
Are the newer rhodes samples a big step up from the old ones available for electro 2 ? Playing rhodes on electro 2 I really miss a weighted action . The samples sound ok on recordings but feel strange to play for me . How do you like the rhodes in the mojo in comparison ? Thanks in advance

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#2867376 - 07/17/17 07:15 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: sosho]
mate stubb Offline
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I might say the same thing about the rhodes on Mojo - sounds great but feels strange to play on an unweighted action.

It's been so long since I had an Electro 2 that it's hard to remember, but I'm not sure my favorites - Sparkletop and Nefertiti - were even available back then.
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---
Tonysounds: "The only thing worth putting thru a Roland KC amp is a chainsaw."

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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#2867377 - 07/17/17 07:18 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
stoken6 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 1447
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
It's been so long since I had an Electro 2 that it's hard to remember, but I'm not sure my favorites - Sparkletop and Nefertiti - were even available back then.


Nope - no way to load external Piano Library samples into an E2. You had the stock EPs, but I can't remember what they were.

Cheers, Mike.
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#2867420 - 07/17/17 09:51 AM Re: Instant Nord Stage EX HP76 review [Re: mate stubb]
sosho Offline
Member

Registered: 05/02/08
Posts: 16
Loc: germany
Originally Posted By: mate stubb
I might say the same thing about the rhodes on Mojo - sounds great but feels strange to play on an unweighted action.

Snip.

Thank you . i would say for me the unweighted action is not even the problem ,it is more the fatar waterfall velocity curves . But somehow even the old rhodes samples work in a loud context when there is decent monitoring. How do you like the mojo rhodes compared to to your favourite nord samples ? Was saving up for the new stage but so far I prefer the crumar organ and the clav seems to be better as well. Hope the mojo or gsi is as reliable as my old electro

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