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#2884655 - 10/12/17 12:41 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: The Zombie MC]
johnchop Offline
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Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 2058
Loc: Georgia, US
Not gigging at the moment and am likely done. I want to play what I want to hear, and not much of what I like to hear falls in the "crowd-pleaser" category. idk Just trying to maximum fun factor given limited free time.

That said, I'm all software now except for a Little Phatty. (Trying to sell off my PC3 at what I think is a reasonable price, but no one local is buying.) Everything I've got right now aligns with my ambitions, but I'll usually spring for a version upgrade or new soft synth when there's a sale on AND if it sounds good.

Next major hardware purchase will likely be a PC for hosting soft synths, as I'm kicking the Receptor to the curb. Not sexy at all, but it will solve some CPU headroom issues.

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#2884657 - 10/12/17 12:52 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: stoken6]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11109
Originally Posted By: stoken6
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
(But will the NS3 be perfect? No... Nord's SW actions are more highly sprung than I'd prefer, and the NS3 has only 5 direct patch select buttons.)


Not much you can do about the action, but have you considered an external patch selector? Do it from your lower board, or run an app on a phone/tablet, or a Genovation (like Wix, we learn!), or a Sipario etc.

Yes, if I get the NS3, I'll probably set up something on the iPad for patch selection. As for action, I might have an answer, we'll see...
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#2884662 - 10/12/17 02:33 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
Marzzz Offline
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Registered: 11/24/00
Posts: 2320
Loc: Scottsdale, AZ
Always looking for a good analog poly; had a Mutable Instruments Ambika (didn't love the interface, but probably shouldn't have sold it), a Futuresonus Parva (too long in development, still some bugs, background noise- I am pretty much over Kickstarter), a DSI OB-6 (loved it, but sold it to get the module; now holding off because of cost); I am taking a look at the Novation Peak (but need to really try it out first) and I am intrigued by the Deckard's Dream (which I think sounds good, though not exactly like a CS-80; also need to hear/play a completed unit). Not interested in any of the Behringer stuff right now....

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#2884671 - 10/12/17 03:21 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: Marzzz]
David Emm Offline
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Registered: 09/14/12
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There is complacency and then there are simple moments of completion. I could not synthesize a realistic Mellotron from only a stack of synth WAVs, hence M-Tron. My growing enjoyment of guitar lines led me to Strum. I have a meaningful mass of Logic EXS24 and ES2 patches, but the latter began to sound too "clean" in some small way. I felt the need for a different monosynth, but I didn't really seek a Moog signature. I settled on the Korg Legacy MonoPoly, which is a well-appointed upgrade of the hardware version. It adds two effects units in series (you can set 4-tap delay positions across a sound field graphic), 128-voice polyphony and outstanding presets, including a few by some guy named Francis. There are plenty of A-list patches to build on, including many with very 'analog' grit. Early on, I found myself reaching up and grabbing the right knobs as if I was back at my old MiniMoog. The configuration is classically Right. I was leaning towards the Minimonsta for a while, but this synth wears more of the hats I was looking for.

After you reach a certain point, each additional synth you take on diminishes the use you get from the others. I've sought to maintain a certain focused diversity across my stack. I bought the Wavestation in January, so by adding the MonoPoly, my library fairly runneth over. Unless I get an itch for something additive, I'm well-covered. This time *next* year, I'll revisit that Omnisphere fantasy and see if I've built my thighs up enough to bench press it, he claimed. blah
So no, I'm too busy being jazzed to be complacent. That's First World BS, sonny! hitt
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#2884675 - 10/12/17 04:34 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: David Emm]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Loc: USA, greater NY area
I am always on the prowl for the thing that will be so great to play and own. It has to sound great, feel great/play great, be easy to use but feature-full enough that I don't need a third board. I'll bring two, but I'm never carting three. It's also best if I can hall it myself in a gig bag, or at most one with a pair of wheels and handle.

Anything else for me are acoustic / electro mechanical and staying home. Or sound toys.

Believe me, I'd love to have a the flexibility in finances for sound toys, but it's a once every 4-10 years kind of thing and under $2k is a ceiling as instituted by the Captain and I can't argue with logical thought. Call it the Vulcan in me. This is probably also why Roland, Korg Yamaha etc. have been so active in the low end lately.

Someday I'll pull a Dave Ferris and trade in my Chickering for a Steinway. But that will probably be a retirement present rather than a lusty car.
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#2884676 - 10/12/17 04:44 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
I'll bring two, but I'm never carting three.

Well your Yamaha S90ES/Roland VR-700 combo is pretty nice if you have the muscles. Sounds are plenty good enough for gigging, no one but you would notice where they may not be state of the art. As long as you don't need custom samples or knobby synth stuff, you're really pretty well covered there. If you were sufficiently motivated, some small add-ons could tweak it, like a Roland SE-02 or similar for a knobby synth or a Vent/Lester to get a little more oomph out of the organ. Occasional need for a sample could be covered by an app if you have an i-device.
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#2884677 - 10/12/17 04:54 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
I'll bring two, but I'm never carting three.

Well your Yamaha S90ES/Roland VR-700 combo is pretty nice if you have the muscles. Sounds are plenty good enough for gigging, no one but you would notice where they may not be state of the art. As long as you don't need custom samples or knobby synth stuff, you're really pretty well covered there. If you were sufficiently motivated, some small add-ons could tweak it, like a Roland SE-02 or similar for a knobby synth or a Vent/Lester to get a little more oomph out of the organ. Occasional need for a sample could be covered by an app if you have an i-device.


I am pretty content with sounds on this pair - definitely chosen with great care. Heck it takes me 10mins to pick out a tooth brush. wink The weight of the S90ES with wheeled softcase is OK... just those moments where I get to gig and f*ck I need to do stairs. I've my eye on the PX-360/560 which I can do over my shoulder no problem. That SP6 has piqued by interest too. But I'd probably prefer a CP4 in the end... On the other hand, I am a stickler for action - am very interested to see what instruments the Kawai Grand Feel Compact show up in and how low they can get the weight... could it be in CP4 territory?
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#2884678 - 10/12/17 05:01 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 203
Me again, with what I'm sure is another question with a self-evident answer, only I'm kinda spinning my wheels trying to figure this one out. (Man, I hope this isn't another arranger/workstation thing--apologies in advance if it is.)

Can someone clarify for me the whole dedicated piano (e.g. the Yamaha S90ES mentioned in the post above) thing? I think I saw somewhere that the piano voices in such things are superior to the Motif/Montage or Kronos voices...or maybe not? I went to either the Yamaha or Korg site (don't remember which) and it said something to the effect of German, Austrian, etc. pianos, which sounds to me like the same ol', same ol' relative to the Motif/Montage or Kronos. So...like...what's the big deal? These things cost 2/3 to as much as a full synthesizer, but only have 5-10 voices. Why?

Grey
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#2884680 - 10/12/17 05:35 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: The Zombie MC]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 12490
Originally Posted By: The Zombie MC
I know I am... my acquisition has slowed way down, and there hasn't been any new gear in the last five years that has induced GAS. I have a lot of old gear from 1970s/80s/90s, and I have not found any compelling reason to replace them.

Not that there isn't anything good being made these days - I just don't NEED any more stuff. Keyboards, effects, amps, speakers, accessories... got everything I could want.

It's great to see the renaissance in modulars these days, but I started out with a PAiA modular back in 1981 and am not anxious to get back into modulars.

Another reason... I'm tired of reading manuals to learn new keyboards. There's no avoiding it as desktop or laptop computers advance, but I made a conscious decision years ago to minimize learning curves and/or choose interfaces that are intuitive.

Weight doesn't concern me as it does other players. Hammond players are always trying to lighten their tonewheels or clonewheels so I can understand their need.

Who else is complacent?


Lord knows I don't need more stuff. I've been giving some pieces aways. I rent a storage unit that full of gear.

Piano emulations not withstanding I don't think my rigs sound much better today than they did in in 1992. What has improved greatly is multi-timbral resources. I can gig out with the Kronos and pull off things I did in 92 but in 92 I used a D-50, SQ-1, SG-1, P-600 and a big rack full of synths.

My mental audio comparisons between now and then may be tricky because by in large modern stage amplification sucks today with IEMs and powered speakers compared with the large systems we carried then. But FOH systems are better today. I'm probably also guilty of remembering the old days as being better than they were. I'm running the D-05 in clean mode after all.
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#2884681 - 10/12/17 05:42 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 11109
Originally Posted By: GRollins
Me again, with what I'm sure is another question with a self-evident answer, only I'm kinda spinning my wheels trying to figure this one out. (Man, I hope this isn't another arranger/workstation thing--apologies in advance if it is.)


Well i is a little like an arranger/workstation question because, again, there are no firm rules, and something can be called whatever the manufacturer wants to call it.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
Can someone clarify for me the whole dedicated piano (e.g. the Yamaha S90ES mentioned in the post above) thing? I think I saw somewhere that the piano voices in such things are superior to the Motif/Montage or Kronos voices...or maybe not?


In the case of the Yamaha S90ES, it had ALL the stock sounds that the contemporary Motif ES had, plus one additional (generally seen as higher quality) piano sound. However it did not have the "workstation" features of the Motif... no sequencer, and less sound editing capability, and no ability to add RAM to load additional/custom samples.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
I went to either the Yamaha or Korg site (don't remember which) and it said something to the effect of German, Austrian, etc. pianos, which sounds to me like the same ol', same ol' relative to the Motif/Montage or Kronos. So...like...what's the big deal? These things cost 2/3 to as much as a full synthesizer, but only have 5-10 voices. Why?

You're mistaken about them having only 5-10 voices. The top Korg piano, Grandstage, has 500 sounds. It's kind of a "best of Kronos" for a lot less money, again without all the Kronos workstation features like sequencer, sampling, extensive sound editing, MIDI controller functions, as well as yes, fewer sounds, but still a lot more than 5-10. The Yamaha CP4 similarly has 433 sounds, not 5-10, but again, nowhere near all the sounds and workstation functionality of a Motif/Montage. It also has some additional piano technology that's not in the Motif, the SCM (modeling) elements.
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#2884682 - 10/12/17 05:46 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 5273
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: GRollins
Me again, with what I'm sure is another question with a self-evident answer, only I'm kinda spinning my wheels trying to figure this one out. (Man, I hope this isn't another arranger/workstation thing--apologies in advance if it is.)

Can someone clarify for me the whole dedicated piano (e.g. the Yamaha S90ES mentioned in the post above) thing? I think I saw somewhere that the piano voices in such things are superior to the Motif/Montage or Kronos voices...or maybe not? I went to either the Yamaha or Korg site (don't remember which) and it said something to the effect of German, Austrian, etc. pianos, which sounds to me like the same ol', same ol' relative to the Motif/Montage or Kronos. So...like...what's the big deal? These things cost 2/3 to as much as a full synthesizer, but only have 5-10 voices. Why?

Grey


Very strange mixing and matching of various pieces of info.
The biggest difference perhaps between previous generation Motifs and current Montage and Kronos models is the availability of storage for sample based programs/patches. The older models were limited by hundreds of megabytes of waveform data on ROMs where the newer models have around 1.5 gigabytes or more on flash ram. As such, the really desirable patches like acoustic piano sounds are able to offer greater detail with longer unlooped samples of each key (no stretching across multiple keys) and additional velocity layers and things like pedaling noise if you want that realism. Newer models also have modeled resonance that occurs between strings in an acoustic piano. How much these details matter in the mix of a live band is questionable. But they can sound great solo, especially in great headphones or with great monitors. But a good piano patch is a good piano patch (and of course subjective).

That said, an instrument like the Motif and S90ES, even CP4 additionally are great midi controllers for external instruments and software - where that need seems to have faded from users' desires if you take the arrival of instruments like the Grandstage, VOX Continental and similar as an indicator.
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#2884683 - 10/12/17 06:12 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
AnotherScott Offline
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p.s. -- there are *some* digital pianos that have only very few voices, and they are mostly found at the price extremes. At the very low end, something like a Casio PX-160 or Yamaha P-45 have only a handful of sounds, but they're cheap... at the high end, companies sometimes make models with their very best piano technology and little to nothing else, offering more sophisticated piano tech than any of their contemporary multi-purpose boards... i.e. Roland V-Piano, Yamaha CP1, Kawai MP11.
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#2884693 - 10/12/17 06:57 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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I'm running on about 2 1/2 hours sleep and my noggin ain't all together, but I pulled a couple of things together:

Korg SV-1 $1550 (roughly half the price of a Kronos) 36 voices
Korg Grandstage $2500 (about 2/3 the price of a Kronos) 500 voices (more than I'd remembered--these things are starting to run together in my mind--but still quite a few less than a Kronos)
Yamaha CP1 $5000 (now you're up into Montage price range, including stand, bench, amps, cables, etc., plus liquor to lubricate your groupies [yeah, right, dream on]) 17 voices

It's hard to make sense of this stuff, because if you search for Yamaha "keyboards" you don't see the CP1, for instance. So then you search for Yamaha "pianos" and you still don't see it. I'm sure there's a trick to this, but it'll take more sleep than I've had to get my head straight. I'm off to bed.

Grey
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#2884698 - 10/12/17 07:16 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
Tom Williams Offline
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Registered: 01/04/14
Posts: 603
Loc: West Virginia
I'm in the "Already happy, but considering next step" category. A Kurzweil K2600 provides bread-and-butter pianos, and a PC361 stacked on top gives me the rest that I currently need.

In fact, I could do it all with the PC361 and an 88 key MIDI controller underneath, but I don't quite have bet-the-gig faith in the PC361 by itself (My previous one often fails to even boot).

Dreams for the future: A lighter piano than the K2600, currently thinking either Casio or one of the lower cost Kurz stage pianos. Then purely for fun, I would love to get a Sledge and/or a Behringer Model D.
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#2884701 - 10/12/17 07:18 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 5273
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: GRollins
I'm running on about 2 1/2 hours sleep and my noggin ain't all together, but I pulled a couple of things together:

Korg SV-1 $1550 (roughly half the price of a Kronos) 36 voices
Korg Grandstage $2500 (about 2/3 the price of a Kronos) 500 voices (more than I'd remembered--these things are starting to run together in my mind--but still quite a few less than a Kronos)
Yamaha CP1 $5000 (now you're up into Montage price range, including stand, bench, amps, cables, etc., plus liquor to lubricate your groupies [yeah, right, dream on]) 17 voices

It's hard to make sense of this stuff, because if you search for Yamaha "keyboards" you don't see the CP1, for instance. So then you search for Yamaha "pianos" and you still don't see it. I'm sure there's a trick to this, but it'll take more sleep than I've had to get my head straight. I'm off to bed.

Grey


The CP1 has been around since 2010 that's why it's not big news. It's also a unique instrument in that it's a high end model that focuses on a limited best-in-Yamaha's-class sound set - it's also built like a tank and has a luxury vintage vibe that is reminiscent of a "real" (ie. not digital) instrument. It also has "concept car" feel to it with it's backlit chrome Yamaha logo and fluorescent display. It's not something I would be able to carry around - but I wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers, if you get what I'm saying.
Here's a detailed write up in SoundOnSound:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/yamaha-cp1

Like Scott was saying, more or less sounds doesn't make the instrument. There are a lot of factors in picking the right instrument for you and in many cases, the right instrument for the right job. Price is also not an indicator of number of sounds - I mean... heck, some instruments throw in loads of sounds for under $999. But are they all of high quality and meaningful to your use scenario? For someone looking for a lightweight jack of all trades board the Roland VR-09B is a winner... but it is built nothing like the CP1 or Kronos 8. Me personally I'd be miserable doing a piano gig with it. Right tool for the right job. Look for the features you need (want) within your budget. That's about all there is to that.
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#2884705 - 10/12/17 07:30 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: ElmerJFudd]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 1926
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
Totally agree, better to have a small number of voices that kill it vs. 10,000 that generally suck. A handful of classic AP, DP, B3 and clav can get me through all sorts of classique gigs.

Add maybe a dozen classic synth sounds, and the 80s are no problem.

Quality vs quantity.

Disclaimer: I personally enjoy mixing up the sound palette simply because I get bored. I'll throw in a cello solo, or maybe accordion, or synth guitar or whatever just to throw people a curve ball. But that's an entirely different agenda, isn't it?
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#2884706 - 10/12/17 07:33 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
AnotherScott Offline
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You can't find the CP1 because it's discontinued.

The SV1 is an interesting animal, it's sound set is completely different from (rather than being a subset of) what's in some workstation (Kronos, Krome, Kross). It's AP lags at least two of those, but some people feel its EPs are still the best. It also has the tube. It also pre-dates any of those workstations, it dates to 2009, but still has its own, desirable vibe.
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#2884741 - 10/13/17 03:56 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
Legatoboy Offline
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No...If I'm gigging, I'm Gas-in!
Any GasX?
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#2884744 - 10/13/17 04:05 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
Posts: 203
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
You can't find the CP1 because it's discontinued.

The SV1 is an interesting animal, it's sound set is completely different from (rather than being a subset of) what's in some workstation (Kronos, Krome, Kross). It's AP lags at least two of those, but some people feel its EPs are still the best. It also has the tube. It also pre-dates any of those workstations, it dates to 2009, but still has its own, desirable vibe.


Sweetwater seems to have the CP1 available as new product. Kraft Music as well. Musician's Friend has at least one as "open box." I, perhaps foolishly, assumed that if it was for sale new, that it was current--or at least only recently discontinued. If you search for the CP1 directly, Yamaha still has a web page for it; one that doesn't mention that it's discontinued. Maybe the page just needs updating.

The Korg SV-1 seems to me to run at least somewhat in the same vein, target market-wise.

So, with that in mind, let me try to restate my question since I seem to have misfired in my initial phrasing.

I'm not viewing this as a simple voice/$ ratio. I also understand that the quality of voices vary--my kids have a Yamaha PSR-200 and it's pretty rough sounding. My point is this: You're going to have a tough time convincing me that the electronics in one of these piano boards are significantly different from those in a more synth-oriented board/workstation/arranger/whatever. In fact, they're probably simpler. The mechanical parts (keys, controls, chassis parts, etc.) aren't going to be vastly different. So that leaves me withe the idea that the difference must be the voices--and I'm having a really tough time envisioning piano voices that are so superior that they're worth the cost/performance ratio, given that you're losing a jillion other voices in the equation, just to simplify the user interface (which, in and of itself, lowers the manufacturing costs--less programming and support hardware).

I understand the principle of charging what the market will bear, but who are the people who will pay $5k (in the case of the CP1) for a 'dumbed down' Motif/Montage? What's the motivation to buy something like this vs. a Kronos or Montage--then just ignore the unwanted voices? Or, conversely, why is it not priced at, say, $1k, at which point you'd sell a heap more of them. Yes, I'm aware that there are pianos at that price point, but what can you add to a board at that price that makes it worth the additional $4k? Or even $500, in the case of the SV-1?

Grey
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#2884762 - 10/13/17 06:35 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
Al Quinn Offline
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Registered: 08/13/14
Posts: 865
Loc: Center Moriches, NY
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
But will the NS3 be perfect? No... Nord's SW actions are more highly sprung than I'd prefer, and the NS3 has only 5 direct patch select buttons.

I feel the same way about the Nord SW action on my Electro 4D. I'm going to try swapping the springs in an attempt to lighten the action. I've had some springs sent to me by Syntaur and now need to test them out. If your interested I'll let you know how it goes.
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#2884766 - 10/13/17 06:54 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 12490
Originally Posted By: GRollins
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
You can't find the CP1 because it's discontinued.

The SV1 is an interesting animal, it's sound set is completely different from (rather than being a subset of) what's in some workstation (Kronos, Krome, Kross). It's AP lags at least two of those, but some people feel its EPs are still the best. It also has the tube. It also pre-dates any of those workstations, it dates to 2009, but still has its own, desirable vibe.


Sweetwater seems to have the CP1 available as new product. Kraft Music as well. Musician's Friend has at least one as "open box." I, perhaps foolishly, assumed that if it was for sale new, that it was current--or at least only recently discontinued. If you search for the CP1 directly, Yamaha still has a web page for it; one that doesn't mention that it's discontinued. Maybe the page just needs updating.

The Korg SV-1 seems to me to run at least somewhat in the same vein, target market-wise.

So, with that in mind, let me try to restate my question since I seem to have misfired in my initial phrasing.

I'm not viewing this as a simple voice/$ ratio. I also understand that the quality of voices vary--my kids have a Yamaha PSR-200 and it's pretty rough sounding. My point is this: You're going to have a tough time convincing me that the electronics in one of these piano boards are significantly different from those in a more synth-oriented board/workstation/arranger/whatever. In fact, they're probably simpler. The mechanical parts (keys, controls, chassis parts, etc.) aren't going to be vastly different. So that leaves me withe the idea that the difference must be the voices--and I'm having a really tough time envisioning piano voices that are so superior that they're worth the cost/performance ratio, given that you're losing a jillion other voices in the equation, just to simplify the user interface (which, in and of itself, lowers the manufacturing costs--less programming and support hardware).

I understand the principle of charging what the market will bear, but who are the people who will pay $5k (in the case of the CP1) for a 'dumbed down' Motif/Montage? What's the motivation to buy something like this vs. a Kronos or Montage--then just ignore the unwanted voices? Or, conversely, why is it not priced at, say, $1k, at which point you'd sell a heap more of them. Yes, I'm aware that there are pianos at that price point, but what can you add to a board at that price that makes it worth the additional $4k? Or even $500, in the case of the SV-1?

Grey


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#2884773 - 10/13/17 07:33 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
You can't find the CP1 because it's discontinued.

Sweetwater seems to have the CP1 available as new product. Kraft Music as well. Musician's Friend has at least one as "open box." I, perhaps foolishly, assumed that if it was for sale new, that it was current--or at least only recently discontinued. If you search for the CP1 directly, Yamaha still has a web page for it; one that doesn't mention that it's discontinued. Maybe the page just needs updating.

Sorry, looks like I was mistaken. According to this thread (itself somewhat dated), they transitioned it to periodic limited production as needed. http://forums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2724605/Re_Yamaha_CP1_No_Mas_We_hardly
At some point Yamaha discontinued the CP300, then brought it back at a higher price. I guess if there's sufficient demand at a high enough price point, Yamaha is willing to do limited runs as needed.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
The Korg SV-1 seems to me to run at least somewhat in the same vein, target market-wise.

As the CP1? No, I don't think they target(ed) the same buyer.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
You're going to have a tough time convincing me that the electronics in one of these piano boards are significantly different from those in a more synth-oriented board/workstation/arranger/whatever. In fact, they're probably simpler. The mechanical parts (keys, controls, chassis parts, etc.) aren't going to be vastly different. So that leaves me withe the idea that the difference must be the voices--and I'm having a really tough time envisioning piano voices that are so superior that they're worth the cost/performance ratio, given that you're losing a jillion other voices

I mentioned CP1, V-Piano, and MP11. At least at the time these models came out, there was no less expensive keyboard that had everything these keyboards had and more. Though the CP5 came very, very close to that. Worth the price difference? That's an individual decision. And sometimes the electronics and the keys are indeed vastly different. And sometimes someone has no need for a jillion other voices.

In the details, each situation is different...

...CP1--and the cheaper CP5 which had a lot of Motif sounds added--had what was generally considered a much better piano action than any Motif, and also included modeling as opposed to the purely sampled pianos and EPs of the Motifs. (So that tasks your comparison two ways... is a CP5 worth the price relative to a MOX/Motif, and is the CP1 worth the price relative to a CP5.)

...Roland V-Piano was entirely modeled, no samples at all, and the user could even customize the modeling to a good degree. Those sounds and that technology simply didn't exist in any cheaper Roland, there was zero overlap between the V-Piano and anything cheaper. (I think it also may have been the first model to use its particular action.)

...MP 11 has far fewer sounds than the step-down MP7, but has a very different action, and the best piano sounds of the MP11 are not in the MP7.

Are any of these worth their price premium? Judgment call. Again, there are virtually no universal truths when comparing "digital pianos" to "workstation/synths" (similar to the arranger vs workstation thing). And remember again, not all dedicated piano models are premium priced, many are indeed cheaper than more versatile instruments from the same companies, just as you think they should be, like the Nord Piano vs the Nord Stage series, or the lower cost Casios vs. higher, or the Roland FP series vs the RD series. But in some cases, there are "statement pieces" where a company puts some unique technology into creating simply their best piano models, with some combination of sound/technology/action that does not exist in their lesser prices "full featured" offerings. Over time, a lot of their tech does make it down to lower priced instruments, though not always.

In short, I"d say that comparing categories is not as useful as comparing individual instruments.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
I understand the principle of charging what the market will bear, but who are the people who will pay $5k (in the case of the CP1) for a 'dumbed down' Motif/Montage? What's the motivation to buy something like this vs. a Kronos or Montage--then just ignore the unwanted voices?

So again, CP1 is not a dumbed down Motif, its action and some of its sonic qualities/technologies are unique to the CP, and if someone only cares about pianos, they might prefer the piano experience of the CP1 to a Motif/Montage. Yes, its a niche product which presumably sells in far smaller quantities, but there is some market for it. Not every product has to be one designed for the masses. Most people probably don't want to pay $3500 for a one-voice synthesizer, but there are still a bunch of very happy owners of the Minimoog reissue.

As for Kronos, Korg does not make a more expensive piano than that, so the decision is the reverse, whether you want to pay less money for a similar sounding (from a piano perspective) and operationally simpler GrandStage that has far fewer sounds and other capabilities.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
Or, conversely, why is it not priced at, say, $1k, at which point you'd sell a heap more of them.

Or heck, sell them for $50 and see how many they would sell! Obviously there's some minimum cost where they could sell it profitably, but determining pricing is its own art. It's possible that it is more profitable to sell 100 of them at $5000 than it is to sell 500 of them at half the price, if that were even a viable option. And, at half the price, it could have some cannibalization effect on other models that are already selling well at that price, more profitably. Really, what something "should" sell for is something that we, as outsiders, really have almost no way to intelligently discuss. We just don't know the relative costs of the different actions or electronics (since again, none of the high end dedicated pianos are truly an exact subset of some lower priced product), nor do we have access to the market data that would give us any idea of what sales would likely be for a given product at at a given price.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
what can you add to a board at that price that makes it worth the additional $4k? Or even $500, in the case of the SV-1?

All I can say is, play them for yourself. If someone likes a board's unique sound and feel, and they can afford it, it can be worth it for that person, and only you know if it can possibly be worth it to you. There are indeed people who love their CP1 or V-Piano or MP11, even though you can get what many people consider perfectly good pianos (or workstations/synths with piano sounds) for $1000. The only one of those I can speak to personally is the SV1, and yes, if EPs are a focus, I would say it's worth $500 more than any $1000 piano/synth/workstation, from Korg or anyone else. Korg's lower priced but more fully-featured Kross is simply not in the same league, in either action or sound. (Even apart from EP, I'd take the SV1 over the Kross for AP as well.) It's also operationally an entirely different experience. (And it's also not nearly as good as a CP1/CP5 for acoustic piano.)


Edited by AnotherScott (10/13/17 07:40 AM)
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#2884775 - 10/13/17 07:43 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: Al Quinn]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
I feel the same way about the Nord SW action on my Electro 4D. I'm going to try swapping the springs in an attempt to lighten the action. I've had some springs sent to me by Syntaur and now need to test them out. If your interested I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh yes! I have Syntaur's (now discontinued) replacement springs in my Artis7, very happy with the change. I wasn't aware Syntaur ever offered anything for the Nord, it's not on their web site as far as I can see.
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#2884784 - 10/13/17 08:34 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
GRollins Offline
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I've got a dead (possibly permanently, but I'd like to try to revive it) Kurtzweil K2500 here next to me as I write. As far as the electronics go, the power transformer is the single most expensive part (these days a lot of stuff uses prefab switching power supplies, but that's another discussion) and it probably only ran--shooting from the hip--$15-20 tops--very likely $8-10 in quantity. Prices drop off rapidly from there. Individual resistors are cheap as dirt (pennies) when you're buying 5000 at a time. Even things like PCBs are only a few bucks apiece. These prices don't change when you're building a different model. A chip doesn't know or care whether it's going into a Montage or a CP1, it's the same part at the same cost, either way, once the bean counters decided how many to buy.

There's no magic involved in this stuff, just engineering. Precious little "research," no matter what the sales literature would have you believe. The word "technology" is a buzzword thrown in to make things seem complicated, but it's real use is rooted in the intricacies of trademark law (e.g. Yamaha's AWM), not the nuts and bolts reality of electrons flowing through circuitry.

So somebody goes out and records a Steinway in a studio. Play all 88 notes under a variety of conditions. Record them. Let's be generous and say it takes two days and costs something like, what would be realistic for a high price, $2-3000.00? Then you take it back to the factory and from then on it's just bytes to be programmed into ROM. At this point, you're in the same position as, say, Microsoft, where you're just churning out endless copies of the same file (and Microsoft had to pay a lot of programmers to get their Windows code, the Steinway didn't get paid, only a couple of humans recording the Steinway...but I digress) at no additional cost; just burn the ROM (ROM's cheap, by the way) solder it, and out the door it goes.

Just looks to me as though the CP1 and related products are particularly high profit margin items. After all, a 2.21k resistor costs the same whether it's in a CP1 or my kids' PSR-200. They've bought a generic part and it's in stock, on the shelf, ready to be used in any of Yamaha's products. If, as I suspect, the CP1 is actually much simpler on the inside than a synth, the parts cost is actually lower; possibly half the cost of a full synth.

The keys may be different, but are they really that much more as a physical item? This is an area where I freely admit that I don't have answers. What's a keybed cost in quantity?

Are the piano sounds actually different in a CP1, compared to a Montage? Add another day to the studio time to record the samples. Or--more likely--record all your samples at the same time, then take them home and put the original file in the top o' the line machine, degrade the signal a little and put it in the second tier machines...etc.

There's always a diminishing return as you go up the product line. Spend 30% more to get a 10% improvement. I understand that, but it seems like the ratio might be 50% more for a 2% improvement in this case.

Hmmm...clearly people are willing to put a premium on their piano experience. More power to them.

Grey
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#2884801 - 10/13/17 09:47 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins
So somebody goes out and records a Steinway in a studio. Play all 88 notes under a variety of conditions. Record them. Let's be generous and say it takes two days and costs something like, what would be realistic for a high price, $2-3000.00? Then you take it back to the factory and from then on it's just bytes to be programmed into ROM.... just burn the ROM (ROM's cheap, by the way) solder it, and out the door it goes.

As I mentioned, some units use modeling instead of or in addition to samples. Still, yes, it's all ultimately bytes of code in silicon. I admit, I have no idea what it costs to manufacture custom ROM in a given quantity. The amount of ROM has traditionally been one of the big differentiators between companies' lower and higher priced keyboards (whether that additional ROM was used for greater quantity of instrument sounds, better quality of instrument sounds, or some combination). And more expensive if rewritable (which, okay, technically is not ROM anymore) versus not.

I have read that the rule of thumb is that a $100 parts cost typically translates to a $400-$500 price at retail. I expect there are exceptions, and indeed a CP1 may have a higher parts markup than a P45.

Originally Posted By: GRollins
Hmmm...clearly people are willing to put a premium on their piano experience. More power to them.

Bingo, I think you've got it! ;-) It's also why people will some people will buy a $50,000 piano instead of a $10,000 piano.
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#2884808 - 10/13/17 09:57 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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Me? I'm in the "buy top shelf stuff, used" category. I cannot conceive of a path in life that would lead to me buying even the $10,000 piano, much less its big brother.

Grey
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#2884814 - 10/13/17 10:14 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: GRollins
I cannot conceive of a path in life that would lead to me buying even the $10,000 piano, much less its big brother.

Marry rich.
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#2884817 - 10/13/17 10:21 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: AnotherScott]
GRollins Offline
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Methinks my wife would raise an eyebrow...

Grey
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#2884850 - 10/13/17 11:51 AM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
Devnor Offline
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Registered: 02/08/11
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ROM is cheap. There's a chip in there, either SHARC DSP or more likely something totally custom, to processing the modeling. Custom ICs are terribly expensive and need for this chip is the reason why they just can't simply drop it into a Montage or MOXF.

Regarding price, you can ask this question about any high end synth. A Kronos 88 is $3799. It contains a $150 PC mobo inside. Where does the added expense come from? It's running basically the same software from the decade old+ OASYS & Kronos 1 with incremental improvements. It's hardly in the control surface or keybed. I own a Kronos 2.

I wouldn't buy a CP1 either because the PA systems I use cannot reproduce the nuances of that piano.

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#2884866 - 10/13/17 12:53 PM Re: Are you complacent with your gear? [Re: GRollins]
Frightful Mike Offline
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Registered: 01/05/12
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Originally Posted By: GRollins
Me? I'm in the "buy top shelf stuff, used" category. I cannot conceive of a path in life that would lead to me buying even the $10,000 piano, much less its big brother.

Grey

I would have no problem with the concept of spending $100,000.00 + on a piano, other than the fact that I don't have it. puff
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