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#2908984 - 02/12/18 10:22 AM Replacement for S-90 XS
Outkaster Online   content
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I am trying to find a replacement for my S-90 XS. I loved this line dating back to the S-80 I had in 2000. I wish this series was not retired as it served a couple of needs. I had one of the first S-90 XS units from Sweetwater and itís served me well. After 81/2 years though I am looking for something to replace it. I do some piano centered gigs but I use it for a lot of the other sounds as well. I thought of the CP4 but itís already old and I canít afford a Montage either. What about the Forte by Kurzwiel? I also need a weighted action.


Edited by Outkaster (02/12/18 10:23 AM)
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#2908985 - 02/12/18 10:31 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
CEB Offline
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I don't know. I still have my S-90XS. It's a great board and I'm not sure how I would replace it. I like the layout of the RD-2000. It is in the same sort vein as the S-90XS. I bet the action doesn't feel as good though.

The Kawai MP-7 feels great but the synth roles are more limited on the Kawai.


Edited by CEB (02/12/18 10:33 AM)
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#2908988 - 02/12/18 10:39 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: CEB]
eric Offline
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I still have my S90 (classic version, the original one). I don't gig with it any more, but it sits above my Hammond A-101 in my music room and I still enjoy playing it. The action and sounds are quite good, particularly for a very careworn 15+ year old keyboard.

I moved to Nord stuff, which I realize is not a fit for you, but if I was trying to replace the S90 I would go for the CP4 or MP7. I spent a lot of time on the Kawai keyboards at NAMM last year or the year before and really fell for the MP7. The Kurzweil Forte is also a good option. Roland RD2000 is also worth exploring.

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#2909004 - 02/12/18 11:14 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: eric]
RABid Offline
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Roland FA-08?
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#2909011 - 02/12/18 11:51 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Agreed the S series synths are something else entirely.
CP4 will cover a lot, as would an FA-08. I prefer the CP4 action.
A PC3K8, Forte/ForteSE/SP6 depending on your price and weight vs action needs. Korg GrandStage.
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#2909014 - 02/12/18 12:03 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Outkaster Online   content
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Thanks you guys. What prompted this is that I went back to taking lessons and if found I had to be honest with myself and go for a weighted board. I tried the Roland RD-2000 and didnít like the keys. Yamaha I always could work with well. I havenít seen a grandstage so I am not sure how that is. I had a PC88 way back in the 90ís and that was nice. Itís so hard to see what these boards are about as the local stores and even the Guitar Center here doesnít stock anything. I guess my fear is getting into something that is too old, The CP4 is a few years old now. I like the S series as I could do multiple kinds of gigs with it.
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#2909034 - 02/12/18 12:44 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
nickd Offline
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Registered: 05/24/10
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Loc: UK
Yamaha MOXF8?

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#2909070 - 02/12/18 02:18 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
TAdorno Offline
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Registered: 12/10/16
Posts: 41
Loc: Northern NJ
s90 was my main board for like 15 years. it fell at a cocktail hour while I was setting up and the bottom keys got smashed. I loved the feel of it and now, while a few keys stick and the bottom octave is unusable, i use it as a rehearsal board.

i now use a jupiter 50 (and sk1) live mostly. mainly because as I get older I want my gear to be lighter. but I do have a CP4 which stays set up at home and comes out when I need to be a pianist and not a keyboard player. I love the CP4 action and sounds. It may be a little old, but playing it wont make you miss the S90x
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#2909071 - 02/12/18 02:23 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: TAdorno]
richforman Offline
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Registered: 02/05/10
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I finally replaced my S80 with an MOXF8 a few years back, similar Yamaha architecture and sound-set with 88 weighted keys but about 20 lbs lighter and nice looking too.
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#2909075 - 02/12/18 02:33 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: richforman]
Coker Offline
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Registered: 02/13/16
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Loc: Connecticut
It may be the perfect time to buy a CP4 - used. Mine has been quite durable, and itís my go-to for pianist gigs. I hope not to replace it for a long time... drop about $1400 for a used CP4 and youíve got a great keyboard.
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#2909078 - 02/12/18 02:42 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: richforman]
Jon G Offline
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Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 80
Loc: Los Angeles CA
I bought an S80 in 2000 and replaced it with an S90XS in 2013. I really like it but have been thinking of buying a CP4 so could have something smaller and lighter to take out. I would miss some things (aftertouch, etc) but on most rock, blues and R&B gigs I do, I don't need as much synth power. I wish Yamaha would come out with a new S90 in a CP4 case.

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#2909081 - 02/12/18 02:57 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Coker]
Aidan Offline
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I'd say it depends on the balance between your need for a quality keyboard and breadth of sound palette. I love my CP4 but it's essentially a stage piano, whereas the S90 series were more like a Motif for live use. If you're going to mainly need it for acoustic and electric pianos, I wouldn't hesitate on the CP4. However, if you're regularly going to need brass, strings and synths (i.e. function band gigs) something like the MOXF8 is going to be a better fit. The other sounds on the CP4 are pretty limited and rudimentary by comparison.

However, the GHS action on the MOXF is definitely an acquired taste, so if your main focus will be performing challenging piano pieces, you're back in CP4/RD2000/MP7 territory. I gather there is at least apocryphal evidence to suggest that the action on the MX88 is somewhat better, even though it's ostensibly the same keybed, but there's still a big difference between there and the stage pianos.

The CP4 does have some compromises (limited zones, awkward multiple selection faders, clavs are so-so) but of that triumvirate I mentioned, if you're gigging there's no contest IMO. The CP4 is the lightest of the lot, it has a lovely keybed and its dedicated mono grand samples are great. If weight was important and you could live with less than an 88, the Korg Grandstage 73 might be worth a look too, I suppose.

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#2909085 - 02/12/18 03:08 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12913
If your S90XS is still working, why do you want to replace it? I know one common reason for that kind of switch is to look for something lighter, is that it? Or is there something else prompting the change? To suggest a replacement, it would help to know why what you have is no longer good enough!
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#2909088 - 02/12/18 03:21 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Aidan]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 937
I was looking for a stage piano also and decided on the RD 2000. I know you didn't like the keybed. For me the RD 2000 is like a stage piano on steroids. The layout is really good plus alot of features and I am really happy with all the sounds except organ but it's a stage piano. It has alot of Juno 106 sounds plus alot of SN synth sounds. The Eps. are good as well plus the AP's are good but all of this is subjective every individual is different. I've only had it 2 days and still trying to learn the ins and outs. But so far I am pleased plus for me the keybed is really solid.

I gave the Yamaha CP4 a hard look but I thought I was getting more bang for the buck with the RD 2000.

Good luck in finding you a stage piano.
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#2909108 - 02/12/18 05:18 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: bennyray]
Dave Ferris Offline
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A fwiw, the new sample in the Kawai MP7SE and upgraded action made a huge improvement over the original in my short time with it at NAMM -- and that was with low grade phones. If at all possible I would give that a try.

I would also second the suggestion for the Grandstage. Very nice. Just quick impressions on that -- it would sound better in a band then what you get playing it solo.

I like the RD2000 a lot as well. Like I've posted before though, a little slower with regard to being responsive sound and action for Jazz compared to the CP4. But it's certainly a great ax albeit at the heavier weight.

If I were getting a second gigging keyboard - with a little more firepower then the CP4 for stuff other then straight-ahead Jazz- I would choose the Korg personally.

One more fwiw, I heard Mitch Forman last month at the Baked Potato and he was still using the S90 classic. Worked for him. smile I think I sold mine to get the CP5 in 2010.
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#2909130 - 02/12/18 06:35 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Dave Ferris]
LX88 Offline
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* Tried to edit, but did not have time. For acoustic sample, I would probably still take Yamaha. For Ep's... Korg has come out with some pretty great stuff since Herbie Hancock came on board.


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#2909141 - 02/12/18 07:17 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: LX88]
Doc Tonewheel Offline
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Registered: 02/04/06
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Loc: Downingtown, PA
If you're taking lessons again and working on your technique, then you can't go wrong with the CP4. The only reason I sold mine was because my better half bought me an Avant-Grand. The sounds in the MOXF8 are nice and very useful for a wide range of genres, but the action is no where near that of the CP4, the APs and EPs are really nice, and the other sounds are good as well (except the clavs for some reason). I haven't tried the new Kawai, but the action on the MP11 is nice as well.
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#2909164 - 02/12/18 09:24 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Doc Tonewheel]
allan_evett Offline
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Echoing a couple of points made so far: It depends on how much synth/ROMpler firepower is needed. Also, do you need ROMpler-level programmability ? The S90XS has the Motif XS sound engine, plus fairly comprehensive editing; meanwhile the CP4, though a topnotch digital piano, is quite limited in those areas.

If you're used to the particular clarity of Yamaha piano tones, replacing the S90XS with a different brand instrument could be a challenge to your ears; though the Roland stage piano tone comes the closest, to my ears and touch. I replaced an S90XS in my live rig with an RD-2000, and am finding a lot to like. The level of piano tone and playability easily rivals that of the CP4; and the synth engine - though smaller than that of the S90XS - is very flexible. And having a modeled tonewheel organ on board is great, especially with full, front panel control.
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#2909198 - 02/13/18 05:11 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: allan_evett]
Outkaster Online   content
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Yeah I tried the RD-2000 and didn't like the action but I tried because Roland does some nice things, same with the Yamaha MOXF8. I wasn't or am not worried about the programmable side of things. I will try to get out and look at the grandstage if I can find one or the Kawai MP7SE. The S90XS is perfect for what I need but I wanted to see what's out there that might be a little more new and as I suspected not much. Here is the Kawai video, it doesn't sound that bad:

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#2909205 - 02/13/18 05:49 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
GRollins Offline
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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
The CP4 is a few years old now.


I realize that I'm way out of my depth here, but I'm not understanding why you're worried about the "age" of the CP-4. Are you worried about it being replaced with a newer design? Assuming that it meets your needs, one you buy today will be new, with a warranty, and should last you just as many years as one you might have bought a while back. It seems that you want one, but have reservations that aren't quite clear to me.

Grey
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#2909207 - 02/13/18 05:56 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: GRollins]
cphollis Offline
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You might consider a two board solution. First, an accurate AP board for your lessons and technique. It won't be helpful to compromise here. The CP4 fills the bill and there are certainly deals to be had. While I certainly prefer the CP4's action and feel, Nord works better for me in the weight and breadth of palette category.

For all the other stuff, maybe an unweighted upper board for less $$$? Again, very good deals to be had.

Yes, you'll end up with a more complex rig. But there are advantages in getting two boards that are mission-focused vs trying to do it all in a single board.

I, like many people, have never been happy playing unweighted parts on weighted boards, and vice versa.
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#2909211 - 02/13/18 06:05 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: cphollis]
Outkaster Online   content
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Yeah I get that. I have a rig I use. A Hammond clone and a Kronos. I guess I am worried about making a mistake or getting something that isn't a good fit. I have done that in the past and getting out from under and instrument you really don't want can be a hassle.
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#2909214 - 02/13/18 06:20 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
eric Offline
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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
The S90XS is perfect for what I need but I wanted to see what's out there that might be a little more new and as I suspected not much.


Yeah, other than the Montage which is the latest, I think the XS sounds are still very good and not much else in rompler-land has surpassed them. As I mentioned, I still enjoy my S90, which is 2 generations older than your S90XS. I have the Motif XS Rack and I love it.

If your S90XS is not broken, why not just keep using it? I used the heck out of my S90 for a solid 10 years and it still works just fine (but is very careworn).

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#2909222 - 02/13/18 06:45 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: eric]
Outkaster Online   content
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Yeah I guess I will. Sorry ambivalence strikes sometimes when trying to make these decisions Eric.


Edited by Outkaster (02/13/18 06:48 AM)
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#2909229 - 02/13/18 07:05 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: eric]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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Originally Posted By: eric
I have the Motif XS Rack and I love it.


I also have one and love it. It would give you a compact way to get more voices out of a [fill in the blank...possible CP-4 or whatever]. You could have your cake and eat it, too, action-wise. I'm not as taken by the Roland house sound, but they had a Fantom rack unit and if you're into their sound, that might be an option.

The Motif XS rack certainly breathed new life into my MM8. I've got 88 keys with action that I'm fairly comfortable with (not as heavy as the Kronos, anyway) and voices out the wazoo.

Grey
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#2909233 - 02/13/18 07:25 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: GRollins]
Wastrel Offline
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Registered: 05/13/09
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Loc: Los Angeles
Originally Posted By: GRollins
Originally Posted By: eric
I have the Motif XS Rack and I love it.


I also have one and love it. It would give you a compact way to get more voices out of a [fill in the blank...possible CP-4 or whatever]. You could have your cake and eat it, too, action-wise. I'm not as taken by the Roland house sound, but they had a Fantom rack unit and if you're into their sound, that might be an option.

The Motif XS rack certainly breathed new life into my MM8. I've got 88 keys with action that I'm fairly comfortable with (not as heavy as the Kronos, anyway) and voices out the wazoo.

Grey

Here's a question that never occurred to me before. Is the MIDI implementation of the Motif rack any less Byzantine and hostile than the user interface on the keyboard models? I'm a huge Yamaha fan - sound wise - and gigged an S90 and MO 6 for years. But the programming was the shits IMO and I can only imagine having to do it at arms length through a controller to a rack would be that much more difficult and counter-intuitive. Comments?
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#2909240 - 02/13/18 07:56 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Wastrel]
eric Offline
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Registered: 01/25/02
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Originally Posted By: Wastrel
Originally Posted By: GRollins
Originally Posted By: eric
I have the Motif XS Rack and I love it.


I also have one and love it. It would give you a compact way to get more voices out of a [fill in the blank...possible CP-4 or whatever]. You could have your cake and eat it, too, action-wise. I'm not as taken by the Roland house sound, but they had a Fantom rack unit and if you're into their sound, that might be an option.

The Motif XS rack certainly breathed new life into my MM8. I've got 88 keys with action that I'm fairly comfortable with (not as heavy as the Kronos, anyway) and voices out the wazoo.

Grey

Here's a question that never occurred to me before. Is the MIDI implementation of the Motif rack any less Byzantine and hostile than the user interface on the keyboard models? I'm a huge Yamaha fan - sound wise - and gigged an S90 and MO 6 for years. But the programming was the shits IMO and I can only imagine having to do it at arms length through a controller to a rack would be that much more difficult and counter-intuitive. Comments?


Good question - here's how I use it to make it less hostile, though I think I could be getting more out of it than I do. This approach works for me with my NS2 rig.

The NS2 has two panels, each of which can send out External messages on separate channels. I use the XS Rack set permanently on a single Performance and then I call up bank and patch changes from the NS2 that trigger those changes to happen within the Performance. I send on MIDI channels 3 and 4, so each panel will have a corresponding Bank and Program change that decides which sound(s) I'm using - so it could be a single, split or layer of two XS Rack sounds, depending on how I set up the NS2 Program.

Every time I have to dig into the menus and edit stuff in the XS Rack it is a little bit difficult. I have it pretty much in "set it and forget it" mode where it lives in my rack and I rarely do anything to it.

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#2909241 - 02/13/18 08:03 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
eric Offline
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Registered: 01/25/02
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Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Yeah I guess I will. Sorry ambivalence strikes sometimes when trying to make these decisions Eric.


I hear ya! Sometimes it is nice to get something new to infuse a bit of excitement. Older gear is old and even if it works, it can get a little boring.

There's a local band here in Richmond and the keyboard player has been using the same Roland D-50 since 1987!!!! along with some kind of digital piano. That's dedication!

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#2909243 - 02/13/18 08:08 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: eric]
Wastrel Offline
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Originally Posted By: eric

Good question - here's how I use it to make it less hostile, though I think I could be getting more out of it than I do. This approach works for me with my NS2 rig.

The NS2 has two panels, each of which can send out External messages on separate channels. I use the XS Rack set permanently on a single Performance and then I call up bank and patch changes from the NS2 that trigger those changes to happen within the Performance. I send on MIDI channels 3 and 4, so each panel will have a corresponding Bank and Program change that decides which sound(s) I'm using - so it could be a single, split or layer of two XS Rack sounds, depending on how I set up the NS2 Program.

Every time I have to dig into the menus and edit stuff in the XS Rack it is a little bit difficult. I have it pretty much in "set it and forget it" mode where it lives in my rack and I rarely do anything to it.

That sounds like a simple, straight forward - and easy to remember - implementation and probably something like what I would do in a similar situation. Particularly the part about going through the exercise of programming the Motif occasionally and "set and forget" mostly.
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#2909245 - 02/13/18 08:09 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: eric]
GRollins Offline
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Registered: 09/01/17
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I'm not a good person to ask. The Yamaha MM8 (which is what I'm using as a MIDI controller for the XS at the moment) is pretty brain-dead in terms of programming, so I just poke two buttons on the front of the XS to set the voice I want. It could be simpler still if I went to the trouble to set the stuff I use up as favorites, but I never seem to get around to it.

There's also the possibility that I could use my Fatar keybed project as a more extensive controller--it's got some unused capabilities--but I'm going to wait on that until I get a nice wooden case built so that it's more mechanically stable. Right now it's precariously balanced on the lower manual of the A-100 and I don't want to mess with it any more than necessary.

Grey
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