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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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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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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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#2909265 - 02/13/18 09:24 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: GRollins]
CEB Offline
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Its the action in the S90XS that rocks. Yamaha still uses that action in the Montage 8. If my Kronos 2 had that Yamaha balanced action I would be happier than a puppy with two peters.

The MOXF8 doesn't quite do it for me. That action is a hair slower.


Edited by CEB (02/13/18 09:25 AM)
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#2909280 - 02/13/18 10:26 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: CEB]
Outkaster Online   content
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Yeah I tried one at a gig one time where I sat in for a few songs. You are right about the Kronos that would be cool.
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#2909459 - 02/14/18 06:06 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Dave Ferris]
Outkaster Online   content
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Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
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.


Dave I just saw some video for that Kawai MP7SE. How was the action?
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#2909473 - 02/14/18 07:09 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5963
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
In just a short time with it, I thought good. I never could at all connect with the MP7, sound or action. Again, immediately I could tell the SE was a big improvement. If you can deal with the weight, I'd make an effort to at least check one out. I'd need more time with it to say for sure if it would be for me but the quick impression was definitely favorable. smile

And also again, play the Grandstage and try to envision it in the band context.
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#2909487 - 02/14/18 08:01 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Dave Ferris]
Outkaster Online   content
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Registered: 02/25/06
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Loc: Rochester, NY
OK will do. I will see if I can find one locally.
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#2909508 - 02/14/18 08:41 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
Stokely Online   content
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1967
Loc: Florida
An aircraft carrier? Sherman tank?

Seriously, I wanted one as I liked the action and the sounds, but the darn thing was just too huge. Even the 70 was huge.

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#2909608 - 02/14/18 01:37 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Stokely]
eric Offline
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Registered: 01/25/02
Posts: 6358
Loc: Virginia
Tonysounds has an MP7 that he bought sight-unseen after I (along with a few others) recommended it after trying it out at NAMM. I know he has been very happy with it, but probably the weight is a bit cumbersome.

Not sure if Tony will notice this thread, but if you get more serious about the Kawai, could be good to start a dedicated thread on this.

I am using a single NS2 or NS2 EX as my gigging board. If I ever went back to a two keyboard rig, I would strongly consider the MP7 along with a clonewheel.

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#2909732 - 02/14/18 09:59 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: eric]
allan_evett Offline
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Registered: 03/18/09
Posts: 3839
Loc: Westville, IN
I had an MP7 for a couple of years, supplied as part of a church gig. It was fairly compact (wheels above the keys, like the S80/90), and didn't feel all that heavy when I had to move it (46 lbs, IIRC). The pianos were extremely playable, and sounded great. Also, I found the Rhodes and clavs to be solid; meanwhile the Wurli was insanely good. The B3 model was very well done; granted the drawbars are split, 4x2 (plus a knob), but tone-wise it easily rivals the RD-2000's VK engine.

The synth engine didn't blow me away, right out of the box. But the raw materials are all there - lots of potential for vintage patches. And the ROMpler engine is well rounded; the FX engine as well. For the money, you won't find another comprehensive 4-zone MIDI controller like this either.

Guessing that the new, piano samples / sound set in the SE will make this a rather badass axe.
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#2909744 - 02/14/18 11:38 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: GRollins]
Pianolando Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/14
Posts: 20
CP4 is great, Better piano sounds than S90-X, better action, but obviously much more limited as it can only use two sounds in a layer plus one lower, splitter sound. Piano and EPS are great, the other sounds very usable but some a bit dated. Weighs very little as well which is a great thing if you gig.

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#2910324 - 02/17/18 11:59 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
rickp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/14
Posts: 305
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.

Personally, Iíve adopted the ďage doesnít matterĒ philosophy. Iíve shifted my focus from the age of my keyboards to how well they do the job needed (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is how I hope I and my fellow musicians are assessed since weíve drifted into our 60ís).

My S90ES is older than your XS (in fact, part of my departure from always chasing the newest keyboards came when I tried the XS but didnít like the AP sounds as well as the ES for band settings) but itís still the board Iíll grab every time to sit under an SK1 for a horn band or classic rock gig. For something pianocentric, the CP4 does everything I could reasonably want or ask of a digital board, regardless of its age. And for piano duty in a reunion blues and southern rock bandís rather rowdy outings (with a dedicated Hammond player) that often calls for having the touch of a blacksmith, my rather long-in-the-tooth CP33 fits the bill perfectly.

I may very well be wrong, but I think I get better incremental gains on stage from spending more rehearsal time playing what I have than I would from switching to and learning and reprogramming newer boards. To me, there came a point in time that high-end keyboards got good enough that newer stopped being decisively better. Fortunately for keyboard manufacturers, there are many here who would disagree. But - there is an area where I think newer can be decisively better (unless youíre already in boutique levels like Chuck and Dave) and that breathes new life and excitement into playing, and thatís in the interface and speaker departments. If the age rather than the capability of your XS is the primary factor and you still enjoy gigging with it, perhaps hooking it to something like the new K.2s through a Key Largo may be the update that would make you smile more than a newer board would?
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#2910337 - 02/17/18 01:48 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Pianolando]
Dave Ferris Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5963
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
Originally Posted By: Pianolando
CP4 is great, Better piano sounds than S90-X, better action, but obviously much more limited as it can only use two sounds in a layer plus one lower, splitter sound. Piano and EPS are great, the other sounds very usable but some a bit dated. Weighs very little as well which is a great thing if you gig.


Andreas -- really excellent playing and compositions. Really enjoyed the lyrical Remembering You and your Song for Siri. Very beautiful. Butterflies was great, I heard a tiny bit of a Chickish influence going on in certain spots. Top notch stuff ! Nice to hear all real instruments too.
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#2910362 - 02/17/18 05:00 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Dave Ferris]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 13030
I like the ES's S700 pianos. The S6 pianos on the XS were honked up.
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#2910365 - 02/17/18 05:15 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: CEB]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 5963
Loc: Glendale, Ca.
I had the S90Es for all of four days awhile back. It was while I owned my first CP5. So probably around 7 years ago maybe.

I found a barely used one on CL out in Camarillo. I paid a grand for it and it was in brand new condition. Still had the plastic on the data window.

I too was intrigued by the 90ES piano sound hearing Jeff Lorber, among others, sing its praises and hearing some you tube stuff where he was still using it at the time.

Got it home on a Thursday afternoon and A/B'd with the CP5. Immediately I thought uh oh, this sounds like crap and plays like crap compared to the CP5. But then I thought, ok give it a couple days, maybe something about it will connect with you.

By Monday morning I put it on the LA CL for a grand. Within an hour someone contacted me, drove up from San Diego and bought it. Basically all I lost was time and gas money out and back to Camarillo.

I think a large part of my disconnect with the S90/Motif and even the Montage 88 I played is the balanced action. Not substantial enough for me compared to their digital pianos. Too synthy feeling.
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#2910369 - 02/17/18 05:27 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: rickp]
Outkaster Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6292
Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: rickp
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.

Personally, Iíve adopted the ďage doesnít matterĒ philosophy. Iíve shifted my focus from the age of my keyboards to how well they do the job needed (which, perhaps not coincidentally, is how I hope I and my fellow musicians are assessed since weíve drifted into our 60ís).

My S90ES is older than your XS (in fact, part of my departure from always chasing the newest keyboards came when I tried the XS but didnít like the AP sounds as well as the ES for band settings) but itís still the board Iíll grab every time to sit under an SK1 for a horn band or classic rock gig. For something pianocentric, the CP4 does everything I could reasonably want or ask of a digital board, regardless of its age. And for piano duty in a reunion blues and southern rock bandís rather rowdy outings (with a dedicated Hammond player) that often calls for having the touch of a blacksmith, my rather long-in-the-tooth CP33 fits the bill perfectly.

I may very well be wrong, but I think I get better incremental gains on stage from spending more rehearsal time playing what I have than I would from switching to and learning and reprogramming newer boards. To me, there came a point in time that high-end keyboards got good enough that newer stopped being decisively better. Fortunately for keyboard manufacturers, there are many here who would disagree. But - there is an area where I think newer can be decisively better (unless youíre already in boutique levels like Chuck and Dave) and that breathes new life and excitement into playing, and thatís in the interface and speaker departments. If the age rather than the capability of your XS is the primary factor and you still enjoy gigging with it, perhaps hooking it to something like the new K.2s through a Key Largo may be the update that would make you smile more than a newer board would?


Rick I hear you and I know what you are saying but I feel good gear and very good sounds can at least help you put your best foot forward. With pianos it's so hard, at least for me because I was and am a "trained" musician so to speak. With that comes the curse of wanting things to be exact or as close as I can get to the original experience of playing the real thing. If there is something that is small in some piece of gear that you can't get by it becomes big over time. I feel that way about the whole clonewheel thing also but am trying to get out of it since it's a dead end. I really wish gigging musicians were thought of by these companies more than they are.
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#2910427 - 02/18/18 07:30 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: rickp]
dongna Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/21/05
Posts: 392
Originally Posted By: rickp
Personally, Iíve adopted the ďage doesnít matterĒ philosophy. ... My S90ES is older than your XS ... but itís still the board Iíll grab every time to sit under an SK1 for a horn band or classic rock gig.

I will +1 this sentiment. I, too, have an S90ES that is still my go-to board-- oftentimes my only board-- for band situations. I routinely get compliments for my sounds (if not my playing smile ) from band members and audience alike. The only area it really falls completely flat is B3, but that is a well-documented Yamaha weakness.

I've been reading the thread from the beginning and have refrained from commenting until now, but with due respect to the OP the whole things kinda strikes me as a solution in search of a problem. idk

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#2910531 - 02/18/18 05:37 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
rickp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/17/14
Posts: 305
Absolutely understand wanting piano action and sound as close as possible to the real thing, Iíll jump on my Kawai or even the CP4 every time over the S90ES for strictly AP work or play. No doubt, the piano/synth action Yamaha puts in its combo piano/synth boards isnít as satisfying for piano work as the real thing, although to my feel at least, they did tilt the action more in the piano direction than synth, and as one who trained and came up playing piano, Iím grateful for that. I donít know, I think I decided long ago that the challenge of adapting to the action of whatever piano a venue expected me to play or to whatever board worked best for a particular gig is just part of being a working pianist/keyboardist (and I derive a strange satisfaction from knowing that many excellent guitar and bass players would flip out if they had a similar challenge).

I sure agree wholeheartedly it would be nice if manufacturers thought more of the needs and wants of live gigging musicians (I wonder if they ever seek out the wishlists of folks beyond a limited circle) so that weíre not so often unfortunately left with having to choose between (or more accurately, balancing compromises between) playability and capability. Or else weíre left with the inefficient and expensive outcome of needing several instruments to best fit several various purposes. With no intention of being presumptuous, fwiw, it seems to me youíre left with choosing between those compromises or having separate sets of instruments for growth/development and performance. (btw, Iím envious that youíre taking lessons again)
_________________________
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#2910544 - 02/18/18 07:16 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Outkaster]
The_Star_Guy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 275
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Originally Posted By: Outkaster
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
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.


Dave I just saw some video for that Kawai MP7SE. How was the action?


I played the new updated Kawai MP7SE 3 days in a row at NAMM and it became one of my personal favorites there. Not only for the new samples but especially for the upgraded action, which is now the same as the Kawai ES8. It is Kawai's RHIII triple sensor action, which is fast, accurate and very playable. As an example, I can easily do trill's on this particular keyboard. You might be able to find an ES8 at a Kawai home dealer in-stock to try it out for yourself. And given it's extensive flexibility it would make a very competent replacement for a Yamaha S-90 SX, IMO.
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#2910548 - 02/18/18 07:37 PM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: The_Star_Guy]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6464
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Itís 49.6lbs
But I love the ES8 action.
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#2910571 - 02/19/18 12:03 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Iconoclast Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 09/12/11
Posts: 526
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
I had an S90xs and was happy to finally get rid of it. The pianos were good but I really wasn't in love with just about everything else about it. And the action wasn't that great in my opinion. I always felt that when playing fast it would sometimes miss notes.

The pianos in it sat good in a rock mix, I'll give it that. The L hand kind of conveniently disappeared as opposed to conflicted with guitar.

But the organs sounded fake and the syths were a little to pristine for me. Plus the interface was just too complicated. And it was probably the largest 88 I've ever owned.

I now have both a Forte 7 and a NS3 88 to fill that hole in the studio and prefer either to the S90xs.

If my memory serves, I would say the Forte's action is more similar to the S90xs. The NS3 88 is a little heavier and maybe more suited to pure piano players.
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#2910582 - 02/19/18 03:45 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: ElmerJFudd]
The_Star_Guy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/26/12
Posts: 275
Loc: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Itís 49.6lbs
But I love the ES8 action.


Kawai MP7SE is 46 lbs

Yamaha S90 SX is 49.38 lbs

And I love the ES8 action as well.

rockit

Great move by Kawai to use this action elsewhere in their product line. IMO, only the CP4 action is even competitive, and it is still mostly a matter of individual taste.
_________________________
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#2910604 - 02/19/18 05:45 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: Dave Ferris]
Pianolando Offline
Member

Registered: 05/25/14
Posts: 20
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: Pianolando
CP4 is great, Better piano sounds than S90-X, better action, but obviously much more limited as it can only use two sounds in a layer plus one lower, splitter sound. Piano and EPS are great, the other sounds very usable but some a bit dated. Weighs very little as well which is a great thing if you gig.


Andreas -- really excellent playing and compositions. Really enjoyed the lyrical Remembering You and your Song for Siri. Very beautiful. Butterflies was great, I heard a tiny bit of a Chickish influence going on in certain spots. Top notch stuff ! Nice to hear all real instruments too.


Thank you for those words, that was so kind of you!

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#2910622 - 02/19/18 07:08 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: rickp]
Outkaster Online   content
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6292
Loc: Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: rickp
Absolutely understand wanting piano action and sound as close as possible to the real thing, Iíll jump on my Kawai or even the CP4 every time over the S90ES for strictly AP work or play. No doubt, the piano/synth action Yamaha puts in its combo piano/synth boards isnít as satisfying for piano work as the real thing, although to my feel at least, they did tilt the action more in the piano direction than synth, and as one who trained and came up playing piano, Iím grateful for that. I donít know, I think I decided long ago that the challenge of adapting to the action of whatever piano a venue expected me to play or to whatever board worked best for a particular gig is just part of being a working pianist/keyboardist (and I derive a strange satisfaction from knowing that many excellent guitar and bass players would flip out if they had a similar challenge).

I sure agree wholeheartedly it would be nice if manufacturers thought more of the needs and wants of live gigging musicians (I wonder if they ever seek out the wishlists of folks beyond a limited circle) so that weíre not so often unfortunately left with having to choose between (or more accurately, balancing compromises between) playability and capability. Or else weíre left with the inefficient and expensive outcome of needing several instruments to best fit several various purposes. With no intention of being presumptuous, fwiw, it seems to me youíre left with choosing between those compromises or having separate sets of instruments for growth/development and performance. (btw, Iím envious that youíre taking lessons again)


Lessons are hard Rick. Older parents, running a band, kids and so forth. Lucky I can practice on my lunch. The nursing school next store has a grand piano so it saves time. I did here at one point that some manufacturers lurk on this board sometimes. I am interested in the Kawai.


Edited by Outkaster (02/19/18 07:09 AM)
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#2910628 - 02/19/18 07:29 AM Re: Replacement for S-90 XS [Re: The_Star_Guy]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6464
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: The_Star_Guy
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Itís 49.6lbs
But I love the ES8 action.


Kawai MP7SE is 46 lbs

Yamaha S90 SX is 49.38 lbs

And I love the ES8 action as well.

rockit

Great move by Kawai to use this action elsewhere in their product line. IMO, only the CP4 action is even competitive, and it is still mostly a matter of individual taste.


Someone isnít being honest. US retailer says itís 46lbs, but Kawai specs say itís 22.5kg which is 49.6lbs.
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