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#2914047 - 03/09/18 10:36 PM Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions
Adan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2670
Loc: San Francisco
I have a Dexibell Vivo S3 in my office at work right now. I haven't decided whether I'll keep it but in the mean time I thought I'd post some impressions since few here on KC have had their hands on one of these.

I keep a keyboard in my office so I can get a half hour of practicing there a day. That's sometimes more practicing than I get done at home with my small children around, so for me this is an important piece of equipment in my arsenal.

It also comes with some particular needs that the S3 seemed to meet. I wanted weighted keys with a good AP sound. It needs to be stored against a wall when not in use, so lightweight and compact are helpful. Also, if I take it home it will be on public transportation, so again, the lighter and more compact the better. On paper, the S3 is about best in class, so it looked worth it to me.

So far, I like it. An important caveat here is that I've only heard it through mediocre headphones. But I think the AP sounds are excellent. I'm not someone who tends to pick apart the nuances of an AP sound. More important to me is just how it feels to play the keyboard and whether I find myself playing it the way I would a good piano. For the S3, the answer is yes.

The TP100 action is noticeably quieter than the Electro HP I had several years ago. I have a clear memory of how clunky that action was. The S3 feels similar under my fingers to the EHP, but not as annoyingly noisy.

I don't think anyone would say the action is as good as you find in more expensive, heavier keyboards. But the S3 weighs 22.7 lbs. For something that portable, I'd say it feels pretty darn good. It's a relatively heavy action, so much better for APs than for, say, clavs or organ.

The panel implementation is quite good. There's not a lot of buttons and knobs, and yet it's very easy to get where you want to go quickly and intuitively.

I want to say the Dexibell sounds have a crispness and presence that's impressive and marks this as a high level instrument. It's disappointing though that the Rhodes and wurly sounds are not better than they are. You would think that if Dexibell can make such a good AP sound, their EPs should also be contenders for the best. The EPs are good and very useable, but they don't have the depth and character of the Korg Grandstage. The adjustable parameters such as key off noise and "growl" help somewhat, but still something is lacking compared to the best from Korg, Nord, etc.

There's only a few organ patches, but they're quite good, and even the leslie sim is pretty good for an all-purpose board like this.

There's only a few synth sounds which are mostly pads, not leads. The S3 synth sounds are only adequate for a supporting role.

These are, of course, only the onboard sounds. I haven't explored the sound-loading capabilities, and that's where the Vivo line might prove itself worthy of its pricetag. I don't think I would recommend the Vivo based on the onboard sounds alone. Although there are some very good ones, and in particular some stunning APs, many others are just middlin, and the sound set isn't broad enough to cover most keyboardists' needs.

But looking at just the S3, not the whole Vivo line, I'd say it's definitely one to consider if your focus is on having a very good AP sound and a (somewhat limited) palette of useable other sounds in a very portable weighted-key package.


Edited by Adan (03/09/18 10:44 PM)
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#2914058 - 03/10/18 02:10 AM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: Adan]
pianomike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 39
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
Adan , I recently purchased the Dexibell S3 and agree with a lot of what your saying except how good the piano sound is . To me the piano sounds more like an electric piano than a real piano , and for me to get close to a sound of a real piano I have to do a lot of tweeking on it . The action is heavy but very smooth witch is nice ,the piano does sound good when its layered and it does have a pleasant sound on its own . I find it enjoyable to play and really like the weight of it , which is the main reason I bought it .My RD 2000 definetly has better piano and electric piano sounds on it than the S3 but I like the organs on the S3 better . I posted a lot of my thoughts on pianoworld .

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#2914065 - 03/10/18 04:52 AM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: pianomike]
teashea Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 198
I also have an S3 and I admire it greatly ---- I think that Dexibell has the best piano sound of any keyboard I own. Solid build quality and good controls.
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#2914088 - 03/10/18 07:43 AM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: pianomike]
Adan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2670
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: pianomike
To me the piano sounds more like an electric piano than a real piano , and for me to get close to a sound of a real piano I have to do a lot of tweeking on it .


The online videos present a better representation than I've heard through the headphones I have at work, and based on those I would not say the APs sound like EPs. But I need to bring bring my good headphones into the office before I say for sure whether I agree with you, mike. If the APs were not good, then in my opinion, there would be very little to recommend the Vivo.
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#2914187 - 03/10/18 06:22 PM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: Adan]
pianomike Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 39
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
Well I have been tweaking the sound and when I got it sounding pretty good I saved it so I don't have to go through the hassle of resetting it. The only thing the internal memory did not save was the EQ section .Part of the reason I wasn't getting a good sound is because I was running it through my new roland kc 220 practice amp , which made it sound too thin and digital , since I tweaked it I hooked it up to my two EV ZXA1 speakers and it sounds nice and full and pretty sweet. There are a lot of settings on it to change so you can get the sound you want on it when I get a chance I might start working on the electric piano's. There's a video of all the changes you can make on the pianoworld forum.

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#2914603 - 03/13/18 01:55 AM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: pianomike]
Theo Verelst Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 4037
I listened to the demos and a short bit of video and even though I used a (decent) notebook DAC and medium sized monitors, apart from some catchiness there's no risk the instrument competes with the V-piano sound variation options.

The nirvana of neutral compressed sound with even tone distribution, though that doesn't appeal to me at all, also seems quite unachievable.

T

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#2914791 - 03/13/18 08:37 PM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: pianomike]
AnotherScott Offline
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12985
Originally Posted By: pianomike
Part of the reason I wasn't getting a good sound is because I was running it through my new roland kc 220 practice amp , which made it sound too thin and digital , since I tweaked it I hooked it up to my two EV ZXA1 speakers and it sounds nice and full and pretty sweet.

No surprise, Roland KC amps and acoustic piano sounds don't go together well.
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#2914803 - 03/13/18 10:04 PM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: AnotherScott]
Adan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2670
Loc: San Francisco
I'm returning mine. It's a good keyboard, but for my purposes, it's not worth $1800. I think the folks who will get their money out of it are the ones who make full use of the sound-loading capabilities.
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#2914829 - 03/14/18 04:55 AM Re: Dexibell Vivo S3 first impressions [Re: Adan]
teashea Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/24/17
Posts: 198
Yeah, the amplifier makes a big difference with any keyboard - and the important is often overlooked.
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