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#2930974 - 06/04/18 07:07 AM Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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I think Nord keyboard owners are extremely helpful.

I am not in the market for one. I am interested in understanding in why the Nord Stage demands [what I think] a price premium.

If you are wealthy, have an excellent living as a musician, I get it. Price is no problem.

I am interested in objective reasons why the money conscious, scrutinizing musician pays the premium for a Nord Stage.

And why its so much more distinctive/preferable and valuable vs its worthy competitors.

Thank you for sharing this. And if I am way off on my price premium theory, feel free to correct me.


Edited by GregC (06/04/18 09:15 AM)
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#2930976 - 06/04/18 07:19 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
stoken6 Offline
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Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 1967
One-board solution with piano, clonewheel, VA and (some) rompler. Plenty of functionality beyond minimum-viable (aftertouch, internal PSU, expression pedal/bend/mod, knobs transmit CC, auxiliary outs, 5-pin MIDI and other stuff that gets cut on other keyboards for cost reasons).

Because it's a strong Stage Piano contender, I use mine with cheap controller, which helps hold down total rig costs. Also saves setup time (no mixer etc.)

As I said in a past post, for a stage piano, it's a pretty good clonewheel. And vice versa.

But man I wish the ROMpler was more flexible. (A strings patch and a brass patch I could load into a Piano slot would go a long way for me).

Cheers, Mike.
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#2930980 - 06/04/18 07:27 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
Adan Offline
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I would say four main objective reasons. In no particular order:

First, hardware is expensive, and Nords tend to have more of it in the form of panel controls.

Second, it's probably more expensive to manufacture in Sweden than Japan.

Third, economies of scale, as there are fewer Electros than there are Roland 61-note boards that use common components.

Fourth, a lack of competition. If someone else made a board with the kind of hands on control that Nord offers, Nord would have to be more competitive. Other manufacturers make efforts in that direction, but no one goes to the same extent as Nord.

I've had a bunch of Nords and the primary reason is the difference of having that much real time control in live performance.

But I have no allegiance to Nord. Right now I have a Korg Vox and though it's not quite as functional as an Electro, it very compellingly offers a similar live performance advantage.
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#2930981 - 06/04/18 07:28 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
Cower, Boy! NQ Offline
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Originally Posted By: GregC
I am interested in understanding in why the Nord Stage demands [what I think] a price premium.

Manufacturing costs?

Edit: Sorry Adan, cross posted with you.

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#2930982 - 06/04/18 07:29 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stoken6]
Adan Offline
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Originally Posted By: stoken6


Because it's a strong Stage Piano contender, I use mine with cheap controller, which helps hold down total rig costs. Also saves setup time (no mixer etc.)

As I said in a past post, for a stage piano, it's a pretty good clonewheel. And vice versa.


Not sure those are fairly characterized as "objective" reasons. You can explain your preference for Nord any way you want to, but I think the OP was trying to filter out subjectivity from the discussion.
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#2930983 - 06/04/18 07:37 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
stoken6 Offline
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Posts: 1967
Originally Posted By: Adan
You can explain your preference for Nord any way you want to, but I think the OP was trying to filter out subjectivity from the discussion.


I wasn't even trying to explain my preference - simply highlighting a feature set that is apparently attractive, but attracts a premium because of manufacturing costs (as stated above) and because the market will bear it.

Cheers, Mike
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#2930985 - 06/04/18 07:39 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
kenheeter Offline
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Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 209
I believe the main reason is that they are easy to live with on stage. The sounds are good, the editing is simple and there's virtually no menu diving. Plus extremely reliable. I've used Nords since the first Electro was introduced and I never feel that I have compromised sound, quite the opposite. I have never experienced a technical problem with any of my Nords. They hold their value when you do decide to sell. There are reasons why they are seen on the stage with most touring bands these days. I have other keyboards for special reasons, Mojo 61, etc. The Nord Stage plays very well with other keyboards via MIDI as well. They are definitely worth the money in my opinion.

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#2930987 - 06/04/18 07:48 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
Nadroj Offline
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Built well, built with care (all put together by hand at a single factory in a Stockholm).

Sounds are generally top notch. Access to entire Nord library.

It's a luxury, quality instrument; someone has compared Nords to Porches here before. Feels very different to the other plastic (or even metal) keyboards I've played in the past.

Main reason; people will buy them. They're on stages all over the world, instantly recognisable. Artists and players of all types are willing to pony up the cash for them; why would they make them any cheaper?
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#2930988 - 06/04/18 07:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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I have passed on Nord repeatedly because I canít justify the expense, even if well built and lighter to carry than some others. My best paying gigs are still $50-75 an hour. Thatís 70 hours to pay off $4500.

Additionally, they donít make a model with an action I love for piano or organ or synth. That said the TP-40 in the Nord Stage 88 makes the most sense because itís a great compromise action for all the sound engines included. Similarly the Stage is the only model I believe commands the asking price - with alternatives being the Forte, Montage and Kronos all of which have features beyond what the Stage offers - but the Stage focuses on what youíll use and not what you might not and this helps keep the user interface dedicated and easy to use. If I were going to pick up a Nord Stage it would be the compact, Iíd stick a piano action I like under it and rip the springs out of it for a better feel. On the price side, Iíd need to buy it on time, depreciate it on taxes and use for a long time.
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#2930994 - 06/04/18 08:13 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
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Well, I'll weigh in since I'm in the market for a new gigging, single board option as we speak. I definitely want unweighted keys when using one board, and will pull out 88 weighted when going with two boards.

For me, I'm deciding between Kronos 2 and Stage 3 Compact currently, the goal being to replace my long in tooth NE3-73. I'm a very heavy NS3 lean. They're the same price, so it doesn't feel like a premium price to me, given they're the flagship for each company. That being said, they definitely don't fill the exact same role, so a lot depends on what the current primary gig or need may be.

As other have said, the at hand, live controls is huge for me on Nords, love it. Weight and form factors are a deciding factor as well. NS3 Compact weighs in at 22 pounds, and the key-bed is a compromise I can work with given my ratio of piano work. My Kronos options (for me specifically) on the other hand are 73 weighted keys at 46 pounds, or 61 keys still at 31 pounds. 73 unweighted keys at 22 pounds is the absolute tipping point for my preferences. Nord construction also feels pretty solid to me.

I've used Yamaha, Casio, Moog, Nord all within the past 5 years btw. This isn't intended as a Korg bash or me trying to prove Nord is the better brand...just sharing my thought process with my current contenders.


Edited by Fusker (06/04/18 08:19 AM)
Edit Reason: English
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#2930997 - 06/04/18 08:22 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stoken6]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
One-board solution with piano, clonewheel, VA and (some) rompler. Plenty of functionality beyond minimum-viable (aftertouch, internal PSU, expression pedal/bend/mod, knobs transmit CC, auxiliary outs, 5-pin MIDI and other stuff that gets cut on other keyboards for cost reasons).

Because it's a strong Stage Piano contender, I use mine with cheap controller, which helps hold down total rig costs. Also saves setup time (no mixer etc.)

As I said in a past post, for a stage piano, it's a pretty good clonewheel. And vice versa.

But man I wish the ROMpler was more flexible. (A strings patch and a brass patch I could load into a Piano slot would go a long way for me).

Cheers, Mike.


Good reasons. I am Kronos owner . I know W/s are different beasts, all in 1 blah blah.

1 song group I require is Orchestra. Or larger ensembles. Does the Stage have , lets say, that 40 piece orchestra sound ?
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#2930999 - 06/04/18 08:26 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Fusker]
DanL Offline
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They are well built. They sound great. They are super easy to use. They are light. They have a library of sounds so you can customize what is in the keyboard.

Are they the best clone or best piano or EP? No. They are like a German Shepherd- not the best tracker, not the best protector, not the best scent dog, but they do all of those things combined better than most other dogs, which is why they are so widely used.
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#2931001 - 06/04/18 08:33 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Originally Posted By: Adan
I would say four main objective reasons. In no particular order:

First, hardware is expensive, and Nords tend to have more of it in the form of panel controls.

Second, it's probably more expensive to manufacture in Sweden than Japan.

Third, economies of scale, as there are fewer Electros than there are Roland 61-note boards that use common components.

Fourth, a lack of competition. If someone else made a board with the kind of hands on control that Nord offers, Nord would have to be more competitive. Other manufacturers make efforts in that direction, but no one goes to the same extent as Nord.

I've had a bunch of Nords and the primary reason is the difference of having that much real time control in live performance.

But I have no allegiance to Nord. Right now I have a Korg Vox and though it's not quite as functional as an Electro, it very compellingly offers a similar live performance advantage.


Your second is a factor but does not seem to be a specific user reason to buy a Nord.

Or do you , as a buyer, have a preference for Swedish products vs Japan ?
Not being a smart ass. Just getting at motivations .

Your point on ' controls ' is tangible. Assuming they are quality , highly useful/thought out, that could tip the scales to spend $1000 [?) or whatever premium for a Stage.

And you are 'sold ' that no co does it as well as Nord for stage pianos. yet there are Yamaha, Roland and even Korg stage pianos. I recall that the controls on the Roland RD stage piano are smartly accessible. But thats my immediate bubble.

I think I get it the reasons for your personal pref.
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#2931004 - 06/04/18 08:38 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: kenheeter
I believe the main reason is that they are easy to live with on stage. The sounds are good, the editing is simple and there's virtually no menu diving. Plus extremely reliable. I've used Nords since the first Electro was introduced and I never feel that I have compromised sound, quite the opposite. I have never experienced a technical problem with any of my Nords. They hold their value when you do decide to sell. There are reasons why they are seen on the stage with most touring bands these days. I have other keyboards for special reasons, Mojo 61, etc. The Nord Stage plays very well with other keyboards via MIDI as well. They are definitely worth the money in my opinion.


good you mentioned total reliability. I know service techs much prefer working on a Nord
vs a Kronos. Not that a service tech sees many Nords.

Your other point is solid. Long term, its worth the premium. And if resale history is reliable that is an excellent motivator. There are very few boards that command strong resale when you look beyond 4 years.
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#2931005 - 06/04/18 08:44 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Nadroj]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: Nadroj
Built well, built with care (all put together by hand at a single factory in a Stockholm).

Sounds are generally top notch. Access to entire Nord library.

It's a luxury, quality instrument; someone has compared Nords to Porches here before. Feels very different to the other plastic (or even metal) keyboards I've played in the past.

Main reason; people will buy them. They're on stages all over the world, instantly recognisable. Artists and players of all types are willing to pony up the cash for them; why would they make them any cheaper?


More excellent reasons- hand assembly vs factory assembly/production line. I am not articulate on this point. Maybe someone who has taken a Nord factory tour can expound more about the process.

I get it, that distinctive look, the color. " Everyone has one, why not me ? " This is more
about strong brand loyalty that Nord has successfully developed over the years.

Why make them any cheaper ? From a crass US capitalistic POV, cutting corners and saving a buck on a cheaper component is common place. I am not saying its 'ok'. It just 'is' .
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#2931006 - 06/04/18 08:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
GregC Offline
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Posts: 5710
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd


1) I have passed on Nord repeatedly because I canít justify the expense, even if well built and lighter to carry than some others. My best paying gigs are still $50-75 an hour. Thatís 70 hours to pay off $4500.

Additionally, they donít make a model with an action I love for piano or organ or synth. That said the TP-40 in the Nord Stage 88 makes the most sense because itís a great compromise action for all the sound engines included.

2) Similarly the Stage is the only model I believe commands the asking price - with alternatives being the Forte, Montage and Kronos all of which have features beyond what the Stage offers

3) but the Stage focuses on what youíll use and not what you might not and this helps keep the user interface dedicated and easy to use.


1)I think you fit the scrutinizing careful buyer profile. I like to analyze and 'cost justify' a big purchase.

2) That was my observation, too.

3) This is very interesting. That Nord has wisely determined that " less is more " . Or that
overloading features for a Stage performance keyboard is not going to help for more sales. It appears folks at Nord intensely study their marketplace. And make good decisions
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#2931007 - 06/04/18 08:54 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
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Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: kenheeter
I believe the main reason is that they are easy to live with on stage. The sounds are good, the editing is simple and there's virtually no menu diving. Plus extremely reliable. I've used Nords since the first Electro was introduced and I never feel that I have compromised sound, quite the opposite. I have never experienced a technical problem with any of my Nords. They hold their value when you do decide to sell. There are reasons why they are seen on the stage with most touring bands these days. I have other keyboards for special reasons, Mojo 61, etc. The Nord Stage plays very well with other keyboards via MIDI as well. They are definitely worth the money in my opinion.


good you mentioned total reliability. I know service techs much prefer working on a Nord
vs a Kronos. Not that a service tech sees many Nords.

Your other point is solid. Long term, its worth the premium. And if resale history is reliable that is an excellent motivator. There are very few boards that command strong resale when you look beyond 4 years.


This is I believe related to the way instruments have have had trickle down tech over the years (so many sound good enough) but not so much trickle down build quality. So for some players it makes sense to stay on the sub $2k range. Heck, even in the sub $1k range and turn over every 5 years or more as something better comes along since the cheaper instruments donít wear and tear as well. With a Nord if you can stomach the initial investment to get into that tier, if you donít mind the hassle of being a seller trying to make the best sale possible you can do similar. Or, assuming the build is good, just keep the Nord for much longer.
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#2931008 - 06/04/18 09:02 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Originally Posted By: GregC
[quote=kenheeter]I bs.


This is I believe is related to the way instruments have have had trickle down tech over the years but not no much build quality. So for some players it makes sense to stay on the sub $2k range. Heck, even in the sub $1k range and turn over every 5 years or more as something better comes along since the cheaper instruments donít wear and tear as well. .


We are straying some from the $3400-$4500 purchase decision. Still, you bring up a solid point.

The under $2000 keyboard purchase is often a short term ( under 2-3 yrs) or a 'commodity ' purchase. This is 1 of the reasons I bought the FA-07.

It was cheap, excellent bang for the buck. And a useful life ( to me , anyway) for 2-3 yrs.

Not trying to be snobby. $1500 is still a bunch of cash. But when I amortize $1500 over 2 years, I see it smart money. Now this is specific to my song writing requirements .

keyboardists requirements are going to differ. I like to set the stage on context for gear purchase and usage/purpose.
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#2931009 - 06/04/18 09:07 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Fusker]
Rusty Mike Offline
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Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Central NJ
I can't address why they are more expensive than the competition, but I'm happy to say why I'm willing to spend the money on them.

  • Overall quality of the sound engines
  • User Interface - Subjective, but once you get used to the workflow, it's very intuitive. I can make significant changes easily in the heat of battle and not get lost in menu diving or cryptic displays
  • Diversity of the library and overall approach to sound design - certainly unlike the competition, but makes a lot of sense to me
  • Weight - Again subjective, but I'm OK with the HP action and how they can get all the above stuff in less than 30 pounds
  • Longevity - We've all talked about how Nord instruments retain their value. Some of this can be attributed to Nord's consistent focus on keeping older instruments viable. The Nord Piano Library supports all the way back to the original Stage, the Electro 3 and the original Nord Piano. With the exception of the original Stage, the Nord Sample Library supports all those instruments as well. Granted, the new models have more piano/sample memory in them, but you can load the latest piano sample in the oldest of these instruments, albeit in the small size.

To me, it's not any one of these factors, but all of them together that make it worth the money to me.
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#2931013 - 06/04/18 09:15 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: DanL]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 933
Originally Posted By: DanL
They are well built. They sound great. They are super easy to use. They are light. They have a library of sounds so you can customize what is in the keyboard.

Are they the best clone or best piano or EP? No. They are like a German Shepherd- not the best tracker, not the best protector, not the best scent dog, but they do all of those things combined better than most other dogs, which is why they are so widely used.


Good comparison but I bought a Nord E5d 73 about a year and a half ago and sold it for what I paid for it. I got rid of the Nord mostly because I got my money back and the action was beginning to be a deal breaker for me.

Now the German Shepherd I have a female and no amount of money could get her. Great loving and sweet dog.
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#2931014 - 06/04/18 09:21 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Rusty Mike]
cphollis Offline
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I don't make a living at music, it's just a fun hobby for me, so my perspective is different than OP's. I play for fun.

I have more fun when I'm playing on Nords. All music, no frustration at any point. I can just play and sound good, every time.

Like others have said? Excellent design and build quality. Continually updated thanks to their free library. Surprising resale value, even after many years.

I'm the one who made the analogy to Porsches. You can certainly buy less-expensive cars.

But they won't be as fun to drive smile
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#2931015 - 06/04/18 09:24 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Nadroj]
burningbusch Offline
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Originally Posted By: Nadroj
Built well, built with care (all put together by hand at a single factory in a Stockholm).


I have to push back on some of this justification of the price because of where it's manufactured. And the "built by hand" is, IMO, as much marketing as anything.

First, we know one of the main components, the keyboard, is outsourced to Fatar in Italy. Second, where exactly are the electronics manufactured? You can see in this link, that the power supply, for example, carries the inscription "Designed in Sweden" rather than "Made in Sweden." I know in the past Nord did manufacture its electronics in-house, but in a video walkthrough of the factory they show the mainboards in crates and comment they no longer build them in-house. So where? Asia?

http://www.fullcompass.com/common/products/original/258806.jpg

My pushback is more with the "built by hand." They are assembled in Sweden from parts manufactured there and elsewhere. ALL keyboards are assembled by hand. On the other hand, Moog modulars are hand-soldered at the Moog factory. That's built by hand, IMO.

This is a different video than the one I was referencing, but you can see them pulling the finished front panels with mainboards attached from crates.


Here's a video for Roland home pianos. The assembly process is not that different from Nords', though Roland manufactures EVERYTHING in-house.



Does the country of manufacture really matter? Would the iPhone be of higher quality if it were made in Sweden vs. China? I think it can matter if a country has a history of certain types of goods: Swiss watches, Italian leather, etc. Where you have expertise not found elsewhere, or to the same degree.

BTW, the cost of living is slightly higher in Tokyo vs. Stockholm.

https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/co...city2=Stockholm

Having said all this, I think Nords are excellent keyboards and I totally get why people like them so much. I've owned a few in the past. Yeah, they're expensive but the resale holds up well. People too often view pricing strictly from a bottoms-up approach (e.g. the parts and labor cost this much, hence the price). Perceived value is really the determining factor. The perceived value of Nords is high and the price follows.

Busch.

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#2931021 - 06/04/18 09:37 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
kbrkr Offline
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Registered: 08/09/17
Posts: 103
I'm a Stage 3 Compact owner, and I don't think it is worth the money. I also have a Kronos 2 76. The chief attraction to me was the weight and a "Swiss Army Knife" approach. Meaning, I can bring a piano, organ, Synth to a gig/rehearsal without killing myself.

However, there are many drawbacks to the Nord as follows:
* It's not as well made as you might think. The Mod wheel on my kb was not working out of the box and has intermittent functionality.
* Sonically, it comes nowhere close to the Kronos.
* You can't do multi-samples
* Realtime controls are nice, but you have to be a contortionist to use them. Hold down button with your thumb, stretch your index finger to hit a button, whilst spinning a knob? wth
* No Setlist function
* In adding a Program lookup function, they renumbered all their programs so instead of starting at 1 they start at 11 for each bank? wth
* Only two concurrent sample slots
* Limited program slot memory
* Some base sounds (Wurly's, Clavs, etc.) are weak.
* Limited effects assignment per slot.
* Limited tweak ability of the Organ section; i.e percussion, key click, Leslie/reverb routing, Leslie models.

Those are just whats on the top of my head.

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#2931024 - 06/04/18 09:45 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kbrkr]
MAJUSCULE Online   happy
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Man... I think my NE3 cost me $3,200 CAD back in 2011... A Stage 3 88 is $6,000. Holy moly.
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#2931025 - 06/04/18 09:45 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: burningbusch]
Adan Offline
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I for one don't really know if it costs more to manufacture or assemble in Sweden but it's certainly plausible that it is. For instance, some European countries have more stringent recycling laws, the cost of which gets passed on to the consumer. Labor costs may well be higher. But I'm just speculating.

If someone gave me a 30 song set list for a gig tomorrow, the Nord Stage would probably be my tool of choice. Easy to create setups and easy to see what you've done once you've done it. With the Kronos, I could make the same setup but then I'd have to take more time to lodge that info into my brain. Screen info is usually too dense to take in quickly. So the Stage gives you an advantage in the "learn this by tomorrow" scenario.

But of course the reverse side of that coin is more limited options. The obvious example is it might be helpful to be able to see your split point by scanning your eyes along the tops of the keys, but you can only split at certain spots.
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#2931029 - 06/04/18 09:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: burningbusch]
stillearning Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/27/13
Posts: 450
A factor not mentioned yet: thickness of operatorís manual.

Iím 63, been gigging most of my adult life. Iíve had most every manufacturerís offerings over the years. Been happy with most of them, but as I get older, I just donít feel much like curling up with something the length of War and Peace to figure out how to change the attack on a synth patch. Needless to say, love my Stage 88. All the bread and butter sounds Iím likely to need in one board for most gigs... in an intuitive interface. Simple workflow, and easy to call up effects. Little need for outboard modules.
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#2931033 - 06/04/18 10:01 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stillearning]
Delaware Dave Offline
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Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 3116
Loc: Take a guess ....
Why is there such a disparity in pricing between the Stage and the Electro? There are alot of similarities in sound sets, keybeds, knobs, sliders, features, etc.. Why double the price difference? At one time (early electro and stage) there were far more differences than than there are today but the disparity in current pricing seems unjustified to me with the latest stage and the latest electro.
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#2931035 - 06/04/18 10:03 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Delaware Dave]
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 5946
Maybe it's partly over compensation... I get the job done with a $750 PX-360. I make a lot of money (a full time income) performing. In the beginning I thought I needed fancy tools, but now I know it is down to musicianship and not the gear.

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#2931038 - 06/04/18 10:08 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Delaware Dave]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Originally Posted By: Delaware Dave
Why is there such a disparity in pricing between the Stage and the Electro? There are alot of similarities in sound sets, keybeds, knobs, sliders, features, etc.. Why double the price difference? At one time (early electro and stage) there were far more differences than than there are today but the disparity in current pricing seems unjustified to me with the latest stage and the latest electro.


You know, you raise a solid point, I'm going to take a deeper dive on the Electro 6. Maybe this thread will save me $1,100, lol.
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#2931039 - 06/04/18 10:10 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Jazz+]
Adan Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2644
Loc: San Francisco
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Maybe it's partly over compensation... I get the job done with a $750 PX-360. I make a lot of money (a full time income) performing. In the beginning I thought I needed fancy tools, but now I know it is down to musicianship and not the gear.


What if you needed a sawtooth wave with filter sweep? The world would be a less interesting place (for me) if everyone was playing jazz using a handful of patches.
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#2931050 - 06/04/18 10:42 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12807
Originally Posted By: GregC
I am interested in objective reasons why the money conscious, scrutinizing musician pays the premium for a Nord Stage.

1. Real-time control. No other board gives you 9 drawbars for organ AND a full set of 15+ VA synth controls. Plus all the controls for effects, EQ, etc. Everything available instantly and simultaneously.

2. Related to that, the ease of use that comes with dedicated, labeled, logically placed controls, as opposed to constant repurposing of generic knobs/sliders.

3. Sound quality. Few, if any other boards sound as good as it does both as a piano AND as a clonewheel.

4. Light travel weight. On the Compact, you get it all in a 22 lb box.

What competes on those grounds?

Originally Posted By: stoken6
But man I wish the ROMpler was more flexible. (A strings patch and a brass patch I could load into a Piano slot would go a long way for me).

The nice thing is you can easily integrate some good strings and brass patches by using its EXT function with an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or sound module. As opposed to how much worse it would be if it were a stronger rompler, but you wanted to improve its organ/synth/piano sounds with one of those devices.

Originally Posted By: Adan
First, hardware is expensive, and Nords tend to have more of it in the form of panel controls.

Second, it's probably more expensive to manufacture in Sweden than Japan.

Third, economies of scale, as there are fewer Electros than there are Roland 61-note boards that use common components.

Fourth, a lack of competition. If someone else made a board with the kind of hands on control that Nord offers, Nord would have to be more competitive.

Those are all possible explanations for why Nords are more expensive, but I think that's a bit different from the question the OP was really asking, which wasn't so much why they are expensive as why musicians are willing to pay so much for them!

But yes, the Vox Continental is one of the few boards that is conceptually competitive. Obviously much more limited (no splits, far fewer simultaneous controls and controllable synth parameters, no aftertouch or mod wheel, only 16 user presets, no way to load new samples into it, fewer organ and synth functions, poor MIDI functionality, lots of scrolling to select from more than a handful of sounds) but it does offer quality piano/organ/synth in a lightweight board wth lots of real-time control, and I assume has the edge over the Nord in rompler sounds.

Another conceptual competitor would be the Roland VR09/VR730. Still missing a lot of Nord Stage functionality (though again, probably stronger as a rompler). Synth editing requires an iPad app. Max two sounds at a time, and they have to share the same effects. No aftertouch or ability to load new samples, poor MIDI functionality, lots of scrolling to select from more than a handful of sounds.

I think there's also the question of the value of having it all in one keyboard. The combination of, say, a Korg SV1, Numa Organ 2 (or Mojo61, XK1C, whatever you like), and Studiologic Sledge would be pretty killer, arguably sonically beating the Nord in every way except acoustic piano, and with the same kind of hands-on control immediacy. But you end up in the same price range, and have a lot more gear to lug around, and have to do a lot of MIDI work if you want to start layering sounds from the different instruments, or change presets for multiple sounds at once. (And still light on the rompler side, btw.) Maybe replace the SV1 with a CP4 or something for better piano, trading off some of the real-time control of the SV1. Or maybe a Sledge over that VR09/VR730 or Vox Continental would be a nice way to go. But I guess in the end, every combination has its pros and cons, and nothing quite gives you what a Nord Stage does except a Nord Stage.
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#2931054 - 06/04/18 10:59 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Delaware Dave]
DanL Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 4288
Loc: DE
Originally Posted By: Delaware Dave
Why is there such a disparity in pricing between the Stage and the Electro? There are alot of similarities in sound sets, keybeds, knobs, sliders, features, etc.. Why double the price difference? At one time (early electro and stage) there were far more differences than than there are today but the disparity in current pricing seems unjustified to me with the latest stage and the latest electro.


You can play 6 sounds at once with a Stage and only 3 with the Electro 6. The stage is like having 2 electros built into 1 board. Plus the synth section on the Stage is a fully functional VA, not just a sample player like on the Electro, but the Stage can use samples as well. Assignable outputs on the Stage vs a hard left right split on the Electro. Better midi capability on the Stage.
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#2931056 - 06/04/18 11:15 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: DanL]
Stokely Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1927
Loc: Florida
I'm certainly debating getting a stage, but probably a stage 2 unless I can make a deal with the boss (see below).

I haven't been a huge proponent of one keyboard at gigs--after my pc3 crapped out--but Nord seems very reliable, and for my "level" of gigs boy would it be nice to gig with one. No submixer needed. (I'd still have my singer's juno D as an emergency backup, I keep it backstage. Weighs like 15 pounds....)

My idea: We are moving and our acoustic upright was given away...so since Junior needs something to practice on, perhaps we can work something out *rubs hands together*. After all, while I have a Studiologic controller and software, no way an 11-year old could manage to set that up to practice. I am, of course, joking...he and all his friends have been installing minecraft mods and juggling java versions since they were wee. Missus might not know that smile

A huge attraction for me is the 73/76 note version. There is no way I need or want an 88-key board at gigs, our stages are small and I really don't do much splitting...one split at most.

I know the Nord Stage actions aren't probably the chosen one for serious pianists, but my kid ain't that serious smile And he'd probably love tinkering around with all the cool sounds. We'll see if this scheme flies.

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#2931059 - 06/04/18 11:18 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Fusker]
GregC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5710
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: Fusker
Originally Posted By: Delaware Dave
Why is there such a disparity in pricing between the Stage and the Electro? There are alot of similarities in sound sets, keybeds, knobs, sliders, features, etc.. Why double the price difference? At one time (early electro and stage) there were far more differences than than there are today but the disparity in current pricing seems unjustified to me with the latest stage and the latest electro.


You know, you raise a solid point, I'm going to take a deeper dive on the Electro 6. Maybe this thread will save me $1,100, lol.


Thats a cool story if you determine smarter use of your hard earned money.

And I promise not to send you an invoice for my role in selling more Nord keyboards wink
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#2931061 - 06/04/18 11:21 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
Outkaster Offline
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Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 6254
Loc: Rochester, NY
Funny I remember these discussions starting back on HC during 2001. It's grown into quite the brand loyalty, something I have never seen except with boards from Roland, Mojo and few others. I believe the best rigs I see are guys that use boards from more than one manufacturer. I think it can be dangerous to think in terms of one brand sometimes. I was real apprehensive about the Forte because I am a Yamaha guy but it's grown on me.
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#2931062 - 06/04/18 11:25 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: DanL]
jeffinpghpa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 495
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I owned 3 Nords between 2007-2017: Stage Compact, Stage 2 76HA and Electro 5D 73.

Very reliable, never had a failure at a gig in 10 years, build quality is excellent, user interface is outstanding. They always sounded good, especially in the mix. Worth the money as an all in one keyboard for piano, EPs, organ and "some" synth as a bonus.

Sonic quality was always good relative to other instruments at the time (I sold a Roland VR-760 V-Combo to "go Nord" originally).

I think the Stage 2 HA-76 was a great instrument. My only knock on it was that the 500MB piano capacity wasn't enough.

Electro was worth it to take to jam sessions and rehearsals, but the lack of synth controls, pitch bend and aftertouch was a little underpowered for my use.

I used a CPHollis type of rig with the Stage 2 HA76 as my bottom board and the Stage Classic, then the Electro 5D 73 as my upper board and thought it was overall a great set of tools.

In 2017, I did a new rig and when I sold my Nords, I decided not to buy them anymore, especially considering Stage 3. Here were my reasons not to buy new Nords in 2017:

- The sonic quality of Nords are great, but I found some better sounding instruments. For my needs, the Kurzweil Forte 7 sounded better for pianos, EPs, clav and synth by noticeable difference. (Nord really needs to update their clav, wurlitzer and rhodes samples, compared side by side with Purgatory Creek or Weisersounds)
- The Hammond organ emulation and leslie sim of the Nord remains much better than Kurzweils in this category, but....
- I decided to buy a 2 manual clonewheel - Viscount Legend Live - which sounded better than my Nord Electro 5D by a big margin and a much better Hammond playing experience. I figure for gigs that focus on organ, I'll bring the Viscount Legend out.
- In my opinion, Nord made a critical design mistake in the 76 keybed between the Stage 2 and the Stage 2 EX. I really liked the HA-76 keybed, the Fatar TP/40. They abandoned that to cut weight and cost and replaced it with the TP/100, which was, in my opinion, a show stopper. Again, the advantage for better action in a 76 key stage piano was the TP/40 in the Kurzweil Forte 7.
- I used to expect to keep my Nords as a long term investment. I feel the same way about my Kurzweil Forte 7 and Viscount Legend Live. For the rest of my boards, I am buying more into the mid-priced category, such as:
- I now use a Roland FA-07 as my portable board for rehearsals and jam sessions. Very portable and easy to carry around and sounds fine for what I need it to do. It's cheaper. It's plastic. I don't expect to still be using it in 10 years either.
- I'm using software and iPads more and more. I have a nice Novation SLMKII controller with 49 keys that also makes a light and nice sounding 2nd tier board that's small.
- Lastly, I plan to add a 61 key synth, like a Studiologic Sledge 2.0 Black... that will leave me with 5 keyboards to pick from for any gig:

- 76 key Kurzweil piano with the TP/40 action that I like in a 76 key size.
- Dual manual dedicated clonewheel
- 76 key workstation/light/portable - FA-07
- 61 key synth with lots of knobs and controls
- 49 key controller to kick bass and leads

I usually ask myself which 2 boards would best get me through a gig in any combination.

Everything sounds pretty good and I think gives me more best of breed flexibility than a Nord Stage 3, but I would certainly enjoy playing a Nord Stage again if money were no object.
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#2931063 - 06/04/18 11:25 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
stoken6 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 1967
Originally Posted By: Stokely
probably a stage 2
A 2? So secondhand? See if you can swing a 2EX - the IEC connector is more convenient, and the extra memory doesn't hurt.
Originally Posted By: Stokely
And he'd probably love tinkering around with all the cool sounds
My son was offered the choice of Trombone or "keyboard" at school. It turns out "keyboard" = auto-accompaniment/arrangers. He's a talented pianist, and will get absolutely zero out of this.

Instead, I told him "you know my red keyboard in the front room? And how you make it go <portamento FX> and <filter sweep FX> and <tempo-sync delay FX>? That's REAL keyboard".

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931066 - 06/04/18 11:29 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
ElmerJFudd Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6416
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Could it simply be that since Nord designs and assembles in Sweden - costs are simply higher in factory and office space, as well as salaries for staff at all levels from managements to assembly line. I don't know what import to the US from Sweden adds to the cost. Maybe some of our MI industry friends here can tell us what the markup is on a Nord Stage 88 dealer cost vs. street/advertised price and is it beyond what they make on Yamaha, Roland, Kurz, Korg, etc. I'm suspicious because somehow Crumar/GSi has been able to meet much better price points and are similarly coming from the EU.
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#2931072 - 06/04/18 11:42 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: jeffinpghpa]
stoken6 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 1967
Originally Posted By: jeffinpghpa
76 key Kurzweil piano with the TP/40 action that I like in a 76 key size.


I got my Nord 6 years ago. If I was starting again now, I think I'd try the Forte7 with an unweighted controller.

To the original point of the OP, I've kept my Stage 2 for a few years so the high cost has certainly proved a better investment than (hypothetical example) a Roland VR09 that would have frustrated me with its lower-quality action, fragile external PSU and MIDI/FX limitations.

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931074 - 06/04/18 11:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
kenheeter Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/02/11
Posts: 209
I've always thought I have gotten more than my money's worth with Nord Keyboards. I have owned many and currently have a Stage EX 76 and a Stage 2 SW73. I don't want to sell or upgrade either of them. We all make choices and sometimes money is the only factor but not for me when it comes to music. I want minimum impedance on stage and that's what the Nords give me. And I never think of it as 'getting the job done'.

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#2931078 - 06/04/18 12:09 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
Adan Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 2644
Loc: San Francisco
This is, like, the 47th discussion I've seen on this board of whether Nord keyboards are overpriced. Not that a repeat of these discussions isn't useful because, it's worthwhile reconsidering whether Nord is losing its advantage. Nords EP and organ emulations used to be part of every "top 5" discussion. Now only their APs enjoy that status. The pedestrian key beds used to be less of a liability but now there are more and better playing experiences to be found exposing this Nord weakness. Other manufacturers have made improvements in real time controls but imo this is where Nord still holds a trump card.

But the idea that Nord just floats on its former reputation doesn't ring true to me. What you see on KC is people listening to every video, playing everything they can get their hands on, and scrutinizing every detail. Currently I don't own anything made in Sweden, I don't owe the Swedes nothing!
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#2931079 - 06/04/18 12:12 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
AnotherScott Online   content
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12807
Originally Posted By: Adan
I for one don't really know if it costs more to manufacture or assemble in Sweden but it's certainly plausible that it is.

Oh, sure. A quick google tells me that Foxconn in China pays $2/hour, which is above average, pay in some areas can be as low as 50 cents an hour. Even unskilled labor in Sweden gets more in the $10-$15 range.

Originally Posted By: Adan
Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Maybe it's partly over compensation... I get the job done with a $750 PX-360. I make a lot of money (a full time income) performing. In the beginning I thought I needed fancy tools, but now I know it is down to musicianship and not the gear.

What if you needed a sawtooth wave with filter sweep? The world would be a less interesting place (for me) if everyone was playing jazz using a handful of patches.

Yup. Sure, I could play a gig with nothing but a Casio PX-360, especially if my repertoire didn't call for an extensive tone palette. But if you need to play pop hits like Uptown Funk, or meaty Hammond organ stuff, it's probably the wrong tool for the job. (To say nothing of the amenability of that action to organ playing techniques.)
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#2931085 - 06/04/18 12:22 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: jeffinpghpa]
GregC Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member

Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5710
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: jeffinpghpa
I
In 2017, I did a new rig and when I sold my Nords, I decided not to buy them anymore, especially considering Stage 3. Here were my reasons not to buy new Nords in 2017:

- The sonic quality of Nords are great, but I found some better sounding instruments. For my needs, the Kurzweil Forte 7 sounded better for pianos, EPs, clav and synth by noticeable difference. (Nord really needs to update their clav, wurlitzer and rhodes samples, compared side by side with Purgatory Creek or Weisersounds)
- The Hammond organ emulation and leslie sim of the Nord remains much better than Kurzweils in this category, but....
- I decided to buy a 2 manual clonewheel - Viscount Legend Live - which sounded better than my Nord Electro 5D by a big margin and a much better Hammond playing experience. I figure for gigs that focus on organ, I'll bring the Viscount Legend out.
- In my opinion, Nord made a critical design mistake in the 76 keybed between the Stage 2 and the Stage 2 EX. I really liked the HA-76 keybed, the Fatar TP/40. They abandoned that to cut weight and cost and replaced it with the TP/100, which was, in my opinion, a show stopper. Again, the advantage for better action in a 76 key stage piano was the TP/40 in the Kurzweil Forte 7.
- I used to expect to keep my Nords as a long term investment. I feel the same way about my Kurzweil Forte 7 and Viscount Legend Live. For the rest of my boards, I am buying more into the mid-priced category, such as:
- I now use a Roland FA-07 as my portable board for rehearsals and jam sessions. Very portable and easy to carry around and sounds fine for what I need it to do. It's cheaper. It's plastic. I don't expect to still be using it in 10 years either.
- I'm using software and iPads more and more. I have a nice Novation SLMKII controller with 49 keys that also makes a light and nice sounding 2nd tier board that's small.
- Lastly, I plan to add a 61 key synth, like a Studiologic Sledge 2.0 Black... that will leave me with 5 keyboards to pick from for any gig:

- 76 key Kurzweil piano with the TP/40 action that I like in a 76 key size.
- Dual manual dedicated clonewheel
- 76 key workstation/light/portable - FA-07
- 61 key synth with lots of knobs and controls
- 49 key controller to kick bass and leads

I usually ask myself which 2 boards would best get me through a gig in any combination.

Everything sounds pretty good and I think gives me more best of breed flexibility than a Nord Stage 3, but I would certainly enjoy playing a Nord Stage again if money were no object.


Its cool you presented your keyboard/rig history so clearly/succinctly.

When I read your post, and posts of others , I accept the enthusiasm for Nord sound
quality.

There is 1 other possible factor to toss into the discussion- ear fatigue or 'over familiarity, or simply " bored with the sound character ".

This is a possibility that might happen over time. For example, I got bored over ' that Roland sound' some 10 yrs ago . I sold all my Roland gear. No regrets.

That was then. Recently, I saw the value of the FA07 and realized the Roland approach has a valid place in my Songs' sound requirements.

I know I am drifting from my opening post. But is it possible to be attracted to other good looking women after several years while your current g/f is very attractive.

Excuse the metaphor wink
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#2931086 - 06/04/18 12:25 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
OB Dave Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 04/25/09
Posts: 1157
Loc: San Diego CA, US
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Does the country of manufacture really matter?


Yes. A million times yes. There's a reason that everybody manufactures in China, and it's not for the scenery or the pork siu mai.

First of all, nobody does component level assembly by hand anymore, with perhaps a few point-to-point wired boutique tube amps excepted. Surface mount circuit boards are all mass-assembled by machinery, but somebody has to set up the machines, the machines require electricity, and so on, and all of that is much cheaper to do in China. The cost of labor in China is 1/10 to 1/20 what it is in the US or Sweden. Somebody has to load the parts into the machine, load the PCBs in, take the finished ones out, inspect and test, put them into enclosures, deal with rework, and on and on.

Electricity, transport, all of that is much cheaper too. It's so much cheaper in fact that it makes sense to assume all the risks of building over there, and then having your finished goods sitting in a container ship for a month or two awaiting delivery.

So I don't know where Nord has their PCBs manufactured, but the final assembly, inspection, packing, and shipping is all done in Sweden.

As for whether Nord keyboards are "worth" the cost, that's a value judgement that everybody makes on their own. Was my Bosch drill really worth a hundred bucks? I had my doubts when I ordered it, but damn, that is one nice drill. Hard to explain, but coming off a cheapie Ryobi drill, the Bosch feels better balanced, more compact, and I'm not the sort to get excited about power tools.

Like others, I've owned two Nords and found them to be exceptionally well-built and they've never failed me. Nord was still releasing new library sounds for the Electro almost decade after I bought it, and when I sold it, it retained its value very well.

My NS2 seemed expensive as hell when I bought it, but I've amortized that cost many several hundreds of gigs since I bought it, and fully expect it to serve me well for several hundred more, and still have resale value left at any point along the timeline. And they're still releasing new sounds for it.

I just wish they'd improve the tonewheel voice, but that's another thread.

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#2931090 - 06/04/18 12:37 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: OB Dave]
jeffinpghpa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 495
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I get the point Greg. Nords ARE a good value for an all in one as long as your synth requirements are secondary to organs and pianos.

I think Nord organs still sound great.

I don't think the rhodes, wurlitzer and clav are particularly strong, whereas 10 years ago they were a reason to buy. Now I think the rhodes/wurlitzer/clav are a reason not to buy, but I would say neutral.

I think I have said this, but the action of the TP/100 makes the HP products less desirable.
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#2931092 - 06/04/18 12:39 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: jeffinpghpa]
AnotherScott Online   content
10k Club

Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 12807
Originally Posted By: DanL
Originally Posted By: Delaware Dave
Why is there such a disparity in pricing between the Stage and the Electro? There are alot of similarities in sound sets, keybeds, knobs, sliders, features, etc.. Why double the price difference? At one time (early electro and stage) there were far more differences than than there are today but the disparity in current pricing seems unjustified to me with the latest stage and the latest electro.


You can play 6 sounds at once with a Stage and only 3 with the Electro 6. The stage is like having 2 electros built into 1 board. Plus the synth section on the Stage is a fully functional VA, not just a sample player like on the Electro, but the Stage can use samples as well. Assignable outputs on the Stage vs a hard left right split on the Electro. Better midi capability on the Stage.

...plus multiple split points, aftertouch, more effects controls, morphs, pitch stick, mod wheel. Or to put it the way you did, it's kind of like having 2 Electros plus a Nord Lead A1, plus some other stuff. It's not quite eveything in those three boards, but functionally, it's close, plus it has aftertouch, MIDI integration, etc.

Originally Posted By: jeffinpghpa
I now use a Roland FA-07 as my portable board for rehearsals and jam sessions. Very portable and easy to carry around and sounds fine for what I need it to do.

I ended up with a DS61 to fill that role. Even smaller/lighter, and particularly adept at managing two-way splits on the fly, which is nice when it's your only board (the easily accessible independent octave shifts for each sound helps stretch the functionality of its mere 61 keys). But the FA-07 is a nice board, too. I had one briefly and decided that, except for its lighter weight, I preferred my Artis7 (something you have covered in your Forte 7), and when super-light is the ticket, the DS61 filled the bill just fine.

Originally Posted By: jeffinpghpa
49 key controller to kick bass and leads

pet peeve... the only way to "kick" bass is with foot pedals ;-)
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#2931094 - 06/04/18 12:42 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
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pet peeve... the only way to "kick" bass is with foot pedals ;-)

Noted, AnotherScott. 2 minutes in the penalty box for that one! :-)
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#2931100 - 06/04/18 12:58 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: OB Dave]
burningbusch Offline
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Originally Posted By: OB Dave
Originally Posted By: burningbusch
Does the country of manufacture really matter?


Yes. A million times yes. There's a reason that everybody manufactures in China, and it's not for the scenery or the pork siu mai.

First of all, nobody does component level assembly by hand anymore, with perhaps a few point-to-point wired boutique tube amps excepted. Surface mount circuit boards are all mass-assembled by machinery, but somebody has to set up the machines, the machines require electricity, and so on, and all of that is much cheaper to do in China. The cost of labor in China is 1/10 to 1/20 what it is in the US or Sweden. Somebody has to load the parts into the machine, load the PCBs in, take the finished ones out, inspect and test, put them into enclosures, deal with rework, and on and on.

Electricity, transport, all of that is much cheaper too. It's so much cheaper in fact that it makes sense to assume all the risks of building over there, and then having your finished goods sitting in a container ship for a month or two awaiting delivery.

So I don't know where Nord has their PCBs manufactured, but the final assembly, inspection, packing, and shipping is all done in Sweden.


I think everyone gets the fact that it's much cheaper to manufacture in Asia vs. Europe/USA. I'm referring to the notion that there's this direct link between country of manufacture and quality. Again, I come back to Apple. Do you think the iPad/iPhone would have a higher build quality if they were made in Sweden? If so, what would be the difference? Seems to me, design and quality control standards are the main ingredients. BTW, where was that Bosch drill of yours actually manufactured? Malaysia?

I've owned enough European cars in my life (including a new S-Class) to know I have zero interest in them. Just my personal experience in terms of reliability vs. Japanese models.

Busch.

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#2931105 - 06/04/18 01:17 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: jeffinpghpa]
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To the 4 key points I listed above that make a Nord worth paying for (and in a sense, something with no competition), I'll add expressivity of playing. That's kind of related to all the real-time controls, that you can grab so many things to tweak the sound as you play, but also the aftertouch, the pitch stick (which is my favorite pitch bender), the multiple pedals (i.e. a dedicated organ swell, with another pedal I can easily use for anything I want). So getting back to some ways it can still beat out the otherwise generally more capable Kronos, you can't put two foot pedals on a Kronos, and I don't care for the joystick. (Glad it has aftertouch, though!)

I really like the Kronos, but I consider it the best "call up a preset and play it" board... which of course, is exactly all that many players need. Live, I never touch anything but the keys and the Set List slots. Easy, sounds great. But no tweaking. Even off-line at home, I don't care to tweak much. The interface is cumbersome, the screen is finicky, and I don't set up sliders or knobs to do things because I'll never remember what they do anyway. I don't even set up the pedal to do tricks, because even that is so cumbersome compared to a Nord morph. And as an aside, there should be a law against black buttons on a black background. For anything past patch selection and just playing the keys, Nord's ergonomics are way above Kronos. If I need to create a sound from scratch, it's Nord over Kronos every time. I can do in a few minutes what could take me a whole lot more time on the Kronos, and it's more fun to do, because I feel like I'm working on an instrument, not a computer.
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#2931108 - 06/04/18 01:43 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
stillearning Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
... I'll add expressivity of playing. That's kind of related to all the real-time controls, that you can grab so many things to tweak the sound as you play, but also the aftertouch, the pitch stick (which is my favorite pitch bender), the multiple pedals...

I feel like I'm working on an instrument, not a computer.


My sentiments exactly.

My Stage is the first keyboard Iíve had in years that I just connect with. If something happened to it, Iíd get another.


Edited by stillearning (06/04/18 01:51 PM)
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#2931113 - 06/04/18 01:58 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stillearning]
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To further add to the many similar answers here, my Electro is probably the most limited board I've owned in terms of pure functionality, but it's without a doubt my favourite one. If I could only keep one, it would be the Electro. I look forward to playing it. I can imagine the greater functionality of the Stage would make it even more fun.
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#2931114 - 06/04/18 02:01 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stillearning]
harmonizer Offline
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As an owner of an Electro 3, which is pretty old gear, I have been very pleased with Nord publishing new acoustic piano and EP sounds that still work with my very old gear. While I only have room for the "Large" size version of the AP sounds along with the Nefertiti EP sound, Nord did not have to accomodate the Electro 3 at all - but they did.

Now I will poke a little fun at Nord here - the Electro has to be the most expensive piece of keyboard gear that still lacks a pitch bend control.

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#2931119 - 06/04/18 02:22 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: harmonizer]
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As an old timer, I liken Nord to Kurzweil. Back in the dark ages most of us were wondering why Kurzweil was so darn expensive compared to some of the other brands. Oberhiem being one clear exception to the rule. Jump forward a few years, ok a few decades, and Kurzweil has always maintained and retained it's value. At least until the "vintage / boutique" market started grossly inflating prices.

Nord is the same thing IMHO. I've played many Nords and I agree the sounds are standard stock bread and butter but just seem to sound nice and sit very well in a mix especially live. Casio is very similar in that regard.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think Nord tweaks the stock Fatar keybed to their own specifications.

I recently went with an RD-2000 because for me it was a better choice action wise and a lot cheaper. I'm not actively gigging at the moment though so this is for the studio.

Just my 2 cents.

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#2931120 - 06/04/18 02:24 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
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The Kurzweils rank very high on ďcall up a preset and play itĒ as well.
I wish theyíd do a Forte in a 7x and or 61 key synth action.
Until then - the Artis 7 is an excellent value. As is the SP6.
And this is another reason why forking out for a Nord is tricky.
There are other options for less that very well may check the boxes youíre after.
So you have to take them for a ride to see if you can justify what we call the Red Tax, or the Overhead of going Red.

- side note, as a reality of musicing for a living I donít drive a Porsche either. Thatís not to say I wouldnít nab an 80s BMW M3 and fix it up someday in my elder years. Eh, but who am I kidding, Iíd take the cash and do a Dave Ferris and get the Steinway.

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#2931123 - 06/04/18 02:46 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
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I have owned and frequently gigged with many of the top models of the big manufacturers for the last 20 years, from the incredibly big Korg Triton Pro X, K2500 (owned just for a month), Yamaha S90ES (used and loved for years), Kronos (used a few years and kinda liked), now Yamaha Montage 8 (amazing but enormous) but also a few Nord Electros and both Stage 1 and 2. Many of these boards have their use, but what keeps me returning to my Nords for probably more gigs than the others combined are:

1. Great sounding pianos, Rhodes, Wurlys that cuts through the live mix better than any of the others. Also they don't collapse in mono.

2. A full clonewheel with instant access to drawbars (even if they are LED on my Stage 2). Not best in class, but still a galaxy above and beyond what's in Kronos and Montage. None of the competitors have this. If it wasn't for the weighted action I could easily do a full organ gig on it.

3. A real VA, with "knob per function". Filter instantly accecable, how is it even possible that the other big ones don't have that? Any parameter can be routed to expression pedal or mod wheel in an instant as well as combining many parameters to one controller. Nord has had this probably 10 years before Yamahas "revolutionizing" super knob.

4. Instant access to FX, just as if I had a pedal board. On/off but also insta-tweak. Nerdy attention to detail, for instance they have two phasers, Phase 90 and Small stone, so you convincingly can fake both Donald Fagan or Richard Tee with the Rhodes samples. This is as far from diving in the Kronos/Montage menus as you can come and makes playing live much more fun as everything is accessible at all times.

5. EXTREMELY reliable. I had three Kronos, first two broke down on live TV shows. Third one I sold quick as I felt I couldn't trust it completely. Have played in rain with the Nords and even if my Stage 2 is extremely worn it still hasn't failed me even once.

6. An ever expanding library with free sounds from Clavia. I just recently updated the Rhodes and Wurly samples. The old ones were very good, the new ones best in class imo, it feels like a new instrument again.

7. Great indie and retro sounds, pump organs, Mellotron etc.

8. Better uprights than any of the others. Actually there are 12 different ones, from saloon to indie to slick and most of them beats out the competition.

9. More intuitive than any of the others and not by a small margin which makes it a true live musicians instrument. Extremely fast to program. AnotherScott said it best: It feels like a real instrument. Imho none of the others do.

10. Weighted 76 key action, makes it extremely portable. Why doesn't the others have this?

This is starting to sound like a love poem to Nord, but the thread actually got me thinking why I have used them so much. There are definitly huge downsides as well, the biggest ones in my book are that you only can use 2 synth sounds at the same time and that the sample section only has one velocity layer. Then there are other irratating things, as fixed pitch bend range and other stuff.

For me cost is a very small issue if I am going to use the instrument for hundreds of shows. The Nord Stage 2 has payed for itself so many times over it's really a non issue, but of course I didn't know that when i bought it.

I feel that none of the other synth manufacturers really understand what a live muscician really needs or wants. I don't think their engineers have ever done a gig in their life, but maybe they just have really different needs from me. As always, YMMV.


Edited by Pianolando (06/04/18 02:48 PM)

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#2931126 - 06/04/18 03:01 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
MojoGuyPan Offline
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Split the difference and play your brand of jazz on the Prophet X. A happy Adan is a happy life.

There is a certain type of person that buys a Nord. I don't want to get into it here but you know the type. Nord knows how many marks are out their and simply caters to their fetishes in order to take them. They're using Fatar just like everybody else yet their prices are stratospheric. You don't even need to read between the lines here. It is standing right in front of you staring you in the face. Think about it, the very much more capable and much more nicely appointed Kronos 73 is priced at $3400.

That's all I'll say. That's all that needs to be said.

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#2931132 - 06/04/18 03:39 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
BuckW Offline
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If you value or need a ROMpler more than a good Hammond sound the Nord might not make any sense.

If you value or need a good Hammond sound the Nord covers maybe as many as 3 bases within the form factor of one instrument.

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#2931142 - 06/04/18 04:41 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
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Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
There is a certain type of person that buys a Nord. I don't want to get into it here but you know the type. Nord knows how many marks are out their and simply caters to their fetishes in order to take them. They're using Fatar just like everybody else yet their prices are stratospheric. You don't even need to read between the lines here. It is standing right in front of you staring you in the face. Think about it, the very much more capable and much more nicely appointed Kronos 73 is priced at $3400.

That's all I'll say. That's all that needs to be said.

I'm not sure, but I think this is from someone who found sufficient value in a $2300 Crumar Seven with a Fatar action and a tiny fraction of the capabilities of a Nord Stage.

I'm lucky enough to have a Nord Stage 3 and a Kronos. Two great boards, but the Nord is the one I get more satisfaction from.

Throw an iPad (or if you want to get fancy, maybe a Surface Pro) onto the Nord, and you can add most Kronos advantages to the Nord. There's no way to add the Nord ergonomic/operational advantages to the Kronos.
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#2931144 - 06/04/18 04:52 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Daniel71 Offline
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Canít go wrong with a stage, thatís why I have two 88 :-)
Stage 3 and 2 ex.

Regards

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#2931145 - 06/04/18 04:56 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Daniel71]
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Yeah, well, I have way too many these days. Two NP2s. Two NE4Ds. A NS3 Compact. And a Nord Stage 2 76 that's sort of sold as soon as the guy can pay me.

No regrets. But am beefing up with other brands these days. No gigging joy so far, but hopeful?
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#2931147 - 06/04/18 04:59 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
Adan Offline
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Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
Split the difference and play your brand of jazz on the Prophet X. A happy Adan is a happy life.

There is a certain type of person that buys a Nord. I don't want to get into it here but you know the type. Nord knows how many marks are out their and simply caters to their fetishes in order to take them. They're using Fatar just like everybody else yet their prices are stratospheric. You don't even need to read between the lines here. It is standing right in front of you staring you in the face. Think about it, the very much more capable and much more nicely appointed Kronos 73 is priced at $3400.

That's all I'll say. That's all that needs to be said.


It should also be said that you are possibly the kookiest commentator on this board . . . but I think everyone already knows that.

And yet sometimes you absolutely nail it. Good days and bad days?

Let's get that $2300 monotrimbral Crumar Seven into your living room so you can start really enjoying that Fatar action.

edit: I guess Scott beat me to the irony punch.


Edited by Adan (06/04/18 05:01 PM)
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#2931151 - 06/04/18 05:10 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
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So this thread inspired me to go to GC on my lunch hour. It's next to my bank which I had to go to anyway. It's also just a few blocks from a marijuana dispensary, but that's neither here nor there.

They had a Stage 3 88 and Compact on display. I dunno, after playing my Mojo 61, the B3 and EP emulations on the Nord just don't impress me very much. I still like the APs and think overall it's a very useful tool, but if I want to maximize inspiration on organ or EPs, I'll play the Mojo.
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#2931154 - 06/04/18 05:26 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
bennyray Offline
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Originally Posted By: Adan
So this thread inspired me to go to GC on my lunch hour. It's next to my bank which I had to go to anyway. It's also just a few blocks from a marijuana dispensary, but that's neither here nor there.

They had a Stage 3 88 and Compact on display. I dunno, after playing my Mojo 61, the B3 and EP emulations on the Nord just don't impress me very much. I still like the APs and think overall it's a very useful tool, but if I want to maximize inspiration on organ or EPs, I'll play the Mojo.


Reminds me of Styx song Light Up Adan the Nord deal I went with the RD2000 and a Mojo 61 that is what is best suited for my needs instead of a Nord Stage 3 and couldn't be more satisfied. Money wasn't the deciding factor just a better setup for me.
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#2931157 - 06/04/18 05:55 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: cphollis]
kenheeter Offline
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I believe that some folks see the value in the Nord stuff and some don't. Those that don't buy something else. Any one of these instruments isn't as expensive as a high end guitar or any other quality instrument and everyone gets to choose their tools. One of the big features of Nord has been the way that they continously offer new sounds and upgrades, which was virtually unheard of when the Electro first came out. I'm happy to see others following suit these days, which makes it better for everyone. We're all winners here......

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#2931160 - 06/04/18 06:21 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
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Good point about the upgrades. It wasn't a big factor for me personally, but if you bought a Nord Stage 10 years ago, you can still install the newer Nord piano sounds today. It helps the boards stay "current" longer. Any other piano board you bought 10 years ago, if you want their new sounds, you have to buy a new keyboard. That can change the price calculus.
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#2931162 - 06/04/18 06:26 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kenheeter]
eric Offline
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I have been a Nord user for a very long time, well before the Stage was even a thing. In fact, here's a post I wrote 16 years ago where I wished for something very much like the Stage came to be over the years.

My initial Nord usage was in a multi keyboard rig - triple decker including Roland RD-600 with Hammond or Korg clonewheel and a Nord Lead. Over a few more years, that slimmed down to a longtime double decker including Yamaha S-90 and Electro 2/3. I tried the first Stage and the Stage EX, but they were not good enough to replace my double decker (I used a Stage Compact as my second tier board for a brief period). One of the main Achilles heels of that era was lack of good Nord piano sounds and also still evolving synth capabilities.

Fast forward a few more years to the Nord Stage 2, which included the sample loading feature and Nord's piano library was coming around at this time. I went all in on the NS2 as I moved back to a single keyboard rig that has persisted now since ~2011. I've gotten a ton of mileage out of the NS2 and it is competing with the Yamaha S-90 for years of service in my live rig (I used the S-90 live from ~2003-2011 and it still has a proud spot above my Hammond A-101 in my music room).

The NS2 works great for me on many levels and I've invested a lot of time in creating Programs for several bands, so I can quickly load sounds as needed. I have resisted upgrading to NS3.

I am aware of the perception that Nord is catering to some combo of trendy/hipster/wealthy types, but don't really care if anyone wants to characterize me as any of those. My Nords have paid for themselves many times over and they work extremely well for my uses.

The earlier posts have covered most of the reasons why I think the Nord Stage works - great sound, intuitive UI with limited menu diving, frequently evolving library of sounds, several keyboard actions, etc.

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#2931163 - 06/04/18 06:33 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
T

I really like the Kronos, but I consider it the best "call up a preset and play it" board... which of course, is exactly all that many players need. Live, I never touch anything but the keys and the Set List slots. Easy, sounds great. But no tweaking. Even off-line at home, I don't care to tweak much. The interface is cumbersome, the screen is finicky, and I don't set up sliders or knobs to do things because I'll never remember what they do anyway. I don't even set up the pedal to do tricks, because even that is so cumbersome compared to a Nord morph. And as an aside, there should be a law against black buttons on a black background. For anything past patch selection and just playing the keys, Nord's ergonomics are way above Kronos. If I need to create a sound from scratch, it's Nord over Kronos every time. I can do in a few minutes what could take me a whole lot more time on the Kronos, and it's more fun to do, because I feel like I'm working on an instrument, not a computer.


You are correct, Kronos navigation and getting at all the tabs is arcane. I go back to the Triton days and have my Korg ' muscle memory' dialed in.

I can imagine, if you have to do some spontaneous menu diving while on a gig, with Kronos, that might not be fun and/or accurate.

I think Korg/Kronos forced folks to plan more or maybe we can call it automate your work flow on the fly.

And maybe Korg with Kronos wanted to be all things to all people with the w/s. I think it succeeded.

I know comparisons are natural to a thread. But I still contend a musician/keyboardists should define their requirements. The keyboard comparison thing is somewhat secondary if you are clear on your requirements.

Since you brought up Kronos, I am thrilled to use it almost every day but my context is a song writer, not a gigging keyboard player. And digging into the Kronos is immensely rewarding.

Seems to me spending $3000 for something that is mostly used as a preset keyboard is not the best use of a $3000 Kronos.


Edited by GregC (06/04/18 06:43 PM)
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#2931168 - 06/04/18 07:01 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
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I opted for a compact when I got a Stage 2 because I would rather play piano on a synth action keyboard rather than play organ on a hammer action keyboard. And THAT highlights the biggest issue I have with the Nord concept. Piano and organ does not belong on the same keyboard.
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#2931173 - 06/04/18 07:28 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: RABid]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: GregC
Seems to me spending $3000 for something that is mostly used as a preset keyboard is not the best use of a $3000 Kronos.
True, but there's probably no better board for a preset jockey than a Kronos. I was actually hoping the Grandstage would let you load in whatever Kronos sounds you wanted, that it would be the Kronos for those who didn't care about programming their own stuff, in a smaller, lighter, simpler, cheaper, more hands-on package.

Originally Posted By: RABid
And THAT highlights the biggest issue I have with the Nord concept. Piano and organ does not belong on the same keyboard.

Nord will gladly sell you two boards. ;-)

Really, they do make dedicated boards... C2D organ, Nord Piano 3, various synths. But as long as people want to buy all-in-one models, they'll make those too, and you can pick which action you want on them. So they really do kinda cover all the bases.
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#2931188 - 06/04/18 08:25 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
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Originally Posted By: Adan
They had a Stage 3 88 and Compact on display. I dunno, after playing my Mojo 61, the B3 and EP emulations on the Nord just don't impress me very much. I still like the APs and think overall it's a very useful tool, but if I want to maximize inspiration on organ or EPs, I'll play the Mojo.

I get that. If all you need is EP and organ, the Mojo is probably a better board at half the price. It's when you want to add a high quality piano and a knobby VA synth wth custom sample loading and aftertouch that the 22 lb Nord starts looking really attractive, compared to, say, adding a Studiologic Sledge and some piano+ board to the Mojo61. (PX560? SP6? MX88/MOXF8?) But travel weight, set-up time, stage footprint, and even price can favor the Nord. This year, the 22 lb NS3 is the heaviest board I've traveled with. But I've thought about wiring up a Gemini module to it, to get those organs and EPs, too... but it's certainly not like the Nord sound aren't good enough to gig with!
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#2931190 - 06/04/18 08:44 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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22lbs NS3 Compact is attractive (wish theyíd consider ordering their TP-8Oís with a different gauge or better feeling spring) - but spending $3599 and immediately feeling the desire to get better organs and EPs off an $1149 Gemini to total $4748 is crazy talk (ymmv). Although with extern section I can see the desire to integrate with a MacBook to make up for areas where the Nord is weak (like Orch and Big Band libraries).

The market will dictate what players are willing to pay for a flagship Nord, no matter how staggering it seems to some of us.
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#2931205 - 06/05/18 04:13 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
Phreakay Offline
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Taking a global perspective Nord can be much more price competitive than the other main contenders.

In Australia the Nord range is available at roughly the US price x exchange rate. Yamaha, Korg, Roland, Casio and the rest are typically priced at double or more the US street price.

So for example earlier in this thread someone compared a Kronos and a Nord Stage.

Here a Kronos 2 88 has an RRP of $AU 7,000, street around $AU 5,500, and a Nord Stage 3 88 is $AU 5,000.

At Sweetwater the Kronos is $US 3,700, the Nord $US 4,500.

So depending on where you are in the world a Nord can be a cheaper option. PS the Nord Stage 3 here is actually $US3,800 at current exchange rates, take 10 % off for our GST if exported, so those in the US should shop for Nords here.

AFIK Nord's policy of fair pricing is also the case in other countries I have visited.

Add in Nord's rep for good sounds, reliability with a similar or lower price and it is no wonder stages out here seem to be red all over.
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#2931209 - 06/05/18 04:32 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: RABid]
stoken6 Offline
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Originally Posted By: RABid
I opted for a compact when I got a Stage 2 because I would rather play piano on a synth action keyboard rather than play organ on a hammer action keyboard. And THAT highlights the biggest issue I have with the Nord concept. Piano and organ does not belong on the same keyboard.


Throw a hammer-action controller under a Stage Compact - it's ideally suited to that approach.

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931211 - 06/05/18 04:34 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
stoken6 Offline
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Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
There is a certain type of person that buys a Nord.
Really? I'm reading this thread, and I'm thinking "there's so many types of people that buy a Nord".

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931217 - 06/05/18 05:19 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stoken6]
Outkaster Offline
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#2931223 - 06/05/18 06:02 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: GregC
Seems to me spending $3000 for something that is mostly used as a preset keyboard is not the best use of a $3000 Kronos.
True, but there's probably no better board for a preset jockey than a Kronos. I


Preset jockey ? Thats funny. I had to google the phrase.

Lo and behold snax

http://www.harmonycentral.com/forum/forum/Keyboards/acapella-18/317618-


Edited by GregC (06/05/18 06:04 AM)
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#2931225 - 06/05/18 06:26 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Outkaster]
Al Quinn Offline
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Registered: 08/13/14
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I owned a Stage 2 HA88 for three years and have had an Electro 4D for five years. The reason I bought Nord was the appeal of having an all-in-one board. I've done many single board gigs with the Nords and, no matter how much I wanted to love them, I wasn't happy. Why?

- The APs sound very good but the HA 88 finger to ear connection is mediocre for piano playing and the E4D action is worse
- The B3 doesn't sound authentic and the E4D action is mediocre for organ playing (i.e., too stiff)
- Strings are just OK
- Horns are just OK

So, I reached the conclusion that I need two boards for gigs requiring more than just piano or B3. This is partly because of my desire for an all-on-one board that has the best sounds (which doesn't seem to exist) and partly because a single action is too much of a compromise for playing both piano and organ.

This weekend I have a blues gig and a classic rock gig. I'll use my CP4 and Electro 4D midi'ed to the HX3 expander module for B3. This rig sounds and plays so much better than my previous Nord rigs. As a result I play better and have more fun. Next week I have a jazz organ gig and I'll use my Mojo which sounds and plays so much better than any Nord I've played.

To be fair, I want to add some things I love about Nord:
- the user interface is great! After a small learning curve I could quickly pull together any setup I desired and could musically tweak my sound during performance
- the user manual is written really well
- I don't play much synth these days but when I needed to the Stage 2 played and sounded great
- the APs record really well in the studio
- customer support with Pablo from the Nord forum was great for me when I needed it

Of course much of what I've shared is subjective and I'm sincerly happy for those who love their Nords.
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#2931237 - 06/05/18 07:23 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Al Quinn]
Stokely Offline
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Look out guitar players, keyboard players can be gear-judgemental douches too! We're coming for your crown! Geez....

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#2931247 - 06/05/18 07:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
Outkaster Offline
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I don't think we are that bad Stokely we don't have dozens of pages in music catalogs dedicated to us. The pool is very small comparatively.
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#2931248 - 06/05/18 08:04 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
spending $3599 and immediately feeling the desire to get better organs and EPs off an $1149 Gemini to total $4748 is crazy talk (ymmv).

It's not a matter of immediately feeling the desire to get better organs and EPs. The organs and EPs are nice and more than usable... I liked them in my NE5D, which I sold to get the NS3. They are not the very best, but they are plenty good enough, and certainly the best you'll find in a 22 lb 7x key board that also includes aftertouch, a knobby synth, and some of the best acoustic piano sounds available!

I'm not suggesting that Nord owners need to buy Gemini modules. But if one does want the very best at the lowest travel weight, budget aside, adding a Gemini module to an NS3 is arguably a way to do it, if you do indeed prefer the EPs and organs of the Mojo.

The other thing about sound satisfaction is that people can be perfectly happy with their sounds, until they hear something better. Lots of people probably thought they'd never need another piano sound once the Korg M1 came out.

For multi-sound (piano/EP/organ/synth/rompler) players, any single board is a compromise. Any pair of boards is a compromise. Heck, I don't think I could come up with a THREE board rig that wasn't a compromise. The question is one of how far you are willing to go to minimize compromises. Admitting that the Nord isn't perfect at everything it does is not a knock on the Nord. Nothing is perfect. For many people, the Nord is simply the least imperfect.

So let's assume that your favorite pianos are Nord, your favorite organs/EPs are Mojo (which again, does not mean the ones in the Nord aren't "good enough," they're just not your favorites), and you want a knobby synth with aftertouch and custom sample loading. Turning the premise around, instead of starting with the Nord and thinking about ideally adding Mojo calibre organ and EP via the Gemini, let's start with the Mojo 61. What do you add to get what you're now missing by not having gotten the Nord? A Sledge gives you back the knobby synth with aftertouch and sample loading, at reasonable price. Now where do you get your Nord-caliber acoustic pianos driven from a board with more than 61 keys? Well, you still need a Nord of some sort (since our goal is to get this set of common favorite sounds, i.e. Nord-calibre piano and Mojo-calibre organ and EP). But it doesn't have to be a Stage, it can be a cheaper Nord. Still, the cheapest 7x key Nord plus a Sledge plus a Mojo61 comes to $4,900. That's more expensive than adding the Gemini module to the NS3, and a bunch more travel weight, setup time, and stage footprint. And, btw, we're still missing a quality rompler. I add that as a second tier with the NS3. In this alternate scenario, that becomes a fourth board!

The more practical way to build this system around a Mojo61 and Sledge would probably be to add a laptop, and some inexpensive 73+ board you can use as a controller. The laptop could give you the best in piano and rompler sounds, while this combo still leaves you with dedicated hardware for the stuff that's hardest to do through software (knobby synth and drawbar ergonomics, and VB3 sound that beats their VST equivalent). You're still at three boards, though, and it's still not cheap, and will require a bunch of effort to make it all work smoothly.

Bottom line, I do find the NS3 good enough for everything I need it for, but if I want to get closer to perfection, it's much easier to add Mojo organ/EP to an NS3 than to add the rest of what an NS3 does to a Mojo61.

(I'm not actually sure how seamlessly one could get that to work, though. Driving the Gemini through the EXT function is a logical and easy way to add an external sound source, but drawbars don't transmit through the EXT function. Driving the module from the Nord's Global channel will give you all the front panel organ control, but complicates integrating internal and external sounds. I have some ideas on how it could be done, but that's a topic for another thread at another time, and it's nothing I'm imminently pursuing anyway)
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#2931252 - 06/05/18 08:41 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
jeffinpghpa Offline
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What I really liked about Nord Stage and Nord Electro was that I was able to get my sounds into a band mix almost instantly to get my tones and EQ tweaked so easily.

While my patches for pianos and electric pianos are sonically better on the Kurzweil Forte, and the Dave Weiser sounds have some ideal EQ for live band mixes, I still feel like my Kurzweil Forte gigs have had some trial and error in this, and the Nord got me dialed in much faster.

Something to think about, too.
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#2931263 - 06/05/18 09:41 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stoken6]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
Originally Posted By: RABid
THAT highlights the biggest issue I have with the Nord concept. Piano and organ does not belong on the same keyboard.
Throw a hammer-action controller under a Stage Compact - it's ideally suited to that approach.
Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
I've done many single board gigs with the Nords and, not matter how much I wanted to love them, I wasn't happy. ... I reached the conclusion that I need two boards for gigs requiring more than just piano or B3. This is partly because of my desire for an all-on-one board that has the best sounds (which doesn't seem to exist) and partly because a single action is too much of a compromise for playing both piano and organ.

Yes, a lot of this thread has focussed on how the NS3 is, for many people, about the best single-board solution, but picking up from my previous post, every single-board solution is a compromise. I find the NS3 works great as part of a pair. (In fact, if I had to gig with just one board, I'd probably take my Kurzweil Artis7, not my NS3!) As I mentioned, I pair the NS3 with a rompler (and being the keyboard junkie I am, it could be a Kurzweil, Roland DS, Yamaha MOXF, or Kronos... all great boards, all with different compromises, and none of which give me much of what's in the Nord). Still, I'd rather gig with three than two. If I could deal with the weight, my ideal rig would probably be a Korg SV1, Nord Stage 3-73, and Kronos 61.

And then *if* I wanted the Mojo sounds (more tempted by the hype than anything else at this point), I'd probably add the Gemini, because a 4th board is cumbersome, and a Mojo61 can't effectively replace any of the other three. The SV1 has the hammer action and just a great playability vibe (partially the tube?), the Nord has the best piano sounds and the knobby synth, the rompler fills in all the gaps, and the Mojo61 couldn't do any of those things. So either the Mojo61 would have to be a fourth board or I'd have to integrate a laptop/ipad/module to take over rompler duties. But alas, it's moot because I'm not even willing to gig with the weight of the SV1. (Though I am still considering a lighter weight version of this 3-board rig - a Casio 88, the NS3-73, and one of the lighter romplers.)

I have thought about using an iPad for rompler sounds, which would give me more flexibility in what I could pair the NS3 with, but I'm content with my current pairing options at the moment. I'm also reserving judgment on just how happy I can be with the Nord's SW action until I have the time to try the alternate springs I got. Which brings me to...

Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
- The APs sound very good but the HA 88 finger to ear connection is mediocre for piano playing and the E4D action is worse
- The B3 doesn't sound authentic and the E4D action is mediocre for organ playing (i.e., too stiff)
...
Next week I have a jazz organ gig and I'll use my Mojo which sounds and plays so much better than any Nord I've played.

I know you installed alternate springs in your E4D, and you used your Mojo action as reference when selecting the springs, and you seemed pretty happy with the feel at the time. In the end, were you just not able to get it as close as you wanted to the feel of the Mojo? Or was the remaining dissatisfaction more about the sound then the feel?

I do feel the Nord SWs have more pushback than I'd like, but I was pleasantly surprised that the NE5D and NS3 handled piano better than the NS2 and NE3 did (I never played the NE4), and it does cross my threshold for "playable" if one must play from a non-hammer action. I still prefer the Artis7 with its alternate springs and am hoping for a similar improvement on the Nord. But I do find it pretty playable as it is.

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#2931268 - 06/05/18 09:53 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Daniel71 Offline
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Registered: 08/27/11
Posts: 120
Loc: Rimouski Canada
I love my Nord Stage but I still use one of them with a motif xf7 for my rock band and Iím planning to use my other stage with a mojo 61 for my blues band.

I use my Nords mostly for the piano and electric pianos. Donít like the organ but useable. The synth section had been improved in the NS3.

Regards

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#2931272 - 06/05/18 10:00 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Daniel71]
AnotherScott Online   content
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One other thing I'll mention regarding complaints that the Nord organ lags the best of the dedicated clones... the NS3 lets you easily route the organ to its own output, where you can attach a Vent.

Yes, that's another not cheap solution. But as I said, pricey as it may be, compare what it costs to get the organ sound you're happy with out of an NS3 to the cost of getting everything else the NS3 gives you out of a Mojo, Legend, whatever.
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#2931278 - 06/05/18 10:23 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
Posts: 5710
Loc: Discovery Bay, California
Originally Posted By: Stokely
Look out guitar players, keyboard players can be gear-judgemental douches too! We're coming for your crown! Geez....



I think you are joking mostly. The gear analysis threads are fun.
( correct me if I am misunderstanding).

Imagine, Nord can did this up in a minute and have instant product assessment at a customer level. For free.

I think almost every post is fact based . opinions, preferences for sure but backed up with fact.

Folks here have excellent product knowledge. They are dedicated and serious about their craft.

I also enjoy joking around. Just wanted to give my input as a non-Nord person.


Edited by GregC (06/05/18 10:25 AM)
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#2931289 - 06/05/18 12:06 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: kbrkr]
MojoGuyPan Offline
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Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 427
Loc: Mainland Florida
Originally Posted By: kbrkr
I'm a Stage 3 Compact owner, and I don't think it is worth the money. I also have a Kronos 2 76. The chief attraction to me was the weight and a "Swiss Army Knife" approach. Meaning, I can bring a piano, organ, Synth to a gig/rehearsal without killing myself.

However, there are many drawbacks to the Nord as follows:
* It's not as well made as you might think. The Mod wheel on my kb was not working out of the box and has intermittent functionality.
* Sonically, it comes nowhere close to the Kronos.
* Some base sounds (Wurly's, Clavs, etc.) are weak.



Now we need to hang. The Nord Stage isn't a bad board at all. I've played them when backlined or when subbing and have liked them but buy one? No way they are waaaay overpriced for what you get. Especially when a Kronos 73 blows it out of the water sonically and wrt flexibility and overall capability.

I have no problem with the Fatar keybed and you know if the Nord Stage 3 was priced the same as a Crumar Seven, I'd definitely consider getting one but it is twice the price of a Seven.

Like other have said, With a 61 and Seven you're still $1250 less than the Stage and you have an optimal keybed for organs and a sweet hammer action keybed for piano and EPs. You need a synth? Bring a Sledge and you still have cash in your pocket for night of fun.

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#2931292 - 06/05/18 12:36 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Al Quinn Offline
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Registered: 08/13/14
Posts: 1158
Loc: Center Moriches, NY
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
I know you installed alternate springs in your E4D, and you used your Mojo action as reference when selecting the springs, and you seemed pretty happy with the feel at the time. In the end, were you just not able to get it as close as you wanted to the feel of the Mojo? Or was the remaining dissatisfaction more about the sound then the feel?

After swapping the springs the action on the E4D is great for organ (very close to the Mojo action). My remaining dissatisfaction is with the B3. I now use the E4D exclusively as a 61-key midi controller with drawbars, and knobs and buttons which are labeled nicely. Iíve used it on occasion with a laptop but most often use it with the HX3 module. It was a twisted path that got me here (i.e., I initially had high hopes for the E4D) but since Iím happy with my gear Iím not motivated to make changes now. Since swapping springs isn't for everyone I left that detail out of my previous post and just commented on the stock E4D.
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#2931295 - 06/05/18 12:51 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
With a 61 and Seven you're still $1250 less than the Stage and you have an optimal keybed for organs and a sweet hammer action keybed for piano and EPs. You need a synth? Bring a Sledge and you still have cash in your pocket for night of fun.

That's a nice combo, but your math is off (at least in the U.S.), it's still $4700 ($2309+$1499+899). No cash in your pocket, it's more expensive than any NS3, sometimes by quite a lot ($3600 for the SW 73, $4200 for the 76 TP100, $4500 for the 88 TP40). And you still don't have a really high quality acoustic piano sound in your rig. You could make an argument for superior sounds in your rig (other than piano) and the benefit of multiple actions, but it's a pricier way to go. Plus you've got a much higher travel weight, longer setup time, bigger stage footprint, no master patch selection system, and reduced MIDI functionality. So there are still trade-offs.

Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
a Kronos 73 blows it out of the water sonically and wrt flexibility and overall capability.

...but not in immediacy of operation, ease of use and "fun" for anything beyond selecting a patch and playing it. Which may be all someone wants, but as I've said, my Kronos is great, but for most stuff, I'd rather use my NS3. And if you read this thread, you'll see I'm not alone. It's not like all these Nord players have never heard of a Kronos. Of course Kronos is more capable. But I don't need a sequencer or Karma, or a keyboard that samples (I use the computer), or to be able to simultaneously split and layer 16 sounds. I get much more benefit from instant, simultaneous control of drawbars and a full complement of VA synth and effects controls. And I can add some big Kronos advantages to a Nord with some iPad apps (i.e. better orchestral sounds, set list management), but I can't add the Nord ergonomic advantages to the Kronos. Of course, it's best to have both. ;-) BTW, one more perk of the Nord, I don't have to wait 2+ minutes for it to start up!
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#2931297 - 06/05/18 01:02 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
Stokely Offline
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Registered: 12/15/12
Posts: 1927
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: Stokely
Look out guitar players, keyboard players can be gear-judgemental douches too! We're coming for your crown! Geez....



I think you are joking mostly. The gear analysis threads are fun.
( correct me if I am misunderstanding).

Imagine, Nord can did this up in a minute and have instant product assessment at a customer level. For free.

I think almost every post is fact based . opinions, preferences for sure but backed up with fact.

Folks here have excellent product knowledge. They are dedicated and serious about their craft.

I also enjoy joking around. Just wanted to give my input as a non-Nord person.


Yeah I was joking and didn't mean to sound so over-the-top, there were a few posts sprinkled in that seemed a bit weird in a brand-snob way (like guitarists!) but overall there's a lot of great info in here.

AnotherScott has me looking into the Gemini, for instance! I sure wish the Mojo 61 had those extra engines...

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#2931300 - 06/05/18 01:11 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Fusker Offline
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Registered: 04/20/09
Posts: 1413
Loc: Raleigh, NC
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
With a 61 and Seven you're still $1250 less than the Stage and you have an optimal keybed for organs and a sweet hammer action keybed for piano and EPs. You need a synth? Bring a Sledge and you still have cash in your pocket for night of fun.

That's a nice combo, but your math is off (at least in the U.S.), it's still $4700 ($2309+$1499+899). No cash in your pocket, it's more expensive than any NS3, sometimes by quite a lot ($3600 for the SW 73, $4200 for the 76 TP100, $4500 for the 88 TP40). And you still don't have a really high quality acoustic piano sound in your rig. You could make an argument for superior sounds in your rig (other than piano) and the benefit of multiple actions, but it's a pricier way to go. Plus you've got a much higher travel weight, longer setup time, bigger stage footprint, no master patch selection system, and reduced MIDI functionality. So there are still trade-offs.

Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
a Kronos 73 blows it out of the water sonically and wrt flexibility and overall capability.

...but not in immediacy of operation, ease of use and "fun" for anything beyond selecting a patch and playing it. Which may be all someone wants, but as I've said, my Kronos is great, but for most stuff, I'd rather use my NS3. And if you read this thread, you'll see I'm not alone. It's not like all these Nord players have never heard of a Kronos. Of course Kronos is more capable. But I don't need a sequencer or Karma, or a keyboard that samples (I use the computer), or to be able to simultaneously split and layer 16 sounds. I get much more benefit from instant, simultaneous control of drawbars and a full complement of VA synth and effects controls. And I can add some big Kronos advantages to a Nord with some iPad apps (i.e. better orchestral sounds, set list management), but I can't add the Nord ergonomic advantages to the Kronos. Of course, it's best to have both. ;-) BTW, one more perk of the Nord, I don't have to wait 2+ minutes for it to start up!


Agree with all this, and when talking the compact, the price is quite a bit lower, and it goes without saying, 22 lbs. is a huge factor, for me at least. Always a question of what to compromise on for a stage rig. 22 pounds and a compact footprint. Can't say it enough. Also, the connotation that people like Nords because they want to be seen playing a Nord is a fairly huge generalization. The mileage I've gotten out of my NE3 is incredible. Time for it to retire, but after having used it since 2011, I can't imagine not having a Nord in the stable.

Glad to see the Crumar mentioned though. I haven't been patrolling these boards much the less couple years (due to job change and cross country move) so was completely ignorant on this front. Obviously never seen one at a Guitar Center, looks very cool.


Edited by Fusker (06/05/18 01:14 PM)
Edit Reason: English
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#2931302 - 06/05/18 01:25 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Fusker]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Well after 3 pages we have clearly ended this debate once and for all. Bwah ha ha. roll

Maybe we just leave it at... Nords are expensive - the Stage is the most compelling model and the priciest. There are some decent reasons why some users are willing to pony up for one. And there are some decent reasons why others choose their competitors at lower price points (especially true in the US). Even at the $4500 there isn't a holy grail swiss army knife board that meets everyone's needs and there will likely never be one.
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#2931303 - 06/05/18 01:26 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Fusker]
jeffinpghpa Offline
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I'm glad to see so much love for Sledge here. More than I've seen ever on this forum. I think the Sledge 2.0 is my next purchase.
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#2931307 - 06/05/18 01:53 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Delaware Dave Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
spending $3599 and immediately feeling the desire to get better organs and EPs off an $1149 Gemini to total $4748 is crazy talk (ymmv).

It's not a matter of immediately feeling the desire to get better organs and EPs. The organs and EPs are nice and more than usable... I liked them in my NE5D, which I sold to get the NS3. They are not the very best, but they are plenty good enough, and certainly the best you'll find in a 22 lb 7x key board that also includes aftertouch, a knobby synth, and some of the best acoustic piano sounds available!

I'm not suggesting that Nord owners need to buy Gemini modules. But if one does want the very best at the lowest travel weight, budget aside, adding a Gemini module to an NS3 is arguably a way to do it, if you do indeed prefer the EPs and organs of the Mojo.

The other thing about sound satisfaction is that people can be perfectly happy with their sounds, until they hear something better. Lots of people probably thought they'd never need another piano sound once the Korg M1 came out.

For multi-sound (piano/EP/organ/synth/rompler) players, any single board is a compromise. Any pair of boards is a compromise. Heck, I don't think I could come up with a THREE board rig that wasn't a compromise. The question is one of how far you are willing to go to minimize compromises. Admitting that the Nord isn't perfect at everything it does is not a knock on the Nord. Nothing is perfect. For many people, the Nord is simply the least imperfect.

So let's assume that your favorite pianos are Nord, your favorite organs/EPs are Mojo (which again, does not mean the ones in the Nord aren't "good enough," they're just not your favorites), and you want a knobby synth with aftertouch and custom sample loading. Turning the premise around, instead of starting with the Nord and thinking about ideally adding Mojo calibre organ and EP via the Gemini, let's start with the Mojo 61. What do you add to get what you're now missing by not having gotten the Nord? A Sledge gives you back the knobby synth with aftertouch and sample loading, at reasonable price. Now where do you get your Nord-caliber acoustic pianos driven from a board with more than 61 keys? Well, you still need a Nord of some sort (since our goal is to get this set of common favorite sounds, i.e. Nord-calibre piano and Mojo-calibre organ and EP). But it doesn't have to be a Stage, it can be a cheaper Nord. Still, the cheapest 7x key Nord plus a Sledge plus a Mojo61 comes to $4,900. That's more expensive than adding the Gemini module to the NS3, and a bunch more travel weight, setup time, and stage footprint. And, btw, we're still missing a quality rompler. I add that as a second tier with the NS3. In this alternate scenario, that becomes a fourth board!

The more practical way to build this system around a Mojo61 and Sledge would probably be to add a laptop, and some inexpensive 73+ board you can use as a controller. The laptop could give you the best in piano and rompler sounds, while this combo still leaves you with dedicated hardware for the stuff that's hardest to do through software (knobby synth and drawbar ergonomics, and VB3 sound that beats their VST equivalent). You're still at three boards, though, and it's still not cheap, and will require a bunch of effort to make it all work smoothly.

Bottom line, I do find the NS3 good enough for everything I need it for, but if I want to get closer to perfection, it's much easier to add Mojo organ/EP to an NS3 than to add the rest of what an NS3 does to a Mojo61.

(I'm not actually sure how seamlessly one could get that to work, though. Driving the Gemini through the EXT function is a logical and easy way to add an external sound source, but drawbars don't transmit through the EXT function. Driving the module from the Nord's Global channel will give you all the front panel organ control, but complicates integrating internal and external sounds. I have some ideas on how it could be done, but that's a topic for another thread at another time, and it's nothing I'm imminently pursuing anyway)
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#2931311 - 06/05/18 02:09 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
jeffinpghpa Offline
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Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 495
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
[quote=kbrkr]
Like other have said, With a 61 and Seven you're still $1250 less than the Stage and you have an optimal keybed for organs and a sweet hammer action keybed for piano and EPs. You need a synth? Bring a Sledge and you still have cash in your pocket for night of fun.


That rig could have a very cool vibe to it and could be a lot of fun to play (Seven's action aside - we agree to disagree), but the box I don't really have checked in the Seven + 61 + Sledge combo is the acoustic piano. I think a strong contender in the AP category in the bottom board is pretty critical and perhaps some richer pads.

I think it could be very high on the fun factor, but carrying 3 keyboards is a lot of schlep when one of them is a Seven and has a heavier case/form factor.
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#2931314 - 06/05/18 02:42 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stokely
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: Stokely
Look out guitar players, keyboard players can be gear-judgemental douches too! We're coming for your crown! Geez....



I think you are joking mostly. The gear analysis threads are fun.
( correct me if I am misunderstanding).

Imagine, Nord can did this up in a minute and have instant product assessment at a customer level. For free.

I think almost every post is fact based . opinions, preferences for sure but backed up with fact.

Folks here have excellent product knowledge. They are dedicated and serious about their craft.

I also enjoy joking around. Just wanted to give my input as a non-Nord person.


Yeah I was joking and didn't mean to sound so over-the-top, there were a few posts sprinkled in that seemed a bit weird in a brand-snob way (like guitarists!) but overall there's a lot of great info in here.

AnotherScott has me looking into the Gemini, for instance! I sure wish the Mojo 61 had those extra engines...




Thats cool.

And I apologize for being the instigator of a 7 page post. wink

I also expect a huge factory discount when I buy a Stage
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#2931322 - 06/05/18 03:58 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
gg22 Offline
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Registered: 08/03/14
Posts: 117
Brand loyalty plays a big role here (same happens with cars, phones and everything else). People are willing to pay more for the brand they trust and are familiar with. Korg Grandstage or Roland RD-2000 give you most of the Stage functionality at half the cost, and when you shell $$$ for your first Nord, it's easy to upgrade considering it's high resale value.
I've seen many people using Stage 88 just as a stage piano, as well people buying $1000 iPhones just for texting.
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#2931324 - 06/05/18 04:09 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: gg22]
GregC Offline
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Originally Posted By: gg22
Brand loyalty plays a big role here (same happens with cars, phones and everything else). People are willing to pay more for the brand they trust and are familiar with. Korg Grandstage or Roland RD-2000 give you most of the Stage functionality at half the cost, and when you shell $$$ for your first Nord, it's easy to upgrade considering it's high resale value.
I've seen many people using Stage 88 just as a stage piano, as well people buying $1000 iPhones just for texting.


I worked for Sony for 10 years- they rode that brand loyalty hard. This was back in the 80's/90's.

Just the same, there is always competition. Often compelling competition. I consider the RD-2000 to be excellent , low cost alternative.

And as you say, plus this post topic, both show brand loyalty. I think its well deserved.
Most working keyboard musicians are not wealthy is my guess. For them to let go of $4000 ( vs $2000 for the Rd-2000) is a big deal. Even with expected Nord resale value.

I disagree with the Porsche analogy. Lots of service involved. Very expensive service.
A Porsche on the outside, yes. Then again, most analogies are flawed.
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#2931325 - 06/05/18 04:10 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: gg22]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: gg22
Korg Grandstage or Roland RD-2000 give you most of the Stage functionality at half the cost

I don't know about he RD2000 which I've never looked at in depth, but Grandstage, nice as it is, doesn't give you nearly the Stage functionality. No drawbar-adjustable organ. No knobby synth. Those are huge differences. Then there's stuff like no aftertouch, 64 savable sounds instead of 400+. I think you can only split/layer two sounds, right? And there's basically no control of external sound sources over MIDI, no custom sample loading...
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#2931328 - 06/05/18 04:37 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
bennyray Offline
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Registered: 12/06/14
Posts: 933
Originally Posted By: GregC
Originally Posted By: gg22
Brand loyalty plays a big role here (same happens with cars, phones and everything else). People are willing to pay more for the brand they trust and are familiar with. Korg Grandstage or Roland RD-2000 give you most of the Stage functionality at half the cost, and when you shell $$$ for your first Nord, it's easy to upgrade considering it's high resale value.
I've seen many people using Stage 88 just as a stage piano, as well people buying $1000 iPhones just for texting.


I worked for Sony for 10 years- they rode that brand loyalty hard. This was back in the 80's/90's.

Just the same, there is always competition. Often compelling competition. I consider the RD-2000 to be excellent , low cost alternative.

And as you say, plus this post topic, both show brand loyalty. I think its well deserved.
Most working keyboard musicians are not wealthy is my guess. For them to let go of $4000 ( vs $2000 for the Rd-2000) is a big deal. Even with expected Nord resale value.

I disagree with the Porsche analogy. Lots of service involved. Very expensive service.
A Porsche on the outside, yes. Then again, most analogies are flawed.


Easy Greg you are making too much sense!
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#2931332 - 06/05/18 05:14 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
gg22 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/03/14
Posts: 117
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: gg22
Korg Grandstage or Roland RD-2000 give you most of the Stage functionality at half the cost

I don't know about he RD2000 which I've never looked at in depth, but Grandstage, nice as it is, doesn't give you nearly the Stage functionality. No drawbar-adjustable organ. No knobby synth. Those are huge differences. Then there's stuff like no aftertouch, 64 savable sounds instead of 400+. I think you can only split/layer two sounds, right? And there's basically no control of external sound sources over MIDI, no custom sample loading...


You are correct about the Grandstage - no drawbars, aftertouch, knobs and very limited sound adjustments. But AP's are comparable, ROMpler sounds are better, and EP's are just in another league. I was actually planning to buy the Stage 3 88, but ended up with the Grandstage. Paying $3000 CAD more for drawbars, knobs and aftertouch (especially on a 88 keyboard) seemed a bit steep to me. Now I'm considering adding Electro 6 though ... but who knows, once I'm in the store - may end up with something else again, lol.
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#2931340 - 06/05/18 06:57 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Delaware Dave]
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Originally Posted By: Delaware Dave
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TL;DR
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#2931344 - 06/05/18 07:13 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: gg22]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6416
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Originally Posted By: gg22
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: gg22
Korg Grandstage or Roland RD-2000 give you most of the Stage functionality at half the cost

I don't know about he RD2000 which I've never looked at in depth, but Grandstage, nice as it is, doesn't give you nearly the Stage functionality. No drawbar-adjustable organ. No knobby synth. Those are huge differences. Then there's stuff like no aftertouch, 64 savable sounds instead of 400+. I think you can only split/layer two sounds, right? And there's basically no control of external sound sources over MIDI, no custom sample loading...


You are correct about the Grandstage - no drawbars, aftertouch, knobs and very limited sound adjustments. But AP's are comparable, ROMpler sounds are better, and EP's are just in another league. I was actually planning to buy the Stage 3 88, but ended up with the Grandstage. Paying $3000 CAD more for drawbars, knobs and aftertouch (especially on a 88 keyboard) seemed a bit steep to me. Now I'm considering adding Electro 6 though ... but who knows, once I'm in the store - may end up with something else again, lol.


Having the Grand Stage - you could do Electro 6 up top, or the Mojo 61, SK1, or XK-1c. The new VOX Continental would be too much Korg for me in that pairing. Depends what sounds, action and controls you are after.
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#2931515 - 06/06/18 11:12 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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When I first bought my Stage it took me a long time to work up the need for a second board. To be sure this was pre-organ-playing days for me. Occasional pads at best, set to whatever the default pushbuttons were. But even after I started gateway organ-playing, I could get by on most gigs by being ninja at splits and layers.

Fast forward through a couple of rig refreshes, all with two boards, and now my NS3 Compact has become the second-board killer. I tried, really tried, to add a second board. I tried, really tried, to go non-Nord. My rig and my gigs would seem to need a fully weighted vintage-keys component in addition to the board I theoretically use mostly for organ and synth, and there other options out there for both.

But the NS3 is too good. The stiff waterfall action makes piano playing actually sorta workable, vintage keys good, clav responsive, and synth fine. On the flip side, it's sprung a bit stiffer than an organ, but also completely workable on that end as well. Obviously not the best emulation out there, but for a one-board solution? Righteous.

I honestly tried to set up a two-board, non-Nord rig this time, but this thing keeps working too well. Just sold my second board (again). I'm going to snag a weighted-key controller to leave in my studio and take on occasional gigs, and ride with wave with my new red-headed dream girl.
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#2931530 - 06/07/18 05:00 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
stoken6 Offline
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MoI are you saying you're happy with a one-board Nord rig? I couldn't imagine playing what I do on just one board (not enough real estate) but Nord+controller is da bomb.

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931533 - 06/07/18 05:18 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
When I first bought my Stage it took me a long time to work up the need for a second board. To be sure this was pre-organ-playing days for me. Occasional pads at best, set to whatever the default pushbuttons were. But even after I started gateway organ-playing, I could get by on most gigs by being ninja at splits and layers.

Fast forward through a couple of rig refreshes, all with two boards, and now my NS3 Compact has become the second-board killer. I tried, really tried, to add a second board. I tried, really tried, to go non-Nord. My rig and my gigs would seem to need a fully weighted vintage-keys component in addition to the board I theoretically use mostly for organ and synth, and there other options out there for both.

But the NS3 is too good. The stiff waterfall action makes piano playing actually sorta workable, vintage keys good, clav responsive, and synth fine. On the flip side, it's sprung a bit stiffer than an organ, but also completely workable on that end as well. Obviously not the best emulation out there, but for a one-board solution? Righteous.

I honestly tried to set up a two-board, non-Nord rig this time, but this thing keeps working too well. Just sold my second board (again). I'm going to snag a weighted-key controller to leave in my studio and take on occasional gigs, and ride with wave with my new red-headed dream girl.


This is weirdly similar to my own experience. The NS3C may not be the best at any one thing, but it's so damn good at most things. It's cured my GAS for a good long while now.

I play mine with a weighted board below (NP2 HA88) just doing midi, as I want/need a more AP-like action. The NS3C gives me control surface for everything.

And it's a blast. Throw in my IEMs, and I'm now in full sell-off-a-bunch-of-stuff mode. A bunch of older Nord boards. Several pairs of PA units. Mixers.

None of it no longer needed or wanted. Very liberating.
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#2931544 - 06/07/18 07:05 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
MojoGuyPan Offline
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Registered: 07/30/08
Posts: 427
Loc: Mainland Florida
Originally Posted By: Adan

It should also be said that you are possibly the kookiest commentator on this board . . . but I think everyone already knows that.

And yet sometimes you absolutely nail it. Good days and bad days?

Let's get that $2300 monotrimbral Crumar Seven into your living room so you can start really enjoying that Fatar action.

edit: I guess Scott beat me to the irony punch.


I've got the Seven in my living room, pics of Chez GuyPan to follow.

I get your sarcastic remark about enjoying the Fater TP100 in the Seven. What I don't get is how this is a knock against the Seven in a Stage thread. Yesterday afternoon by means of cosmic serendipity I went into a local music store that was loaded with Nord and Casio boards. I played the Stage 3 and Stage 2 EX both marked $4500. When playing the 3 I was reminded of your snide "enjoy the Fatar" comment. The Stage 3 action felt the exact same as the action in the Seven and in the Numa Stage, the Fatar TP100. They are the exact same. So I say to you enjoy the Fatar in your dual-timbral $4500 Stage 3.

I knew that the Nords had Fatar action but I thought it was the TP40 like the Kurzweil 88s or the Numa Concert. But no, the 3 had the TP100. The Stage 2 EX felt like it had a plastic version of the TP40 and was much smoother than the Stage 3.

On the plus side they sounded really nice and I had fun playing them for a half hour or so. But $4500 is very steep.

I must say both Stage actions killed the Casio PX-5 action which felt absolutely bargain bin in comparison and that the Numa Compact 2 they had sounded really good and felt solid.

You're gonna love my decor.


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#2931546 - 06/07/18 07:06 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: cphollis]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Fast forward through a couple of rig refreshes, all with two boards, and now my NS3 Compact has become the second-board killer. I tried, really tried, to add a second board. I tried, really tried, to go non-Nord.
...
My rig and my gigs would seem to need a fully weighted vintage-keys component in addition to the board I theoretically use mostly for organ and synth, and there other options out there for both.
...
I'm going to snag a weighted-key controller to leave in my studio and take on occasional gigs, and ride with wave with my new red-headed dream girl.
In your situation, my second board of choice would be an SV1, it is the archetypal fully weighted vintage-keys component. It's EPs are more satisfying than Nord's, it provides the same kind of hands-on manipulation you enjoy on the Nord, it has a nice action to trigger the SW Nord's pianos from, it gives you a smattering of other sounds that are arguably better than any equivalents in the NS3, and you can also get it in red. ;-) With the right stand, you can even get the Nord to sit nicely right on top (despite its curved top), which looks cool and minimizes distance between the actions. Not terribly pricey, either. The only downside is dealing with is 38.5 lbs.

As for my own second board NS3-73 complements, lately it's been a Roland DS61 or a small Yamaha. I just like having a super-light extra board for grabbing sounds on the fly without having to think about splits, plus some superior rompler-style sounds (strings, brass, woodwinds), though I could address the latter in an even lighter iPad. Another advantage over the NS3 alone, though, is that it's simpler and more convenient/flexible to have the second board when doing LH bass. (My Kronos 61 or Artis7 could do the trick too, but for my needs on these gigs, have not been worth the additional travel weight over the DS61/Yamaha.) But it's still tempting to bring a weighted action!

Originally Posted By: cphollis
I play mine with a weighted board below (NP2 HA88) just doing midi, as I want/need a more AP-like action. The NS3C gives me control surface for everything.
That makes sense since you already owned the NP2. Though it would be more cost-effective to use an SL88 Grand which has a similar action. Again, an iPad could serve as an extra sound source if you'd miss the safety of redundancy.

Other reasonably lightweight 88s I'd consider a nice sonic and functional complement to the NS3 Compact would be the SP6 and MX88/MOXF8. But if you don't need their sounds, you might as well focus on the action you prefer.

As for redundancy, an old topic here, yeah, I'd still want a second board in case of disaster, even if it was my Microstation that I could leave in the car. Though in hundreds of gigs over the past decade or so, I can only think of three times I couldn't use a board... and twice it was because I was missing the right power adapter. ;-)
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#2931550 - 06/07/18 07:24 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MojoGuyPan]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
I get your sarcastic remark about enjoying the Fater TP100 in the Seven. What I don't get is how this is a knock against the Seven in a Stage thread.

You may have gotten the sarcasm, but I think you missed the point, which isn't sarcasm but irony. You knocked the Nord Stage 3 for "using Fatar just like everybody else" while you also extoll the virtues of the Seven, which, at $2300, uses the exact same Fatar action as the $4200 NS3-76... and EP sound quality aside, the Seven isn't half the keyboard the NS3 is in sound or functionality. Add a clonewheel, a knobby synth, and a high quality acoustic piano to your $2300 Seven, and the NS3 can look like a bargain. I'm not saying the Seven isn't a great keyboard, but it is at least as extravagantly priced for what you get as the Nord is. Not that it isn't worth it. Both boards are worth it if they put the right smile on your face. But I can't see how anyone who thinks a Seven is reasonably priced for what you get can possibly say that a Nord Stage isn't.

Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
The Stage 3 action felt the exact same as the action in the Seven and in the Numa Stage, the Fatar TP100. They are the exact same.
...
I knew that the Nords had Fatar action but I thought it was the TP40 like the Kurzweil 88s or the Numa Concert. But no, the 3 had the TP100. The Stage 2 EX felt like it had a plastic version of the TP40 and was much smoother than the Stage 3.

The 76 key versions of the NS2EX and NS3 use the TP100. The 88 key versions use the TP40.
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#2931582 - 06/07/18 09:29 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
In your situation, my second board of choice would be an SV1


That was my choice. Bought it. Didn't use it. Sold it.
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#2931585 - 06/07/18 09:46 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stoken6]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: stoken6
MoI are you saying you're happy with a one-board Nord rig? I couldn't imagine playing what I do on just one board (not enough real estate) but Nord+controller is da bomb.


Here's the thing. In theory, I should not be happy with one board. I do lots of gigs where the obvious set-up is a double stack.

But...somehow it's been working. Nearly every patch I make is "backed up" with organ volume controlled by the wheel, so I can always switch on the fly. Wheel up = organ volume up and all others down (unless I'm working with a split where one should stay active). There are a couple of occasional patches where I might want some other morph on the wheel, but it's so rare that it hasn't mattered. And for those, I just drop organ in a live slot and it's easy enough to get there in a hurry.

I used to do a one-board thing and got to the point years ago where I really needed a second one, so I double-stacked ever since. I keep waiting to get to that point again. I bought the SV-1 because I was sure I wasn't going to get by with one board. But I just keep getting by with it...
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#2931600 - 06/07/18 10:46 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
stoken6 Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I was sure I wasn't going to get by with one board. But I just keep getting by with it...


Nice situation to be in thu

Cheers, Mike.
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#2931620 - 06/07/18 11:30 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: stillearning]
David Emm Offline
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Originally Posted By: stillearning
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
... I'll add expressivity of playing. That's kind of related to all the real-time controls, that you can grab so many things to tweak the sound as you play, but also the aftertouch, the pitch stick (which is my favorite pitch bender), the multiple pedals...

I feel like I'm working on an instrument, not a computer.


My sentiments exactly.

My Stage is the first keyboard Iíve had in years that I just connect with. If something happened to it, Iíd get another.


THIS, above all else. My best music has come from instruments that really called me to them. I was meh over the Rhodes, but really took to the odd delicacy of a Wurly. There is a wide chasm between making do and having a real fire in you. Yamaha's OS paradigm made me feel like a cat with scotch tape on its feet. (Don't do this. Its cruel, they are vindictive and you will pay dearly.) With Korg, I simply started playing. Same with M-Tron Pro. I tried faking it, but I wised up and went for the nearest thing to the real deal. Its added synth-type controls are outstanding for making a sound the best 'tron for the job. You drop several thousand on a major 'board because you're going to marry it and cleave unto it above all others. Nord sells well because they nailed a solid demographic. You know you will FIND the money, because Rod Serling says so and because you are on KC reading this in the first place.
rawk cheers
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#2931649 - 06/07/18 12:46 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
In your situation, my second board of choice would be an SV1

That was my choice. Bought it. Didn't use it. Sold it.

Ha!

Okay, next suggestion would probably be an SP6, for a weighted action that has a lot of flexibility, reasonably light weight, pretty straight-forward operation, and some sounds that would complement Nord's well.

Or just stick with one board. ;-)

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Nearly every patch I make is "backed up" with organ volume controlled by the wheel, so I can always switch on the fly. Wheel up = organ volume up and all others down (unless I'm working with a split where one should stay active). There are a couple of occasional patches where I might want some other morph on the wheel, but it's so rare that it hasn't mattered. And for those, I just drop organ in a live slot and it's easy enough to get there in a hurry.

Nice trick. I've used some other methods to do similar things, like including a turned-off organ sound in patches, so I can still always get my main organ sound by pressing a button. Yes, I"d have to press another button to, for example, simultaneously turn the piano off, but here's another trick... just hit the keys softly. The organ will be full, and you'll hardly hear the piano. I have a patch where I use those finger dynamics and the organ swell pedal to alternately emphasize either piano or organ as I play... mostly one, mostly the other, or plenty of each, all without requiring that I use my hands for anything but playing (no buttons, knobs, or wheels).
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#2931650 - 06/07/18 12:49 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
here's another trick... just hit the keys softly.


I've made it this long without ever having done that even once, so I think at this point it'll be a clean sweep to the end of my days.
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#2931661 - 06/07/18 01:40 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
Adan Offline
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I get why some people don't think Nords are right for them. I don't get the concern over whether they are "overpriced." You should be playing your keyboard almost daily for at least 3-4 years if not longer. If the keyboard that's right for you costs $500 or even $1,000 more than one that's not right, why is it a rational decision to get the cheaper one?

Sure, there are times when you just can't afford the extra $1K. I've been there myself. But that's the exception. Most of us can find a way . . . sell your vintage baseball cards or something.

Some people change keyboards too often. I might be one of those people. If you keep a keyboard less than a year then you've probably screwed yourself out of a good bit of money, but you can't blame the Swedes for that.
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#2931663 - 06/07/18 01:45 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Adan Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: MojoGuyPan
I get your sarcastic remark about enjoying the Fater TP100 in the Seven. What I don't get is how this is a knock against the Seven in a Stage thread.

You may have gotten the sarcasm, but I think you missed the point, which isn't sarcasm but irony. You knocked the Nord Stage 3 for "using Fatar just like everybody else" while you also extoll the virtues of the Seven, which, at $2300, uses the exact same Fatar action


This. But if you're going to get all sensitive on us MGP then I'll stop poking fun at you.

By the way I am once again scheming to get a Seven in my living room, so we're on the same page.
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#2931664 - 06/07/18 01:49 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Adan]
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I keep looking for alternatives...but I loved the NS2. I now have the NS3 and love it too. The NE4 was a good second board, but did not exceed any expectations, so I eventually sold it. Did I already mention I love the NS3?

Yes, they are pricy, but they keep me from wanting/needing any other workstations and the resell value always makes me happy.


Edited by Dave Ohm (06/07/18 01:50 PM)
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#2931669 - 06/07/18 02:00 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
timwat Offline
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Originally Posted By: GregC

I am interested in objective reasons why the money conscious, scrutinizing musician pays the premium for a Nord Stage.

And why its so much more distinctive/preferable and valuable vs its worthy competitors.


"Tell me where is fancy bred? In the heart, or in the head?" - Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
"The heart knows reason that reason knows nothing about" - Blaise Pascal, Pensees

The free market advocate would argue that having choice clarifies value; that is, providing a wealth of options to buyers, each of whom makes a non-coerced purchase decision, self-determines where the aggregate of value is. The fact that the Nord Stage continues to sell well would naturally suggest sufficient value is perceived by non-coerced, rational buyers, where of course:

Value = is it worth it to me?

That being said, one might posit that Value may not always embrace your premise that 1) all musicians are money conscious to the degree you are, and 2) a musician needs to be wealthy, making a certain income, or other factors to justify the price tag of a Nord Stage. Value is a very personal decision that is only partially determined by revenue and income. Sometimes we want what we want simply because...we want it.

Not all love (or purchase decisions) are made because of rational personal economic decisions. Over the years, I've made plenty of keyboard purchases because I had to have it. And I later landed on reasons why that purchase was justified. In the panoply of human behavior, I don't think that's uncommon, nor do I think it's "unwise" or "not worth it" - it just acknowledges that some purchase decisions transcend the cold logic of pecuniary valuation and exchange.

A fancy way of saying what Pascal observed a long time ago. Some decisions are heart decisions. Some folks drive a Nord Stage because...they want to. And that doesn't need justification.

Or, to put it more eloquently, I'll remind us of the Prefab Sprout lyric,

"They say the spirit moves in mysterious ways
Sometimes the way it moves looks plain berserk
But two things you should be slow to criticize,
A man's choice of woman and his choice of work"

...and I might add, a man's choice of keyboard.

Tim
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#2931673 - 06/07/18 02:08 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
davedoerfler Offline
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Originally Posted By: GregC

I also expect a huge factory discount when I buy a Stage


well this is "THE" contributing factor to expense.
The factory sells to a distributer, who then sells to a retailer, who then sells to the end user. All three levels need to be profitable to stay in business.
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#2931675 - 06/07/18 02:10 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: timwat]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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Right. Cost vs. value. A $1 keyboard you never use costs $1 too much. A $5000 board you use constantly and productively is a steal.

I'm a cheapskate, and fundamentally disrespectful. If everyone likes something, I am usually included to hate it. Accordingly I truly bristled when all the hipsters started using the red board I'd early-adopted years before because it meant (to me) I was going to have to get rid of it.

Instead I taped over the nameplate, as I've done with every board since, because when it comes down it, that was the board with the greatest ongoing value to me.

A brand is a detriment to me. (I wear no clothes or products with visible brand names). It's just the board that has offered me the greatest value over time--which makes it underpriced.
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#2931681 - 06/07/18 02:39 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: timwat]
GregC Offline
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Registered: 10/26/03
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Originally Posted By: timwat
Originally Posted By: GregC

I am interested in objective reasons why the money conscious, scrutinizing musician pays the premium for a Nord Stage.

And why its so much more distinctive/preferable and valuable vs its worthy competitors.


"Tell me where is fancy bred? In the heart, or in the head?" - Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
"The heart knows reason that reason knows nothing about" - Blaise Pascal, Pensees

Nord Stage because...they want to. And that doesn't need justification.

Or, to put it more eloquently, I'll remind us of the Prefab Sprout lyric,

"They say the spirit moves in mysterious ways
Sometimes the way it moves looks plain berserk
But two things you should be slow to criticize,
A man's choice of woman and his choice of work"

...and I might add, a man's choice of keyboard.

Tim


Good you posted that, Tim.

Gut feel, emotional connection, from the heart mostly, is very common, likely more common and/or has more weight than the analytical scrutinizer or 'quantify you decision, please.

I know love of the keyboard exists. I experience it. Its wonderful every day. It validates
my purchase decision.

I requested the ' concrete ' stuff on the Nord Stage decision.

While knowing how important the ' non objective ' is. Thats equally important, maybe more so, I would guess. Its good to have ' both ' perspectives, as in 'left brain vs right brain'.


Edited by GregC (06/07/18 02:49 PM)
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#2931685 - 06/07/18 02:43 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: timwat]
Cower, Boy! NQ Offline
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Registered: 06/14/15
Posts: 916
Loc: Adelaide, Australia
Originally Posted By: timwat
Originally Posted By: GregC

I am interested in objective reasons why the money conscious, scrutinizing musician pays the premium for a Nord Stage.

And why its so much more distinctive/preferable and valuable vs its worthy competitors.


"Tell me where is fancy bred? In the heart, or in the head?"


Tim - I love this quote so much, thanks for sharing!

Of course the answer to the question as presented in the play, is that we lust after what we see as attractive, and after we move past our intial superficial perception, our desire for the beautiful dies out pretty quickly. That said, I don't believe WS was considering lovely red keyboards at the time.

To wit:

It is engendered in the eyes,
With gazing fed, and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring fancyís knell
Iíll begin it.óDing, dong, bell.

Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
...I taped over the nameplate...


MOI - I'm wondering if others were still able to identify your Nord by its scarlet hue, despite covering its logo?



Edited by CowboyNQ (06/07/18 07:50 PM)
Edit Reason: Rogue apostrophe needed to be dealt with

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#2931686 - 06/07/18 02:47 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: davedoerfler]
GregC Offline
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Posts: 5710
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Originally Posted By: davedoerfler
Originally Posted By: GregC

I also expect a huge factory discount when I buy a Stage


well this is "THE" contributing factor to expense.
The factory sells to a distributer, who then sells to a retailer, who then sells to the end user. All three levels need to be profitable to stay in business.


Solid point. there are 3 fingers in the pie.

I assert the 'factory' as having the fattest finger. After all, the mfgr' took on all the risk to develop, assemble, support and market the product.

Thus, as my paraphrase of the saying goes,
' he who takes the biggest risk, can reap the largest reward.'
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#2931708 - 06/07/18 04:25 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: GregC]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Adan
I get why some people don't think Nords are right for them. I don't get the concern over whether they are "overpriced." You should be playing your keyboard almost daily for at least 3-4 years if not longer. If the keyboard that's right for you costs $500 or even $1,000 more than one that's not right, why is it a rational decision to get the cheaper one?

Originally Posted By: timwat
The free market advocate would argue that having choice clarifies value; that is, providing a wealth of options to buyers, each of whom makes a non-coerced purchase decision, self-determines where the aggregate of value is. The fact that the Nord Stage continues to sell well would naturally suggest sufficient value is perceived by non-coerced, rational buyers
...
Value is a very personal decision that is only partially determined by revenue and income. Sometimes we want what we want simply because...we want it.

All good points. And I would not be surprised if some people questioning the value of a Nord had, at some point in their lives, bought a more expensive car than they needed (or a leather seat upgrade, whatever), paying perhaps thousands more for something completely unnecessary in terms of getting you from point A to point B. It doesn't always come down to meeting basic requirements. Sometimes you pay for an "experience" that is beyond merely checking off a list of functions-per-dollar. Do I need a convertible? No, but I smile when I drive it.
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#2931709 - 06/07/18 04:29 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Cower, Boy! NQ]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: CowboyNQ
MOI - I'm wondering if others were still able to identify your Nord by it's scarlet hue, despite covering its logo?


Oh, definitely. But somehow it felt better to have it be ďkeyboard that you might recognize as a Nord,Ē than, ďNORD.Ē
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#2931710 - 06/07/18 04:31 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
Rusty Mike Offline
Gold Member

Registered: 10/05/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Central NJ
Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Right. Cost vs. value. A $1 keyboard you never use costs $1 too much. A $5000 board you use constantly and productively is a steal.

I'm a cheapskate, and fundamentally disrespectful. If everyone likes something, I am usually included to hate it. Accordingly I truly bristled when all the hipsters started using the red board I'd early-adopted years before because it meant (to me) I was going to have to get rid of it.

Instead I taped over the nameplate, as I've done with every board since, because when it comes down it, that was the board with the greatest ongoing value to me.

A brand is a detriment to me. (I wear no clothes or products with visible brand names). It's just the board that has offered me the greatest value over time--which makes it underpriced.


I don't play it because of the nameplate. If one of the other manufacturers had built a product that checks the right boxes, I would own it.

Maybe it is about gut, like Tim says. It just works for me.

Some of it may also be about getting caught up in the ecosystem. Owners of other brands have built up libraries or their own intellectual capital on navigating and making the most of an instrument. The natural progression is to select another device that appeals to their paradigm and/or can accommodate their own library of sounds and patches. Makes the upgrade less painful. I have a bit of that going on as well. I'll take the Stage or the Electro depending on the gig, knowing the consistency of what I get, and I don't have to swap any pedals out of my bag.

I have absolutely zero snobbery about it. Some of my must friends make a fuss about it sometimes, but I could not care less about the nameplate.
_________________________
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Tools: Ten fingers, two feet, middle-age brain, questionable judgement and taste
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#2931712 - 06/07/18 05:02 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Rusty Mike]
MaskOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike

I don't play it because of the nameplate.


When I bought my first one, I had never heard of it. I just saw one on Ebay, went and tried one, and was hooked. Many years ago now; maybe 13.
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#2931713 - 06/07/18 05:03 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Registered: 11/30/14
Posts: 6416
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Adan
I get why some people don't think Nords are right for them. I don't get the concern over whether they are "overpriced." You should be playing your keyboard almost daily for at least 3-4 years if not longer. If the keyboard that's right for you costs $500 or even $1,000 more than one that's not right, why is it a rational decision to get the cheaper one?

Originally Posted By: timwat
The free market advocate would argue that having choice clarifies value; that is, providing a wealth of options to buyers, each of whom makes a non-coerced purchase decision, self-determines where the aggregate of value is. The fact that the Nord Stage continues to sell well would naturally suggest sufficient value is perceived by non-coerced, rational buyers
...
Value is a very personal decision that is only partially determined by revenue and income. Sometimes we want what we want simply because...we want it.

All good points. And I would not be surprised if some people questioning the value of a Nord had, at some point in their lives, bought a more expensive car than they needed (or a leather seat upgrade, whatever), paying perhaps thousands more for something completely unnecessary in terms of getting you from point A to point B. It doesn't always come down to meeting basic requirements. Sometimes you pay for an "experience" that is beyond merely checking off a list of functions-per-dollar. Do I need a convertible? No, but I smile when I drive it.


A mistake of youth or irrational act of the mid-life crises. wink
We all know cars we actually drive are the worst possible investment short of getting suckered into buying the Brooklyn bridge. Something very fortuitous has to happen with income (inheritance, lottery, promotion, etc.) to get out of the rut of the monthly budget limitations.
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#2931714 - 06/07/18 05:18 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Rusty Mike]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Rusty Mike
I have absolutely zero snobbery about it. Some of my must friends make a fuss about it sometimes, but I could not care less about the nameplate.

Same here, except even my friends don't know a Nord from anything else. All they know is that I have too many keyboards. ;-) As for the audience at a gig, I assume none of them know what a Nord is. In fact, when it comes to weddings and such, half of them probably won't notice/remember that the band even had a keyboard player. And I've done far more gigs with Casios than I have with Nords. Name means nothing. I only look to find ways to more thoroughly enjoy what I do.
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#2931715 - 06/07/18 05:20 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A mistake of youth or irrational act of the mid-life crises. wink

I've either been young or in midlife crisis for most of my life. ;-)
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#2931717 - 06/07/18 05:43 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Posts: 6416
Loc: USA, greater NY area
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A mistake of youth or irrational act of the mid-life crises. wink

I've either been young or in midlife crisis for most of my life. ;-)


laugh
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#2931719 - 06/07/18 05:49 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
cphollis Offline
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Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 2555
Loc: Massachussets, Florida
The intellect of @timwat always speaks to me. I'd love to have a slightly drunk conversation with him at some point.

Let me net out his post, from someone with a deep appreciation for economics and b-school thinking?

You do what makes sense for you. That's the engine that drives capitalism, warts and all. Not sure if there's a better system out there, so I'm going with that.

If you are resource-constrained, you make the best choice ("utils") based on the available choices. Maybe you decide to spend less on X (car) to buy more Y (keys). You obsessively shop deals, and look for small advantages between various gear choices.

If you look at keyboards as a tool to do your job, much as a construction worker would, you're equation is "best results at the lowest cost". Reliability, etc. Not my thing, but I appreciate the context.

And I listen to these people who make a living off their boards.

If you are not resource-constrained, but consider playing a pleasurable experience (as I do), you're looking for the most joy at a reasonable price.

For people like me, it's all about the joy factor. No joy = not happy. Forget about the money thing. That has what got me into the whole Nord thing. Total joy. For now.

If you're into the Ultimate Experience (and can fortunately afford it), please go and indulge your personal pleasures. You have my total respect, because you're doing the full human thing. Tell the rest of us what you did, and why.

I've done that ultimate thing a few times, especially with acoustic pianos. And amplification gear. Lucky me.

You want the best? Let's talk.
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#2931721 - 06/07/18 06:25 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: cphollis]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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I respect career work thatís monetarily well compensated and/or retirement planning (and execution) that plays out successfully. And donít get me wrong, I appreciate quality as much as the next guy and gear is a popular topic here of which I love to partake. But letís keep in mind, thereís a lot of us still in the work force trying to pay for the kidsí braces, save for college, etc. knowing retirement saving shouldnít take a back seat. We should all be so lucky someday to be able acquire every joy-strument we ever desired. But the market is fickle and so is life sometimes no matter how well one plans. Letís all hope for health and great relationships too. thu

Ok, back to the regularly scheduled gearslutz for keyboard players.
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#2931740 - 06/07/18 07:47 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
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More great input here, and yes, some of us are fortunate enough (and/or have allocated our resources) such that we can afford to buy the boards that bring us the most playing enjoyment. But sure, I'd still enjoy playing "lesser" gear, and I'd get just as many gigs, at the same pay. My gear of choice upgrades are really just for my own increased satisfaction.

If I couldn't afford a Nord Stage 3, I could do most of the same stuff with an Artis 7 plus an iPad at half the price, and still be a happy player. The piano and organ wouldn't sound quite as good, but they're not bad at all (and some other sounds are better). I'd have to do more planning, deciding in advance what I wanted the 9 sliders to do on various patches and so forth. I'd lose aftertouch, and my custom samples would be on the iPad. But it's not a bad solution at all. Really, I could get through most gigs just fine even on a minimal board like a DS61, Kross, MX61, or XW-P1 if it came down to it, especially with the supplemental iPad. The Nord is just more fun, allowing me to more easily be more expressive, and it's worth the additional cost for me, and luckily, I can afford it without worrying about how I'll manage to eat!
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#2931761 - 06/07/18 09:18 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
A mistake of youth or irrational act of the mid-life crises. wink

I've either been young or in midlife crisis for most of my life. ;-)


I might have to replace my current sig quote with this one.
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#2931764 - 06/07/18 09:25 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: MaskOfInsects]
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do it. wink twothumbs
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#2932212 - 06/11/18 06:32 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: davedoerfler]
iluvchiclets Offline
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I hate the fact that Nord's are so expensive. I have stared at the Electro 5 for over a year now (maybe 2 years?) and can't believe it is $2999 CAD. (They have come down to $2599 now that the E6 has been released)

Because I only play as a hobby, the Electro 3 is all I hold on to.

The reason I chose a Nord? It was the only keyboard that has a good Hammond Emulation to my ears. It's that simple.
I have owned the VR09, the VK-8M, the FA06, and many, many other keyboards which I used to play music live that did everything I needed...except a good Hammond emulation. (I need proper keyclick, stellar Chorus/Vibrato, and proper Leslie timbre)

I own a PC3 as well...pretty good on all fronts, but too heavy and the Hammond is just not good enough to my ears.

It's all about the Hammond sound. If the SK1 was cheaper I would have one of those. If the VR09 had a better organ emulation, I would have happily kept that one. Boy, was it a fun keyboard for the price!
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#2932215 - 06/11/18 06:39 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: iluvchiclets]
Stokely Offline
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If hobby means "don't gig anymore", I'd go for software. Not for everyone, but man does it make recording convenient compared to rooms full of midi gear and fx units. Want to change songs with such a room? Re-patch and hope all your patch changes and sysex dumps work smile With software, even edits to patches are saved with the song. Having grown up with old-school midi studios, modern software is like black magic...inconceivable!

I have an old Studiologic hammer-action controller that feels nice (mid-90s vintage) and hope to get a Mojo for live use that will double as a controller for software organs.

I haven't yet gotten to where I'll use software live, the few times I've tried I ran into glitches (and so have friends of mine that have used software live).


Edited by Stokely (06/11/18 06:41 AM)

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#2932218 - 06/11/18 06:51 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
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Originally Posted By: Stokely
If hobby means "don't gig anymore", I'd go for software.

That again brings me back to the importance of a control surface.

One nice thing about a home setup is that you don't worry so much about portability, so if you have room for lots of stuff, go for it. But if you're tight for space, even if you're controlling software, what single board gives you better control than a Nord Stage? You can map everything, and you've got dedicated drawbars and other organ controls, and dedicated synth controls, logically grouped and labeled. Though if you've got the space, I think a Numa Organ and a Studiologic Sledge would give you even better controls for a lot less $. (I'm assuming their controls all similarly send out MIDI CC.) In either case, though, you'd probably still want another (i.e. 2nd or 3rd) keyboard for an alternate action, to have hammer and non.
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#2932223 - 06/11/18 07:20 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Stokely
If hobby means "don't gig anymore", I'd go for software.

That again brings me back to the importance of a control surface.

One nice thing about a home setup is that you don't worry so much about portability, so if you have room for lots of stuff, go for it. But if you're tight for space, even if you're controlling software, what single board gives you better control than a Nord Stage? You can map everything, and you've got dedicated drawbars and other organ controls, and dedicated synth controls, logically grouped and labeled. Though if you've got the space, I think a Numa Organ and a Studiologic Sledge would give you even better controls for a lot less $. (I'm assuming their controls all similarly send out MIDI CC.) In either case, though, you'd probably still want another (i.e. 2nd or 3rd) keyboard for an alternate action, to have hammer and non.


Controllers - also smart not too go overboard, and look for what you'd actually use. You can get a mother of a controller in the Physis K4 or K5 for $1696-$1895 without the expansion card for the Physis Piano. A Roland A800Pro goes for $399.99. Both will do the job - need to define the job description really well.

If piano-like action is the priority many select the Kawai MP11SE (which is an excellent performing instrument in its own right) @ $2799 or the VPC-1 @ $1849. The action on the NS3 isn't even comparable.
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#2932227 - 06/11/18 07:36 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Stokely]
Al Quinn Offline
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Originally Posted By: Stokely
I have an old Studiologic hammer-action controller that feels nice (mid-90s vintage) and hope to get a Mojo for live use that will double as a controller for software organs.

Which software Hammond do like better than the Mojo? I ask because Iíve yet to find one, but would like to.
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#2932228 - 06/11/18 07:43 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
Rally Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Stokely
If hobby means "don't gig anymore", I'd go for software.

That again brings me back to the importance of a control surface.


Scott, what exactly are you referring to when you mention control surface, thanks.

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#2932230 - 06/11/18 07:55 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Controllers - also smart not too go overboard, and look for what you'd actually use. You can get a mother of a controller in the Physis K4 or K5 for $1696-$1895 without the expansion card for the Physis Piano. A Roland A800Pro goes for $399.99. Both will do the job - need to define the job description really well.

I'm not saying the Nord Stage is the most cost-effective controller. But if you're goal is "best" rather than "most cost effective," the Physis and Roland don't measure up, for organ and VA synth. A horizontal row of 9 generic knobs doesn't give you the kind of synth control the Nord panel does, nor do the generic sliders have the proper feel and spacing for a player who grabs multiple bars and pushes/pulls as he plays. (Yes, if you don't need both at the same time, you could use the 9 sliders as additional synth controls, but you can do that with reassignment on the Nord as well and still have access to that many more parameters.)

ETA: Though actually, for softsynth control, I like the idea of endless controllers with LED rings, but none of these options have that.


Edited by AnotherScott (06/11/18 07:55 AM)
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#2932231 - 06/11/18 07:57 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Rally]
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Originally Posted By: Rally
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Stokely
If hobby means "don't gig anymore", I'd go for software.

That again brings me back to the importance of a control surface.


Scott, what exactly are you referring to when you mention control surface, thanks.

the available array of knobs/buttons/sliders available for you to control your sounds in real time.
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#2932234 - 06/11/18 08:19 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
DarkyLord Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
But if you're tight for space, even if you're controlling software, what single board gives you better control than a Nord Stage? You can map everything, and you've got dedicated drawbars and other organ controls, and dedicated synth controls, logically grouped and labeled.


I usually stay out of these type threads but this piqued my interest. Once you start mapping controller knobs to soft synth functions with completely different names confusion arises quickly. You always have to remeber which knob does what. While it's cool that every knob on the NS3 sends out a dedicated CC# I think it's not the best choice for soft-synth control. It really has only ones set of oscillator knobs where most soft synths have 2,3 maybe 4 oscillators. Also no sustain knob with the ADSRs and a single set of drawbars where I believe every virtual organ has the full set.

I think a Voyager or just about any DSI synth would be easier to map. And imo the Kurz PC3x or Forte blows this away with only 9 faders but 16 multi zones. I also second the Physis K4 as maybe the best for this purpose.

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#2932240 - 06/11/18 08:42 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Al Quinn]
Stokely Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
Originally Posted By: Stokely
I have an old Studiologic hammer-action controller that feels nice (mid-90s vintage) and hope to get a Mojo for live use that will double as a controller for software organs.

Which software Hammond do like better than the Mojo? I ask because Iíve yet to find one, but would like to.


I can't actually answer that, because I suspect it handily beats what I am currently using (the built-in Logic pro organ.) In addition to the two uses above, I'd use the Mojo to practice my organ technique, which is lousy smile Even if the Mojo was better-sounding, I'm not going back to hooking up midi and audio like the old days...the convenience is king for me. To be fair, my personal stuff is electronic music and I don't use all that much organ compared to synths, or even compared to piano. If it was my main instrument, any sound quality difference would figure more prominently in my thinking.

Edit: as far as controllers in general, my current approach is to worry about the keys first, then the control surfaces. I'm ok with using the mouse most of the time anyway, but I picked up a little Korg nanoKontrol that has lots of knobs, buttons and sliders on it. This way I don't have to buy a keyboard unless I like the keys on it foremost, and can worry about the other controls separately. Just one approach, likely a cheaper one, but also a little more fiddly with two devices.


Edited by Stokely (06/11/18 08:44 AM)

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#2932268 - 06/11/18 11:00 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: DarkyLord]
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
I usually stay out of these type threads but this piqued my interest. Once you start mapping controller knobs to soft synth functions with completely different names confusion arises quickly. You always have to remeber which knob does what. While it's cool that every knob on the NS3 sends out a dedicated CC# I think it's not the best choice for soft-synth control. It really has only ones set of oscillator knobs where most soft synths have 2,3 maybe 4 oscillators. Also no sustain knob with the ADSRs

Sure, but you still have a whole bunch of knobs that *are* usefully labeled (including most of what you'd likely want for actual real-time performance manipulation), plus a bunch more (drawbars and other knobs) that you can define on an ad hoc basis. With a generic controller, you *only* have the latter (and probably fewer in total).

Originally Posted By: Markyboard
and a single set of drawbars

Yes, but if you can't make do with one set at a time, no controller will work, you'd have to buy a dedicated clone with 2 or 4 sets.

Originally Posted By: Markyboard
I think a Voyager or just about any DSI synth would be easier to map.

Oh yes, a synth with MORE knobs is better. That's also why I said a Sledge would be even better. If you've got the space for a dedicated synth controller and a dedicated organ controller (plus your weighted action board), I agree, that's better than the Stage. It's when you only want one board for organ and synth controllers that the competition gets pretty thin.
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#2932280 - 06/11/18 11:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
DarkyLord Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
...(including most of what you'd likely want for actual real-time performance manipulation)...


Ah yes - I failed to see past my own mapping for the sake of developing programs vs real time performance manipulation. Good points Scott - back to staying out of these threads.

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#2932282 - 06/11/18 11:57 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: DarkyLord]
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idea On the other hand... how many folks here are buying NS boards and using soft synths live let alone thinking about manipulating them in real time on stage?

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#2932287 - 06/11/18 12:11 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: DarkyLord]
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Originally Posted By: Markyboard
idea On the other hand... how many folks here are buying NS boards and using soft synths live let alone thinking about manipulating them in real time on stage?

I wasn't actually thinking about live use, I was thinking studio, like when you're laying down a track. You still benefit from real time performance controls, even if there's no audience present. ;-)

I'm not saying that I think lots of people are buying an NS3 to use primarily as a VST controller. But I'm saying that it makes a pretty good one. So if you have one anyway, or are thinking about one for live performance, that's another benefit of having one, which may also give you more value out of it. And if you did happen to be looking for s single organ+synth studio controller (.e. if space is at a premium), if you can afford it, I think it's a good choice, for the reasons I mentioned.
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#2932295 - 06/11/18 01:01 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Lots of knob and fader boxes available to add to existing choice of keyboard.
Novation Zero, Behringer BCF, LaunchControl XL, Midi Fighter - many have lighted rings around the encoders to provide position feedback.
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#2932327 - 06/11/18 04:44 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Lots of knob and fader boxes available to add to existing choice of keyboard.
Novation Zero, Behringer BCF, LaunchControl XL, Midi Fighter - many have lighted rings around the encoders to provide position feedback.

Yes... and as I said, I like the LED rings around endless encoders. There's still nothing in a standalone box since the discontinued Ocean Beach that gives you the authentic design/spacing/feel for authentic 9-drawbar manipulation. I'm not sure what's available in good soft synth control these days, I haven't looked into it lately, but I believe the Novation Zero and the Behringer BCF are discontinued.
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#2932360 - 06/12/18 05:09 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: AnotherScott]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
Lots of knob and fader boxes available to add to existing choice of keyboard.
Novation Zero, Behringer BCF, LaunchControl XL, Midi Fighter - many have lighted rings around the encoders to provide position feedback.

Yes... and as I said, I like the LED rings around endless encoders. There's still nothing in a standalone box since the discontinued Ocean Beach that gives you the authentic design/spacing/feel for authentic 9-drawbar manipulation. I'm not sure what's available in good soft synth control these days, I haven't looked into it lately, but I believe the Novation Zero and the Behringer BCF are discontinued.


So I see, the key-less midi controller market seems to have moved toward a more niche/boutique/DYI scene.
Options:
Studio Logic SL MIXFACE price unknown!
Roland MX-1 $599.99
Novation LaunchControl XL $149.99
Akai MIDIMIX $99
Akai APC40MKII $299
Nektar Panorama P1 $299.99

Key'd
Arturia Keylab stuff (88, 61, 49 - I know faders on the right?) $199,$249, $799
Behringer Motor 49/61 looks interesting $399.99, $499.99
Novation SL MkII (also discontinued?)
MAudio Code 49/61 $299, $349
Akai MPK249/261 $399.99, $499.99
Novation Impulse 49/61 $299.99, $399.99
Novation Launchkey Mk2 49/61 $199.99, $249.99
Nektar Panorama P6 $599.99
Nektar LX88+ (looks like the studiologic Numa Compact 2x) $319.99
Nektar Impact LX61+ $199.99
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#2932368 - 06/12/18 06:08 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: ElmerJFudd]
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Even the NI Kontrol has just 8 sliders. But there are still some accessories for more control, Korg NanoKontrol remains a bargain. The SL Mixface looks like it could be nice.
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#2932388 - 06/12/18 07:23 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Al Quinn]
iluvchiclets Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn

After swapping the springs the action on the E4D is great for organ.....


This is very interesting to read - did you detail this sawapping-springs experience here or on another forum? I would be interested in seeing how this is done.
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#2932497 - 06/12/18 08:36 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: iluvchiclets]
Al Quinn Offline
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No, sorry I didn't detail the spring swap process. As I recall I found a YouTube video that explained how to take apart the Electro. Once apart it's pretty clear what needs to be done. You just need to be careful not to damage any of the ribbon cables. Importantly, I had a screwdriver that fit into the wider part of the springs but not the narrow part thereby allowing easy stretching of the springs. Using this screwdriver I was able to take springs off and put springs on quickly. Hope this makes sense.
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#2932962 - 06/15/18 12:53 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Al Quinn]
iluvchiclets Offline
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Thanks for the reply. I've been unhappy with the "stiff" action on my Electro 3, and never imagined doing this.
I wonder how I would source new springs that are less soft?
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#2932970 - 06/15/18 01:38 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: iluvchiclets]
Coker Offline
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So, what should a mint Stage 2 HA76 cost?


Edited by Coker (06/15/18 01:38 PM)
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#2932990 - 06/15/18 03:23 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Coker]
ajstan Offline
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If helpful for reference, you can still get a new 2EX-88 on closeout at Kraft for $3,299.
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#2932993 - 06/15/18 03:45 PM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Coker]
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Originally Posted By: Coker
So, what should a mint Stage 2 HA76 cost?

The last one on eBay sold for $2,170 including shipping. But they don't pop up that often so there may be some latitude there. It's pretty desirable, as the last Nord 76 that had the TP40 action instead of the TP100 action that most people don't like as much (but results in lighter travel weight).
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#2933046 - 06/16/18 04:46 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: iluvchiclets]
Al Quinn Offline
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Originally Posted By: iluvchiclets
Thanks for the reply. I've been unhappy with the "stiff" action on my Electro 3, and never imagined doing this.
I wonder how I would source new springs that are less soft?

I bought the spings from Syntaur. My contact was Sam Mims. Samís email is sales@sytaur.com. For me, the KYSP27 springs did the trick.
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#2933844 - 06/21/18 07:01 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Al Quinn]
iluvchiclets Offline
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Originally Posted By: Al Quinn
Originally Posted By: iluvchiclets
Thanks for the reply. I've been unhappy with the "stiff" action on my Electro 3, and never imagined doing this.
I wonder how I would source new springs that are less soft?

I bought the spings from Syntaur. My contact was Sam Mims. Samís email is sales@sytaur.com. For me, the KYSP27 springs did the trick.


Thanks for the details!
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#2934183 - 06/23/18 05:52 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: iluvchiclets]
jeffinpghpa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 495
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I sold my Stage 2 HA-76 for $2,700 one year ago, right before the Stage 3 was announced at Musikmesse. It was cosmetically in perfect condition.

I think it was Nord's best product for my needs and preferences. I really liked the action on it and size. I sold it quickly because I needed more piano memory than 500MB. I would have been able to pick up a Stage 2 EX HP for the same price with the rebates that were coming out for clearance, but I just couldn't get with the TP100 action.

I have nothing but good things to say about the Stage 2 HA76 otherwise. I think it's worth keeping if you like playing it.
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Yamaha U1 Upright, Kurzweil Forte 7, Viscount Legend Live, Roland FA-07, Novation SLMKII 49, Lots of iPad Stuff, Pair of QSC K10 Speakers, Allen & Heath Zed 10 Mixer

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#2934190 - 06/23/18 06:27 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: jeffinpghpa]
Coker Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/13/16
Posts: 162
Loc: Connecticut
Thanks, Jeffinpghpa. Where/how did you sell it? I donít need all the synth functionality, but have enjoyed all the real-time control and, yes, the sounds. It actually has plenty of memory for what I use, but I canít keep both the CP4 and Nord anymore.
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CP4, ZXA1, CA93, SP6

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#2934198 - 06/23/18 07:17 AM Re: Nord Stage Keyboards; The $3400 to $4500 decision [Re: Coker]
jeffinpghpa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 495
Loc: Charlotte, NC
I sold it on Craigslist and found a buyer who was specifically looking for that size and action. I would enjoy having one again, but, you know how the saying goes, we can't keep everything.
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Yamaha U1 Upright, Kurzweil Forte 7, Viscount Legend Live, Roland FA-07, Novation SLMKII 49, Lots of iPad Stuff, Pair of QSC K10 Speakers, Allen & Heath Zed 10 Mixer

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