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You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? #2990712 05/22/19 04:15 PM
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SeptemberMusic Offline OP
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Hi!

Really having a hard time choosing an 88 key main board.
I own a 1st gen kronos 61 that I have done a fair share of programming on, but need a good main board, my budget is ~1700$. Good piano sounds with a fearly light touch is preferrable. Would love a Nord Stage but my budget wont allow it.

What would you choose?

Last edited by SeptemberMusic; 05/22/19 04:16 PM.
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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: SeptemberMusic] #2990718 05/22/19 04:31 PM
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Yamaha MODX8 checks all of the boxes.


Hammond SK1, Casio PX5s, Motif ES rack, Kawai MP5, Nord Electro 2, Yamaha S03, iPad, and a bunch of stuff in the closet.
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Rustar] #2990720 05/22/19 04:45 PM
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Yes, modx8 is a good option, but how are the pianos compared to a... say kawai mp7se?

Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: SeptemberMusic] #2990730 05/22/19 05:40 PM
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Another possibility: Kurzweil SP6

Also, piano sounds may not need to be a high priority, if you like the ones in your Kronos, since all these boards (MODX8, MP7SE, SP6) funcion nicely as MIDI controllers and can trigger Kronos pianos.


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: AnotherScott] #2990736 05/22/19 06:10 PM
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OP, you should check out the Just Music in Berlin thread. Same same, top flight, best, best, whatever.


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: drawback] #2990739 05/22/19 06:25 PM
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What are you looking for beyond what your Kronos can do? Do you like the Kronos AP patches? If so just get a controller (or a board that has an action you like, that you will just use as a controller).

Casio PX-S1000/S3000 for a fraction of your budget looks tempting. USB MIDI will work with Kronos.

Edit - I see Scott said something similar above.

Cheers, Mike.


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: drawback] #2990742 05/22/19 06:30 PM
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You can MIDI up any number of good action 88k weighted models to the Kronos 61 and share sounds. So Id be inclined to get a stage piano with an action you love and at least a few piano patches you like to use without the Kronos.

Lighter actions, I havent played the Kurzweil SP6 - but Ive played Medelli digital pianos - Id say they are lighter feeling. Casio PX-160 through 560. Yamaha has the CP76 worth a try, might be too expensive. If USB MIDI is a go on the Kronos - id definitely give a thumbs up to the Kawai ES-110.


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: ElmerJFudd] #2990744 05/22/19 06:45 PM
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Another option is the Roland FA-08. There's a lot to like, and I think it would complement the Kronos 61 well.


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: allan_evett] #2990750 05/22/19 08:04 PM
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I think the MODX 8 is a great match with your Kronos, dare i say it completes it, hence the lack of realistic guitars (among other HD-1 sounds) on the Kronos which is where Yamaha has the edge in my opinion.

Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Keepitsimple] #2990754 05/22/19 08:24 PM
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They are all good. I have no idea what is best for you. Some general comments....

Roland FA08 - it's a better MIDI slave than a master. The Studio Set architecture is like a 16 space rack of synths. I like the sound library. The built in SP404 sampler is really cool depending on your genre. I use the sampler a lot in the Pop band.

MODX8- the command and control is really good. Probably my 2nd favorite but Korg Setlist is better. You will want to run the show from the Kronos. It's lightweight. I'm getting one if I don't retire and I start playing Country again.

MP7SE - I like it a lot. The pianos are great and easily editable to work in your mix. But it's heavy but still lighter than a a Kronos2-88. The MP7se is probably my favorite action of your choices .... But you may prefer something different. The Kawai piano technician interface is really cool.

Kurz SP6 - I don't know jack about this one.

But no one here knows what your best choice is.

Last edited by CEB; 05/22/19 08:28 PM.

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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: CEB] #2990762 05/22/19 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: ElmerJFudd
If USB MIDI is a go on the Kronos - id definitely give a thumbs up to the Kawai ES-110.

ES-110 has standard 5-pin MIDI. But the Kronos support for USB does permit direct connection of the new Casios. I haven't played he PX-1000/3000 yet, I'm curious about them.

Originally Posted By: allan_evett
Another option is the Roland FA-08. There's a lot to like, and I think it would complement the Kronos 61 well.

FA-08 and DS-88 both have a lot to recommend them, but I don't know if I would say their actions are on the light side.

Originally Posted By: CEB
Roland FA08 - it's a better MIDI slave than a master.

What are its limitations as a master?


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: AnotherScott] #2990766 05/22/19 09:24 PM
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It sucks. Even something as simple as real time volume control on individual studio set parts is like a monkey trying to f*** a football. Let alone having fader control over all its internal zones let alone external zones. Best bet is just to use the Keyboard as input to the Kronos. The FA is very limited. You can't even assign the pedal to control the volume on the sampler. Just look at the control deck. It sucks ass as a controller. It's best as a slave or a one stop shop.

Last edited by CEB; 05/22/19 09:25 PM.

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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: CEB] #2990779 05/22/19 10:28 PM
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It's important to decide now if you want pitch bend and mod wheels or a joystick (either variety), or none at all (just a piano keyboard). Also if you need expression pedal inputs.

My favorite keybed for piano playing is by far the Kawai ES8. If all you need is a keybed for pianos, it's great, not terribly heavy, and I dare say "silky" feeling. The pianos are pretty nice as well. Not for you if you need lots of controllers though. That's why I don't have one, plus I run a setup that's essentially the opposite of what you want to do (88/main is the sound source and has most of the controls, upper tier 61 is used as a midi controller for the lower).


If you need controllers, MODX8 is ok (if you can try-before-you-buy that'd be ideal due to the action); on faith I'd say an SP6 (having never played one) or the MP7SE (never played one). If you could find a New Old Stock Roland RD-800, those are really nice; would have been my runner-up to the ES8.

A Korg D1 is a possibility, but like the ES8 there aren't a lot of controllers. Also the Roland FP90. FP60 only has USB midi, but the 90 has 5-pin.

Also, don't rule out a nice used high-end board.


Yamaha: Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470
Korg: Krome 61
Roland: JV-1000
Casio: CT-370
Kimball Valencia/Broadway/Conn 465 w/144 spkrs/WCOC Reed Organ/Titano Virtuoso Converter
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #2990780 05/22/19 10:30 PM
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Oh, by the way, welcome to the Keyboard Corner forum! smile


Yamaha: Motif XF8/YS200/CVP-305/CLP-130/YPG-235/PSR-295/PSS-470
Korg: Krome 61
Roland: JV-1000
Casio: CT-370
Kimball Valencia/Broadway/Conn 465 w/144 spkrs/WCOC Reed Organ/Titano Virtuoso Converter
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #2990786 05/22/19 11:28 PM
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There's an SP6 for sale on the classifieds right now. Not sure what international shipping would be or if the seller would want to ship international.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: J. Dan] #2990805 05/23/19 03:22 AM
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A Nord Electro is a perfect fit.


Gear: Nord Electro 4 73SW, Kawai CA67, Yamaha DXR10.
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Sun&Rain] #2990811 05/23/19 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted By: Sun&Rain
A Nord Electro is a perfect fit.


Nord Electros have 73 keys max.


Sequential Circuits Prophet 6 - Nord Stage 3 Compact - Nord Piano 4 - Crumar Mojo - Moog Little Phatty - Roland FA 06 - Yamaha U1 - Rhodes Mk1 73
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Morizzle] #2990813 05/23/19 05:54 AM
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Well, you go to Sweetwater or Thomann, fill ib your criteria, scrap the main Korg rompler/workstation, and the rest of the list probably comes out their search engine.

Only a bigger keyboard could include (Usb ?) Midi controllers, but apparently there's also a need for additional piano sounds, so there's what to look for then.

Second hand offerings might offer a bigger selection, but without additional criteria might be hard to decide on.

Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: Mighty Motif Max] #2990869 05/23/19 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mighty Motif Max
It's important to decide now if you want pitch bend and mod wheels or a joystick (either variety), or none at all (just a piano keyboard). Also if you need expression pedal inputs.

My favorite keybed for piano playing is by far the Kawai ES8. If all you need is a keybed for pianos, it's great, not terribly heavy, and I dare say "silky" feeling.


Yes, expression pedal is important! Also pitch and mod wheel. So I guess ES8 is out of the question. But silky feeling sounds nice... and I have read that mp7se has the same action as ES8; rhIII.

Im not that interested in midi controller functionality, takes too much time to set it all up, Id like the two boards to work inddepently.


Also, being able to layer at least 4 sounds and also a good organ sound is preferrable.

I guess it comes down to

Roland fa08 (+string resonance, +good organs, +good do it all board, -a bit heavy feeling keybed)
Kawai mp7se (+string resonance, +ok organs, +nice keybed, -weight)
Modx8 (+imo nice feeling keybed, +good do it all board, +weight, +nice synth sounds)

Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: SeptemberMusic] #2990874 05/23/19 01:01 PM
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Any reason for ruling out the SP6? Seems like a good fit.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: J. Dan] #2990879 05/23/19 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted By: J. Dan
Any reason for ruling out the SP6? Seems like a good fit.


Not really, but it isnt on display in any shop where I live. The others I can try out.

Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: SeptemberMusic] #2990890 05/23/19 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted By: SeptemberMusic
Also, being able to layer at least 4 sounds and also a good organ sound is preferrable.

I guess it comes down to

Roland fa08 (+string resonance, +good organs, +good do it all board, -a bit heavy feeling keybed)
Kawai mp7se (+string resonance, +ok organs, +nice keybed, -weight)
Modx8 (+imo nice feeling keybed, +good do it all board, +weight, +nice synth sounds)

Assuming you intend to use the 88 in conjunction with (rather than instead of) your Kronos, I wouldn't look at organ as an important distinguishing characteristic. None of them have organ as good as Kronos, plus it's better to play organ on your non-hammer action keys, anyway.

But since you bring it up, I'd take the Kawai over Roland for organ. Unlike the Roland, the Kawai implements C/V and provides real-time drawbar control (using the 4 sliders, 4 knobs, and a pair of buttons for the ninth), and also supports MIDI drawbar support, and has an action more amenable to organ playing. The only organ advantage I'd give the FA-08 is the Sub Out which gives it more flexibility in adding a Vent or other leslie sim.


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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: AnotherScott] #2990894 05/23/19 01:57 PM
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Remaining stock, B stock or second hand Yamaha CP4 or a Casio PX-560.


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Home: Rebuilt 1910 Chickering 5'2", Fender Rhodes MKI 88k, Yamaha S90ES
Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: CEB] #2991043 05/24/19 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted By: CEB
{FA08 as a MID master conroller} sucks. Even something as simple as real time volume control on individual studio set parts is like a monkey trying to f*** a football. Let alone having fader control over all its internal zones let alone external zones.

Yeah, that's a weakness of the FA... not specifically as a MIDI controller, but just in the way the board works, even for is own sounds. I actually hadn't realized that it had the same issue when used as a controller, i.e. that the assignable knobs did not have that level of assignability for external MIDI use either. (The DS is better than the FA at real-time volume adjustments for its own sounds, but it's a weak MIDI controller for other reasons.) Unfortunately, it seems to be pretty easy to find boards that are weak on multi-part volume controls. I think Korg Kross/Krome fall into this category as well, despite flexible 16-zone controller setups. Yamaha CP73/CP88 have good volume control access for internal sounds but not for their 4 external zones. OTOH, some moderately priced boards that provide good real-time volume controls for split/layered sounds (whether internal or external) would be Kawai MP7SE, Kurzweil Artis (and probably SP6), and I think Yamaha MODX (though balancing internal sounds gets complicated when you use their "multi-part single instruments").

As for FA being good as a slave, there are some limitations there as well. As I understand it, all zoning must be done by the controller. That is, if you want you external board to split multiple FA sounds (independently of what you're playing on the FA itself), you have to create the zone splits on the controller side, so you can't simply use a "dumb" single channel board as a controller and define the key ranges on the FA. This is similar to the frequent complaint about Montage/MODX were again you need a multi-zoned controller if you want to trigger more than a single Montage/MODX part externally (though the underlying reasons are different). Korg and Kurzweil seem to have a lot more flexibility here.





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Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: AnotherScott] #2991130 05/24/19 08:09 PM
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I've been pretty happy with my Roland DS 88 for my main piano board.

Re: You have 1500(~1700$),What 1st tier board would you choose? [Re: RobPlaysKeys] #2991225 05/25/19 04:18 PM
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I'm sticking with my ES8 - all in one for me with Rhodes/AP and speakers and some editing capabilities.
My #2 would be the Grandstage but would only converge to $1,700 after a 20% coupon I believe or perhaps close.


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