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Recommended synthesiser as a backup for gigging


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I have a weighted action 88 note Yamaha P150 and Yamaha SY85 that I regularly gig with. Both are not young but I still reckon its a good setup.


Problem is the P150 is heavy and difficult to lug around. So for the sake of convenience, I want something that will be good enough for those late night pop-music gigs. ie. Good but not necessarily great piano / rhodes sounds need to be on-hand. The main crietria are that it is lightweight and it should be inexpensive.


I was thinking about another SY85 since I like them and they're cheap (actually a bargain to my mind). Is there anything else out there I should consider? I used to have a Roland D70 and it was not bad, but they have some hrdware problems - the 76 note keyboard was nice though.

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See if you can find a Roland XP80 on the used market.


In a newer board, you might want to consider a Kurzweil KME61, Roland Juno D or G, Korg X50 or TR61. :cool:




"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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You're right. Casios do get a bad rap. My father had 2 CZ-1s and two Casio controllers. They worked well, and sounded great.



The reason they get a bad rap is because their cheaper stuff breaks down way to often. Their earlier stuff also had some really cheesy sounds. Fast forward to the last few years, the Privia series has cast Casio in a positive light. Unfortunately the problems with the WK series keep them from truly shedding their earlier reputation. Its too bad because the Privia series is a very goos step in the right direction.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Well I just had a look at the Casio and Yamaha. P90 as far as I can tell has been replaced by the P140. Unforunately not really a cheap option at $1800 (Aussie $). P70 which sounds suprprisingly nice, only has a headphone output and seems to be a bit 'cheaply made' for a Yamaha - price is more what I am aiming for at $900. Tried the Casio ??100 and it sounds good, but not as good as the Yamaha, and is cheaper at $700.


Still I'd like to consider at a secondhand but 'pro-level' synthesiser, rather than a newish 'beginners' electric piano (though I admit the piano sounds now are great for the money). So what synths are around that may be OK - I've already mentioned the D70 and SY85? There must be other younger synthesiser options, prefereably with >61 notes?

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By far the most common dicontinued pro-level 76 key synths that pop up in the used market are Roland XP-80s, but they're not strong in pianos. I recently picked one up practically brand new for $400, but pianos aren't what I bought it for.


Used 76 key Motifs are out there but rare. It seems that most people bought the 61 or 88 key versions.


You have more choices if you go bigger. Here on Portland Craigslist there was a Yamaha S80 for $600 and a Roland XV-88 for $700 in the last couple of weeks.


But that's here in the States. I've heard says it sucks to live in Australia when you've got GAS.

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+1 for the XP80!


I have an XP30 (with SR-JV80-08 keys of the 60's & 70's) myself, which is far from my favourite. But it's a good choice for all those bread & butter sounds. I think it's weakest point is analogue simulations where i think it's far behind Korg and Yamaha. It's strongest point however is the wonderful feeling keyboard! I haven't played any synth-type keys with better feel.


So - get yourself an XP80 and if you could get it with the Session board you have a decent piano sound also (and adding the 60's & 70's card gives you OK rhodes and hammonds as well).

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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