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What to get Now?


GaryL

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I am in the market for a new keyboard. I used to own an Alesis Fusion but it died on me and would cost more to repair that its worth. I probably should have returned it as I had some others issues with it but that's done now. I want something that has the primary useable sounds like piano, organ, electric piano, strings/pads. I play rock, jazz, country and classical and perform live occasionally. I need something that doesn't weigh a ton and that has at least 61 keys. I prefer 76 or possible 88 but weight is a factor for me. I have a budget of about $1500. The only thing I've eliminated/not open to is the Alesis Fusion for obvious reasons. What would you recommend?
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Go to the music store and play Yamaha Motif, Roland Fantom and Korg Triton. Any of these would be a great solution. Also look at Kurzweil PC series.

 

Check these out and then come back with more questions once you've narrowed it down.

 

Welcome to the forum!

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The best deal going right now is close out sales on the Yamaha Motif ES. Some of the chains and online stores are selling them at very good prices. You might find a 76 key version in that price range. Some people have bought the 61 key for around $1000. Although the FantomX is my favorite keyboard, if I had a budget of $1500 for an all in one keyboard and it would be my only keyboard I would be searching out one of those close out Motif ES7's.

 

By the way, the price dropped because Yamaha released the XS line. The ES is undervalued right now.

 

Robert

This post edited for speling.

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If you wanted a ton of sounds, I wouldn't make a recommendation.

 

But you said:

piano, organ, electric piano, strings/pads

If those are your primary sounds, then check the recent Roland FP4 - 88 key/33 lbs., top quality digital piano. $1,500 retail price, but actual prices range from $1,025 to $1,295 or so.

 

It's larger brother, the FP7, also goes for under $1,500, but weighs more.

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The organs on the FP-7 are pretty cool. It's a subset of the Roland VK-7 so you have full drawbar control. Also percussion, 2nd/3rd, fast/slow but no soft/loud. You don't have direct control over chorus but you can get a chorus using the Organ Multi FX. I prefer the VK Rotory FX Leslie Sim. It is very good. Not squirrely.

 

The FP4 only has a few sampled organs. Pretty good but not as nice as the FP7.

 

Busch.

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Thanks for the recommendations. I am going to spend both Saturday and Sunday checking out these and other keyboards. I will probably have specific questions and be seeking opinions on different keyboards when I post here again.
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Go to the music store and play Yamaha Motif, Roland Fantom and Korg Triton. Any of these would be a great solution. Also look at Kurzweil PC series.

 

Why just the PC series? The most direct Kurzweil competitor to the Yamaha, Roland and Korg is the K2600 series. (In my opinion, they're still the best of the bunch)

 

K2661 = 61 keys

K2600 = 76 keys (semi-weighted)

K2600X = 88 keys (weighted)

K2600R = rack

 

They are all the same synth, basically.

An "S" after any of those names means it has the sampling option installed.

If you're searching for a workstation, try to play one. They can also be found on the used marked for very reasonable prices.

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I love that 2600, but man is it hard to work with! I was planning to unload my triton for one, and while the keybed was sweet and the sounds were rich.. it was not fun to use.

 

Not sure how the fusion is in that regards, but just something to keep in mind. Then again, you'd have to find a Kurz too :P

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Why just the PC series? The most direct Kurzweil competitor to the Yamaha, Roland and Korg is the K2600 series. (In my opinion, they're still the best of the bunch.)

 

Yep, but they're also the most expensive, and, assuming the OP wants to buy new, they would be considerably beyond his desired US$1,500 price range. The cheapest of the Kurz bunch you mention is the K2661, and Sweetwater, for example, is currently selling it for just under US$3,000.

 

Noah

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Well, the K2661 is $2,339 at Musician's Friend, which is not the cheapest. I've seen it new from some online vendors for less than $2,000, and used for about 1,700. The 76-key K2600, which is a bit older, can be found sometimes for less than 2,000 on the used market.

Anyway, the 'big three' that were mentioned are not much cheaper, especially when bought new.

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Go to the music store and play Yamaha Motif, Roland Fantom and Korg Triton. Any of these would be a great solution. Also look at Kurzweil PC series.

 

Why just the PC series? The most direct Kurzweil competitor to the Yamaha, Roland and Korg is the K2600 series. (In my opinion, they're still the best of the bunch)

 

I was not intentionally ruling out the K-series, but they are beyond the original poster's budget. The PC stuff has many good features and is more affordable.

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Well I had a chance to play several keyboards in my price range and made some comparisons. While I was able to get into some of the deeper functions of some of them, there are a lot of features I didnt get an chance to explore enough to form a fair opinion. The keyboards I tried were the Motif ES/XS, Triton Extreme, Fantom X, Kurzweil K2661, M3, S90ES, RD700SX and a few digital pianos. I liked the sound and action of the digital pianos I tried out but I need something more than what they offer so I am going to remove them from the discussion. Im also not going to give you mini reviews and outline all my experiences as in my searches I saw how much this has been done already. I figure most of you are familiar with these models already. I really liked the Motif XS and Korg M3 but they are out of my price range so I cant consider them. The Kurzweil k2661 was very deep but also out of my price range so I cant consider it either. In a nutshell I really fell in love with the Yamaha S90ES. While the weight is more than I want, I really liked it a lot. That same like transferred over the Motif ES as well. The Roland Fantom X and Korg Triton Extreme are nice and deep but for my needs the Motif and S90ES stood out. Their sound quality was so much more to my liking. My only concern was the user interface of the Motif ES. How hard is it to learn and how easy is it to switch sounds, programs and my own preset information on the fly? Would I need to do this through its master mode? I am also curious about how the users of the Motif Es like its sequencer and sampler? Are they easy to use and do they play nice with a computer?
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Gary:

 

The consensus seems to be that the user interface on the Motif series keyboards is less intuitive than its primary competitors (especially the Roland Fantom). That said, for the specific question you ask (e.g., ease of switching sounds on the fly), the Motifs are pretty straightforward. And yes, if you just want to scroll through the sounds you need for purposes of a live performance, it's easiest to use the Master mode (in which you can switch from one voice or performance to another with a simple press of one button or a turn of the scroll wheel). I can't answer your questions about the sequencer and sampler on the Motif, because I own the S90ES. I can say, however, that I've been very happy with my S90ES from the day I got it and can recommend it unconditionally. The only drawback, as you already mentioned, is its size. Good luck in your quest!

 

Noah

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