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VK-7 & ME-1 vs Electro?


Joe Muscara

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As I mentioned in this thread, I've fixed my VK-7.

 

I'm very happy about this, but the GAS won't stop. I'm now thinking about replacing the VK-7 and Kurzweil ME-1 (which I use 'live' for pianos and EPs) with an Electro. I have the RS4073 aka Casio CDP-100 which is a very good lightweight weighted controller for the pianos. That, with the Electro, would give me a full-range, fairly lightweight rig to tote around. But should I switch?

 

Here are some of my thoughts.

 

I like the sounds of the VK-7 and the ME-1.

The VK-7 doesn't have waterfall keys, the Electro does.

The VK-7 does have drawbars. I didn't hate the Electro's "drawbuttons" the time I tried them, but I do like drawbars a little better.

I'd have to go through the effort of selling the VK and ME if I bought the Electro.

The Electro would cost me more than I can probably get for the two old units.

I'm not 100% sure what I think of the Electro's sounds. In its defense, I can be very fickle when trying gear out, some days I go to a store and like something, other days I don't hear it. Also, I have no idea what OS was on the Electro the times I tried (though I now know how to check). I know there are various opinions on the sounds, such as kanker being happy with the mono Steinway while others still don't seem to like the APs, but I'd be interested in hearing more. My main sounds are ac. piano and organ, thought lately I've been starting to experiment with Wurly and Rhodes on some tunes as well.

 

So what do you guys realistically think? I need to hear some ideas and people to discuss this with, if you don't mind.

 

*(Yeah, I know, I was talking about the XK-1 last week. You know how it goes. :) )

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I use an Electro 73 for practice and casual gigs (like our weekly blues jam we host). The biggest drawback is the semi-weighted keybed for playing piano. If that's not a deal-breaker, then the NE might work perfect for you. And at 21 lbs, it's easy to move around. The mono piano works fine, especially when played through a weighted keyboard like kanker does very nicely.

 

If all you need are the acoustic piano, Hammond, Wurli and Rhodes, the Electro might be your best choice. Seventy three keys is OK for playing piano (the same size as an old short Rhodes). If you're primarily a piano player, consider the Nord Stage because you might prefer the weighted keys. Of course, the Stage 76 is $3000 vs. $1700 for the Electro.

aka âmisterdregsâ

 

Nord Electro 5D 73

Yamaha P105

Kurzweil PC3LE7

Motion Sound KP200S

Schimmel 6-10LE

QSC CP-12

Westone AM Pro 30 IEMs

Rolls PM55P

 

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As an Electro lover, I honestly think you're better off keeping what you have or possibly selling the ME1 and getting the KME61 keyboard. The VK7 is a convincing organ clone and it has drawbars. You're accustomed to it and so you probably like the sound ok. The Electro does have great sounds overall, but I think a VK7 + KME61 would be more versatile.
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As a stage owner who hates the internal piano all I can say is that I did two gigs this weekend w the stage and it did fine. I use the compact that has the waterfall keys. I used a GEM RPX for the piano sound - but the B3 sound that the Compact pumps out is second to none. well except my B4. and my CX3 has the edge cause I love the real draw bars but the keybed doesn't send velocity. and the overdrive on the CX3 sounds better IMHO. Still not as good as B4. BUT I did both gigs w the stage compact and GEM and a single Barbetta amp - went fine - I made a lot of mistakes - but the gear was up to the task. When it comes to B3 sounds and Rhodes pianos you really can't beat the Nord stuff. the piano.....oh one other thing...the waterfall keys make a huge difference. part of playing a B3 is those palm gliss - or making that cat meow sound - it's just feels right on the waterfall board - and yes a piano keybed would be better but for the motown stuff I am doing I can use the Stage Compact - and my back thanks me at the end of the night - and gee only another 34 gigs and the Stage/Gem is paid for....
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i would also go for the Electro (i... did actually, 7 years ago :)) as it is very light to carry, has very good ep's, wurli, B3 and clav and a passable piano (if piano is not your main sound). I thank myself after my gigs - when i see other guys carryin' heavy 88s, i only get my electro in my soft Clavia bag and i go. If you need two sounds at a time, though, you need another synth - Electro is mono timbral.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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Joe,

I have both a VK-7 and the Electro. Although I always liked the VK-7 organ, I think that the Electro organ works better for band situations. I don't care much for the AC pianos of the Electro.

 

I have used both the VK-7 and Electro to play piano sounds in a MotifES rack, and to my fingers, the VK-7 has a better feel. Hope this helps.

 

acctjm

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Thanks for the input, y'all. I'm not worried about the weighted keys with the "weighted" sounds, since I'd just use the Casio/RS for that when I wanted it (it's what I do already). I'm intrigued by the lighter weight and all-in-one-ness of the Electro over the VK-7 + ME-1, and the Casio is light too.

 

Ain't GAS fun? Almost as much as actually playing. :grin:

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Do you folks like the Electro better than the Roland VK-8? The other day I was playing in the sun and could not see the LEDs on my P-120. That makes me worry that the LED drawbars on the Electro would be a problem. Plus, it's so *red*!

Yamaha P2 acoustic, Yamaha P120 digital, Nord Electro 3HP, QSC K10.

FOR SALE: Nord Electro 2-61.

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I think it really depends on what your home sound is. Home for me is always piano. That's generally my starting point, and my instrument in the verses, with organ, brass, synth, pedal steel (I do a lot of country)... everything else in the choruses, builds, breaks...

 

If you're like me just an Electro might not do.

 

For several weekends I've been thinking that I really don't absolutely need a weighted keyboard for these one-nighter country gigs (which I've been playing almost exclusively this year). My quest for an all-in-one ended recently with the purchase of a new but discontinued Motif ES7. It's not the best at anything, but it's very good at everything... if you know what I mean. It's $500 cheaper than an Electro 73 and has a piano I can live with.

 

It hasn't arrived yet, but I think it'll work. I'll still use a weighted 88 controller for more demanding gigs.

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For several weekends I've been thinking that I really don't absolutely need a weighted keyboard for these one-nighter country gigs (which I've been playing almost exclusively this year). My quest for an all-in-one ended recently with the purchase of a new but discontinued Motif ES7. It's not the best at anything, but it's very good at everything... if you know what I mean. It's $500 cheaper than an Electro 73 and has a piano I can live with.

 

I've used my Motif ES7 in that exact situation for a few years now, Bill... I don't think you'll be disappointed, once you learn your way around the interface.

 

Just a tip... set up a Pattern (or Song) mix template, which will allow you to set up 16 different sounds, all accessible with one button press. Piano, organ, strings, banjo, pedal steel, and all the other required sounds all available under your fingers. :thu:

 

Good luck!

 

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Yeah, I've heard that's the way to make seamless program changes without sound muting and silence too. I've become very accustomed to smooth program changes with my Rolands... one of this company's strong points. I'll definitely be setting it up like that as I go along.

 

At first I'll be using it on the bottom for pianos and EPs, with an expanded Fantom S on top for everything else until I get to know it better. I never just jump in totally with a new board.

 

Thanks for the encouragement. :)

 

edit: I should add that seamless program changes would be absolutely essential for me if I am doing it all from one keyboard. I can't have the keyboard go dead while switching back and forth between piano and organ.

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Joe, the easiest thing to do IMHO is sell the VK-7 for the Electro 73, and keep the ME-1. 21 lbs. + 3.3 lbs. is still WAY lighter than most other keyboards. OK, add another .7 lbs. for audio + MIDI cables for the ME-1. Still weighs less than my wife's chihuahua. At at 15, I bet your ME-1 will sound a lot better than my wife's chihuahua does at 15. If you're stuck on the 2 keyboard idea, I'd go with a PC161 - same sound engine as our PC2, a few less effects - MONSTER 61-key gigging board - I'd take it over a KME any day of the week. Of course for $450, the KME is a great deal, as well...

ivorycj

 

Main stuff: Yamaha CP88 | Korg Kronos 2 73 | Kurzweil Forte 7 | 1898 Steinway I

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Both very good sound for organ but vk8 other sounds are a bit iffy except for the e-piano

RE:-LED's No they are very big and very bright! if your eyes are not so good cut up a piece of card and make an angled cowel + sticky tape to keep sun of the displays or led's, yes colour choice would be nice. (nord bring out the black/gunmetal option with rosewood / teak end blocks!)

 

 

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Electro owners, if you were to use just it as your do it all board, will it switch between organ and piano without the keyboard going dead? You know... if you are holding a chord with the pedal or fingers while switching sounds? Just asking because I don't know, and as I said above, that's very important to me (and why a Motif XS was out of the question in my search... a no-go with this one).

 

edit: and Stage owners too...

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Electro owners, if you were to use just it as your do it all board, will it switch between organ and piano without the keyboard going dead? You know... if you are holding a chord with the pedal or fingers while switching sounds? Just asking because I don't know, and as I said above, that's very important to me (and why a Motif XS was out of the question in my search... a no-go with this one).

 

edit: and Stage owners too...

 

On my Electro, if I am holding a chord with organ sounds and I press a piano (ep, clave, ac) preset button, the sound stops immediately until a key is pressed. Same with going from piano sounds to organ. An exception is; if playing an organ preset and another organ preset is pressed the sound continues with the new preset, you don't have to lift your fingers from the keys.

 

acctjm

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On keyboards that do this, the held sound doesn't switch when you change presets. You hold, change, and when you play new notes, it's the next sound. It all happens rapidly, and it's so much smoother than if the keyboard goes dead during program changes.

 

Once you get used to doing this, it's a part of your performing rhythm and it's hard to go back. I wouldn't actually.

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Roland V-combo. Has the VK modeled organ you're used to with drawbars, plus an OK piano (better than the Electro's) and good EP's. ~35 lbs, and the keybed feels more solid than the Nord. 76 keys. A workstation might work too, but it won't be any lighter; plus, no drawbars and no waterfall keybed.

 

drew

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face"

-Mike Tyson

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plus an OK piano (better than the Electro's)
Nothing is better than the Electro's piano. (I'm contractually required to state that anymore...) Seriously though, I have to say it again, the Electro's mono Steinway is one hell of a great piano sound when triggered from a good weighted 88, my favorite piano sound on the hardware market.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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