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I need a 76 key synth with a sequencer - Thoughts?


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I'm in need of a synth / workstation loaded with 76 keys, high quality sounds (especially piano), easy to use sequencer for my church praise band. My biggest constraint is it needs to be in the $450 or less range which means I'm going to be looking at some fairly dated equipment. That doesn't bother me but I want to make sure I get a good board that meets the above criteria and I am not in an arms length so to speak of any good used synths to try out.


Ensoniq makes a few boards like the ER-76 and MR-76 but I don't know how reliable they will be nor do I know anything about their sound quality. I can vouch for their user-friendly sequencers though.... I once owned an EPS and it was a cakewalk on which to arrange a song.


What are your thoughts / opinions?


Thanks in advance,



"Those who don't believe timing is everything have never changed a diaper."
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Your budget limits your options severely. Any hopes in getting youur church to pitch in and help you out?


Mostly, you will find an either/or situation. Either 61- or 88-keys. There aren't many 76-key options to choose from period. Still, the Korg TR-76 comes to mind immediately, but in your range, you might be looking at a used Roland JV-1000 at best.

Yamaha (Motif XS7, Motif 6, TX81Z), Korg (R3, Triton-R), Roland (XP-30, D-50, Juno 6, P-330). Novation A Station, Arturia Analog Experience Factory 32


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That's a tough price range. I own a TS-12. The pianos suck.


I can load samples and that was the way to get around the internal Rhodes and Steinway. Many of the other sounds are good even by today's standards. Mine will end up on ebay sometime in 2008.


The subsequent MR-76 and ZR-76 models added an idea pad for quick sequencing. That's handy. Most MRs and ZRs ship with the Coakley Perfect Piano which is respectable for that era. If you can get one of these in good shape (preferably a ZR) it's not bad for that price. Don't buy one without the Perfect Piano.


In the Roland line you'd want a JX-80 which holds 4 of their expansion cards.


You can find an Ensoniq Mr and/or ZR in good to excellent condition for 450 if you are patient (I think you knew this already). The Rolands are a little higher.


You may want to consider a used digital Piano but I don't know them as well.







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I used to own an Ensoniq MR76 for about 6 months. It was a decent keyboard. The sounds were average but not bad. There are a few for sale on ebay. You should go there and do a search if you decide to go that route, but you should decide soon as those auctions end in about 3 days. If you can go up to 88 or down to 61 as mentioned, you could open up a lot more doors.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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I'm using an XP-80 for my praise band duties that I picked up for $400 last year. I prefer it in this application over my Motif ES7 because of it's great 1990s Enya-esque pads (which fits what we do much of the time) and because it makes smooth program changes during times of prayer, which is essential for my contributions to the service and the Achilles heel of all Motifs.


The Session expansion board is necessary to get even a passable decent acoustic piano out of it though... another $100. In my case I'm not using it for piano... our praise leader is on that.


If you get one I'd be happy to share my patches with you by mailing you a floppy... all service tested and fine tuned. You might find some of them that you can use.

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