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Buying a second keyboard -- please help!


sweetdiss

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Hello!

 

I recently bought an MO8 and it is fantastic! It's perfect in my home studio.

 

However, I'd like another smaller, more portable keyboard for taking with me to live performances with my band.

 

Since I'm used to regular pianos and my MO8, though, I don't want one that doesn't have weighted or semi-weighted keys.

 

So here's my question - Is there any such thing as a keyboard that is both portable (even 61 keys would be fine - I need to carry it around) AND has weighted or semi-weighted keys?

 

I've been eyeing the YPG235, but I'm not sure if it's any good. I've read mixed reviews.

 

I guess I should go to a music store, but until then, do you have any suggestions?

 

Thank you!

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61 key in general are not weighted. 76 key are usually semi-weighted, although there are a very few (Kurzweil PC1SE among them) that are fully weighted.

 

To get a better feel for your needs, some ideas on how much gigging, how it is transported, what genre of music, and budget range would be helpful.

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I've been eyeing the YPG235, but I'm not sure if it's any good.

 

That's a toy compared to your MO8. I can understand not wanting to lug around an 88-key workstation, but the YPG series isn't designed for road use (cheaper build quality).

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Thanks for the welcome, and for the replies!

 

The style of music I'll be playing on it is primarily power-pop... as far as voices go, I'd like it to at least have some pianos, organs, and synths built in.

 

I'm hoping to be gigging quite a bit - several times a month, and hopefully a tour soon. That's why I'd like it to be relatively light and small, because we're already carrying around a drum set and several amps.

 

I won't be hooking it up to any computers or anything (the MO8 is the only one I need for recording) so I don't need it to be a MIDI controller or anything fancy like that, just a performance keyboard I can plug into an amp or something.

 

As far as budget goes, I'm weary of spending more than, say, $600, because of how much I forked over for that last keyboard. I don't want it to be a cheap $100 keyboard that you get your kid for christmas, mind you, but I don't need another MO8, either.

 

Any more help would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks again,

Nate

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So here's my question - Is there any such thing as a keyboard that is both portable (even 61 keys would be fine - I need to carry it around) AND has weighted or semi-weighted keys?

 

Hi & welcome.

 

The short answer to your question is, for your $600 budget, unfortunately no.

 

Of the keyboards on the market at the moment, only three sort-of meet your requirements.

 

They are are Yamaha MM6, Korg X50 and Roland Juno Di. All of these have 61 synth-style keys (ie: light touch).

 

I would suggest that unless you want to take a 'compact version' of your MO8 on the road, you might be best

 

looking for the variation other manufacturers would provide.

 

Whilst Roland's new Juno Di is a big improvement on it's predecessor - for example 1000+ voices,

 

most of Rolands voices are weak compared to my recommendation, which would be the Korg X50.

 

 

All the above are, of course, at new prices - if you look at the second-hand market, then a lot more options become available.

.

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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You could always look for a used Motif ES6 or MO6--no weighted keys, but definitely a more professional board than a YPG series, with the yammy sounds you're used to.
When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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Thank you all for the quick replies!

 

I guess it'll be pretty hard to find a "portable" keyboard with weighted keys then, ey?

 

I keep reading about "graded hammer" keys, but I'm not sure what that means. Is that similar in feel to weighted? Are there many good keyboards that are fairly light and relatively cheap, but have graded hammer keys instead of weighted?

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M-Audio nd Novation both advertise 61-key semiweighted controllers. Haven't tried any of them so I don't know how they feel. Plus they are just MIDI controllers - no sound, so you'd still need an external sound module. And the price for the controller alone is just about your whole budget. But I think the only way you'll find semi-weighted on a 61-key is on a MIDI controller.

 

Side note: My Alesis Fusion 6HD (61-key) is advertised as semi-weighted. But to my touch, it's not really any different than non-weighted.

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.

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The Kurzweil PC1SE would be your best bet but you won't even find a used one for $600 - let alone any new keyboard that would be appropriate for your needs. If your budget is fixed, I would look for a lightly used 88 key that someone has to sell. There's a lot on the market now because of the recession. Kurzweil PC-88s hold up well if they have been maintained correctly and moved in cases. You're always rolling the dice on older keyboards but your situation doesn't leave you much choice besides older and used. Good luck.
Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. W. C. Fields
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So... I went to the music store today. One of the people there said there was a new Yamaha board coming out sometime "in the next few months" which would have 76 weighted keys... he seemed to think that was pretty close to what I had in mind. However, I didn't get a chance to ask what the model was.

 

Anyone know what he might have been referring to?

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Yep, it's the new Yamaha S70XS. Full details here.

 

However, it's only a kilo lighter than your MO8 and about the same size (with fewer keys). Sonically and quality wise it's a substantial step up, though. Couple of us here already have orders in for the 88-note version, the S90XS.

 

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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So... I went to the music store today. One of the people there said there was a new Yamaha board coming out sometime "in the next few months" which would have 76 weighted keys... he seemed to think that was pretty close to what I had in mind. However, I didn't get a chance to ask what the model was.

 

Anyone know what he might have been referring to?

 

Yes, I think a lot of folks are anticipating this - the new Yamaha S90XS.

 

The blurb tells us that both the 76 & 88-note versions will have weighted keys.

 

It does look like it's going to be (potentially) an exciting keyboard, and I'll certainly be taking a look at it.

 

 

However, the problem is that, as you initially stated your budget at $600, you are probably going to have

 

to roughly quadruple that!

 

The model that it's replacing (S90ES) currently costs around $2000 - so you can be certain

 

that the S90XS will be more than that.

 

On top of that, you were also asking about a lightweight, easily transportable keyboard.

 

The 76-note S90XS is reportedly going to be 20.4 kilos, and the 88-note 2 kilos heavier.....

 

not really much of an advantage over your MO8?!!!!

 

 

 

 

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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Haha, yikes. Sounds like a really awesome keyboard, though!

 

Well, I guess what I've learned from this thread is that there's no such thing as a "portable"-ish keyboard with weighted keys.

 

I'll broaden my search a bit... what's the best-sounding keyboard (piano, organ, synth...) I can get which is significantly lighter than the MO8? No weighted keys. Just normal. 61 keys or 76, doesn't really matter. Just as long as it's fairly small, easy to carry around to shows, and sounds great.

 

Any suggestions?

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Sweetdiss, that list is extremely wide, but at the price, you may want to look at maybe an original Motif (not ES or XS) 6, or perhaps a used Korg TR61.

Studio: Yamaha P515 | Yamaha Tyros 5 | Yamaha HX1 | Moog Sub 37

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and right now I'm leaning toward the Korg X50. It's super light, from what I understand has a large number of good voices, and it has a pretty kick ass look to it, too.

 

Is this a good final choice? Anyone want to give me some pros and cons before I grab it on ebay?

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Well, I've been doing a lot of thinking, and right now I'm leaning toward the Korg X50. It's super light, from what I understand has a large number of good voices, and it has a pretty kick ass look to it, too.

 

Is this a good final choice? Anyone want to give me some pros and cons before I grab it on ebay?

 

I've got a Korg X50, and I'd recommend it to anyone - it's an excellent keyboard..... & amazingly lightweight.

 

The only thing that I would say to you (bearing in mind your original desire for weighted keys)

 

is that the key touch is very light - but you'll get used to it.

 

I have!

 

Let us know what you end up with?

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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Alright, I'm about 90% sure on this X50 now. I just have one final question...

 

I've seen some spec lists for it that say it has "62 voices". That's a little troubling to me because that would mean there are only a handful of voices in each category. However, I also saw a PDF which listed all the voices, and there seemed to be hundreds!

 

Maybe there are two different meanings for "voice"? I thought the word meant specific instruments (grand piano, dark piano, church organ, jazz organ, wurly, etc...). Are there really only 62? Or are there hundreds, like the PDF seemed to show?

 

Sorry if this is a stupid question! I just want to be sure what I'm getting before I buy!

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I've seen some spec lists for it that say it has "62 voices". That's a little troubling to me because that would mean there are only a handful of voices in each category. However, I also saw a PDF which listed all the voices, and there seemed to be hundreds!

 

Maybe there are two different meanings for "voice"? I thought the word meant specific instruments (grand piano, dark piano, church organ, jazz organ, wurly, etc...). Are there really only 62? Or are there hundreds, like the PDF seemed to show?

 

Sorry if this is a stupid question! I just want to be sure what I'm getting before I buy!

 

I can see how this would be confusing; here's the deal. The 62 "voices" that you're seeing are listed under the term Polyphony, meaning the number of simultaneous notes that can be played by the keyboard before it "runs out" (and usually starts stealing from the first notes that were played).

 

The catch here is that, on some sounds, a complex sound may be comprised of 2 or more "voices" of polyphony. So, if you have a particular sound that uses 4 "voices" every time you play a single note, you'll only have 13 notes of polyphony before you hit the limit.

 

Rest assured, there are hundreds of different sounds within the X50, and you're not likely to run into the note limit in the short term.

 

Hope this helps.

 

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Alright, I'm about 90% sure on this X50 now. I just have one final question...

 

I've seen some spec lists for it that say it has "62 voices". That's a little troubling to me because that would mean there are only a handful of voices in each category. However, I also saw a PDF which listed all the voices, and there seemed to be hundreds!

 

Maybe there are two different meanings for "voice"? I thought the word meant specific instruments (grand piano, dark piano, church organ, jazz organ, wurly, etc...). Are there really only 62? Or are there hundreds, like the PDF seemed to show?

 

Sorry if this is a stupid question! I just want to be sure what I'm getting before I buy!

 

I'm responding to your question immediately, so I don't have time to look it up,

 

but what the "62 voices" you're referring to is the polyphony - ie: the number of *notes* that

 

can be sustained at one time.

 

Yes - there are hundreds of 'voices' on/in the X50 - almost all of which are excellent.

 

The one's you DON'T like can be changed/altered to suit your wishes, by transplanting ones you like.

 

and altering them with the built-in effects etc.

 

 

 

 

 

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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Alright! I did it! Bought an X-50 off eBay. I'm super excited!

 

I just want to say one more time how much I appreciate all the help and advice you guys have given me! It made researching and deciding what I want much, much easier.

 

True, I didn't end up with exactly what I wanted (apparently they don't make many portable keyboards with weighted keys... oh well) but I'm sure I'll get used to it! My main concerns were portability and sound, and I think I made a good choice in that regard.

 

Thanks again!

 

- Nate

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Alright! I did it! Bought an X-50 off eBay. I'm super excited!

 

I just want to say one more time how much I appreciate all the help and advice you guys have given me!

 

Just buy us some pizza and beer. :thu:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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..."Alright! I did it! Bought an X-50 off eBay. I'm super excited"....

 

Congrats, Nate - I'm certain you'll enjoy playing it (once you get used to the light touch!)

 

How much of that $600 did you end up spending?

 

 

ps: I'll settle for just the beer - greedy bugger, that synthoid! :D

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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ps: I'll settle for just the beer - greedy bugger, that synthoid! :D

 

And I'll settle for just his "Thank you".

 

Err... of course I wouldn't turn down the beer. :)

 

That would be impolite... and would probably get Sven all riled up (again).

 

 

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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  • 2 weeks later...
Well, the Korg X-50 arrived in the mail last Thursday and it's wonderful! Absolutely perfect for what I needed it for.

 

Thanks again everyone! Pizza and beer on me!

 

I'm glad you're pleased with it Nate -

 

I'll PM you with my address for that delivery of beer!!! (& pizza) :wave:.

 

.

John.

 

some stuff on myspace

 

Nord: StageEX-88, Electro2-73, Hammond: XK-1, Yamaha: XS7

Korg: M3-73 EXpanded, M50-88, X50, Roland: Juno D, Kurzweil: K2000vp.

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