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Replace a Kurzweil SP88x? Lighter, better ep & organ sounds


Steveaudio

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I recently bought a SP88x from a friend for $250. So far, it seems like a 52 lb. behemoth with "sort of OK" sounds, & I don't like the weighted action much. I put it on CL & have a couple of offers for $300.

 

I don't really need a weighted keyboard, or even great acoustic piano sounds, I want either really good Rhodes & Wurlie sounds, or Hammond sounds, or both. 73 keys, and something light enough I can at least move around in my house w/o killing myself.

 

Before this, I owned a Nord Electro 2 for about a year (I tend to buy used gear so I can get out of it w/o losing too much). Probably b/c I gigged for years with a "real" Rhodes, & Wurlitzer, etc., most of the sounds weren't really doing it for me, but for the price & weight it wasn't bad.

 

Any suggestions? A Nord Electro 3? Hammond XK-1? XK-3c? A better Kurzweil, like a used PC2? (I know I should probably decide if I want to focus on Hammond sounds). I realize this is a bit all over the map, but as someone who's owned most of the vintage keyboards, I just want something that sounds great, mainly for home use. TIA for any advice!

 

 

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Yeah, I'd say Electro 3. The XK-1/XK-3C don't give you your 73 keys (and you'd have to at least add a module to get your Rhodes/Wurly sounds). The forthcoming Kurzweil SP4-7 might be a contender as well.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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PC3LE7 or Electro 3 - each has advantages. The E3 has better Hammond, but is mono-timbral and getting from patch 64 to patch 3 (for instance) is not as simple as pressing the 3 or 4 digit patch number in advance on the PC3, then hitting Enter when you want the patch to switch.

 

I own both PC3 and E3 - each fulfils a different area (love the extremely light weight of the E3) I also have a PC2 with both extra ROMs, it is good sounding, but the Hammond sounds in particular are not as good as the PC3.

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 would consider a Yamaha XS7. Should be able to get a great deal on one with the release of the XF.

 

Sure, the Motif will not satisfy organ purists but it will suffice for most gigs along with the other bells and whistles. :cool:

PD

 

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

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PC3LE7 or Electro 3 - each has advantages. The E3 has better Hammond, but is mono-timbral and getting from patch 64 to patch 3 (for instance) is not as simple as pressing the 3 or 4 digit patch number in advance on the PC3, then hitting Enter when you want the patch to switch.

 

You can solve that last problem for $160.

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MIDIMATE

 

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I like the Motif Rhodes sounds, (I own a Motif module, the original, so I imagine any of the newer ones would be better) enough that I don't feel I need to think about it. It's very expressive to me, especially for live sound, though I haven't spent a lot of time with a real one.

 

What others have said make sense, Nord would be a good idea. You could go with a Hammond XK-1 with a motif module (I own both of those, though the midi-out on my XK-1 is currently shot). With that though, only 61 keys, might not be enough. The Hammond XK-1 sounds killer to me, and recently I had the benefit at a jam session to hear how it sounded in the audience through the PA and it sounded great.

 

Oh and I was running Mono, so much simpler. I don't know how it would sound in stereo FOH, but there you have it.

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You can solve that last problem for $160.

 

Nice solution, if I was going to use the E3 by itself for more complex stuff. If I need more complex, I usually set up the PC3 and E3 - then the E3 winds up on a few organ patches for the whole gig, and the PC3 does all the other stuff.

 

They are both good, and they both have areas that could be improved. I'm in the beta 2.0 program on the PC3 - and some of the changes (presuming they make it into the final build) are going to be well appreciated.

 

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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Thanks for all the replies. Interesting that a lot of people recommend the Electro 3. Does it have better EP & Hammond sounds than the NE 2? Overall, is it that much of an upgrade from the Electro 2? Altho I thought the Hammond sounds on the Electro 2 were it's strength.

 

I also noticed the Electro 3 weighs 18 lbs. As someone who just wrecked their back (for the 1,000th time, over the years) just lifting the SP88x onto the stand, that means a lot. Now to get this beast out of my house. I can't even put it on fee-bay, b/c I know there's no way I could pack it for shipping.

 

Thanks again.....

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Does it have better EP & Hammond sounds than the NE 2? Overall, is it that much of an upgrade from the Electro 2?

 

Yes, the organ is much better on the E3 than the E2. I think the stock EPs are the same, but there are numerous additional EPs that can be downloaded and loaded in from the web. In addition the E3 has a whole series of sample-based sounds that the E2 did not have, and you can also download more from the web (or create your own). So this gives you things like strings, brass, mellotron and other classic keyboard sounds, etc.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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but as someone who's owned most of the vintage keyboards, I just want something that sounds great, mainly for home use.

 

As you said mainly for home use. GSi's VB3 and Native Instruments Scarbee Vintage Keys can be had for less than $250 total. These will give you the best emulations of vintage keyboards, period. You can still buy an Electro or similar. Just use it as a controller to play these sounds at home.

 

Busch.

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Based on the criteria described in your inital post, I would have to agree with Mr. BurningBusch's advice.

 

Although this question is asked often, over time the answer varies; therefore the question remains pertinent.

 

I see a trend amongst many of the forumites' posts here. Now that many of the sounds being offered in contemporary electronic keyboards are very good, weight of the unit has become even more important in the decision to purchase.

 

I am also seeing more posts declaring that the response of the instrument is more important than ever. I am referring to the immediacy of sound when one presses a key.

 

The CP5 proved an able partner to this exploration, thanks to the tight "connection" of its touch to the sampled piano.

It is for these reasons that the Nord Electro 3 and the Casio Privia keyboards are being mentioned frequently here.

 

One of these with a pair of QSC or EV powered speakers seems to be the solution that's rising to the top of the lists when the discussion of bread-and-butter sounds plus amplification comes up.

 

My store rep recommends the E/V over the QSC for most people using it as personal keyboard monitoring, even though it's cheaper. How often do you see that happen in retail?

 

Of course, this is the battle of the two best brands at the moment, so in some senses it is splitting hairs, vs. comparing to Mackie et al.

I would not discount the advice that you have been given here. Please let us know what you eventually purchase.

 

Tom

 

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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As you said mainly for home use. GSi's VB3 and Native Instruments Scarbee Vintage Keys can be had for less than $250 total. These will give you the best emulations of vintage keyboards, period. You can still buy an Electro or similar. Just use it as a controller to play these sounds at home.

This hinges upon whether or not the OP wants to (or can) use virtual instruments. Seems like they're more keen on hardware.

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For the OP: you mentioned a used PC2. I have to say, I have one and while I really like the action on it and the EP sounds, for organ I wouldn't really depend on it other than for rehearsals or gigs with few organ parts. It sounds ok but you can't use the Leslie effect and reverb at the same time, which is a bit annoying. With VB3 and maybe a complete set of midi drawbars that would be a nice one-keyboard rig.

"Show me all the blueprints. I'm serious now, show me all the blueprints."

My homemade instruments

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I have a Hammond XK-2 with a Neo Ventilator AND a Speakeasy Vintage "Flat Pack" Leslie. I just got the Ventilator and I hate it that I like it as good (maybe better because of the size) as the Speakeasy.

 

I just sold a DX-7 for a Korg X-50 on top - its like a mini Triton with all the sounds and none of the workstation stuff that I don't need. Good piano's, cool vintage instruments. It's only 61 keys, though but I pick it up with one hand and it's a Helluva a second axe.

 

No matter what you do, if you want organ, GET A VENTILATOR - it'll be the best $499 that you EVER will spend!

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You might want to consider our new SP4-7.

It includes some of the best sounds from the PC3 (they're identical, not watered down), some great EPs, KB3 organs, nice variety of pianos, clavs, strings etc.

While it doesn't have drawbars, the KB3 programs respond to external MIDI for control of drawbars as well as switches for perc, vib, keyclick, etc.

http://kurzweil.com/Product.php?id=207

 

One step up from that is the PC3LE7, which has a much larger sound set, the ability to mix and match effects along with "Intuitive Info" (move a controller and the display tells you which parameter is being affected and by how much).

http://kurzweil.com/Product.php?id=205

 

Both units have semi-weighted actions.

The SP4-7 weighs 24 lbs and the LE7 is 35.

 

Anyone can feel free to shoot me an email with questions if there's something you can't find on the website.

davew@ycrdi.com

 

 

 

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