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The (EP or DP) that bit you (or started it all)


Bosendorphen

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The delightful "synth that bit you" threat got me thinking about my first electronic pianos.

 

By high school I had my Yamaha D3 organ at home for a few years. But I was in the Stage Band at school pounding on a single-miked console piano trying to compete with the horns on tunes like "Chunga's Revenge." Very frustrating and a member of the marching band had a Wurlie with nice amp which she let me play on occasion. So I wanted my own electric piano. i borrowed my band leader's crappy Farfisa piano in my first gigging band but it was a heavy beast with a lousy sound.

 

My parents kindly got me a Univox Compac for Christmas 1975 which had 3 presets and a filter control for wah-wah effects. That was great fun and to my ears sounded better than that Farfisa but of course didn't have the dynamic response of my friend's Wurl But it got me started with my new band and I appreciated it even though it wasn't velocity-sensitive had a very light action. I had also played some Rhodes sitting in with other bands and never warmed to either the sound or action.

 

3 years later I sold the Univox to our guitarist and bought with my hard-earned money a Roland MP-600 after wanting a Yamaha CP30 but not having enough money. The keyboard guy at the local mom and pop was right in guiding me to the 64-note Roland with its 5-band EQ, 3 mixable sounds and weighted-action and velocity-sensitivity. Much lighter than the Yamaha, only 50 pounds!! I LOVED that piano and it was gigging workhorse for 7 years. I'd put it through an MXR chorus pedal slightly detuned and got to sound as close to a Yamaha CP70 as I could!!

 

By 1986 after seeing the ads in Keyboard I wanted a sampled piano. The main choices then were between the Korg SG-1D and Ensoniq SDP-1. The Korg was 70-some pounds and of course more expensive. But I managed to afford the Ensoniq SDP-1 (44 pounds) which was SO exciting at the time. I MIDI-ed it up to my DW8000 for synth pads I could bring in with my volume pedal. WOO HOO! Those and my Polysix were my arsenal for the mid-80s.

 

What was your first EP/DP that set you off on the ultimate portable piano experience?

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk

 

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Aethellis

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EP - Rhodes of course. After three Wurlitzers (two were stolen!) I couldn't stand the Wurli sound anymore, so when I finally got a Mark II, I was very relieved. Unfortunately it didn't last long... it was too heavy, and decent imitations had started showing up in the market.

 

DP - For me, it was the RD300 family. Its piano sounds came from harmonic resynthesis, which was not perfect (still isn't), but it gave the instrument a special playability and dynamic response. I started with a RD200, then got the 300. Both had horrible key weighting, though, so when the RD300s came out, I got that... just to discover that it was too heavy to be carried around by one person. But it stayed for a while in the home studio as a recording instrument. Later, I used to borrow a RD250s from one of my students for casual gigs.

 

 

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I remember hating the Roland piano sound in the early 90s. I wanted a Korg SG-1D, and I got one, used with a hard case. I only sold it a couple of years ago. Now, I can spot that sound on old albums easily (such as Chuck Leavell on the Stones' Flashpoint live album). But the action was pretty good, even now. Too bad it weighed a ton.

"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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A beat up Rhodes when i was 15. I was mad about Chick Corea at this time -1983- but what i played on this Rhodes was anything but jazz...Rhodes is my fave (along with the acoustic piano) up to now. Seems that is hard to forget the first love.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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It was trying out the NORD STAGE in a shop that got me hooked - even if i still can't afford one. Saving up, saving up..:)

NORD STAGE 2, IPAD 2 with lots of soft syths

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My high school had a Rhodes 73 with the big amp/speaker that was mounted on a rolling wooden platform. I negotiated with the band director for 2 or 3 summers to borrow it when school was out in the mid-'80s. It was not exactly easy to carry it around, but made those backyard party gigs lots of fun with my Roland JX-8P sitting on top.

 

After that, I was smitten by the Korg SG-1D in a big way, round about 1991. My band recorded a couple of CDs in a studio that had the SG-1D and I fell in love with it. I was able to use it for recordings and a few high-profile gigs, but never bought one as I was poor back then and it was relatively expensive at the time.

 

I finally bought my first DP in 1998, the Roland RD-600.

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Bought a used Stage 73 that spent its previous life with the Dead. Got it Dyno'd at Chuck Monte's shop in SF. Countless Top 40 cover gigs (with an ARP String Ensemble on top...good times). Still have it - the Rhodes (not the ARP).

 

Then got into a Xian rock band that already had a Helpinstill "portable" piano - one of those folding spinets with the built in pickup. Gigged that thing for a couple years, then got into a prog band that had a CP70 - as well as a Prophet 10 and a CS80.

 

The next "digital piano" (if you can call it that) I used for years was the patch on the M1. Then went to an Alesis Quadrasynth Plus, until I heard a friend of mine playing a PC88. I've been a Kurzweil guy ever since.

 

 

..
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I remember hating the Roland piano sound in the early 90s. I wanted a Korg SG-1D, and I got one, used with a hard case. I only sold it a couple of years ago. Now, I can spot that sound on old albums easily (such as Chuck Leavell on the Stones' Flashpoint live album). But the action was pretty good, even now. Too bad it weighed a ton.

 

Flashpoint is my #1 desert island disk! It was also the first concert I saw in high school. I noticed on the 1997/1998 tour Chuck had then upgraded to a Korg Sg-Prox, and I got the Korg Sg-Rack to use with my fatar.

 

I recently sold the fatar to get a P95, and might unload the Sg-Rack as well, but it has great sounds.

 

I find the sound to be on the Korg Sp-170, but didnt like the action

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My parents kindly got me a Univox Compac for Christmas 1975 which had 3 presets and a filter control for wah-wah effects.

 

The first keyboard I bought with my own money was a Univox "Electronic Piano" back in `77. It was physically deeper than the Compac and had a splittable keyboard, although each side of the split had the same available sounds - Piano, Clavicord, and Honky-Tonk. If you ran it through a Cry Baby pedal and held the pedal just right, the Clavicord preset could almost sound kind of like a decent Clavinet imitation. :laugh:

 

It was fun playing with it, but I dumped it and got a Rhodes 73 Stage before I played my first gig.

><>

Steve

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Rhodes. My high school had one, an early 70's model that was pretty beat up. I played it for 3 years in jazz band and the director let me take it home for the summers. I bought my own right after I graduated.

 

I grew up playing a Hammond, but I really think the Rhodes was a bigger influence on me. It was much later that I learned how important the Hammond was in my upbringing.

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When I was 15-16, I used to regularly tag around with my dad who played tenor sax in a wedding/dance band. His band had a guy who played a Cordovox organ, which I never really liked because I played piano. One night they had a sub player for the organist, and the replacement player showed up with a Fender Rhodes Mark I 73 Stage, which he blew through a Fender Twin Reverb. Hook was firmly set.....

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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Bought my first electric keyboard in 1976: Fender Rhodes Suitcase 73. Brand New. $1400. I wanted a motorcycle (all my friends had dirt bikes), and my mother, who was terrified of them after a bad accident her brother had when he was 20, told me "sure, save your money." They were shocked when at 13 I got my first job and literally saved every penny until I had enough. And while my mother and father took me shopping for a cycle, she had the stroke of genius to take me into a piano/organ warehouse (I'd already been taking lessons for 3 years), and that was it. I left with the Rhodes in my possession, never thought about the bike again.

 

I always wanted a CP80, but the next EP was a CP30. Eventually a few more Rhodes and Wurlis came my way. I loved that Helpinstill when I played it.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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...., so when the RD300s came out, I got that... just to discover that it was too heavy to be carried around by one person. But it stayed for a while in the home studio as a recording instrument. Later, I used to borrow a RD250s from one of my students for casual gigs.

 

 

I also had a RD300S, loved the sound through a bit of reverb (courtesy of the old Alesis Midifex and later the Midiverb II) but like Carlo I tired of carrying it around and so did everyone else...

 

I noticed when we played live the tails of the main piano sounds had a load of horrible quantisation noise... people always thought it was my squeaky pedal but it was either some defect in my unit or perhaps some strange EQing was picking it up.

 

Keyboard action was pretty good, but I noticed keys started to stick after a while and when I opened it up I noticed white gunk coming out of the keys... I guess that was the "oil" in the "oil based" action...

 

For many years it was just an RD300S and Rhodes 54 that I played out with.

 

After that I got a Korg SG1-ProX module to go with the RD but it was really clangy and lacked dynamics... so both of those went eventually.

 

I found the Yamaha P80 to be a real leap forward in terms of the action and sounds, then a P120 took its place followed by a Promega 3 (great sounds and a rather feeble action) and now have the RD700GX and SV-1.

 

I would be funny to hear the RD again... probably sounds dreadful by todays standards...

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In late 1986 I sold my CP-70 to a small, recording studio in the Chicago Suburbs, and purchased a Korg SG-1. With the release of the Kurzweil K250 in 1983, I realized that an affordable, and one person cartable digital piano had to be on the horizon. I'd played a K250 in the studio, and was amazed; but was less than thrilled by the weight, and price :eek: .

The SG-1 played well/sounded great. It was a perfect fit, especially for the back of my Honda Civic wagon. A friend and I actually made the CP-70 fit in there once; but the rest of my rig had to go in his car (good thing he was the lead vocalist/acoustic guitarist). With the SG-1 as my DP, I could fit my DW-8000 and Marshall keyboard amp in the car as well; perfect for jobbing dates.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

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I started playing the piano in 1990 (at the age of 12) on an acoustic Malmsjö upright. My first DP I got in 1993, I think - I believe it was a Kawai MR370 and MIDI:d to that I had a Roland Pro-E arranger with the "Music Style Super Card" MSL-15. I did learned a lot about piano playing and MIDI on those two. Around that time I also got into synthesis when I got to borrow my brother's Ensoniq SQ1 for a couple of years.

I replaced the Kawai with a Kurzweil PC88 (which I still have) in 1995 and I later sold the Pro-E. My brother still has the Ensoniq though. I still play a lot of piano, but nowadays I don't use a DP at all - I use my Nord Electro 3 most of the time. I "converted" to non weighted keys a couple years back. The PC88 is still in my home studio, and while it's MIDI:d up to a GEM RP-X and I easily can connect it to the Nord as well, I still mostly play the Electro.

Too much stuff, too little time, too few gigs, should spend more time practicing...!  🙄

main instruments: Nord Stage 3 compact, Yamaha CP88, Kurzweil PC4, Viscount KeyB Legend Live

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Having done little gigging when I should have been out there, and having had ready access to an acoustic grand most of my life, I came relatively late to the EP/DP game. I drooled over a Rhodes Stage 88 at one point, and (less logically) the Yamaha CP30 but it wasn't until I finally replaced my Korg M1 with a Roland RD-150 that I joined the club. Nice enough piano but its weight meant that soon after I (finally) started playing professionally, it got traded for a Yamaha CP33. Ironically, now playing a piano that weighs 2.5kg more than the RD-150!

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

Road: Yamaha YC88 | Nord Electro 5D

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Fender Rhodes for me. My High School band room had a Mark I 88 Stage, with a huge Fender satellite speaker. During my soph year in '76, my parents bought me an "electric piano"; I remember it was made by Elka, and had these weird triangular steel-tube legs that bolted on with thumb screws. It didn't sound anything like a Rhodes, but it was what they could afford, and lots more portable, of course -- it was my first instrument that required electricity.

 

Five years later I finally bought my own Mark II 76 Stage, and I gigged with that for years. I sold the Rhodes eventually and replaced it with one of Yamaha's first DPs that had a "weighted" action (PF-15?). And I think later that gave way to Kurz PC88...

Legend '70s Compact, Jupiter-Xm, Studiologic Numa X 73

 

 

 

 

 

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I bought a 200A in 73. I got it because of the great deal they had at the Wulitzer factory. Stacked an Ace Tone combo organ on it to gig.

 

I bought an RD-200 in 86 soon after they came out. After playing one I had to have one. I didnt have the $1,200 at the time so I ended up getting a loan which I paid off with gig money. Gigged with it for over 10 years.

 

 

We play for free. We get paid to set up and tear down.
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And while my mother and father took me shopping for a cycle, she had the stroke of genius to take me into a piano/organ warehouse (I'd already been taking lessons for 3 years), and that was it. I left with the Rhodes in my possession, never thought about the bike again.
I read that transplant surgeons have a technical term for motorcycles: "donorcycles".

 

My first keyboard was a 1977 Rhodes 73 Mark I, which I still have. IIRC, I bought it in '78 as a "new" floor model, for $700.

 

As much as I loved it I had a bad jones for a CP70, but couldn't afford the $4K price (with waiting list). Around 1980 I remember walking into the local pro shop and seeing one beat to hell, disassembled on the floor. They said it worked, and I asked how much. They quoted 2500 and I wrote a check right there. Best money I ever spent, excepting my wedding (adding those TRUE WORDS in case my wife looks over my shoulder!) I used it until I donated it in 2001, though I used it a lot less after getting an Ensoniq MR-76 in 1977.

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I had played drums and vibes for many years.

 

In 1990 there was a Hammond M-3 and Leslie at a Jam session and I sat down and played it because I had been transfering my vibes skills to keyboards via a Casio (!) .

 

So it was the Hammond experience that really bit me.

 

In 1994 I had just bought my first house, so I had some storage space - then . I did a wedding gig for a friend, and the band guys told we can either pay you MONEY or.... we can give you an M-3 .

 

I took the M-3.

 

In 2001 I was GIVEN a B-3 and 122 RV by my girlfriend's aunt who didn't have a clue what it was. She had taken it for free from a senior center in the Seattle area, though I have no idea why since she didn't play it. The leslie was her T.V. stand when I picked it up.

 

It still amazes me how many Hammonds are out there. Many more than any common keyboard made today. Plus there were a lot of Rhodes and Wurlies too.

 

It beats watching T.V.!!!!

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After going thru a Farfisa, Tan Wurly (ugly and horrible to maintain)Univox piano, I finally was hooked with my early 70's Rhodes. Though constantly replacing tines and tuning It was my first love. Then it was the CP30 for years and finally still playing RD700 that is almost 10 years old.

Jimmy

 

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My first EP was a Rhodes 73, which lasted me from the late 70's to the late-80's. The DP that "did it" for me was the Kurzweil K1000 - an affordable 76-note weighted-action keyboard that actually had a good acoustic piano sound and more. I have not played without a DP since.
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My first was a home model Korg that was heavy but I needed a heavy 88 key. I took the base off and carried in a 5820 SKB Case. I think it was a 3500 model.

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As much as I loved it I had a bad jones for a CP70, but couldn't afford the $4K price (with waiting list). Around 1980 I remember walking into the local pro shop and seeing one beat to hell, disassembled on the floor. They said it worked, and I asked how much. They quoted 2500 and I wrote a check right there. Best money I ever spent.
Hate to break it to you, but you were scammed. Big time. In 1979 you could buy a brand new CP70B for $3K from places like Guitar Center. Sorry, man. Your dealers were taking advantage of you.

 

Waiting list? LOL.

Estonia 190, Korg TrinityPlus, Yamaha P90, Roland PK-5a
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As much as I loved it I had a bad jones for a CP70, but couldn't afford the $4K price (with waiting list). Around 1980 I remember walking into the local pro shop and seeing one beat to hell, disassembled on the floor. They said it worked, and I asked how much. They quoted 2500 and I wrote a check right there. Best money I ever spent.
Hate to break it to you, but you were scammed. Big time. In 1979 you could buy a brand new CP70B for $3K from places like Guitar Center. Sorry, man. Your dealers were taking advantage of you.

 

Waiting list? LOL.

Gryphon, you are kidding, right? 1979. No web. Used gear was hit and miss in your newspaper classifieds or local "pennysaver". Limited # of mail order houses (I remember Veneman's in MD). Certainly limited options for shipping a piano. How many Guitar Centers were there in 1979, 1? The only way to "price shop" was make a lot of long distance charge phone calls and probably drive to another city. Depending on where you lived, a local music store might have been lucky to have 1 CP70 and could be on a wait list or couldn't afford to stock 2-3 of these beasts. If $4000 was their price, that was their price.

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