Jump to content

Please note: You can easily log in to MPN using your Facebook account!

Rugged Keyboards

J. Dan

Recommended Posts

Most reviews of some of the recent new keyboard releases (Kronos, Jupiter 80, etc) have included comments on build quality. I've certainly had keyboards start falling apart on me after heavy use, but I thought I'd share a story of, IMO, good build quality.


I've been playing for quite a while with a Korg Triton Pro (classic, 76-key). While it's had its share of wear - one broken key, "menu" button barely works - it's held up well overall considering how much it's been gigged and for how long.


About a 1-1/2 yr ago, some of you may recall my hand injury as a result of slipping on a floor while holding my keyboard ( CLONK ). In that case, had I just let go of the keyboard, I may have saved my hand. Well Friday night, we played a very tight stage, and at tear-down, the only place to set my case to load up my boards was on the dance floor. So I'm carrying the Triton from the back of the stage, getting ready to step down onto the dance floor where my open case sits. The stage is about 2 ft tall. As I'm manuvering around everybody else's cases and cables being wrapped, etc., I tripped right at the edge of the stage. I was in the process of taking a nose dive off the stage while holding the Triton. THIS time, I let go. I fell to the floor but more or less caught myself and was unscathed. The Triton went crashing to the floor, but appeared to be OK. Sure enough, next day, fired it up - like it never happened. I couldn't even find any damage to the case anywhere outside of all the marks and scratches it already had. How many keyboards do you think could take a spill like that and be OK?



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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 4
  • Created
  • Last Reply

A similar thing happened to me about 6 years ago with my Triton. Our band just finished a gig and I was loading up my car. It had rained toward the end of our concert and my hands were wet when I came back after opening my trunk. I grabbed the Triton from the stand, and it slipped out of my hands and hit the floor from about 2+ feet. I was in shock for several minutes as it fell on the corner with the floppy drive (left a crack in the plastic). Fired it up when I got home and it was fine--floppy drive and all!



When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good subject Dan, i thint its not adressed enough by manufacturers, i've had many conversations with my tech about this, he does warranties for all the dealers in my country and i've seen stuff from all around central america that they send him to get fixed, he knows his stuff.


i've been playing my triton extreme since 04' it was the first one in my country and it has been to probably about 300+ shows, and its held up pretty well mostly because i carry it myself in an skb hard case, but it has some quality issues that i noticed since new, the plastic caps cracked in the first year just from the side weight of the KB, becuse there hollow and flimsy, in latin america humidity is an issue, that can make switches useless in about 3 years, tritons LE's suffered that in some regions of my country, i already had my triton re-switched (some sw's were a little hard) and mechanically is like new, never had a broken key, and i've only heard about broken touch screens when heavy stuff has been dropped on it.

Triton Pro's have that paint that is very hard to clean but the construction is higher quality than the extreme's, i also have an M3, that thing is a bitch to clean, the brain paint is textured to atract any kind of filth that you have on your fingers and will remain there, but the aluminium parts are great


Roland seems to have their construction sort out for the most part on their top of the line synths since the original V-synth, brushed aluminium body and the side ends that they use are well tought off, easy to grab and tough. otoh their cheap stuff has some issues, the screen on my juno-g failed on the first month, a common problem on that line, and the joystick acts funny sometimes.


Kurzweils are pretty tough on general, but then again humidity is an issue, i recall a PC2 that had rusted a little underneath the pant and that made the paint come off, and my tech told me that that was common on some kurz's


so if i had to make a proposal... brushed anodized aluminium body (fantom/trinity/v-synth/ and i think kronos) im not a fan of paint...

side panels either in flat aluminium like a jupiter-8, M3, FA-G8) or like bumpers (Oasys, V-synth, FA-G7/6), and the newer sealed switches pots and sliders, and heck why not ? neutrik jacks :laugh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You want rugged? In a word.......Yamaha.


I have been buying Yamaha equipment since the seventies and everything I ever bought from them back then still works. Some of the gear is obsolete by today's standards, but I have no complaints about the durability of their products.


My most recent purchase (7 years ago) was a Motif ES8 and it works great. Its several generations old at this point, but it paid for itself long ago and I still play it regularly.








Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an Ultimate stand where my Memorymoog sits on the top tier. During the night I heard something, next morning I found the Memorymoog had taken a five foot dive to the floor when the loose supports rotated. The only damage was the bent chassis where an XLR cable was still plugged in.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...