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Out with the new rig, in with the old


Josh Paxton

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Inspired by Adan's (not Aidan's, as I originally typed) "Out with the Kronos..." thread, and this post in particular:

 

There is that one instrument that connects with you on a physical and emotional level. That instrument may not be be laden with all the coolest features or the baddest sounds, but it does what you need it to do with such ease of functionality that fits you like a glove.

 

I've recently (re)discovered that for me, that instrument is the SV-1. I got it shortly after it came out, almost 2 years ago now. Loved it immediately, and it became my main gigging bottom board. But I stopped using it after about 6 months because I was breaking keys on it all the time -- a problem I'd never had with any other board except a notoriously POS mid-'90s Fatar controller. Since then I've gone through a wide and varied string of replacements including a CP5, a Nord Stage 2, an old Privia (my previous bottom board), and most recently a Kronos (61-key, controlled from the Privia). They all had strengths and weaknesses, but got the job done.

 

Then the other night I was talking about the SV with a friend on the phone, and just for kicks I dug it out and set it up again... and my gaawwwd, I'd forgotten how much I love playing that thing. As soon as I turned it on and hit one chord on the default Rhodes patch, I felt all the tension melt away from my body, and had this immediate sense of, "I'm home. This is what playing music supposed to be like." I spent the next couple hours just playing for fun, which rarely happens any more -- and which none of the "replacement" boards had ever inspired me to do. Yes, there are legitimate criticisms to be made about the sounds; the APs could have better loops and decays, some people find the EPs too tine-y and/or too barky, the amp sims are too noisy, etc. And yet this is an instrument that speaks to me, and that I can speak through -- way more so than any of those other boards, even with all the things about them that are (theoretically) superior.

 

So I now have a "new" rig, i.e. my old rig, which I'm more excited about than any of the assorted new boards I've gotten over the last year+. And I have a plan to go with it: I've ordered two complete sets of replacement keys, and scheduled a time with a local keyboard tech who has agreed to basically walk me through the process of opening up the board and replacing a key, so I'll then be able to make that repair myself when I need to. And if that means I have to add a bunch of spare keys and an electric screwdriver to my cable bag so I can swap out a key pit-crew-style on set break, then so be it. It's worth that hassle to have an instrument that inspires me and brings out the best in my playing.

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Inspired by Aidan's "Out with the Kronos..."

 

. . . and so it goes. I continue to live in the shadow of that Aidan chap.

 

The SV-1 does a few things very well. Rhodes slathered in phaser, for instance.

 

Wither the Kronos, now?

Gigging: Crumar Mojo 61, Hammond SKPro

Home: Vintage Vibe 64

 

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. . . and so it goes. I continue to live in the shadow of that Aidan chap.

 

D'oh!!! Sorry. Fixed now. :thu:

 

Wither the Kronos, now?

 

The drill we all know: Local Craigslist > the Garage Sale section here > eBay. I've always known it was way more synth/workstation than I need, and if I'm not using it to gig with regularly, it's not worth keeping around.

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That's cool FunKey - good for you. Do you break keys on the other boards too? My feeling from your post was that you didn't, which would mean the broken SV-1 keys kind of prove the SV-1 is your favorite, you know? You're more into it on the SV1 than the other boards.

 

Good luck but have mercy on the SV-1! :)

 

Regards,

Joe

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Do you break keys on the other boards too?

 

Nope.

 

My feeling from your post was that you didn't, which would mean the broken SV-1 keys kind of prove the SV-1 is your favorite, you know?

 

Or that Korg's RH3 keybed just isn't very well made, which is the impression I've got from this and other forums. In fact that was the very reason I got a 61-note Kronos instead of the 88; I didn't want to deal with another RH3. I've also entertained fantasies about having the SV rack-mounted if I could fond someone who did that kind of custom work, but that's way on the back-burner for the time being.

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Great, I know what are you talking about.

 

The SV1 has some kind of aura in it that drags you inside the keyboard.

 

Besides the price, the only real con I can think of is the weight... If only Korg launched a lighter version with 61 semi weighted (or even better, 64 keys) and the CX-3 engine inside (and the same looks, please) for those lazy B3-Clav/Wurly junkies like... me... :D

My drawbars go to eleven.

Gear: Roland VR-09, Nord Electro 2 61, Korg CX-3. Hear my music: facebook.com/smokestoneband

 

 

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I have never broken a key and have never seen anybody break a key. You must be pounding the keys. What is the benefit of that sort of key attack? (seriously)

Harry Likas was the Technical Editor of Mark Levine's "The Jazz Theory Book" and also helped develop "The Jazz Piano Book."    Facebook Harry spends his time teaching jazz piano online and playing solo piano gigs.

 

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