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Kurzweil PC361 vs PC3 key-action


MojoGuyPan

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Hey everybody,

 

Looking to pickup something along the lines of the Kurzweil PC3 or 361 as a poor man's/more versatile man's Nord Electro. Unfortunately nobody around here carries them.

 

I was originally thinking about the PC361 as it is smaller and easier to transport. The PC3 is almost as long as my Kawai MP5 digital piano since the Kawai has the mod wheels over the keys. But occasionally I'll see one on craigslist for about the price I can get a PC361 online.

 

Anyway how much worse is the action on the 361 vs the PC3? If the PC3 is much better I'll just sit tight and wait for one to popup.

 

Let me just say that for something that is piano heavy like solo or trio type events I'll just use my Kawai. I'd mainly be using it for other stuff where I'd be using the EPs, clav, occasional AP and synth pads, bass and strings.

 

I've got a Nord C1 clonewheel for comparison is the 361 action like that or like the Moog Little Phatty?

 

I like the PC361 but would really like to for it go down to Bb since that is about the lowest I go typically. So the 76 keys would be nice but I'm trying to weigh between size advantage and key-action advantage.

 

Thanks.

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Anyway how much worse is the action on the 361 vs the PC3?

 

Define "worse". The PC361 is a synth action, the PC3 is a semi-weighted, firmer action; not as heavy as a piano action, not as light as a synth action.

 

"Worse" is in the hands of the player. :thu:

 

I've got a Nord C1 clonewheel for comparison is the 361 action like that or like the Moog Little Phatty?

 

Neither, but closer to the Moog, if you're forcing the comparison to only those two.

 

 

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I used to have a K2661, currently have a PC3 (& PC3X). The PC361 action is a later, RoHS compliant (no lead) version of the 2661 action.

 

I personally don't like the synth action for much except Hammond playing, pure synth lines, key bass, etc. I found the acoustic piano sounds very difficult to play with any expression, although the Wurly and Rhodes were somewhat better. When I bought the PC3, I could have gotten the 361.

 

The PC3 is bigger, heavier, but a joy to play - it is quite adequate for piano (except for very expressive material, where the fully-weighted PC3X is superior), but still light enough I can use it for synth and key bass. I also use it a good bit for Hammond patches - although heavier than a B3 action, it still works.

 

I faced the same situation when I bought the Electro 3 - the 61 and 73 actions were similar - but I wanted the extra keys. One of the things that was annoying with the 2661 (or K2000 I had) was running out of keys, especially on the low end.

 

Now, in the PC3LE series, the 61 action is semi-weighted like the 76 key version, so that above may well not apply (I haven't played one).

 

One other factor that might weigh in your decision (especially if you want a NEW one) is that both have been discontinued, which meant a considerable price reduction to clear them out. There currently seem to be PC361's easily available at the reduced pricing, but not so much for 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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Yeah that's the thing I see a lot of PC361's available but no PC3's. Really I don't want to spend much more than I could get a PC361 for. Occasionally. I'll see a used PC3 listing for around $1200 or so on Craigslist.

 

I'd really like to pick up a PC3 but there are great deals out there on PC361 blow outs. Seems like everyone has already scooped up the PC3's.

 

Sven, as for worse I mainly mean for playing EPs and Clav. For organ and synth the "synth" keys would be fine. I think that I am pretty adaptable but I just want to know if it was hard to control those types of sounds with the "synth" keys vs. weighted. As for my frame of reference... Those are the only keyboards that I have experience with although I did have an Ensoniq Vintage Keys board that I think had synth action way back when and I remember hating to play APs on it. That was back before I had a real digital piano.

 

Well the other thing is I don't think I'd be thinking this over too much if I was getting a synth to play pads and the like but since the Kurzweil can do much more I'd like to best take advantage of the other sounds too.

 

 

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I agree with MoodyBluesKeys' assessment of the PC361 keyboard, but I feel differently about the PC3. While the PC361 is not good for velocity-intensive work like piano, it is at least quite good for a lot of other things; whereas I don't enjoy playing *anything* on the PC3 action. Yes, it is better for piano than the PC361, but it's still not really enjoyable... I think it does a lot of things passably, but nothing well. I'd prefer the PC361 where at least *sometimes* it's really playing to a strength. And since you've got the Kawai for when you need it, I'd rather have a good 88 weighted Kawai and a good 61 unweighted Kurzweil rather than a good 88 Kawai and a compromise 76 Kurzweil. That said, actions are very much a matter of personal taste... clearly, some people find the PC3 keybed much more pleasing to play than I do.

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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Yeah that's the thing I see a lot of PC361's available but no PC3's. Really I don't want to spend much more than I could get a PC361 for. Occasionally. I'll see a used PC3 listing for around $1200 or so on Craigslist.

 

I'd really like to pick up a PC3 but there are great deals out there on PC361 blow outs. Seems like everyone has already scooped up the PC3's.

 

Sven, as for worse I mainly mean for playing EPs and Clav. For organ and synth the "synth" keys would be fine. I think that I am pretty adaptable but I just want to know if it was hard to control those types of sounds with the "synth" keys vs. weighted. As for my frame of reference... Those are the only keyboards that I have experience with although I did have an Ensoniq Vintage Keys board that I think had synth action way back when and I remember hating to play APs on it. That was back before I had a real digital piano.

 

Well the other thing is I don't think I'd be thinking this over too much if I was getting a synth to play pads and the like but since the Kurzweil can do much more I'd like to best take advantage of the other sounds too.

 

 

PC361 and the Kawai would be a good combo if midied.

But if you want to leave the Kawai at home and go only w/ PC361, that´s not ideal and a PC3 would be much better.

 

Because PC3 isn´t availabe anymore, you don´t have many options.

You can wait for a PC3K7 which is much more expensive or buy a used PC3,- or you decide to go w/ 2 boards always and benefit from the ultra low price and features of a new PC361.

 

I have PC361 midied to a weighted 88-keys keyboard action and it makes a big difference playing the pianos, electric pianos.

Have also in mind, many programs and setups in the PC3(61) are optimized for 88keys including key trigger switches at the lower end of the keyboard and several split zones.

Much easier handling w/ a 88 keys action than dealing w/ the octave up/down soft-switches of the PC361.

Also, on the PC361, you have to hit the keys very hard to trigger all the layers in a piano program, so w/ normal playing, pianos sound duller w/ the PC361 synth action.

 

A.C.

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Also, on the PC361, you have to hit the keys very hard to trigger all the layers in a piano program, so w/ normal playing, pianos sound duller w/ the PC361 synth action.

At least that can be addressed with one of the alternate velocity curves in the PC361, but every velocity curve option is a compromise of one sort or another.

 

I agree with you that pairing it with an 88 would be the way to go. You could put even just a Casio CDP-100 under the PC361 and have very decent weighted and unweighted actions at your disposal, and the Casio is cheap and light ($399, 24 pounds).

 

(Which reminds me, I should update my classified posting...)

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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At least that can be addressed with one of the alternate velocity curves in the PC361, but every velocity curve option is a compromise of one sort or another.

 

Yes, but it´s indeed a compromize.

If you look at the MAP in the MASTER section, the PC361 is already adjusted to "internal TP9/61" action and I myself find the linear velocity curve the best compromize for all the programs in the PC361 already and it´s also the best for outgoing MIDI with nearly all of my modules.

With the other velocity curves triggering hi velocity values earlier, mostly you cannot play very quite piano notes w/ the synth action anymore.

 

I´m not extremely picky on actions and velocity curves, but hitting the PC361 action very hard, which I do often anyway, mechanical noises rise and unwanted aftertouch data is generated for a fraction of a second.

It´s all somewhat editable but using an alternative action over MIDI for PC3 pianos, especially in setupmode, and being able to play all kinds of other sounds from PC361 local is great.

You can fly on the PC361 action slightly touching the keys and have all the dynamics w/ all the other sounds and have less mechanical noises.

The relative early aftertouch trigger point is very good for these sounds, very controllable,- w/ my Yammi KX88 as also DX7mkII I break my fingers for aftertouch.

 

You could put even just a Casio CDP-100 under the PC361 and have very decent weighted and unweighted actions at your disposal, and the Casio is cheap and light ($399, 24 pounds).

 

 

That´s right !

And he already owns a Kawai action, so no extra investment necessary.

 

I actually have a key trigger issue w/ my weighted key action,- want to repair it,- but if it becomes complex to repair or too expensive, Kawai MP6 will be my next choice.

 

A.C.

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And he already owns a Kawai action, so no extra investment necessary.

Yes... though it sounded to me like he wanted to be able to travel a bit lighter, which is why I mentioned the inexpensive 24 lb Casio. Kawais tend to be heavy, so I'm guessing his probably is.

 

Kawai MP6 will be my next choice.

Case in point. ;-) That is a really nice board. Nice feature set, well laid out, decent action. But it's 47.4 lbs, which is why I never really considered it.

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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Thanks AnotherScott. You put the words in my mouth about the Semi-weighted keys being a bad compromise. I don't really know what semi-weighted keys feel like any examples from Korg or Yamaha that I could check out. Honestly, even playing piano on sad piano action keyboards stinks so even fully weighted would be a probably be a drag. But for synth, orchestral, organ sounds the synth action would be great. I didn't realize that semi-weighted makes that type of stuff no fun to play. I know that I hate playing those sounds with a fully weight board.

 

Finally, not to throw a monkey wrench in the conversation but is there anything wrong with going for the PC3LE7 version if I really wanted 76 keys? I know that they dumbed down the polyphony and the effects are fixed or something but I hear now that you can tweak or create sounds on it too like the PC3 and basically has the same sounds. I see dent and dinged pricing on these for maybe a hundred or two more than the blowout priced PC361.

 

I don't see too much talk about the LE version. Like I said I plan on using it for live use so I don't think 64 notes of polyphony will be limiting. I guess with the full version being cheaper than the LE there hasn't been a reason for anyone to get one yet until the PC3's start drying up.

 

If someone can point me to a synth that has a similar semi-weighting deal to try out that'd be great. Is the MM6 semi or synth action? I played that at a local store and can go back to try it out. Felt light.

 

Oh AnotherScott great point again.. My Kawai MP5 is nice but kind of bulky and heavy which is one of the reasons I am looking at the Kurzweil. For jams or gigs that aren't piano intensive. For piano intensive gigs I would just bring the Kawai by itself. But for other stuff I would bring the Kurzweil and maybe the Little Phatty or Nord C1 Clonewheel. So two smaller boards versus one big one.

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anything wrong with going for the PC3LE7 version if I really wanted 76 keys?

It's not an easy choice, each has some advantages. It used to be you couldn't edit/create sounds on the LE but now you can (via Mac/PC software) so that may change the equation somewhat. I good summary of the differences is at:

http://kurzweil.com/KnowledgeBase.php?product=37&topic=10&entry=311

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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Hey everybody,

 

Looking to pickup something along the lines of the Kurzweil PC3 or 361 as a poor man's/more versatile man's Nord Electro. Unfortunately nobody around here carries them.

 

I'm considering this as well (and I have the same problem). After doing a lot of online reading I'm fairly sure this would be just what I'm looking for to replace my old QS7.1, but I've got to see and play one, no matter how impressive the reviews.

 

Is anyone aware of any place in the NY/NJ metro area that would have one on display?

 

My local GC and SA have proven pretty useless in this regard . . . well, not really - at GC, I did spend enough time with a Korg M50 to realize I'd be "settling" yet again if I went for that.

 

And since I'm getting hitched in two weeks, this is probably going to have to be my last GAS attack for a while at any rate. So my choice is damn well going to have to be a good one, and I just don't feel all that warm and fuzzy about Korg.

 

I honestly haven't seen any Kurz displayed at a retailer in this state in over 10 years, and those guys went out of business.

 

-Mike
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That is a really nice board. Nice feature set, well laid out, decent action. But it's 47.4 lbs, which is why I never really considered it.

 

47.4lbs is 21,5 kilos, that´s a lightweight to me considering the action and feature set of the MP6.

My since 2 decades trusty Rhodes MK80 is 35 kilos, much bulkier and my Yammi KX88 was a monster in weight and width.

 

It´s all relative.

If the weighted action is good, the instrument is heavier.

It´ s also a plus already, the left hand controllers on a Kawai are left above the keys making the board shorter.

 

Even the PC3X / PC3K isn´t the perfect action for piano playing and any keyboard´s semi-weighted action is less perfect.

 

The only very lightweight 88-keys weighted action would be a Numa Nano for cheap, but then the other issues would be introduced like slow behaviour w/ program changes, walwart PSU and a less perfect action too.

 

Is not only the action needed to midi up to a Kurz PC361,- there should be a bit more than basic set of MIDI controllers like sliders and pedals/switches.

2 CC pedal connectors, 2 momentary switch connectors and 4 sliders are a very good compromize.

Actually I deal w/ 1 CC pedal, 1 momentary switch and 4 sliders on my MK80 which requires a lot of programming in "setup mode" on the Kurz then.

 

So, if I´d own a Kawai action (plus the add. sounds and masterkeyboard abilities !) already, the best compromize for me would be to deal w/ the 6-7 kilos more weight.

What I like on the Kawai is the "no learning curve" management of split/layer zoning, external and/or internal and the 192 note polyphony.

With any KURZ,- it´s easy to run out of polyphony very fast and depending on complexity of patches and FX chains.

 

Is Kawai MP5 heavier than MP6 ?

 

A.C.

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I purchased a new PC3 keyboard about 2 weeks ago. The action at first feels a little different. After 2 weeks of playing it I am now comfortable with the action. I mainly use B3, Piano, Rhodes, Wurlie and Clav programs and the action works nicely for all. If you are in the market for a "new" PC3 at a good price and free shipping:

http://www.novamusik.com/search.aspx?type=Model&keyword=8150&mid=299&lbs=40

57 Hammond B3; 69 Hammond L100P; 68 Leslie 122; Kurzweil PC3; M-Audio Code 61; Voce V5+; Neo Vent; EV ELX112P; GSI Gemini & Burn

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Thanks for the link Deleware Dave. I think that I'll go for the 76 key PC3 since it isn't that much more than the 361.

 

I'll let you know how it goes. As far as action it looks like everyone from Dave Smith to Novation and Moog are using the TP-8 keyboard so it must be okay for the synth stuff too. Didn't know that any where still available.

 

The Kawai MP5 and MP6 are the same weight and have the same dimensions. I've got the older MP5 and it is a great feeling "lightweight" piano action. My favorite was my old MP8 but that mother weighed about 90lbs and with the pitch and mod wheels on the side it was super long and extremely heavy. After taking it out to the second rehearsal I gave up on it and sold it to get the MP5. The MP8 wouldn't even fit in my car a big Cadi DTS. I had to have part of it sticking out the window across the back seat.

 

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