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Another Kronos - Jupiter 80 thread.


RABid

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I'm heading to my favorite music store tomorrow. A 170 mile trip 1 way but it is worth it to go to a good store with a knowledgeable keyboard manager. They have a Jupiter 80, Kronos 61 and Kronos 88 in stock for me to check. I've read every post on this forum I can find about the Kronos and Jupeter 80 plus a lot of stuff from other forums. It's amazing how many posts were created before these were even released.

 

I'm wondering how people who purchased one of these feel after owning it for a while. There are a lot of post out there about the poor sound of the Jupiter and the poor construction of the Kronos. Enough people have complained about problems with the keybed of the Kronos 88 that I have knocked that off of the list.

 

Any new knowledge or tips before I empty my bank account?

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A 170 mile trip 1 way but it is worth it to go to a good store with a knowledgeable keyboard manager.

:crazy: Where do you live that you're so far from a store?

 

Enough people have complained about problems with the keybed of the Kronos 88 that I have knocked that off of the list.

What are the problems? While RH3 isn't the best weighted action available, it's far from the worst.

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I live in SE Kentucky. I drive to store across the river from Louisville on the Indiana side. Far Out Music in Cementville. The keyboard manager has the same first and last name as me, and he was working there way back when I bought a new Memory Moog. I could drive 80 miles to a Guitar Center, but ....

 

I read about the problems on korgforms.com. Ghost notes and clicking sounds from some of the 88's. A few people have reported resets and strange digital noise blips but those reports are not as common. The Kronos 88 is the first keyboard I've heard of that comes with cardboard spacers to use when moving it.

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I live in SE Kentucky. I drive to store across the river from Louisville on the Indiana side. Far Out Music in Cementville. The keyboard manager has the same first and last name as me, and he was working there way back when I bought a new Memory Moog. I could drive 80 miles to a Guitar Center, but ....

I can see the motivation now. :cool:

 

I read about the problems on korgforms.com. Ghost notes and clicking sounds from some of the 88's. A few people have reported resets and strange digital noise blips but those reports are not as common. The Kronos 88 is the first keyboard I've heard of that comes with cardboard spacers to use when moving it.

Hm. Was not aware. I know when the SV-1 was released there were complaints that the spaces between the white keys were too big and not uniform.

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Last week I had the opportunity to audition a Kronos 88 and Jupiter-80 at Sweetwater. I brought along my headphones and got lost in these two keyboards for nearly three hours. I played the Kronos for about two hours, and the Jupiter-80 for about one hour. Ill try to remember what I can.

 

Overall, I found both keyboards very easy to navigate. It probably helped that Ive used a Korg Trinity and Triton for several years. That being said, I probably found the Jupiter a little more intuitive. I quickly got the hang of it. Below are some highlights:

 

Kronos 88

 

I liked the connection between the K88s action and the acoustic pianos. The RH3 action did not bother me in the least, although it seemed to have a more shallow throw than my PC3X. I liked the matt finish on the keys. I preferred the German grand over the Japanese grand. It seemed more polished. I thought the German grand was excellent. A couple of times I forgot I was playing a digital piano. I also liked the patch entitled OASYS Piano.

 

The Kronos Rhodes is the best Ive ever played, and may even be the strongest sound of the entire keyboard. Wow.

 

The CX3 was decent after some tweaking. I like the sound of my Nord Stage 88 (classic)/Ventilator combo better, but this is an unfair comparison. Im sure I could easily make those CX3 organs work, especially with more tweaking and adding the Ventilator. However, I would have a MUCH easier time playing organ on my Nord Stage 88, which is more of a compromise action. The K88 action is biased toward piano.

 

I liked the Polysix engine, but probably prefer the VA section of my Nord Stage. Ive always found the Nord VAs to be cutting and aggressive, which I really dig.

 

I did not find the string/orchestral/brass sounds to be nearly as bad as some reports I have heard. The brass ensembles were very good, as were the string sections.

 

One troubling glitch: When quickly scrolling through COMBI programs (using the "arrow" keys), I experienced a stuck note on two occasions. The problem was fixed by simply scrolling to the next program. More than a little disconcerting, nonetheless.

 

Jupiter-80

 

As mentioned earlier, I found the interface extremely intuitive and user-friendly. I felt I could quickly and easily accomplish what I set out to do.

 

The Jupiter has a ton of synth sounds, which was my primary focus, so I spent most of my time with these. I played many VA strings and pad programs. Many of the presets sounded similar, perhaps too similar; I wasted a lot of time having to scroll through these. Overall, I felt they sounded good, and would be a nice compliment to the Kronos....but they didnt blow me away. I also felt a little disconnected from them in terms of the hand-ear connection, which of course, is a personal thing. Perhaps I was expecting too much.

 

Some of the solo violins and trumpets were really, really nice. But I don't have much use for these so I didn't spend a lot of time with these sounds.

 

Regarding the acoustic and electric pianos, I didnt spend a whole lot of time with these either, as I would never consider playing these sounds from an unweighted keybed. They sounded like the usual Roland fare, which if you like, you will like in the J-80.

 

In conclusion, I was more impressed with the Kronos than the J-80, but I would like to spend more time with the Jupiter. The Kronos, with its nine engines, seems like more of a finished/complete product, comparatively. I'm wondering if Roland will recognize this imbalance, and if possible, add more engines to the J-80. The addition of a D-50 engine would be killer.

 

 

P.S. The credit card stayed in my wallet!

 

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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If you can wait for Yamaha's "game changer", just wait because right now it is just a one horse race with the Kronos leading by a mile. Yamaha's new board will probably give the Korg some competition.

 

Don't know if the Kronos exactly lives up to the hype but it is a good sounding board. The Jupiter 80 is built on a house of cards, thin papery sound stacked upon thin papery sound and loaded with baseless gimmicks like the whole "supernatural" b.s. and that d-beam. The only positive is the 76 keys.

 

If you need to buy now, get the 73 keyed Kronos and be proud. Otherwise the smart money is waiting on Yamaha.

 

D.

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I don't know if Yamaha has a new board in the pipes for this year's NAMM or not. The XF was release a mere 2 years ago. Yamaha usually waits a little longer.

 

After getting called for a slew of corporate cover band gigs in the past couple months, I am starting to GAS pretty hard for the Kronos. I long for the CX organ and the amazing synth possibilities on this board.

Kawai C-60 Grand Piano : Hammond A-100 : Hammond SK2 : Yamaha CP4 : Yamaha Montage 7 : Moog Sub 37

 

My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section

https://bobbycressey.bandcamp.com/album/cali-native

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If you can wait for Yamaha's "game changer", just wait because right now it is just a one horse race with the Kronos leading by a mile. Yamaha's new board will probably give the Korg some competition.

 

Don't know if the Kronos exactly lives up to the hype but it is a good sounding board. The Jupiter 80 is built on a house of cards, thin papery sound stacked upon thin papery sound and loaded with baseless gimmicks like the whole "supernatural" b.s. and that d-beam. The only positive is the 76 keys.

 

If you need to buy now, get the 73 keyed Kronos and be proud. Otherwise the smart money is waiting on Yamaha.

 

D.

 

So your advice is to wait for a mythical Yamaha keyboard which may or may not exist, which is going to be at least a year away from volume delivery, and which may or may not be better value than the Jupiter or Kronos ???

"Just a tad more attack on the filter, Grandad!"
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So your advice is to wait for a mythical Yamaha keyboard which may or may not exist, which is going to be at least a year away from volume delivery, and which may or may not be better value than the Jupiter or Kronos ???

 

Well yes, the XF is getting a little long in the tooth and Yamaha will make a quality product to compete and it may be less expensive than the Kronos. I don't know Rabid's situation. If he can wait, he should. If not, the Kronos is the one to get at this point because as others mentioned the Jupiter doesn't have the sound.

 

I tried both out and actually liked the Kronos which I was dead set to crap on as a retread, after being bombarded with the game changing hype, but was impressed, I think the price is a little high though. The Jupiter isn't terrible but is almost as expensive as the Korg but nowhere near as impressive sounding and pretty much is a retread.

 

Personally I am hoping for an Korg to crank out an SV-2 with the CX3 engine and maybe the AL-1 analog sections of the Kronos and keep the nice glowing tube and decent price of the SV-1. To me that would be a real game changer beating the Nord Stage on sound and big time on price. I would certainly get one if they raised the stakes.

 

Right now I am okay with what I have but in a couple years the SV-2 with CX3 and AL1 might just be what the doctor ordered.

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I've owned a Kronos 88 for about 6 weeks, and have also spent a few hours with a JP-80 at a local Roland dealer. Other than the experience of having gigged with Kronos (which I'll elaborate on in a moment), my review of both instruments would be quite similar to Moonglow's.

 

First of all, I haven't noticed any keybed problems, 'ghost' notes, etc. with the Kronos. Seems to be a pretty solid 'board: it's been dragged around to about a dozen gigs, no apparent problems. While RH3 is not the best action I've played, it's better on my hands than the balanced action of the S90, and has a longer throw than the RD-700NX; so it's a little less fatiguing.

 

Both the Japanese and German grands have worked well in the mix for a variety

of situations. Both are very playable for solo piano too; I plan on using the keyboard for a background piano gig in early January. The string/pad layers with piano or ep work beautifully. I've created a couple of synth Combi's for some of the 80's tunes my current band plays: the tones are spot on for the music. Just started exploring the CX-3 engine; sounds like I'll be able to make handy use of that - especially on one keyboard gigs. Normally I use a V3 / Ventilator combination driven by my 2nd tier keyboard.

 

That all the 'review' I have time for; downbeat's at 9 tonight...

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

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, made the trip. It is always a pleasure to visit Far Out and talk with Rob. The place has not changed in over 30 years. Unlike the chain stores with fresh paint, shiny new fixtures and stacks of $300 keyboards this place invests in stock that working musicians want to play. They had a Jupiter 80, Kronos 61 and 88, Motif XF8, Little Phatty, Nord C2 and more. The stock a keyboard department should have. Even in a mom and pop operation. ... Anyway

 

My first stop was the Kronos 61. We skipped right past the performances and Rob gave me a tour of each of the 9 sound engines. how to edit each type, modify effects and record a sequence. Even game me some tips on setting it up so that the piano patch can be controlled by a secondary controller. 30 seconds in I knew I was taking the Kronos home.

 

Next was the Jupiter 80. I got the same instructional tour from Rob but there was not as much to show. Fewer types of sound creation and a system built on 4 parts. Drums, lower, upper and solo. At first the it all seemed very strange. Sounds were familiar but this layout of performances felt too controlling, like something Apple might design. Horns were designated as solo, pianos as upper, bass as lower, etc... How dare they tell me how to arrange my performances. Rob gave me a set of headphones and a stool. After five minutes of scrolling through sounds I was feeling great disappointment. With all the hype SuperNatural sounds did not sound much better than my Famton X7 and many were horribly programed. Some patches had no vibrato, the sax had no growl, you could not bend a note on the trumpet or sax patch. They have that glissando sweep that Roland is so proud of. Does Roland not understand that a good saxophonist or trumpet player can bend a note?

 

At some point I quit auditioning sounds and started playing the keyboard. About fifteen minutes in I realized that I was really enjoying myself. The beauty of this system was starting to reveal itself. When playing the splits I could tell at a glance were the boundaries were and how close I was to crossing over. On any other keyboard I would be playing a trumpet lead and inevitably cross over and hit a note or two of a different patch by accident. Not on the Jupiter 80. The bottom of the screen not only shows the different zones marked clearly in color, but what notes I am playing. It was like taking a hike and enjoying the woods without having to spend my concentration staying on the path.

 

So, driving home with my new Kronos 61 I had a lot of time to think. If the Roland sound was inferior why did I enjoy playing it so much? The answer is tactical feedback and bling. Yes bling. The Kronos is dark and the panel is totally without color other than dim lights on the buttons and the hard to see screen. It sounds great, but it made me think of a vintage Les Paul with a curly maple top, all covered in black. Beautiful wood on a guitar can be inspiring, and when inspired you play better. Knowing that beautiful wood is covered would irritate me to the point that I would have to have the guitar refinished. The Kronos is like that. Those solo acts that go on tour and make the band wear black so they dont draw any attention will probably make the keyboardists play a Kronos. There is nothing there to draw your attention. When trying to edit you really have to pay attention to which controller has what effect on the sound. I kept wanting to lean over and get closer to the screen so I could see the controller assignments. On the other hand, the Jupiter 80 has bling. Colorful lights, big buttons, lighted sliders and a beautiful screen. While the Kronos is Annie Lennox in a black gown the Jupiter 80 is Elton John with flashing leds in his glasses. It is so easy to see what is going on. Annie Lennox can sing better but Elton John knows how to put on a fun show.

 

So, final thoughts. Why did I not get the Jupiter 80? If I had to choose one and only one keyboard it would now be the Kronos. If I had to choose one and only one keyboard to use in a Christmas cantata to to fill all those parts that the organist and pianist dont play it would be the Jupiter 80. This keyboard is great for the person covering a lot of parts on a single keyboard. Orchestration is a breeze.

 

While I did not buy a new Jupiter 80 I will keep my eye open for a used one. If it had been $500 cheaper I might have picked up two keyboards today.

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Thank you for that. Still to have a go on the Jupiter 80 (short play on a Kronos 61).

 

I've been doing the one keyboard thing (for live gigs and most recording sessions) for a few years and don't want to go back.

 

Recently changed from "Pro" (not making much money) to "Semi-Pro" (making only slightly less money) and got a teaching job. Should be able to afford some new gear within the year. Was going to get a Muse Receptor but thinking it'll be the Jupiter 80 for the reasons you mentioned (my work is turn up and play - sometimes from scores/charts, sometimes just listen to what's going on, make something up and don't get in the way).

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Personally, I feel the Kronos is the best Korg offering to date. But, I found the Jupiter 80 more intuitive and fun to play as well. Thankfully, I don't have GAS. :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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This thread has been really well timed for me, because today, I finally had the chance to play a Kronos 73. I didn't have much time, but since I was already familiar with the instrument, I just played a few of the pianos and EPs, to check the feel, dynamic response, etc.

 

KEYBOARD - I liked it a whole lot. In fact, I liked it much better than I thought. The piano sounds really came alive when played from the weighted keys. The action just suits my playing very well. Thumbs up.

 

SOUNDS - I found the acoustic pianos a bit cold when I played the 61-key version; now, with a bit of tweaking, I think I've found a few ways to warm them up a bit. Starting from the German Grand "Dark" preset, I switched the Perspective from "Player" to "Audience", added a bit of Damper REsonance and Note Release, and well, it made a difference. Still a bit dry, but I guess a different type of reverb would have helped. All in all, I'm less skeptical about the usability of those pianos in an exposed context.

The EPs were really great, as already noticed.

 

OVERALL FEEL - Yeah, it's a bit boxy, but it inspires class and confidence. Absolutely no complaints on the ergonomics and ease of use. Thumbs up on this, too.

 

RESPONSE - The ugly part. Warned by Robert's posts, I had read the complaints at KorgForums about the 'chocked' notes, so it was easy for me to recognize them... as they were *everywere*. I heard them immediately, and I'd say that every 15 or 20 notes, one would exhibit this behaviour. A non-legato run as I do many times during an improvisation, would sound wrong and irregular, because it would contain several chocked notes. It was unbearable, and, for all practical purposes, it makes the instrument unusable for me.

I don't want to know about periodically opening my main board to check keybed stability or anything of the kind... I want a board which I can bring to gigs, quickly setup and play with relative peace of mind.

 

Moral: If Korg resolves this obvious problem in a *permanent*, convincing way, I still want one, as it is a great all-in-one instrument with a great feel and great sounds.

 

If not - no thanks.

 

 

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Marino,

 

Can you describe this phenomena a little more? Are you saying that every 15-20 notes, a note will exhibit reduced sustain or the note will abruptly cut off? This was not apparent when I played the K88, but I wasn't looking for it....

 

Thanks.

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

- George Bernard Shaw

 

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I'll try. It happened especially with low-velocity notes. The effect was that the note was abrubtly cut off right after the attack portion, leaving only an extremely soft, barely perceptible sustain.

 

I should have checked if it happened on specific notes, but I didn't think about it.... I'm sure, however, that it happened in at least three different keyboard registers: Around middle C, around a couple octaves lower, and around one octave and half higher.

Probably, it happened in other places too; those are just the ones I'm absolutely sure of.

 

I guess the Kronos I played was one of the "very bad" ones in this respect... From what I read on KorgForums, some of them show this behavior in just a small bunch of notes.

Not very encouraging for a potential buyer anyway. I really hope they can fix it.

 

 

 

 

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I've played 3 weighted Kronos' now. Two 88s-one in the Hollywood GC and one in the Sherman Oaks GC. Also my friend and I swapped keyboards for a gig-I used his Kronos 73 and he checked out my CP5.

 

I haven't noticed any weird cut off characteristics on any occasion yet. I didn't play the K88s in the store for a long extended period but did with the K73 as the gig was three sets.. Even though my experiences have been positive, after reading all the horror stories on the Korg forums, I'm staying clear of the Kronos until they get all this mess ironed out -if they do. I think a lot of it is related to the poor quality RH3 key bed.

 

Basically it's too much dough for too many features I'll never use. Then there's the start up time issue-- I'm not into carting around a 15 lb. u.p.s. just so my power stays on...later for that.

 

All of this is too bad because I dug the sound , no complaints about that.

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SOUNDS - ... I switched the Perspective from "Player" to "Audience"

 

Marino, is there a log in screen so it knows who you are? If I get one I'm concerned it might cut the polyphony on me in the interests of taste or just display "go home you're old and it's past bed time."

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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I think a lot of it is related to the poor quality RH3 key bed.

Is it different from the RH3 keybed they have been selling for years in the M3? (And, without aftertouch, the SV-1?)

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I'm hoping I have avoided the problem with the 61 and I can always MIDI it to my S90ES to play the pianos on a weighted keyboard. So far I love the VA's. I have the Kronos stacked with my Virus TI White Out. It makes a nice black and white duo.
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I think a lot of it is related to the poor quality RH3 key bed.

Is it different from the RH3 keybed they have been selling for years in the M3? (And, without aftertouch, the SV-1?)

 

Being in a different housing with different structural points can make a difference. It is not happening with all of the hammer action Kronos', but it does happen enough with enough of them to make one worry. I do wonder if the stand might be making a difference. Some 88's are susceptible to bowing just enough to affect the action if not on a stand that offers across the board support.

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Is it different from the RH3 keybed they have been selling for years in the M3? (And, without aftertouch, the SV-1?)

I played a Kronos 73 the other day and the black keys seemed to have more of a matte finish than the SV-1 and M3.

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I have a Kronos 73; have played the Jupiter 80 on a couple of occasions, thought it sounded good, but didn't inspire me quite the same way.

 

I carry the Kronos in a Gator bag; the workmanship of the keyboard seems very good, not having any problems with it. To be fair, I don't gig with it every week; I score docs, ads, promos, etc., for a living, so it stays in my studio. I do play on our church's worship team every 4 weeks or so, and an occasional trio gig, so I do move it from time to time.

 

I use Ivory in my scoring work; I've had 2 clients mention how good my piano track sounded when I used the Kronos German grand instead. They are still happy with the Ivory sound, but mentioned the sound of the piano because it sounded different than the usual. I've noticed that the Kronos sounds (right now using basses and synth sounds, not orchestral or guitars) sit in the mixes pretty well. I've gotten used to the action, after having owned a Roland A80, Kurzweil K2500XS and PC88MX, Yamaha S80 and Casio Privia over the years. The RH3 suits my playing style, and Ivory responds well. Very happy with the Kronos; sounds warm, and I still have to be careful that I don't play too long instead of getting to work!

Composer/Performer at Roger Hooper Music

Product Trainer at CASIO

www.rogerhooper.com

 

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