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PX5S, MOXF8, or ... ?


JeffLearman

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I'm about to pull the trigger, thinking to pick up both PX5S and MOXF8, take them home and live with them a while, and return the one I don't want. I asked GC if that would be OK and they said "sure", which is great. I have a pretty good idea of the relative strengths of these two, but wondering if I'm missing consideration of anything that would fit my requirements:

 

* under $2K

* hammer-action keys, great piano, 90% of my use

* occasional use of zones & layers (e.g., Forget You, Lady Marmelade)

* Bread&butter ROMpler sounds

* low weight, small footprint (under 35 lbs, 52" length)

* MIDI controller features in case I need these later

* USB features like analog I/O and use as plugin appreciated but not critical

* convenient layout for stage use

 

This is to go under my Nord Electro, so I don't need drawbar organ, but of course, good EPs are always nice. I'm pretty adaptable to different decent hammer actions, as long as they're not sluggish.

 

PX5S pros:

+ key surfaces GREAT in hot humid weather -- a big plus

+ killer price

+ overall great instrument

 

MOXF pros:

+ mono mode: it's nice to wail out a minimoog lead now and then, just for fun! Also great for fat bass parts. Shame that PX5S doesn't have this

+ ability to add sounds: I'd love to put my Rhodes and a few other sample sets in my main keyboard

+ Motif sound set: tried and true

 

Which one is quicker to throw together a layer, or set up a quick split if the bass player's amp goes out? Once you've done the homework, of course.

 

I do not need workstation features, though I just might use them on an open mike night (I have before, despite the cheese factor.) But for stuff like that I could always mix down what I want and use an audio recording.

 

The pros & cons above are mostly to clue you about my priorities. Feel free to add regarding these two.

 

My real question is, are there any great keyboards I should be considering but am not? Here are near-contenders:

 

Krome: too big, and while my first two main synths were Rolands, I loathe pitch/mod sticks. Never did get it to work.

 

SP4-8: Just a tad too big, sadly, and a bit heavy.

 

Anything else? To meet the price point I'm willing to buy used. I'll check the KC garage sale, but please feel free to mention anything you have posted.

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Roland FA08.

 

It'll do this better and faster than the other candidates:

 

Which one is quicker to throw together a layer, or set up a quick split if the bass player's amp goes out? Once you've done the homework, of course.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Kawai MP-7 - a few pounds too heavy, panel not good for stacking but a killer board.

 

Roland FA08 - I don't like the external Zone control capabilities as much as the MOX or PX5 but it is a great set of features and a nice sound library. With the board you shouldn't need external zone control. A great package.

 

 

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Roland FA08.

 

It'll do this better and faster than the other candidates:

 

Which one is quicker to throw together a layer, or set up a quick split if the bass player's amp goes out? Once you've done the homework, of course.

 

If you are worried about this throw you Piano/Bass split in the Favorites and push the favorites button and Bam! you have it. It is a great stage board.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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That works if I'm playing piano on right hand ...

 

Of course I know I can save splits & zones. But I have at times wanted to be able to quickly dial up a split. On my MR76, it's as easy as pie, and I like that. Another nice thing about it is you can save that split as a sound, and split it with another sound, and do that again ... presumably there's a limit but I didn't hit it (haven't gone past three). I'm sure I'm going to miss the convenience of the Ensoniq UI no matter what I get; they were great at that.

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Shame about the MP7 weight. I wish there was one in the area to try, though. There is a store that carries Kawai but I doubt they'd have an MP7. I sent an email query; you never know.

 

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion, though it'd have to be really stellar to beat the other two due to the weight. I'm not getting any younger, and I'd like to shave more than 12 lbs off my current rig.

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Roland smokes it if it works like a KS-32. The only thing that slows you down on the FA is the immense size of the sound library gives you a lot of options to hunt through if you don't know exactly what split you want to do. But Tone library is setup in a very straight forward manner. Kawai is really good also but it is heavier.

 

I don't know the MR but I played a KS-32 for quite a while. The KS interface doesn't compare.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Which one is quicker to throw together a layer, or set up a quick split

MOXF.

 

My own take:

 

PX5S pros:

+ better action

+ lighter weight

+ shallower (smaller stage footprint, and your 2nd-tier's action and control surface can be closer to your first)

+ lower price

 

MOXF pros:

+ better sounds overall (there may be exceptions, and this is always subjective, but for most sounds I would use, I prefer the Yamaha sounds to the Casio)

+ the ability to load custom sounds into flash (req. optional card, of course)

+ easier to use (yes, Yamaha gets knocks for their interface and manual and just generally not being the easiest environment to work in... that should tell you something about the Casio ;-) )

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[if you are worried about this throw you Piano/Bass split in the Favorites and push the favorites button and Bam! you have it. It is a great stage board.

You can do that just as easily on any of the boards mentioned. Now, let's say that, while playing LHB, you come to the bridge, and want to change the RH sound from piano to organ (or strings, or whatever). There the boards will differ.

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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Two button presses to add a layer on the PX-5S. It doesn't get much faster IMO. Split is several steps more as I believe it is on the MOXF.

Split is one button on the MOXF. (It defaults to putting bass on the bottom, but you can change that.) Layer is similarly one button (defaulting to strings). None of which is meant to imply that Yamaha's split/layer functionality is without its quirks.

 

One more + for the Casio, though...

 

+ Mike Martin

 

;-)

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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Here is good overview of the FA's basic split and layer facilities. There is a bunch of of videos about advanced layers and splits. View the Roland US support vids for a good overview on the FA-08 operation. I use the 06 as part of my Pop band rig.

 

I don't mean to sound like I am rooting for the Roland. I prefer the Motif sound library myself for bread and butter sounds. A big potential downside to the MOXF though is it is hard to read the panel labels in low light.

 

I've sold four of my freinds on the Casio because I thought it would be good for them.

 

All the choices are decent.

 

[video:youtube]

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Thanks for the input!

 

One more + for the Casio, though... Mike Martin
Right! I knew that, but forgot to mention it. :-)

 

And thanks for bringing up the patch remain issue.

 

So, if I'm playing a left hand part and need patch-remain while changing the top part (or vice versa), what's the difference between the two? I forgot but I actually did this, or something much like it, on Forget You. The patch-remain works so flawlessly and simply on the MR I forget about it. (Of course, the MR has its quirks too. Nothing is perfect. But I do lament the loss of Ensoniq!)

 

What I did on the MR on FY, now that I think of it, I have two patches. One is a split with piano and fat synth bass on left, with piano on the right. Another adds glockenspiel and another fat mono synth bass on the left, leaving piano on the right, same split point. The two patches are side by side in the patch scroll list (MR needs patch buttons, they added those on the ZR.) While holding the sustain pedal for the last bass note and holding a chord with right hand on the Electro, I nudge the patch select scroll wheel one notch (usually ... ugh when it goes two clicks or none). The old bass note drops out when I lift the sustain pedal, which is really important. This is at the time I play the next bass note, which comes in with the extra voices (or fewer, when I switch back later).

 

I suppose that's pretty standard patch remain. In this case, the patch includes all the zones, so the terminology is likely different with the other boards.

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Oh forgot to reply about FA-08, but it's too long and I hate pitch/mod sticks!

 

Any board that has pitch/mod to the left of 88 keys is too long. I play on very tight stages and already get grief for my footprint with the MR76, which is 51". I want the wheels above, as on the Casio and MOX.

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I've played Tony's Boney's FA-08 a few times. It's a very intuitive keyboard for live use; plays and sounds great. If you like the SN pianos in the recent Jupiter instruments, the FA-08 will feel right at home. As with MOXF, the bread and butter sound offerings are extensive.

 

The PX5S is great for pianos and ep's, and the Hex Synth engine is a strong feature. The piano samples - based on a Steinway sound set - offer a different perspective, sonically, than Yamaha's very familiar sampled Voices. For bread 'n butter ROMpler sounds it seems ok, though I feel the Motif XS based tones in the MOXF are stronger in that regard. And the MOXF provides the option of loading the S700 piano Voices into Flash memory. That piano sample set is a big part of my regret in selling an S90ES.

 

Another option that comes in very close to the 35 lb. limit is the CP4 - which can be found for under $2K (with a little creative searching). That would do the job very well. From close to a year's live experience with the CP4, I'm quite attached to mine. Though the user interface is a little quirky at first, the finger-to-ear connection is fantastic - possibly the best I've played on a digital piano. Plenty of bread 'n butter sounds on board to work with, too.

 

Since the MP7 has come up in the discussion, I can offer an initial weigh-in - based on some limited, church-gig experience. So far I like it. Of all the digital pianos I've owned / used on gigs, the MP7 has the strongest user interface. Dead simple to use, but covers a lot of ground. The action is very nimble, and just might be the least fatiguing I've experienced. The sound is different than anything else out right now, so I'm still getting used to it; but the finger-to-ear connection is excellent. So far, it seems - at its core - less processed and 'slick'. So it seems closer to experiencing an acoustic piano - especially the upright piano program. The B 'n B sounds are quite good - with plenty of choices available.

 

 

'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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FA-08, owned all three, sold the other two kept the FA and bought a second FA06 aswell, great sound, so easy to program, lacks a bit of midi control yes but sounds are worth it. MOXF sounds like someone has thrown a blanket over it, seems to need quite a bit of eq to cut through. Motif XF would be better, sounded a lot better when i owned one than the MOXF.
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The FA doesn't have master mode, but it'll send out signals to your whole rig. Just not as easy as master mode is. The patches correlate on a 1 to 1 basis- studio set 1 sends program change 1, 2 to 2, etc. So I had to work on getting my SK1 sounds lined up with the studio set numbers. Required some duplicate patches but not a big deal.

 

The FA08 isn't much longer than the S70XS and weighs a lot less.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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Tried the 08 for the 2nd time, just piano 1, really liked the action and the sound. 36lbs, plus I also dont like the PB off to the left, adds a bit too much length.

1 thing though, the spec on it say SN sounds..nowhere does it actually say the unit uses SN Piano's.

Also been using a friends px5. I cant believe how light this thing is. We got together n dloaded different AP tones which gives more options, plus the Dloaded rhodes r so much better than the stock. There r a lot of sounds to dload w/the 5.

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Tried the 08 for the 2nd time, just piano 1, really liked the action and the sound. 36lbs, plus I also dont like the PB off to the left, adds a bit too much length.

1 thing though, the spec on it say SN sounds..nowhere does it actually say the unit uses SN Piano's.

Also been using a friends px5. I cant believe how light this thing is. We got together n dloaded different AP tones which gives more options, plus the Dloaded rhodes r so much better than the stock. There r a lot of sounds to dload w/the 5.

 

On the FA, when you scroll thru the sounds, if it's super natural it'll have SN in the left column. There are about 10 SN piano sounds in there that can all be tweaked some.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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I hear a lot of complaints about the length of the FA08 does a 3 1/2 inch difference really mean that much? The joystick vs 2 wheels okay I kind of get, though after using both for many years its not something I worry about. I like the PX-5s and thinks its a wonderful value, nothing I've seen touches it at its price. But when comparing the PX-5s to the FA-08 with all of its workstation features, sampler, huge sound set and available downloads the most common complaint I see is a 3 inch difference in length? How about it has an expression pedal input? I seriously looked at the PX-5s but the main issues for me were no expression pedal and relative ease of programming it. The large color LCD, ease of programming and features, in addition to the sounds were what sold me on the FA-08.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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Sometimes every inch counts when you're trying to fit a board into the back seat of a car, or on a tight stage. Also, sometimes it can be convenient to pick up a board the long way rather than the short way, and the extra few inches could make the difference between whether someone can reasonably do that or not.

 

On a different topic, I see you have the FA-08 (36.5 lbs) and the SV1-73 (38.5 lbs)... do they feel as close to each other in weight as those figures indicate? Or does the FA feel quite a bit lighter? (I know the SV1-73 is not as easy to move around as your MOX8!)

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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My only complaint with the FA08 is trying to find a case or a gig bag that fits. I have a stupidly enormous SKB case I bought used that is big enough for a Motif 8, WAY too big for the FA08.

 

What is everyone using?

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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It depends, when its in its Korg case for some reason the SV1 seems a lot heavier than either the FA-08 or the MOX8. I use a bag case for both the MOX8 & the FA-08. When carrying them to put on a stand the difference seems negligible. The MOX8 is a bit more awkward due to its depth. I don't often gig with the MOX8 its been demoted to backup & practice board. The SV1-73 I have been thinking about selling since buying the FA-08 but haven't because I do a lot of gigs at one venue that has an extremely cramped stage. If that gig ever goes away, the SV1 will probably be sold.

 

For both the MOX8 & FA-08 I use the same bag that I got free with the MOX8. It doesn't have a logo but both boards fit, I don't know who made it. For the FA-08, I would suggest the Gator 88 slim extra long. or the Semi-Rigid one with wheels.

 

If your flying I would buy a custom ATA case.

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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