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My Trip To The Candy Store


Rusty Mike

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I wanted to get out of the house yesterday to avoid the local Halloween Trick or Treaters, so I headed to NYC for a few hours. My wife is out of town, so I had the whole evening to kill. So I ventured out to demo some keyboards at the big Sam Ash in Midtown and then meet my son to watch the big Halloween parade downtown.

 

The parade was an interesting spectacle to say the least. The spectators were dressed up as much as the participants. The subways rides were very entertaining, as half of the riders were in some kind of costume. That's all I'll say about that.

 

With regard to my Sam Ash visit, I wanted to get a feel for the various pianos they had. I really like my Electro 3HP, and I feel that Nord does have some of the best AP and EP samples available. I am frustrated, though by 1) the TP100 action, 2), the very modest piano sample memory and 3) the relatively weak output that requires me to always use a preamp on stage. Since there are abundant audio examples in the Internet, I was looking mainly at the feel of the action and overall usability of the instruments.

 

The floor there is usually well stocked, with only the notable absence of the PX-5S and RD-800. I ended up playing a CP-4, Artis, Nord Stage 2 76 and the Kawai MP-7. They had a decent complement of synths, a lot of Dave Smith stuff, a few Moogs and Novations. Not my focus at the moment, so I skipped them over.

 

I was also at the mercy of their crappy showroom headphones, so I was not expecting to get any credible impressions of sound. I knew that going in.

 

Yamaha CP-4: Because of the headphones, it was next to impossible to tell the difference between the CFX and CF pianos. The S6, my preference from the audio demos I've heard, sounded a bit more distinct. I thought the feel of the action was really nice. I demoed a CP-5 years ago and though the action was too stiff - this was much more playable. Navigating around the instrument seemed to be pretty easy as well. I like that there are multiple Rhodes piano types in the instrument, but the headphones prevented me from experiencing any real differences. It was overall, though, very playable with good touch response.

 

Kurzweil Artis: It was set up right below the CP-4. Physically, this thing is a beast. I'm not sure I'd want to haul around something this large. Since I own a PC-361, I'm familiar with everything in here but the new piano sound. It was pretty nice, but I'm not a fan of the Rhodes patches, so this is not really a contender. The thing I find amazing, though, is that the TP100 action on this plays so much nicer than the TP100 on my Electro. I've really come to dislike whatever Nord has done to customize the keyboard. I would love to replace my TP100 with a 73-key version of the action used on the Artis. It is less stiff without the thunk of hitting bottom.

 

Stage 2 76: I like the Nord EP samples the best. In their plain form, they sound very realistic to me. I often play EP in a straight mode, kind of like that Popsicle Toes Rhodes sound. To me, this is where Nord has the advantage. In a lot of other keyboards, the EP only sound good once you lay effects on them; the Nords sound great naked. On the Stage, the TP40 keyboard is vasty superior to the Nord version of the TP100. It's quite buttery by comparison. The Stage also has the advantage of a much larger memory for the piano samples. I'd love to get one to replace my Electro, but they are quite pricey. The HA 76 would be perfect for me. It's red, so my wife wouldn't notice the difference, except when she looks at the credit card bill.

 

Kawai MP7: I was very impressed with this instrument! The action was downright velvety and responded to every nuance. The AP samples are wonderful and the EPs are very usable to me. I could see getting very lost in this instrument. It's a bit large, though, so I'm not sure I'd want to play it out. I could see getting one for my studio, but I'd keep the Electro for playing out. It's playability and overall sound quality made it the winner in my book last night.

 

That's all for now.

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Hello, I went 3 weeks ago (while in town to see This Is Our Youth and also Fleetwood Mac on the way back home in NJ)

 

Much to my surprise I found a piano there- Kurzweil MPS10F (F for having fatar action vs MPS10) that had wonderful speakers (on par with my SP280).

 

I am eager to try the CP4 now that I see Christine McVie is using it on this FM tour.

 

I found SA to be much better than GC at Times Square- I agree the one at 14th street near Union Square is much better.

 

SA remains the only place I can try out a ES100 as well

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Hello, I went 3 weeks ago (while in town to see This Is Our Youth and also Fleetwood Mac on the way back home in NJ)

 

Much to my surprise I found a piano there- Kurzweil MPS10F (F for having fatar action vs MPS10) that had wonderful speakers (on par with my SP280).

 

I am eager to try the CP4 now that I see Christine McVie is using it on this FM tour.

 

I found SA to be much better than GC at Times Square- I agree the one at 14th street near Union Square is much better.

 

SA remains the only place I can try out a ES100 as well

 

I do admit walking right past the home pianos to the pro stuff. I did see two Kurz MPS models, but stopped long enough only the play a f ew quick notes for the keyboard feel, which was remarkably light. Unfortunately, I did not take the time to note the model number.

 

I went into the GC on 14th years ago and never again. From what I recall it was a rather modest keyboard selection. I try to avoid Times Square as much as possible, so the GC there is not on my hit list.

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Nord keyboards are for soccer moms. Remember that.

 

I saw something similar in the Nord vs Casio thread...is this a serious opinion? If not, what is it a reference too?

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.

Nord Electro 3 fan &

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