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Studiologic SL88: Grand vs. Studio (or other options?)


wjones

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I've been using a Doepfer LMK2+ to play the pianos in my Electro for the past couple of years. When I bought it, I was looking for a controller with decent 88 weighted action, durable build quality, and a lack of controls above the keys (so I can place my electro right on top). The Doepfer does all of that. Unfortunately, I can no longer ignore one problem. I don't like any of the velocity curve presets. I've spent a good bit of time with the viable preset velocity curves, and they just don't trigger the Nord pianos like I want them to. So I'm looking for another product.

 

The Studiologic SL 88 controllers are tempting. They don't have...many controls on the top. There's one big knob in the center, and I wonder if my Electro would clear it... if not, I wonder if it would come off... It looks like I can make custom velocity curves... so it seems like my presenting issue could be addressed.

 

My questions:

Has anyone had any experience with the SL88 Grand or SL88 Studio?

Will that big knob come off?

What are the opinions of the action(s)?

 

I believe the action in my Doepfer is a TP/40GH. The SL Grand is TP/40WOOD and the Studio is TP/100LR. I'm not sure which I'd like better. The TP/40GH has been ok.. but not my favorite. I think I like the action better in my PX-5S, so I'm not against a lightweight option- but I'm intrigued by the TP/40WOOD.

 

I can't seem to find any dealers that carry these controllers, nor can I find other keyboards in the area that have those fatar actions. Your thoughts?

My Big Live Rig:

 

Nord Stage 3 Compact

StudioLogic SL88 Grand

The CAT by Octave

Hohner Melodica

 

Leslie 145

Silverface Bassman 70 -> Custom 2x10 cabinet

2 - QSC K8.2

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I did try the SL 88 Grand at NAMM in SoCal this last year. Was VERY happy with the action. I am kind of fussy when it comes to the keybed. While the Studio was OK, I would buy the grand in a heart beat. My Yamaha S90XS, however has very nice action and still works just find, so no need yet.

 

I can't comment about the knob. Arent' there two small little joy sticks poking up as well.

 

I also was show the software that allows you to adjust the velocity curve, which looked quite nice. Good choice IMO

 

My ideal setup would be this board on bottom and a NON existant, synth action Physis K5 76 non weighted board on top, with all of the controls on top. Of course Physis doesn't make a non-weighted controller, so I will keep my Studiologic MK161 organ.

 

Like you, I want my boards close, fortunately I do not use any controls on the Yamaha, so things are as close as physically possible.

Yamaha S90XS, Studiologic VMk-161 Organ

Small/powerful (i7, 32GB, M.2 SSD) PC controlled by 10" Touch Screen

Cantabile, Ravenscroft 275, Keyscape, OPX-II, Omnisphere 2, VB3, Chris Hein Horns, etc.

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Thanks for the helpful response!

 

I believe my Electro 5d 61 will fit in the space to the right of the joystick controllers. So that should work fine.

 

Has anyone on the forum purchased one of these?

My Big Live Rig:

 

Nord Stage 3 Compact

StudioLogic SL88 Grand

The CAT by Octave

Hohner Melodica

 

Leslie 145

Silverface Bassman 70 -> Custom 2x10 cabinet

2 - QSC K8.2

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Far be it from me to suggest someone NOT buy a new keyboard, but if there was a velocity curve you liked would you keep it? If so, a MIDI Solutions Velocity Converter may be just what you need. 40 velocity curves to choose from, plus you can make your own.

 

http://www.midisolutions.com/prodvel.htm

 

I currently use one of their Event Processors between my bottom controller and top sound source boards.

"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
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wjones, I don't wish to derail the topic, however in response to the 'or other options?' part of your thread subject... if you're looking for a realistic controller for playing the Nord pianos on your Electro, I would strongly consider taking a look at the Kawai VPC1.

 

I use a Kawai MP8II to trigger the non-organ sounds of my Electro 3 and it really brings the sounds to life. I know of a number of other Nord owners that partner their board with a VPC1 also, for example:

 

http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/2063551

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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The SL Grand is TP/40WOOD and the Studio is TP/100LR. I'm not sure which I'd like better.

As far as I've seen, there are no people who think the TP100 plays as well as a TP40.

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 for the responses.

 

That midi solutions box is a cool... solution. I'm hoping that my Doepfer controller could fetch a decent price, since there aren't many on the used market here. If so, it may cost me less to upgrade to the TP/40WOOD with ivory feel than it would to add a $100+ box to the rig. I guess I'll need to see if there's a market for this thing first.

 

 

The VPC1 would be amazing (or so I understand), but the upper keyboard would be a few inches higher, the price is double, and the weight is a bit more than I can justify in a gigging rig.

 

 

If it looks like I can get a decent price for the Doepfer- then I'll sell it. If I can't, then I might try the "box".

 

 

My Big Live Rig:

 

Nord Stage 3 Compact

StudioLogic SL88 Grand

The CAT by Octave

Hohner Melodica

 

Leslie 145

Silverface Bassman 70 -> Custom 2x10 cabinet

2 - QSC K8.2

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The VPC1 would be amazing (or so I understand), but the upper keyboard would be a few inches higher, the price is double, and the weight is a bit more than I can justify in a gigging rig.

 

Ah, okay. I didn't reslise that weight was a factor.

 

Cheers,

James

x

Employed by Kawai Japan, however the opinions I express are my own.
Nord Electro 3 & occasional rare groove player.

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A very helpful link! I'm glad the Doepfers at least made the slate for review!

I think I'll try to sell the Doepfer and get the SL88 Grand. If I can't get a decent price for it, then I'll just keep the Doepfer in the studio.

 

Thanks for your help, guys.

My Big Live Rig:

 

Nord Stage 3 Compact

StudioLogic SL88 Grand

The CAT by Octave

Hohner Melodica

 

Leslie 145

Silverface Bassman 70 -> Custom 2x10 cabinet

2 - QSC K8.2

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  • 1 year later...
I did try the SL 88 Grand at NAMM in SoCal this last year. Was VERY happy with the action. I am kind of fussy when it comes to the keybed. While the Studio was OK, I would buy the grand in a heart beat. My Yamaha S90XS, however has very nice action and still works just find, so no need yet.

 

Thanks CaptainUnderpant! I just bought an S90 ES and ordered the S90 XS (the ES was $1,350 and the XS was $1,360 used) to test in my studio.

 

As a professional pianist you know I want the BEST action (of course). I'm getting ready to order the Studio Logic Studio and SL88 Grand to AB BUT the features on the S90 XS would be a very big plus for my studio.

 

Another I was going to try is the Kawai VPC1 and have a 45 return policy on them all. But my "Gut" tells me the S90 XS will be what I want to keep and at $1360 on the used market shipped to my home I can't complain.

 

Any tips and thoughts would be great!

 

Thanks

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Another I was going to try is the Kawai VPC1 and have a 45 return policy on them all. But my "Gut" tells me the S90 XS will be what I want to keep and at $1360 on the used market shipped to my home I can't complain.

 

Any tips and thoughts would be great!

 

Thanks

 

Well you already decided on the S90, but if you want the "best" (which is extremely subjective) the VPC1 has excellent action. You don't mention what your use case is, but if you're looking for a studio instrument for piano, it's an excellent choice.

 

I got one new in December for about what you paid for the S90XS used. The are very different instruments, the VPC1 being controller only. Paired with Pianoteq, the VPC1 really sings. For my use, it's studio only. I won't be dragging it out for a gig.

 

Mills Dude -- Lefty Hack
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The two main considerations are Portability and Internal Sounds.

 

I don't need internal sounds anymore, as I always play VST's. So even though the SL88 Grand is only about 3-5lbs lighter than the S90XS, it is a lot smaller in length and this makes transporting easier.

 

If you want portability and a great bed then the SL88 Grand,

If you want internal sounds the Yamaha S90XS,

If you don't need internal sounds and portability doesn't matter, then the Kawai VPC1.

Yamaha S90XS, Studiologic VMk-161 Organ

Small/powerful (i7, 32GB, M.2 SSD) PC controlled by 10" Touch Screen

Cantabile, Ravenscroft 275, Keyscape, OPX-II, Omnisphere 2, VB3, Chris Hein Horns, etc.

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