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Recommend decent low priced used board


RandyFF

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Hey, I could use some recommendations to find a good used board through CL or eBay. I've got a Nord Stage Classic and Casio Wk 7600. I go often to jam sessions in the park, and have grown to hate the WK, and am worried about abusing the Stage in a less than ideal environment. I'm also saving up $1k for a Casio MZ-x500, so I don''t want to spend too much on a park and camping jam board.

 

Must haves:

* good keybed feel, whether semi weighted or weighted. I prefer weighted keys, but semi-weighted is fine as long it's good. My Casio WK 7600 is bad, I think it's gotten worse over time, don't feel like I can be fully expressive with it and it makes me play sloppy.

* Good bread and butter sounds. Once again the WK 7600 doesn't satisfy

* Under $500, preferably under $300

 

Would like to have:

* At least 64 note polyphony so I can layer and split

* onboard speakers

* Weighs no more than 40 pounds, preferably under 25 pounds

 

By the way, has anyone tried the new Casio MZ-X500? Am curious to hear how good the keybed is and the quality of sounds. If the FA-06 didn't have such a lousy keybed I'd be seriously considering getting it instead of the Casio.

 

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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There are none that is going to meet all that criteria.

 

Go to Craigslist see what is there and tell us what there is to choose from and we will give opinions. Maybe check pawn and resale shops. eBay fees are so steep that any bargains in your price range are squeezed out.

 

Personally I'd apply the money to the MZ thingie if that is what you really want. $300-500 is a big chunk of the Casio thing you want.

"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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The key action on the WK series isn't likely to deteriorate unless a key breaks. Then you would have to replace a nested group of keys that includes the broken one. The action is made up of molded plastic groups of keys with screws holding each key group on. There are no springs or metal shafts. The plastic flexes when you press a key and the tension brings the key back up when released.

 

http://www.pacparts.com/images/parts/thumb/910/10399802.jpg

C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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Only thing that comes to mind for me as an alternative to your WK7600 is Yamaha's YPG series.

Hardware

Yamaha MODX7, DX7, PSR-530, MX61/Korg TR-Rack, 01/W Pro X, Trinity Pro X, Karma/Ensoniq ESQ-1

Behringer DeepMind12, Model D, Odyssey, 2600/Arturia Keylab MKII 61

 

Software

Studio One/V Collection 9/Korg Collection 4/Cherry Audio/UVI SonicPass/EW Composer Cloud/Omnisphere, Stylus RMX, Trilian/IK Total Studio 3.5 MAX/Roland Cloud

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CEB has a good point... even if you were thinking of the Casio MZ-x500 for some purpose other than the park and camp jamming, it does seem like a board you could use for that as well, so if that's what you want regardless, you might as well put your efforts toward buying that. In fact, at the moment, Sweetwater has a demo model which lowers the price a bit, and they are currently offering 24 month interest free financing, so if you took the $500 you're allocating for this other board, that would cover your first 12 payments right there. (They also have a decent return policy if you're not thrilled with it, though it will cost you the shipping charge both ways, and possibly 15% restocking, so you're better off being really sure it's what you want first.)

 

However, I would not assume that the MZ-x500 action is different from the WK-7600 which was Casio's "better" non-hammer action when it came out, and I don't recall there being any talk about any new or improved SW action since then. That said, I've played some XW-P1 which I think uses the same action, and some felt better than others! So there may be some unit-to-unit variation, whether due to manufacturing tolerances or perhaps sourcing the manufacturing of the action from more than one place.

 

If you have some reason to still want this other board you're talking about, something like a Casio PX-310 might fit the bill, depending on which "bread and butter" sounds you need. For example, I think it has a great Wurli sound, but an unimpressive Rhodes sound.

 

Do you have an i-device? You can get some good b&b sounds out of your iPhone or whatever. So then what you might look for is a board with an action you like and an interface for it. Ideally, you could find a board with an action you like and internal speakers and a line input, so the whole thing could still be pretty self-contained. But it at least takes the variable of the actual sounds out of it, and so could open up some more possibilities.

 

 

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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Sorry but you need a little larger budget to work with.

 

I agree. The closest thing I can think of is an early model from the lines of Yamaha Motif, Roland Fantom or Korg Triton. Prices can vary wildly on those and occasionally you find someone dumping a nice unit at a great price.

This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

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Big fan of guitar center used, although I've had good luck on ebay also.

 

Prices can vary (as they can on CL!) but low shipping and free returns to a local GC within 30 or 45 days (my bass was 45) gives peace of mind...you have a chance to really dig in and find any issues, even take it to some gigs.

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When on a budget you surely are looking for the flagships of yester-year. Original models, not LE's or Extremes or ES's.

 

Korg Triton

 

Yamaha Motif

 

Roland XP-80

 

But, ya. You have to raise your budget a bit.

 

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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I disagree with these higher end Motif/Fantom/Triton recommendations, which may be overkill for jamming in the park, and cost more money despite meeting fewer of the OP's preferences (i.e. they don't have built-in speakers, and, if you want weighted action, are not lightweight).

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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For giggles I did a FAST search of the San Fran CL.

 

There were

 

  • Casio PX-150
  • A couple of Quadra Synths
  • Yamaha S80
  • Ensoniq ESQ1
  • Williams Allegro

 

"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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When on a budget you surely are looking for the flagships of yester-year. Original models, not LE's or Extremes or ES's.

 

Korg Triton

 

Yamaha Motif

 

Roland XP-80

 

But, ya. You have to raise your budget a bit.

 

This. I would add Alesis QS6/7 to the list. Quality synth action (hammer on the QS8), steel chassis. The .1 and .2 have internal power supplies. Some of the sounds will have dated, but there are some gems in there. (Didn't dB program some of them?)

 

Cheers, Mike.

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I friend of mine for a LONGTIME played a silver QS8 and a silver QS6 on a silver Apex stand. From a stage appearence perspective that was sweet and clean looking rig.

 

Recently he got some Yamaha boards. A MOXF8 and a MX61. I think he held on to the Alesis stuff because he thought he was being thrifty. But I thought it had great stage appearance. For the gigs he and I do looks matter.

"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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I had a QS7.1 which I bought for a song as a thrasher practice board and I ended up loving it. Very easy and intuitive (IMO) to program and had a surprisingly rich palette of sounds. Kinda wish I still had it.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

-Mark Twain

 

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I agree - a used QS8, QS8.1, or QS8.2 would do the trick. The only criteria not being met is: onboard speakers, and light weight. These boards weigh somewhere around 40 lbs, and you would need a small powered monitor or combo amp. If you don't need 88 weighted keys, then the QS6 or QS7 series would cut the weight down considerably. The benefit: LOTS of bread & butter sounds in there, and usually can be had for under $500, with the unweighted boards even cheaper.
Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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Only thing that comes to mind for me as an alternative to your WK7600 is Yamaha's YPG series.

 

The YPG series is just adequate sound-wise. I definitely wouldn't recommend it.

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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The Roland VR-09 is a do-all keyboard that has a better Tonewheel Organ section than any Casio I've seen yet. It also has a dedicated Synth, Drum, and Piano sections all at a few hundred dollars less than the Casio MZ-x500. It can do Layers, Splits, and weighs 12 pounds.
C3/122, M102A, Vox V301H, Farfisa Compact, Gibson G101, GEM P, RMI 300A, Piano Bass, Pianet , Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, Matrix 12, OB8, Korg MS20, Jupiter 6, Juno 60, PX-5S, Nord Stage 3 Compact
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The Roland VR-09 is a do-all keyboard that has a better Tonewheel Organ section than any Casio I've seen yet. It also has a dedicated Synth, Drum, and Piano sections all at a few hundred dollars less than the Casio MZ-x500. It can do Layers, Splits, and weighs 12 pounds.

If he didn't like the FA-06 action, he's not going to like the VR-09's. But then, he may not like the MZ-X500's either.

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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The key action on the WK series isn't likely to deteriorate unless a key breaks. Then you would have to replace a nested group of keys that includes the broken one. The action is made up of molded plastic groups of keys with screws holding each key group on. There are no springs or metal shafts. The plastic flexes when you press a key and the tension brings the key back up when released.

 

http://www.pacparts.com/images/parts/thumb/910/10399802.jpg

331232rte32

 

Good to know. How many keys per grouping? I would think the plastic would lose its spring over time

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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CEB has a good point... even if you were thinking of the Casio MZ-x500 for some purpose other than the park and camp jamming, it does seem like a board you could use for that as well, so if that's what you want regardless, you might as well put your efforts toward buying that. In fact, at the moment, Sweetwater has a demo model which lowers the price a bit, and they are currently offering 24 month interest free financing, so if you took the $500 you're allocating for this other board, that would cover your first 12 payments right there. (They also have a decent return policy if you're not thrilled with it, though it will cost you the shipping charge both ways, and possibly 15% restocking, so you're better off being really sure it's what you want first.)

 

However, I would not assume that the MZ-x500 action is different from the WK-7600 which was Casio's "better" non-hammer action when it came out, and I don't recall there being any talk about any new or improved SW action since then. That said, I've played some XW-P1 which I think uses the same action, and some felt better than others! So there may be some unit-to-unit variation, whether due to manufacturing tolerances or perhaps sourcing the manufacturing of the action from more than one place.

 

If you have some reason to still want this other board you're talking about, something like a Casio PX-310 might fit the bill, depending on which "bread and butter" sounds you need. For example, I think it has a great Wurli sound, but an unimpressive Rhodes sound.

 

Do you have an i-device? You can get some good b&b sounds out of your iPhone or whatever. So then what you might look for is a board with an action you like and an interface for it. Ideally, you could find a board with an action you like and internal speakers and a line input, so the whole thing could still be pretty self-contained. But it at least takes the variable of the actual sounds out of it, and so could open up some more possibilities.

 

 

You make some good points. At my last GC visit I tried various WKs and CTKs and while they're supposed to have the same keybed, some felt tighter and better than others. I've experienced this sloppy playing with terrible "semi-weighted" keybeds before and it's such a turn off. That, and I bottom out easily, the fulcrum is not very well placed so it becomes much harder to press the further up on the keys you get, and it feels like I have two layers of expression: soft and loud (which may be in part due to the sub-par sounds, I doubt that many of them have even two layers)..

 

I do have an I device and have been playing around with it lately. I haven't gotten past the point where I'm playing more than one sound at a time, guess I'll need to learn about audio us and the like.

 

Yeah, some of the Casio PX series look compelling. They upgraded their sounds and their keybeds if I remember right, it'd be good to know at what point they became acceptable. I remember playing a CDP-100, and over time the keybed turned to shit, broken keys and the feel loosened up unacceptably, and the sounds were only so-so.

 

Yeah, I've seen the MZ x500 for as low as $900, but it was used. This is a new board so I prefer having a warranty.

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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Big fan of guitar center used, although I've had good luck on ebay also.

 

Prices can vary (as they can on CL!) but low shipping and free returns to a local GC within 30 or 45 days (my bass was 45) gives peace of mind...you have a chance to really dig in and find any issues, even take it to some gigs.

 

That's right, I forgot about that. I've been a bad boy though, have returned more than a few speakers, am worried about them slapping me with a 15% return fee for people like me who use them as a lending library. To be fair to myself though I buy most of my stuff through them, and over the years it's been in excess of $10k.

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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For giggles I did a FAST search of the San Fran CL.

 

There were

 

  • Casio PX-150
  • A couple of Quadra Synths
  • Yamaha S80
  • Ensoniq ESQ1
  • Williams Allegro

 

The PX-150 seems a likely fit, lightweight, the latest action Casio offers (?), speakers, etc., its biggest drawback is the small number of voices.

 

The Williams line is highly suspect, bargain basement GC stuff.

 

The ESQ1 is like forever old, doubt it has great sounds.

 

The S80? Have you played it?

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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The williams line is HIGHLY suspect.

 

The S80 is a good pick - that's pre S90 - a lot less in the ROM - similar action WITH AFTERTOUCH if that gets you hot and bothered. No internal speakers like the PX-150. But built like a tank at 53.8lbs - or what we used to call Yamaha quality.

Yamaha CP88, Casio PX-560

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The Roland VR-09 is a do-all keyboard that has a better Tonewheel Organ section than any Casio I've seen yet. It also has a dedicated Synth, Drum, and Piano sections all at a few hundred dollars less than the Casio MZ-x500. It can do Layers, Splits, and weighs 12 pounds.

If he didn't like the FA-06 action, he's not going to like the VR-09's. But then, he may not like the MZ-X500's either.

 

IMO. The MOXF6 plays better than the Rolands and is the same money. I'm using the FA-06 in my rig for the pad sampler. The action plays like ass.

"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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I remember the S80 as playing nice. It is heavier than Hell and I don't mind heavy boards. The good stuff is heavy but ... The S80 may be too heavy.

"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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When on a budget you surely are looking for the flagships of yester-year. Original models, not LE's or Extremes or ES's.

 

Korg Triton

 

Yamaha Motif

 

Roland XP-80

 

But, ya. You have to raise your budget a bit.

 

This. I would add Alesis QS6/7 to the list. Quality synth action (hammer on the QS8), steel chassis. The .1 and .2 have internal power supplies. Some of the sounds will have dated, but there are some gems in there. (Didn't dB program some of them?)

 

Cheers, Mike.

 

That my friend is a slippery slope. Indeed, the sounds of yesteryears workstations, and the keybed feel are quite nice. I've had a XS7 and the M3, and the keybeds on both of them was really nice. Would never get a Triton however, they EQ their boards towards an upper midrange/treble that I really don't like, and the Triton offends the worst of any of their boards I've heard. But now we're talking $1,000 +.

 

I'm saving the big bucks for the MZ-X500 because the pads and general user friendliness promise to be a fun way to sketch out songs. I also like that with 40w power for the upward and backward firing speakers I'd be able to cover many situations.

 

XP-80, how does it feel? Sound?

 

Years ago I bought the original QS7. Not sure how the keybed feels, wasn't aware of that back then. The sounds were serviceable but not great.

 

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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I had a QS7.1 which I bought for a song as a thrasher practice board and I ended up loving it. Very easy and intuitive (IMO) to program and had a surprisingly rich palette of sounds. Kinda wish I still had it.

 

Was there a big upgrade of sounds and sound quality from the original to .1 and .2?

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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The Roland VR-09 is a do-all keyboard that has a better Tonewheel Organ section than any Casio I've seen yet. It also has a dedicated Synth, Drum, and Piano sections all at a few hundred dollars less than the Casio MZ-x500. It can do Layers, Splits, and weighs 12 pounds.

 

But I seem to recall that the keybed wasn't very good-?

 

It also doesn't have the great touch screen and pads to do the fun stuff I'd do with the FA-06 or MZ-X500. The Stage is my favorite board of all time, but it doesn't do any of the fancy stuff.

Numa Piano X73 /// Kawai ES920 /// Casio CT-X5000 /// Yamaha EW425

Yamaha Melodica and Alto Recorder

QSC K8.2 // JBL Eon One Compact // Soundcore Motion Boom Plus 

Win10 laptop i7 8GB // iPad Pro 9.7" 32GB

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