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The most useless, disappointing keyboard you ever bought?


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For me, the Roland Aira System 1, by far. Horrible keys, a pitch bend knob, and most synth releases for it were monophonic. Hard to believe that the System 1 and System 8 were from the same company.

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1 hour ago, timwat said:

M-Audio Venom.

I actually bought 2 of these, one for myself and one for my oldest son. So I can agree with Tim twice here. 

Did buy them cheap, even as new, and was able to sell them both, so financially wasn't a big deal, thank goodness.

:nopity:
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52 minutes ago, justin_havu said:

Yamaha DJX-II.  I was just out of high school, and I guess I wasn't really thinking at the time.

Yes, djx-II was a flop, but the original DJX was pretty fun. Packed with features above price tier. Still have one for sentimental value.

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Original 2001 Roland Fantom workstation when it first came out.. I adored my XP-80 - still have it in fact. The Fantom had a screen 3x the size but worse controls in every way. Ick. Ironically I bought a new Fantom 7 this fall and I love it - even in most ways over my beloved Kronoses.

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27 minutes ago, ProfD said:

Korg Wavestation EX.  No fault of the KB.  Just not what I needed at the time. 😎

Funny, that was my number one favorite synth out of the tons of synths I had over the years. Had mine for ten years, the longest I had any synth. 

I had a Minimoog I bought new after lusting for one for years, Sold it about a year later for $650. It just wasn't my kind of instrument.

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Studiologic TMK-88 Controller, circa 2004. A good concept for a lightweight keyboard controller, but there was a disconcerting issue discovered when it was first issued: The flexible plastic casing had a tendency to warp in warm conditions. Plus the front panel inscriptions were raised lettering, identical in color to the case. Guess it might've worked okay for a home workspace, but it was designed for stage use - with its lightweight, soft plastic design.  I sent mine back to Sweetwater within a week.

 

A close 2nd would be the Memorymoog I bought in 1983; it was the first unit in Chicago.  Certainly not useless, as the thought of essentially 6 Minimoogs under the hood was drool-worthy. But it Just. Would. Not. Stay. In. Tune. After lengthy repair efforts, I returned it to the dealer for a lightly used OB-Xa 8-voice. 

'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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1 hour ago, NKB4691 said:

I'd like to hear more about this as I am considering getting one.

 

Keyboard was warped with about a 1/4" higher like a wave, cresting around middle C. Also I should have checked, but no expression pedal input; and there was no way to deactivate the pads so they're either lit up like a Christmas tree, or you have to deactivate ALL the panel lights – then of course the whole thing is too dark to operate.

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____________________________________
Rod

victoria bc

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Chroma Polaris. Not sure what I was thinking.....

 

Before there were Rompler's I wanted something that we now know as a Rompler. I know many here love to program; not me. Minor tweaks is all I need. For some reason I thought the Polaris could be close. I was sadly mistaken.....

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Nord Electro 3 73 HP.  Floor model, Boxing Day special, ridiculously low price.  The action didn't feel too bad in the store, not good for organ, but better for piano-centric gigs than the Electro 2 73 SW I already owned....or so I thought.  Wrong.  Most tiring piano keybed I've ever owned.  Mushy and unresponsive.  I thought it might be because it had had the crap beaten out of it in the store, so I went back and tried the new one they put out to replace it.  Same feel.  Buy in haste, repent at leisure. 

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Nobody here can dance like me.  Everybody clapping on the one and the three.

—Jason Isbell

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In 1990 I had the opportunity to buy a Roland D70 before there were any in the stores to try out. I figured how could it miss with the D50 being so ubiquitous. It had 76 keys and should have been everything the D50 was and more. I was expecting an enhanced D50 but it turned out to be more of a U20 type ROMpler. I put it up for sale immediately and got all my money back. The D70 was barely in production for a year so I think I made the right move.

Gibson G101, Fender Rhodes Piano Bass, Vox Continental, RMI Electra-Piano and Harpsichord 300A, Hammond M102A, Hohner Combo Pianet, OB8, Matrix 12, Jupiter 6, Prophet 5 rev. 2, Pro-One, CS70M, CP35, PX-5S, WK-3800, Stage 3 Compact

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6 hours ago, allan_evett said:

A close 2nd would be the Memorymoog I bought in 1983; it was the first unit in Chicago.  Certainly not useless, as the thought of essentially 6 Minimoogs under the hood was drool-worthy. But it Just. Would. Not. Stay. In. Tune. After lengthy repair efforts, I returned it to the dealer for a lightly used OB-Xa 8-voice. 

I gigged with one full time around then. Got the first one in my state. Every Sunday I had to adjust all 18 oscillators for tune, range and scale. It would take me about 4 hours. If I got lazy and skipped a week it would become so out of tune as to be unplayable before the next week was up. At the same time I was playing a Rhodes Chroma. It had an autotune button that worked great. Never had to open it up. That does remind me that my second choice would be the MiniMoog Model D that I bought brand new a few years earlier. Osc 2 would drift horribly. I would use headphones to dial up a sound and quickly tune it right before a song, and when it was time for a solo two minutes later it would be out.

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This post edited for speling.
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When I was younger, and poorer, I'd buy a synth on Ebay and if turned out to be not really my thing I'd put it back up on Ebay, and sometimes I lost a few dollars, sometimes I made a small profit.  More recently however,

 

1. Nord Electro 5D.  Sounded great in cans in the store.  They'd finally replaced the drawbuttons with sliders.  Wohoo.  Did 2 gigs and found myself pulling drawbars and thinking "Wtf".  Love the acoustic pianos and the Rhodes, just not my idea of what a Hammond should sound like.  Thankfully red keyboards hold their value pretty well so the gig money covered my loss on selling it.

 

2. DSI OB6.  Cause it's not an OBX/Xa/8.  Duh.  This may happen again when Behringer finally release their UBXa.

 

 

 

 

Keys: Hammond SK2, Hammond SK1, Hammond SKpro, Korg Vox Continental, Waldorf STVC

Amplification: Line6 L3T, Yamaha DBR-10, Presonus Air 10, Leslie 122V

 

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Musically, a Davoli Synth (a very long time ago). https://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/davolisint.php

 

But i got a lot of fun out of it by building a digital connection to a Z80 micro computer, using a parallel port, and writing assembler code to play pseudo random sequences.

Yes, pre Midi, pre Atari :).

 

Maurizio

OB-6, Modx 7, Rameau upright. Too many Arturia, NI and AAS plugins.

http://www.barbogio.org/

 

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I got an Roland XV5050 rack once to replace an ageing XP50 because I couldn't afford an XV5080. Was the hardest to program, throttled, sloppiest timing thing ever.
Lasted maybe a week with it till I lost a load of money on it. Could never get the Editor to work, either, if I remember rightly!

I was always Roland in those days until the Triton came out - then went down the Triton - Extreme - Kronos route. But I did get a D110 rack at some point and thought it might be fun. It wasn't. Totally uninspiring and nothing like the D50 which I'd hoped. Although, I did have a loan of a D5 for a while and quite liked it?!

Then they got it a lot better with the Integra. That's come in handy loads of times! Don't think I'll ever sell that.

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Novation Xiosynth.  The velocity control was infuriating and the front panel graphics were unreadable!  Plus I never got a sound out of it I liked.  

Runner up, Korg M50 61 key.  The sounds were pretty good, but the interface was overly complicated.  Navigating simple changes like routing mod wheel to LFO were way too complex.  And the build was toy-like.

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Thinking back, I honestly made some pretty good purchases over the years and can't really remember any bad surprises.  I tend to (over) research stuff before I buy and as you can imagine the internet age means a great deal of analysis paralysis! (It's not enough to get something that works for me, I have to get the thing that works the best at a good price!)  I have had a few keyboards with issues, like my JX-10 with keys that kept "going out", and my Poly 800 that would go out of tune.  I bought a CX3 v2 from guitar center used and it had a bad double-trigger issue.  Again I'd separate technical issues from those where the keyboard was just disappointing in sound or function.   With that in mind, I really can't think of much.  Perhaps the (lousy) ensemble sounds on my VR700, that was ultimately the reason I sold it along with the bulky size.

Currently I'm having issues with my Forte programming.  A simple thing like assigning glide to one of the sliders is nowhere near straightforward, since it means going into VAST and then I see a ton of different layers happening (14 on one simple-sounding lead solo patch)...hard to even know where to start.

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