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keyboard controller shootout

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Hey, gang--I've got a situation that i need to address.


I bought a Kurzweil K2600 and loved it for about 1 week. great feel, incredible control over the sounds. however, limited polyphony, overly complex efx routing scheme, weight 9which would discourage me from ever gigging, which i do 4-5 times each year) and price/value ratio all started bugging me. Then it simply stopped working, so I have to send it back to the folks at Sweetwater anyway.


Now I think I want something else: a K2500 brain, for certain--love that Kurzweil sound. For my controller, I need: 88 weighted keys that feel great; around 50 pounds max. Onboard sounds need to be great as well (again, for gigging and for sketchpad writing/inspiration).


So...I've been looking at two 'boards, the Kurz PC2x and the Yamaha S80. Each has pros and cons in my eyes. Have any of you played them?


The Kurz keyboard is not my favorite--the Yamaha's is much more fun to play. Seems like a sound occurs, even if you barely press the key down, which actually feels strange when playing at regular velocity. The onboard sounds are ok, a few wonderful ones, others that will blend well, i think. Anyone know if the efx are still global, as on the PC88 I just got rid of?


The Yamaha has ok sounds, much coarser or cruder, I guess, than the Kurz. less useful, but fun. The user interface is neat, but am I letting the knobs and sliders influence me unduly? It really doesn't sound quite as good as the PC2x.


Finally, I've got an old Rhodes MK80, which I love. I suppose I could use that till something better comes along...


Any opinions?


Many thanks,



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Originally posted by Doug Robinson:

Wow--where was everyone? Anyway, I bought the yamaha S80 and a K2500Rs. We'll see how i do with that combo.


I was surprised that no one had an opinion on the subject, either. However, I'll leave this folder up until you've had a chance to play with the S80, and maybe you can share your opinions of it with us. Deal?

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Deal, Craig. So far, I actually like the sounds more than I thought I would, and the tweakability is pretty impressive--lots of sliders and knobs, at least relative to what I've used in the past.


Negatives so far: they ship the darned thing without a sustain pedal! Talk about frustrating--get the thing home, open it up---and then go to Guitar Center the next day so you can actually play the damned thing the next night.


I've taken on a bizarre collection of tasks: I am going to attempt to get familiar with the ins and outs of the yamaha, the K2500rs, and Performer, all in the next two months. With Performer, the problem I have to overcome is conceptual, more than technical. I want to explore using a computer with a graphic interface for my sequencing for the first time (I've been using a hardware sequencer). I'm very uncomfortable thinking about sound and staring at a screen so far--I was doing almost everything with my eyes closed on the hardware seq. But I'm intrigued, and will give it a shot.

Doug Robinson


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